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December 17, 2013

Ted Turner on Death; Institutions Not Trusted; a Famous #2; Demand Generation Engines

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"…keeping you great"


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If you can get yourself where you’re not afraid of dying,
then you can move forward a lot faster.


Ted Turner in 1991 when named Man of the Year.

Hiring the Right #2
— for entrepreneurs, my latest
article outlines the keys to hiring the right #2 — likely
the most important people decision you’ll make in the business. And it’s a
different process from hiring any other position in your company. Hint — this
person shouldn’t be headhunted. Its best if it’s someone you’ve worked with for
a while — customer, colleague, employee, board member, consultant, etc. — you
have to already know how to fight without killing each other.

Take 2 minutes to scan the article.

People Don’t Trust Institutions
— last week I just blurted out this phrase during a keynote presentation.
People all over the world are fed up with institutions — they know they all lie
or are highly biased at best — governments, banks, big pharma, and business.
This is why Amazon, Booking.com, and other sites that rely on user reviews are
flourishing. And why services like Twitter and Facebook and Kickstarter are so
valuable as they connect people directly with networks of others, bypassing
formal organizations. We’ve reached a point where we trust the crowd more than
any one institution to recommend products, services, investments, medical
advice, etc. How are you tapping into this?

Demand-Generation Engine — I was with a major financial institution last week and
it occurred to me that it’s useless to have reps recommending investments for
customers – everyone assumes they are pushing their own financial products.
Instead, I recommended they build a demand-generation engine like Amazon where
consumers can shop for investments based on user feedback. Be agnostic on the
product (supply) side of the business. Offer everything. Then focus on becoming
the trusted source of customer rankings and recommendations.

Stanford Research Highlights Power of User Reviews — notes this Dec 8 NY Times article "as consumers rely more on one another, the power of
marketers is being undermined." The lead researcher repeated a famous marketing
experiment he led decades ago – only this time the consumers could utilize
Amazon’s user recommendations to guide their choice of a particular camera.

Take 2 minutes to read the surprising results.
One conclusion —
product/service brands are worth less in this new era of ubiquitous consumer

Ted Turner Quote — this is why I like the Ted Turner quote shared above.
Pivoting from being a product/service focused company to more of a
demand-generation engine might risk killing your existing business model, but if
you don’t do it, someone else will. In turn, it’s not so drastic to ramp up the
use of customer and client testimonials — and make it easier for potential
customers to tap into the experience of your existing clientele. For more from
Ted Turner,

read this Fortune interview
upon Turner’s 75th birthday.

One of the Most Famous #2s
— back to the original theme of this insight, take a look at this

Fortune interview of Steve Ballmer, sidekick to Bill Gates, as he
steps down as CEO of Microsoft (no subscription needed to read this piece).
Under his 13 year leadership revenues have tripled and profits doubled — and
Microsoft remains one of the top five largest companies in the world by market
cap — not bad for a tech company that’s almost 40 years old — few have
survived as long as Microsoft. And Ballmer is credited with making some
important strategic decisions like moving Microsoft into the living room with
the Xbox. This

interview is worth the 4 minutes
it takes to read.


Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits?


Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.