Happy Birthday Digital Tonto!
It’s hard to believe, but it was only one year ago when, during a late night scotch drinking session, I came up with the dubious idea of starting a blog. A few days later (with some help from my developer friends: Pasha, Aleksey and Yuri) Digital Tonto was born!
I’d like to thank everybody for their enormous support over the last year. I never thought anybody would actually want to read anything that I wrote, much less participate in such an enthusiastic and meaningful way. I’ve learned a ton from your comments and suggestions.
In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share some of my favorite posts.
(Click on the title to read each post)
The Primal Forces that Drive Social Networks: This was the first post that I wrote about social media and network theory and I still think it’s one of the best. Take a look and let me know if you agree.
How Companies Fail: I wrote this at the height of the crisis and leaned heavily on Jim Collins’ book, How the Mighty Fall, but added quite a bit of my own experiences. A year later, I think it still holds up.
Advertising on The Brain: I’ve been studying the intersection of neurology and advertising for several years and have found it as fascinating as it is useful. This post gives a good overview and I continue to use it as a reference for new posts. I also had a lot of help on this one from ad creative extraordinaire, James Sinclair.
Less Numbers – More Math: I strongly believe that we have way too many numbers in marketing and not nearly enough understanding of them. Since I’ve entered the agency world, I’ve only become more convinced that there is a serious dearth of basic skills. I wish more marketers would read this post.
Lessons Learned in a Tulsa Steakhouse: I’ve written a handful of posts based on personal stories, but this one is my favorite. Having just re-read it I like it even better than I remember. If you missed this one, I strongly urge you to check it out.
Dr. Feynman’s 6 Principles of Trendspotting: I’ve always been a big fan of the physicist Richard Feynman and thought he has a lot to teach marketers, especially the way he attacked problems. He looked not only for solutions, but also thought about what new issues those solutions would create and think about how to solve them too!
He not only anticipated nanotechnology and quantum computing, but described accurately what would have to be done to create them. Read this post to find out how he did it.
Cargo Cult Marketers: Another concept I took from Dr. Feynman is the idea of Cargo Cult Marketers. These are people who look for facts to support their point of view rather than make the emotional effort to refine their thinking. Take a look and see if you recognize anyone you know!
6 Ways to Spot False Gurus: I LOVE this post! Apparently, everybody else did too. It has been the most popular article since Digital Tonto began. If you missed it, here’s a second chance.
How to Succeed with Certainty: I’ve written a lot about uncertainty, but this post is still my favorite. Unfortunately, most of you didn’t agree and it wasn’t one of my most popular. So I’m including it here both out of spite and as a birthday present to myself!
But seriously, check it out. Anytime you can read about Albert Einstein, Andy Grove and the alcohol ridden beat poet Charles Bukowski in the same article, it’s worth a look.
The Internet, The Web and The Future of Media: This post makes the very important, but often overlooked, point that the Web and the Internet are two different things and you really do need strategies for both of them. If you haven’t already made that distinction, read this post and find out why you should.
How to Build Cooperation: This one uses both game theory and evolutionary psychology to explain how to build more successful relationships. It also explains why all tourists are suckers, so if you’re planning a trip, you might want to take a look.
Justin Bieber, Social Networks and How Numbers Can Lie: Unfortunately, it is often overlooked how the new science of social networks can give us insight into everyday marketing math. This post attempts to correct that by applying Barabasi’s “fitness model” to the Justin Bieber phenomenon.
Stupid Strategy: We could all be a little smarter if we thought a little dumber. I was glad to see that so many people liked this post. It was also one of my favorite, not least because it contained one of my favorite G.H. Hardy quotes: “For any serious purpose, intelligence is a very minor gift.”
So there you have it, a collection of my favorite posts over the past year. Thanks again for all of the thoughtful support that has made Digital Tonto so much more successful than I ever thought it could be.
Feel free to add any of your favorites and your suggestions of how Digital Tonto can be improved in the coming year in the comments below.