Trading in Secrets

Shhhh, it's a secret!While you are waiting for The New Rules of Marketing & PR, you can sink your teeth into another great e-book that David M. Scott and my favorite team over at Pragmatic Marketing collaborated on, The Secrets of Market Driven Leaders, How Technology Company CEO’s Create Success (and why most fail) (PDF).

First of all – this is a good, and valuable tool that you can print out and leave on your CEO’s chair. Now that that’s out of the way…

Basically the whole e-book boils down to: are you market facing? That goes for your product development process, your marketing, your relations to employees and existing customers. I agree with their secrets (like most good advice these are things that hide in plain sight), but did have one beef with the book. Like most “Secrets of” books, it focuses on the what, not the how, which I what I find really compelling. How do you transition a company to “build from the outside-in,” for example. How do you make the transition to Big M Marketing if you step into a company that does little M today?

I have ideas on all these things, and the Pragmatic training class goes into it a little, but the tactical implementation is basically left up to you. I’ve noticed that Pragmatic has started offering consulting to help companies through the transition too. It’s very interesting to me that in the e-book, all of the examples are either of companies that changed leadership to make the shift (Apple), or started that way (WebSense). I’d love to read a case study of a company that was stagnated and made the shift to a market facing company which resulted in their resurgence.

In this, my first position at a Director’s level, I have more opportunity to affect the culture of the company. I’ve found that even in my startup there has been cultural resistance to many of the market facing changes I have pushed. Through that, I’ve learned a ton about executing the theory taught by Pragmatic (the topic of a future post). Some examples:

  • How do you convince a founder/executive that their pet idea isn’t reflected in the market? Especially after they just spent the afternoon talking to a customer wants that feature
  • How do you conquer Not Invented Here?
  • How do you coax Development to be more accurate in their scheduling (without becoming a full time project manager)?

Those are the types of case studies I am really interested in reading…and maybe the kind I will start to write when I get the time.

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1 Comment

  • Reply David Meerman Scott May 17, 2007 at 3:18 am


    Thank you so much for taking the time to do the review. And for doing it so fast!

    We will certainly take your excellent advice as we start to work on the hardcover book (we would like to include more “how to” implementation ideas in the long form book).

    All the best, David

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