The Three Things, Edition 23

Welcome to 23rd edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (HonoraA Better Mess),Gini Dietrich (Spin Sucks, Arment Dietrich), and me!

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

This week we have thoughts on monetization, technology, and competitiveness.

Happy Sunday reading!

The Art of Asking

Michael on Monetization. I’ve always struggled with the idea of donations on blogs. I don’t think they’re wrong or anything. I just tend to be more product-minded. I tend to support those who offer something additional in return for patronage (i.e. Shawn Blanc’s Membership Podcast and Patrick Rhone’s old newsletter). The idea of supporting art for art’s sake is just something I have a hard time getting my head around. Not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just something I struggle to embrace.

I feel strongly those who create for the web also have the ability to create products they can sell (even if those products are created what they’ve already offered for free on their site). I’m not sure this video of Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on The Art of Asking is going to change my mind on this topic, but it’s certainly encouraging me to challenge some very stubbornly held assumptions… which is always a good thing.

Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

Howie on Technology. In the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying an important lesson I learned was that only one thing is guaranteed. Impermanence. Change. Every time we get comfy in life, things change. One day phones will not be Apple or Android. Just like one day social will not have names such as Twitter and Facebook. Are you ready? You don’t have a choice. This is a great article about some developments in mobile. And keep in mind, at one point, the following businesses were invincible: Yahoo. Netscape. AOL. Myspace. Sony. EBay. Priceline. Motorola. All owned the Internet or technology per the soothsayers at one time.

Cycling’s Road Forward

Gini on Competitiveness. I’ve been waiting all week to share this article! It’s no surprise I’m a cycling advocate. I love everything about it, even the Tour de France and Lance Armstrong. I’ve been completely obsessed with his fall from grace and what that means (if anything) to the cycling community.

Enter Joe Dombrowski. He’s 21 years old and has just gone pro for Team Sky (the team last year’s TdF winner, Bradley Wiggins, rides). He’s spending his time in Nice, France, riding, learning the mountain climbs, and even being hazed. It’s nice to see the next generation of cyclists come up through the ranks.

But what I found most interesting about this article is not his thoughts on doping or cycling as a sport, but on why he thinks his generation won’t dope. It’s not because it’s illegal or because they want to clean up the sport. It’s because his generation isn’t competitive to win. They’re competitive to learn from the best, to ride, and to have an adventure of a lifetime, but it’s competitive with themselves and not one another.

Shelly Kramer posted a meme on Facebook a few days ago that said (I’m paraphrasing), it’s great kids all get trophies these days, but what happens when they enter the real world?

I guess this is what happens. They aren’t competitive. They don’t care to win. They just want the experience. It makes me sad.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?

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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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