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The Marketer as Philosopher: by Flint McGlaughlin

"Asking 'how' leads to information; asking 'why' leads to wisdom." This is the essence of Dr. Flint McGlaughlin's book, The Marketer as Philosopher.

After twenty five years of asking "why" to a single question and testing his hypotheses using the web as a living laboratory, McGlaughlin has released a collection of his findings. These 40 brief reflections unfold in a series of layers that suggest a new framework and theory of messaging.

For more information, you can visit www.meclabs.com/mapbook

Latest Observations

On the Difference between “How Many” and “How So”

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Oct 12, 2018
Method:Previous Writings

"We 'listen' to customer data in order to 'hear' customer insights. Metrics are not about 'how many'; metrics are about 'why so.'"

On Understanding the True Power of Marketing

Topic:Communication Topic:Philosophy
Posted on:Oct 11, 2018
Method:Dictation

Marketing is misunderstood on so many levels. Ultimately, it is a kind of "superpower". The world is ruled not by brute force, but rather by elegant force (marketing). Understanding how to get people to say "yes" within the social dynamic of reality is a fundamental function of survival.

On Coping with the Negative

Topic:Personal
Posted on:May 21, 2018
Method:Dictation

The first law life is that the negative prevails (entropy). The art of living is expressed in the ability to emphasize the positive within the context of an ever degrading negative.

On Treating Each Day as an Gift

Topic:Personal
Posted on:May 3, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

When we reflect upon the beauty and the terror of existence, we may consider each day as a unit of opportunity. A day should never "pass," so to speak, because we should treat each day as a gift. In fact, no one should let the day happen, but rather they should happen to the day. This is the triumph of a peculiar human attribute: consciousness. This is a triumph of conscious intention to embody the positive (beauty) against the tyranny of the negative.

On Leadership and Managing the Unknown

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Mar 27, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The artful leader is distinguished by a single nuanced attribute. The artful leader is not surprised by surprises. He engineers a system for anticipating the unexpected. Indeed, leadership requires one to manage the unknown.

On the Relationship Between the Grand and the Grind

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Jan 22, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Sometimes the “grand” is disguised within the “grind.” Some leaders look for those dramatic movements that indicate progress, when in fact, it is the integrated arrangement of strategic details that produces true advantage.

On the Key to Staying Focused

Topic:Personal
Posted on:Jan 8, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Someone asked me recently, “how do you stay focused and consistent when you have to do the same task over and over again?” My answer was this: “I never do the same task twice in a row.” The answer is misleading, but what I mean is that every time I do something, I try to improve it over the last cycle. Every call, every routine, every time. This keeps my mind engaged in what I am doing. It is a key to keeping your heart and soul “all in.”  

On Leadership and the Artful Use of the Three Tenses

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Jan 5, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

The leader must manage the present tense in view of the past and the future. Never let the present tense distort your perspective. This is especially true of relationships. The only valid use of the two tenses, past and future, is to improve the present. Too often, we carry, from the past, negative influences such as guilt or bitterness; too often, we borrow, from the future, negative influences, such as fear or worry. The past and the future do not exist (physics), except as concepts (philosophy) with which to empower our present. Looking at the future or remembering the past, in the best way, can inspire my present tense action. The artful leader disciplines their use of the three tenses to produce the highest and best performance "now". 

On the Power of Seeming

Topic:Communication
Posted on:Jan 3, 2018
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Words matter. Small words seem to matter more. One word seems to matter most: hope. The will to live is inextricably intertwined with the power to hope (Camu aside). But the power to hope is sometimes dependent on another word. This word is more subtle, more nuanced, less used, and less valued.

This is the word, "seems".

With only five letters, it draws an essential distinction between that which is and that which may be, while at the same time layering a force to the possible. It is stronger than a guess, yet weaker than a claim, and with this distinction becomes indispensable to the scientific method. The "seeming" OF is an inference TO, and thus forms a bridge to the working hypothesis.

On the Danger of Data without Context ​

Topic:Leadership
Posted on:Dec 22, 2017
Method:Dictation
Captured by:Flint M

Mistakes made with data rarely have to do with the math. Data plus data equals more data; data plus context (pattern recognition) equals wisdom. Data without context is like sex without love; it can feel good, but it lacks true meaning.