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Sunday Musings #7

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augusta(I’m down in Augusta, GA this week, at a client event during the Masters.)

A tradition unlike any other. As noted above, I’ve made my annual trip to the Masters for a client event. This place is a constant reminder of the value of offering “special”, even seemingly quirky / possibly annoying intricacies. It’s like permanent 1967 here and the rules of the golf club are omnipresent. There’s no running on the course – and everyone knows and abides. Their concessions are amazingly simple (you order a “beer”, not the brand), and include handmade white bread egg salad sandwiches for around $2 each. And all the food is wrapped in special green packaging that will blend in to the surroundings if, heaven forbid, someone litters on the course. And the logo’d merchandise here, which could make a FORTUNE on the open market, is only available this week at the tournament. Not sold online.

Random connection may be the next big trend. We’re starting to see some services gain popularity that offer a bit of a counter to Facebook, with its “display everything about you to the world and make it insanely easy to track and connect with you” approach to social networking. First it was Chat Roulette, a “spin-the-wheel-and-see-who-appears” webchat service. Then we were introduced to Snapchat, which provides a kinda-private dissolving platform for picture and video messaging. And who can can forget Bang With Friends, which allows people to anonymously solicit each other for sex dates, only revealing names when both parties target each other. Now it’s Whisper, the secret-sharing app that offers complete (maybe?) anonymity, which just raised $3mm in funding. These types of services offer something Facebook does not; kinda-safe and kinda-random connection with others. It’s exciting and plays on the desire to discover, but without opening your front door to the world. The antithesis to all this is something like Highlight, which I know was the hot item a year ago, but just don’t see it being embraced any time soon.

Finally got around to reading Poke the Box, from Seth Godin. Wow. You knew what it was about, but what amazing impact it can have. Super short (I read it on a 1-hour flight), which is a big factor in its effectiveness, and it slyly supports the ethos behind the book. For me personally, the line that got me was: “What are you afraid of that might work, thus changing everything and opening up entirely new areas of scariness?” It’s not a new topic, but the theme of fear is usually held against loss or failure, not success. Matter of fact, I just ordered 50 copies to send to my clients and colleagues.

¬†Interested in your thoughts here, particularly on the “random” trend?

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Growth obsessed startup co-founder (MusicBox) and strategist-for-hire. startupgrowthguy.com mymusicbox.me

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