The Portent Blog

The how should parallel the why Random

6 Nov, 2012

How to write universe-conquering proposals

By Ian Lurie

AKA: ‘Because I said so’ doesn’t work This is a really long post. But before you TL;DR it, give it a quick skim. The first half is hand-waving stuff about answering ‘Why?’ The second half is specific tips on doing proposals that build imputed value. Writing a great proposal is hard. The question you’re trying… Read More

the Portini Random

28 Sep, 2012

Portent Open House: How to Party in a Historic Building

By Portent Staff

How is it going, Portent? I’d like to field this question: it is going great. Maybe I’m just feeling great because of what happened last night. What happened last night? You remember that Portent moved downtown to Seattle’s Smith Tower in June. Since then, life has been a lot like the 1996 blockbuster film The… Read More

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9 Sep, 2012

SearchLove Boston, SIC, PubCon, Oh my!

By Ian Lurie

By the end of November, you’ll all be sick of me. I’ve got a lot of speaking gigs coming up. Here’s the updated calendar: SCOE Conference, Saturday, 9/29, 1:30-3:00, Seattle E-commerce tough love. I’ll be doing a 1-hour site clinic, reviewing 3-4 web sites and providing feedback. I’m nice about it. Lots of learning. This… Read More

whacked out Random

29 Aug, 2012

How I almost went whacked-out pooh brain

By Ian Lurie

My presentation on time management from today’s Portent U. If you’re doing time management and you’re a marketer, check it out: Time management, Portent-style from Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie Nameplate Random

22 Aug, 2012

A corporate leadership mantra: It’s not about you

By Ian Lurie

I just finished reading Steve Jobs’ biography. He was an extraordinary person, but a lousy leader. That, plus some basic life lessons slowly penetrating my thick skull, made me realize: Leadership isn’t all about you. If it is, you’re not a leader—you’re a narcissist. “It’s not about me” is a mantra I’ve learned to repeat… Read More


8 Jun, 2012

6 lessons that changed my career

By Ian Lurie

I’m feeling introspective today. These are realizations to which I can point and say “Yep, that’s where I changed”: It’s not all about me. Successes, failures, perceived snubs, etc. are never solely my own. Share credit, accept blame, assume the best of people (a continuing struggle for me, but hey, I’m working on it). Mistakes… Read More


1 Jun, 2012

Portent moves downtown

By Ian Lurie

So, here we are: Downtown. Smith Tower. At first, I started this post with “When I started my company…” Then I slapped myself. This isn’t about me. Here’s what this move is about: A great team creating growth Portent’s been truly firing on all cylinders for a while now. I’m very hard on myself, and… Read More


31 May, 2012

And So Are the Days of Our Tukwila Lives…

By Portent Staff

Today, Portent is moving to the Smith Tower. But before we can say hello to downtown Seattle, we have to say goodbye to Tukwila Life. If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase “That’s Tukwila Life” – it’s the motto of the city of Tukwila, where Portent has made it’s home for the last ten years or… Read More


4 May, 2012

Why Google Is Not Going Away: On AllThingsD

By Ian Lurie

Forbes published an article this week explaining why Google and Facebook could disappear in the next 5 years. I, uh, beg to differ. I wrote my thoughts on the subject in an article published on AllThingsD. You can read it here. Give it a read. I think Google will be around for a long, long… Read More


29 Apr, 2012

10 ways to get into big trouble in marketing

By Ian Lurie

Base your campaigns on the ‘average’ customer. Only follow the data. Never follow the data. Skimp on content. Wait for perfection (hint – you’ll never get it). Leave design to designers (hint – you need to know about it, too). Leave development to developers (hint – see above). Micromanage. Use empty controversy as an outreach… Read More

techcrunch-icon Random

8 Apr, 2012

On Techcrunch: How the IPO Ruined Google

By Ian Lurie

OK, I don’t think Google is ruined, but it sure seems like they’ve become increasingly weird since their big IPO. I wrote a piece about it, and it just went live on Techcrunch. Read it here.

romulus and isis - my cats Random

3 Apr, 2012

4 ways clients are like cats

By Ian Lurie

First off, I’m a cat person. I want to make that perfectly clear. It’s a high honor if I compare you to a cat. So saying a marketing agency’s clients are like cats is very favorable. In Portent’s proposals I compare my employees to rats. So really, clients are coming out way ahead. A quick… Read More

just think how much more authority we'll have now Random

2 Apr, 2012

The big merger

By Ian Lurie

No, Portent didn’t merge with another company. But we just finished merging my blog, Conversation Marketing, into the Portent web site. From now on, you can find all the same stuff I used to write on Conversation Marketing here, instead. Why’d I do it? Let me count the reasons: The rest of the team at… Read More

condenser mic Random

28 Mar, 2012

Tomorrow’s free webinar: “Advanced” link building

By Ian Lurie

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about ‘advanced’ link building. The term drives me insane, since most folks use ‘advanced’ to mean ‘I give you lots of advice, but I do not add any links.’ So, I’ll go over real-life advice for building links, including some fairly geeky stuff, like: Log file analysis Using Google Webmaster Tools… Read More


26 Mar, 2012

Information vs. Knowledge, Part 2

By Ian Lurie

It’s a lot harder to impart knowledge than to pass information. But it’s also worth it, because knowledge sticks. Why does application teach better than rote memorization? Hmmm let’s think. Oh yeah—because application creates knowledge, which quickly remaps neural pathways. Memorization sends us into an information-overload daze, which leads to sad, lonely little neurons. If… Read More