September 05, 2012

Must Read, Now, Especially The Comments!

You must read this article, right now.  Drop everything you're doing.
More important, please read the comments.


You see, this business owner is doing things in a non-traditional manner.  Not following best practices.  Having success.

Many of the commenters struggle to accept this fact.  They want the business owner to change, to conform, to merge her methods with established best practices.

Think about your business.  How often do you try to sand off the rough edges of your business?  How often do you try to make things beautiful?  How often do you try to conform to the "right" way of doing things?  Does that strategy work?

Your thoughts about the article?


  1. Anonymous1:03 AM

    This is one of my all-time favorite case write-ups and such a great reminder that really, really ugly can work really, really well. Reading through the comments I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by the marketing industry. So many industry heavy weights are quick to jump into "problem solving" mode to help "fix" what "could be better" (lots of quotation marks!) instead of asking probing questions about how and why this works for Ling's customers. It feels like they aren't really listening to her frankly great responses.

    ...And this is why they aren't successful in the same way she is. No one way is the right way and it's important to remember that.

  2. My personal belief is that a generation of marketers/analysts have been trained to "make something better". Think what we do when we hire a marketer or an analyst ... we present a situation, and we ask the person to optimize it or to improve the performance!

    We don't ask people to create something from scratch very often, that's much riskier, and it requires a very different set of skills.

  3. Thanks so much for your blog item, Kevin. Appreciate your opinion.

    I have been discussing some of this stuff on an automotive forum today, but boils down to this: Customers (of many businesses, not just car dealers) get annoyed as they do business with websites, many things annoy them. I try to treat people like adults, not idiots. This means having fun instead of pretending "professionalism" - (that professionalism is fake in most cases, just stands for ineptness). It means getting rid of the annoyances in a process, (whereas most businesses never put themselves in the customers shoes). And it means ignoring peer groups who want a website (or any business) to conform to certain average and inoffensive appearances.

    Agree, many people (visitors) don't like my website, but so what? Many do like it. The UK is big enough to sustain this. All customers who have cars, love my service. Most of these website "rules" are utter bollocks, promoted by people who are "experts" but have't sold a paperclip from a website. The main thing is to do what you say you will, fast, and with some humour. That's what customers want.

    I tell people I am Chinese not Catholic so can't do miracles. I do things that *I* enjoy and often customers suggest stuff. I'm not clever, I just hate being bored :)

    Thanks again, hope my rant is OK :)



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