Friday, November 30, 2012

Aristotle's Secret to Great Content


Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica

Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle has an ageless recipe for great content that rocks.

Want to know what it is?

Three words: Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Also known as his appeals, these three tenets of rhetoric can be understood as follows:

Ethos meaning credibility or ethical appeal looks at the character of the content producer or author. Is the person worthy of respect in this field and does he or she have authority in the domain? Generally, we tend to believe people whom we look up to in a domain area.

Pathos looks at the emotional dimension of persuasion. Any form of content - text, videos, audio podcasts, or photos - need to ignite the hearts of its readers, viewers and listeners. Here, the different elements of language, expressions, choreography, pace, tone of voice and acting can either help or hinder an audience's response.

Logos or logic looks at cognitive aspect of reasoning as a means of persuasion. Here, there are various forms of analysis such as deductive or inductive reasoning, as well as the use of empirical methods to bring an argument across.

To strike a chord with your audiences in any form of content production - documents, web pages, advertisements, speeches, videos, letters and so on - do bear in mind the three timeless "proofs".

Without ethos, one is unable to convince one's readers that one has the necessary experience or education to wax lyrical about a proposed topic.

Without pathos, one may be the most qualified person in the world to speak about a particular topic, yet end up putting one's audiences to sleep.

Without logos, the most emotionally stirring presentation put forth by a senior spokesperson would appear hollow and ill-conceived.

The next time you want to embark on writing or producing any form of content, think about how you can increase your ethos, pathos and logos. Together, these elements help to ensure that whatever you create is respected, resonate with its audiences, and reasonable.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gamestorming: A Tool for Innovation (Book Review)



Stumped by an insurmountable problem at work? Keen to generate ideas that are "out of the screen"? Wish to find a way to make "gaming" come to life?

With Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo, you now can.

Written in an easily digestible format laced with useful illustrations and examples, Gamestorming provides a useful blend of theory, tools, and techniques that anybody tasked with collective problem solving can adopt. As a "Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers", the slim volume highlights the rules of the game world, the basics of game design (target and initial states, opening, exploring and closing), as well as tips on drawing.


Source of image

Equipped with colourful markers, flip chart paper, and post it pads, one can choose from a wide assortment of games to resolve any situation. The games are divided into Core Games, Games for Opening (to trigger divergent thinking), Games for Exploring (to uncover emerging trends), and Games for Closing (to converge and arrive at conclusions).

Some of the easier "basic" ones include storyboarding, dot voting (using coloured dot stickers to vote for an idea), the Pain-Gain map and the SWOT analysis. Others such as bodystorming - a process involving the recreation of a business scenario with props, tables, chairs, and role playing - are more involved.


Bodystorming in action (courtesy of Gamestorming)

There are numerous games being covered in the book, complete with wonderful illustrations. Examples of the games being covered are visually highlighted below (NB - you can actually access all of them free at their wiki):


The 7 "P"s puts a new spin on a marketing acronym (courtesy of Gamestorming)


The Speed Boat helps you define what your customers/employees dislike about your product or service (ie the anchors) (courtesy of Gamestorming)

Before you leap forth to try some of these games in your own organisation, consider the 10 Essentials for Gamestorming by the authors, namely:

1) Opening and Closing - After sparking off the imagination and ideas of participants, remember to bring things to a close.

2) Fire Starting - Warming up is always important, and this can be done by icebreakers.

3) Artifacts - Consider the items that you need for gaming such as cards, dice, post-its, flip charts, tables, chairs and so on.

4) Node Generation - A node is an artifact (post it or card) that forms part of a gaming system.

5) Meaningful Space - This provides the "game arena" where you play and can be a white board, wall or table.

6) Sketching and Model Making - This is key as gaming which engages the right "creative" side of the brain involves making stuff that is visual and transcends words.

7) Randomness, Reversal and Reframing - Essentially, you need to mix things up a litle and consider an opposite way of viewing things.

8) Improvisation - Make things up as you along like jazz players as opposed to musicians in an orchestra.

9) Selection - This is where closure comes into place through voting, forced ranking and other means of streamlining.

10) Try Something New - The spirit of gamestorming is that you should always be willing to use different tools. If at first you don't succeed, try a new game!


The Betacup Challenge shows how gamestorming helps (courtesy of Betacup)

The book concludes with a heartwarming story of how Toby Daniels - a participant in an event called Overlap - applied the principles of gamestorming to successfully launch the Betacup challenge. This idea was to replace the billions of disposable cups used in coffee outlets like Starbucks with more sustainable options.

Gamestorming provides many great ideas to trigger your organisation's creativity while bonding staff members through teamwork. I highly recommend this book to anybody looking to create the next big thing (or just solve that irritating problem). Check out the author's great website too!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Should You Create, Curate or Circulate?


Courtesy of Fuel Your Blogging

Triggered by a post from David Meerman Scott, I thought about my own experience and asked the following questions:

- How much of what I've created is truly original?

- How much of what I've shared is inspired by others?

- What is the impact of either forms of content?

As I looked through the stuff that I generate online as well as the stuff which I consume, I came to a few conclusions.

First, almost all my blog posts are customised to my unique style of presenting information. While I do share data, charts, perspectives and views liberally from other bloggers (and attribute them, of course), I'm also mindful of speaking in my own voice.

Second, platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and Pinterest are really more useful for sharing than creating. Although photographs are huge in Facebook, written or video content tend to be created on other platforms. Twitter and Google Plus are mostly useful for dissemination more than anything else, while Pinterest works primarily as a pictorial bulletin board.

Third, I don't really see a significant difference in the number of visitors to created as opposed to curated posts. On the contrary, curated posts that ride a particular trend may see a higher visit than original thoughts on digital ink.

Summing these thoughts, there probably exists a continuum of content creation.

On the left hand side, we have the pure creators. These are the content royalists who breathe the rarefied air and is able to utter words of original wisdom.

On the right hand side, we have the pure sharers - folks who simply retweet and share good stuff that they know. This can be represented by the diagram below:



Is there a magic balance between the creation and curation of content?

According to Meerman Scott, nothing beats authentic content. In his own words,

"The best way to generate attention is to create original web content including text based information (sites, blogs, a Twitter feed), video content, photographs, infographics, and the like."

Unfortunately, the truth is that most of us probably couldn't achieve that holy grail.

This blogger shared that while his ideal is about 70% creation and 30% curation, the reality is probably about 20% creation and 80% curation. He goes on to suggest ways to discipline oneself to create more - setting daily word counts, number of retweets and shares a day, a solid target of one blog post a week, etc.

The plot thickens when it comes to company generated content.

Research from here shows that posts linking to third-party sites generate 33% more clicks than posts linking to owned sites. However, posts that link to one's own website have a 54% higher click-to-conversion rate than posts that link to third-party websites.

If you're looking purely at traffic, perhaps some social sharing and curation would work. However, if you're looking at conversion, nothing beats original content.

Ultimately, my guess is that anybody who wants to be a thought leader in the social universe needs to create original content. However, one shouldn't refrain from sharing other people's content too. After all, the true value of social media lies in encouraging interaction, sharing and reciprocity.

What has your experience been like?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Social Media Optimisation or Originality?


Do social media gurus exist? (courtesy of Brian Copeland)

I'm caught in a digital dilemma.

On the one hand, I know that I should find ways to raise my social media score (courtesy of Klout.com). There are lots that I can do to "game the system".

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), content optimisation, scheduled posts, keywords, hashtags, photos, videos, headlines, newsjacks, follow (and unfollow), comment, like (and unlike)... etc. The lists of tips and tricks are seemingly endless.

According to various social media experts, the pros automate their websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts until they're pitch perfect. Content is also carefully created and curated to hit those sweet spots.  

Every word is scripted to elicit a response. Every online relationship is strategic. Every photo is carefully chosen. Every link, like, retweet, hashtag, and comment is carefully timed. Every algorithm for social scoring is gamed.


The holy trinity of SEO, SEM and SMO (courtesy of Sumolabs.com)

On the flip side, we have somebody like Seth Godin who doesn't give a hoot about optimisation.

Seth's blog posts are not keyword laden, lack photos, and disallow comments. He doesn't follow nor retweets anybody on Twitter. Neither does he respond to any comments on his Facebook page.

The only way to reach Seth is via email. Oh, and he still publishes content on dead tree carcasses (supplemented by e-book and online versions).

The funny thing is that Seth Godin is still the number one (or almost) marketing blogger in the world. His following is so huge that whatever crumbs he drops is eagerly lapped up by his gazillion followers.


This guy breaks all the rules (courtesy of Seth Godin)

So what gives here?

Three things.

First, gaining a great online reputation doesn't necessarily come from following all the rules. You need to be imaginative and inspirational, have a flair for words, and possess useful ideas beyond a list of "Must Dos".

Seth's success wasn't achieved in a day, month or year. It took years of hard work and perseverance for him to get to where he is today.

Second, not everyone can be like Seth Godin. Few can command the same degree of followership purely on the brilliance of their content. The rest of us lesser mortals need to invest at least some effort in building relationships and tweaking content to suit our audiences.

Third, the best approach (for the rest of us) probably comes from doing both. I'd call it the alchemy of automation and authenticity.

Inject some relevant keywords to boost your Google juice. Craft catchy headlines to draw traffic. Time your posts, Facebook updates and Tweets to catch the crowd. Generate goodwill by liking a post, retweeting a link, or providing a relevant comment.

However, don't let your social media properties be so overwhelmingly optimised that they lack colour, flavour and uniqueness. The true value of the social media lie in its personality, not its perfection.  Allow for some creativity and individuality in your text, photos, videos and audios.

Balancing between the two - and conducting lots of trial and error experiments along the way - is probably the key to enduring success on the social web.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Market Thy Neighbours as Thyself

friendly shop owner
Marketing can be a friendly activity (Courtesy of {eclaire})

Sometimes, I wonder why the world of marketing has to be so competitive.

Many marketing strategies reek of a "command and conquer" mentality. We're constantly told to "benchmark" against our competitors, "target" or "ambush" our customers, offer "value" pricing, and "position" ourselves such that we have an "advantage" over other similar businesses.

Does it always have to be "us-versus-them"? Why not "us-together"?

There are several ways for us to make marketing a more hospitable activity. And perhaps make more money too. We can move the game from competition to collaboration (or co-opetition if you wish). From singular to plural. Win-lose to win-win.

The basic premise behind this idea is that consumers are tired of being marketed to. They are weary and wary of brilliant ads, slick salespeople, and endless promotions. With so many offers shouting at them, consumers are shutting their eyes, ears and wallets.

To regain their trust, a more convivial atmosphere would help. This is where "Neighbourly Marketing" could come in.

In a neighbourly world, businesses do not hurt but help each other. They spend time talking to their customers and interacting with them. They know the names of their customer's fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. They also recommend other products and services which their customers can consider.

The thing is that this isn't new. In fact, it harkens back to the medieval days of villages, town squares, and kampongs (in the South East Asian context).

Donning my rose-tinted lenses, such a utopian society would see proprietors putting up posters, brochures and standees of "friendly" businesses. At the end of a customer transaction, they could suggest that customers try out that new restaurant at the end of the line which has great salads, or that hairdresser trained in Japan, or dresses from that "girl with the pony tail".

Beyond recommending each other, neighbourly businesses could also undertake joint activities to promote the entire chain of associate businesses. This can be either physical (for those in close proximity) or virtual (website, Facebook group, Twitter, Pinterest board).

Cross selling each other would also be an outcome of neighbourliness. Here, show that shop down the row this receipt and he'll give you 20% off.

For such an idea to work, however, trust, transparency and authenticity needs to be thickly wedded into the relationship. Ideally, friendship and camaraderie needs to be forged in an environment where the professional meets the social. Some degree of altruism also needs to be present.

Are partnership contracts needed then?

Well, I personally prefer not to dot the "i"s and cross the "t"s in such a relationship. The whole idea of neighbourly marketing is to encourage businesses to lower their defences and not protect themselves through legal means.

Neighbourly marketing can provide a calming balm to soothe frayed nerves jangled by "shout-till-you're-hoarse" advertising and the endless brain-racking publicity stunts designed to generate headlines. It can shift the attention of businesses from killing to helping each other (well, at least those in complementary businesses).

More importantly, neighbourly marketing can provide that gentle nudge to customers to serendipitously consider other products and services without too much hardsell. Done properly, it can form the foundation to a gentler and more benign way of conducting business.

Am I being overly naive in thinking this way? What do you think?

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Power of Positive Stories


Jesus certainly knows the power of good stories! (courtesy of Life with Da Man CD)

Since time immemorial, storytelling has influenced billions around the globe.

We've all heard of cave men and women sitting around a fireplace, listening intently as a wizened elder regaled the tribe with heroic chronicles of his younger days.

As kids, we're lulled gently to sleep by a home-brewed fairytale lovingly conjured by our mums or dads. As teenagers, we love to be scared out of our wits by ghost stories told by our seniors during those over night camps. As students in school, we're motivated by moving tales of heroism and triumph made by our teachers and professors.

I'm sure many older Singaporeans have heard of master storyteller Lee Dai Soh. Back in the good old days, he would entertain our parents and grandparents with spellbinding tales over the Rediffusion radio sets.


Lee Dai Soh shows us how storytelling is done (courtesy of Singapore HeritageFest)

As we grow older and enter the workforce, the nature of storytelling changes. Of course, we still share sweet little accounts of our lives. What we did during our vacation last summer. How our kids are doing in school. Which outfit caught our fancy. How unforgettable that new restaurant was.

More often than not, however, we start trading stories about our colleagues. Good, bad and often ugly. Bosses (particularly "ugly" ones) occupy a high percentage of our bandwidths, sapping our energy and enthusiasm.

Somehow or other, that sense of wonderment disappears in a work setting. Storytelling has devolved from an act of inspiration to an outlet of condemnation. It takes on the awful guise of rumour, gossip and slander.

Ask yourself this question. When was the last time you were truly inspired and energised by a story told by a boss, a colleague or a corporate leader?

It is timely, perhaps, to consider switching our narratives. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, why don't we focus on what went right?

Spin stories that motivate, encourage and inspire. Harness the powerful of the personal narrative to spread goodwill and cheer.

Chronicle those pivotal moments when your organisation won a huge account, overcame near death, or was awarded with a grand accolade. Relate how you smoothed the feathers of an extremely difficult customer. Or how the guys solved that diabolical engineering problem which threatened to shut your plants down.

Positive stories don't have to be formal. In fact, what's being traded around the water cooler may be more impactful than what's shared during a town hall meeting.

While leaders are often the chief storytellers in any organisation, employees of any level should also weave their own tales. Managers can encourage their team members to share affirmative stories. Through positive storytelling, everybody can build a culture of resilience, optimism, and learning.

Stories are powerful tools. They influence behaviours, change mindsets, and spur action. Perhaps, it is time for us to harness its constructive power. Let us regain that fiery idealism of our youth with bold, courageous and impactful narratives that inspire, motivates and builds. Let us transform our organisations from the inside-out, one story at a time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Which Social Media Strategy Should You Adopt?

A picture often paints a thousand words. A great comic or cartoon, on the other hand, paints tens of thousands.

"Marketoonist" Tom Fishburne recently created a wonderful graphical depiction of 5 different types of social media strategies as depicted below:


Courtesy of Tom Fishburne

As the world of social media becomes increasingly crowded with brands and commercial messages, consumers aren't going to listen to yet another pitch, regardless of how sophisticated or clever it is. They are growing weary of boastful brands that does absolutely nothing for them.

While media platforms have expanded from television, radio and print to online bits and bytes, the modus operandi for many brands hasn't.

30 to 60 second TVCs are now migrating to YouTube. Audio ads are disguised as podcasts. Marketing spiels are concealed as educational slides on Slideshare.

Brands are also working with bloggers to help disseminate messages, often with strong promotional messages.

This does result in some backlash. In fact, according to this report by brand-e.biz citing TNS:

"....57% of people in developed markets do not want to engage with brands via social media, a figure which rises to 60% in the US and 61% in the UK."

The sad truth is that marketers are still playing the game of we are the biggest, newest, cheapest, fastest, cutest, or most exclusive. They are still relying on hard-sell deals to clinch the sale.

How can brands be more helpful then? Well, here are some quick thoughts:

1) Be available to your customers and respond quickly to their cries for help via social platforms;

2) Look beyond your product or service to the context of its use. For example, sellers of diapers and baby products could provide educational tips on raising healthy kids;

3) Connect your customers via communities of interest. Serve those communities with useful tips and advice;

4) Be proactive in recommending a solution, even if it has absolutely no link to your product.

As social media becomes indistinguishable from mainstream media, the question is no longer about channels (or maybe even content) but customer-centricity. Shifting one's focus towards customer's broader needs and wants could help tilt the balance in a hypercompetitive consumer marketplace.


Maybe we should all be like her (courtesy of Mr. Men Wiki)

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Basics of Organisational Behaviour


A screaming staff beckons deeper investigation (courtesy of Bay Integrated Marketing)

Have you wondered why your colleague is so irritating? Pissed off by a boss who seem to disagree with everything you propose? Or frustrated by a "stubborn" subordinate who only wants to do things his way?

If you hope to improve your working environment (assuming you do not want to quit), it may be useful to consider the three key variables determining how your organisation behaves. These are its Beliefs, Values and Attitudes as represented in the chart below (thanks to Docmo).


Courtesy of docmo

Beliefs  The most basic dimension of organisational behaviour, a belief is an assumed truth, ie a psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true. 

A deep moral or positional view that grounds our identity, beliefs are generated through experience, experimentation, reflection or generalisation.  One's beliefs can also be influenced by external agents who are authorities that hold a canon in specific areas.

Beliefs are fundamental positions rooted deep within our being. They influence our entire world view and shape everything else that we do. As such, changing one's beliefs do require considerable work.

Values  Our values spring from our beliefs. They can be defined as broad global principles that govern appropriate courses of action or outcomes. Shaped by one's moral compass, they govern what's right or wrong in specific contexts, determining one's attitudes and behaviours.

In many organisations, you've probably heard of the term "shared values". These can be explicitly highlighted or implicit in the way certain things are done. Collectively, values decide how employees respond to a particular activity or situation.

Universally, there are several values commonly adopted across different companies. They include integrity, creativity, competitiveness, diligence, resilience, and esprit de corps, amongst others.

Attitudes  Finally, an attitude is a hypothetical construct that is formed from one's beliefs and values. It represents an individual or group's affinity and perspective.

Attitudes can be positive or negative. They are often related to a specific entity, activity or object - ie a person, place, thing, or event. As you'd imagine, the manifestation of your colleague, boss, or subordinate's actions are dependent on their attitudes.

Attitudes comprise three components:  

1) Cognitive, ie the stuff that you believe and think about;  

2) Affective, ie the stuff that affects your feelings and emotions; and  

3) Behavioural, ie the associations that are learned through doing.


To effectively change the culture of any organisation, you need to understand the relationships between your employees' beliefs, values and attitudes. It is counterproductive to set draconian rules to correct behaviours without gaining a deeper insight into why people do what they do based on their deep-rooted beliefs and corresponding values.

Put it another way, one needs to investigate the deep underlying beliefs, values and attitudes of one's employees before any behavioural changes can be effected. This works from an entire workforce down to each and every employee. By studying these causative factors, leaders and managers are better able to shape the way their organisation behaves and drive much needed cultural change.  

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Want Your Kid to be a Whizzard?

OK, the exams are over. We parents can all relax now, right?

Wrong!

If anything, long holidays can be more terrifying for parents. I mean, you can't possibly let your kid be playing computer games all day long, right? Wouldn't his or her brain turn to mush?

Fortunately, there is a solution for us befuddled parents. Positioned as "news storytelling and rocking edutainment" for kids and parents, The Whiz Times features news such as politics, sports, technology, culture, people, business and more.



With current and updated content presented in a refreshingly family friendly manner, the website is easy to navigate and comes with different sections tailored to kids from different age groups. Online resources are also available for parents, educators and brands wanting to reach out to kids.

The brainchild of a digital dad Shalabh Pandey - a former regional social media head at Nokia - The Whiz Times cleverly weaves cartoons, comics, and colourful visuals to catch the attention of kids (and parents alike).

US_Election_Drama

Courtesy of The Whiz Times

To help kids along with difficult words, the portal even comes with an inbuilt dictionary feature - just double click the tough word and out pops the dictionary. Neat! Now I don't have to sit beside my boy and become a "walking dictionary" (that's what geek daddies become).

Offering multiple ways for users to share and interact with its content (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, and Pinterest), The Whiz Times is a neat example of a "social" edutainment resource. One can also find fun and entertaining animated videos which help to bring difficult concepts to life.

An example is seen below:




As a geek and nerd myself, I deeply value all learning opportunities. Websites like The Whiz Times allow parents to engage their kids in meaningful educational content while being updated on what's happening around the world today.

In terms of its business model, The Whiz Times currently operates on a freemium model. In other words, you can access most of its content for free while premium content would require a separate charge. For the time being, membership is free so do sign up soon!

The next time your kid reaches out for that iPad or Galaxy Note, relax. He may be logging on to an educational resource such as The Whiz Times instead of playing a tablet game.

PS - Check out the launch video which the guys at The Whiz Times have created for media owners like me below. I thought the robotic voices were kinda quirky yet cute.


Thursday, November 01, 2012

Why Helping Beats Selling Anytime


Jay Baer (courtesy of about.me)

In a cluttered world littered with a gazillion advertising messages, there is only one way to truly stand out from the crowd. And that, according to Jay Baer, is to focus on helping your customers rather than selling to them.

Thanks to a podcast from Copyblogger Radio, I learned from Jay that there are three ways to fill the top of the communication funnel:

1) Top Of Mind Awareness

This is the traditional approach adopted by big money advertisers where one has to maintain a consistent messaging presence in the marketplace. To rule in this "always-on" space of media, you have to invest significant sums in advertising and promotions. Naturally, there is a tremendous amount of competition here. Besides, consumers are getting increasingly skeptical and disdainful of all forms of advertising.

2) Frame of Mind Awareness

The next way to fill the funnel looks at pulling customers in through "inbound marketing". Here, web search engines like Google and Yahoo! come into play. Companies that can create strong content that is searchable with lots of "google juice" will be able to draw interested parties keen to look for specific services or products. However, there is a limit here as such an approach will only draw those who already have a desire to consume/purchase.

3) Friend of Mine Awareness

This final superior approach looks at tapping the best of both worlds. According to Jay, what happens with friend of mine awareness is that "you seek to have the prospective customer allow you inside their circle of trust, where you become more than just a purveyor, but rather a valuable resource."

Enter YOUtilities

To achieve friend of mine awareness, you need to retool your company to be useful, helpful and generous to potential customers without expecting an immediate return. In Jay's words, you should become a YOUtility - a company that seeks to provide a useful service to customers or potential customers in an almost altruistic manner.

Quoting from Jay: "Sell something, and you make a customer. Help someone, and you make a customer for life." Apparently, that's the only way to stand out in an "avalanche of invitations".

Examples of such noble companies and entrepreneurs include Geek Squad, which provides hundreds of free videos on YouTube to help you fix your tech stuff, Taxi Mike, a taxi driver in the Banff ski resort area (Canada) who distributes free guides to F&B outlets, and Vanderbilt University Medical Centre with their free BabyTime iPhone app.

The Bikini Principle

In the podcast, I also learned about the bikini principle (or concept) which was coined by Sean of Attversumption.com.

Quoting from his blog:

"I found out the age-old concept of the bikini to apply. That by giving away 90% of the content, and keeping 10%, the attraction factor was just as strong, if not twice as strong (there are reasons for me saying ‘twice as strong). And yes, what the bikini didn’t reveal, was the part the audience most wanted (naturally), and was the part they were willing to pay for."

This can be represented by the cartoon below:


Courtesy of BrainSell

The idea of the giving away 90% of one's product probably applies better to content rich products online such as software, e-books, email content, music or movies which have low distribution costs. I suppose consultancy services and training can also work this way.

Are We Ready for "Altruistic" Marketing?

I wonder if Singapore companies are ready for such "altruistic" marketing strategies to garner heartshare and eventually walletshare? As Jay has shared, achieving friend of mine awareness requires a certain generosity and willingness to extend help which goes beyond short-term transactions to long-term goodwill.

In a way, what I hope to do with Cooler Insights is to provide free business advice and views which can help entrepreneurs and managers of any shape, size or stripe. However, I am clear that what drives me to do so isn't expectation of any return but just an interest to contribute to the body of knowledge. At least for now. :)