My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Wednesday, Jan 01, 2009

Will Ideas be Currency in a Recession?

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Many months back I was talking to Mike McDerment (FreshBooks CEO and all around nice guy) and he asked me the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” question. My answer was simple and has been the same for a while.

“I want to be the world’s best Word of Mouth Marketer in the world (second world is for emphasis) and to be so rich people will call me eccentric instead of crazy!”

Now we had this conversation before the world fell apart and slipped in to an economic downturn but I still have every intention of meeting my goals and getting through this, but to do so, especially in this economy, I and others are going to have to start thinking differently. A great example of this was waiting for me when I got home tonight.

You see about a month and a bit a go I tweeted about my excitement of a very rare shoe that Nike was releasing exclusively for “Black Friday”. I love these shoes and continued to gush about them in several tweets including one asking for anyone to send me a pair as a Chanukah present.

Well about a week ago I got a phone call from a cool company asking if I would write them a social media plan and how much would it cost. I never know what to charge for these things and don’t do it often (even though I really enjoy doing this) because I just don’t have the free time. I gave them a bit of a high price and their answer really surprised me because instead of haggling me down they said (dramatic pause) “How about I send you a size 12 pair of Black Friday’s and we call it even?”

I said yes without hesitation even though the value of the shoes are probably 1/3 of what I would have made in cash but I appreciated the fact that they took the time to do their homework on me and it got me thinking about ideas and if it can truly be used as commerce in a downturn.

Normally my answer would always be “take the cash” because with cash I can just go buy whatever I want but this opportunity excited me because it showed that this company thinks differently and will appreciate my plan cause I am a bit wacky and so are they, plus it changed the dynamic of the relationship from a simple job to something else.

So, assuming you are not out of work and have an income, would you do side project for goods instead of cash?

Is this a new reality?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments area!

…oh ya…and here are what the shoes look like…and yes that is real pony hair

  1. I would absolutely consider side programs for merchandise. I've gone down that road often. Start up companies or "a guy with a dollar and a dream" don't necessarly have the start up capital to write even a business plan. I'd write a business plan for pony hair Nike shoes. Thinking outside the box is the way of the future. It adds excitement and opportunity to the otherwise boring & mundane.

    Saul I haven't spoken to you in years but it seems you haven't changed a bit. I hope you achieve all your dreams. You've always been driven, unique and well, just an all round good guy. Yer the man!

  2. Yes, bartering is becoming a reality again! I've had some success using craigslist as a platform for trading, and I would definitely be interested in trading my wares for something that I would have bought anyway, if the value were the same.

    In your situation, seems like you were so surprised by the opportunity that it influenced your decision, but in the future, this may be commonplace.

    Great post, thanks for all the good info!


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