Your Labor Day Weekend Pop Quiz


Though I’ve been slacking doesn’t mean you can!


One question.

Multiple choice.

You’re the president of ABC Sprockets. Your customer base is growing but you can feel the heat of Spacely on your corporate neck.

Where’s the best place to spend you’re profits to avoid your customers moving to the Next Big Thing?

  1. Put most of your money and time into R&D so you can continue to come up with cool stuff for your customers.
  2. Put most of your time and money into building customer trust.
  3. Put most of your time and money into building partnerships and joint ventures to sustain growth.
  4. Spend your time thinking about your smart girlfriend.

The correct answer is obviously D.

here’s why-



It’s not that the other answers are necessarily wrong but the correct one is obviously D.

Smart girlfriends and smart companies both know what’s important.

Building subtle barriers to exit.


No one dates the girl cooing about marriage on the first date. Just like no one signs up for your product or service thinking they’ll have it for the rest of their lives. This is short attention span theater folks.

Now one of the big lies that marketing guys teach is that you have to build trust with your customers, just like people have in their real life relationships.


But if you really look at your long term relationships you’ll see that what they have in common isn’t trust.

Tons of people stay in marriages and keep friends they really don’t trust.

Nope, what these relationships really have are subtle but effective barriers to exit.

And your smart girlfriend is the perfect one to tell you how to set them up.


No one wants a girl cooing about marriage on the first date. But once your bank accounts are intertwined, she’s met your mom and her stockings are in your bathroom you’ll find she’s much harder to get rid of.

Smart companies do the same thing.

“Baby, we may as well have joint bank accounts…”

Smart companies billing you automatically every month.

“Why don’t we take a trip together in July…”

Smart companies call these frequent flyer miles.

“If you leave me I’m going to take you for every fucking penny you got!”

See cell phone companies.


I could go on but what would be the fun of that. Think of your own this holiday weekend for bonus points.

In today’s fast- moving- everything- is- copied- before- it’s- even- released- world, it’s important that you don’t ignore subtle barriers to exit.

Because your girlfriend won’t.


Enjoy your labor day!

Class dismissed!

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9 Comments on “Your Labor Day Weekend Pop Quiz”

  1. tubetorial Says:

    Choices 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the correct answer is D? No wonder education is in such a mess. 🙂

  2. Nick Says:

    Excellent post. I do quite a bit of business with offshore freelancers, and the first things they always say in their proposals is that they are looking for a long term relationship…


    How about you just do the work on this project?

  3. Liz Strauss Says:

    I’m the smart girl standing at the exit. 🙂 Great post. Yep. you bet!

  4. I think I have to go back to the lab after reading this.
    Damn you Beta.

  5. chartreuse Says:

    Brian, you got me again!

  6. dudeasinCool Says:

    Glad to see this site is up and running again

  7. We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking at your web page again.

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