My Mantra

Inspiring better marketing to help
your world changing ideas succeed.

Personality Marketing 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.

And The Best Marketing Strategy At SXSW Is … Kindness

And The Best Marketing Strategy At SXSW Is … Kindness

As the three hour party RSVP line outside an Austin bar stretches around the corner, no one wonders why a surprising number of people seem to be wearing red clown noses. To my right, a guy walks towards me with a light up disco ball covering his head. He passes nonchalantly by a woman dressed in medieval armour wearing a…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 >>

How I Launched A Startup, Failed, Moved To Australia, Got Fired And Wrote A Best Seller

Someone asked me tonight what my “story” was – and I always wish for a better answer to that question.  After all, I spend a good part of my life telling stories and helping companies to tell them as well.  Tomorrow I will be spending an entire day at an event called the Future of Storytelling.  Every night I read…Read More >>

How To Position A Product Like Don Draper

Don-Draper

The marketing team for Viagra doesn’t use email newsletters. You can probably guess why – but I have often thought for some time that anyone who can figure out a good marketing strategy for a product like that could probably promote anything. If that person existed in real life, he or she would probably resemble the character of Don Draper…Read More >>

What 5 Fake Ads Can Teach You About Great Marketing

What 5 Fake Ads Can Teach You About Great Marketing

Sometimes clients don’t buy great ideas. And sometimes creative people have great marketing ideas for brands they don’t work on. I have thought for years that the greatest marketing idea for Crayola would be to create their own series of coloring menus and crayons for kids, and sell them to restaurants on a monthly basis as a subscription. But I…Read More >>

15 Big Brand Lessons From The 2013 Corporate Social Media Summit

There are all kinds of ways to judge the quality of a conference. Some people look at the venue, or the number of attendees. Other look at the list of speakers, or the keynote presenters. Across the dozens of events I attend every year, I have seen or used almost all of these metrics myself. But yesterday I discovered a…Read More >>

Get A Free Copy Of My Newest eBook … Always Eat Left Handed: 15 Surprisingly Simple Secrets Of Success

AELH Webinar Ad

I want to give you a free copy of my new ebook … but I don’t want you to keep it.* Let me tell you why. On June 18, my newest ebook will be released and I am writing it for an audience that may not include you. Unless of course you happen to be in high school or college,…Read More >>