I’m not mean. I’m just angry.
Ian Lurie Dec 7 2009
I need to clear the air.
I. am not. mean. Ask my kids. While I may have the title “The un-fun parent” (see below for a full explanation) they’ve never accused me of meanness.
Lately, whenever I get on the phone with a new consulting client, or do a site review, or meet someone at a conference, they end up saying “Wow, you’re a pretty nice guy!”
That’s fine. It’s the tone of shock and surprise that makes me furrow my brow.
So I want to explain why I write the way I do on this blog, and why my posts are sometimes, uh, a little pointed.
My marketing geekiness
I am really enthused about what I do for a living. I don’t see marketing as hawking ad space. I see it as helping people build their companies, improve their careers and do a better job of telling the world how they can help.
Marketing helps drive commerce. It’s the instruction manual for capitalism.
What pisses me off
When I see people do dumb things with their marketing campaigns, I don’t get angry. Marketing isn’t their area of expertise. No one gets angry at me when I can’t figure out how tennis scoring works, or when I misdiagnose my knee problems. Those aren’t my areas of expertise.
Folks try stuff. They learn. They improve. They move on. That’s the way it should be.
But there’s another kind of ‘dumb’. It’s the “screw this because I won’t be around here much longer anyway” dumb.
It’s the magazine that doesn’t make SEO a priority, shuts down and puts writers and staff out on the street.
Or the SEO ‘professional’ who gives utterly bad advice or makes absurd promises and rips people off.
Or any other flavor of Neanderthal who claps their hands over their ears and yells “LALALALALALA” when the entire world is trying to show them how to make their organization better.
I don’t get it
When you read my sarcasm, or my latest skewering of a web site I hate, please understand: I’m not being malicious. I’m baffled.
I don’t get it.
Why do folks ignore good advice and persist in following bad advice?
Why do they let committees take over and destroy projects?
Why do they refuse to make 2-3 changes that will boost conversion rates, or rankings, or otherwise ring the cash register that much more often?
I’ve never understood it.
That’s what makes me mad
I’m a fan of Ayn Rand. Yes, she was a bit of a loon, but there’s one precept I love: Deliberate waste of intellect and opportunity is a sin. A real sin.
So when I see it, I get mad. This blog is my therapy – I get to rant and rave, and live to work another day.
Now you know. Carry on.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More