This post is part of a 95 post series discussing the 95 theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto as they relate to business in 2009. Read more about the series in the introduction post. And check out the rest of the series!
ITS GOOD TO BE BACK! Thanks again to Stephen Smith for taking the reigns on the last 3 posts in this series (theses 17, 18, and 19). It was a much needed recharge for me, plus an opportunity to get ahead a little bit. So, without further adieu…
Thesis #20: Companies need to realize their markets are often laughing. At them.
If a company makes a mistake in the woods, and there is no-one there to point a finger and laugh at them, will they correct their mistake?
Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s ok. It’s human. That’s a good thing, remember?
To be human.
Companies seem to think that their mistakes are their weakness, and do everything they can to control where their mistakes end up. Ultimately, they get found out. There are no secrets, remember?
So life hands you lemons, in the form of public ridicule for your mistakes. More likely, you planted those lemons yourself. But you’re not going to admit that.
Let’s make some lemonade.
Get over your Gelotophobia
Prior to writing this post I had no idea that this word existed, and for the first 30 seconds of knowing this word existed I was under the assumption that it had something to do with italian ice cream.
Gelotophobia is a debilitating fear of being laughed at, and doesn’t seem to have been studied extensively (if at all) in the United States. The majority of the research that has been done has been conducted in the last year.
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that the researchers who are putting energy into researching this affliction should look no further than commercial enterprises, and the people that found them/run them. This has to be the most common affliction of companies.
What I really mean is, the people who comprise the companies. Not just the entrepreneurs that start them.
What’s fascinating to me is that the affliction of “fear” is the is the most human emotion that companies seem to let bleed through from the people inside, to the outside world. From what we’ve seen, companies are really good at being afraid, too. They can’t quite send their high powered attorneys after someone who laughed at them, can they?
The optimist in me see that as a good thing, and if nothing else, a starting point. If we can get companies over their fear of being laughed at, the cluetrain can continue down it’s path.
Ahem full steam ahead ahem.