Archive for April, 2011

Taking Credit for Doing it Right

Doing the right thing comes more naturally to some. In general I believe there isn’t much altruism involved. When you do it right you benefit, as well as others. We all win.

Sometimes people are willing to do it right/do the right things without worry over getting credit. These people earn much respect on those occasions, especially when everyone believes things were done for the right reasons.

Other people are much more concerned with getting credit for what they do. There seems to be some moral high ground we look down upon these folks from, but practically speaking it makes sense to get the credit. It’s a form of currency that can be useful. Taking credit is in fact often the more genuine approach, especially if you believe, as I do, that much of what was done fulfilled some need in the person doing the good thing to begin with. Why not get credit for it? In business this is a no-brainer.

To get proper credit, however, it’s important to have good judgement about what things are worth getting credit for. For instance, I recall years ago a girl I vaguely knew hit my parked car. She left a note. I then proceeded to call her repeatedly trying to take things to the next step. Finally I figured out where she lived and visited her there. She was surprised and perturbed I had pursued it. Her thinking was that the good deed was done by leaving her info, even though the info without the follow through is useless.

If you’re late for an appointment, calling ahead of time is the courteous and professional thing to do. But it doesn’t make you on time.

Getting the proper type and amount of credit can be left to the beholder. Do things right, and let the chips fall where they may. That’s a good practice that often works well enough. However, doing things right and taking steps to make SURE the chips fall the right way is acceptable (especially in business), if done in moderation and without the perception that it’s manipulative. It can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the pack. Why not take it and put yourself in a better position to do more good things the right way? We all still win.

It’s About the Content

…but it’s not ALL about the content.

Why is broadcast TV still profitable (in the billions) while things like YouTube, which has had millions thrown at it, and does have millions more viewers per day than broadcast, still unprofitable? Many reasons, but the main one is that the content sucks, for the most part.

However it’s not that simple. These days it’s easy — therefore not valuable — to have lots of content. The real differentiator is how useful the content is. There is some great content on YouTube as well as a number of other web resources, but so much noise and crap as to make much of it less than usable. There is no good aggregation, no good menus, tables of contents, guides, etc. The service/value that broadcast provides is to cull it all down and make decisions about what good content is, and then present it to us in easy to digest packages. Addmitadly we disagree with them much more than we agree with them, but even with the piss-poor record they have it’s STILL more useful than the alternatives.

It’s all changing of course. The network broadcast TV model is a dead man walking, but…it’s just surprising how slow the change moves. There’s a huge opportunity for whoever can step up and put the final nails in that coffin. Any takers?

I Guess it’s Official Now

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal

April 14, 2011

Web Advertising Eclipsed Newspapers in 2010

Spending on U.S. Internet ads rose 15% to $26 billion last year, outpacing traditional media and surpassing newspaper ad revenue for the first time.

Obviously this fight was over years ago. We’re just watching the ref count to 10 before we drag the beleaguered boxer out of the ring.


Cast your vote in comments: is the girl spinning clockwise or counterclockwise?


You are wired. What you think, feel, believe, and remember forms your background of obviousness — your overarching sense of how the world and everything in it works. Fundamentally it is your sense of how the world is. It is your basis of common sense, or what is obvious. But…it is still your perception, no matter how seemingly obvious it can be to you. It is all wrapped up in your unique experiences and interpretation thereof.

Culture provides similar experiences across a group of people, and as such manifests as most of those people having a common sense about many things, at least as they pertain to points relevant to the culture.

Tolerance manifests out of the realization that “reality” is never truly objective.



When things go wrong people tend to look for someone to blame for something. Sometimes the target has little to no correlation to what’s going wrong. Sometimes one can get so wrapped up in it that everyone becomes a target.

Of course we know that none of this is productive, but that’s not enough to stop us.

If you ask someone to do something for you and then are unhappy with how they did it, how much blame lies with the other person versus your apparent inability to effectively communicate what you wanted?

I say look within before pointing elsewhere.

And if you become the target of someone’s misplaced blame it’s best to recognize that in those moments effective communication can be even more challenging. Sometimes it’s best to acknowledge and disengage. They’ll eventually get the idea, and if not you can at least avoid subjecting yourself to more.



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