Are You Busy Making Buggy Whips?

Bookmark and Share

vinyl-dream-1253154Perhaps you wake up every day and head to work, content with the thought you’re doing your part to keep the wheels of America’s industry humming along. Or maybe you’re retired, but you know someone dear to you who trots merrily each morning in the pleasant bliss of gainful employment. If only for a brief fleeting moment, consider the opposite.

Call this a modern buggy whip tale. You remember buggy whips, right? If you don’t, well, that’s part of the story. Buggy whips are those short sticks with loose leather strings on the end. They were used to prod horses to make your buggy go faster. They were all the rage at the end of the nineteenth century. Heck, they were still quite popular well into the twentieth century.

Then Henry Ford discovered a way to mass produce cars. More importantly, he figured out Continue Reading “Are You Busy Making Buggy Whips?”

A Spoonful of MSG – A Review of Seth Godin’s Tribes

Bookmark and Share

Somewhere in the middle of Tribes, Seth Godin writes of the blog msg150.com (under the heading “Three Hungry Men and a Tribe,” pages 62-63 in my 2008 Portfolio (Penguin Group) 10th edition). As the author puts it, “This blog is obsessively chronicling every restaurant in a sixteen-block square of Seattle.” Leaving aside the unnecessary use of the passive, let’s focus on the meat of this particular reference. It turns out, most of the restaurants covered by msg150.com carry Asian cuisine. And you know what they say: Chinese food fills you up quickly, but, a half hour later, you’re hungry again.”

I can think of no better epitaph for the book Tribes, the eleventh book by the bestselling author of Purple Cow and The Dip.

Tribes CoverNow, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to disparage the book. Far from it. I consider Tribes a must read for reasons I hope to make clear. More to the point, I’m not going to begrudge someone born five days before me, possibly even in the same hospital. Quite simply, I’m merely going to follow his instructions (“Fear of Failure is Overrated,” pp 46-48) and offer some constructive criticism.

First, if you’re new to the whole Web 2.0 and social media thing, Tribes represents perhaps the easiest entrée into the embracing concept behind this innovative world. It’s easy to read. I finished it in just a few hours despite the many interruptions and distractions of a relatively free Saturday (let’s see, that would include one Boy Scout Training class, Saturday Mass and my daughter’s high school drama production). The book contains very little jargon – or at least very little of the kind of jargon that might scare neophytes away.

Continue Reading “A Spoonful of MSG – A Review of Seth Godin’s Tribes