PepperMill November 2017
It's a good time for another round of Bookshelf RouletteTM.
For you newbies, it’s a little game I play where I pick a few books off the shelf and challenge myself to find a nugget you might enjoy within 60 seconds. I have them in front of me, so here goes …
“At the Internal Revenue Service, cash awards of at least $100 are given for ideas (some go as high as $4,000). Workers who score well on their performance evaluations get cash bonuses averaging $500.”
1001 Ways to Reward Employees
“My father would say things that make no sense, like, ‘If I were the last person on earth, some moron would turn left in front of me.’” —Louie Anderson
The Comedy Thesaurus
“Keep a stash of fun-sized candy bars on your desk or nearby. When the people who come to see you seem tense, tired, or cranky, pop open your drawer and pass out the Snickers.”
The Power of Nice
Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval
“The zipper had no ancient counterpart, nor did it originate in a sudden blaze of ingenuity. It emerged out of a long and patient technological struggle, requiring twenty years to transform the idea into a marketplace reality, and an additional ten years to persuade people to use it. And the zipper was not conceived as a clothes fastener to compete with buttons, but as a slide to close high boots, replacing the long, buttonhooked shoelaces of the 1890s.”
Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things
“If I do my job properly here and you do your part, two things will happen: 1) you will move closer to becoming the person you want to be and 2) you’ll have less regret. Shall we get started?”
What have you been reading lately? I'd be happy to share your findings in next month’s PepperMill!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”
“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”
—Sir Winston Churchill
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
The secret behind doing award-winning work is having great clients that make it possible. In 2017, we've won a whopping 14 design awards from four different competitions. Here’s a detailed look:
American Graphic Design Awards
For 54 years, Graphic Design USA has sponsored competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. GDUSA honors outstanding work of all kinds and across all media. In 2017, more than 10,000 entries were submitted; a very highly selective 15 percent received Certificates of Excellence.
Best Home Healthcare Network—Corporate Collateral
Challenger Lighting Company—Company Website
Edlong Dairy Technologies—“The Scientific Art of Authentic Taste” Brochure
Envista Forensics—“Even More” Advertising Series
Integrity—“More Than Just a Name” Brochure
Oakwood Contractors—“Brag Book” Direct Mailer
TmaxSoft—Corporate Sales Collateral
American Web Design Awards
Graphic Design USA also sponsors this competition, which showcases the power of design with an emphasis on web design, interactive design and UX design. A record 1,400 entries were submitted with a very highly selective 15 percent recognized as winners.
The 21st Annual Videographer Awards program is one of the oldest and most respected in the industry. This international awards program is directed by communication professionals to honor talented individuals and companies in the video production field.
cleverbridge—“All-In-One” Global Commerce Solutions Video
RedMane Technology—“We Roar” Company Overview Video
The 13th Annual Davey Awards recognize the best in web, design, video, advertising, mobile and social from small agencies worldwide. This prestigious awards competition was designed specifically for the “Creative Davids” who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than stratospheric budgets.
Challenger Lighting Company—Company Website
Thank you to these and all our clients for allowing us to do work that stands out.
One of the fundamentals of strategic theory relates to thinking forward and reasoning backwards. The dollar auction is a great example.
So, how do you sell a dollar for more than a $1.00? Take a group of people and offer to auction off your dollar in five-cent bid increments. The high bidder wins, but the second highest bidder, the loser, has to give up their losing bid. You’ll almost always get more than $1.00 for your dollar—guaranteed.
How? Let’s say that you were one of the bidders and you just bid outbid Mary’s $.50 with a bid of $.55. Great deal for a buck, right? Well, if Mary’s not thinking forward and reasoning backward, she’s just thinking about her next move—which is, of course, to outbid you and offer $.60. She’s better off buying a dollar for $.60 than she is losing $.50. So, good move right?
Well, what’s your next move? You’re going to use the same logic and bid $.65. She’ll then bid $.70, and so on. You can see how this will continue.
Here’s where it gets really fun. Now let’s say you just bid $1.00 for the dollar, outbidding Mary’s $.95. Does Mary stop? Is it better for her to bid $1.05 for the dollar (and lose $.05), or lose the bidding war and give up her low bid of $.95? Suddenly, you and Mary are bidding more than $1.00 for that dollar. Until someone comes to their senses, the bidding will keep going.
While this is a simplified model, it does relate to business. Here’s a great example that you’ve probably been involved with yourself. Say you’re in a competition for a contract and the more time (read money) you spend on the proposal, the more likely it is that you’ll win. But if you lose, any amount that you’ve already spent will be lost. See the similarities? There are also plenty of other situations where you can apply this insight.
So, back to the dollar. Your strategy in this game depends on your objective. The key is to think forward and reason backward. Identify your desired outcome, or objective. Anticipate what moves your competition will make. Think about the ways in which it might end. Then reason backward to what you should do now.
Here are a few possible objectives and strategies for the dollar game:
- Objective: You want to make money.
Strategy: Don’t play. Unless you are going to cheat, there is no way to make money.
- Objective: You want to “win” the dollar.
Strategy: Immediately bid $1.00 for it, or if your opponent opens with $.05, bid $1.05. You need to give him no incentive to outbid you. However, you must be pretty confident that he’s not going to act irrationally and be willing to lose a lot more money in order to “win” that dollar.
- Objective: You want to destroy your opponent.
Strategy: If that’s your objective, and you have more money, just keep bidding until he runs out. In order for this to work, however, you have to make sure that you actually do have more money, and that you are totally committed!
There is one way to truly win, of course, and that is to collude with the other bidders. That’s cheating, though, and in business it’s also illegal.
There’s much more to this story, but these are the basics. If you want to try it for yourself, go ahead and auction off a dollar to a group of your friends or family. You’ll probably get at least a free lunch out of it.
Check out some of the most interesting digital ad campaigns on the internet.
Over the next few months I will be sharing some of the coolest digital ads out there and how they came to be. This month is an ad campaign for the online flight reservations company, Cheapflights. They were looking for a way to engage people right at the moment they get the urge to take a trip. Check out how Cheapflights combines four APIs in one banner ad.