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MEDIA PERSPECTIVES - October 12, 2016

Editor's Note:


I just wanted to let my readers know that I've created a blog where I will be posting essays and articles I've written on digital and online marketing. It's an extension of Media Perspectives. I hope you continue to read and enjoy!

Here's the link: Jaffer Ali's Blog - Perspectives from a Media Contrarian

Thanks for Reading!



What's My Job?
by: Jaffer Ali

A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and become swallowed up by the world of illusion.
--Sai Baba, Spiritual Figure & Educator


On a discussion list I belong to, the topic of marketing on Twitter, and specifically big-box retail tweeters, came up. I questioned the virtue of ads or relevance of retail Twitter accounts in general and was taken to task by a couple of very smart folks.

The common refrain seemed to be that it's too early to know which technologies, which platforms, which new, "new thing" will emerge from obscurity to viability. My friend Bill McCloskey suggests that it may be too early in the game to discount certain technologies.

I thought a lot about this over the past few days. Where does illusion begin and reality end? I believe in dreaming, but try to do so with my eyes open. That way it becomes easier to actually make those dreams come true.

Being an entrepreneur in an ever changing and fast moving environment requires a lot of self-analysis. A lot of energy and resources can be invested in ignorance or illusions. With so MANY opportunities having crossed my desk over the years, it has finally occurred to me that my real job is to find the line between illusion and reality represented in those "opportunities".

Executives place bets every day. We decide where to invest our time, energy, emotion and resources. But these "investments" are all gambles with shifting odds. Will mobile video on a 2" screen take off? How about iPad apps? Tweeting a daily deal? Facebook apps? How about behavioral targeting?

The list of potential platforms and technologies is growing at a dizzying pace, rendering it practically impossible to consider, let alone pursue every opportunity. I ran into a founding father quotation the other day and it hit me like a slap in the face because it spoke to what my job is as the CEO of Vidsense:

It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.
--Patrick Henry


My job is not to indulge myself in the illusion of hope.

Without a doubt, our challenges as key executives are more complex than ever. Plotting the illusion curve against the reality curve is daunting. But we can't and shouldn't ignore the deep connection between illusion and pleasure - a nexus that philosophers and psychologists have long understood - that teaches us that placing illusion front and center in the pursuit of ephemeral gratification is nothing more than selfish vanity, and no way to run a company.

Ever mindful of this, I begin each day by reminding myself of what I don't know. This takes a tremendous amount of time because the older I get, the less I know. But it is precisely as the result of this purposeful self-examination that I am able to determine how and where my time and energy can best serve my company and me.

It has taken me many years to discover what my real job is. I hope this helps others arrive at the same conclusion more quickly and easily.

Original Article: What's My Job?

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