Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm worth 33 Eaves

That's my share "price" on Empire Avenue as of this writing.  Since I joined last week, I've constantly monitored my share price, rejiggered my activity on the site plus other social platforms, speculated by buying shares of unclaimed twitter handles (@rupaul, @revrunwisdom and @bravoandy, I'm waiting...) all in the pursuit of more "value" such as it is.

I've been really focused on driving my price up.  I'd hate to think that I have no c/klout, influence, likability, respect, trust, cool factor or whatever makes people popular these days.  See, my days of having enormous thick glasses in junior high are still fresh in my mind and I do what I can to purge these memories.

It seems I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

Yes, it's true.  But thankfully, I've figured this out early on.  See, the problem is that I'm never going to drive my share price up if I keep focusing only on driving my share price up.  I've had my blinders on in a big old way in that I've been focusing on myself instead of on YOU.  And, if you've read any of my posts from last month, you know how I feel about self interested marketing/business/sales behavior!  Doh.

I've said before that people buy based on emotional drivers.  I've said that it's not that our emotions justify the rational decisions (discrete facts and figures) we make. It's that our emotions color how we value discrete facts and figures and then drive what we buy. And, work with me, Empire Avenue is no different.  Sure, your price is derived by a of social media behaviors but all of those are predicated on "engaging" with others.

My interest is your best interest.

If I sit idly, so does my price -- actually, it may fall.  If I am not focused on you, nothing good may yield for neither you nor me.  The onus is on me to provide practical value to you to not only invest in me but also perhaps tell your friends about me too.  That's the only way that I'll be able to survive in the long term and if survival's truly my goal, my activities are 100% oriented to being good for you.

I've not mentioned Mitch Joel in a while but he wrote a lovely post the other day about utilitarianism in marketing as well as an example of Charmin's "Sit or Squat" app to back his point up.  I'm going to excerpt the relevant part here but please do take the time to read it in its entirety.  It's worth it.

"The rise of Utilitarianism Marketing is not something we see talked about as much as we should. When something out of the marketing department doesn't have a huge splash around it or a billboard in Times Square for the senior management team to point at, it tends to get yawns. The yawns happen because the numbers don't look the same when benchmarked against traditional mass media or other forms of advertising. Actually giving consumers something valuable seems counterintuitive to most marketing departments because they equate "value" with "cost" and the last thing a marketer wants to do is give something that costs them more money to less people than the heat they are getting from their traditional advertising.

The point is this: if you give something to people that they actually want to use.... no, need to use, they will love you and be loyal to you forever."

I'm still in the game.

The tragedy of the human condition is such that I will still continue to fixate on my share price and the level of "right" behaviors to drive it up. That doesn't change and I'm not going to try to introduce a more zen like approach to Empire Avenue. That said, this lesson for me in this enjoyable game is that it's so easy to fall back on self interested things as opposed to what's best for you.

Having pledged my commitment to your best interest, I've put my ticker below... Won't you consider a purchase? ;). And, if you've liked this post, comment below -- I'd like to become acquainted with you.

Parissa Behnia
Idea Chef


  1. Thank you for sharing Empire Avenue. New news for me. My question today is, how do I measure my offline social capital? Priceless. See you in Chicago soon.


  2. Great post, Parissa!

    I just joined yesterday and I'm still trying to get a feel for what the site is all about. It's a very interesting concept though.