Social media is abuzz with how Microsoft is (again) derivative and playing the copy cat and how much “cooler” Apple is. In all of this posturing and finger pointing a few familiar photos kept cropping up and it’s sparked a revelation from my Apple days.
In Steve’s Hands
I remember watching the presentation of the first iPad launch and thinking something was odd about the placement of Steve’s hands. Something seemed so unnatural and odd. It wasn’t until I saw photos from Sunday’s presentation that I realized what Steve was up to. Look at the placement of Steve Balmer’s hands underneath the Microsoft Surface tablet. You see it again in Steven Sinofsky’s hands in the Internet explorer demo.
Everything we need to know about these products are communicated in these pictures. Steve Jobs’ iPad seems to float in the air, suspended lightly from either side. While the Surface is light enough to hold with one hand, the weight of the product is communicated in the posture of those who hold it. Those of us with an original iPad know it’s not light as a feather but Steve Job’s posture and position seem to communicate something futuristic and etherial about the iPad. In fact the iPad 1 is heavier than the Microsoft Surface but one wouldn’t know it from Steve Jobs’ posture. If this were any other technology company I wouldn’t think to analyze such a minute detail but knowing what we know about Steve Jobs I’m sure most of us wouldn’t put it past him. Did he really think about how the photos of the iPad would appear in every article published? If so it’s a marvelous coup where Steve’s able to best his competitors even from the grave.
1. Maintain a Network
Last year I did something daring. For the first time in my life, I quit my job and decided to start my own company. If you talk to anyone who has done it before, you’ll know that there’s a familiar story of freedom and sheer terror. It helps to have a network and I knew that I’d have clients who needed help learning how to use their technology. Referrals are a main engine of growth within my company. The majority of my business comes from a direct referral from someone I know, usually through clients that I have worked with in the past. Good service goes viral. One good session with a client can spread to their contacts and eventually to third-level contacts. It’s important to maintain an email list and email updates of what you’re teaching. Let previous clients know about your upcoming classes. Students who’ve taken you classes can turn into clients down the road if you keep them up to date with your current events.
2. Organize Events
When I left my job, I knew that I wanted to make group training a big part of my business. Without really knowing how to go about teaching, I started to organize Meetups to look for potential clients and test out the content of my class. I hung out at a coworking space that had events and was able to meet organizers of meetups that way. That lead to speaking gigs at other meetups and the ability to organize larger group meetings through existing meetups. This sort of IRL long-tail is crucial to getting your name out there. Everyone you meet isn’t always a client but they can become part of your network and generate referrals. Remaining active in groups whether social or explicitly networking-focused gets your name out there and broadens your prospects not only for individual clients but also for prospective students.
A cloud that floats leisurely around the country? Where do I sign up?
(via Tiago Barros)
So what makes this map different from the Rand McNally version you can buy at a bookstore? Or from the dusty National Geographic pull-down mounted in your child’s elementary school classroom? Can one paper wall map really outshine all others—so definitively that it becomes award-worthy?
I’m here to tell you it can. This is a masterful map. And the secret is in its careful attention to design.
(via The Fox Is Black)