The 2008 prediction for where the smart investment $$$ is going – and why

I love this time of year because it is only during this season that the heat is turned down in business – just a bit. During “the season”, the capitalistic oven that normally burns at high heat at every successful, growing tech company, now feels warming rather than scorching. So it is at this time of year I can luxuriously imagine what’s next? How will technology fare in the coming year?  

With those questions in mind, I seemed to all of a sudden notice how much media coverage there is about lots of new technologies being launched. The news is not different – “CEO Mr. Bright had an idea which got funding” but the sheer numbers of these news-bytes has gone up recently – way up. And these new ventures are playing with “stuff” involving digital sharing, web 2.0 (like virtual worlds), virtual commerce and more. It seems like we are “virtually” swimming in a sea of interesting ideas. That point was driven home recently when a VC buddy of mine hunting for ventures he could invest in called to ask whether any interesting ventures had crossed my path recently. That hadn’t happened since 2002.

There is now a new vitality and diversity of ideas I haven’t seen since 1998. In those days, I was at Lucent, working within the Bell Labs New Venture Group as Marketing Director where I helped evaluate technologies for commercial potential. I got to see all sorts of “technology stuff” – AT&T stuff, Bell Labs stuff, other people’s stuff. Stuff that evoked more “gee whizzes” than I thought was possible. Then, there was a sense of optimism and I sense that optimism is here again. Then, there was a feeling that there was always investment money to be had if you had a good idea. Now, the optimism is tempered with a new sense of maturity reflecting this new breed of entrepreneurs who know they better have a damn good revenue engine at the end of that damn good idea.  Gone are the days when ventures were launched with almost no profitable revenue in sight in the foreseeable future.


The sheer volume of news surrounding venture launches are indicative of the work that has been quietly going on behind the scenes for the last 6 years at the smart and growing technology companies. These companies have been building an impressive patent portfolio by, among other things, buying smaller technology companies that were the casualties of the last bust. Next, these companies are integrating these portfolios in new and very very interesting ways involving better ways to digitally communicate, play, and share – you guessed it – “stuff”. Then, in the final stroke of cyber luck, just when these companies needed new development tools to get this interesting “stuff” out there, we see a flurry of innovation in development technologies. Coming on line now are new pools of qualified labor using an explosion of new application development tools. Ruby on Rails is a prime example of a development platform that is open source (a.k.a. free) and which lets developers quickly add new capabilities to existing software reliably and without too much fuss.


So mix it all up – and you have it – the ingredients for a boom. This is the moment smart investors and smart technology companies have been waiting for.


The next logical question then one might ask is where to focus your investment attention? For fun, I decided to join the legions of people making New Year’s predictions and offer my predictions for where the smart money will and won’t go in 2008 …(use with caution J)  


Money will go into …  

  • Companies and platforms that can create social marketing campaigns with a similar organized approach that now dominates the execution of traditional advertising campaigns.
  • Companies that promote more integrated ways of communicating and sharing – across platforms (e.g. IM, mobile etc etc) and digital media types.
  • Companies that enable better online play experiences across platform migrating from a PC to a cell phone seamlessly. e.g poker that can be played on a PC and an iPhone.  
  • Companies that deliver online authentication, security and online trust –  especially involving authenticating digital transactions, identities and even content.
  • Companies that deliver wireless, proximity based marketing programs. 

Money will avoid …

  • Community sites that have their business model solely dependent on advertising because there just won’t be enough advertising dollars to go around to all the community sites being launched now
  • Mobile marketing companies that rely on next generation wireless phones
  • The next best “version” of a YouTube or Facebook. Sorry folks, but these guys created new distribution channels not to be easily repeated in this space. If want to succeed in this space, the difference had be better humongous – not just incremental.

There you have it. My predictions for 2008. Lots of promise with lots of risks wrapped up in the classic high risk high reward situation.


Let the boom games begin.


Happy New Year

Judy Shapiro

Just maybe the “ADD” kid of today may become the high functioning adult of tomorrow.

There can be no question that today’s’ business environment is characterized by speed – in communications, in business velocity and the pace of staying ahead of the competition with the innovation curve.

There can be also no question that today many more kids are diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficient Disorder) than ever before. The sharp increase has been attributed to better diagnostic tools, more media exposure and more observant teachers ready to intervene with special compensatory educational measures. Sometimes, drugs are prescribed to help kids better acclimate to the class environment so they can better stay focused.

Now, at first blush, these ideas seem totally unrelated (or at least I would have never connected these dots). But then, the CEO of our company, Melih Abdulhayoglu one night presented me with an unconventional thought; “maybe ADD is not really a disorder at all but an evolutionary “adjustment” kids are making to manage the exponential increase in stimulus and information inputs that exists today and that will certainly operate in the business world of tomorrow.”  I admit for a moment I taken aback but then I was deeply intrigued. Never has anyone positioned ADD to me as anything but a disability – mild in some kids and severe in others. I also admit that while I am no educational expert, the possibility that ADD might not be a disorder but a way to better manage our “sped up” world, opened up new possibilities for how we think about learning, how kids need to be trained to function in their future world and what defines a “normal” kid.

I could hear in my head educational experts’ outcry. What nonsense they would proclaim. After all, they see lots of kids and they experience first hand how some kids simply have more difficulty absorbing information than the “normal” range.

Yet, the idea once uttered seemed to explain a lot and it seemed unwise to dismiss the idea out of hand simply because it contradicted conventional thinking. So I posed the question to a friend of mine who has impeccable educational credentials (25 years, Phd et al) as a special ed instructor. What would she say I wondered? Would she be offended at the idea? Would she dismiss the idea out of hand? I gently posed the question to her so as not to offend her lifetime of work (after all if ADD is not really a “disorder” then what the heck has she been doing with her time these past 25 years J). I probed her on the apparent dissonance between kids who are labeled as ADD yet who could text message with more speed and agility than I thought possible, or who could master the latest version of a WII or other xBox game and could rattle off sports statistics that would be the envy any insurance actuary. She was silent for quite a while and I knew she was giving it serious thought. Then I cautiously continued. “Maybe ADD is not a disorder at all but a way for kids to better prepare themselves for their world as it will be. And maybe our educational system is based on “technologies” woefully out of date. Maybe kids are training themselves and we “adults” are diagnosing something we don’t understand. Maybe that explains why recent studies indicate that most ADD kids do grow out of it – and are able to catch up to their non ADD peers later on in their lives.”

OK – at this point I had pushed my luck too far and she politely but firmly cited medical studies that describe the physiology of the brain of ADD kids and how they are different from non ADD kids. “OK”  – I say, “but surely maybe some percentage of kids are not really ADD but just hyper active and that could be in response to how we stimulate them with all the stuff they interact with everyday…” I trail off eager not to put her off again but to get her to think about it. She slowly nodded her head and I could see she was considering the idea.    

I recognize how this idea might smack of heresy. At first I was too was skeptical. Heck, I know parents who struggle to get their kids to complete a simple page of homework that most others kids finish in 10 minutes. These parents might even need a medical label to make them feel that their kids’ struggle is not their fault – but some “disorder”.

But I could not ignore Melih’s notion. Maybe, just maybe the experts are looking at the situation all wrong. While I’ll say it again – I claim no expertise in how kids learn, just maybe, he was onto something. Perhaps if we update our thinking and consider the possibility that some (or maybe even many) of these so called ADD kids are responding to the new models for how information is being disseminated, we can help them more effectively than we are now (too often with drugs unfortunately, which raises the whole other question of who has a stake in the current model of ADD being a disorder – but that’s for another blog entry.)  Maybe our kids are trying to adjust and we as parents are just behind the curve. Maybe instead of labeling our kids we should accept that kids might be giving themselves the training they need to function in the world they will in habit. Maybe we would serve our kids well if we could adjust our thinking and train our kids to be ADD – “Active Data Directors” as the new “norm”.

I couldn’t say for sure – but maybe today’s  “ADD” labeled kids are the ones that will be well prepared to function in the high speed world of tomorrow where ability to respond quickly will be a business imperative. Just maybe…

Judy Shapiro

Five New Year’s resolutions for Marketers for 2008 – on becoming a lean, mean marketing machine


It’s true. It seems that many things I know about marketing I think I learned in my health ed class. You should know that I now avoid exercise at all costs, preferring to live  according to Churchill’s axiom, “Why stand when you can sit” (I actually think I am allergic to exercise). But in marketing, staying fit is needed because that’s how to generate results that builds business.

But before we make our new year’s resolutions, it’s useful to have a consistent understanding of what marketing is. Why is this necessary? Because you have to know what it is you’re looking to improve before you can make concrete steps to get into marketing shape. I am also amazed that a lot of the time people only understand marketing in the context of what it is not – it is not operations, or sales or product management – so what is left over must be marketing. Right? Uh – not exactly.

So what exactly is marketing? Well anyone that took Marketing 101 in college will raise their hand eagerly to spew back what surely we all remember – marketing is about the  4 “P”’S – Product, Pricing, Promotion and Place. But that line of thinking is not only dated – it is also largely irrelevant a lot of the time. Today, it is far more useful to think of marketing in terms of the three “M”’s — Magic, Muscle and Method, in equal measure. Magic is the ability to use your intuition, creativity and imagination to understand how your customers will perceive your offering. Muscle is the ability to inspire teams to follow your visions and finally Method is the ability to create the systems and processes to execute.  Don’t expect one person to be brilliant in all three “M”s. I myself might be talented in the first two Ms but the Method part of the equation is not my strength. The trick though is to create an environment where all three M’s can be operative and contribute to the fitness of your marketing machine.

So now that we have a basic understanding of what marketing is, let’s look at the healthiest way to use the three Ms to best advantage. And for that, let’s turn to the lessons we are learned in school during our health education classes.  

Prepare a well balanced marketing diet.

When looking at marketing programs it is tempting to put your energy into grand programs. The ones that are big and important and are expected to serve the business in multi-dimensional ways. Go ahead but remember that there is a need for balance. Be sure your marketing diet is also filled with quick hits that can generate revenue quickly while the more lavish programs are baking. The balanced diet I suggest is 2/3 long term planning to 1/3 quick hits.  


Do not overindulge in marketing sweets.

You get an email or a call from a sales person. “We can develop a program that will pay itself back in [fill in the blank] weeks.” You think about it, consider what has worked in the past. But in making a decision I suggest two things. First, don’t deny yourself all opportunities to try new things – that’s how you learn.  But second, don’t be an easy mark for every sales pitch either. Here is a brutal truth. There are no programs that can really deliver guaranteed highly qualified leads — not the best run social media program or telesales program. At best they can generate contact information from people who seem to have some interest in your product or service — maybe. Creating a truly qualified lead requires cultivation that only you can do. Don’t get seduced by a lovely box of marketing bon bons that promise the world – but do allow yourself an occasional treat.  


Get you daily dose of marketing veggies.

Not only do you have restrict how many marketing sweets you allow yourself, you also need to add the marketing equivalent of fiber and leafy greens that builds healthy marketing bones. That includes reading and learning about what drives your market, information about your customer segments, industry and technology trends and marco economics that impact your business. For instance, if you work at a bank, by understanding how a tight labor impacts wages and savings rates you can take advantage of opportunities your competitors might miss. You may not have loved your veggies as a kid – but your mother was right. You need your marketing veggies – reading and researching are a necessary part of a balanced marketing diet and you must discipline yourself to get your fill of the healthy stuff.  


Watch your marketing caloric intake.

This one is probably the simplest to understand in your head but the hardest to live. If we remember that one of Ms is method, you must develop an understanding of what your organization can execute in terms of capacity. Don’t take on more than you can execute because, well – it’s obvious isn’t it. But this can be really hard to manage if the needs of the business are immense and there are many opportunities. Discipline is needed because the temptations are great to over commit. Resist the urge.   


Engage in a daily dose of marketing calisthenics.

How do you exercise your marketing muscles? By actually doing some of the work yourself. It seems the height of irony. The higher you go in your career – the less you actually do. So just when you are at your professional best – you are probably doing less than ever. And worse, if you only have others do the work, then you get out of practice – the marketing equivalent of “If you don’t use it you lose it…”  To keep your marketing muscles strong – use them daily. Do one functional task a day. Write a response to a news item, do a quick article, work on a web site yourself. Don’t overdo it – but it is worth the time to stay current. 

Let me end by wishing you a 2008 filled with buzz and brand fitness. May your new year’s resolutions not evaporate once the buzz of the champagne fizzles out.

Happy New Year.

Judy Shapiro

The Blogging Boogie Man and other things that go bump in the digital night



What started as an experiment in how the Internet distributes content has become an experiment in human nature.

I started this blog back in August as a way to have hands experience about how the Internet distributes content – how fast, how deep and what gets picked up. I was pretty quiet about my blogging adventures largely because this was part of my education as I was tired of so called “experts” telling me how viral marketing worked. I wanted to understand it from the bottom up – by doing it myself. Also, I didn’t tell many people because I didn’t actually think my friends would be all that interested to be honest.

Slowly over time, though word got out among my circle of friends and I thought they would view it more as a laugh than anything else. Much to my surprise, though, people took it far more seriously than I ever did. More and more conversations started with, “are you going to blog that?”  or “I hope you don’t blog that” or my favorite “you should blog that!”

At first I was amused – after all I probably IM more people in any given day than actually read this blog. But I’ve never liked being told what to do (if I don’t want to do it) and I certainly don’t like to be to told what NOT to do. So as the volume of friends’ blogging concerns became louder – I started to ponder …

What were they so afraid of?

I certainly live by the rules of the bloggers’ road as I articulated in my post entitled, “To blog or not to blog”. I would never jeopardize relationships by saying anything that would embarrass or in any way compromise someone. So I continued to ponder this for a while.

Why were so afraid of this little blog that ranks 2,124,856 according to Technorati?

And then it hit me. Blogging is fundamentally about a redistribution of power. Blogging potentially puts someone else in control of what the Internet sees and hears about you. A blogger (any blogger) can taint your reputation with a keyboard and an Internet connection and the blogger has tremendous power over what the Internet knows about you. Power shifts from the person owning their reputation to the blogger who can affect someone’s reputation more radically than the person themselves. High schools are struggling with this very phenomenon which has been termed cyber bullying. This is where vendettas are played out on the Internet and kid’s reputations are destroyed.

And that, it seems is the Blogging Boogie Man my friends are scared of.  

So dear friends – rest assured. I will be magnanimous – yielding my new found power (however limited) for good. Let me take you by the hand and we’ll look under the digital bed together so you can see there are no boogie men hiding under there, no nasty monsters that will come back to bite you.

But if you need more reassurance, I will leave the digital nightlight on for you tonight J .

Judy Shapiro  

Top Ten Marketing Disappointments for 2007


How quickly 2007 seems to have blitz’d through my visual frame. One minute I am just throwing out the New Cards joyfully wishing me a great 2007 and hark – here’s the new crop of cards for 2008! Time to take stock and recount what started as promising marketing approaches that either fizzled or were badly executed.

So here new years revelers is my top ten list of marketing disappointments for 2007.   

1) Beware the Google machine – are you scared yet? They are into radio buying, TV ad space, wireless, software and what next? Companies that get too big too quick implode. Think Time Warner/ AOL.  Everywhere I turn I bump into them – feels like invasion of the Google machine. I am getting scared.  

2) A second life for Second life? Typical. People thought it was the next “big” thing and next thing you know – people start dissing it. Advertisers cry – “is no one there?” and start back peddling. Oh grow up. New ideas take time to jel – learn how it works and use it right and well. 


3) A rose by another name is still called affinity marketing. Ok – today it is called viral marketing a.k.a. social media a.k.a. community marketing and on and on. Let’s remind ourselves – that this is just a new name for what 15 years ago we called affinity marketing – described as “birds of a feather flock together”. Today, the basic “birds of feather flock together” concept has not changed but the ways we can deliver the message has increased substantially. The good news is that now we can reach an affinity group cheaper with a lot less lead time or fuss. The better news – you can start this type of program with just a little smarts and even less cash. The best news – it is interactive. The “many to many” model is an engagement model that is ongoing and can be sustained over time. A marketers dream, but don’t let the buzz of “viral marketing” scare you. You can do this type of marketing yourself – and don’t let any social media agency tell you otherwise. 


4) SEO can’t get no respect. SEO is one of those unsung heros of the marketing world. But it is often overlooked and underappreciated. Why? Because it is so misunderstood and worse lots of folks out there selling the digital version of snake oil. “Get to first page ranking – guaranteed in 30 days”. We’ve all seen that ad. But find a credible technology provider and you’ll see real results. Better yet. Read up on it yourself. You won’t have to do it – but you’ll know better what to expect. 


5) Mobile marketing – like trying to catch a cloud in your hand. I worked on 802.11 back when wireless penetration was barely at 40%. Now that there is near virtual wireless penetration – everyone and his brother (I think I mean that literally) is doing wireless marketing – pushing content, ads whatever to people on their phones. Enough already!!! The backlash will surely hit hard and heavy. Worse – many of these ventures doing wireless marketing are not well developed. If you want to play in wireless marketing – watch your step — 


6) Blogging is no silver bullet. Hey I love blogging (ya think J) but don’t think it is a silver bullet to replace good marketing strategy and execution. It is seductive to put all your eggs in the bloggin basket. Resist the temptation. Blogging is a tactic that should be part of a well developed plan.


7) Public Relations activities still stuck. PR agencies are stuck somewhere in the 1980’s. They still think that their main goal is to get NYTimes coverage. That’s nice but it does not actually build business anymore. It is far more productive to evolve how PR works. A few “big” announcements deserve to get news pick up but far more often you should focus on what’s news to your prospective customers who can generate revenue. If you plan these two levels of PR – you can get the front page of BusinessWeek and more revenue from customers. That’s the way to unstick your PR.  


8 ) Is the shine coming off the PPC model? It is true dear friends and if Google could hear me now they would no doubt disagree. The Google PPC machine has peaked and now is the time to understand how to minimize costs while optimizing revenue. Try this experiment. Reduce PPC by 10% – and track if you see a difference. I bet you won’t. You may even be able to reduce by 20% before you see some drop off.  I suggest you use some of the new tactics to augment what was your PPC budget. You may even see more revenue. 


9) eMail marketing – don’t open till you see the whites of their eyes. This is a tough one but email marketing effectiveness is harder and harder to achieve. Between fear of fraud emails, SPAM filters and all else – emails have even less of a chance of getting through. Stick to emails that are to your own customers with real offers. That works better than ever before and focus on other tactics to gain new customers.


10) Security in digital marketing. It is a battle many are losing and it is sad to report that even if a site has all the security in the world it does no good if a user’s PC has been compromised. The key is to help your customer stay safe online. If you can, offer them digital safety tips. Better yet – you can offer them great free security software – like Comodo Firewall. It’s free, it works and your customers will appreciate the tip. They stay safe and you can be assured that they will remain secure customers.


So here’s my wish to you all for 2008 – may your marketing be fruitful and frugal – and to all a good night.   

Judy Shapiro

Ten Marketing Heresies You Should Start Believing In


Heresy is a loaded word – evoking in equal measure poor souls suffering some unspeakable death for the sake of an idea and the visionaries whose ideas were so ahead of their time that it often took decades or centuries for it to be proven true.

So when a friend recently said that an idea I had mentioned was “heresy” – I was taken aback. Strong language indeed.  And if something is declared as heresy the intention is to snuff out its spread for it may actually be true.

That got me thinking about all the marketing heresies I actually believe and much to my surprise, I have developed a fairly extensive list of these “heresies”. When I think about my start in marketing at an advertising agency working on Procter & Gamble or AT&T businesses, I also realized I was well trained (even maybe a little indoctrinated) in the well established marketing principles.

But that was in the 1980’s when generating awareness was based on large advertising budgets and large advertising agency expense budgets. Today, the goal is the same – getting broad awareness or “brand buzz” – but we must adapt our thinking and in some ways accept what would have been considered marketing heresies even just a few years ago.

So here is my list of marketing “heresies” … heresies that help build business if you can believe in their truths.

1)  World class marketing does not necessarily require an agency or consultant.

This one was particularly hard for me to accept as my heritage lies in the agency world, but is true nonetheless. Agencies largely can not bring innovation to clients because their business model is not geared toward that. Agencies do well in executing established programs that do not require a high level of non billable research investment. Often new programs require agencies to first get up the learning curve and they can’t bill for that. That means they usually stick to what they know – they make more money that way.  

2) “Hands on” experience is better than having consultants or agencies do the work for you.

Related to the above, and to be honest, I was not eager to believe this one  — but it is true nonetheless. And it is particularly true when working with the newer marketing tactics.  Since agencies are often not the innovators, in order for you to direct agencies well, you have to have hands on experience. Without that “hands on experience”, it is more difficult to get accountability.

“C’mon”, I hear you say, “how practical is that? Certainly, an ad executive can not get bogged down in implementing lots of programs.” I understand. I was used to an organized, compartmentalized marketing world – the copywriter wrote copy, PR agencies did the PR, the promotional folks managed emails. Doing it myself seems almost sacrilegious.

But it was not until I started to do the work, that I learned the most and I credit the CEO of my company for making me to do it (over my constant and eminently annoying objections  I might add). So take it from someone who had to learn the hard way, marketing is about staying current and being able to understand how people will respond your programs. Working the work yourself (as much as you can) really helps improve the quality of the work. And then you can begin to demand better quality from your agencies. 

3) Stop chasing measurement of specific marketing programs — but do measure all of marketing.

Sorry Virginia – but it’s time to put this long held holy grail to rest. Not every marketing program can be measured. Perhaps in some future time when we can measure what a person is actually thinking can we measure each marketing program.  The best we can do is measure an action that a marketing program may have generated – but that’s about it. The goal rather should be to measure marketing as an organic whole. 

Make sure you are looking at the right metrics. Of course – revenue is important, but I find volume metrics are also very important and a more sensitive measure to monitor marketing effectiveness. Increased sales revenue is often a function of price increases and/ or new product introductions. But to see if marketing is working efficiently, measure the order volume of a product from one year to the next. The volume measure is blind to changes that price increases could mask. If revenue has grown, but not volume, take a deeper look to see what can be done to improve this. 

4) Generating “brand buzz” is no longer a function of money.

The P&G model worked in its day. Buy GRP’s (Gross Rating Points) on TV, then awareness would go up and with it sales. Pretty straight forward and agencies marched right along. Large budgets drove large fees. It was a symbiotic relationship. But now the model is different. Creating awareness is a function of public relations, viral marketing and SEO programs. All of which are relatively low cost. PR agencies don’t understand viral marketing much and social media agencies don’t understand PR at all. None of them have a clue about SEO. So creating brand buzz means creating a new model that is not dependent on cash – but dependent on smarts.  

The recipe therefore is to integrate viral relations with public relations and SEO to drive search volumes. Then the more people will search for you the better your chances of getting them as customers.   

5) “Free” can build business – but it needs to be a real deal.

How many emails do we all get that claim free iPod or free this or that. These emails do seem to generate response but it has a dark side. The “free” deal is often tainted and that is worse than doing nothing at all. In a drive to generate revenue, keep free as it was intended – really free – not partially free or free if you buy this or that.

If you are making a free claim – really mean it (and be sure you can afford it) Then you’ll make money.

6) Search volume is highly manageable by marketers.   

Really truly. Stop thinking about search volumes that happens in a detached way from what you are doing. You can manage it, increase it. Tune it like you would an engine and your volumes will go up. 

7) Develop a refined sense of “roughly right”.

In today’s lightening fast world, perfection is not an asset anymore. It is far more useful to have a keen sense of “good enough” and get programs out there than to continue to work a program until it is perfect. Mind you, this heresy does not apply to all marketing tactics – but certainly to any tactics that lives in the online world. It is far more productive to get something out and refine it over time than to wait 9 months to get it perfect. If a program can get out “roughly right” in 4 months and generate some revenue, isn’t that far better than waiting nine months. I bet the extra measure of perfection does not compensate for the lost months of revenue. (I should add – I still struggle with this one – but hey – I’m still learning).


8 ) Letting customers openly voice thier opinions – good and bad – is a powerful brand building tool.   


I was having a conversation with a friend who runs the marketing for a manufacturing company and they wanted to create a user forum but decided against it because he said, “one bad opinion could really do damage.”  Well I heartily disagreed by explaining that bad feedback is going to happen anyway – but by creating a venue where you can manage the feedback, that gives you tremendous opportunities to turn that around. So don’t be scared of what customers may say within a forum you create – be more scared of what they say about you without you ever knowing. 

9) There is never one way to solve a marketing problem.

I tend to have strong opinions (you wouldn’t have ever guessed that – right 🙂) and believe that I am mostly right most of the time. I still believe that but now I know that others could be as right as me because there is always more than one way to skin a cat. So while I may be attached to my way – I can now whole heartedly follow other ways because they will deliver results too.

10) Last and perhaps more important — passion sells.

The corporate tone with a measured approach rarely makes anyone take notice. Rather, for marketing to work, you should be passionate about it because then it comes through in the work.

Resist the urge to think about another product launch as just more work. Get excited about the product. Learn why the developer designed the product the way they did. Too many times we become blasé about what we are doing and evaluate a new product through the lens of the product gaps. I am fortunate to work at an Internet security company with a CEO who is as passionate about every new product as though it is his first. That kind of passion is contagious and permeates everything. Try to turn yourself on when doing this type of work. It keeps the work fresh for your market and exciting for you. It doesn’t get better than that – does it?

Now do you believe?

Judy Shapiro

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