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Monday, January 28, 2013

A Tale of Two Makers

Ed is the flat out best manager I know. He’s low key and fast fixing.

Last week he called for a lunch where he told me he has to start something new. What was I recommending?

I went over the half dozen businesses he’s been successful in, and he had compelling reasons why each wasn’t working today.

He said, “I need a new model.”

That shook me. Ed and I have created over $10 million of happy customers, and I’m just an outlier for his life. I enjoy going to his projects just to watch him work. I learn something every time.

One time we flew to his ranch out west. We got in after midnight and his neighbor’s barn was lighting up the sky. We ran over and I got a crash course in how to rescue and calm race horses. He set me up with a string, turned around and ran back into the barn for more.

After the fire department put out the fire, Ed took the lead in getting the horses assigned new space. Then we went home and had a drink, business as usual.

Three years ago, Cory Doctorow wrote Makers, a fictional account that included new business model case studies for a half dozen industries. I called it a “near future business fantasy” and it seemed out of phase with my reality. That was because Cory was understanding better than I was.

October 2012, Chris Anderson released his book Makers – The New Industrial Revolution. Where Cory’s Makers was fiction, Chris’ Makers is a report from the field.

For the last ten years Chris Anderson was editor in chief of WIRED magazine. Think about the disappearing publications industry over the last ten years. Then look at WIRED’s growth during the same period. That alone would be a good reason to pay attention.

But there is more. Cory’s Makers had to be a near future business fantasy, a prediction, because the model hadn’t proved yet. Chris took what Cory predicted and proved it again, and again, and again.

If you need a new model, check either, check both Makers. Then take what you need. R&D also means research and duplicate

Join us this Wednesday for Talk Your Business - How to make more and better sales right away!Wednesday Jan 30, 11:45 - 1:00 at the Arlington Chamber Small Business Roundtable.