Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Get on Board: The Greatest Marketing Challenge

Last February, I got a mail in my inbox from Internet marketer/guru Eben Pagan (yeah, it's a weird link, but that's Eben), which said, "The "hardest" marketing challenge in the world". Now, Eben is an internet marketing guru and I've never met him, but he definitely sends me more e-mail than any of my friends. So I don't read them all. But this one I couldn't resist. This is the interview I heard (click it if you are still interested after reading the rest).

And so it started that I got involved in volunteering for P:5Y, one of the most amazing organizations I've ever joined. (Yeah, I know this is not the hottest web site, I'll get to that later.) It's amazing because the volunteers, mostly, are people who heard about it the same way I did, which means they are marketeers and business people. Even the ones who are historically peace activists (and there are very few) have their own internet businesses on the side. In other words, unlike other volunteer organizations I've been part of, this one takes on challenges like a business, like there's a deadline.

The founders asked themselves, what if we treated Peace like a business? What if we defined the problem, put together strategy and tactics, found out why the competitors didn't succeed, and set a deadline. They wrote plan. They published a book. Although the subtitle is Give Peace a Deadline, What Ordinary People can do to Cause World Peace in 5 Years, I have not met one ordinary person since joining the organization.

Now, we've had a lot of stops and starts, just like any new organization, and the web site doesn't look so great. The teams are functioning without all the tools we said we'd have running a few months ago, etc. But the strangest thing is happening.

About 2 weeks ago I realized that when they wrote the book, they said that in the first year we would go from 17 armed conflicts to 14 armed conflicts world wide. We are 9 months in. There are 15 conflicts as of this writing. I don't have a great explanation for that, but it's kind of cool.

I'm asking for your help. Let me tell you what you get, or at least what I got, and then I'll tell you how to join. The first thing you get is that you really are working on the world's greatest marketing challenge and the world's most urgent problem. That should be obvious, so if that sounds fun for you, wait, there's more! You get:
  • Professional value in idea exchange and networking: you'll be on teams with high-level professionals
  • A reason to get up every morning: you'll regularly have inspiring and high-level conversations with intelligent and thoughtful people, not pie-in-the sky dreamers
  • Fun and responsibility together: you'll be held accountable for what you say you'll do on these teams and you'll have access to mutual advice and coaching with your buddies on the teams
  • Friends: I've met some incredible people I know will be in my life for many years
OK, now join. Just drop me a line at, and I'll tell you what teams are forming and put you on one with other really cool people. The obvious urgent needs are a web site team (HELP! URGENT!) and a team to end 1 more conflict by February 15 2010 (also HELP! URGENT!) We have a Global Peace Treaty team with attorneys on it, and a Peace Commerce team with businesspeople on it -- something for everyone.

If you are skeptical, that's OK, join anyway. One thing I learned from roller-blading is that if you get a critical mass of people, and that's only about 40 people, and you do something kind of crazy, like skate through a downtown metropolis, the thing you are doing doesn't seem crazy.

I guarantee you that you won't feel like you wasted time on this project, and I guarantee that you won't feel crazy after the first 2 weeks. If you are, hey, quit.

So write me, at, and retweet or FB this blog so other people can do the same. Get on Board.

Note, I'm a volunteer and I don't answer P:5Y mail when I'm at work, so it might take a few days for me to get back to you.

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