F Word 3: Forthright

Look in the damn mirror.

September 23, 2020

Without a genuine and honest view of ourselves and our visions, we cannot expect to move forward.

Our culture abhors imperfection. We alter beautiful people in photoshop to achieve god-like standards. We post pictures of our significant other during our vacation to Fiji on Instagram, but neglect the brokenness of the relationship. We lie to preserve a false sense of perfection.

Fuck that and damn it to hell.

That is not the path of rebellion. That is conformity. That is a fearful shell of what could be and shifts one's focus to what others might think instead of what one can do.

Why forthright?

/ˈfôrTHˌrīt/ direct and outspoken; straightforward and honest.

Being forthright doesn't beat around the bush. It means stating simply whether something is good or bad. Yes and no, not maybe. Being forthright demands that you speak up and stake a claim.

This is most important when looking inward. A rebel must be honest with herself if any improvement is to be made. It is honesty that allows her to notice what could be better and act upon it earnestly. Even on a grander scale, it allows her to examine the impact of her vision and whether or not it is truly valuable to the world.

A rebel must be forthright.

More you say?

Band-Aid

This won't cure cancer and a logo won't save your startup.

6.10.2020

You would not prescribe a cancer patient to use a band-aid as appropriate treatment.

Likewise, it'd be stupid to prescribe a logo to fix a broken brand.

You have to be willing to undergo massive overhaul to make massive change. Dive deep into the fundamental flaws of your startup. Things like being aimless, having no defined culture, no spirit, a lack of confidence or purpose. Once those are fixed, everything else becomes easier.

Don't think a band-aid will cure cancer.

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Value

An excerpt from Obviously Awesome, part III.

5.27.2020

This is the third article in a small series of punches surrounding April Dunford's Obviously Awesome! and how good positioning relates to good branding. Please read the first article and second article before jumping into this one.

Enjoy!

You know what the alternatives are, you know the special things that your startup unique, now you need to establish what makes that valuable.

It's tricky to get lost in the weeds here and even harder to stay objective.Typically, startups say things like "great user experience," or "great customer service," but that's trite and, quite frankly, to be expected. If you don't have those components, your business is gonna fail anyway.

Value goes deeper and it's objective. For example, building a repository of customer feedback and concrete examples of your secret sauce in action. Personally, this is seen in my business through my reviews and the consistent compliments I get on organization. Organization is the secret sauce (or one of them, I hope) and the value is that it saves time and keeps projects moving smoothly.

As this pertains to branding, it's a difficult to see what the emotional component is to quantitative value. However, it is clear that in gathering the quantitive data on your startup, you will see how you make people feel. If you're doing your job right, what you want people to feel and what they actually feel is aligned. That's a mark of good branding.

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