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Category: Product Management

The 7 Cs of Success

7 Cs of Success


Is it possible to distill wisdom from ancient times to present day across all cultures into practical insights for achieving success? Tom Morris, an American philosopher, author and former professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame presented all the valuable insights into a simple, comprehensive, and logically connected framework of seven universal conditions for achieving satisfying and sustainable results in any endeavour. He calls these 7 Cs of Success in his brilliant book, The Art of Achievement.

Here is how Tom Morris describes the 7 Cs:
“ Together, these 7 Cs make up a universal tool kit for remarkable accomplishment as they constitute the most extraordinary leveraging device for our energies in any situation or challenge. Nevertheless, though they are extraordinarily powerful, they are not magic. They won’t turn couch potatoes into decathlon champions overnight. They can’t guarantee anyone a million dollars, world fame, or the presidency. But they are remarkably reliable tools for helping us make the most of our lives and energies everyday.”

Here are the 7 Cs:
1. Conception: A clear conception of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal strongly envisaged.
2. Confidence: A strong confidence that we can attain our goal. To build confidence build competence. Nothing creates and undergirds a confident disposition like knowing you are prepared for the challenge. Great confidence is rooted in great preparation. Only those, who prepare for greatness can reasonably expect it.
3. Concentration: Focused concentration on what it takes to reach that goal.
4. Consistency: A stubborn consistency in pursuing our vision. The word “Consistent” derives its meaning from the Latin for “Standing together.”
5. Commitment: An emotional commitment to the importance of what we are doing.
6. Character: A good character to guide us and keep us on a proper course.
7. Capacity: A capacity to enjoy the process along the way.

He further amplifies that, “In this life, we’re either getting better or we are getting worse. If we are not growing, we’re diminishing… The good should always give way to better. Otherwise, it will at some point inevitably dissipates into worse.”

Let’s commit ourselves to living the 7 Cs of success today!


George Orwell’s Six Rules of Effective Writing



Eric Arthur Blair (1903 – 1950) is better known by his pen name, George Orwell. He was born in India.

An author and journalist, Orwell was one of the most prominent and influential figures in the twentieth-century literature. Animal Farm, his unique political allegory was published in 1945. And it was this novel, together with the distopia of Nineteen-Eighty-Four (1949) which brought him world-wide fame and recognition.

Here are his Six Rules of Effective Writing:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon if you can think of an everyday English equivalent
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

The Value of Time




All of us know the importance of time, at least conceptually. We all know that time and tide wait for no man. But do we really realise the importance of time? Here are three interesting perspectives on the importance of time that have been in circulation on internet for quite sometime. It’s worth reminding ourselves and reiterating our pledge to utilise this most important resource to the fullest.

Imagine there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day.

What would you do?
Draw out every cent of course!
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows you no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the records of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
There’s no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow.
You must live in the present on today’s deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The Clock is running. Make most of today.

To realise the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realise the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realise the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper
To realise the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realise the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realise the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realise the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in Olympics.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

– Author Unknown


Why Questions Are More Important?




Why questions are more important even than the answers?

We all learn by asking questions. Children learn by asking questions. Students learn by asking questions. Marketers develop customer insights by asking questions. Innovators learn about and understand client needs by asking questions. What is more, brilliant thinkers never stop asking questions because they know that this kind of inquiry is the best way to gain deeper insights.

Here are ten more reasons why questions are more important than the answers. Consider these for example:

1. We run this company (Google) in questions, not answers. (Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google)
2. If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solutions, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper ‘question’ to ask for once I know the proper ‘question’, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.’ (Albert Einstein)
3. Without a good ‘question’, a good answer has no place to go. (Clayton Christensen)
4. The wise man doesn’t give the right answers. He poses the right ‘questions.’ (Claude Levi-Strauss)
5. Judge a man by his ‘questions’ rather than his answers. (Voltaire)
6. You can tell whether a man is clever by his ‘answers.’ You can tell whether a man is wise by his ‘questions.” (Naguib Mahfouz)
7. Children enter school as ‘question marks’ and leave as ‘periods.’ (Neil Postman)
8. At the root of an answer is a ‘question.’ (J.W. Getzels)
9. In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a ‘question’ mark on the thing you have long taken for granted. (Bertrand Russell)
10. We live in the world our questions create. (David Cooper Rider)


5 Copywriting Lessons From John Bevins




John Bevins, who became one of Australia’s all-time great copywriters founded his eponymous advertising agency in 1982. He headed its creative department and won many awards.

In 1993, John Bevins was voted both Advertising Person of the Year and Creative Person of the Year by the Campaign Brief Readers’ Poll.

In 2002, he was awarded the inaugural Advertising Federation of Australia Medallion. He was subsequently honoured with the Denis Everingham Award for Copywriting.

In 2010, He was inducted into the Adnews Hall of Fame.

After 28 years in business, John Bevins, one of Australia’s great agencies closed their doors in December 2009.

He shared the lessons he learnt in The Copybook: How some of the best advertising writers write their advertising.

1. If you don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it.
2. You never know what you’re looking for until you find it, ad you’ll never find it if you know what you’re looking for (There is no Process).
3. Spell it out and it’s out with a spell (The reader’s imagination is as important as yours).
4. Product advertising explains the product to me. Brand advertising explains me to me (Empathy).
5. You have to be in the right mood to write. And that the way to get into the right mood is to write is to Write.

The Best Piece of Advice

Alex Brodovitch (1898 - 1971)

Alex Brodovitch (1898 – 1971)


What is the best piece of advice given to marketers and who gave it to whom?

Paul Arden, the former creative chief of the renowned ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi shared the best piece of advice ever given in his book, Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite:

Alexy Brodovitch,the Russian-born photographer, designer and instructor who is most famous for his art direction of fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar from 1938 to 1958 gave an advice to the young Richard Avedon, who later became one of the world’s great photographers.

The advice was simple:

Astonish Me!

Bear these words in mind, and what you do will be creative.

What are you doing today to Astonish your current customers to turn them into your advocates and to your prospective customers so that they become your customers and your advocates?

10 Copywriting Tips From Adrian Holmes



Starting his advertising career in 1976, Adrian Holmes worked in a number of advertising agencies including Grey Advertising;, Saatchi & Saatchi, CDP (Collett Dickenson Pearce) and WCRS before becoming the Chief Creative Officer in Lowe. He later moved on to Young & Rubicam.

Adrian won awards at Cannes, D&AD, The One Show, Campaign Press Awards and the British Television Awards. In 1994, Adrian served as President of D&AD.

He wrote an essay giving ten very useful tips for copy writers in The Copybook: How some of the best advertising writers write their advertising. The Copybook presents the collective wisdom of some of the best creative minds who mastered the art and science of persuasive communication.

Adrian Holmes shares his wisdom in the form of ten tips to more effective copywriting.

1. Make the most of your deadline.
2. Before starting your copy, workout where it’ll end.
3. Keep the reader rewarded. Any copywriter has to strike a deal with the reader. And as far as the reader is concerned the deal is this: “I’ll keep reading as long as you keep me interested.” So always ask yourself: Have I expressed this in as original a way as possible? Have I been ruthlessly concise? Have I kept my side of the bargain?
4. Don’t over-egg the mix. Beware of loading your prose with too many jokes and verbal conceits. As a rule, the plainer you keep things, the greater effect of the occasional flourish.
5. Read Poetry. Why not? I think the best copywriting is a form of poetry. We fuss and fret about the way things sound as much as poets do. So study their techniques, see how they use language, rhythm, and imagery.
6. Read your copy out loud to yourself.
7. Don’t get too precious about your words.
8. Treat your copy as a visual object. For some reason, copy that looks good on the page has a knack of reading well, too.
9. Observe the Sonata structure, which has three phases: the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation.
10. The Good is the enemy of the Great. You have completed your 15th draft. You finally sit back and say to yourself: yup that’s good. Congratulations! Now tear it up and do it again. Only better. I told you this writing business was tough.

Follow these and you are sure to develop a winning persuasive communication strategy for your products, services and causes.

Passive Smoking Kills




Richard Poster, one of the most acclaimed creative persons in advertising of our times created this freelance poster. He wrote that he created this originally for AMV (Abbott Mead Vickers) sometime in 1997) for the client NHS but it never ran.

Richard Wrote in The Copybook:How Some of the World’s Best Advertising Writers Write their Advertising that Later, in 2007 this poster appeared for The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ad by the CHI agency.

In 1980, Richard Foster joined the board of the fledgling Abbott Mead Vickers, where he spent the next twenty-five years helping AMV become one of Britain’s biggest and most creatively awarded agency.

David Abbott’s Five Rules For Copywriting




Born in London in 1938, David Abbott is one of the greatest copywriters of our times. He won many awards in his career, created many celebrated campaigns and mentored many highly successful copywriters. In 2001, he was inducted into the One Show Hall of Fame, the first Briton to receive this honour since David Ogilvy.

Here are the five rules he suggested in The Copybook: How some of the best advertising writers write their advertising:

1. Put yourself into your work. Use your life to animate your copy. If something moves you, chances are, it will touch someone else too.
2. Think visually. Ask someone to describe a spiral staircase and they’ll use their hands as well as words. Sometimes the best copy is no copy.
3. If you believe that facts persuade (as I do), you’d better learn how to write a list so that it doesn’t read like a list.
4. Confession is good for the soul and for copy too. Bill Bernbach used to say “a small admission gains a large acceptance.”
5. Don’t be boring.

Remember and follow these rules every time you are creating a communication strategy to make it a winning strategy.

When I Grow Up…


When I Grow Up, the 1999 Super Bowl ad by Mullen Advertising has been chosen as one of its top ten according to by its visitors. It has also justifiably, won a lot of industry awards.

What makes it so good is that it’s simple and surprising. It takes an entirely different approach from other ads in this category, which tend to be pretty conservative and stick with leveraging dreams of a great future. By doing the opposite, this one stands out. The ad featured a series of kids sharing their dreams, only with a twist.

Here’s the transcript of the famous When I Grow Up Superbowl ad:

When I grow up, I want to file all day.

I want to claw my way up through the middle management.

Be replaced on a whim.

I want to have a brown nose.

I want to be a Yes Man. Yes Woman! Yes sir! Coming Sir! Anything for a raise sir!

When I grow up… I want to be under appreciated. Be paid less for doing the same job.

I want sunshine blown up my dress.

What did you want to be?

The subtext of the question in the end, “What did you want to be?”, of course, is that you didn’t set out for any of these roles when you were young, so shy do you settle for one now?