A Tailor, a Winery and Microsoft

Bob Cramblitt reports on Hugh MacLeod’s talk from Business of Software 2007. To sign up for BoS 2008, visit www.businessofsoftware.org

A Savile Row tailor, a South African winery and Microsoft.  Strange bedfellows, perhaps, but not if it’s Hugh MacLeod’s bed.  MacLeod (www.gapingvoid.com) has helped all three define themselves in new and distinct ways that have nothing to do with product, and everything to do with people and their embracing of social objects.

The tailor, Thomas Mahon, has established a blog (http://www.englishcut.com/) that personalizes his craft, leading to recognition around the world, and demand that far exceeds supply.  The South African winery, Stormhoek (http://www.stormhoek.com/blog/), has tripled its sales over the last few years with its "smarter wine" campaign.  MacLeod’s cartoon for Microsoft (see below) has become an underground hit within the company, leading to a new mantra: "Change the World or Go Home."

As for software, MacLeod says, "If geeks aren’t geeking out over your product, you’re in trouble.  Make your product a social object and you will succeed."

MacLeod’s iconoclastic insights might not seem immediately relevant to software, but look a little closer, and you’ll see the connection.  Check out his tips on how to be creative: http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/000932.html