Monthly Archives: November 2011

asics on my mind – running like ryan hall, only slower

run like ryan! if only!

Here’s the thing. I don’t run marathons. I don’t run distance. Some might question – with good basis – whether what I do three times a week is more jog-trot, less run. But I wear Asics, currently 2160s, and that’s that affinity thing kicking in. And I’m a sucker for clever advertising.

So when Creativity Online shared my brand’s latest work in support of the 2011 NYC Marathon, I thought hey, my 5K training routine measures miles in single digits, but they’re still miles, regardless. It wasn’t until Ryan Hall’s stride was revealed – are you kidding me! – the same stride that carried him to the fastest marathon ever run by an American (2:04:58), that I got the memo: you’ll never be that good. But I can wear the shoes, and for me, it gets me out the door and on the trail. So see you in the park, maybe. Running just like Ryan, only slower.

seth godin gets it seriously wrong

first define small – then spec

I’m normally a big fan of Seth Godin’s writings. Doesn’t mean he’s always correct. His advice post on “How to get a job with a small company” ends with the applicant, “…offer(ing) to contribute a website or a sales letter or some sales calls–with no money on the table.” Great advice – if you’re the hirer. Web site this week. Collateral next. Pretty soon it’s a work-for-free, just-for-fun marketing department that sites like No!Spec are working hard to counteract.

When you show up and offer to go prospecting on spec, offer to contribute a website or a sales letter or some sales calls–with no money on the table–many small business people will take you up on it, particularly if they are cash-strapped, profit-oriented and know you by reputation. (Please don’t overlook that last one).

Seth’s post wrapped up with a throwaway graph that focused on giving away substance in exchange for a tryout. He tries to qualify by limiting the category to small businesses – although that label can be interpreted across a wide spectrum, from local Mom and Pop to widely recognizeable. And the notion that a job-seeker at any level needs to contribute free servitude out of concern for the “cash-strapped” potential employer turns this into an arrangement that’s also recognizeable as indentured servitude.

wall street should love this

Cash-strapped is cash-strapped – is the mission of the applicant to save the company? I found that particular paragraph especially distasteful for a number of obvious reasons, not least of which is the misguided notion that a web site done for free for someone who has obviously missed the value aspect up to that moment stands little to no chance of ever being compensated or respected. Add to that the liklihood that such work will fail on a variety of levels – creative, function, vision, content – and the best outcome will be a site that draws no traffic, returns no stats, and earns the owner a rep for cheap. Is that what small business really needs in these difficult times?