Gini Dietrich

The Three Things, Edition 23

By: Gini Dietrich | March 10, 2013 | 

three-amigosWelcome to 23rd edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (HonoraA Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Sky Pulse MediaWeb Choice Consulting), and me!

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t suscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

This week we have thoughts on monetization, technology, and competitiveness.

Happy Sunday reading!

The Art of Asking

Michael on Monetization. I’ve always struggled with the idea of donations on blogs. I don’t think they’re wrong or anything. I just tend to be more product-minded. I tend to support those who offer something additional in return for patronage (i.e. Shawn Blanc’s Membership Podcast and Patrick Rhone’s old newsletter). The idea of supporting art for art’s sake is just something I have a hard time getting my head around. Not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just something I struggle to embrace.

I feel strongly those who create for the web also have the ability to create products they can sell (even if those products are created what they’ve already offered for free on their site). I’m not sure this video of Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on The Art of Asking is going to change my mind on this topic, but it’s certainly encouraging me to challenge some very stubbornly held assumptions… which is always a good thing.

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

Howie on Technology. In the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying an important lesson I learned was that only one thing is guaranteed. Impermanence. Change. Every time we get comfy in life, things change. One day phones will not be Apple or Android. Just like one day social will not have names such as Twitter and Facebook. Are you ready? You don’t have a choice. This is a great article about some developments in mobile. And keep in mind, at one point, the following businesses were invincible: Yahoo. Netscape. AOL. Myspace. Sony. EBay. Priceline. Motorola. All owned the Internet or technology per the soothsayers at one time.

Cycling’s Road Forward

Gini on Competitiveness. I’ve been waiting all week to share this article! It’s no surprise I’m a cycling advocate. I love everything about it, even the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong. I’ve been completely obsessed with his fall from grace and what that means (if anything) to the cycling community.

Enter Joe Dombrowski. He’s 21 years old and has just gone pro for Team Sky (the team last year’s TdF winner, Bradley Wiggins, rides). He’s spending his time in Nice, France, riding, learning the mountain climbs, and even being hazed. It’s nice to see the next generation of cyclists come up through the ranks.

But what I found most interesting about this article is not his thoughts on doping or cycling as a sport, but on why he thinks his generation won’t dope. It’s not because it’s illegal or because they want to clean up the sport. It’s because his generation isn’t competitive to win. They’re competitive to learn from the best, to ride, and to have an adventure of a lifetime, but it’s competitive with themselves and not one another.

Shelly Kramer posted a meme on Facebook a few days ago that said (I’m paraphrasing), it’s great kids all get trophies these days, but what happens when they enter the real world?

I guess this is what happens. They aren’t competitive. They don’t care to win. They just want the experience. It makes me sad.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Hi, Gini – this is so lame and not true.
    Joe may not be juicing, but he’s smoking something 😮
    I’ve never met a real competitor that didn’t have a deep desire to win. Some are good-sportsman, some are not; but these have a desire to win.
    I’ve met some folks that are in it for the adventure of a lifetime, but they don’t win races. Period.
    There will always be champions in the world. They’re competitive. They fight. They win. In life and sport.
    Anything less would be boring.

    • @Mark_Harai I don’t know if that’s true with the next generation, though. They haven’t been taught to compete. They haven’t been taught to win. They’ve been taught everyone wins…and, as a business owner, that scares me. I want people who work with me to have a natural competitive nature and want to win.

      • @ginidietrich  @Mark_Harai It’s definitely an interesting perspective to have on the next generation. I would say that I’m on the outer edge (28) and have a set of experiences completely different than someone who is 21 and graduating right now. I find it hard to believe that as a generation people would not want to compete or win. While we’ve grown up with 8th place ribbons and runner-up trophies, I still believe there are plenty of people who want to win, and that’s their driving desire. I didn’t necessarily have the drive to win playing sports, but I certainly have that drive in plenty of other aspects of my life. 
        And going with @Mark_Harai on this one, he’s smoking something. No way that we should be making any assumptions about an ENTIRE generation from one person.

        • @wiedenu  @Mark_Harai The problem is, we see this over and over again or I wouldn’t make that broad assumption. I see it in business all the time.

        • @ginidietrich  @Mark_Harai Kinda like the “you shouldn’t hire anyone over 25 to do your social media” thing from last year? 🙂 Does that type of hubris along with the above lack of desire to win go hand-in-hand in your opinion?

        • @wiedenu  I actually don’t have that popular opinion. I think it’s fine to have someone junior helping with social as long as they have someone senior coaching and helping them think through strategy.

        • @ginidietrich Glad to hear! I know that I have a great communications/pr mentor right now, and that’s definitely helped in our social media activities, and in my professional growth.

        • @ginidietrich  @wiedenu If you look at the industry we all work around and in, it’s a pretty competitive environment… Run by some of the most competitive CEO’s in history.
          Small, medium, large, it makes no difference what size company it happens to be; but leading that competitive spirit are Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple.  Fierce competitors who would go for the jugular if nobody was looking and they wouldn’t get caught. There would be blood in the streets.
          A short story: I helped to finance a water technology company in Costa Rica several years ago.  They have an incredible technology that basically transforms sh_t water into pure clean drinking water in matter of hours, with zero power or chemicals.
          It was placed in public water treatment facility at in one of Costa Rica’s most popular beach towns. To this day this town has the cleanest drinking water in the country, probably the world.
          To make a long story short, the inventor of this technology has had test results tampered with all over the globe and has literally had death threats against his life.
          And this originating from one of the largest and most powerful chemical companies on the planet, which creates chlorine.
          Business is ultra-ugly. Money and power get people to do the damndest  things. They will kill you if you mess with their money.
          This is just a dose of reality and a serious ‘competitive win-at-all-costs’ mindset that controls most of the ultra-wealthy companies in the world.

  • I enjoyed the article Gini. Thanks for sharing that one. If nothing else, The Washington Post website was very cool to look at and read – the interactive videos, audio, pics, and data were a good break from the text.

    • @williamtpeckii I think so, too! I was just telling belllindsay how I love how they give you such a great interactive experience. I’ll bet I spent 30 minutes with that one article because of it.

      • @ginidietrich  @williamtpeckii  Ha, that’s funny I just was about to comment the same thing!

  • The non-competitive aspect of this generation is actually rather frightening. That combined with an overall sense of entitlement gives me serious pause about what will happen not only to innovation but simply to our every day operations. 
    The optimist in me hopes that the lack of competitive nature will lead to a different type of innovation, one that is deeply rooted in their collaborative nature and will cause them to work together to create without ego getting in the way of a given project. However one wonders the extent to which motivation will endure without the desire to ultimately ‘be the best’, ‘achieve more’, ‘be first’ or basically win. But hopefully we are just unable to understand the world through their frame.

  • Oh and love, love, love the TED talk. I stand by my previous idea that I would like to be hired to exclusively watch TED videos and read BuzzFeed.