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Urban Meyer — most famous for being such a good father and a health nut — has announced that he is resigning from family, effective immediately. This comes as a surprise to many, who cite Meyer’s unprecedented 15 game winning streak at the family’s weekly Jenga competition along with his near perfect enforcement of his hot daughter’s curfew. [Read More]

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How did a handful of companies launched in the last decade come to dominate the tech world? Even more remarkable, how is that most them spent zero dollars advertising?

It’s a puzzling question. I spent six years and hundreds of millions of dollars marketing consumer brands. If I had told my bosses that I could slash our marketing budget and yet deliver exponentially greater results, they would have laughed. But somehow, that’s exactly what the best startups did.

My goal is to show you how they did it. . . [Read More]

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Yoda's wisdom to business applies. Hmm.

Every week, I try to draw on the inspiration of great thinkers and leaders. This week my inspiration came in the form of tiny green puppet who lived a long time ago in a galaxy far far away on the planet Dagobah. I’m talking of course about Yoda. Granted, Yoda never got his MBA. And critics may argue he had a rare form of speech-syntax impairment. But if Yoda’s advice to Luke Skywalker was enough to help him overthrow the evil galactic empire, maybe there is some wisdom in there we can glean for business…

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About a month ago, I signed up for something called Pinterest. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s like blogging. But for people who can’t read or write. In fact, you don’t have to have any real talent or cognitive abilities at all to be on Pinterest. A monkey is basically overqualified. All you have to do is find pretty pictures (of anything, really) and “pin-it” to one of your Pinterest boards. It’s essentially an exercise in organizing pictures.

But most of you probably already know what Pinterest is. In fact, most of you are already following my boards on Pinterest. Over the past month, my popularity on Pinterest has exploded. Everyday, I receive emails (numbering in the lower-single digits) informing me that another Facebook friend is now following my boards.

And what exactly is it on my Pinterest account that is captivating the attention of the world? I don’t know. I haven’t logged-in to Pinterest since I initially created my account more than a month ago. So looking for the reason of my newfound popularity, I decided to brave the mindless, thoughtless wasteland of random pictures that is Pinterest in search of clues. Armed with nothing but my user name and password, I pointed my browser to pinterest.com and logged-in to my account. “God help us,” I whispered to myself. With a click, I was in. . . [Read More]

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It started, like many things do, with an unexpected Facebook message. “Hey, will you be in NYC anytime soon? I’d love to catch up on things.” It was a college buddy I hadn’t spoken to in 6 years. Soon, through the magic of Facebook, we were video chatting. The conversation began with the expected “wow, it’s been a while” chitchat. But soon, it turned to business. I explained the adventure I was on, recapping my first 30 days. Then he described his own journey. He had started a company with another friend of mine a year or so ago. A recent set of events, though, had dramatically changed their velocity. Their team had been a winner at something called a “TechCrunch Disrupt NYC Hackathon” and now their company was in a program called Techstars. And that was just the beginning… [Read More]

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A few years ago, I was at a crossroads in my career and I felt completely stuck. I knew I wanted to transition into something more entrepreneurial, but to get there I felt like there were only two options: get a new job, or get my MBA.

As I thought about the reasons I wanted a new job (more equity, more decision making) I realized there was no way I could find a job that satisfied my criteria – at least not within consumer packaged goods marketing.  And finding the right fit outside of a large CPG company would be difficult with no prior experience.

So getting my MBA seemed like the sensible alternative.  I started talking with friends and colleagues who had gotten their MBAs from the top programs in the world. I researched online. I looked at what it would take (and cost) to get into the best programs, and what my prospects would be coming out with my MBA.

In the end, though, a surprising thing happened. I became convinced that getting an MBA wasn’t the best path to entrepreneurship. Here are  5 reasons why… [Read More]

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It’s been 30 days now since I took the plunge, resigned from my job and set off on my own.  Without doubt, the the first question I’m asked by friends is a simple “How are you doing?”  I generally reply, “Good.”  Awkward silence follows.  And then the follow-up.  “And what exactly is it that you are doing?”

Ah – the real question.  What am I actually DOING?  What does my routine look like now that I am self-employed? What kind of business am I creating?  Let’s start by taking a quick peek at a typical day in my new life… [Read More]

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Recently, I’ve been obsessed with planking.  And I’m in good company.  Justin Bieber Katy PerryDwight Howard, even Huge Hefner – all of them are planking (not together I hope). If you’ve become hooked on planking, then you know exactly how much fun it is.  If you’ve never heard of planking before, that’s OK too – you still have at least another week or two to jump on the bandwagon before it becomes uncool.

The rules are pretty easy to grasp.  From the official Planking Facebook page, here how to do it:

  1. You must always lay face down, ensuring your face remains expressionless for the duration of the Plank.
  2. Your legs must remain straight, and together with toes pointed.
  3. Your arms must be placed by your side, held straight and fingers pointed.
  4. You must make it known that you are Planking. Saying ‘I am Planking’ usually get this across. Sternly announcing it will ensure a good result.
  5. Your safety should always be considered. Properly thought through Planking procedures should always go to plan. Never put your self at undue risk.
  6. Every Plank that is captured must be named.
How could something so simple and so stupid become so popular? And what could it possibly teach us about marketing? [Read More]

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Copyright © 2011 Nathan Johnson