Category Archives: Spin Williams

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Tipping Point

Today’s post comes from idea man and marketing expert Spin Williams, who is constantly trying to stay ahead of the future at The Meeting That Never Ends.

I’m excited, because giving management advice is always a money maker! That’s why we love, love, love this New York Times article about unhappiness on the job.

It has started a new conversation that’s going to make it possible for us to charge clients some hefty fees! And the basic premise is SO TRUE – everybody is depressed about the way things are going at work.

That’s right – everybody! That’s why I believe we’ve reached an economic and employment tipping point. Everything in the workplace is about to go topsy-turvy, which sounds like a great calamity but it’s actually a wonderful money maker for us if we can spin it right and get enough CEO’s into panic mode!

A couple of years ago in the Bad Old Days when there was no money, I was one of those managers who thought the disgruntled employee set was a bunch of selfish crybabies. Setting up daycare centers, fitness clubs and free transportation for the workforce made no sense to me. “Employee Coddling” is what I called it – a misguided HR strategy that I thought would totally undermine the bottom-line focus of successful corporations.

After all, the business model we inherited from the 19th century is built on exploitation of labor. Every mogul has been taught to consider the workforce with this thought in mind: “If they’re not miserable, we could be making more money!”

But now we know businesses that help employees feel valued and successful are the ones that prosper most. It seems employee coddling can be good for the bottom line! In fact, this particular quote in the New York Times story really hit home:

A truly human-centered organization puts its people first — even above customers — because it recognizes that they are the key to creating long-term value.

Of course! Everything you thought is now the opposite. The employee is now the customer, and a modern workplace should sell their employees the feeling of being valued. Here’s where the math comes in – we’ll create a package of automatically deductible employee fees.

  • Workers can buy a thoughtful boss upgrade.
  • They will be charged a sane workload assessment.
  • And their pay will be docked for the meaningful work surcharge.

And the best part is – if we can get back half their wages through these fees, your business is suddenly breaking even!

This is a genius idea because Americans are so moved to do work that improves the lives of others. So in the future, we advise smart companies to hire people to play the role of grateful customers to help employees feel even better about their jobs!

Yes, I’m promoting the idea that employees will become the firm’s actual customers, and their current customers will become their employees.  In a weird way, it all makes perfect sense, and it’s inevitable!

You probably need our management advice to deal with it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Future Ahead, Over and Out,
Spin Williams

What is it worth to feel happy in your work?

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Fido, Speak!

Today’s post comes from the dealmaker and marketing genius Spin Williams, who is always in residence at The Meeting That Never Ends.

We’re always on the lookout for sparkling new ideas that have great potential but seem so ridiculous at first blush that most venture capital firms decline to get involved as a matter of image preservation – they simply don’t want to look silly.

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Well at the Meeting That Never Ends, we don’t have that problem. We know that the people who make BIG money must be willing to appear foolish sometimes – and maybe all the time. That’s why we love this Scandinavian dog communication project, called No More Woof.

Not only is it a creative and technologically feasible idea – it’s totally charming and completely fund-able. And if you don’t believe me, watch the video. It’s worth it just to hear the beguiling way those Swedes say the name of the product. If only my dog barked like that!

We think this product has great potential, especially since making the connection between your dog’s thought patterns as measured by the EEG and actual sentences using words and complete ideas is an act of translation that is wide open to artistic license, and what’s more, commercial influence!

For instance, we all know that when friends come to visit you at your home, Fido will greet them with excitement and his thought patterns would likely translate into something like “Do you have anything to eat?” and “I’d like to sniff your butt!”

But who could prove that he didn’t also want to say “Forty Per Cent off selected Lady’s Shoes this weekend at Famous Footwear” or “Degree™ antiperspirant and deodorant is engineered for superior long-lasting protection!”

It’s possible, especially if Famous Footwear and Degree Antiperspirant decide to sponsor some time on your dog’s Stream of Consciousness. After all, who could resist a product when it’s pitched by your best friend?

Mark my words – Ad Mutts will someday completely take the place of TV. Recognizing that obvious truth before everyone else does is the thing that separates great entrepreneurs like me from always penniless consumers like, well … you!

That’s a free glimpse of your future. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so!

Your farsighted friend, Spin

Spin may have a point here, though it’s a horrifying one. But corporations would likely demand some kind of advertising override feature so Fido isn’t yammering on about getting low insurance rates through Geico while he’s shredding your new down pillows and chewing up your iPhone.

And although the name of the product is charming, what if it turns out that the word your dog is REALLY thinking of happens to be … “Woof”?

Given the power of speech, what would your pet talk about?

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Brand Loyalty

Today’s post comes from marketing whiz Spin Williams, a wheeler-dealer who is always in residence at The Meeting That Never Ends.

The economy is picking up! It’s a world full of great opportunities for smart people who are willing to embrace risk and do deals. But it’s also important to know when to walk away.

Case in point:

I’m not at liberty to say who made the offer, but during a recent new business discussion at The Meeting That Never Ends we heard from a very well-known genes manufacturer who was shopping around the famous Y chromosome for a possible takeover.

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Naturally, we considered it. The Y is a well known brand name in the chromosome industry, making up a significant portion of all the chromosomes out there. It comes in second only to the X chromosome, which is the runaway market leader. In fact, the X is so reliable and effective, it has a 100% market penetration. Some people love the X chromosome so much, they have two! But there is a foothold – around half the population has at least one X and a Y. It was a bit disappointing to us to learn that very few people have two Y chromosomes, and we noted that as a possible marketing goal, should we decide to do the deal.

Doing our due diligence, we discovered that the Y was for sale because its maker has come to the realization that the chromosome is almost worthless, having been shown through scientific studies to contribute very little to any sense of individual well-being or overall usefulness. Most organizations considering a takeover would have walked away at this point, but my experience has shown me that marketing is more powerful than science. As proof, I offer the fact the we still have a tobacco industry! The value of any particular thing is in the eye of the beholder, and there is solid survey information to indicate that most Y chromosome users love and defend it simply because they already have one, and not because of any inherent benefits it may bring to the table.

And there’s a sizable portion of the chromosome-consuming public that doesn’t understand the product and doesn’t know which brand it prefers.

So in spite of the Y chromosome being inferior, we felt certain we could develop a marketing plan that would boost brand loyalty and make the Y seem more fresh and hip than it does today. Whether we would get to a point where X-only consumers might actually feel some envy for those with a Y was hotly debated at the meeting, with one side expressing certainty that such envy was impractical and impossible, and the other group adamant that Y envy pretty much drives all decision making by X’s. It turns out one of the side effects of having a Y is an outsized enthusiasm for the supposed benefits of Y-ness that X’ers don’t generally seem to share.

Similarly, it was the Y-freindly crowd that was all Gung-ho for immediately pulling the trigger on this deal and sorting out the consequences later. The double-X’s in the room were feeling less impulsive, constantly asking ‘How do we monetize this?’, ‘Where’s the benefit?’ and other fun-stifling questions like that.

Because there was no getting around this fundamental conflict, we walked away from the deal. First, though, we made a surprise bid for the X chromosome, thinking a seller in the mood to divest one of His low-performing properties might take the bait on an unexpected left-field offer for the most popular genetic product in the world.

That was a non-starter, but we all had a good laugh over it.

What does it take to get you to switch brands?

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The Sad/Happy See-Saw

Today’s post comes from Idea Man, Marketing Genius and Convener of The Meeting That Never Ends, Spin Williams.

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Wow, I couldn’t believe it the other day when I read that Facebook makes its users sad! A study reveals that people are so annoyed by friends who are traveling, going to nice restaurants, surfing, skydiving, adopting a puppy, and living life with joyous ferocity that they begin to feel, well … ordinary.

‘Why can’t MY life be so fabulous?’, the Facebook Frowners ask, just before they sink into an irredeemable trough of self-loathing. And of course their lives are a disappointment because they spend far too much time watching and worrying about what OTHER people are doing on Facebook!

We brought this up at The Meeting That Never Ends because it puts hundreds of millions of people on an emotional see-saw, and there has to be a way to make some money off that.

The question:
Which came first, the Facebook or the Sad?

The answer:
Where do you get off asking such a dumb question? It doesn’t matter. Why aren’t you out dancing every night like your attractive, energetic friends Bob and Carol?

Did you know this? Only some Facebook users were bummed by the interesting activities of their friends. However, ALL Facebook users were made sad by the news that Facebook makes you sad! Why? Because now they’re lumped together with a bunch of envious losers.

AND the Facebook = Sad equation makes non-Facebook users downright giddy when they find out about it. Presumably NOT through Facebook.

But before you begin to gloat, take note – most of the non-Facebook users spent what would have been their Facebook time watching TV, which also promotes impossible comparisons with beautiful people. TV can make you feel sad AND stupid.

Here’s the kicker – not only are most of these additional statistical details remarkable, they are also totally made up and were never in the study to begin with. Does that make you feel like a chump? It should – because that’s what you are if ykou believe anything you read on the Internet!

Now don’t you feel a little down?

The difference between Facebook sadness and TV sadness is that the impossibly beautiful people on TV are folks you don’t know and can NEVER know. Of course they’re smiling – they got on TV. The people on Facebook are your friends. They’re a lot like you. So it stands to reason their happiness would make you furious.

Which brings me to this great new personal service idea – Facebook Fact Checking! What if you could hire someone to uncover the dark side behind all those smug faces you see? Wouldn’t it make you feel better to know that trip to Paris they gushed over by posting all those gauzy photos was actually a rainy, bitter nightmare that left them barely speaking to each other? They didn’t say any of that in the captions to those pictures at the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. Why would they? It took FikkiLeaks to find out!

Of course, hiring one of these Personal Information Gathering Surrogates (P.I.G.S.) might feel like arranging with a private investigator to spy on your friends. But it seems so tawdry when you put it that way. And sad.

Don’t be sad. Let’s turn the page!

Your pal,
Spin

What makes you sad? What gets you out of it?

Tiny Flying Robots

Today’s post comes from idea man and envisioneer Spin Williams.

Here at The Meeting That Never Ends we’re thrilled to pieces over advances that have been made lately on the creation of very Tiny Flying Robots (T.F.R.)!

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When I was a kid, I was allergic to bee stings. I used to get totally freaked out when a bee came anywhere near me. I would react by running in circles, waving my arms wildly over my head, and crying for mercy. My brother would weep with laughter as I panicked. My terror was wonderful entertainment for him – as it always is with older brothers and their little siblings.

My mother encouraged me to calm down by trying to picture things from the insect’s point of view.

“Imagine, ” she said, “that people ran away whenever you approached. How would you feel? The bee can’t help being a bee, so why make it worse for him by having such a fit?”

I’ll always love my mom for having such a good heart, but this bit of advice never worked for me. I suffered with a severe case of Grade School Cooties from the time I was 5 until about age 12, so people DID run away when I approached, and I knew it sucked. So I didn’t care about the bee’s feelings. I could keep humans at a distance, but bees were so small and fast my defenses were useless against them. The notion of one getting too close to me was positively mortifying.

To this day, I cannot think about anything but my own sudden death whenever there is a bee around.

But if I had my own swarm of T.F.R., I could deploy them as a cloud to surround my head and keep the REAL bees away.

I know people worry about the possible unprincipled government use of Little Insect-Like Drones to invade the privacy of law-abiding citizens, but I see them as being so much more useful for individuals like me. T.F.R. could be configured as a potential force field, a personal space-maker, and an affordable airborne army.

Or they could become an especially fierce substitute for hair.

I can think of all sorts of reasons why everyone would like to have their own squadron of diminutive flyers. Filling the air with tiny buzzers that are at your command would be extremely empowering. And like our very own Defense Department, I refuse to think about how enemies might eventually use the same technology against me.

But they wouldn’t dare. We’re America!

I love the future – I wish it was here already!

Your pal at T.M.T.N.E.,
Spin Williams

I suspect Spin will soon get his wish – T.F.R. will be available on a widespread basis within five years. How do I know? I little buzzing machine whispered it in my ear!

How would you deploy your Tiny Flying Robots?

The Mailman Dresseth

Today’s post comes from idea man Spin Williams, who is always in residence at The Meeting That Never Ends.

I was sitting in The Meeting yesterday considering the disappointing retail numbers from the fourth quarter of 2012 when I finally understood the source of all our problems.

Not enough marketing.

You heard me. People who hate marketing because it’s artificial will argue with me on this, but I believe marketing is the only thing that can revive our sluggish economy. If consumers aren’t consuming and spenders aren’t spending, you have to do something to make them WANT things. Ideally they will want things that can be manufactured cheaply and sold at an enormous profit. And all you have to do is convince them this cheaply made thing will turn them into the people they long to be.

Simple, right?

Not so. Our recovery is being held back by an absence of role models. We’re finding out that athletes, movie stars, and even politicians are not the sterling examples we wanted them to be. Why buy an actor’s name-brand body wash or a football star’s replica jersey when the chances are so good that they will be in disgrace before the week is out?

With constant surveillance and the 24 hour news cycle contributing to overexposure for everyone, it is simply too risky to identify yourself with anyone known. That’s why this idea struck me as pure genius.

Letter Carrier by Dolarz via Flickr
Letter Carrier by Dolarz via Flickr

The US Postal Service is about to launch a line of branded clothing. Soon you will be able to buy garments that resonate with the Postal Service motto about persevering through snow, rain, heat and gloom of night. The idea is not to look like the mailman, but to carry the mailman’s determined reputation through to your everyday outerwear.

Brilliant!

Here at T.M.T.N.E., we want to solicit other public servants to license clothing brands of their own, just in case the postal idea takes off!

I’m thinking selfishness is going out of fashion. Today’s buyers want to identify with people who work to serve the common good. All we need to do is list some of those noble individuals, figure out how they dress, and get the to sign before it’s too late!

Any suggestions?

I happen to think garbage haulers are heroes, but I’m not sure I want to dress like one. Not head-to-toe, anyway. Ankle-to-toe? Maybe. Could a line of hypo-allergenic steel-toed boots have some appeal?

Today’s marketers want to sell you on the idea of dressing in someone else’s clothes.
But whose?

Destination Hospital!

Today’s post comes from idea generator Spin Williams.

Hello future patients!

Here at The Meeting That Never Ends, we’re all abuzz about the just-announced, urgently hoped-for expansion by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The grand vision is that with a 6 billion dollar investment, including over a half billion from the state, the famous medical complex will grow to employ another 25 to 30 thousand people and be even bigger in size and more influential, clout-wise.

Already in those two key categories, the Mayo is massive and irresistible.

But we love big, powerful things, and we’re most excited by the announced intention of all this money-funnelling – to create a “Global Destination Medical Center.”

Around the table at T.M.T.N.E., we were unanimous in our reactions – “Yes! Yes! Yes!” What the planet needs is a Global Destination Hospital – a medical Disneyland! This is a place you come to celebrate the joy of feeling better even when you’re not sick to begin with. Because nothing feels as good as feeling good, unless it’s feeling good in the company of people who are feeling a whole lot worse!

As freelance commercial opportunists, we at The Meeting That Never Ends would like to build a ring of hotels around the outskirts of the Global Destination Medical Center – lodging (and more) for patients and partygoers. The rides would be awesome – a Whirling Gurney Glider, the Bedpan Panic Plummet, The Co-Pay Coaster, the Tilt-a-Hurl, It’s a Small Intestine, and of course an M.R.Imax Theater.

And who knows? While on vacation at Mayo World, you might feel like you’re coming down with something! No worries – you’re already in the happiest place (for doctors) on Earth.

In fact, you could make a strong argument that we’re ALL headed for one Destination Hospital or another eventually. Why not make your ultimate destination the best one in the world? In fact, mixed in with the on-site hotels we can have hundreds of retirement community buildings so people over 65 can just go LIVE at the hospital. And another housing development would cater to families with young children – they’re always going to the emergency room anyway.

Why not?

Mayo World is a brilliant idea, and we’d like to get in on the ground floor. Or even a second floor walk-up would be acceptable. How about you?

As is his habit, Spin is already ahead of the crowd on this one. Of course the world is ready for a medical care theme park / resort / gated community. But why stop there? Cemeteries are also looking for new marketing angles – mostly to compensate for the increasing numbers of people who are choosing cremation and having their ashes spread, rather than buried. Why not establish a Global Destination Eternal Resting Place, where people can go to enjoy some recreation and relaxation before they eventually go back for disintegration?

What kind of fun attraction would you like to see at Mayo World?

The Gold Standard

Four Baboons Wanted – I’m taking a blog holiday for Thanksgiving, from Tuesday November 20 through Monday, November 26. Guest posts from Clyde and Jim are in the hopper (thanks, guys). Four more guest posts will keep fresh material before your eyes throughout. Care to volunteer? Drop a line to connelly.dale@gmail.com, and thanks!

Today’s post comes from dealmaker Spin Williams.

We’ve been talking about investment opportunities at The Meeting That Never Ends, and I’m excited! There is now a new way to make fresh money, and to make the wealth you already have grow more quickly and last forever!

A labor dispute has pushed the Hostess company closer to going out of business, the result of a stubborn workforce (if you side with the owners) or greedy owners (if you side with the workforce). Regardless of who is most to blame, the Twinkie extruding machines have fallen silent, and the bakers (it feels odd to call Twinkie-makers that) may never work in the junk-food industry again.

What that means is that for the foreseeable future, the only Twinkies that exist will will be those that were made before yesterday.

When an item is scarce, its value goes up. That’s why gold is precious, and that’s long-lasting Twinkies will become the new gold.

Just look at what’s happening to the price on E-Bay!

Here, at last, is an investment opportunity that can pay dividends. If I had put all my savings into Twinkie Futures last week, I’d be headed for Cozumel right now. Another get rich quick scheme discovered too late! But one has to be careful. What about counterfeiters?

I’m not too concerned – Todd Wilbur’s knock-off Twinkie couldn’t fool an expert. If nothing else, the mere freshness of the thing would give it away.

And so, with the increasingly rare Twinkie we are left with a beloved gold rectangle that becomes more valuable with each passing year. I suspect now that we are rapidly approaching the Fiscal Cliff, the reputation of the dollar will suffer greatly in the near future.

Now might be the time to switch to Twinkies instead of cash money on the open market. They’re portable. They’re recognizable. They come individually wrapped. And they might be more stable than the Euro.

I have already begun to build my stockpile. How about you?

Spin Williams

I suppose Spin has a point, though I’d certainly remain a pauper if we started using Twinkies as money. I am, however, quite rich in Tostito’s.

If we started using ordinary household items as money, what would make you a millionaire?

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Whispering in the Cemetery

Today’s post comes from marketing whiz and ideas man Spin Williams, who is always in residence at The Meeting That Never Ends.

Just saw a great concept described in this newspaper article – tombstones with codes chiseled in them so people can use a cell phone to link to text, photos and video of the deceased.

Everybody wants to live forever! I know I do! If that’s not possible, at least make it so I can force people to listen to me after I’m dead. Lecturing from the grave has got to be the next best thing to perpetual life. Better, really! If someone has to hear you talk, the fact that you are dead adds interest. Especially if they are under the delusion that you are somehow nearby, and can see them too!

That’s why connecting your sound and fury to the location of your buried remains is such a genius idea. Standing there at your tombstone, hearing you rattle on about integrity, discipline and the importance of family, people might imagine that you are present in the space and could possibly lash out with a breeze, a rumble beneath the earth, or even the chilling touch of an icy, invisible hand! That’s why cemeteries can be such creepy fun!

There’s just one drawback.

I’m guessing it will never be common for folks to go wandering around the graveyard scanning tombstones with their smart phones. Could be wrong, but I just don’t see that happening. The living are busy and so self absorbed! They won’t have the time and certainly won’t have enough interest to find out what your life lessons were.

This means big disappointment for those who will shell out for the full talking tombstone treatment. When they they check the web statistics, they will discover that it is only grieving relatives who access their digital remains, and with decreasing regularity since expired folks typically do not record or post fresh material.

If what you want is to bestow your timeless wisdom on a thoughtless world that has forgotten you existed, you need to place your QR code in a location that has higher traffic than the local boneyard.

The ancient Egyptians had this all figured out, carving their hieroglyphics into public buildings. Why not do the same thing with your QR code? Forget the cemetery! There are enough similarities – the QR code and hieroglyphics are pretty much identical. To me, anyway!

Face it, these would look so cool side-by-side on your memorial pyramid.

But most (all) of us won’t get a pyramid, so why not take your tombstone money and mount a posthumous ad campaign where people can see it?
Have your QR code carved into the side of the Vikings new pleasure dome in downtown Minneapolis. I’m sure Zygi Wilf would take your money in exchange for a nice blotchy design that could create some appealing texture on those monumental outside walls.

And if somebody accidentally scans it while calling their bookie to place another $500 on Minnesota’s opponent of the week, they’ll get a chance to hear your words of wisdom – “Don’t waste your money in gambling. Especially on the Vikings.”

Your Entrepreneurial Friend,

Spin Williams

What would your talking tombstone say?

The Break Dance

Summer is about to start, officially. This is a time when the urge to work slows down and hours are wasted gazing out windows at sunny scenery. Idea man and dealmaker Spin Williams knows all about this – though it is no longer an issue in his company.
Spin is also an efficiency expert!

Here at The Meeting That Never Ends, we’re always trying to find new ways to hike our productivity to levels far beyond those posted by other idea factories. That’s why we moved to the Around The Clock Meeting paradigm in the first place – we were simply taking too much time convening and adjourning our conferences, planning them and scheduling them and re-convening and re-adjourning, etc. Valuable inspiration-generating time was being being burned the same way your car guzzles gas on jackrabbit starts from a red light!

Now that our meeting is constantly in session, we’ve been able to dispense with pleasantries and stay productive 24/7 courtesy of regular breaks! Yes, experts from famous high-productivity workplaces like The Mayo Clinic and The New York Times agree that people do better when they interrupt their workflow with some down time. So at TMTNE, we work for twenty minutes, break for ten minutes and repeat, ad infinitum. That means in a typical day we can have up to 48 productive discussions! And people still get 8 whole hours off every single day, which is plenty of time to get some sleep, or a little food, or a bit of both! If they want to skip a nap or a meal, they can change clothes or spend intensely focused quality time with a relative or some sort of friend. Who needs more than that?

Not only does our perpetual professional parley promote productivity, it discourages a host of other social and environmental ills. With no time for employees to go “home”, there’s no longer any need for the economy to support a domicile outside the workplace! Land-use stresses are reduced. Commuting is no longer a problem. Romance is still possible, but it’s limited to ten minute interludes. That’s better because it reduces unwanted pregnancies (you have to be very focused and intentional) and keeps the mystery alive. Casual “dalliances” become a thing of the past – there’s simply no time to dally. Domestic unrest is unheard of – every conflict is a workplace situation of one sort or another, which can be easily handled by the experts in the HR department. Children are raised and educated in a series of meeting of their own, which happen just down the hall. When we go on vacation, we go together and keep working! Under this system we could (and sometimes do) switch to a year-round holiday schedule without losing a moment’s productivity because time off is simply a calculation that happens as part of the paperwork.

Some people (i.e. Corporations) call our company a “cult” or a “commune”, but I think name-calling by the competition is a sure sign that you’re doing something right! I’d love to hear what you think of our plan, but the meeting is about to resume. Let’s touch base in twenty minutes!

Efficiently yours,
Spin

I think Spin’s scenario is the wave of the future! This is where we’re headed, but I’ll have to become much more productive if I’m ever going to make it happen.

How often do you need to take a break?