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I'm Ditching The iPhone, and Here's Why


Oh, how it pains me to write this, but I have decided to let go of the Apple iPhone. I've been on the fence for a while, but the recent lawsuits against Samsung have pushed me to make the decision. Although I have enjoyed the ease of use, the clean interface, and the customer service (the main reason I've stuck with Apple for my mobile device), the time has come. Here's why.

I think Apple took the low road with their lawsuit against Samsung - I'm all about competition, but I feel this lawsuit is a defensive attempt to strike fear into Apple's competitors. Ultimately, I think this may be a blow to consumers. Seeking a ban on existing Samsung products is like rubbing salt in the wounds.

Aging Interface - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is most likely a mantra that is going around Cupertino in the iOS department. The iOS interface has remained largely unchanged since it's introduction years ago. While I do like the simplicity of it, I miss the widgets of my old Nexus One and am a fan of the live tiles of Windows Phone.

I'm beginning to feel trapped - I've been an Apple fan since I first bought the 12" PowerBook G4. For the most part, I love how everything in the Apple ecosystem just works seamlessly. For example, I like being able to stream music from my phone to my computer and vice versa. However, I'm not a fan of having to use all Apple products to do so. Some of you may remember component audio systems. That's the kind where system you could use different pieces by different manufacturers to make your dream system—Technics turntable, Pioneer receiver, JBL speakers, etc. By focusing on what each company did well, you could end up with a great system without having to worry about matching pieces based on brand. I carry this personal philosophy over to other aspects of my life. I'm less worried about logos and more about quality of the product and/or service and how I plan to put it to use.

I'm going to miss FaceTime, iMessage, and certain iOS-only applications, but I don't think I'll regret finding a more open platform with cross-functionality.

So what am I looking at now? Right now I'm considering a few models. Although, I might wait until the slew of announcements that will surely be made this coming month. Currently in the running however are:

  • Galaxy Nexus S
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII
  • Nokia (whatever is announced next month) - Hopefully it'll have "Snake"

I'm Writing A Book About Personal Branding In A Digital World


I’ve decided to write a book about personal branding in a digital world. Am I a personal branding guru? Nope. So why am I writing a book about it? There are a few reasons. First, as we become increasingly dependent upon electronic communication, it becomes increasingly important to be able to effectively use the tools at our disposal. Also, I feel we should ensure that we use these tools to build stronger relationships with people rather than inhibit them. Secondly, we have more power to create and distribute content than ever before. We are no longer forced to wait on a publisher to control every piece of the process of disseminating written content. Although there are many benefits to having the opportunity to work with a professional publisher, the point is that we now have much greater ability to make positive impacts than ever before.

In this book, I hope to help people be successful in finding and building a reputation around their authentic self. With suffering employment rates, low levels of happiness, and uncertainty about the future of humanity and the environment, the time is ripe to empower each other to be true to ourselves and each other. I will explain what I feel personal branding is, and more importantly, what it isn’t. I’ll then discuss some of the tools available to use and some of the best ways I’ve seen people put them to work. During the process of writing this book, I will also seek professional advice from people who focus on employment, leadership, organization, and happiness to bring insights from those who are already make it their business to help make positive change happen around them.

With all of that being said (or written rather), I want this book to be something in which you find value. Please send me your questions about personal branding, social media, leadership, followership, and marketing by leaving your comments on this blog or asking me via Twitter (@michaelbmaine). As I work though this book, I will respond to your questions as blog posts.

I never want access to be a limiting factor to obtaining information. So, I’ll be taking an open source approach to the publication of my work. The finished book will be freely available to read, download, and share as a pdf from my website. Enhanced versions will be available at Amazon’s, Apple’s, and Barnes and Noble’s respective ebook stores at a yet-to-be determined price. Lastly, I hope to offer a printed version on sustainable synthetic paper as a collector’s item.

So, what are your thoughts? How can we make this something worth reading?

Values and Values Creation Blog Post - January 8, 2012 - The Missing "P" in Marketing

Most marketing textbooks teach the 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). Although the promotion aspect of marketing gets the most attention the other 3 P’s are equally important in a successful business. If there’s no product worth buying, no amount of promotion will make it successful. Likewise, if the price is above what the market will allow, no units will move. Also, if you have everything else right (the price, product, and promotion are all ideal for the market) if the consumer can’t find how to obtain the product, it doesn’t do anybody any good.

However, I argue there is one more P that is the most important—people. We often use the term consumer so much we forget that everything we do as marketers and businesspeople is supposed to satisfy the needs and desires of people…real people. Today’s most successful companies are aware of this, and they incorporate people and their feedback into every component of marketing, from product design to communication. Smart companies know that people keep the bills paid. Smart companies know that people talk. Smart companies are coming up with solutions that people need and want often before people know they need and want them. Take Apple’s iPad for example.

Employees and customers must be treated with the utmost respect, as though they’re the ones making and buying the products. Oh wait, they are. Remember that.