Archive for October, 2009

Good Reads: Six Pixels of Separation by Mitch Joel (PART 1)

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Since I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time on planes my kindle has become my absolute favorite thing. I was quite eager to get my hands on a copy of Mitch Joel’s new book “Six Pixels of Separation.”

I first met Mitch at the SES Toronto 2008 conference where I heard him speak on a panel. He was also the first IDEA NINJA that I profiled! I am happy to announce his that I officially consider his book a Foushy Good Read!

The Book:  (Via Amazon)

Is it important to be connected? Well, consider this: If Facebook were a country, it would have the sixth largest population in the world.

The truth is, we no longer live in a world of six degrees of separation. In fact, we’re now down to only six pixels of separation, which changes everything we know about doing business.

This is the first book to integrate digital marketing, social media, personal branding, and entrepreneurship in a clear, entertaining, and instructive manner that everyone can understand and apply.

My Thoughts:

I would consider this book a Social Media 201 course, meaning Mitch pretty much assumes that you have a basic understanding of most social media tools and builds from there.  I really liked all of the practical tips that were included to help readers get started on applying these tools to their own businesses.

Cool Ideas

EMBRACE SLOWNESS: Mitch debunks the myth that social media and digital communications is an instant-fix. Instead he (correctly) argues that building community, integrity and social capital takes time and effort. This is the one message I often emphasize to clients: just because it takes five minutes to create a Facebook profile doesn’t mean you’re going to start seeing the value right away.

BE CONSISTENT: I am so guilty of neglecting my poor blog when other factors get in the way. That’s not an excuse, says Mitch, and I shamefully agree. He urges that providing consistent content is a way of building trust and relationship with your readers. They come to depend on your content and won’t appreciate a sporadic post schedule. Since reading this book, I have put a recurring appointment in my calendar to carve out some time each week to blog and update The Foush.

GIVE FREELY: Always think about what value you can provide the community (a handy book review perhaps? lol) Promote great content even if it’s not your own. Comment on other people’s posts and share your thoughts and feedback. Respond to all emails and comments in a timely fashion. I think these little activities if done with the intention of helping someone out will yield incredible and unforeseen results.

THE TRUST ECONOMY: When I first interviewed Mitch I had just launched my blog and had often read Six Pixels (the blog) I was so nervous to ask him for an interview and was just blown away by how nice he was and how easily he made time to patiently answer all of my questions. I never forgot that first encounter and you can bet I’ll be supporting him whenever I can because I know he is a genuinely good guy- welcome to the new Trust Economy.


On Friday, October 16th, 2009 Mitch will be speaking in Toronto at an event titled, The Art of Management. This full-day event will also feature best-selling business book author Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence, Re-Imagine!, etc…), Marcus Buckingham and the Getting Things Done guru, David Allen. all live and in-person. There is special pricing for this event if you mention the Six Pixels of Separation Blog or Mitch Joel’s name. You can get more information here: The Art of Management

Stay Tuned…

In Part 2, Mitch answers some of my questions about his book!

The Business Model Generation

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

After months of hard labor, several writer blocks, and many inspirations co-authors Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur have completed their book Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. It was released hot off the press September 30, 2009.


The book provides an excellent overview of business models, both existing and emergent. It includes the Business Model Canvas tool, which has been put to the test already in a variety of situations with excellent results. Business Model Generation also stands out among similar business books in the care and effort invested in its design under the creative auspices of Alan Smith of The Movement.

Adding to the many interesting aspects of this book is the story of its writing. 470 practitioners from 45 countries collaborated with the co-authors on its content through a wiki-type collaborative environment called the Business Model Innovation Hub. [Full disclosure: I am one of the 470 contributors – No material interest in sales though]. The authors released chunks of their book as they were writing them and hub participants engaged in review, critique and contributions to those chunks. Even designs were put in front of the hub members. On the day of its release there were already 1000 copies pre-purchased in 55 countries!

The result is an outstanding book that is definitely worth reading. The story of the book making is worth telling on its own. We were hoping it could be told at the Fifth Business Innovation Factory conference held next week in providence, RI. Timing problems prevented securing one of the slots for story telling. We’re still hoping to be able to tell this remarkable story on the sidelines of BIF-5 and in other venues.

You can see a 72-page PDF preview of the book here. If you are interested in getting your copy, you’d be well advised to purchase it from the authors site here where the book will be available for limited time at the affordable price of $36. After that the book will be sold through Amazon with an anticipated price of $70.

Congratulations to Alex and Yves on their achievement. We are proud to have participated in this interesting and creative undertaking.