Unapologetic Rules for Entrepreneurs

Marketing podcast with Andy Kessler (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

In this episode of the the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, former hedge-fund manager Andy Kessler gives his “unapologetic” advice and rules for helping entrepreneurs find that next big game changing innovation. The title of his most recent book – Eat People – comes from rule #7 – Find ways to get rid of useless jobs.

Some might be asking what a hedge fund guy knows about rules for entrepreneurs. Well, Kessler built a wildly successful fund by understanding and identifying the 12 rules outlined in this book as his way of picking winners from the losers. It’s a great point of view, unbiased in some ways from the traditional entrepreneurial thinking.

The book rides on the underlying theme that we’re all entrepreneurs and that the days of the traditional job are over – even inside of big companies. In fact, big companies are trying to act more entrepreneurial to stop the onslaught the nimble small biz.

Kessler explains how the world’s greatest entrepreneurs don’t just start successful companies-they overturn entire industries. He offers twelve surprising and controversial rules for these radical entrepreneurs, such as:

  • Eat people: Get rid of worthless jobs to create more wealth for everybody
  • Create artificial scarcity for virtual goods
  • Trust markets to make better decisions than managers

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

How to Get an MBA for Less Than $20

Marketing podcast with Josh Kaufman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Okay, I fully expect that title to tick off a few folks holding real MBA degrees and that’s cool. No you won’t actually get anything close to an MBA degree from listening to this podcast, but you will get some great information and won’t have to take out a $150,000 loan. You can argue the merits of both book and case study learning and in the street, smack you if the face learning done by most small business owners.

My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is entrepreneur and prolific business book reader Josh Kaufman. In an effort to grow his own business, Josh spent five years or so (and continues) reading every business book he could get his hands and compiled that knowledge into a book calls the Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

One of my favorite things about this book is that I believe he condenses and great deal of knowledge into a small business but also focuses on what’s really important to entrepreneurs. The chapter on value creation if worth the price of the book by itself.

There are useful chapters on finance, marketing and management as well as a great deal of information on systems and systems thinking – something missing from most small businesses. I also like the fact that he slips some information in that might only be found in self help types of books – believe me, this information is so important to the entrepreneur, but gets little mention in most academic environments. I get to speak to a number of MBA classes these days and while they seem to be getting a first class education in the fundamentals of business, few things can make up for the layers of information that come from real world trial and error.

You can check out Josh’s personal reading list of what he calls the 99 best business books ever

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Ideas Are Free, Execution Is Priceless

Marketing podcast with Scott Ginsberg (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Scott Ginsberg, author of 12 books, creator of the legendary nametag franchise. Readers of my book The Referral Engine met Scott and read about his incredible habit of wearing a name tag every single day of his life for over ten years and counting.

Scott is one of my favorite writers, to meet him in person you’ll find a warm, frequently excited and always approachable human being that you’ll enjoy passing the time with. His vibrant personality comes through just as powerfully in his writing as well – even as he produces content at a clip that would make most writers pale.

If you want a daily dose of passion, inspiration and some very useful and practical ideas, go subscribe to his Hello, my name is BLOG!

In this episode we talk about Scott’s latest book Ideas Are Free, Execution is Priceless:366 Actionable Ideas, Challenging Insights and Disturbing Questions to Help You Take Action on What Matters. Scott refers to this book as a business devotional and fittingly the book is designed with daily snack sized messages that are designed to inspire you to action.

You can flip to today’s date, look up some advice for your birthday or just flip to any page and the book will work its magic. I read a lot of books and this style of daily snack sized reading is so easy to work into your daily routine.

Ginsberg’s mantra throughout this book is – “You don’t need another idea – you need an “I did!”

Listen to the entire podcast and you’ll get a feel for just how great each nugget in this book is.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Do You Run a 24 Hour Business?

Marketing podcast with Adrian Ott (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download). You can alsoSubscribe now via iTunes or other RSS device (Google Listen)

You’re short on time and so are your customers. For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing I visit with Adrian Ott, author of the 24 Hour Customer – New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always-Connected Economy

In The 24-Hour Customer Ott argues that companies need to strategically harness the ebbs and flows of customer time and attention in order to win in today’s competitive landscape.

Time has become one of your fiercest competitors.

In the 24-Hour Customer Ott outlines something she calls the Time-onomics Framework that helps businesses think in terms of how their customers prioritize and make decisions about the things they buy and pay attention to. Marketers today need to analyze their propositions against the various quadrants of time.

Building offerings that create time habits is one of the most powerful strategies you can employ. Creating subscriptions and memberships that allow people to habitually pay for services creates a time position of strength.

This phrase from Ott is the big payoff – “Time is not money, time is worth more than money.”

zipcarOne of my favorite concepts from the book is the idea of something called time slicing – taking something and breaking it into smaller parts to make it more accessible. Ott explains how San Francisco based Sparked.com created a business out of something called microvolunteering or breaking volunteer assignments into very small commitments shared by many people.

Ott also cites Zipcar as a perfect example of how time sharing, time slicing and convenience can disrupt an entire industry.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Are You Making Evil Plans?

Marketing podcast with Hugh MacLeod (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

Evil Plans by Hugh MacLeod

The use of the word evil in the title here is in reference to this week’s Duct Tape Marketing Podcast guest Gaping Void cartoonist Hugh MacLeod’s new release Evil Plans To me the book doesn’t really reference anything that evil. It’s more like Brain in Pinky and the Brain, without all the failed attempts at world domination.

“Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to ACTUALLY start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an EVIL PLAN that gets them the hell out of the Rat Race, away from lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short.”

Making a big plan for your life and your business is what Evil Plans is about and it starts with the mindset that you are capable of breaking free from what holds you back. MacLeod’s illustration are brutally honest, sometime offensive and always right on target. He seems to have a knack for turning some of the little things that people live with everyday into a punch in the head.

MacLeod is a brilliant artist who has turned his work, largely through social media efforts, into a brand that can swing wildly between poignant to down right cynical, but always truthful.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

And Now The Enchanting Mr Kawasaki

Marketing podcast with Guy Kawasaki (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Guy Kawasaki is launching his tenth book today – “Enchantment – The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions” –

Enchantment, according to Guy, is influence on steroids. It’s beyond a transaction and goes to a more permanent relationship. No surprise Guy evokes Apple as a brand that enchants.

If you want to enchant someone, it presumes a long term relationship – by definition then, if you’ve enchanted someone you have probably done something that is both good for you and for them and that’s what makes it such an ethical approach.

The pillars of enchantment are likability, trust and having a great cause/product. These must go hand in hand – you can like someone and still not trust them.

Guy covers the idea of personal enchantment – ala Dale Carnegie. Guy is one of the more likable folks you’ll ever meet. There are aspects of his personality that draw you in immediately and he passes some of this on in this book. Guy evokes Mari Smith’s smile as an element of likability. Dress is important – dress equal to your audience. Just like your dad taught you, a good handshake, including eye contact, may make or break a deal for you.

Trust is always a hot topic in business and Guy emphasizes, and I agree completely, that you must extend trust before you’ll be thought of as trustworthy. There are no secrets these days, disclose your interests. You must be a baker instead of an eater. The eater eats and the baker looks for ways to build bigger pies.

Enchantment is a quick read that allows Guy’s direct and enchanting personality to shine through.

I had an incredibly enchanting dinner with Guy at Roy’s Restaurant in Las Vegas during CES – Guy captured the entire meal in pictures

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Seth Godin Pokes His Own Box

Marketing podcast with Seth Godin (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Poke the Box Seth GodinMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is best selling author, blogger, Squidoo creator Seth Godin. In this episode we discuss Seth’s new book – Poke the Box.

While the book comes in at only 80 pages, perhaps the biggest punch it packs is the one aimed at the traditional book publishing industry. Seth produced this book, not with his former publisher Portfolio, but with a start up project, jointly created with Amazon, called The Domino Project.

Few people in the business ranks have been as successful at launching a book as Seth and true to form, Godin is turning the book industry on its side with a $4.99 Kindle version, a 5 pack and 52 pack and a limited edition letterpress cover edition.

Many in the publishing industry are keeping a close eye on this project. While there’s little doubt in my mind that Godin is that concerned about the financial aspects of this endeavor, preferring instead to focus on poking his own box, it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Godin was paid at the top of the category by his publisher and will need to sell far more copies of Poke the Box in this pricing model than the traditional royalty driven route. The big question for some in the publishing industry is what kind of distribution the big book chains will give to an Amazon produced book. The book also promises to sell far more digital copies than previous Godin books, a category that traditional credibility lists, such as the New York Times, have been slow to acknowledge.

As the book Poke the Box suggests, however, you don’t make your mark by following the status quo, you make your mark by creating the status quo. According to Godin he would rather make a ruckus than be a hypocrite and took this route to be an example of those that change, poke and lead.

We are living in an era where the news in the newspaper is old before it hits our driveway real time, public interaction with small groups of customer is now, not only possible, it’s essential – and perhaps this includes the packaging of ideas that have commerce.

Godin’s message in this book is that we need to think more like computer programmers, we need to test and improve, test and improve in real time where the cost of failure is nothing. We are not General Motors, we are an idea economy that rewards initiative over perfection.

Searching for the next big idea is a form of hiding – being wiling to ship something and not worry about failure is Poking the Box.

A distinction that Godin adds is that if you don’t finish, the starting doesn’t matter. Ideas are worth nothing, finishing is what’s valuable.

Godin is a master at creating compelling ideas out of very few words and this is a book that is both very important and very simple to consume.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

Do Service and Profit Go Hand in Hand

Marketing podcast with Micah Solomon (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Micah Solomon, a customer service expert, entrepreneur, business leader, speaker, and author. He built his company, Oasis Disc Manufacturing, from a one-man operation in a leaky basement (financed with just a credit card) into a market leader in the independent entertainment field. He is also the co-author of Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, a book we talked about for this show.

One of the core points of the book is that companies can’t simply provide satisfactory customer service they must provide anticipatory customer service. In other words, we need to anticipate what customers want and provide it without them asking.

We must build systems to record the preferences of our customers, hire the right people and give them the tools and permission to meet our customer’s needs.

To be considered the service leader in our industry we can’t simply consider our direct competitors, we must consider every service provider that also offers exceptional service, they are setting the bar and we must study, model and consider them our competition.

Organizations that are customer centered are very careful about the language and words they use throughout the business and consciously choose specific language when referring to and addressing customers. If marketing is painting a positive customer message and then the owner of the business is constantly putting customers down or complaining about problem customers, the entire customer service mentality will get derailed.

Check out Micah’s article for Fast Company – Seven Keys to Building Customer Loyalty–and Company Profits to get an even deeper understanding of the ideas behind Exceptional Customer Service.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or