I blog to find the 1 percent

I had an interesting conversation the other day where someone asked me “Why do I blog?” It’s a question I have seen plenty of other bloggers answer. Some do it for creativity, some do it to vent and some do it because they just love to write. Frankly I do it for all of those reasons but for one important reason:

I blog to knock down walls and find the 1 percent

Anyone that has worked with a Fortune 500 or big CPG knows that they generally have tons of walls keeping outsiders on the outside. It is done with a good reason because it keeps Brand Managers from being pitched every idea under the sun…it keeps out the 99% of ideas that aren’t worth our time to evaluate. But the problem is, it also keeps out the 1 percent of ideas that could be really worthwhile and breakthrough. We’ve built this moat to protect us and basically no one can get in.

The story I always tell about this is when in 2004 an envelope ended up on my desk addressed to “Secret — Marketing”. If you ignore the irony of those words together, it ended up on my desk because I was working on marketing for the brand Secret. The envelope was from a company with a “.com” in the name so my Brand Manager gave it to me since I had Digital marketing on my work plan. Having a slow day, I actually read what was inside the envelope, discovering a website that was basically doubling in size every month and was hugely popular with teens. When I cold-called the company to find out more, the ad sales rep on the end actually thought it was a joke because he had sent out 100 of those envelopes months ago to P&G and no one had called him back. In fact, he practically called me a liar and almost hung up when I said I was from P&G. Luckily he didnt hang-up and we had a great conversation that eventually ended up with us doing one of the first CPG campaigns ever with this site of 2MM members. And you know what? That little site ended up being MySpace.com…I think we all know the history after that (even though Facebook did eventually win the social networking game).

So that’s my point. A company with that much potential shouldnt have to rely on a bored ABM actually opening his mail. A great idea shouldnt need luck. But in this world it does and those 1 percent get lost. So thats why I am blogging. I am hoping those 1 percent ideas find their way to me and I can start the conversation.

Update

And speaking of conversations, I originally posted the above post on Hard Knox Life back in 2008. When I was going to repost it here on Medium, I found an interesting exchange that happened in the Comments section from Sebastien de Halleux:

Sebastien was the co-founder of Playfish, which went on to be bought by Electronic Arts in 2009 for over $300 million. They were one of the true pioneers of Social Gaming and went on to be the foundation for all the efforts EA has made in Social Gaming since then. This exchange is just another example that finding the 1 percent is well worth the time and effort.

Originally published at www.hardknoxlife.com on June 5, 2008.

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