Today on Lighting Cookbook, something different: A BTS/360 look at a single photo.
Normally, we concentrate on the "how" part. But today we'll also be looking at the broader ecosystem— the why—and how a simple photo can serve as a catalyst to create value.
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Many Nigerians have had one or more of these issues.
But there’s a startup trying to address this problem.
ArtisanOga is a platform that is making it easier for people to find artisans easily. It is a marketplace that provides location-based, job-matching solutions for households and offices by connecting them to qualified service experts...[more]
A Toyota Prius passed me at 100 miles an hour. I didn’t know a Prius could even go that fast. The driver was passing on the right, using the breakdown lane, zigging and zagging across traffic. If a car could careen, he was.
The problem with this sort of fast passage is that there’s no room for error. One mistake, one failure, and you’re out.
The other sort of rambunctious, risky forward motion is very different.
This is the work we do when we’re out on a limb with a new idea. When we’re sharing ideas that feel personal or important. This is the work of practical empathy, and most of all, of acting ‘as if’ before we’re sure.
The thing is–even though this might feel as risky as driving down the Saw Mill River Parkway at 100 miles an hour, it’s actually the safest work you can do. If you fail while trying to help, you’ll get another chance. And then another.
In 2017, a Rwandan cookstove company revealed this week that it has raised more money in the past six months than the entire cookstove sector has raised in any single year.
Inyenyeri, a Rwandan company that provides cookstoves to households at no cost in exchange for customers buying their wood fuel pellets, announced at the Clean Cooking Forum in New Delhi, India, that it has raised more than $20 million in loans, grants, and the sale of carbon credits.
In Feb 2018, Inyenyeri was now serving 2,500 homes with top level stoves, while using renewable, made-in-Rwanda fuels. Inyenyeri will use a 3 million Euro IKEA Foundation grant toward their goal of providing this solution to 150,000 households in Rwanda by 2020...[more]
Thanks to everyone who already made it a bestseller. So many people went to the site Tuesday, we broke Amazon’s checkout algorithm for several hours–I’m apologizing on their behalf if it’s been a hassle. I appreciate your persistence.
You can find all the ways to buy it here. (Along with a free excerpt and some reviews).
This is Marketing is about modern marketing, the post-advertising, post-spam sort of marketing that we can be proud of.
The book’s ideas are relevant to organizations big and small, non-profits, politicians, and freelancers too.
Here are some of the ideas in the book:
- People like us do things like this
- Work that matters for people who care
- Make things better, make better things
- Serve the smallest viable audience
- Who eats lunch first?
- This might not work
- When in doubt, look for the fear
- Positioning is done as a service for our customers
- Marketers create change. No change, no marketing.
- If you’re going to do all this work, might as well do something you’re proud of
- Some people measure affiliation, others seek to engage with the story of dominance
- How leaky is your funnel?
- Why will someone enroll to go on this journey?
- Anticipated, personal and relevant messages always do better than the other kind
- The network effect is the ratchet that builds projects that grow
- It’s not your tribe, but you can lead them for a while
- Are you a direct marketer? What do you measure?
- What’s it for? Who’s it for?
- Create and relieve tension
- Everything we do is a flag, and every flag tells a story
- Will they miss you when you’re gone?
We’re doing a Facebook Live today from 11:45 to 12:15 Eastern time. I’ll be answering your questions about the ideas in the book.
I’ve also done a ton of podcasts in preparation for the launch. You can find the complete list here.
Here are some of the most recent: Tim Ferriss, Ryan Hawk, Behind the Brand, Kirby Hasseman, Marketing Today, In the Arena, Marketing Week, Marketing Speak, The Marketing Book Podcast,Marketing Over Coffee, Larry Weeks, David Meerman Scott, User Defenders, Eat Sleep Work, Adrian Swinscoe, Boston Content, Bill Carmody, The Copywriter Club, Escape the Rat Race, 1% Better, MarieTV , Chase Jarvis (both below), Duct Tape Marketing, The Remarkable Leadership Podcast, The Future of Work. (more to come, updated here).
PS if you get a copy in the next week or so, you can join our digital launch party, with videos, Q&As, and best of all, peer to peer interaction. The code to join in is on page 260 (or at the end of the Kindle ebook). If you have the audiobook, look for a special link on the sign up page. Sign up here.
And last, here’s a link to my latest episode of Akimbo, which has a cogent summary of what this is all about.
Those emergencies from a year ago (and a month ago), they’re gone.
Either they were solved, or they became things to live with. But emergencies don’t last. They fade.
Knowing that, knowing that you will outlast them, every single one of them, does it make it easier to see the problem, not the panic?
More hereTogether with Suns shoes, Grace Mahary has launched a limited-edition collection of sneakers with a distinctly Eritrean twist: a sunburst print inspired by a scarf Mahary picked up during her travels. Proceeds from the shoes will go right back to the community and provide solar energy to families and schools. Like all Suns’s footwear, the pattern changes the moment you step outside, revealing the alternate color scheme beneath the classic white trainers. For Mahary, the synergy between the brand and Project Tsehigh was there from the start. “I love the mission behind Suns shoes, that kindness is contagious, and the solar component to their product,” she says. “My team was looking for new, nontraditional ways to fundraise and speak to our followers, and this opportunity incorporated my love for fashion into our fundraising plan.”
Established in 2015 by Irene Ikarede Etyang, Akimaa Africa blends locally-produced ingredients together, resulting in highly-nutritious snacks. Its Tasty Millet Meal Bar is high in protein, as well as several key minerals, including calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. “Obesity is on the rise in Kenya, and Africa at large,” Etyang explains. “My Tasty Millet Bar is therefore a good replacement for the sweet foods people like because it is low-fat and highly nutritious. The bar is also gluten free and has no added sugar, making it good for diabetics.”
Kenya, a country that is innovating in wool production, with a sector that is currently expanding rapidly.
With more than 10,000 tons of wool produced each year, Kenya, which already relies on the massive export of its avocados, wants to make the sector a source of employment and an economic pillar. More and more farmers are engaging in sheep farming to boost local production...[more]
Today is launch day for my new book. Thanks to fast-clicking readers and alumni, it’s already a bestseller. You can check out some of the advance reviews. And the Financial Times picked it one of November’s books of the month. And 800CEOREAD just long listed it as one of the best marketing books of the year…
Lots of cool surprises in this post, just for you and my other favorite blog readers…
For the first time, we’re hosting an online launch party. If you grab a copy in the next two weeks, we’d love to have you join us.
The launch party will feature exclusive videos from me expanding on ideas in the book, an ongoing Q&A session and most of all, a chance to connect with thousands of other alumni of our online seminar and the purchasers of the book as well. You’ll find a cohort of fascinating and generous people there, and my hope is that if you’re an eager contributor to the party, you’ll find that it’s even worth more than the cost of the book itself.
If you’re an early adopter, the kind of person who goes first, you’re our kind of person. Join the launch party to meet more people like us. If you get a copy in the next week or so, you can join in. Sign up here.
The launch party is free to join for readers. Once you buy a copy of the book, you’ll find a code on the bottom of page 260 (or in the Kindle edition, at the end of the acknowledgments) that will get you into the Party. If you’re listening on audio, use the link at the bottom of the page.
One more thing…
Along the way, we’ve created:
An action figure, a milk carton, a cereal box, not one but two books that each weighed 17 pounds, a wooden boxed set, a letterpress poster and many more–and each sold out. All created at breakeven, all for fun, all for the true fans. Your chance to have something that almost no one else does.
And the new one is fun indeed:
There are only 2,000 of them in the warehouse, and we’re not going to make any more. I hope you’ll check it out before they’re all gone. There are 19 different covers packed in four different sets of 8… see if you can collect them all.
And what will you do with those 7 extra books, the ones that come with a limited-edition custom cover?
I’m hoping you’ll share them.
You might share them with co-workers because you know that if you can all get on the same page, your marketing will work better and you’ll be more likely to be able to do work you’re proud of.
You could share them with non-profit leaders or political leaders, because you want their work to spread.
And perhaps you’ll share them with your students, your friends or those you admire, because now’s the best time to make a ruckus.
Person to person, horizontally.
Making the covers and the custom box and the rest of it was thrilling, and I can’t thank you enough for letting us do this work. Highlights from the book in tomorrow’s post…
One of the highlights of the first China International Import Expo is a $2 million business deal between one of Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs and China.
Rwanda’s Diego Twahirwa, the owner of Gashora farm, inked the deal with China’s Kai Jiang Xian zi Wei Food last week that will see him export chilli to the Asian nation starting November 2018 until May 2019 reports The New Times...[more]
Teresa Torres’ keynote on “An Introduction to Modern Product Discovery Practices” took place on the final day of the Productized Conference 2016. The keynote was designed to explain to the audience some of the changes that have been seen in the last 5 years in the world of Product Management. Teresa spoke about how to understand the latest trends in the field and additionally how to pick-and-choose these methods to form a coherent strategy that ultimately lead to a better product.
Product DiscoveryDeciding what to build.
Goal: Learn fast.
- Are we meeting stakeholders needs?
- Can customers use it?
- Do customers want our solution?
- Are we solving a problem customers care about?
- Are we driving towards a desired outcome?
A move from Output to Outcomes
If you share a pizza with a large crowd, no one will be very satisfied.
But if you share an idea with a group, it creates cultural impact and becomes more valuable as it spreads, not less.
Most of the time, we adopt the scarcity model of pizza. “I don’t have that much, and if I share it with you, I won’t have any left…”
But in fact, the useful parts of our life are better characterized as, “If I share it with you, we’ll both have it.”
An idea shared is more powerful than one that’s hidden. A technology standard outperforms a proprietary one. A community is stronger than divided individuals ever could be.
When you give away your work by building the network, you’re not giving it away at all.
You’re building trust, authority and a positive cycle of better.
The lighthouse on the beach is the village’s most visible landmark.
Credit: Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
DiagnoseMe was conceived by the Stack Diagnostics team as a way to provide difficult-to-access testing services to both doctors and patients in Africa in a way that overcomes the healthcare infrastructural problems that many countries in Africa experience. Our founders have a wealth of experience in this space and have worked in the leading medical research institutions and healthcare organizations in the US, UK and Nigeria. DiagnoseMe is changing the way healthcare in Africa is done. Now, take charge of your health!
Arone, a Nigerian startup that is changing the personalised drone delivery system in Nigeria, particularly in the area of healthcare. Ezenwere conceived the idea for Arone once he visited Lagos and met Temie Giwa-Tubosun, the founder of Life Bank, a startup working to improve access to blood transfusions in the country. “I started thinking about the impact it would have if we were able to assist them by using drones to deliver blood much quicker to people that need it so desperately. So that was when the idea came,” he told This Is Africa(TIA)...[more]
In 2009, Vava Angwenyi returned to her native Kenya, after completing her studies in Canada and Europe, with the ambition of changing the African coffee industry to include more Africans like herself. Nearly a decade in, she’s finally figuring how to make a dent in the chaotic world of coffee trading, which, she argues, has for too long been dominated by foreigners...[more]
Not groggy, not zoned out, not hyper, merely awake.
Aware of what’s around us. Present. Seeing things clearly, hearing them as if for the first time.
How often are we lucky enough to be awake?
Mass media, social networks, marketers—they rarely help us become awake. They seek clicking, buying, fearful zombies instead.
The people we seek to serve, those that we’re trying to reach–in the rare moments when they’re awake, are we wasting that tiny slice of magic? Do we create fear or boredom or ennui in the short run merely because it’s easier for us?
Seeking a state of awake seems like a worthy quest. And when we find it, it’s worth cherishing.
Strobist's 2019 X-Peditions workshops (Havana in January and Hanoi in the fall) have both filled.
Surprisingly, Hanoi actually filled before any public announcement. So if you think you might be interested in a future workshop, please make sure to sign up for advance notice on the X-Peditions info page.
If you would like to be placed on a wait list for either trip, you may do so at the individual workshop pages linked above.
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu has a dream: that everyone should one day taste hand-roasted Ethiopian coffee.
Widely acknowledged as the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest coffee bean producers and Africa’s top grower of the plant. Coffee is also brewed and drank in the Horn of Africa nation in elaborate ceremonies, often using crafting techniques passed down from generations over centuries. As an entrepreneur, Alemu always wanted to replicate this dynamic experience—what she calls “the magical process”—to coffee lovers worldwide...[more]
Traditional healer Ephraim Mabena has been able to use his knowledge of indigenous medicine in collaboration with science to create products that could soon be commercialised.
“Having our knowledge written down and archived is an acknowledgement of our medicine and our traditions,” he said...[more]
The unanticipated but important memo has a difficult road. It will likely be ignored.
The difficult parts:
a. no one is waiting to hear from you
b. you need to have the clarity to know who it’s for, what’s it for and precisely what you want them to do
c. you have to have the guts to leave out everything that isn’t part of (b)
Consider a memo that was left outside my door at a hotel recently. The management distributed 1000 of them and perhaps ten people read it and took action.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Pattern interrupt. When was the last time you listened to the seat belt announcement on an airplane? We ignore it because we’ve been trained to ignore it. When you show up in a place, at a time, with a format that we’ve been trained to ignore, we’ll ignore you.
- Write a story. You seek engagement. Talk about me. About you, about yesterday, today and tomorrow. If you earn the first sentence, you’ll need to sell me on reading the second sentence.
- Frame the story. Help me compare it to something. Create urgency. Make it about me, my status, my needs.
- Chunk the message. How many things are you trying to say? (Hint: two might be too many). Let me scan instead of study.
- Include a call to action. Right here, right now.
Here’s a before and after of what inspired me.
Using 3D printing innovation, we will hack and build simple low-cost DIY open science lab equipment.
Basic science and biotech research are driven by top-notch instrumentation. Unfortunately, the lack of instrumental access in labs in Africa affects how research is done. DIY Biohacking and Open science hardware, a movement that embraces the use of maker culture and open science, enables scientists from low resource backgrounds to use open manufacturing protocols and biology principles to build their own lab equipment. This workshop will re:connect DIY Bio lovers, tech makers and students...[more]
Historian Tiya Miles, and her husband, Joseph Gone.
I have a tendency to search on images of people I read about, and to read more deeply into their lives. She’s just the most recent. A fascinating woman. See this Op-Ed she wrote for the NY Times, for example.
Filling up a bucket might not be fast or easy, but you can easily measure your progress. Patience isn’t difficult, because you can see it getting filled.
Most of what’s important to us, though, doesn’t show itself this way.
Drip by drip is how we build things, but we can’t see it. One more “no,” one more failure, one more lesson learned.
It’s not a bucket, but it is a journey.
As a child I grew up in Sudan and Kenya. When I lived in Sudan, we had no power most of the day or night, and I kept myself busy with quite a bit of reading. Reading for escape, for adventure. Like many, I grew to love Tolkien’s hobbits and the Lord of the Rings. I began to think of hobbits and Shire folk again recently, which inspired me to look up quotes from the great wordsmith Tolkien.
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
This week I’m a part of the Unreasonable Goals program, where 17 business men and women are gathered, since they’re focused on solving some of the world’s most intractable issues. It’s filled with remarkable people working on some very hard things, in very creative ways.
Take for instance, Samuel Alemayehu of Cambridge Industries in Ethiopia. He takes in an ungodly amount of waste and then proceeds to create energy, paving bricks, and a slew of other byproducts that provide jobs and opportunities for 50,000+ Ethiopians.
Or, how about Gayathri Vasudevan of LabourNet, working to to provide jobs and enable livelihoods for 10 million informal sector workers in India.
I mean, this is heady stuff, with people not just dreaming and building, but actually doing it. And, there’s 15 more CEOs of companies that are all here working on *things that matter*, that push the envelope. It’s no exaggeration to say that some of the individuals in this room will make a real dent in the world, and that you’ll see their names in even bigger lights one day.
In my Tolkien quotes journey I also came across another quote. One that has been gnawing on me all week:
“It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.”
We sometimes overly celebrate those who tilt at windmills, who climb mountains, who conquer all before them. Some of them live a good life, a fulfilling one. They are called to this, their gifts and skills almost compel the new reality that they stamp upon the world.
And we forget… We forget that there is a life equally well lived for those who live a simple, quiet life. Sometimes they support those on grand adventures, sometimes they have a resounding impact on their small community, and sometimes they softly raise a family, keep the engines going in a company, or happily bake cakes (and everyone loves cakes!).
I’m grateful to be amongst the genius and talent in this room. I’m similarly thankful when I reflect on the many who live a quiet and equally accomplished life.