Introducing The Friday 5 – May 28, 2010

Each Friday I’ve decided to share five things that I’ve tagged in the last week – mostly centered in the world of communication and leadership, but others that moved me in some way and want to share with you here. While I’m always finding or being lead to an abundance of new information, I’m forcing myself to focus by limiting what I list here to just five. And it has a nice ring to it.

  1. We all know the Gulf Oil spill is an environmental and economic disaster of huge proportions. And I’ve been following it since it started. But the photos here showing the impacts large and small – like the dragonfly with oil on its wings and feet trying to clean itself, plus the birds, reeds, grasses really hit home for me. It will be months if not years before we realize the full scope of this spill – and hear the stories of lives disrupted, and the shortsighted greed and lack of oversight that allowed this to happen. Like not installing an extra safety switch which is required of rigs off of Europe or how BP is trying to prevent people from seeing the affected areas as if that’ll minimize the PR nightmare they’re facing.
  2. Apple overtakes Microsoft – I was amazed to hear that Apple’s valuation exceeded Microsoft’s this week to make them the largest technology company. Many had written Apple off for dead just a decade or so ago and Microsoft with it’s Windows and Office Products seemed untouchable. But this article touches on something more interesting to me – how simplicity and creating emotional connections with your customers facilitates building a sticky brand. Apple enthusiasts are a passionate bunch and they’re masters of marketing and simplicity. I think you’d be hard pressed to find Microsoft fans anywhere close to that passionate. Think back to when Apple launched the iPod – they didn’t talk about the Gigabytes of storage but the number of songs you could put in your pocket. Simplicity. Connection. They make it easy for people to get their products. What will be tough for Apple is finding a worthy successor to Steve Jobs
  3. How to write a killer bio. I found this a great read on what makes bios work. A guide I’ll use to give a little more life to my own as I’ve struggled with how to package myself, finding it much easier to talk anything but myself. And I suspect many of you have as well.
  4. I love creativity and creative inspiration. Combine that with a list and I’m all ears. Just as hard as I find writing or talking about myself, I love hearing other people’s stories – the paths they took – some planned, some serendipitous – to find their success. What seems consistent when you read between the lines, is that while there may be a few lucky breaks, these people created their lives – they had focus, passion and worked hard in the process. So here’s Fast Company’s top 100 Creative People in Business for 2010.
  5. Marketing Critic by Mitch Joel. I loved this provocation for marketing pros to objectively and critically look inward in order to improve the relationships people have with brands. I think it builds on the need for Trust made popular by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith in Trust Agents. Mitch urges us to look at the broader perspective – to get away from criticizing individual campaigns – to find ways in which we can all do marketing better.

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