The ball bearing and the beach ball

I don’t know how he does it, but Seth always finds interesting stuff.

The ball bearing and beach ball are great metaphors you can implement in your life as well as any business you’re planning to launch.

Michael Brooke writes:
1. I am not publishing a magazine – I am helping to document and foster change within skateboarding. The magazine is part of a greater movement within skateboarding. Concrete Wave exists to spread specific ideas. The more people we can spread these ideas too, the more success we achieve.

2. I am not merely building readers or subscribers – I am building a cult of supporters, each of whom will further support the cause and bring in more readers and subscribers.

3. I build marketing INTO the product and distribution. By limiting the kinds of advertisers I allow, by keeping the editorial strictly focused and by carefully distributing the magazine, my readers and advertisers trust the magazine to deliver on its promise of 100% skateboarding. I will never betray that trust.

4. Concrete Wave wishes to remain a ball bearing – small, hard to find and continually in the state of being polished. Our goal is to provide readers with a deep impression when they get hit with it. Conversely, we do not aim to be a beach ball – big, seen all over the place, colorful and yet leaving very little impression when it hits. A beach ball is very fragile indeed and must avoid challenging environments, because it requires so much air to keep it afloat. A weighty ball bearing can withstand both challenging environments along with the pin pricks of adversity.

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One Response

  1. Seth quoted Michael Brooke’s manifesto, which at first reminded me of Isaiah Berlin’s well-known elaboration on a theme from a fragment attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus, “The Hedgehog and the Fox.”

    “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

    See: Wikipedia

    Brooke’s stated, “I am not publishing a magazine – I am helping to document and foster change within skateboarding . . . ” For the full version, go to The ball bearing and the beach ball.

    It seems clear to me this is in fact a manifesto. It is a public announcement of purpose and intent. The avid readers of the magazine will take it as a commitment, and they will be very unhappy if the implied promise is reneged upon.

    It is not a statement of focus. I suspect that Michael Brooke is very focused on publishing a magazine, or ought to be. But, his focus on magazine publishing is informed and directed by his purpose.

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