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The100: Starting over, deliberative rhetoric & heartprints

I quit

By this point in the year many people have waved the white flag to their resolutions.

Their hands full of retrieved chocolates.

The still squeaking running shoes are just for show.

All the while mumbling promises to do better next year.

But, if the resolution to quit your day job and set up your own company is still niggling, read these 30 pieces of advice to budding entrepreneurs.

They’re pretty much relevant to everyone, whether you’re setting up a company or not. I thought the interview questions were especially good/handy. And thankfully, John, my co-founder, never asked me what makes you gritty?

Still thinking of quitting?

Before you do so, have a browse of these stories from people that have quit something. The list includes jobs, smartphones, dating apps, and buying things. Note: choose wisely, you can only view 5 before you hit their paywall.

The art of persuasion

Back in the 4th century BC, Aristotle identified 3 methods of persuasive speech. Brilliantly, they’re still used today. We have:

  1. Ethos – Drawing upon the author or speaker’s credibility and character
  2. Logo –  Using logic or reason to convince the audience
  3. Pathos – Playing to emotions. Getting ‘em right in the feels.

Faris looks at these techniques in more detail and gives ad examples of deliberative rhetoric for each.

He also makes the case for a 4th method: repetition. One that seems to be over-indexing in the political world these days. As Faris notes, this creates an illusory effect, with our tendency to believe something is true after it is continually repeated.

ASAP is poison (ASAP is poison)

Internal comms are a tricky thing to do well. Even as a company of 24 we (… Ok, I) could do better. So Basecamp’s guide to internal communication is timely (h/t The Story).

9. Never expect or require someone to get back to you immediately unless it’s a true emergency. The expectation of immediate response is toxic.

That’s now a daily mantra for me. While 13 is an absolute whammy point. And the sage advice of 25 hadn’t even crossed my mind before, but now it’s firmly stuck.

Your desk is a dangerous place

Paul Dervan, CMO of the National Lottery here in the UK, asked marketers what mistakes they consistently make.

Assuming the causation of something was one of those mistakes, but another common theme was staying behind your desk and not talking to consumers enough:

The really brilliant marketing companies have found ways to make ‘talking with customers’ part of their weekly schedule. It is not easy, but there are things I have tried that I have found reasonable success with. If it is important, it needs to move from ‘we should do this’ to ‘we are doing this’… Start small and build on it.

[? We do weekly consumer closeness programmes. A lot. Email if you want more details.]

Another good place to start would be reading what these youngsters have to say on what it’s like being 16 today. Now there’s a way out the echo chamber.

Tech company? Or mattress company with a website?

Tech in 2020 is definitely worth a browse over your morning cuppa. When 4bn people got connected together, we inadvertently connected all the problems as well. Even if you aren’t interested in the subject matter, it’s a masterclass in making good slides.

And is it just me, or is there something deeply fascinating about internet stats?

You can imagine my clap of delight as I tucked into a 247 slide deck from Simon Kemp, covering near enough every angle possible. Remember to consume slowly for fear of indigestion.  It turns out we’ll likely spend over 100 days online this year, or 40% of our waking day. Crikey.

I heart you

One thing not covered by these futurist examinations is that we can all now be identified by our ‘heartprint’ (register to read). Fingerprints are so cold-war. You (currently) have to be within 200 metres of the person, and it’s being used more as a military exercise than commercial, but I can’t wait for the day it becomes engulfed by GDPR 🙂

A slippery slope

Lastly, the image below popped into my LinkedIn feed this week. It’s an Esso advert from Life magazine in Feb 1962, with the proud boast that ‘each day Humble supplies enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier’. Wow. The benefit of hindsight, hey?