Oman Bound

In a few days, I’m heading to the country of Oman on behalf of the U.S. Embassy and the State Department as part of their public diplomacy program. I’ll be doing a few workshops for audiences ranging from tech incubators to university students with topics as broad-reaching as “From Passion To Payday” to “Using Social Media To Build Relationships.” I also have a number of consulting sessions scheduled and hope to have some time to see the country. Should be an incredible trip.

From the research I’ve done, Oman looks like an amazing country. Their history is deep and rich and the people look to be as progressive thinking as anyone else I might have had the privilege to present in front of, or consult with. As excited as I am to explore this new region of the world (for me), I’m perhaps even more excited of what might come from this trip. Somehow, I don’t see this ending when I head home on the plane.

The Internet has made it possible for the entire world to be linked in ways that seem almost science fiction just a few years past. This planet of ours is now connected in ways we couldn’t have dreamed possible when we first started our businesses.

It would be crazy not to take advantage of this new reality.

If you have a few minutes, check your web, YouTube, or Podcast stats. Is there a country, or a batch of them, that you couldn’t locate on a world map today? Maybe you want to change that.

Wondering where your future customers or partners will be coming from?

Think globally. It’s kind of how this Internet thing works.

Oman, I can't wait to meet you. See you soon!

A photo posted by Paul Colligan (@paulcolligan) on

Uncensored – Review

Review originally published at Google Plus.

Club 52 – Paul’s (Short) Review Of Uncensored (by +Hunter Walk and +Eric Ries )

NOTE: Uncensored is not a “traditional” book. It is a “A Charitable Project to Support The Open Internet” made of “blog posts – some old, some new – from many names familiar to you and hopefully some new voices.” Profits from the project will be donated to the EFF. There is a link to the project at the bottom of this posting. It was made available in all the formats, so I did read it on my Kindle.

So, word of the “Uncensored” project crossed my path a few weeks ago. I wanted to make it part of Club 52 for a number of a reasons. Whereas, yes, all the content has been made available elsewhere, not only did I benefit from it, but the EFF got a few bucks as well.

I was familiar with many of the writers – but learned of a few great minds out there that I am now following / have circled / etc.

Here are my big take homes:

+Alexia Tsotsis’ piece on “Keeping Up With The Normals” is the best thing I’ve ever read on the way the digerati often loses sense of the reality they’re trying to change. Best line – “… can’t ignore Normals just because you’re really smart.”

+Caterina Fake’s “FOMO and Social Media” will haunt me next time I’m at an event with a lot of social media types.

+Danah Boyd’s “Social Steganography” should be required reading for any parent who lets their kids use an Internet connected device (i.e., all parents).

+Dave McClure’s “Subscriptions are the New BLACK” reminded me, again, of why I love that man so much. Not for the kiddies – but true true true true true. Got a “big idea” for the Internet? Run it through this thing first.

+Hunter Walk’s “Sorry Mike” is dead on. Hunter’s Rule is right. Read it.

+Joel Spolsky’s “Two thing about SOPA/PIPA & then I’ll shut up :-)” was also a great read but the fact that it was originally published on his Google+ feed (and not a Blog) gave me an added boost of confidence that my recent publishing strategies are at least pointed in the right direction. +Tim O’Reilly’s SOPA/PIPA piece (also good) had the same origination.

A good read. Worth the money. Mind is still spinning from a few of these. I’m pretty sure it will have the same effect on you.

Link to the Uncensored project – http://leanpub.com/uncensored

One of my new years declarations was that I’d read a book every week. Join me on this journey? http://PaulColligan.com/Club52

7 things I wish I knew “then” about product creation

Originally posted to Google Plus.

In honor of Make Market Launch (Aff Link), I thought I’d offer my Top 7 things I wish I knew “then” about product creation.

#1 – The credibility doesn’t have to be mine.

I’ve made as much money building and launching products where I’ve partnered with someone else’s credibility as with those where I have used my own. Working with Julie Perry on YouTube Secret Weapon has been a dream. Working with Michael Koenigs on Instant Customer has been a blast and a half.

#2 – It’s what they want, not what I want.

I once had the audacity to launch a product called “Internet Butt Kicking.” It was everything I wanted in a product, but NOTHING that my audience wanted. Was as proud of that product as the day was long – yet it didn’t sell a copy.

#3 – Charge enough to give it your all.

When you charge enough to give the product your all, you, get this, give the product you all. When you give the product your all, get this, it’s much better than when you don’t. Charge enough to give the product the attention it deserves. Awesome products come from that. It’s also why those Apple products are so cool

#4 – Work smarter, not harder.

I fancy myself, at times, a bit of a Steven Spielberg (except without the father and guilt issues). I like to edit video. I often think I should therefore edit everything. My best products have been edited by someone else. I’m better for it. So is my audience.

#5 – They know how they want it delivered.

Ask them how they want it. They will tell you. Give it to them that way.

#6 – Don’t release, LAUNCH.

Apple launches. Hollywood launches. The Millionaires/Billionaires launch. I need to Launch.

#7 – New product doesn’t need a new audience.

Starting all over again is SILLY. Your existing list has already said they like buying from you. Let them.

Good luck Michael Koenigs and Pam Hendrickson on your launch. Thrilled to be MCing your event in April.

I hope to catch a few of you there as well. If you are looking to buy this, and do so through my affiliate link – I have a cool little bonus package for you – plus will buy you a meal at the event.

Again With The Charlie Brown True Meaning Of Christmas Post

Mom, he’s doing it again … (but this time it’s the cool new iFrame embeds – not like last year).

Here’s the direct link to YouTube.

It’s a tradition here at PaulColligan.com to post this YouTube Video every year. Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

For those not into the whole Christmas thing, I hope you get a few minutes of peace as well.

Best iPad Case – A Case For A Cause

Best iPad CaseIf you’ve seen me at an event in the last few months, chances are good you mentioned my iPad Case. I told you an announcement was coming. Here it is.

I’m thrilled to announce CaseForACause.com. The first picture in this post will make sense in a minute.

When Joel came to me with the very iPad case he describes in the video below, I knew instantly we were on to something big. Now I have a bunch of boxes from Kyrgyzstan in my basement filled with artistry. “Small world” doesn’t even come close.

The iPad Case was hand made by artisans from the Tian-Shan mountains of central Asia and are hand-stitched by indigenous artisans. The iPad Case displays traditional Kyrgyz embroidery. All artisans are paid a fair wage to make each case, and the Issyk Kul Development Center is provided valuable funds to help their work of intervention, counseling, job training, and other programs to help these women gain hope and the possibility of a better future for themselves and their children.

What are some of these women facing? Try domestic abuse, human trafficking and forced prostitution. Every dime made from every iPad case sold goes right back to them.

The story of these iPad cases has everything I hold dear – entrepreneurship, beauty, tech, artistry, cause, intent, service, and gosh darn it, iPads …

So, first things first, I going to ask you right out to purchase a Case for Cause iPad Case. If you’re reading this, chances are good you have one.

Secondly, I’d love your help in promoting this. We’re not spending a dime on advertising so we need the social love to make these things happen. The Get Social page over at the site as all you need there.

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in North America. Friday many of us will go out and buy a lot of plastic crap.

Thousands and thousands of iPad cases will be purchased as well.

Consider purchasing one of ours instead.

If you can’t see the embed above, visit the project’s YouTube Channel for the full story of these wonderful iPad cases.

It’s been said in the video and all over the site – but I do want to stress that I’m not making a penny from this project. All time is donated and EVERY PENNY taken in minus shipping costs (no handling, that’s me and my kids ;-)) goes right back to this magnificent cause.

The Global Paradox And Main Street Marketing Machines

One of the most important books for my business and professional career was/is The Global Paradox. Although written when the Internet was becoming a reality, very very little of it had to do with that specific tech. The book was all about the logical implications of where things are going.

And, it was as obvious to me back then as it is now: Things are changing and we better go where things are going.

What is the “Global Paradox?” … The Bigger the World Economy, the More Powerful It’s Smallest Players right down to the individual.

I can’t but help but think of YouTube, founded by 3 early PayPal employees and bought by Google for $1.65 BILLION. This isn’t just a story of three small players with a big payoff, it’s a story of EVERY MAJOR MEDIA DISTRIBUTION COMPANY having a plan (public or private and internal or external) to deal with PayPal.

I can’t but help think of Steve Jobs who made computers fun, phones not suck and the “netbook” pointless. His company is now worth more than Microsoft. One man’s vision is now part of EVERY CONVERSATION where tech, marketing, or packaging is involved.

I can’t but help think of Facebook … The world built the World Wide Web for about 15 years (as a massive project of awesome) and them suddenly, nobody makes a serious move on thing without first considering the impact of TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD’S Website that he built while at school.

I could go on and on with this list. Heck, I’m sure you could to. Actually, why don’t you put your favorites in the comments below?

And, finally, I write this from a hotel room in San Diego in the middle of the launch for Main Street Marketing Machines. Mike and the team have suggested, simply, that their tech is better than anything else for the marketing of Main Street businesses online and, gosh darn it, I believe that they’re right. The customers (most of them a single person) are launching businesses that not only have the Yellow Pages companies shaking in their boots but they’re also actually helping the Main Street Businesses get found online.

The Global Paradox is a reality. I’m thrilled to be part of it.

Note: I will keep this article up in my blog forever but I need to point out most of you who read this will read it after Main Street Marketing Machines closes for purchase. If it’s still up when you read this, consider it a warning. If it’s down … sorry to say, but I told you so.

Losing Weight – Social Media Style

Like many of you, I’ve made a few new years resolutions.

But, unlike most of you (as well as myself in the past), I’ll keep mine.

Enter, dear friends, the power of losing weight – social media style.

It’s a three point plan:

Point 1 – Go In With A Clear (Proven) Strategy. I’m going Slow Carb ala Tim Ferriss and The Four Hour Body.

Tim Ferriss And Paul Colligan

It’s quite the book, quite the diet, quite the way of looking at life. Not only does the slow card diet make a lot of sense (and don’t worry, I’ve done some initial testing on myself already) but he writes of (when making changes) to making it conscious, a game, competitive, and small and effective. Here is my take on these four things:

Conscious – Everything I eat in this 7 week journey will be posted at this Posterous Blog called “What I’m Eating.

A Game – Here’s my game with you. Every time I forget to post a meal (or anything I eat), I’ll produce a YouTube video on the Internet Marketing topic of your choice. Any videos you’d like to see (again, they’ll only be made if I miss a posting)?

Competitive – Here’s where it gets personal for me. I’ve set up an account at StickK.com where I am tracking the intimate details with some dear friends who are keeping me accountable. I’ve pledged $50 for every week that I don’t meet my goals to be spent on the charity of choice as chosen by this group. Got a group you’d like to see get my money? Vote on it below? Of course, I have no intention of paying out a dime but competition keeps these things alive.

Small and effective – I’m going for 7 weeks this round. Why seven weeks? It’s a clear small goal. Also, at the end of these seven weeks is Brendon Burchard’s Expert’s Academy Event where I’ll be sharing the stage with some incredible people – including Brendon and Dr. Wayne Dyer. I want to look as good as I can and be as healthy as possible for the event. Motivation is never bad.

Point 2 – Have Clear Goals. 21 pounds. 3 pounds a week. Nuff said. WIthout clear goals, things don’t happen – weight loss or otherwise.

Point 3 – Track Everything (Socially If Possible). Although my StickK specifics are closed to the general public (and only accessible to a close inner circle of friends), the food photojournal is wide open and, of course, the choice of charity and topics for trainings if I miss anything is all yours.

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I’m a bit hesitant to hit the Publish button on this post but, once she’s out there, there is no going back. The pain of looking bad, producing a bunch of videos for free and paying out money to a charity I don’t really agree with should certainly focus me in a way I’ve never been before.

And social media is keeping me honest. Between the public declaration here on this blog, the food photoblog and the StickK account, there’s no going back.

How cool is that?

Thoughts?

Dead In 2010

I tweeted last week that “Acer Chairman says iPad impact not serious … then offers Easter Bunny job as Chief Strategy Director.” Apologies to the Easter Bunny in suggesting he’d take such a demotion but, … let’s face it, with the iPad, the Netbook is dead in 2010.

Today I sit in front of my new MacBook Air typing this in – and I realized something. She’s got no CD/DVD drive, no drives at all. The spinning disk is dead in 2010.

With announcements of “App Store” for Windows, Mac, Windows Phone 7 and more, I felt a bit sad as I put my iLife 11 DVD in my iMac (the Air came with it preloaded (w a USB Restore Key). I’ll never do that again. Shrinkwrap software distribution is dead in 2010.

This morning I sat on the exercise bike and chose from more shows than I could possibly want on my iPad through Hulu Plus and Netflix (delivered over ATT 3G none the less). I love the new show “The Good Guys” but couldn’t even tell you what night it is on (and I remain a TV junkie). Sure, I canceled Cable TV in 2007 but the family simply doesn’t miss it anymore. Yes, Comcast delivers the Webernet to my home but I got Clear and Verizon as options too. No, everybody doesn’t have as many choices, but we do have choices. The Cable Company as monopoly is dead in 2010.

Cali Lewis is at Revision3 and even Adam Curry has taken a “soft exit” from the company formally known as Podshow. Mevio, the company who first sold Podcasters of the dream of quitting the day job, is dead in 2010.

What else is dead in 2010?

What are you going to change in 2011 as a result?