Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Branding! Writing: the Author as Factor!


Don't ask me why it took me this long to figure out that I needed a website branded to me. My only excuse, and it is an excuse, is that I was taught in the corporate world, especially in software start-ups, you should never brand the founder of a company. Because, when you want to sell that company, you will have to sell the founders with it. Or when you go public, your IPO, the founders will have to go public, too. Remember, the CEO and CFO are not always founders. Rather what you should do is brand the product and let it stand on it's own two feet. The Hailey twins, Shawn and Kim, branded the Meta-Software to them. They were the gold standard, not HSpice. The Hailey twins were the factory, not Meta-Software.

Look what happened with Apple. Founder Steve Jobs is the classic example. While Steve was alive, Apple could do not wrong. It could miss two quarters and still climb to $705. But without him, Apple lost 33% of its market cap. Why? Because Steve Jobs == Apple. That didn't happen with the Woz. Woz who? Exactly. Nor has that happened with Bill Gates. We tried to do that at BrightStreet, an online promotions company I helped found.

That is exactly how we run our inn. Unlike the previous owners, Eliot and Tish, we try not to associate ourselves closely with our brand. No, rather we try to make the painting school, the inn, the art quit and fiber art school, the chocolate factory and retail store stand on its own two legs. These three brands, Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, The Greenville Arms 1889 Inn, Life By Chocolate, are what we push. Those are our brands. We are just executives at Woodchuck Ventures, Inc., our company. So, even though we will be here forever, we wont live forever.

When it came to getting a website and branding me, I didn't make the connection. But it is obvious, after a ten ton epiphany fell on my wooly headed, dense, numb skull that the writer and the artist is the product. Or at least, the write or artist is the factory and company all combined into one. Here I was thinking only about branding my work! But who produces the work? I do. And that's probably why writers of all stripes complain when people ask them about their process, where they get their ideas from, why they did this vs. that. Many will say gruffly, "Read the book; it's all in there." Or they might say, "I don't like to talk about my work. Anything I have to say is in there," pointing to his or her newly minted novel.

But if the writer is the factory, then those questions are nothing more than QA, quality control. What the writer does in rewrite then is QE or quality engineering. But the customer, the reader, wants to know about the internals. The customer needs to connect with the factory, or factor, to get a warm and fuzzy about the product. And that is why I am going to get a website ASAP!

Is it no wonder that my first novel was about Silicon Valley?

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