Eating raw pork

Mett.

It is raw pork spread on an open-faced bread roll – called a brötchen – with raw onions sprinkled on top.

It looks like uncooked ground beef.

In Germany, if you walk into a butcher, or some bakeries, you’ll find this. It’s fairly common. I have friends who eat it for breakfast.

As an American, this is appalling. Pork is the one thing you do not eat raw. Ever. It isn’t even debatable.

If you eat raw pork, you’ll get sick. Maybe even die. That’s how severe this is. Even pork that is undercooked is bad. You can get sick from that too.

But here are the German’s, enjoying raw pork regularly.

Now, I’m not entirely sure why German pork can be eaten raw and American pork cannot. I can only guess it is a distinction like you have in Sushi. Like, “Sushi grade fish”.

Maybe they have “Mett grade pork”?

Though, that’s not what I am here to discuss.

What I am here to discuss is, from time to time, it’s probably healthy to challenge your beliefs. Particularly the strong ones. And, why you feel so strongly about them.

Pork can in fact be eaten raw. I have done it. I did not get sick. My German friends have not gotten sick.

Once I got over my strong belief, it isn’t bad. Not my first choice of food, but had I grown up with it as a staple in my diet, I would probably think differently.

The next time you’re in Germany, give some raw pork a try.

Just ask for Mett.

A story about old bikes

I rode a Peugeot PX-10 in college. Probably the most iconic Peugeot made. I would have continued riding it if it wasn’t too big to be comfortable.

It began its life with my grandfather. He was hit on it, then no longer liked it. It was passed on to my father. He rode it for a while. Then, it made it to me. Three generations made use of it. Finally, it was sold and left the family.

Now, someone else gets to enjoy riding an old bike.

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My current road bike is a LeMond. A 1990s model I bought off a family friend. He bought it new and rode it.

I replaced the group set and put a new saddle on it. Now, I ride it almost every weekend.

Two generations of great friends putting miles on it.

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My commuter bike is a German made – 70s era – Kalkhoff. I originally purchased it for cheap in Frankfurt. Then, I shipped it to California, where it continues to serve as my commuter bike.

All that remains from its Frankfurt days is the frame, with a “made in West Germany” emblem.

But, it’s even more meaningful now. With a small swap in components, I now get to commute on the same wheels and brakes my grandfather commuted on over 30 years ago.

To me, that’s special.

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I found a Peugeot Helium for my wife after 6 months of searching. It once belonged to someone’s French Grandmother. Until it was bought by a German bike shop owner in Hamburg at an estate sale in France.

Then, I bought it and my wife rode it in Frankfurt. Now she rides it in California.

These are just a few of the old bike’s I have and have had over the years.

What I love about these are their stories. Which is why I love old bikes. Typically, with a Brooks Saddle and of the red variety.

It would be easy to buy the cheapest, or most popular, bike off Amazon.

That’s not the story I’m interested in.

We buy things for the story they tell. And, the story we get to tell. It’s why we spend more on an Audi, think Coca Cola tastes better, or spend 6 months searching for a bike when it would be easier to get one off Amazon.

As marketers, we have to remember features and benefits are secondary to our story. Our story is what buyers are looking for.

In a world of abundance, our story might be all we have.

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Old bikes have history. They have a story.

To me, that’s what makes them worth riding.

What’s your story?

Another way to measure success

You can measure success a lot of ways.

Happiness. Family. Money. Fame. Recognition. Just to name a few.

Another way, could be the change you create. That might look a little something like the Oakland Athletics (A’s) and what’s now known as Moneyball.

Baseball is an extremely traditional sport. They didn’t get instant replay until recently.

So, in the early 2000s, when the Oakland A’s began basing every decision on data, they were laughed at. It was highly controversial.

They began hiring data analysts from Wall Street to help them find the edge they needed. Being a low budget team, they were able to level the playing field with deep data insights.

It was the Moneyball era.

Now, some may not call them a success, because they haven’t won a world series since they introduced this concept to the league.

But, the Red Sox and many other teams have.

They started movement in baseball.

Almost 20 years later, teams are hacking other teams’ databases for data and analytical insights.

Success, at least for the A’s, is the fact that baseball is no longer hiring ex-baseball players to run their scouting and front offices. Baseball now hires Ivy League grads to crunch numbers and find the edge.

How far an idea spreads and is adopted can be a great measure of success.

Getting the fundamentals right

I despise the New England Patriots.

Brady fumbled the ball in 2000, which ultimately gave rise to the Brady – Belichick era.

While I despise them, I do respect them. The Patriots are so good, because they are great at the fundamentals. Belichick got his coaching start by watching film, when no one else would. Then, becoming great at it.

It shows in the Patriots dynasty today.

NFL teams can get easily distracted with trying to create elaborate schemes. To then out-scheme themselves in high stakes games and lose.

Us Marketers regularly take the path of the Schemers rather than the Patriots.

Fundamentals aren’t glamorous.

Telling your colleagues – or your peers – you’re investing in email will get eye rolls.

They’ll say “Email is dead”.

“You really need SMS”.

Marketing fundamentals are things like:

  • Understanding your customer
  • Telling the right story
  • Having a product that solves a problem
  • Differentiation
  • Providing value

Get some of this right, then choose a few channels to get it right on.

The question isn’t email vs. SMS. It’s, do you understand your audience enough to solve their problems and tell a story they believe?

But we don’t ask this.

Just like no one asks Brady and Belichick how much film they watch.

How products spread in companies

In the early days of Salesforce – long before they had their hideous tower in San Francisco – they were small.

They struggled, just like the rest of us. I’m sure getting their customer relationship management (CRM) software adopted inside companies wasn’t easy.

It’s likely they tried many approaches. One approach they did try, that ultimately landed their first large client, was a bottom up approach.

The bottom up approach is allowing your product to be used autonomously by individuals within an organization. It should be easily adoptable. And, priced such they don’t need a purchasing department to approve it.

At least at the start. The contracts and official plans come later.

Then, you allow your product to spread inside the company. With individuals, or individual teams, using it.

This is what Salesforce found. They landed their largest client, because they found individual sales managers using Salesforce within the same organization. They were all using it independently and just for their team.

The teams used it for some time. Then, Salesforce realized this and approached them. This is where the contracts and official plans began.

When Salesforce discovered this situation, they began the conversation of combining all these separate Salesforce accounts into one account. Ultimately, making Salesforce more valuable to the organization. And, turning this client into a great client. At the time, it was their largest client.

Once this method was published, it became fairly famous. Many business to business (B2B) products attempt at spreading in this fashion.

It’s how HubSpot spread within the organization I work for.

This sounds easy. Build a great product that can be used by individuals within an organization and it will spread. Then, you’ll land a big contract.

What’s missing from the story above is the champion.

The spread of your product within an organization begins with a champion. The champion loves your product. Uses it. They are willing to tell everyone else in the business about it. And, they are able to show everyone the impact it is making on the business.

This single champion will slowly turn into two people using it. Then three people. Then two teams. And finally, wider company adoption.

The champion has to have the ability to start using your product on a small scale, build wins, then show those wins to other teams. Eventually, there will be so many teams using the product that the organization has to deal with it.

The organization will deal with it in one of two ways.

  1. They will stop it from being used. This is not favorable to you or the company. To the company, stopping it means disrupting and impacting many people’s jobs.
  2. They invest in your product.

If the product is showing value to the organization, option 2 is the more likely scenario.

This is how products spread within companies.

Not every product can work this way. But, if you can tap into this method and find your champion, it might make getting your product into an organization that much easier.

Who knows, after this works, you too might get your own building in San Francisco.