Get Off This Avenue

I received a call from someone named Sara at a place called Avenue. She claims that they are doubling in size frequently, and provide three-minute videos to clients using others’ intellectual property. The profits are split. My air raid warnings sounded. There’s a lot of nonsense going around about technology that guarantees passive sales (I think Lightspeed, for example, is pure hype). It became clear quickly that Sara was quoting from a script. I kept interrupting her. She told me …


Does CVS Read My Blog?

Recently I published here (http://www.contrarianconsulting.com/dasm-cvs-and-baltimore/) my recommendations for CVS in the wake of the Baltimore riots. A few days later, they announced (as reported in the Wall Street Journal) virtually identical steps being taken. Reader Tim Wilson suggests that it was no coincidence and they accepted the free consulting advice.


The Hypocrisy of the Media

Britt McHenry, an ESPN reporter, was caught on camera berating a towing company employee with comments about missing teeth, education, weight, and so on. It was an exercise in self-absorption and self-importance of volcanic measure. ESPN suspended her for a week. (A TV poll showed that 84% of viewers thought she should be fired.) Imagine a politician doing that? He or she would be hounded for weeks and perhaps forced to resign. The media outlets would seize on it. But …


The Publishing Plunge

My first book (The Innovation Formula) was published in 1988, and my all-time best-seller (a real best-seller), Million Dollar Consulting, was published in 1992, and its fifth—and 25th anniversary—edition will be published next year. In the interim, I’ve produced 53 others, in 12 languages, and three more are in the works. I believe in literally agents and mine, Jeff Herman, placed my three most successful books over the years. I write to sustain my thought leadership and to attract clients, not to …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

I always feel like I need a shower after seeing a billboard on the road extolling some personal injury lawyer or their cheesy commercials on TV. Since when did inserting “douche” into a sentence become a script writer’s refuge for cheap laughs? Asking for a “deal” all the time is not an endearing trait, but rather a sign of a poverty mentality. Or do you also require the cheapest surgeon and ask if the doc will take a few bucks …


As We Turn Toward Spring

• A fast, imperfect response gets my attention better than a delayed, “perfect” response. • If people who are on an early morning shift at Dunkin’ Donuts can be polite and enthusiastic, why on Earth can’t you? • I just want to leave a message on your machine. I don’t care why you’re not there, I assume my call IS important to you, and I’m totally uninterested in your quote of the day. • I find a family sitting in …


Are You An Expert Or Just Someone Talking?

I’m weary of people with a string of initials after their names and a ton of self-righteousness in their advice misinforming others that it takes six months of monk-like sabbatical to create an hour’s speech. If you’re truly an expert, you should be able to speak extemporaneously and entertainingly on your topic for an hour, handling questions and using examples. Period. If you need to prepare as though you’re launching a missile to Mars, then you’re self-centered and trying to get …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

• Why do they say a terrorist group “took responsibility” for a terrorist act? Why don’t they say that the group admitted guilt for murder? • A person who blows herself or himself up to kill others isn’t a “suicide bomber” but a “mass murderer.” • Telling me you’re unhappy with my opinions in a free newsletter makes me wonder who’re reading it to you. • I can watch old “Law and Order” episodes all day. They’re better than most …


Land of Opportunity

I was in Washington, DC last week and went for a manicure prior to my Million Dollar Consulting® Convention. The manicurist had an exotic look, and I asked where she was from. She told me, Afghanistan. I have a habit of knowing most of the world capitals, and use that to stimulate conversation. “Kabul?” I asked. “Yes!” she said, and explained how her parents had come here for more opportunity 20 years ago. I returned to the hotel by calling …


Free Consulting for DirecTV

As a customer of yours who also has Cox Cable in my home as well as Apple and Amazon TV, and as a world-class consultant and thought leader, here’s some free advice for senior management at DirecTV: 1. You have far too many outages, approximate 20:1 vs. Cox Cable. 2. Your phone system should not be designed to divert people from reaching a live representative. It refused my prompts by voice and keypad, and eventually started asking me what movie …