Saturday, January 05, 2002

Hi again Clay. Maybe we can agree to disagree. The problem with math is its absolute reliance on absolutes. But the absolute you are missing here is that Gonzo is not an outward bound proposition; it's inward bound. That's where the cost savings occur. And I can't give you an equation because like Denise, I hate math. But I can give you a real-life example.

Ketchum pays me well to do what I do for them. In my daily travels on the net in the course of my work day, and in my spare time, I'm deeply rooted in this other world, involved in any number of micro communities with people of shared interests and concerns. We talk about all kinds of things. Sometimes I'm involved in these conversations during work hours. Okay, let's face it, I waver in and out of my micro life and my paid-for life all day and night. And I'm not alone. I know this because I talk to people.

Seemingly--if you look at the math--this would be a worst practice for Ketchum, wouldn't it? Why are they paying me my 40-hour-a-week salary if I'm weaving in and out of blogs and side conversations all day?

Intangible number one: I now know more about net marketing than anyone else in our office thanks to these new relationships.
Evidence: New business opportunity yesterday. Prospect asks us how the consumer internet has changed PR. I explain all about what is happening, consumer-to-consumer (C2C) right now, regardless of what businesses think of it, in these micromarkets, and their potential, and the role of the agency in helping businesses to help consumers reach one another. This is what the prospect wants to hear. So, am I not helping to tailor our messages, my employer's messages, more effectively? And without them having to pay me a penny more than they otherwise would?

Intangible number two: I can tap three great candidates for senior positions at our firm from those I've met in these micromarkets.
Evidence: I have *many* inquiries from amazingly-qualified people who've expressed interest in working for Ketchum, because I, as a representative out here chatting with my friends and foes, seem like I'm pretty darn happy with my job. And maybe I seem like I'd be a cool person to work with. How much would it have cost to target these senior candidates through traditional HR means? Not to mention, would we have found them? And would they care about Ketchum if they hadn't first gotten to know me? Calculate those savings.

There's many more intangibles, which if you want to hear them, I'll summarize and post on my other blog so as not to take up too much real estate here.

As for your observation that I "pay $45/month for DSL, but what about my time? at what hourly rate? Divided by what audience size?" Again, you're hanging too much on things being linear and they are *not* linear on the net. I'm doing ALL of it at once, Clay. I'm at work, at home, in micromarkets, talking with clients, talking with peers, learning to think better, to write better, all in the course of an ordinary day, for the same paycheck. And yes, I still manage to bill at nearly 100%, which makes me ever more loved by those who pay me.

Why do I do it? JOY! Simple, plain, pure joy.

So Clay, it doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense mathematically. It's happening. Maybe we need a new formula to describe what's going on? I think you'd be the perfect guy to create it.


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