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Think Inside The Box - More “2.0″ Thoughts

Thursday, November 29th, 2007 | Link | Spread The Word!

Photo Courtesy of Winding Road.

A popular discussion topic around the Leads360 building has been prioritization, focus, and the popular Strengths Finder 2.0 book. Many people are taking a closer look at their own abilities and figuring out how to better leverage them for the benefit of our clients-and to make themselves happier and more productive.

The idea of 2.0 is often seen as a focus on being “outside of the box” and rewriting the rules. The recently deceased Business 2.0 Magazine was all about new companies, new ideas, new approaches, new solutions, and embraced a general theme of change. Ironically, but rather predictably, it came to an end by being forced to abandon its mission - by being forced into the old model of business: the corporate conglomerate “efficiency” machine. Mark Glaser of Mediashift writes:

To best understand the final demise of Business 2.0, you need to go back to April 2006 when Time Inc. announced with great fanfare a new Business and Finance Network that combined the sales forces of Fortune, Money, Fortune Small Business and Business 2.0 magazines, along with the CNNMoney.com online portal. The idea was to have a unified group selling all the titles so there would be less overhead costs and a simpler pitch to advertisers from one person instead of four.

But for Business 2.0, the Time Inc. strategy was the kiss of death. The magazine lost its dedicated sales force, and Fortune salespeople were less interested in selling Business 2.0 than Fortune. Worse yet, the people who could have made the new strategy succeed — the magazine publishers atop each publication — were demoted to regional sales staff positions, demoralizing them, according to one former longtime Business 2.0 staffer. (The former employee would only speak to me without attribution because of the sensitivity of the subject.)

“They took all these people who were publishers, which is as high as you can get without going to corporate,” the source said. “They took all these people and basically bumped them down to fancy regional sales managers. The very people who would have implemented the plan and made it successful had just been demoted…The salespeople were told, ‘You’re going to sell Fortune and Money and Business 2.0 and Fortune Small Business, and do package deals with CNNMoney.com.’ Which is a good idea in theory, but in practice it didn’t work out.

“The Fortune salespeople just didn’t give a f—- about selling Business 2.0. The Money people didn’t really know Fortune and the Fortune people didn’t know Money. I don’t know how much they saved, but they lost more money than they saved. It was all pressure from Time Warner to show earnings growth at Time Inc….So a year later, Business 2.0 wasn’t getting any ads. The plan had been disastrous.” Read the rest of the article here.

Business 2.0’s strength was being different, being more sensitive to new trends, smaller companies, and looking to the stars of the future, instead of celebrating the stars of the present. Time Inc. did not respect the strength of Business 2.0 and did not enable it to succeed. Business 2.0 provides a great parable: no matter how good your product is, you must have the right vision-and the ability and commitment to follow it.

I see 2.0 as a commitment to seeing “inside the box” as clearly as we look outside of it.

At Leads360 our core competency is making our clients successful. Our success or failure will be determined by our ability to be faithful to our strengths… 2.0.

Pass the Beans!

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