Big Red Rules IX

Big Red Car here.  Feeling a bit sorry for myself really.  SXSW is over.  The Boss is still skiing.  What’s up with him anyway?

So when the Big Red Car is feeling a bit depressed, what do do we do?  That’s right, baby, Big Red Rules.

Time for some Big Red Rules.


Freemium is a legitimate strategy as long as you have some idea where you are taking this and how you are going to convert this into real revenue.  Start thinking of the revenue before you start giving stuff away.  Before.

Too much freemium can lead to bankruptcy and no business should be expected to run itself into the ground.  The market can take care of that just fine.

Freemium to premium is a legitimate strategy and depends upon the traction of freemium providing the impetus to get some more.  One free cookie is enough.  Don’t let your customers be pigs.  Still, let them have a damn good cookie in the bargain.


Hey, you, you are pretty great.  Celebrate it from time to time.  Take a damn day off, flick the world off and get some pampering.  Not too often but just sometimes.  You deserve it.  Trust me on this.  Don’t tell anyone, just do it.

If you can work remotely — do it.  Particularly if you can get more work done when uninterrupted.  The Boss routinely gets more work done when working remotely.  More focus, I think.

When you get a chance, lighten up.  Throw away the Jokers in your deck of cards.  Nobody ever really needs a Joker.  Escape from people who consume your energy.  Throw them away or fire them.

Never, ever, ever stop learning.  Get someone at work to show you and educate you about their job.  Take a course in welding.  Welding is a great thing to know.

Speaking of welding, what are the only things a good welder cannot weld?  Tissue paper, the crack of dawn and a broken heart.  Tell that joke to a welder in the Oil Patch and he will think you know your stuff.

Be careful about who you hang with.  Whenever you hang out with a group, your intelligence, wisdom, virtue and common sense will drift toward the average of the group.  Make it drift upwards rather than downward.  Pro tip.  Remember when your Mother told you this?  Well, she was right.


Everything is a work in progress — you personally, your product, your company, your relationships.  This could go on forever but let me get to the point.  Don’t stop developing and don’t settle for the status quo.  Ever.

We all grow in an iterative manner and sometimes that iteration slips us a bit back down the curve.  Only real estate developers think rents go up forever.  Not the end of the world but fight back against allowing things to pull you down to the average, to regress to the mean.  You are exceptional, fight the gravity of mediocrity.  Give it a kick in the teeth.

Trust yourself to instinctively know what to do.  Don’t put all of your chips on your instincts and get lots of advice but once you have done exactly that — trust your instincts.  All else failing, listen to your wife.  Remember when she said that guy was not a worthy partner and she was right?  Don’t overlook the freebies.


You can either share or hoard.  Sharing makes a lot more friends than hoarding.  Also more customers.  A potential customer may lurk for a year on your website drinking it all in and only then pull the trigger and give you an order.  Sharing is better than hoarding.

Sharing is like girls with virtue.  Nothing wrong with a bit of sparking and maybe even a warm embrace but keep all of your articles of clothing intact during the entire experience and you will not court any real trouble.  Don’t share your real secrets or virtue.  Make them buy it.  Customers will only buy when there is no other way for them to get what they want.  Make them want it enough to buy it.

Sharing is selling.  Always be selling.  Always.

Sharing can be one of the 6-7 “touches” necessary to make the sale if done correctly.

Don’t be tempted to be “fair”, play favorites when it comes to sharing because every account is not equally important.


You love gadgets, don’t you?  You have that smartphone, that tablet, that laptop, that desktop, that camera — and you’re telling me you don’t like gadgets?  Everybody loves gadgets.

OK, now reward yourself with some new gadgets — Hell, you deserve it.  Get a solid state drive and use it to boot your laptop’s operating system.  Why the operating system?  Because it is a lot easier to replace than your files.  Backup everything to a hard drive somewhere.

Get into the Cloud and stop procrastinating.  OK, take it a couple of baby steps at a time but the Cloud is the future.  And, you, my friend, are all about the future.

The best video in America is being shot using a 6 year old camera — Canon 5D Mk II — which everyone thinks is a still photo camera but is really a great video camera.  It is like a 1973 Jaguar XKE convertible — tempermental but great on the hard runs.   A classic.


Advice is like medicine, you have to take it to make it work.  Just talking to an aspirin will not make your headache go away.

Advice is also like a spice — a pinch will make the soup more savory and a handful will destroy it.  Take and give just enough to be detectable and not enough to kill the other flavors.

Before you offer advice, make damn sure the other party really wants it.  Sometimes advice requires delicate timing.

Don’t give anyone advice while they are still bleeding.  Let the swelling subside just a bit before offering any “I told you so” advice.

Well, that’s enough for a Big Red Car for today.  I’ve got a chance to exercise that wild streak in my heart, a fast drive through the Hill Country and while I love to chat with ya’ll, I love a fast drive better.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.





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