Two names I won’t name, and one I rather wish I couldn’t

#1

He wrote a book. Someone I respect recently said it was good. I ran out and grabbed a copy, hot of the press. So hot, the cover was still glowing orange. I liked it a lot (still do).

He gave me a call after I said I liked it, here on this blog. Left me a voicemail, kind of intriguing, maybe a tad pushy. Right on-message for the book, though. Very eager to connect, etc. I left him an email. Two, actually. He never contacted me again.

What up wi’ that, as folks say here in Philly?

Very eager to make the appearance of trying to connect. Very poor with follow-up.

#2

He also wrote a book. Also with a glowing orange cover. (Is it something about orange-covered books?) A book I’ve adored and recommended for years (still do). In addition, he writes a blog I love.

I follow the blog regularly, comment only occasionally, because, as Yogi Berra knew well, once it gets too crowded, nobody goes there any more. (In other words, he was always a master connector, but since that glowing orange book… whoo-hoo. He’s become a very, very popular dude.) One blog post last week was so pitch-perfect that I began putting its main concept to use the same day… even recommended The Kid put a version of the idea to use. Then, oddly, in his sometimes-newsletter, he mentioned that the very same post had become controversial.

That seemed impossible, so I thought I’d write him a quick letter of support and gratitude, let him know that some people took the meaning as intended and ran with it. I hit the reply button and dashed off a short email. In the first sentence, told him I loved it, love how it works, that I’d shared the idea around, that even The Kid was using it. Then very briefly gave him a thumbs-up for support.

I know he’s busy and really didn’t need or expect a response. Days later, I did get one… from his assistant. Saying they feel an email from an assistant lets you know the big guy personally cares.

Uh-huh…

Then the assistant asks if I thought much about the post. Did I recommend it to anyone? Have I thought about trying it out? Will I be trying it out?

Oh, no.

Very eager to make the appearance of personally caring. Not very eager to read even the first sentence of a four-sentence email.

#3

She’s everywhere, she’s everywhere!

Minutes after reading about 13-year-old Rebecca Black on Steve Sammartino’s Start Up Blog, where he was talking about how the insane viral madness surrounding Black’s song, Friday, is only possible because technologies have come along to change or destroy the gatekeeper game (she’s even got her own Wikipedia entry, scary)…

… then deciding along with 30 million others to find out what all the fuss is about (please don’t ask my opinion)…

… minutes after saying out loud, “Seth Godin would love her—she’s nothing if not remark-able”

… minutes later, there’s Rebecca Black mentioned on Seth’s blog, because she didn’t wait to get asked to the dance.*

I know, Steve and Seth don’t amount to a heck of a lot for a 13-y-o wannabe pop princess, but this girl is not only mentioned on exquisitely written business blogs. She’s on CNN. And in Rolling Stone. And in a lot of other places you and I would kill to be.

And what I’m interested in is this—folks who’ve gotten to speak with her are calling her sweet and unspoiled (I hope so, this has only been going on for a bit over a week) and genuine.

I’ll call her very eager to make a name for herself.

How long can she stay sincere, now that her very-startup business, “personal brand Rebecca Black,” has exploded?

How about you? How do you maintain your sincerity, when business pressures you from all sides? Is it fair (of me, of your customers and other contacts) to expect that you should?

 

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

 

*Seth’s absolutely right, it’s a lesson for us all. Seize the day, the spotlight, the mic if you want it, because nobody’s gonna hand it to you.

So you wanna see me repeat the same fifteen words, without no sense of irony about how derivative of the gentle goth geniuses The Cure my lyrics are, for three minutes and forty seconds with way too much makeup on and my voice distorted past all humanity?

Oops, I think I may have hinted at my opinion there.