20 reasons you shouldn't listen to a word I say

Ian Lurie

I feel strongly about full disclosure. So, here it is—20 reasons I’m full of crap:

  1. I don’t have a best selling book. Nor, at this rate, will I ever.
  2. Major marketing conferences bark with laughter when I submit a speaker’s pitch.
  3. I haven’t made $10 million. I haven’t even made $1 million. I’m just a guy who writes a lot.
  4. I have been known to play Dungeons and Dragons, and we know what those people are like.
  5. I’m a cat person. And a dog person. And a guinea pig person. And an octopus person. I’m wishy-washy.
  6. I’m a Democrat who believes in free enterprise and Atlas Shrugged. Again with the wishy washy.
  7. My blog earns me a whopping $350/month.
  8. I didn’t sell my first company for millions when I was 25.
  9. I’m not a l33t hax0r.
  10. I once worked as a telemarketer. I was really good at it. I quit because it made me nauseous.
  11. I don’t have throngs of people following me around at conferences.
  12. Good wine does nothing for me. Diet Coke FTW.
  13. I don’t get the whole Charlie Sheen thing.
  14. Not one major magazine gives a crap what I have to say.
  15. I think They Might Be Giants are artistic geniuses. There. I said it.
  16. Baseball feels like 30 minutes of action crammed into 5 hours. I’m un-American.
  17. My legal research & writing professor gave me a C-, telling me I had ‘little promise as a writer’. Of course, she didn’t last as long as I did at UCLA Law—I graduated. She quit after 2 semesters.
  18. I look nothing like Don Draper. I look more like a tall, slightly overweight Woody Allen with a gland problem.
  19. I don’t believe that anyone can run a successful business. I actually don’t believe sane people can run a successful business at all.
  20. I promise nothing. There are no guarantees in marketing. It’s total chaos, and you don’t control your own destiny. The best you can do is maximize the chances that something good will happen. Which is what it’s all about.

Other stuff

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. hahahaha that was AWESOME!
    what you didn’t except from this is it gave me 20 reasons to keep coming back to your site.
    keep up the great work…. well i guess everyone gets a slow news day at some point.

  2. Don’t worry, those of us who had never heard of Don Draper and They Might Be Giants still like you! Probably the others as well. 🙂

  3. What a refreshing article – I laughed out load many times.
    You are wonderfull, so please keep up your great writing.
    Your new fan from Denmark 🙂

  4. Wrong! Baseball is 5 minutes of action crammed into 5 hours.
    I’m kind of amazed by the success of motivational speakers masquerading as marketers, mostly because of how impressively dumb their commentary is. They make millions and get speaker invites spinning nonsense platitudes and people eat it up. The only thing they’re great at marketing is themselves. Good for them, but not that interesting to me. Thus I read CM and not other popular “marketing” blogs. Even when you’re not being substantive, you can at least be amusing.
    (Actually, their popularity isn’t the amazing part. The amazing part is how dumb most people are because they follow those clowns.)

  5. “…a tall, slightly overweight Woody Allen with a gland problem.” Seriously?
    I will listen to you every day sir. Every day! Cuz you keep us on our toes.

  6. You make $350 a month with this crap? Why wouldn’t I listen to you? 😉 But seriously, points 6, 7, 10, 13, 17 and 20 sound like reasons we should listen to you.

  7. Another great chuckle today from you in my inbox. Isn’t it nice to know you make so many people laugh with your words? Dave Barry could do that – you’re up there!

  8. You had me at “Democrat who believes in free enterprise and Atlas Shrugged”.
    You rock.
    John Galt drinks Diet Coke.
    Cheers to thoughts-out-loud.

  9. @Lois thanks! But I don’t want to be struck by lightning from the comedic gods. I’ll stick with ‘mildly amusing’ until I learn to draw 🙂

  10. Such a pity about the wine… *shakes head* But you deserved more than a “C” for the writing. 😉
    (Hahaha. Been reading you for a couple years, and _this_ is the post that finally makes me comment. Arrived for the information, stayed for the humour. Thanks.)

  11. I read this via email this morning. And I returned tonight. Good stuff. Mostly I appreciate the honesty about marketing. Most in the profession (in my humble opinion) seem to think they’ve uncovered some Black Magic secret, what with their buzz terms of “ping rates” and “clean design” with text that “pops.” It’s a crap shoot, to be sure. Some are just better than others. Oh, and I, too, am a No. 6.

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