I'm sick of quickies – a marketing rant

Ian Lurie
house of cards

We’re in a quickie culture, and I’m sick of it.

Just once, I’d like to see a businessperson or marketer interested in building truly lasting wealth or a lasting organization.

“Lasting” means “past my next bonus check” or, God forbid, “past my retirement/death”.

Seriously. The last few years have brought us credit default swaps, collapsed banks and a bunch of Mariner’s trades that make you wonder what they’re pumping into the vents at Safeco Field.

Gotta put a stop to it. Or buy an island somewhere and build a bunker on it.

How you break out of quickie culture

First, you have to have vision.
“Vision” means “I have the balls/ovaries to make unpopular decisions that I really believe will pay off in the long run.”

Second, you have to be a leader.
“Leader” means “I listen to other points of view, but I understand that, in the end, this is my decision.”

Third, you have to be strategic.
“Strategic” means “I will not make some dumb-assed decision (credit default swaps, anyone?) for a quick burst of cash/warm tingles.”

Fourth, and most important, you have to be ethical.
Ethics are apolitical. They’re ecumenical. They’re not complicated.

“Ethical” does not mean “nice”. It means “I want to build something lasting.”

Lasting things are big and small. A walnut tree you plant in the front yard. A corporation. A college fund for your kids. A restored 68 Mustang. Even a lasting impression. Hear that, marketers?

Who’s with me?

Who wants to end the bullshit, shortsighted, moronic quickie culture and actually work on real stuff? Raise your hand with a comment.

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  1. I agree 100%, it angers me how many “legitimate” companies out there make so much of their money on scammy products. The best example are banks and financial institutions who spend all of their time trying to figure out what new hidden fee or bullshit charge they can add to a persons account to squeeze a few extra dollars out of them.

  2. I SO agree with you. The greed and blind sightedness that leads to doing anything to make a buck without regard to the long-term consequences is destroying our country and all of western society.

  3. Excellent, excellent post.
    And a reminder for bootstrappers like me that we’re not in this for the material rewards…wait, what are we in this for again?

  4. @MikeTek Actually I think material rewards ARE what we’re in it for. But to me the material rewards have to be more lasting than next week or next month.

  5. I’m 100% with all y’all.
    All scamming aside, the hardest thing to do when growing a business (especially if you’re bootstrapping) is saying no to $$$. ANY $$$.
    Developing a vision, creating a brand, and following through takes more than just piles of work, it takes disciplined work. If you do a good job for your customers, no matter how small you are, you’ll constantly find opportunities that fall juuuust outside of your path and your brand. Do you grab the quick cash? Depends, I guess. If you do, do it with knowledge and intent; if you KNOW you’re off on a little pit stop for a month or whatever, that’s probably OK as long as it doesn’t hurt your core customers or sidetrack your critical resources who are ostensibly moving you along the vision YOU established.
    The hardest part for me in trying to build something that lasts has been staying the course. The focus. Saying no to a short-term opportunity when I know in my heart (and head) that it will be too distracting is really, really, REALLY hard sometimes. But it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the only way to build something that you’ll ultimately be proud of AND will produce a meaningful, sustainable income.
    Or you can develop the Snuggie. Bastards.

  6. Totally agreed. The startup nature I read so much about of ‘lets build something quick and dirty so we can find an exit so that the unstable foundation we created is someone else’s problem’ is just not something that creates long term value. At my work we make all new hires read From Good To Great by Jim Collins, he also wrote Built to Last. Great books for helping a company focus on their core competences and how to build long term value.

  7. In a world where MBA students are taught that the only function of a firm is to provide the highest possible return to shareholders (and it keeps being interpreted as “this quarter”) … well, I agree with you, but I think we’re shoveling uphill in an avalanche.

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