Four Brothers

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When “Ken”:http://www.onedegree.ca/category/ken-schafer sent a “request for Mother’s Day postings to One Degree”:http://www.onedegree.ca/2006/05/08/its-mom-week-at-one-degree, it made me scratch my head. I wondered what relevance my Mother had in terms of online marketing? And then it struck me: everything.
I have three brothers (I know, poor Mrs. Joel). We grew up in a middle-class family, which meant that we had everything we wanted but we shared a lot. Instead of individual gifts, my mother would always pool the resources together and get us something we could use together. Stuff like “Pong”:http://www.pong-story.com/, “Atari 2600”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_2600, “Atari 800”:http://oldcomputers.net/atari800.html, “Intellivision”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellivision and one of the first PCs.
From a technology standpoint, we were always ahead of the curve. I remember typing book reports on my Atari 800 and printing them up on a “dot matrix printer”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-matrix_printer while the other kids were still grappling in handwritten assignments.
I also remember the tag-team effort my brothers and I would put into programming a game with the code we got from “Compute Magazine”:http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/.
I also remember how my Mother never balked when it was time to upgrade from an 800 to a “1200 baud modem”:http://www.cyberroach.com/analog/an19/hayes_1200.htm, or when I wanted Internet service, but the only ISP was out of the province, so I had to pay long distance fees on top of my Internet service. I had a four-digit ICQ number.
And that’s the point, isn’t it?


I’m in this business because my Mother made choices for me as a child. She helped guide my creativity and never suppressed my desire to connect to others.
If we truly believe “The Cluetrain Manifesto’s thesis”:http://www.cluetrain.com that “markets are conversations” (and this is why the world of marketing is changing), then all of us need not look further than our own mothers to realize that we are in the conversation business because of them. *”Mothers start the conversation”* (which should be another thesis) by asking the right questions, giving us unconditional love and always pushing us to try something new and unique.
Happy Mother’s Day.

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