Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Blueberries are the first ingredient"

At a recent stop at a coffee chain, I asked for the low-fat blueberry muffin. (I will probably be requesting low- or non-fat for awhile as I "have some extra baggage" as Myspace would put it.)

"Sorry, we don't have any of those. But we do have Blueberry muffins and blueberries are the first ingredient."

That sounded good enough to me so I ordered one.

When did the Marketing "gurus" decide that the term "first ingredient" could be used to trick us? I think we all know that the first ingredient listed on boxes and cans of food we buy, implies there is more of that ingredient than any other in the food.

Here's how I see this message being distorted: the coffee chain had an empty bowl, put blueberries in there FIRST, then had a story to spin......because blueberries certainly would NOT be listed first, second, third, and maybe not even fourth in the ingredient list for this particular muffin.

Caveat emptor.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks, Seth.

I was catching up on Seth's blog today when I noticed his reference to I admit I love that site and am faring well each time I visit. (Thanks to Kevin Mogee for pointing me there!)

Last week I was training a 5-day course for a large Telecommunications Company and pointed every student to during a break. We estimated in 10 minutes time, we collectively contributed about 50-60 cups of rice to feed the hungry.

That story reflects how well I tied training to free rice. As a proponent of Web 2.0 (and Training 2.0) I should have realized what Seth so poignantly notes, "...notice how interaction leads to involvement which leads to learning and exploration. In that order."

Thanks, Seth. That will help as I continue to develop materials for the Training 2.0 world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The 80/20 Rule, An Excuse for Poor Sales Performance

There I was sitting at a conference table with VPs, Senior VPs, and other corporate notables, listening to their excuses for poor sales performance this past quarter. You know the excuses by heart because discussing them is a ritual that occurs monthly, quarterly, and annually.

Even though I hear it every month, the worst excuse for poor sales performance makes me laugh every time. "It's just the 80/20 rule."

What is? The reason for poor performance?? Really???

I just don't buy it and neither should you.

Side note about the 80/20 Rule: The 80/20 Rule, also called the Pareto Principle, is widely misunderstood and misapplied, thus it is also a pathetic, all too commonly used excuse for poor sales performance. Common understanding of the 80/20 Rule can be found in a simple definition: 80% of your results stem from 20% of your efforts. (Please note: the fact the numbers 80 and 20 add up to 100 mean nothing as the 80/20 Rule measures distinct elements: results and efforts.)

Proponents of applying the 80/20 Rule believe if you can determine which 20% of your efforts gain you 80% of your results, you can eliminate much (or all!) of the other 80% of your efforts and focus on what gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Furthermore, application of the 80/20 Rule doesn't imply "one and done." That is, after applying the 80/20 Rule, one might realize that they could re-apply the rule and be ridiculously more successful with only a fraction of the effort. And why not go for a 3rd derivative?

Your sales performance is poor because your are not keenly focused on your objectives (if you have them) and you are unaware of the real disposition of your sales channel. Stop blaming anything but the leadership in place and start cranking on a solution!

For more on the 80/20 Rule, including why it needs to be BROKEN, visit: or

Infinideas! Infinormation!

Have you heard how much "information" is available to us today? It's ridiculously more than ever before. Along with that comment, have you also heard how the whole of information content is growing exponentially?

This is an unstoppable pattern as more information generates more ideas which beget more information and of course, more ideas. I believe we've reached a point where infinideas (ideas to infinity) are generating infinormation (an infinity of information) and we'll soon find our selves incapable of two things:

1. Keeping track of how much real "information" actually exists, and
2. Knowing what the heck to do with it all!

As information grows rampantly, the population of this world will be easily outpaced by information growth and we will thus reach a saturation point where additional information (ad nauseum) above and beyond what we can tame, will not be absorbed by humans.

Welcome to the age of infinormation and infinideas!

Friday, November 2, 2007

iPersona non grata...

I hope you've googled yourself lately. Finding yourself on a search engine is not so much for notoriety anymore, it's critical for your resume. I didn't realize that until I read a recent article published by The title of the article was "The Six P's of Online Branding" by Kirsten Dixson and William Arruda. Solid article that reminded me, "you will be Googled in your job search."

So tonight, I once again Googled myself.

This is nothing new but my problem is I have been searching for Kevin Huff. Turns out I'm a stud collegiate quarterback, Cosmetic Dentist, and actor in the recent Hollywood release, "Dan in Real Life." There are too many Kevin Huffs out there and I don't appear on the first page of results.

Then it hit me - I'm not Kevin Huff on the web because in blogs, my websites, and social networking sites, I've been kevinmhuff for a long time. It's my online persona (consider it my iPersona.) So I changed my Google search to kevinmhuff and Voila! my iPersona, kevinmhuff, is on EVERY link on the first page.

I soon realized if I use both Kevin Huff and kevinmhuff independently, I water down my iPersona and thus my marketability. It is very important to have one iPersona, unless you have the first name notoriety of, say, Seth Godin.

Think about your iPersona. If you aren't on the top one or two pages of your favorite search engine, you might as well not be on there at all. The good news is, we can quickly catch up by finding or creating our iPersona.

Go on, google yourself!