• The only defense a person has in our overcommunicated society is an oversimplified mind. Not unless they repeal the law of nature that gives us only 24 hours in a day will they find a way to stuff more into the mind. The average mind is already a dripping sponge that can only soak up more information at the expense of what’s already there. Yet we continue to pour more information into that supersaturated sponge and are disappointed when our messages fail to get through.

    Advertising, of course, is only the tip of the communication iceberg. We communicate with each other in a wide variety of bewildering ways. And in a geometrically increasing volume. The medium may not be the message, but it does seriously affect the message. Instead of a transmission system, the medium acts like a filter. Only a tiny fraction of the original material ends up in the mind of the receiver.

    — Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries, Jack Trout

  • Product marketing is truly a great on-ramp for any career path in tech. It can lead anywhere, and if you’re lucky enough to lead people doing it, help grow them into tomorrow’s company leaders.

    — Loved: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products (Silicon Valley Product Group) by Martina Lauchengco

  • A worldview is a point of view, a way of seeing the world. Worldviews are not formed objectively and supported by facts. They are subjective, values-based reflections of our experiences and beliefs.

    Our worldviews shape our attitudes and biases, influence our decisions and guide our actions. And while as innovators and marketers we understand all of this, in our search for ways to understand and define our markets, we sometimes forget to apply it. Just because they take the same route to work each morning doesn’t mean that all twenty-nine-year-old men living in the suburbs share the same worldview.

    Our assumptions about the stories of the people we create for can lead us down the wrong track.

    — Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly by Bernadette Jiwa

  • A product is viral if its core functionality encourages users to invite their friends to become users too. This is how Facebook and PayPal both grew quickly: every time someone shares with a friend or makes a payment, they naturally invite more and more people into the network.

    This isn’t just cheap — it’s fast, too. If every new user leads to more than one additional user, you can achieve a chain reaction of exponential growth. The ideal viral loop should be as quick and frictionless as possible.

    — Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

  • Don’t be an expert, be open. Let’s be honest. There is a lot of talk about embracing mistakes, failing fast, and showing vulnerability. But expertise is both rewarded and embraced, and often essential to being viewed as credible. How do you balance this? The marketing leader finds ways to communicate expertise while still showing openness toward others, inviting participation.

    This balance is serious Jedi-level $h#t (I’m still working on it). You’re never really a master. But the difference between a “functional expert” (director) and “leader” (VP or CMO) lies in tone, tenor, and self-awareness. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to develop tools to navigate challenges with grace. Experts feel closed. Leaders feel open.

    — Loved: How to Rethink Marketing for Tech Products (Silicon Valley Product Group) by Martina Lauchengco

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