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Stuck at the Blueprint Phase

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I’ve been getting called Don Draper a lot recently.

That’s probably a compliment. Never mind that it’s a guy with two different identities, who’s largely alone in the world– it’s also someone that people identify with (maybe for those same reasons).

One of the reasons we identify with these people is because the ad men of that time were smart, clever, and wanted to make their mark on the world.

I think the ad men of today are on the web.

Smart people see and go after opportunity, and one of the greatest opportunities to prove yourself is here, where no one will stop you and startup costs are low. Where you can build anything you want, because space is unlimited and people are practically begging to be amused by something new.

Just as interesting: When you want to jump from your old project to the next, no problem, you can just go and do that. Jumping ship on the web is a low-cost, high-reward endeavour.

I’m re-reading Paul Arden’s first book, where he talks about his experiences in advertising, saying it’s the perfect place for the talented. On the web today, the greatest thing is that the cost of failure is low, so it’s even better. You can try, over and over again, without people even needing to know.

If you aren’t constantly experimenting and working on new projects, I’d say you probably aren’t achieving your potential. Lots of people have new ideas, but almost no one follows through. No one cares about your idea unless it’s real.

Want people to care? Make it real.

* Filed by Julien at 11:29 am under random


Hi, I’m Julien Smith. I'm the founder and CEO of Breather.

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2 Responses to “Stuck at the Blueprint Phase”

  1. Larry Hannay Says:

    Hey Juliene,

    I met you at TribeCon in New Orleans. (To refresh your memory: I was the one who thanked you for your talk because it resonated so much with me, as I have been working on a website which I hope will help others. Having grown up in Syracuse, I then complained about the total lack of respect you Canadian drivers have for the speed limit on Rt. 81 in New York State ;-)

    This post also resonated with me for the same reason, as do many of the points you made in your book “Trust Agents”. I was on the last chapter of your book when I read this post and thought about what I wanted to say. I’m glad I waited until today to respond, because you addressed the point I was going to make in your last chapter!

    But first things first: If you’re reading this comment and haven’t bought the book – buy it. Simple as that. There are a *ton* of good, solid points. And as an added bonus it’s really a nice read. One of the main things I like about it was its constant focus and emphasis on trust, humanizing business, helping others, and just being a decent person. Refreshing, to say the least!

    But the book is not simply a collection of warm, touchy-feeling musings, rather it’s full of honest-to-goodness action items that you should (must?) use, or at least be aware of, if you are to use the Web effectively and become a Trust Agent or “One of Us”.

    All of which brings me to my reason for writing: I agree with what you say about the need to be constantly experimenting and working on new projects, and I also agree with just about everything in the book, but my biggest concern about all this is t-i-m-e.

    Maybe the main reason almost no one follows through is because we just don’t have the time anymore. Every person I know is too busy and behind schedule – and stressed out because of it. (Hmm… okay, maybe time is tied with fear and lack of confidence as the main reason. But it’s still a biggie.)

    You make this point throughout your book as well – how everyone and everything is competing for our attention these days, and what that results in in terms of our attention span, willingness to read something, get involved, etc.

    Time. Or lack thereof. That’s the main reason I quit my job and worked on my site without pay – because I tried it when I had a “real job” and it was just flat out impossible to pull off.

    And while reading your book I found myself agreeing with just about everything in it and thinking “Wow! I really need to do this!”… but then the reality of everything else I have to do to get the site up and running smacks me upside the head and causes me to think “Where am I going to get the time to do what he suggests?”

    I really don’t know the purpose of this post. Just venting I guess. I mean, just because we are time-challenged does that mean one shouldn’t put out a book telling us what (time-consuming) tasks we should do? No. Not at all.

    I guess it just comes down to prioritizing our tasks and proceeding piecemeal with the ones we choose to do first, all the while folding in the necessary course corrections as we find out what works and what doesn’t.

  2. CT Moore Says:

    I don’t think you drink or smoke enough to deserve that compliment ;)

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