Selling The Dream is my all-time favorite Guy Kawasaki book, probably because it’s the first time I was introduced to his brand of evangelical marketing, at a time that I thought I could really change the course of computing history. I was a student intern with Commodore Computers at the time the second generation Amiga Computers came on the scene–a kooky, ahead-of-it’s-time creative platform. It didn’t hurt that when I picked up my first copy of the book, it contained a surprise signature by the author, which I later found to be authentic, based on a signed letter Guy returned to me a few months later, as I was trying to entice him to help me lead a stockholder revolt. Unfortunately, this chapter in my life didn’t have a happy ending, as the demise of Commodore (as we knew it) was a forgone conclusion, and I was just along for the ride as it played out. What a heart break.
How does this relate to HitTail? Hold tight. We’re getting there.
Anyway, Selling The Dream, is an under-billed book on the Internet, probably because it pre-dated the popular Web, and reads a bit antiquated today, now that social networking and blogging has filled a lot of that evangelism space. Today, The Art of The Start gets most of the attention. But it’s Selling The Dream that taught me about passionate business, and clear thinking. And those are two critical elements of effective HitTailing, and the line that clearly delineates our users from AdSense spammers. Our registered users are often social causes and independent small businesses. They are folks who need to raise their voice above the blogging masses. HitTail sites are full of passion and purpose. And the posts are well-thought out steps in a plan to achieve niche dominance.
In other words, HitTail is helping to sell the dream.
HitTailers are a bunch of Guy Kawasaki disciples and don’t know it. We are creating passionate users. It occurs to me every time I see another blogger post that they love HitTail, even though analytics software has been around forever, and been free for quite some time. Why then, does HitTail inspire folks to spontaneously evangelize it? It’s because there has been a disconnect, until now, between the gathering of information from your Website visitors, and your ability to turn around and use it. It should be an almost automatic process, with the website owner “getting into the zone”, listening to what their website is trying to tell them, as if reading entries dropped in a suggestion box. When the suggestion is good, the website owner is enabled to act upon it almost immediately, making a much tighter spiral development cycle than was possible in the past–in a process that has more in common with Edwards Deming’s TQM or Japain’s Kaizen than Web development.
So, thanks Guy, for helping me sell the dream.
And to all the HitTailers out there who are reading this, I’m not so much promoting a book, as I am a way of aligning one’s true nature to one’s endeavors in life. The Internet is a remarkably enabling technology. Theoretically, we are approaching a point where, as Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, might put it, infinite consumer demand is being met with infinite supply. But that supply isn’t the mega-stores. It’s you. People liked to bust on Time Magazine‘s naming of “You” as the person of the year. But they nailed it. But it’s not just posting YouTube videos to change the course of elections. It’s finding your market, no matter where in the world your customers might be located, and having the ability to raise your voice above the din (with HitTail, of course).