The speech is titled Learning and Working in the Collaborative Age but the speech gives great insights into what Pixar looks for when they are hiring people. (Video is only 9 minutes long)

The two points that I really liked were

1 - Mastery - This is the opposite of how a normal hiring person would think, in that Pixar is not looking for someone who is a master of one particular job related skill but that the person has
mastered something. This shows Pixar that this person has the can do personality to master something which can be channeled into Pixar's business.

2 - Breadth - They are looking for someone with experiences not just experience.


John Cage as far as I can tell gets credit for the quote.

Get the poster at the
Imaginary Foundation. Lots of other cool prints and shirts.

Being forced to change is never an easy idea to accept if your business was previously making lots of money. We are now seeing large companies in huge industries failing because they did not plan, innovate or notice the world was changing around them. The mad scramble in the car industry is occuring but traditional media is also in crisis mode. Just this past week multiple articles have brought this to light. Most of these articles are about prints decline but it is safe to lump all traditional media into most of these discussions. (TV is actually closer to more solutions than print and radio.)

First one from Techcrunch is that newpaper ad sales have gone from really bad to really really really bad. Q1 ad sales down $2.6 billion. Let that sink in for a moment...... I am sure there is lots of blame to go around in the industry but that does not move the industry forward or does it?The print industry in the next article blames Google for stealing their ad revenue.

The American Press Institute met in Chicago and came out with a plan to save the newspaper industry. And in this plan they lob some stones at Google and Amazon (brillant!). Their plan is horrible. Lets make consumers pay for content, show the same old ads, lobby for policies that help us, invest huge amounts of money to create a platform for the industry to charge for content and a bunch more bad ideas. Techcrunch has so nicely embeded a copy of the white paper. (This meeting of the newpaper big wigs is walking a fine line of anti-trust as well)

Then here are a couple of guys with some opinions on what is wrong with the newspaper industry and they provide some sounder solutions.

Clay Shirky does a deep dive, in his post titled Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable, into the history of newspapers and how they need try new things to figure out what is next. He states we are currently at the point were everyone knows the model for the industry is broken but no one knows what will fix it. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the post.
"This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model."

Next up is Kirk from Post Advertising he wrote Redefining Advertising to Save Journalism. He is getting closer to a solution. The newspapers need to change how they advertise.

Traditional media know how to create great content. Now they must learn how to customize and leverage that content to captivate an audience while driving marketing results for a client.

New types of advertising solultions for marketers need to be developed and the only way to figure out which ones will work is to test them. Some bombs are going to happen but when gold is struck it will be a nice payout. More brainstorming between traditonal media and their advertiser is needed to create new forms of advertising.

This is startingto happen, as I am actually working with a radio station on creating a unique strucutre for my company to "advertise" on their website. The ideas we are bouncing around involve revenue sharing (CPA or affiliate deals if you will) for customers that they send to us and buy, mixed with on air mentions, banner ads and even tweets by their on air personalities. In the end if done right the station has the potential to actually make more money than they would from their normal rates. In additio the station can make money post the advertsing run if we negotiate an extended cookie.

The industry needs new people brought in to start coming up with creative advertising programs. Tradtional media has good content and they have eyeballs/ears that can be monetized but status quo or just the same old models re-applied to new technology is not the solution.

To end is a YouTube video called The Day Media Died. A nice remake of Don McLeans American Pie that summarizes the fall of big media buys.

As a tinkerer I tend to take traditional tools and apply them to day to day things. In the current start up I am at, I sometimes work on business development as well as investor relations. Which means making phone calls and emails to people that may or may not want to hear from me. And it is sometimes very difficult to gage someones interest level.

Most people try to use read receipts for emails they send out to confirm someone opened their email. This works some of the time but to me it feels invasive to the receiver. So instead of using this method I add tracking to links I send to individuals. For example I was approaching some resorts about our products and during the call I said I can send them some sample websites we manage and market. A pretty standard thing to do. But the links I provide display like this

Silver Lake Resort - in Orland, FL

but have a destination url like this

The part in red is they key. I insert an identifier for the contact which allows me to then via analytics see if that person went to the site, how long they stayed, how many page views etc... Which gives me a much better idea of the person's interest. For those using Google Analytics go to the Content section, then the Content Drilldown and then search the identifier.

I am now getting my fellow co-workers into this habitat and they are enjoying it. There is a thrill of knowing what you emailed out was used by the recipient and gives you more confidence when you know they have spent sometime looking at your website(s).

Got other great tips for using analytics for not so normal things? Post them in the comments

1 - Have quality tweets in place before you do a big follow campaign.
I always make sure I have 3-4 good quality tweets on my profile before I start following a bunch of other people or if we are doing a big email blast with a twitter follow badge on it. The strategy here is that people may not know your company, may not know what twitter is or may not be sure how you are using twitter. So all of these people may come to your twitter page and if you have 3-4+ good quality tweets then those potential followers have a higher propensity to start following you. I know it seems basic but we have all been to some company twitter pages and bounced due to bad tweets.

2 - Be A Magpie .com = FAIL (not linked on purpose) - This tool, if you will, basically allows companies to use willing twitter accounts for their advertisements. The willing twitter accounts get paid for selling their souls and the company may get a short term boost. But this is not conversation this is advertising. This strategy may work in the short term but long term this is not a social media strategy it is a gimmick. Let the conversation happen naturally. As a company you can provide fuel to help the conversation happen but let it naturally be set on fire.

Don't get me wrong I am all for affiliate marketing on twitter but used in the proper useful context. An example would be someone tweets "looking for a good flight deal. Ideas?". A smart affiliate would @reply with a link to some deals where they get a cut.

Have some tips, leave them in the comments!