Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I Wish I Coined This Term: "Founder's Syndrome"

If you've read my previous posts, you know that I sometimes coin my own terms, such as "URL Sprawl" and "Frienomenon." A colleague used a term the other day that, as much as I wish I could claim responsibility for, I cannot. Surprisingly enough, I have seen plenty of "Founder's Syndrome," but thought I was alone.

Thank you Carter McNamara for your excellent site, The Free Management Library(SM), and discussion of this term:

Carter's definition is as follows:
"This syndrome occurs when, rather than working toward its overall mission, the organization operates primarily according to the personality of a prominent person in the organization, for example, the founder, board chair/president, chief executive, etc. The syndrome is primarily an organizational problem -- not primarily a problem of the person in the prominent position."

My response: Although the term is not meant to peg the founder as the problem, in my mind, any leader is ultimately responsible for organizational culture and change, as they set the example and the pace and should therefore empower others to act in the interest of the company's mission vs. respond to his/her personal preferences and moods.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do You Need a Social Media Presence?

I've seen on LinkedIn and elsewhere questions about whether a start-up should market via social media such as YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc. My answer to any "should we" question is always, "if your ideal customers are there, yes." Pretty straight-forward and simple. But how do you know where your ideal customers are, aside from asking them? MarketingCharts highlights a new survey (The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study) shows that the following groups in particular want to be reached (and marketed to) via social networks:

--Consumers aged 18-34 (one-third of respondents)
--Households with income of $75K+

In addition, a majority (2/3) of $75K+ households and households with 3+ members "feel stronger connections to brands they interact with online."

If this is your customer base, it's time to get social!