Cluetrain has been the central factor I use to judge businesses for some time now, and it surprised me today that the only reference that I found to it in this blog is a rather shallow one when I mention ASmallOrange. Time to rectify that 😀
The essence behind Cluetrain that I like is that it urges companies (even, or particularly big corporates) to be more personal in the way they deal with their customers. Instead of presenting an unapprochable corporate front to their lowest-tier customers, companies are urged to open up their doors and facilitate an honest employee-customer relationship – in some cases, friendship. This is the idea that business, at the very bottom, are fundamentally human, and therefore it requires a human touch for it to be the most successful.
I first heard about the Cluetrain manifesto when I heard it being refered in connection with Fastmail (whose email id I still use), but I should’ve recognized signs of its proliferation even earlier. Perhaps the most famous (and over-used) example is Google and it’s do-no-evil mantra, and it still remains the most successful psuedo-example. The Cluetrain manifesto though makes the most sense if you are a startup. Take the earlier case of Fastmail, or even ASO which has seen an explosive growth simply because of its word-of-mouth advertising. Head over to their forums to see why this is justified.
The entire text of the Cluetrain manifesto book can be read online, and I urge people even remotely interested in marketing to give it a glance. Even the chapter names are illuminating.