The Detroit Free Press recently ran a piece on rules for innovation, based on Fender’s design of the Acoustasonic Telecaster. Good piece and a nice innovative guitar, but they make two claims that I’ll take issue with. The first claim is that the Acoustasonic is “profoundly different than anything the world has ever seen.” The second claim is that, by deconstructing how it was created, we can establish best-practices rules for innovation.

To which I reply, “Nope. And nope.”

Let’s take the first claim. Is the Acoustasonic Telecaster profoundly different? At core, it is a thin-bodied acoustic guitar with an…


Had a conversation with a friend in Sales last night about cold-calling. Her perspective was that the first words, the first three seconds, of the conversation are crucial. So we were discussing openings that worked, or didn’t, to start a conversation. We ended up realizing that we both really like “I know I’m calling from out of the blue” as part of that opening, and that she often found it effective.

This morning I was reflecting on why that line works on me and on others. It seems like a throwaway line, but it’s not. Here’s why.

On the (admittedly…


Workish Guitarish Minionish

Most of us believe that metawork is a necessary evil that should be minimized. Metawork is like metadata; work about work (planning, meetings, reporting, etc). Metawork may not directly create value in the way that work does, but we need to do some of it.

If you’re a musician, playing a gig, recording, and writing a song are all work. You’ve directly created value by creating something that didn’t exist before: a pleased listener, a recording, or a new song.

Practicing, on the other hand, is metawork. You won’t be successful if you don’t practice. But, although practice makes you…

Russ Somers

VP Marketing at TrustRadius, vintage guitar whisperer, dad, husband. Proudly Pflugerville (go Panthers!)

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