Build It And They Will Come – NOT

October 14th, 2010 by Rich Christiansen

2 girls 1 cup video

In 1989 I helped make my first $2MM business mistake.  I keep this box on my life-trophy shelf to remind me never to make this mistake again.

So what was it we did?

NetLine Powerline Transmission Box

Rich Christiansen $2MM Channel Lesson

We did what so many eager engineering types do–we built a way cool, exciting,  leading-edge technology (digital power line transmission) and then tried to sell it.

We just knew the customers would buy these by the bucket loads.  We would go to the trade shows and got mobbed, so certainly this was going to be a barn burner. Everyone told us we were so smart and this was the coooooolest technology ever.

NOT! Cool technology does not necessarily mean purchasing customers. In 1990 the company went belly up!

I would rather have purchasing customers and profit than some cool little box sitting on my shelf reminding me not to be stupid again.

Better to sell it first and build it second, than to build it first and then try to sell it.

Today I did a BootStrap Business lecture at an Entrepreneurial Launch Pad event.

I love meeting with eager individuals who are on those tender first steps of venturing out into the brave cold and exciting world of creating a business.   However, there is one thing that makes me want to scream every time I see it and indeed I saw it today.

Make sure someone is going to buy it before you build it.

Its All about the channel!

Build It and they will come…NOT!

Save yourself a couple of million $ and let my box be the reminder. Don’t build your own.

Tell Them What They Don’t Know and Can’t Tell You

October 9th, 2010 by Rich Christiansen

This past week I have been in NYC and had the opportunity to have lunch with Michael Fishman.   Michael Fishman is recognized as one of the top copy-writing consultants in the world and is simply an amazingly brilliant mind.  In addition to being really smart,  Michael is also incredibly generous.  As we met for lunch he brought, as a gift, his three favorite books.  Who does that?  What a  kind gesture.  Thank you Michael!

I am half way through one of the books,  The Culture Code now. What an insightful read.

While discussing with Michael the key factors of  creating an advertisement or attempting to really reach someone,  he gave the following formula:

1.  Listen very carefully to what they know and will tell you.

2.  Observe and make sure you are aware of what they know and will not tell you.

3.  Figure out what they don’t know and can’t tell you

If you write and communicate to all three factors you will nail the communication and certainly find success.   What a great concept.

Below I have included an insightful, three-and-a-half-minute segment from an interview that I did with Michael.   I hope you enjoy as much as I did. I can feel all of the marketing messages getting better with each view of this video.

Thanks for sharing Michael!

Rick Sapio – Dance At Weddings As If No One Is Watching

October 2nd, 2010 by Rich Christiansen

I love the serendipitous events of life that pop nuggets of gold into our lives.  This past week I received a gem.  Let me share this gold with you.

This past week I received a handwritten note from Richard A Sapio who is the Managing Director of Mutual Capital Alliance.   Rick is involved with the Gathering of the Titans event as well as How To Think Like a Billionaire.

Rick and I sit on an advisory board together.  At our last meeting I was really impressed with Richards perspectives and seasoned wisdom regarding  Value Systems and Value GateKeepers in organizations.   We engaged in a meaningful dialog and I really connected with him.Rick Sapio

With the note that Rick  sent me he included a  small sheet of paper  with his “Simple Rules For a More Engaged Live.”  I would like to share Rick’s amazing rules as he shared them with me.   Enjoy!

Simple Rules for a More Engaged Life

“The only life worth living is one that you are truly passionate about.”

  • Maintain a list, and call all friends & family on their birthdays.
  • Surprise an old friend or two with a call today.
  • Sing Karaoke…and sing your heart out.
  • Dance at weddings as if no one is watching.
  • Invite a crowd to Sunday afternoon dinners at your home.
  • Work with people that you respect.
  • Have dinner parties with fun, motivated people.
  • Mail a handwritten note to people after meeting them.
  • Memorize at least five great jokes, and tell them well.
  • Surprise your spouse with a gift.
  • Leave everything just a little nicer than you found it.
  • Raise self-sufficient, disciplined kids.  It will pay off later.
  • Learn a foreign language.
  • Eat something out of the norm tonight.
  • Mediate and pray daily.
  • Take chances.
  • Say “I love you” to friends and family members whenever you talk.
  • Give away $100 to strangers once in a while.
  • Get a life mentor or life coach.
  • Work out with a trainer.
  • Forgive someone who “wronged” you and take them to lunch.
  • Know that fulfillment can come from the ability to think like a child.
  • Eat dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town once per year.
  • Take your life seriously, but NEVER take yourself seriously.