Lately I’ve been reading more entrepenuer and business related books. I thought it migh tbe helpful for myself and other if I started to share my thoughts on some of them and provide some insight for perspective readers.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin was lent to me by a colleague at Helios Interactive and it was one of the more enjoyable books I’ve read recently. Firstly it’s very short and easy to digest with only 142 pages total. Seth has an engaging writing style that kept my attention on his examples and theories almost the entire time. The main premise of the book is simple: what you and your business need is a Purple Cow. Something that makes you stand away from the rest of the herd that’s remarkable, and most importantly gets people talking. This coule be applied to self promotion, or in a business venture.
Seth points out that broad marketing to every consumer is not as profitable as it once was, and the main players there already have a hold on their respective markets. By making products for the majority we create compromise as a result and that give us a mediocre outcome. Seth offers to instead focus on creating remarkable products for viral early adopters. These “Sneezers” will talk and show off your product to everyone generating interest and “buzz”. It’s also easier to get the early adopter to try something new, most people are too set in their ways or busy to give something else a shot without it being truly different from the rest. He also talks about analyzing your customers and analyzing any data you can collect about them. Seth talks about an online banking service that found 90% of their transactions came from 10% of heavy users. This tool then focused their efforts on that smaller more profitable chunk.
Another great topic is the importance of measuring. This is where mass marketing ultimately fails. How much reliable data can you discern from a magazine or television ad, versus a website ? The more you can measure the more informed your decision making process will be and the less overall guessing you will be forced to do.
Seth makes plenty of other lucid points but you’ll have to read Purple Cow yourself to find them out for yourself.