Saturday, February 28, 2009

Peace by Any Other Name

Before you read this post, you need to promise not to think "yeah, right" until you've given it a few minutes of thought. I got an email from one of the lists I subscribed to describing "The Greatest Marketing Challenge of All Time." Admittedly, my first reaction was "Yeah, right." But then I listened to the interview and decided it was worth my time, and it's worth yours, too.

The challenge, if you haven't heard, is world peace in 5 years. The first thing I heard in the interview that convinced me it was possible was that these people actually created a definition of "peace" that was measurable. They also set up a deadline and wrote a business plan and workbook. In other words, they are looking at world peace as a business venture.

I didn't have to think about why they perceived peace as a business venture, because they laid it out clearly. By and large, almost all business benefits from peace. In other words, peace has monetary value, so it makes sense to perceive it not only as a humanitarian venture, but as a business venture.

In a nutshell, that's why I think that this particular marketing challenge has a chance of success. Even if it doesn't, the people putting this venture together strike me as the kind of people I could learn from; the kind of people I'd be glad to spend my spare time with. And they just might achieve their goal.

What are you waiting for? Join now.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why 25 Things

If I had a nickel for every chain letter I hadn't responded to or passed on, I'd be better able to handle this recession. Still, I can't resist Facebook 25 Things. I read them, and I've even written one. Despite some sarcastic press coverage (more sarcasm), 25 things is indicative of how we've reconnected with one another.

Suddenly, I have connectivity with friends from high school, old companies, college, and random events. On the one hand, I don't have time to renew all those old friendships on a one-on-one basis. There are a few gems there, for sure, but actually I don't want to write a personal note to everyone who links, fbs, ff, tweets, or plaxes me. And although my LinkedIn and FB profiles provide some information about me, it's somewhat limited. 25 things provides an opportunity for me to say a few things which give some insight on where I am in life and what my personality is like.

Although the objective is differerent, in some ways it's correlary to the LinkedIn recommendations. Rather than the dry description, you get a bit of color by reading what people say about one another. In LinkedIn, the purpose is to know whether you want to do business with someone. In FB the purpose is to know whether you want to really spend the time to go further in the friendship.

I'm curious to see how this will affect things like high school reunions or first business meetings. Before showing up, you can go through someone's profile online, and start from a different point in the conversation. At my last HS reunion, I literally had no recollection of some people who I'd been friends with (maybe that should be one of my 25 things). This time, I"ll know everyone! Already I do show up in business meetings knowing more about my colleagues than ever before. Too bad most people keep their FB profiles hidden from the general public. I guess they still believe in privacy.