The Portent Blog

starshearts Random

4 Nov, 2015

11 Reasons for Twitter Heartgate

By Ian Lurie

I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I’m surfing the trend. I’m grubbing for 15 seconds of fame by reporting the biggest news of the last 24 hours: Twitter is replacing stars with hearts But I’m different. I’m… special. My spies have the inside story. And they brought back 11 possible reasons for this bold change of… Read More

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13 Aug, 2015

10 Phrases That May Get You Fired (By Your Agency)

By Ian Lurie

I periodically fire potential clients. It’s hard to walk away from the revenue. But clients hire Portent for our advice. It’s also hard work with clients who ignore that advice. And that kind of relationship typically starts with more than one of these statements: “I just want to crank out blog posts.” Basically, they’re hoping… Read More

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29 Jun, 2015

To my team, at 20

By Ian Lurie

This is what I said at Portent’s 20th-anniversary party. It’s also a kind of open letter to my team. For posterity, I’m posting it here. If you really want to know what we’re all about, this is a really good place to start: 20 years ago when I started Portent, as my accountant filled out… Read More

Portent's baby picture Random

5 Jun, 2015

Holy shit. Portent is 20 years old.

By Ian Lurie

Today Portent is 20 years old. I forgot until another Portent-ite reminded me. Which is painfully typical. Like a lot of CEOs, I tend to focus on the bad areas for improvement and mistakes instead of the milestones. We’re having our big party next week, but for today I’m going to: 1. Break protocol and… Read More

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21 May, 2015

How to get back 14 hours of your life (every month)

By Ian Lurie

I’m a life optimization addict. So I work really hard to be more efficient at my computer. I focus on four activities: Writing Selecting text, switching apps/tabs Starting applications, opening folders Menu navigation It may be a teeny-weeny bit utterly compulsive, but last month I measured the total time saved based on average time per… Read More

Now this is a good day Random

23 Feb, 2015

10 things I’d like to hear more often

By Ian Lurie

I’m trying to become a more positive guy. So instead of a post like ‘10 things that make me weep for the species,’ or ‘10 reasons I want to swallow an HDMI adapter,’ I’m going with things I’d like to hear. Woo hoo! It’s Positive Monday! Note: These are my bad habits, too. I write… Read More

email-symbols Internet Marketing

13 Nov, 2014

Symbols in subject lines, AKA the resurrection of Wingdings

By Tracy Beach

I’ve worked at Portent for 14 years now and this is my first blog post. You might ask yourself, “why now?” “Why does he start with this subject?” The answer is that nothing in the past 14-plus years has been more exciting, more inspiring, and maybe even more important than the recent technological advancements that have allowed us… Read More

youhaveit Random

23 Oct, 2014

How to: Hand off a task

By Ian Lurie

Ah, the handoff. Passing a task along to a co-worker seems simple: Send a quick e-mail, or say, “OK, all yours” and you’re done. Wrong. That’s the kind of handoff that sends everything swirling down the potty. There’s a right way to do handoffs. I did a SlideShare about how I approach handoffs. Have a… Read More

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22 Sep, 2014

One-Trick Ponies: The ebook

By Ian Lurie

You’ve heard me rant about strategy vs. tactics, and why tactics-only business relationships are getting marketing agencies fired. I’ve realized it’s a much bigger problem than that. If you look at the last 15 years, the drive to ‘productize’ services has ripped the guts out of any business that is paid for an individual’s craft… Read More

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10 Sep, 2014

Portent’s Ice Bucket Challenge: Spread the Wealth!

By Ian Lurie

We got challenged! Some colleagues challenged Portent in the Ice Bucket challenge. Here’s the video: We changed it up. Here’s why: ALSA has now raised $111 million. That is freaking fantastic. It’s a great cause. 5,000-6,000 people are diagnosed with ALS each year, impacting tens of thousands of people. 30,000 or more Americans live with… Read More

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28 Jul, 2014

Net Neutrality: It’s more than streaming video

By Ian Lurie

This is a broader, hand-waving bit about Net Neutrality. If you want to see how it might affect small businesses, and what you can do to mitigate the problem, read Josh Patrice’s post. The debate about Net Neutrality isn’t as clear-cut as some would have you think. Here’s how Tim Wu defined it back in… Read More

Yep. Ian's back as Portent's CEO. Random

18 Jul, 2014

Yep. I’m back.

By Ian Lurie

Shortest. Career change. Ever. I’m back as CEO of Portent after six months as Chairman and Principal Consultant. I’m damned happy about it, too. Here’s why: We hit our goals. Steve came on board to get our business house in order. Frankly, I suck at that. Steve is great at it. He got it done.… Read More

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7 Jul, 2014

Presentation Horrors: Don’t Do These Things

By Ian Lurie

I’ve done some pretty awful presentations in my career. Here, I’ve pulled them all into a single, truly horrifying ‘ultimate’ slide deck. First, I pull them all together. Then I do the same presentation again, with annotations explaining where I goofed and how to avoid it.

Portent's growth chart Random

5 Jun, 2014

10 Lessons After 19 Years In Business

By Ian Lurie

Today, Portent is 19 years old. It can now legally drink in Canada. I’ve screwed up a lot of stuff. But we’re still here, so I’ll give myself a small pat on the back. Clearly, we’ve done something right. If I could tell 26-year-old self 10 things to improve Portent’s first 19 years, here’s what… Read More

WHOIS result: Name Servers Random

29 May, 2014

When Idiots Attack: How to Handle Web Site Plagiarism

By Ian Lurie

Earlier this week, a ex-Portent employee-who-remains-a-fan sent me a note: Sure enough, it had happened again: Someone ripped off our site, images, text and all. They didn’t even bother to change the names. Apparently, we now have an office in Sydney: To me, there are three classes of plagiarists: The smart: They steal your copy,… Read More

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