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fruppy burping blabbermouths

I started Cluetrain last night. Yeah, I know, I’m a little late in the game, though in some ways I’m not (written at the same time). The Cluetrain tone is actually where I started (both written pre-Web). Since then, my challenge has been in avoiding the corporate siren call before it dashes me against the inhuman rocks of pointless posturing.

#33, Learning to speak with a human voice is not a parlor trick. It can’t be “picked up” at some tony conference.

My current project’s been stressing me out, though not because of the tech or the schedule or the competition. Last night I realized it’s from me trying to be two fundamentally different people: 1) the posturing marketing business plan writer and 2) the “be real now” champion of human frailty and remembrances. These two sides are at war within me, and now I understand why: they just can’t exist in the same person. What more, if Cluetrain is right, there’s a business reason for the “be real” approach.

#63, De-cloaking, getting personal: we are those markets. We want to talk to you.

A few days ago, I was interviewed about our current project. Beforehand, we talked in-house about how much we should reveal, since we don’t necessarily want to be giving away ideas in a very competitive space. Holding back isn’t really in my nature. If you’ve ever talked with me, you’d probably agree that “sipping from a firehose” is an accurate way to describe my conversational dynamic. This makes it difficult (and boring) for me to hold back my cards. Cluetrain tells me I don’t have to:

#64, We [the market] want access to your corporate information, to your plans and strategies, your best thinking, your geniune knowledge. We will not settle for the 4-color brochure, for web sites chock-a-block with eye candy but lacking any substance.

So here’s the question at hand: can we still make money being fruppy burping blabbermouths? Can we rip up our non-disclosures, talk turkey with competitors, and answer the front door in our boxers? Can we discuss real things during work hours? Will we lose respect, credibility, or business?

Yeah, plenty of business people will look down upon such an approach, but here’s the thing, our new corporate vision statement:

We’re not in the “business” business. We’re aimed at everything else.

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