Blog: Eric Cedo

Eric Cedo is our guest blogger this week. Eric is the founder of BrainGain Marketing and the former executive director of CreateDetroit. He blogs frequently on BrainGain's Michigan-focused, a site dedicated to the local creative community.

Check back here each week day to read Eric's thoughts on attracting and keeping young talent and building up Southeast Michigan's creative community.

Post No. 1

As a self-proclaimed marketing guy, I often find my way to the sales and marketing section of the local Borders to find what’s being touted as the latest and greatest book that’s guaranteed to improve sales and drive more traffic to your brand or business than ever before. Upon a rare occasion I actually find something that has at least a bit of useful information. More often than not the latest Seth Godin title is such a book. So is the case with his recent work "The Dip."

"The Dip" not only has some useful information about marketing and entrepreneurship – when to quit, when to stick, how to tell the difference between the two – it has a message I feel would resonate well in Southeast Michigan. The message is – be the best or get out of the game.

As the title of the first chapter of the book so aptly states "Being the Best in the World is Seriously Underrated." We should identify what areas, we as a region, can make the bold claim "We are the best in the world."
Being like someone else - or in this case some place else really means a cheap copy of the original. Mediocre at best. Think the recent release of the Microsoft Zune…the mp3 player game is over. As a matter of fact when is the last time you even used the term mp3 player? It’s so over that we don’t even refer to mp3 players as mp3 players – they are iPods. Game Over. Yet all the might muscle and marketing dollars of Microsoft couldn’t get the Zune in the game. According to a recent Bloomberg Report, the iPod has about a 69% market share with all mp3 players compared to Microsoft Zune’s 2.5%. Some of you may ask “Why would Microsoft try and compete in a space that has been locked up for some time now?”

The better question is what are we doing in business, in life, or as a region that’s merely an attempt to be just like _____?

The Dip is a reference to the time between starting off with a bang and then naturally slumping for a season. In sports they call it the sophomore slump. The city is all abuzz over a wildly successful Super Bowl and then BANG – job losses at the Big Three and declining marketing share send us back into The Dip. The reality is that low point is not only an essential place of decision, it’s the necessary step between being mediocre and being the best. Those that endure The Dip will come out winners. Many great ideas die in The Dip. Many average ideas take off and become best in the world because of someone’s ability to endure and persevere.