C for yourself

In  Noah-gate: Lessons learned from Cell C’s controversial ad campaign | memeburn writer Walter Pike makes some smart observations about the CellC’s botched PR campaign using comedian Trevor Noah. Get the details at Memeburn, but here’s the take away…

  1. Don’t think your customers are stupid. They’re not, and there’s more, faster ways to find out about bad products in the marketplace than ever before.
  2. Increasingly, the only way to succeed as a small business is to deliver on your company promises, if that’s for better products, better service, or better prices etc. It’s way too easy to expose company’s and products that don;t live up ‘to the hype and advertising promises.
  3. Possibly the smartest way to proceed is to start by listening to your customers and potential customers. Which is why Index Media offers market research and customer surveys: to help you spend money improving your business in the ways that your customers expect from you.



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Professional people exist primarily to serve society. Who knew?!

First, some more unofficial notes from the “Being Ethical in the Market Place” seminar, followed by the official take-away:
  • The difference between professions and occupations? Professionals exist primarily to serve society (doctors, engineers, lawyers etc.). Professionals must look out for making themselves the first priority in their work.
  • Society must hold professional people accountable.
  • Believe that God will take care of you, professionally, financially etc..
  • Sometimes God allows your ship to sink, or God doesn’t bail you out in the way you were expecting.
  • Put biblical, Christian, good principles into practice in the workplace and expect surprising results.
And here’s the official top line thoughts from “Being Ethical in the Market Place”, by Dallas Willard:
  1. Ethics is not primarily a matter of what I do, but a matter of who I am and what I am living for.
  2. Business is God’s arrangement for making provision for the needs of people in an area. One can live for that.
  3. A mostly good person, in general, is one intent upon advancing the various goods of human life under his/her influence.
  4. The problem: How to make my business or profession an avenue of moral self-realization.
  5. The Christian Teaching of neighbour-love is at the heart of ethical love. What that means in business: You exist to serve.

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People or chickens… what’s more important?

More from  “Being Ethical in the Market Place”, by Dallas Willard…
Willard noted that society’s view of ethics had become so clouded that we could no longer distinguish what was more important… the life of a person and the life of a chicken. I challenged him on that. His answer paraphrased, obviously:
What is more important, a house cat or a napkin? Whose life is more important, a house cat or a tiger? Most would say the tiger. Why? Because of it’s far superior abilities and potential. The same with people. The chicken contributes very little to human society, emotionally, creatively or physically through good works. That is what makes a person superior to a chicken.
Willard and I concluded that the reason people displace their sympathies, energies and emotions away from people to “chickens” is because people have proven themselves to be a massive disappointment in so many ways, both personally and more broadly in the world. Willard concludes that this is further motivation for people to commit to choosing to do good over bad.

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Pray for your competitors? What!


Attended a seminar entitled “Ethics in the Workplace”, a lecture delivered by Prof. Dallas Willard, a highly decorated , award-winning philosopher, author and academic, and very outspoken Christian.

Some high notes:

  • In the workplace ethics has become a merely a series of rules for keeping yourself out of trouble, and nothing more.
  • Personal ethics comes down to just two questions: 1. What kind of person should I be, and 2. What am I living for? The answer to 2.: work towards becoming a person who promotes the good in life.
  • What is a good person? Someone who is intent on promoting the good which is under his control and influence, especially in the workplace.
  • Even more radical, Willard suggests that we should live our lives benefitting others.
  • Regarding global economics and the concept of “continuous growth” for corporate performance, Willars believes this is the kind of hubris that brought down Enron and Arthur Andersson Consulting. It also creates severe temptation towards un-good and dubious ethical choices. It mustn’t become an end in itself.
  • Adam Smith (author of a seminal work, “The Wealth Of Nations”) is being taken out of context.
  • We no longer say may the best man win because we now believe that the person who wins is the best man.
  • Most radical of all: Instead of fighting with competitors, pray for them.

At the end I asked Willard some questions… Results of that follows tomorrow.

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Plug in your USP

Unique Selling PropositionIt’s a popular misconception that USP stands for “Unique Selling Point”. Maybe that’s just how the salespeople see products and services. To marketeers, the more evolved of the species, USP means “Unique Selling Proposition” which takes account of  all aspects of how you have positioned your product in the marketplace.  Or what about SMP, which stands for “Single Minded Proposition”.

What does it all mean? Quite simply, positioning your product is probably the most important step you can make in the development of a small business. It allows you to focus down on what is special, unique, or most marketable about your product, and organise more of your business processes around that, including your route to market.

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In passing…

Wordpress vs BloggerQuite simple really… after 5 years of mouthing off at Google’s Blogger.com we jumped ship to WordPress. Imagine how bad the service must have been for me to write off 4 years of posts. Blogger.com? Avoid!

What else did we write off? Google’s neat “universal login” system. Log in once and Gmail, Blogger, Apps, Notebook and all the other Google services automatically recognise you without needing to login again. Neato.

But Blogger.com had become dysfunctionally slow in ZA, especially at a time when moving between all other Internet services and desktop apps appears effortlessly seamless.

So then, moving on.

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