FIRST DO NO HARM

Marc Koska is not a doctor, yet he’s saved nine million lives.

How did he do that?

He did it by preventing doctors doing what they see as their job.

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TWO MINUSES CAN MAKE A PLUS

Every year two million stray dogs are put to death in the USA.

They are taken to shelters to see if anyone wants them.

Hardly anyone does of course.

They’re dirty, often diseased, undomesticated.

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A KERNEL OF TRUTH

Harland David Sanders was born in Indiana in 1890.

In 1903 he got a job painting horse-drawn carriages.

In 1904 he became a farm hand.

In 1905 a streetcar conductor.

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WE DON’T WANT WHAT’S GOOD FOR US

Henry George was an enlightened economist.

Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, and Leo Tolstoy have quoted him.

He proposed a third way, between capitalism and communism.

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THE NAKED TRUTH

There seem to be two main opinions on The Sun’s page 3.

One is that it demeans women by showing attractive young females posing naked.

The other is that it’s free speech: if you don’t like it don’t buy the paper.

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WHAT DO MARKETING EXPERTS DO?

1993 was the year ‘the brand’ died.

At least that’s what all the marketing experts thought.

Investors wiped $13.4 billion off Philip Morris shares, because they owned the most profitable brand in the world.

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ON THE OTHER HAND

Joe Stegner had often been asked to make recommendations to the board on profitability.

There are usually two ways to increase profitability: raise income or cut costs.

Joe Stegner worked with numbers.

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ALWAYS QUESTION THE QUESTION

Dr. Tina Seelig is a professor at Stanford University.

David Williams pointed me to an article about her in Psychology Today.

Her course is on ‘Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship’.

She gave her class a project as follows:

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LIFE’S A PITCH

Paul Smith was a producer, he made programmes for television.

At least he did when he could sell them.

He’d been trying to sell a particular idea for two years.

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PREDATORY THINKING IN SPACE

In 1957, America was stunned.
The Russians launched Sputnik: the world’s first satellite.
It passed over the USA every 90 minutes, sending out radio signals.
The USA couldn’t shoot it down, they didn’t have the technology.
The entire country was petrified.
American newspapers went into hysterics.
With a fleet of satellites, Russia could hit the USA whenever they wanted.
America, the world’s most powerful country was defenceless.
At that moment the Space Race began.
For the next twenty years America would throw everything they had into beating Russia.
The world could see it was the one country they were scared of.
Russia officially became a global superpower, like the USA.
But what did it look like from the other side, the Russian side?
At the end of World War Two, Russia was broke, they could barely feed their own people.
They tried to build a nuclear missile like America had.
But theirs was too big, too unwieldy, too slow to set up.
So the scientists decided to see if they could use it to launch something, anything, just to keep their jobs.
A crude metal sphere would do, but how would they know if it worked?
They had no radar that could see anything that far away.
The cheapest and easiest way was to fit a small transmitter inside the metal sphere, just sending out “beep beep” signals.
So the Russian scientists sent up the little metal ball and listened for the “beep beep” signals to confirm it worked.
Then they went off to the canteen and thought no more about it.
But the USA didn’t know it was just an empty metal ball.
To them it was something out of science fiction, an immense threat.
When Khrushchev saw the American hysteria he immediately told the scientists to launch more ‘firsts’.
Russia couldn’t afford new missiles so they had to use what they had.
The missile that could just about get something up into orbit.
So they put the first living creature, a dog, into orbit.
Then they put the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit.
Then they put the first woman, Valentina Tereshkova, into orbit.
Then they had a cosmonaut make the first ever space walk, in orbit.
All the Russians had was a missile that could just about achieve orbit.
But the Americans didn’t know that.
With each ‘first’ the Americans got more hysterical.
As they did, they cemented Russia’s place in the world’s mind as the USA’s only real rival.
For Khrushchev it was a classic piece of marketing.
He made America spend all those billions on advertising Russia.
The world believed America had an equal.
Which is why you want the market leader to respond to your campaign.
To needle them into spending their money on a campaign that advertises your brand.
In the public’s mind it becomes a two horse race.
Your brand is elevated into equality with the market leader.
And that’s how, with hardly any money or resources, the Russian ‘space team’ took market share from the brand leader.
Of course America eventually won the space race, with their vastly superior resources they were always going to.
But Russia made sure the USA spent a lot of their money giving them a piggyback ride.

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