My Mantra

Inspiring better marketing to help
your world changing ideas succeed.

Content Marketing & Curation Archive

The Selfie Silencer And Other Silly Startup Ideas That You’ll Wish Were Real

The greatest word The Simpsons ever offered to the English language was “craptacular.” When Bart Simpson used it to describe Homer’s Christmas decorations, he introduced a much needed concept for us all: something that was so bad it might actually be good.

Today we are in the age of instant startups, where launching an idea from a garage suddenly seems needlessly spacious. Yet with that ease of creation also comes the occasional silliness.  Or perhaps not so occasional. According to Bill Gates, as much as half of all Silicon Valley startups may be silly, and two thirds of them may be going bankrupt.  So in my own attempt to celebrate a day filled with jokes about “Gmail Shelfies” and plenty of other April Fools gags, I thought it would be fun to create my own list of a few craptacular startup ideas. You know … ideas so bad they might actually be good.  Here they are:

1. Escapr – Take A Vacation Without Taking Time Off.

Need a quick escape from your daily life?  Escapr can help. Just choose your departing airport to see ALL flight options (because when you’re escaping it doesn’t really matter where you go). After you book the best flight and hotel, the site will automatically create fake doctor’s notes to get you out of work, create an Out-Of-Office email reply (with the appropriate apologetic tone), send a car to pick you up and drive you to the airport and partner with a mail order clothing retailer to send a bunch of clothes in your size to your final destination.  There is no annoying time researching your trip, and no evidence for anyone to find after your escape is over that you ever took the trip.

2. SelfieSilencer – The Social Ego Muffler

Sick of duck face photos?  Too many friends sharing those annoying “look at me after I worked out” selfies?  That’s not a problem anymore with SelfieSilencer. This is a mobile phone app and browser tool that automatically filters out images of selfies on all social media platforms. And the best part is you don’t have to worry about accidentally missing out on important celebrity selfies (like Ellen at the Oscars) because our built in Selfie Influence Meter algorithm will identify those critical selfies and make sure they still make it through.

 3. Cloakr – Disappear Socially. Be The Real You In Real Life.

Do you feel like you can be the “real you” on social media? Probably not. But we don’t care about solving that problem for you. Instead, we want you to be yourself in the real world interacting with real people!  We invented Cloakr to be a single kill button for all social media sharing.  When you enable Cloakr on your phone, we plug into every social media profile and turn every type of sharing or update off.  So when you’re “Cloakd” – you’re completely invisible to all your social media connections.  Sound nice?  Check out our site and get Cloakd today!

4. KarmaAlert – Karma Happens. Don’t Miss It.

You don’t have to be Indian to believe in karma. When you meet someone who is rude, angry, selfish – often you know it will lead them towards bad fortune … but sadly you probably won’t be around to see it.  We want to change that.  With KarmaAlert, you can sign up for a text message that will automatically be sent to you whenever that obnoxious person you met experiences their “karma moment” of misfortune.  You can spend a moment to delight in that misfortune they so richly deserve, the universe returns to its regular order, and you can go merrily on your way.

What’s Next?

Clearly the next step in “embiggening” (another Simpsons word!) these concepts is to hold a Hackathon event to challenge teams of developers and entrepreneurs to build and launch them.  But I need your help.

Which of these startup concepts would you like to see built in real life? Or maybe you have a better suggestion?  Please comment below on your choice for the most promising idea and maybe together we can get enough people interested to build it.  After all, any entrepreneur can ask why.  More of us should choose to ask, why not — because you don’t create something craptacular without first making a commitment to try.

5 Marketing Lessons From The Alluring #FollowMe Project

followme1

About two years ago, aspiring photographer Murad Osmann was in Barcelona on vacation with his girlfriend Russian journalist Nataly Zakharova when she grabbed his hand to pull him forward – annoyed at how often he kept stopping to take photos. He captured that moment from his perspective, and it started a project where he spent the next two years capturing…Read More >>

The Best And Worst Of 2014 Sochi Olympics Marketing Strategy

Sochi-logo

Just mention “Olympic Marketing” to anyone in communications and two images will likely come to mind immediately. The first is the predictable 30 second spot focusing on the dedicated Olympian who wakes up super early, braves crazy cold temperatures and sacrifices a “normal” life for their dream. And the second is an army of lawyers ready to threaten any brand…Read More >>

Why Most Trends Don’t Matter (And 15 New 2014 Trends That Do!)

Why Most Trends Don’t Matter (And 15 New 2014 Trends That Do!)

If you believe the typical trend declarations for 2014 – this is going to be the year of big data, wearable devices, and ubiquitous tablets. These are the facts we have heard over the past two months presented as big insights for the coming year. There are only a few problems with these so called trends, and others like them:…Read More >>

The 300 Year Old Female Entrepreneur Story You’ve Never Heard

kikkoman-makehasteslowly

“Started by a woman, in a time when women didn’t start companies.” These are the powerful first words that introduce the story behind a brand you probably forgot you have in your kitchen right now. Kikkoman is the #1 best selling soy sauce brand worldwide, in a category filled with syrupy competitors that can rarely lay claim to any sort…Read More >>

Rainbow Loom vs. Silly Bandz – Why One Marketing Fad Outlasts Another

rainbowlooms2

The carpet in my living room this weekend was covered with hundreds of tiny rubber bands. The bands are part of an addictive new toy kit called Rainbow Looms that let kids create their own woven bracelets out of these small rubber bands. Invented by a Chinese immigrant dad of two teenage daughters, the product has been on the market…Read More >>

BOOK LAUNCH: ePatient 2015 – 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare

ePatient 2015 cover concept v4

Today I launched ePatient 2015 – 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare, my newest book focused on the future of healthcare. It might seem like an odd project for me to launch – being a marketing guy. This is the unexpected story of why and how I did it (along with my co-author Fard Johnmar), and why the book might be…Read More >>

How LinkedIn, YouTube & Others Could Finally Cure Stupidity Online

demotivational-blogging

The greatest collection of human stupidity ever amassed sits on the Internet … and you probably encounter it every day. When you go online today, there is some great content – and a deluge of bad, useless or otherwise idiotic content. It is common knowledge that content creation online is exploding and that much of it is not very good….Read More >>

Marketing Advice From 15 Big Brands (And How To Write An eBook In 3 Hrs)

IMG-Incite-eBook

There is a trick that only a handful of the most entrepreneurial wedding videographers know.  Thanks to advances in the speed of video editing technology, the process of editing has gotten much faster.  In response, a select group of talented videographers now promise that they will shoot your wedding, and edit a video version of it that you can play…Read More >>

A Guide To Overcoming The Myth Of Content Marketing

IMG-5-Types-Digital-Experiences

If there was a balloon made of KoolAid, I probably wouldn’t be able to resist popping it. KoolAid – aside from being a sugary drink that is deliciously bad for you, is also an analogy many of us use to describe a situation when everyone is blindly agreeing with an idea without questioning it.  This type of balloon was in…Read More >>