To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Sunday, March 04, 2007
Just read this book—What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack.

The book provides practical or “street-smart” techniques for effective marketing and selling. I am personally not a marketing oriented person, or at least the sense in which we understand marketing, which is “pushing”. I don’t think I can push a hat to a cowboy! Jokes apart, I could attempt to market only that idea or concept which I “personally” believed in strongly, but a marketing person I guess would have the knack to sell something he probably does not even have a clue about!

There’s this chapter in the book (shared below) that relates with a subject close to my heart. I believe that if more importance is given to “selling a thing” (Profit) instead of to the “thing itself” (Quality), we stand to gain neither. Imagine you were given a wonderfully packaged gift on your birthday; somebody has gone out of his way to see that it is packaged beautifully; you will no doubt be charmed to see it—but if you were to open it and find nothing inside or nothing that came anywhere close to what you were made to expect by the outward package—you’re going to be disappointed. In fact, much more than if the packaging had been ordinary.

Beating Dead Horsemeat

A dog food company was holding its annual sales convention. During the course of the convention the president of the company listened patiently as his advertising director presented a hot new campaign, his marketing director introduced a point-of-sale scheme that would “revolutionize the industry,” and his sales director extolled the virtues of “the best damn sales force in the business.” Finally it came time for the president to take the podium and make his closing remarks.

“Over the past few days,” he began, “we’ve heard from all our division heads and of their wonderful plans for the coming year. Now, as we draw to a close, I have only one question. If we have the best advertising, the best marketing, the best sales force, how come we sell less goddamn dog food than anyone in the business?”

Absolute silence filled the convention hall. Finally, after what seemed like forever, a small voice answered from the back of the room: “Because the dogs hate it.”

Sometimes an idea, product, a concept is just plain bad. No matter how you flog it, no matter how you restate it, it simply won’t work. The only solution is to walk away, to cut your losses.

Yet a lot of people try just the opposite. The more the evidence mounts that an idea may not be salable, a concept may not be workable, a product may not be desirable, the more determined they become, the more time they spend, trying to prove otherwise.