Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Truth is King

This six month old post by Jeff Jarvis hits it... and he ends by saying:

In the end, isn’t the only asset worth owning trust?

Content is not king.

Distribution is not king.

Trust is king in the kingdom of conversation.


So the kingdom is conversation and thanks to the world of blogging and forums anyone can start a conversation and become an expert on a very narrowed niche. This is most exciting in the cycling industry.

We all know this biz runs on passion more then most others. And people reside in this industry because they love it, not to get rich. The hard part is making a viable living.

Question: What the easiest way to make a million dollars in the bike industry?
Answer: Start with two million.

How can joe shmoe frame builder compete in the world of magazine advertising and big budget sponsorship? He'll fail before he starts. You can't out-spend the competition.

But wait, the king is no longer distribution and content. So just cause Trek can buy more ads doesn't mean they'll always win. Now people want to be a part of the conversation and know they can trust what they are hearing.

Sure, the new Cannondale ad may be telling the truth. But it's boring. And corporate. And one sided. And looks just like the ads that lie.

But if I heard straight from an R&D guy on a regular basis and was able to constantly give my feedback... I'd be a lot more willing to drop my cash for his bike. I'd "know" the guy who built it.

The independent frame builder with a long waiting list.

Jimmy Rigsby starts Woodstock out of his garage.

Tim Jackson revitalizes the Masi brand.

One guy, telling one story about what he does and why he loves it. No layers of bureaucracy. No focus groups. No ad agencies. Just truth.

And what industry is better suited for truth tellers then the bike industry? We love a good story.

Posted by Tim Grahl at 12:01 PM

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous RogueMechanic posted at 1:44 PM  
    There's no substitute for integrity.... Without truth there's not much trust. In my book Trust is also King.
  2. Blogger Guitar Ted posted at 2:04 PM  
    My boss always tells me, "You have to be very carefull about what you say on your blog, Mark." I know he means several things when he says that, but one of the most important reasons to remember for "being careful" is that what you write and declare is graven in digital history for all to peruse, or for that matter, dredge back up again!

    If you lack integrity, or are otherwise a scoundrel, you will be quickly exposed on the "net" for what you are. However; it might be prudent to keep in mind that just merely being careless can come back to haunt you! It is therefore a wise saying to me: "Be very careful what you write on your blog, Mark". I definitely have taken back some things before I hit the "publish" icon, that's for sure!
  3. Anonymous Cipo's Leadout Guy posted at 3:42 PM  
    Just because it is blogged or written does not mean it is true.

    Blogging does not equal truth. It's just a lower barrier of entry for anyone to publish what's on their mind. Period.

    While having the ability to bypass corporate B.S. allows for the possibility of transparency and openess, the lack of checks and balances (and legal departments) also allows for misinformation, at best, and damage to the livelihoods and reputations of others, at worst.

    Remember: not all corporations are liers and not all bloggers are honest, unbiased fighters for truth, justice and the American way. With power comes responsibility. There is just as much BS out there masquerading as truth in the blogging world as there is in the corporate world.

    People tend to believe what they read. How well do you know your blogger?
  4. Blogger Donna Tocci posted at 7:55 PM  
    Lead out guy....well said...
  5. Blogger Tim Jackson- Masi Guy posted at 9:37 PM  
    First, thanks to The Other Tim for making me sound cool. I'm flattered...

    Rogue- Yes. I agree that truth has to be a major ingredient (more below).

    Ted- As I said directly to you, it is important to keep those "be careful" thoughts in mind when speaking "for the comapny". I say a lot of things here that might not be so appropriate for my Masiguy site. The Masiguy site, like this, is my own intellectual property, but "Masi" is in the title so I have to be at least a little mindful of the company when I hit "publish"- or at least be willing to deal with the fallout. I try not to censor my thoughts, but I try not to say anything that will get the wrong kind of attention from the folks who sign my paychecks.

    Leadout guy- Can you lead me out too? I don't have a sprint train anymore and need one- you available?

    You are absolutely right. Donna and I have had numerous conversations about this topic before. Blogging is a great tool and a great source of information, but you do have to be careful to do your own research too. You can't trust the word of every blogger out there without knowing what/ who you are reading. Then again, some of us bloggers are less biased than Fox News at least... but I digress.
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