Don’t “empower” anybody.

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I hate the word “empowerment.” I never think I should “empower” anyone — especially our employees. Why? The definition of the word “empower” is: to give power to (someone); to make (someone) stronger and more confident. The key words here are “give” and “make.” Empowerment means you’re transferring power to someone else. You think someone else needs… keep reading

The Intimidating Zero

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How a small zero actually feels when you’re just getting started Back when we started this blog — I think it was in ’99 or 2000 or something like that — we had no idea how many readers we had. Early publishing software was about publishing, it wasn’t about audience counts, it wasn’t about measurement or reach or engagement. It… keep reading

How to innovate — 3 recent stories from successful brands

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend ProFood Tech, a trade show for the food and beverage processing industry. I went to experience problems felt by companies outside my sphere of online software businesses. It’s funny though how much is still the same. Same problems. Same worries. How do we grow this old brand?… keep reading

You Butter Believe It!

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Every year in the weeks leading up to Easter, the four-person staff at Danish Maid Butter Co. starts counting sheep. The Chicago company has made lamb-shaped butter for more than 50 years, moving from wooden molds dropped in cans of ice water to a more modern process. There are other parts of Danish Maid’s business… keep reading

Beat the competition by sticking to the basics

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At first glance the stories of Bubba Gump and Planet Hollywood restaurants seem similar: exploit famous brands to get people to eat your food. Bubba Gump was the shrimping company Forrest Gump created in the Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks. The film grossed over $677 million dollars worldwide. Bubba Gump was just a fictional company,… keep reading

How do I get an article published?

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A handful of years ago I had a gig writing for Fast Company. Part of their “Labs” division. I call it a gig, because I was supposed to be paid per article. I never got paid. That’s partly my fault. I never took the time to understand how to use their system to get payment… keep reading