(Disclaimer: I’m not being paid in any way to endorse Scott’s book–that wouldn’t be true to who I am. I read it because I listened to one of his presentations, loved his speaking style and content, and felt compelled to engage more. For the business professionals I work with regularly–and argue with about why IT and IS is often falling behind in the very industry it created, because IT professionals are often the least socially engaged–this book is a mandatory read.)
A few days ago I made a casual tweet about wanting a Kindle copy of UnMarketing (by Scott Stratten) and Enchantment (by Guy Kawasaki). I know several people with a copy of Enchantment, but I don’t want a physical book – I want the Kindle version so I can make notes. (Also, then I don’t have to touch other peoples’ stuff.) At any rate, within an hour of tweeting it, I had received a copy of UnMarketing dropped into the Kindle reader on my iPad. I was then, of course, faced with the same dilemma as Scott was in chapter 32. I’m still unsure whether to publicly thank the person that sent it to me… but either way, if you’re reading this, you-know-who, THANK YOU.
I immediately wanted to write a brief review. Then I realized two things: I never write book reviews, let alone writing anything brief, so that’s a dumb idea right off. And, second, doing so would do the book a disservice. So I’ll make it simple, and then share a story. Go read the book. If you have any interest in marketing (or don’t), social media, business growth, entrepreneurship, or if you just need cheering up, go read the book. Stratten’s a genius at social engagement (sorry, “expert”); is as engaging a writer as he is a speaker; and he lives in my home town, so that’s extra bonus points. You can get the Kindle version here, and the print version here.
Now on to the little story…
Those that know me personally know that when I find something really engaging, or something I am genuinely interested in, I don’t shut up about it. I will personally hand-hold people, drag them to a store, and make them buy something until I’m convinced that they’re happy with it. I’ve done it with coffee, books, computers, and cars. Two people I know bought a Kia because I can’t stop talking about them, and one more wants to test drive mine. A circle of die hard “PC-lovers” around me are now using Macs. Like… several dozen.
So naturally, when I find something that sucks (yeah I’m remembering you, Esso, and you, ROWE system), I have no problem blasting it either. During a recent business trip to Australia, while sitting by the beach eating calamari and fries, and as I talked about a dumb tablet design by Asus (it’s about 2″ thick!), one of our corporate partners said to me,
You know, Steve, that’s one thing that’s always bothered me about you. I never really know what your real opinion is on anything. I always have to guess.
Obviously, she was dipping her food in sarcasm sauce, because the statement was smothered with it. And I took it as a complement. Truth is, you’ll always know my real opinion on something. It doesn’t always come across well on a blog, but face to face, you’ll hear it.
One of my goals this year has been to increase my networking–directly, not superficially–by starting digitally, so Stratten’s book (and actually, his whole business) is right up my alley. I consolidated most of my blogs, and branded StevePye.me early last year. Why a vanity domain, you ask? Well, as I’ve said in the past, sarcasm is just one more service I offer. The “.me” really isn’t all about me. But every day, several times a day, people ask my advice on stuff: what computer do I buy? Should I buy an iPad? What do you like about your Kia? Why are you a coffee snob? Why do you love open-source so much? Many people refer to me as a maven, and I am (also, read The Tipping Point). The questions are always a variety of topics, and I’m a maven in many, but business, project management, and information systems are always at the top of the list. Daily. And when people recommend me to others, the phrase I commonly hear is,
I wanted info about ______, and someone said, ‘Ask Steve Pye.’ So here I am.
Almost every business I’ve been involved in is because someone said, “you need to talk to Steve Pye.” That’s been going on for fifteen years, and I think the short and simple name helps (it’s why I don’t let people call me “Stephen” any more… I got branded as “Steve Pye” and it stuck). So… I capitalized on that. Yeah, it’s StevePye.me, but in the end, it’s because you’re probably contacting me to get information on something that interests you, and you know I’ll give it a fair and honest review. And then I’ll help you get whatever you’re looking for. I’ll even try to get you a deal on it. So in the end, for me, the “.me” is sarcastic.
It’s really all about you.
But I appreciate that you trust me enough to ask.
Thanks, Scott, for the encouragement and the inspiration this year. As I continue to build and lead, I’ll continue to follow…