Procuring important business lessons from Mad Men is not always an easy thing. You can learn as much about business conduct and best practices from watching the mistakes made by the characters. Some of the most prescient business points can be taken through the characters’ personal conduct in relationships. Last night’s episode for me was all about persistence. In business, persistence is action and action is, with few exceptions, better than inaction when you are driving success in your business.
Chevy is putting SCDP through the ringer. Draper and Co have pitched seven ideas in six weeks at Chevy only to have Chevy demand another angle and in short order. The agency debates whether they should continue fishing or cut bait. Every business can identify with this dilemma. When you have a prospective client whose business can fundamentally change your revenue goals, status and size, it is hard not to do anything and everything to win the client. The risk is the distraction of the additional work and bandwidth required of your company to win business that may not be winnable. Often times, it is the things you say no to that helps companies stay focused and aligned with goals. At the end of the episode, and despite a drug-fueled, brainstorming weekend at the office, Don decides to take the proverbial foot off the gas on the Chevy account. This is a dramatic about face for a man obsessed with winning the business.
The psychology of Don Draper has always been the sub-text of Mad Men. Through flashbacks of his depression-era childhood and his erratic behavior with family, co-workers and lovers, Don’s persona of the bullet-proof executive with nary a hair out of place is a paradox. This is why people tune into the show. It seems that when he is at his lowest personal moment, he achieves some kind of triumph in the office. Last night we saw a man on the verge of a breakdown. His mistress Sylvia has had it with him and a complete role reversal in the power structure of their relationships shows Don to be powerless and confused. His absence at home and disconnectedness with his family was on display as well after robbery where his children were left in his apartment unsupervised. Perhaps Don’s decision to put Chevy off is the beginning of a major re-prioritization. When he chases the thing he wants, it runs away from him. When he shows cool indifference, things fall onto his lap so to speak.
Is saying no a strategy? Will Chevy chase SCDP when they have one less suitor jumping through the hoops of their ad approval process? Will Sylvia come back to Don once he gets his game face back? Don was searching for the perfect pitch for Chevy. He was doing this in the context of winning back Sylvia. He is getting closer to something and his persistence will pay off.
January 13, 2021
One definition of rot is the process of deterioration. Something that decays over time. By this standard – software rots like food in the Nebraska heat. It’s true. If your software isn’t regularly updated, it deteriorates and breaks down. Consider this – software is written to work at a moment in time…but time marches on. […]
January 4, 2021
OMAHA, NE, January 4, 2021 – In late 2020, Volano Solutions announced it has changed its name to Volano Software and launched a new website: www.volanosoftware.com. The name change was made to more accurately reflect what the company does, and the website was designed to be more informative and user-friendly to clients and prospective clients […]
June 2, 2020
According to LinkedIn technology (software) has a higher overall turnover rate than retail. With that, it isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. Volano has engineered a culture of “by developers, for developers” and this helps our retention. In fact, most of the folks that work at Volano have been here +5 […]
June 2, 2020
It is hard enough to build a successful business, and few want to invest time and resources into worrying about an Intellectual Property Assignment. But alas, you must do your homework. Fortunately, we make it easy for Volano customers. When asked – “Who owns the software and IP for my project?” – it is an […]
May 28, 2020
Many of us remember the grade school game Telephone. It was funny to see how a simple message would get garbled as it was passed along from person to person. But it’s not as funny when that message is a critical business requirement that will be turned into software that will power your business. Yet, […]
May 28, 2020
Volano’s first interaction with a potential client is about answering questions and evaluating alignment. The big question is obvious – “what’s this gonna cost?” Well, good news/bad news – Good news – we’ve built hundreds of software systems so we can give you a ‘round’ budgetary estimate in our first meeting. Bad news – we […]