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Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Which Bands & Songs Steve Jobs Kept On His Own Personal iPod

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Steve Jobs favorite Grateful Dead song was Uncle John’s Band; and his favorite band was Bob Dylan, followed by the Beatles and then the Stones, according to Isaacson’s Steve Jobs book.

Isaacson outlines the below songs/bands that were on Steve Jobs’s own personal iPod.

Bono's U2 made the cut on Steve Jobs's personal iPod.

Here they are, roughly in order of which artist he had the most albums of:

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Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

“The Top 7 Reasons Hiring Is Being Invented…Right Now!”

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If you care about hiring or being hired, I recommend you check out an in-depth article in which I offered some detailed thoughts on these 7 trends:

  1. A Hire Is A Million Dollar Transaction — There’s a cool quote from Facebook’s head of acquisitions on how much a hire is worth to them when they buy companies!
  2. Hiring Managers Need To Show Themselves — I believe job postings should require the name of the hiring manager — Craigslist does not!
  3. The Power Is Shifting From The Organization To The Individual — Transparency is one key here!
  4. Video & Pictures Are Ubiquitous — We give a shout-out to one SF startup.
  5. Job Opportunities Will Become Alive — More data please!
  6. We Are All Now One Click Away From Each Other — Duh.
  7. Third-Party Recruiters Will Go The Way Of Other Middlemen — We predict the marginalization of third-party recruiters.

Go check out The Top 7 Reasons Hiring Is Being Reinvented…Right Now! for the full article — it’s hosted by Ongig, a new business I’m part of.

I invited third-party recruiters to comment on section #7 and a couple of them disagree with me — it’s great to have an open dialogue on this important topic.

Thanks!

+ Rob

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Monday, October 10th, 2011

99Designs: One Of The Best Web Apps I’ve Ever Used

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I’m on the Web all the time — I estimate I’ve looked at more than 50,000 Web sites in my lifetime

When one of them stands out, I like to spread the word.

99Designs is one such Web site.

99Designs solves a common problem in an unusual way: it allows you to submit your design requirements to their audience of designers who compete to win your project (or “contest” as they call it).

I tested them out for a logo I needed for a personality type site I do in my spare time. It hasn’t launched yet but it’s going to be called “TopTypes.”

Since real-life examples are more useful, I took screen shots of the experience I had running a design contest on 99Designs for the TopTypes logo I needed.

Step 1: Pick What You Want Designed

You can choose from such categories as:

  • Logos (that’s what I chose)
  • Web Design
  • Stationary
  • T-Shirt Design
  • Other
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Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The Cool Secret Steve Jobs Asked My Friend Gary To Keep

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I’m sad today like millions of others, that the top inventor of our time, Steve Jobs, has died.

I feel very lucky that I got to interview Steve Jobs for an article I wrote early in my career (I can remember how excited I got when he called me directly to chat!). I more recently got to ask Steve and Bill Gates a question about entrepreneurship (see Bill Gates, Steve Jobs & Me).

But, I have a cooler Steve Jobs item to tell you about.

I want to share a story that Steve Jobs asked my friend Gary Brickman to keep secret years ago.

This is my old buddy Gary Brickman at CMP's/TechWeb's China Basin, San Francisco offices circa 1997 -- Steve Jobs asked him to keep a cool secret.

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

The 50 Best Product Taglines By Industry

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After naming a product, the tagline may be the most important marketing lever you can pull.

Afterall, the name of the product opens up the conversation with your customer…but the tagline can immediately tell them what it is that you do — and what makes you unique.

You’ve probably seen how much I love lists.

So I’ve compiled a list of 50+ of my favorite taglines. Enjoy!

Automobile

  • Avis — “We’re #2, so we try harder”
  • BMW — “The ultimate driving machine”
  • Volkswagon — “Think small”
  • Zipcar — “Wheels when you want them”
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Monday, September 26th, 2011

5 Basic Rules To Consider Before Naming Your Product

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I re-read the must-read marketing book Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind (#13 on my 20 Best Business Books Of All Time list) over the summer.

It inspired this simple list of naming tips (which I think is a good foll0w-up to 5 Tips On How To Name Your Brand To Be As Dominant As Kleenex).

How To Name A Product: 5 Basic Rules To Consider

1) Include Your Prospect’s Major Benefit  (Or Pain & Urgency)

Close-Up Toothpaste shows a clear benefit about making your teeth look better.

Shake ‘n Bake (for cooking chicken) tells you the two simple steps — you shake (the herbs) and you bake (the chicken) — to make tasty chicken.

You may also consider the pain or urgency that your customer has.

For example, if you have dandruff and you want to address the flakes on your shoulders as well as shampoo your hair, Head & Shoulders shampoo is a darn good name.

2) Be Almost, But Not Quite, Generic

Microsoft names its product because it focused on “micro”-computer “soft”ware.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is self-explanatory. People Magazine is pretty good too.

But don’t go too generic, warns the book Positioning: “Lite” beer from Miller was the industry leader but it lost its brand positioning when other beers co-opted the name (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc.).

The law sided with those competitors since “Lite” is generic and so similar to “Light” (as in opposite of heavy).

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Sunday, September 18th, 2011

7 Tips I Use Every Day To Be A Better Networker (By Letting People Know I’m Thinking Of Them)

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You have to grow your network to succeed in business (reminder to read about how each person in your rolodex may be worth $948 per year in income for you).

A key to being a better networker is to let people know you are thinking of them. This is because a key part of human nature is that people want to be loved, popular, etc.

This sounds easy on paper, but it’s tougher to execute.

Below are 7 effective and efficient tips to being a better networker.

1) Recommend A Partner, Customer Or Hire

Let’s say you are introduced to a new person through some type of business meeting or even at a party…we’ll call him “Mr. Jimmy.”

If you find Mr. Jimmy to be a person you want to get to know better, then ask yourself:

“Who do I know that Mr. Jimmy might be interested in meeting…and who might want to meet Mr. Jimmy?”

Perhaps Mr. Jimmy is a good potential partner, customer or hire of someone else you know.

It doesn’t matter if you just met Mr. Jimmy. This is part of the “Go-Giver” philosophy I wrote about in 7 Easy Tips On How To Be A Go-Giver (Not a Go-Getter).

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Saturday, September 10th, 2011

How I Use This Nerdy “Money-Making Pyramid” To Prioritize Business Activities

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Are you leading a business, new or old?

I’ve done both: I’ve started businesses from scratch and I’ve also taken over leading a business that was already a few years into the game.

Either way, the difference between success and failure is what you and your team are working on…and when!

Caution: If you entrepreneurs out there don’t grasp this, your business is very likely to fail (especially my friend who’s spending a couple of hours a week figuring out Quickbooks instead of focusing on making money!).

My marketing-guru friend and previous business partner Eben Pagan inspired the money-making pyramid (he called it the “productivity pyramid” in his awesome GetAltitude “Top Gun For Entrepreneurs” program — it’s a neat visual using a pyramid to illustrate what’s most important to work on in a business.

I’ve riffed a bit so blame me (not Eben) if you don’t like my “Money-Making Pyramid” version.

The money-making pyramid illustrates that the money-making in your business belongs at the top (most important) with the items below it less important the lower down on the pyramid.

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