Jun 22, 2015
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”—Henry Ford
Of course, this quote has also been used by entrepreneurs as an excuse for ignoring market reality. (It’s a GREAT idea!” Everyone SHOULD love it! Who needs a business plan? Or a market analysis? We HAVE no competition! LET’s GO!”)
And, I’m all for wild ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. Once upon a time, I’m sure the general consensus was that newfangled fire thing would never catch on…and what’s with
May 12, 2015
Faced with Sagging Sales McDonald’s Chief Announces a Reorganization (NYT, 05/05/15)
I’ve been reading about McDonald’s trials and tribulations over a couple of years. However, the behemoth company has been struggling with how to maintain stellar growth for much longer than that. Remember the “gourmet” sandwich flop?
This happened back in my corporate America days—after a long day I
May 06, 2015
From the Silicon Valley follies file…
Secret, as you may or may not know, was a social app that allowed people to send anonymous messages. What could POSSIBLY go wrong with that? Why, it was, in the founders’ words, going to “reduce the barrier to communication.” Starry-eyed VCs (Look, SHINY!) funded it to the tune of $35 million.
Apparently the founders were shocked, I tell you, shocked! that cyber-bullies would pile on.
Of course, they were “pre-revenue” and didn’t want to be
Feb 12, 2015
In working with clients to get products to market, I go through a series of reality checks. And, one of the hardest realities is that you really can sell one of anything…to somebody. The “trick” (and how you build a sustainable business) is selling more than one, over and over.
So, here are some of the reality check questions we work through.
1. What makes your product better than others already on the market? Is it a lot better? How? Can we translate that into value? How can we displace
Dec 01, 2014
...or even talked to anyone? Mostly we all stare forward, working hard to avoid eye contact. Maybe we do one of the closed mouth Buddha half-smiles as people enter…but that’s pretty much it. Of course, “elevator pitch” is shorthand for encapsulating your key selling points into a few words of sheer, unforgettable brilliance. Here’s a sanity check for you. In the last meeting where everyone was asked to stand and speak their bit—how many did you remember? Or were you busy obsessing about your
Nov 20, 2014
Earlier this week I re-connected with an old friend and former client. And one of the first things she said was “We owe you an apology about social media.” The folks building her company’s new web site are telling her that the company HAS TO HAVE Facebook, Twitter, etc. (It helps with SEO rankings!) After I told her that I didn’t need an apology (hey! It’s your business)—I also told her that no, they don’t have to have FB, Twitter, etc. They are a professional firm that gets almost all their
Nov 19, 2014
Twenty years ago last month, a team of well-meaning designers, coders and magazine publishers inadvertently unleashed on an unsuspecting world one of the most misguided and destructive technologies of the Internet age: the web banner ad.
Banner ads are cheap. There’s a reason. People hate them and they’re (by all reports) ineffective. So why do companies (including—ahem—the New York Times) still have them? Because other
Contact Mary Schmidt Today!
- Nobody Cares What “I” Want or Think.
- “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST TELL THE STORY??!!!!”
- Advertise with Google! It’s Simple! It’s Cheap! It’s Easy! (Not)
- But what if your customers will BUY a faster horse?
- The Illusion of “Incremental” Changes
- Can You Grow Out of (in) a Stagnant Market?
- The Not-So-Secret Reasons Secret Failed
- Brain Food
- Do Good. Do Well.
- Start-Up Sanity Checks
- Marketing Troubleshooting
- Pet Peeves
- Social Media Reality Checks
- Web Bytes