Category Archives: Other Thoughts

A Loaf of Butter

loaf

/lōf/
(n.) A quantity of bread that is shaped and baked in one piece and usually sliced before being eaten.

During a dinner at the temple cafeteria last night, Kelly Nelson was gushing about the meatloaf from The Cheesecake Factory. It brought to my attention the severe dearth of loaf usage. Interestingly, the definition of loaf is specific to bread, but we definitely have meatloaf or cakeloaf. Worthy of so much more attention, I propose that we work loaf into our lives a little more.

Suggestions:

  • cubed butterloaf
  • a loaf of cream cheese
  • jello-loaf (felt a hyphen was appropriate here)
  • a steaming loaf of horse manure, etc.
The E-Myth

The E-Myth Revisited

I was able to read several books in July, and this was one of them:

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

by Michael E. Gerber

This is one of my favorite books I’ve read in a while. It walks through a narrative of a consultant (Gerber, the author) talking to a stressed and struggling small-business owner. Gerber uses personal experience and case studies to explain the basics of the entrepreneurial game and the small-business world. He focuses on three core roles that must be filled: the Entrepreneur, the Manager and the Technician.

I think that The E-Myth (E is for Entrepreneur) is one of those rare “simple, yet profound” works that contains foundational business basics that will stand the test of time. I found myself highlighting passages and writing notes in the margins. Many epiphaneous moments were had with exclamations like, “Of course that’s how you should do that!” or “oops… I’ve been doing that wrong…” A wonderful read for anyone that has interest in business or aspirations to ‘start something’ some day.

The E-Myth

We Are All Weird

We Are All Weird: The Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance
by Seth Godin

This was a quick read. Actually, it was a quick listen while I mowed the lawn and weeded. In any case, I liked this manifesto better than Tribes, a much longer work by Godin.

The book begins by defining a few terms: Mass, Normal, Weird and Rich. The first three words are pretty standard – Mass refers to working in mass. It’s what has made us efficient. Mass production, mass marketing, mass compliance. Normal is what we call the people in the middle. It’s a localized term referring to what most people do. Over time, marketers have made normal a moral and cultural standard. Weird refers to people who are not normal.

Rich was the most intriguing of the words defined and featured by Godin. He says that Rich is his word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive. As more and more of the world becomes Rich, it creates a bigger divide in
Normal – more people are making more decisions that lead away from the Mass, away from Normal, to Weird. People are getting increasingly NOT normal. They’re getting Weird.

I kept thinking about how it has occasionally been said about Mormons that we are weird. And as members of the LDS church, we generally acknowledge and appreciate this assessment. Godin would probably congratulate us on this point of view.

But to get back to the book, Godin is a marketing guru – he wrote this book from a marketing perspective and is addressing a marketing question. “What are we going to do about the increasing tide of weird?” How do we change the way we are marketing? Do we continue to market to the masses hoping that enough of them will respond to your products and advertising? Or do you stop worrying about the mass and start looking at the weird? Do you market to the groups that form themselves around the breakoffs? The departures? The fanatics?

This did change my perspective about a few things. I think we’ve been trained that we need to make our products and services appealing to the widest or largest market segment possible. We try to dumb down or generalize what we have to offer in order to sell to a larger audience. But I see Godin’s point. Perhaps the smarter way is to find the people who are not the mass – find the ones who aren’t Normal, but Weird and find ways to serve and service their communities. It doesn’t have to appeal to everyone. You’ll likely find success because they’re not everyone.

Godin also spends a chunk of this book talking about education and how it’s broken.

Overall, I really enjoyed this little book. I feel like it brought up some things I hadn’t ever considered and changed my perspective on mass market thinking and general marketing approach.