Death, taxes and the internet

“Members Want More With Faster-Paced Technology” By Gregory Florez (Fitness Business Pro Magazine, Dec 2008, Kudos to Mr Floroz! He gets it!! And he’s willing to share it!!! This brief article is jam packed with strokes of pull quote genius but let’s serve up this teaser:

Regardless of your philosophical leanings on this subject, one thing is certain: Your members are used to instant access — anywhere, anytime — and they want it quickly. I don’t imagine that this trend will slow down, and it certainly will not reverse itself. True, the always-on way in which we live — reducing our down time while increasing distraction — is a partial cause of many stress-related disorders. Regardless, your members are used to it, want more speed and likely will not settle for less.

Now before you dismiss this with a, “But I’m not in the fitness industry…” let’s point out:

– Looking to other industries is a great way to break your routine. It’s helps to find inspiration you’d normally miss. And by definition it immediately put you “outside the box.” Cliche or not, getting “outside the box” gives you perspective of what’s going on inside your box.

– A good exercise (no pun indented) would be to take out fitness industry and put in your own. The issue here is not only how you should always try to be figuring out what your guests want and need, but also how the internet is effecting guest expectations – both on and offline. That is the hidden story here.  You can ignore the fitness industry but you can’t ignore the internet.

– Most importantly, AU wouldn’t recommend it if it didn’t have universal appeal. Did you really think we’d waste your time? Of course not!

It’s not the 20th century anymore

New Business in the Network of Everything” an interview of Andy Mulholland (Consulting Mag, November / December 2008). The interview is essentially part of promoting Mr. Mulholland’s new book “Mesh Collaboration.”  Here’s a piece that should inspire you to pursue this one in full.

What you really need to do is find the four people who worked on the development of the product when you need them to answer a specific question. It all comes back to: can I find the right people at the right moment with the right expertise to answer a specific question quickly? The answer is not to set up a department for the next four years. The word “mesh” was used in the title to indicate the idea that the Internet was causing a mesh of connections between everyone and everything, and how [can] I use that mesh—the network of everything—to draw a line around the group of people and expertise that I need right now to solve a particular problem.

Btw, if you decide to read the book please come back and give us a review.

Generation Ecko

“The It Factor – Interview with Marc Ecko” by with NY Report Editor-in-Chief Rob Levin (New York Enterprise Report Magazine, December 2008). From college drop out to international brand icon and still going strong. Entertaining as well as enlightening. Read on.

The perfect gift: Words That Work

Now that it’s available in paperback there’s no excuse not to pick up “Words That Work (It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear)” by Dr Frank Luntz. Chapter 1 is a contemporary biz classic. While Dr Luntz’s primary theme of “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear” might not be rocket science it can certainly be a life changer if you choose to apply it in your approach to communication.

This is certainly no substitute for reading the book but here are “The Ten Rules of Effective Language” from Chapter 1:

1 – Simplicity: Use Small Words
2 – Brevity: Use Short Sentences
3 – Credibility Is A Important As Philosophy
4 – Consistency Matters
5 – Novelty: Offer Something New
6 – Sound and Texture Matter
7 – Speak Aspirationally
8 – Visualize
9 – Ask A Question
10 – Provide Context and Explain Relevance

Good stuff, right? Also be sure to consume Chapter 12’s “Twenty-one Words and Phrases for the Twenty-first Century”. Let’s just hope you’ve been intrigued enough to buy the book or at least spend an hour or so at the library.

Runnin’ with the big tweet dogs

“Tweet Your Message to a Larger Audience with Hashtags” by Darren Rowse (, 6 December 2008). For those looking to up their Twitter game, here’s a quick read that packs a deadly word for word punch.

Survey says… (Too often, nothing) – Follow up

“Hope Rising” by Computer World editor Don Tennant (Computer World Magazine, November 2008). A couple weeks back there was a post about this editorial as well as AU email into Mr. Tennant. And here is the edited version that appeared in the 8 December 2008 print issue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available online just yet.

Do I think there’s racism in America and specifically in corporate America? Without a doubt. Do I believe Don Tennant’s column [“Hope Rising,” Nov. 11] helped clear things up? Nope.

Tennant relied on a survey. At the very least, he should have prefaced his comments by saying something like, “The input to this survey was subjective and was not audited for survey taker accuracy.”

Here are just two of the many possibilities that could have affected the survey’s outcome:

– For all we know, whites might exaggerate more than African-Americans about their pay.

– Both pay and racial concentration correlate to geographic location. In some cases, higher concentrations of African-Americans occur in cities with relatively low pay (for example, Atlanta) and lower concentrations are found in some cities with higher-than-average pay (San Diego).

I always read Tennant’s columns because they are thought-provoking. But in this case, hard facts are going to be more effective then overgeneralizations from surveys.

Mark Simchock
Chief Alchemist
Alchemy United
Princeton, N.J.

It’s always nice to know the AU state of mind is approved and appreciate by movers, shakers, decision makers, the critics, those in-the-know, etc.

Service is in the eye of the beholder – Part 1

A quick follow up to the letter submitted to CRM Mag as inspired by “Self-Service Is Just Less-Than-Full Service” by Lior Arussy. Good news! The editors decided it was worthy of their print version, as well as posting it on their web site.  To read it please click here.