I’m joining the Cult of Done. Fail fast and often, get stuff done, get more stuff done, fail some more, learn, blow something up, fail, learn, do more stuff, do more stuff. I like to start things, not think about starting things. I like to make mistakes along the way and learn from them. I like to start driving and figure out how I’m going to get there along the way
There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
There is no editing stage.
Accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
Once you’re done you can throw it away.
Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
Destruction is a variant of done.
If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
Done is the engine of more.
Too often we spend to much time thinking about great ideas and never get around to executing them. How many times have you seen something and thought, “Wow, that was my idea”. Except it was just that. Your idea. It’s not your product, your service or your company. I don’t know about you, but I regret NOT doing something more than doing something.
KFC has offered to fix all the potholes in 4 U.S. cities (with a KFC logo imprint on the patch).
This is a fantastic PR: the press coverage has been fantastic, everyone is talking about it. It address economic issues without being a downer. There is a definite overlap between sophisticated word of mouth marketing programs and a PR stunt.
Here is the letter they sent to mayors:
March 25, 2009
It is estimated that U.S. roads are riddled with more than 350 million potholes nationwide – that’s one for every man, woman and child in America! Because of long, harsh winters and heavy traffic, cities everywhere are left with more potholes than ever. Add in the fact that asphalt is an expensive product, and the cost of those repairs is higher than ever.
Because of the financially tough times, many cities are delaying construction projects because they need to spend money patching these potholes instead. Some cities are even being forced to cut back on road services and maintenance crews. We at KFC understand that filling every one of these potholes is important and we’re here to help!
In honor of our “Fresh Tastes Best” campaign, we want to come and Re-”Fresh” your roads! The Colonel and his crew are on a mission to help out America and sponsor your city’s “Fresh”ly repaired roads. Every patched pothole comes with the Colonel’s very own stamp of approval.
KFC has been bringing communities together over buckets of chicken for more than 50 years. We invite you and your city to become a part of a new tradition and accept our offer to Re-”Fresh” your roads. Together, we can give your community a much needed break and help keep America moving.
President of KFC
Well played KFC. Well played. I wonder if in the “tougher” economic times, if governments will be comfortable accepting funds from companies for these types of projects. What other ideas are there out there for companies looking to “help out”?
It’s no secret that I love mashups. They showcase a creativity and vision that requires you to look beyond the initial function of a piece and see it’s potential.
I was over at a friend’s house on Friday and got introduced to a mashup artist named Kutiman and his project “Thru-You”. The Thru-You project is simple: he mashes up random music clips from YouTube to make songs. But unlike the current mashup artists out there who draw their material from pre-existing pop songs, he takes his source sounds from school concerts, piano lessons, weirdly intimate soliloquies and how-to music lessons uploaded by people across the world.
Viewed separately, his source clips are crap. That’s the beauty of this process. He has taken chicken shit and made chicken salad. Check out a couple of his videos below:
It’s spring again. In Canada, that means two things: (1) there is at least one more snowfall to occur before it actually gets warms, and (2) it’s Roll Up The Rim time at Tim Hortons. Roll Up The Rim is the biggest marketing promotion in Canada. It’s so popular that companies pay to have their prizes featured in the contest. Think about that. The reach is so immense that they basically sell ad space on their coffee cups. Oh, and the ads suck. But it doesn’t matter because Canadians love this contest regardless.
One of my friends challenged me to figure out what you could to “take on” Tim Hortons. This is my answer.
You have to realize that you can’t beat them by being just 10% better. (Like what Coffee Time is doing with “Every Cup Is A Winner”). Having a larger prize pool doesn’t matter at this point. Besides, Tim Hortons is the largest coffee chain in Canada. That means, that they have deeper pockets. They could simply grow the size of their prize pool to trump yours.
So what do you do? You have to pull back and see the big picture. You have to see the opportunities to change the game. You need to get outside of trying to beat Tim Hortons on the grounds of a contest promotion. That’s their game. They own it in Canada. You need to strike out and attack their audience from a different angle. Offer them a different value proposition.
Tim Hortons targets the coffee drinkers who take their coffee “to go”. So what do you do? You make their take-out coffee experience better. How do we do that? Simple. You give them free cups. But the cups need to be cool. They need to have badge value. They need to be reusalbe and unique enough so that people can tell it’s a XXX coffee cup. It’s kind of like what POM did for its POM Teas with their glasses. You provide people with something free and something with cool badge value. Simple. No rolling up the rims of coffee cup. No trying to calculate the winning odds in different provinces. Just a cool bonus from a cool coffee shop.
This past weekend, I decided that it would be a good idea to hop in a car for four and half hours and make a trek up to Sudbury for an ultimate tournament. In the snow. Here’s what I learned this weekend:
1. Go Ahead. Get Dirty.
Sudbury is one of the dirtiest cities I have ever been in. And I’ve been to Manila in the 90s. I think it has something to do with the mining town, but I feel like the entire place is covered by a layer of brown soot. In Canada, normally even the dirtiest places get covered by snow to look beautiful. Not Sudbury.
So what did we do? We embraced it. It was the situation that we were in, and we couldn’t change it. Too often, people search for the perfect idea. They automatically reject the “dirty” ones because they have flaws. You have to accept your circumstances and make the best of them. If only dirty ideas are coming to you, embrace them. Try to find a way to turn them into something you can use. Even if it’s a little dirty.
2. Be Nice.
Sudbury had some of the nicest people I have ever met. They were laid back and accepting. I found that whenever we were in a pickle, they were more than happy to help. All you had to do was ask nicely. It’s a concept that’s taught to us in elementary school: be nice. But it’s something that we often forget when we allow ourselves to get swallowed by myopia and busy schedules. Instead, we tend to focus solely on our needs and forget the power that politeness provides. In business, I’ve found that being nice to the “gatekeepers” (like the receptionist or secretary that controls people’s schedules) will get you farther than you expect.
3. Get Out Of The City.
Every Torontonian thinks that Toronto is the centre of the universe. The same applies for New Yorkers. And people who live in LA. The truth is that the vast majority of the world doesn’t live in those cities. You have to leave your safety bubble of a giant metropolis with countless entertainment and cultural options. You have to experience what it’s like to be a “normal” Canadian. To interact with the people who compose the majority of the country. Who buy the majority of your products. Who voted for the guy that you didn’t vote for in the last election. It’s always refreshing to exit the big city and interact with people who have different experiences, insights and perspectives.
So, this is what I learned this weekend. That, and playing ultimate in the snow is a lot of fun.
I was having a rough week. Until a certain book came in the mail. Now, this book is ludicrous. It’s sole purpose was to make me laugh. And suddenly, after having a couple of chuckles with this book, I found my work easier. The ideas flowed readily. I was getting people’s buy-in to ideas. I was being productive. It got me thinking.
So many artists and creative types claim to require a depressed state in order to create their best work. (Think Vincent Van Gogh.) And yet, I find that the best creatives that I’ve worked with have one thing in common – they laugh. A lot. They find the joy in life’s nuances. They find humour in things that would piss most people off. And they spread the laughter. They tell funny stories about their awkward social experiences. They send hilarious links around the office. They make you laugh.
Basic biology would indicate that laughter releases Endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters produced in the brain that reduce pain and have also been known to induce euphoria. Drugs such as morphine, heroine and cocain are classic endorphin-releasing entities. So, really, laughing is a cheap way of getting high. But I digress. Laughter doesn’t inspire creativity because it makes you high like a rock star. Laughter puts you in a positive and relaxed state. It keeps you positive and optimistic. All of these things are important in order to generate and recognize creative thoughts.
So the next time you are facing a creative roadblock, go find something that makes you laugh. It could be the talking to that friend who always gets into awkward social shenannigans. It could be an awesome movie about an Anchorman navigating the 70s. It could be watching a gorilla play the drums. Then have a chuckle, and bang out some awesome ideas.
*I would like to apologize to my fellow Idea Drunks for going dark last week. Work has been keeping me so busy that I have barely had time to think. This is ironic, considering that I work in an industry where our main product is supposed to be “ideas” … which require some thinking to generate. But whatever. I’m back with a renewed commitment to Idea Drunk. And drinking.
I originally found this clip on AdJoke. It’s amazing how a simple message presented creatively can have a much larger lasting impact. I dig how the youth of today are voicing their (intelligent) opinions and it’s being heard by millions around the globe. If you’re going to check it out, watch it with sound and watch it the whole way through.