Steve Jobs book Summary by Malcolm Gladwell

Hola Todos!

There’s not much to go wrong with the story found at this link (click here).  It’s from one of my favorite blogs (Apple 2.0), with information from one of my favorite writers (Malcolm Gladwell), and about one of the most talked about topics in the past four weeks (Steve Jobs biography).  I usually read a book or two in between semester and the Jobs biography looks like an obvious candidate but it’s always great to have a “Cliff Notes” version of a 630-page book.

Click here for the “Cliff Notes” version.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o 





Topic Talk Thursday (on Friday) – Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your (Potential) Clients

Hola Todos!

Today’s topic talk is from Doug Cirillo, Project Manager at LexisNexis.  Doug reminds us that empathy (a nugget Keyword, click here) is strategic necessity when operationalizing an e-marketing campaign.

Doug, the floor is yours…


When it comes to modern social media (specifically in the context of e-marketing campaigns), it’s absolutely vital to have a full understanding of what your goals are (what it is you are looking to achieve in the online sphere/campaign) and who your audience is. Without this knowledge, there is no way a company can build a strategy, let alone measure performance.

I help service a niche market in the e-marketing sphere, working at LexisNexis to provide and lead online marketing efforts for lawyers and law firms. The important thing in all of e-marketing/social media (and for sake of this topic talk, I am including websites/SEO/SEM within the umbrella of social media given the current integration/synchronization of all online destinations) is to be able to put yourself in the shoes of your potential client base, who it is your targeting. The mistake most law firms (or companies in general) make is trying to tailor their online marketing efforts around how they perceive themselves; you have to approach it from the paradigm of either the customer base your serving or those you’re marketing towards.

For instance, for most small law/solo practitioners and litigators (B2C), we’re trying to build a campaign around search driven results, i.e., consumers who are going to the web (Google) to search for legal representation. These are oftentimes people that are in a rough spot who now find themselves in an intimidating position of having to search out a lawyer for help. When in this position, what are these people looking for and how are they seeking it out (or, how are they searching for it online)? And once they find a website or social networking site, what will drive them to conversion, i.e., what information and elements within that portal will drive them to reach out and connect or interact with that lawyer or law firm? Consumers are looking for reassurance and help from someone that can deliver results. They are not necessarily looking for a recitation of law or whether or not an attorney graduated cum laude from Harvard; they want someone who is easy to reach (both in terms of contact and travel), engage and willing to help.

On the other hand, for large or corporate law firms (B2B), more often than not, their online drive isn’t so much in the direction of advertising; rather, it is to establish an online presence that will serve as an easy referential point for the firms’ members. You need to market these campaigns around the backgrounds and accomplishments of each attorney in a more specific and legalese manner, i.e., what is there educational background, what cases have they worked on and what was their role within that case. They are not at all concerned about advertising to consumers or searching out attorneys blindly online; instead, they want to be able to easily access information about attorneys and how well established they are within the area in which they practice (what is their background?/have they written articles/blogs?). In these cases, it is important to build an authoritative online presence.

It’s a twofold effort in either case (or really in all e-marketing) in that you have to have a site or media destination that’s engaging to your target base in order to promote conversion or interactivity while also having a successful SEO/SEM effort that drives traffic to it. You cannot be successful unless both are working in parallel. It’s akin to building a beautiful, engaging billboard in the middle of a desert or holding up a 3.5 notecard on the side of a busy highway; you need a well thought out strategy on both ends in order to build a successful campaign.

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Doug Cirillo,

Project Manager at LexisNexis



A Milestone Post from DigNuggetville!

Hola Todos!

Please forgive me for not doing the normal “Thursday Topic Talk” (we’ll get it on Friday OK) but today’s DigNuggetville post is a milestone: #50.  As I stated in The Inaugural Post, “The number one mission of this blog is to disseminate, distribute, broadcast, circulate, etc., nuggets.”

As Mr. Chris Strom said in a recent conversation, “Dr. Dan-o, you will be playing in the proverbial sandbox for awhile until you get a feel for what you want to create with your sandbox.”

Well, I am happy to say that my “sandbox” is starting to take form.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are Topic Talk posts from the group.  Wednesdays are Leadership day.  Fridays are “keyword” day and Mondays are my Dr. Dan-o Blurt day.

I look forward to what next 50 posts will bring.  In the meantime, I listed the first flight of posts with links in case anyone in the group needs a nugget or two for their journals.

Thanks for all the support.


Dr. Dan-o


The Inaugural Post

Leadership  – What are the X Factors to Get to the Corner Office?

Apple/Google Hyperbole?

Great “nugget worthy” Blogs/Podcasts

Social Media Platform Smack Down!

Leadership – Leaders are Made (NOT Born)

Big Rocks First

Teaching Philosophy Part I

Teaching Philosophy part II

Be Happier in the Long Run

Leadership – Dream BIG but Plan Forward

Innovation is more Evolutionary than Revolutionary

Gaining/Losing Marketshare in a Rapidly Growing Marketplace

New England Tour

Social Media Story of the Summer – Google+ 

Steve Jobs – The End of an Era

Google Deal – HP deal

Are you a Morning Person? 

Data – Data – Data

Leadership: We Create our Own Future

Jeff Jarvis Talks to us about “Sharing” and Publicness”

Your Biggest Strength is Also Your Largest Weakness 

Jimmy Buffett Has Told Us Where to Find Margaritaville (Again)

How Big is the Universe – Scratch that, I mean the Internet?

Leadership – A Great Question to ask ALL the Time – WHY?

Tumblr Tips

Nugget Dictionary Edition – Shibboleth

A Leadership AND Keyword Nugget – Passion

Lady Gaga and Being Different (or Interesting)

Thoughts on Apple 4GS & Stuff

Steve Jobs – A ‘Different’ Kind of Leader

Some of the Best of Steve Jobs

Leadership: More then the Sum of its Parts

 Hotel Hell @

Nugget Dictionary Edition – Empathy

BE Paranoid ALL the Time

– Leadership: The Power of Storytelling

– An Easy Lesson on “How to Fail”

– Apple’s Advertising Identity

– Leadership – Passion is the Fire that Kindles and Fuels our Talents

– Nugget Dictionary Edition – Myopic

– Yahoo should buy Twitter (and then merge with AOL)

– Topic Talk Tuesday – Relationship Loyalty vs. Company Loyalty

– Leadership – 30 Days Makes a Habit

– Topic Talk Thursday – Know Your Audience

– Nugget Dictionary Edition – “Jumped the Shark”

– Market Orientation (plus Market Driven vs. Market Driving)

– Tuesday Topic Talks – Are You Ready for the Cloud?

– Leadership – Creative Destruction


Leadership – Creative Destruction

Hola Todos!

I know this could have an easily been a Friday keyword term but Mr. Mike’s leadership nugget brought it out.  Creative Destruction is one of my favorite terms and I learned it WAY back as a young undergraduate economics student.

In numerous works, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter emphasized what he called creative destruction whereas “that capitalism can only be understood as an evolutionary process of continuous innovation and creative destruction.” For more detail on Schumpeter, click here.

There are times that the only way to make a giant leap forward is to destroy what you are doing now (e.g., because you current product or service WILL never get THAT much better).  Kill the old and bring in the new.  The funny thing is, very few firms have the “guts” to kill their existing value offering.  Microsoft never did it but Gillette does it almost every time they create a new blade.  Fusion creatively destructed Mach3. Apple is creatively destructing the PC market because the gains in tablets could be three or four times what PC could have been.

Let’s hear it Mike!


To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

“And when we achieve the outer edge of any of our abilities, we do what comes naturally: we keep moving into the next” writes Tracy Saville in her article, Blow It Up: Begin Again.   This is one of the great challenges all great leaders face throughout their professional and personal life: hitting their “proverbial glass ceiling of creativity.”  Their continuous innovation – new ideas, new solutions, new possibilities – all of a sudden come to a point of apparent exhaustion.  So what do they do?  Saville’s response is: “Blow it up and start over.” There is a secret.

“And this is the simplest secret of all: we can rest, we can lay down our efforts for a time, we can do over, start over – again and again it seems – and we can re-charge our batteries using a different fuel source than before.  We can because we must.  This how we find the courage and inspiration to move forward.  The discipline it takes to be comfortable with a life spent in constant change and evolution is the discipline hallmark of every great leader and great achiever.”

John Gardner, author and former Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, wrote:  “Self-renewal is possible if we don’t lose our capacity to learn and grow. But renewal…depends in some measure on motivation, commitment, conviction, the values men live by, the things that give meaning to their lives”.  When you feel you are getting to the outer edge or your abilities, pause and rest.  Blow it up, and begin again. Look beyond the outer edge and find your life’s endless possibilities and beauty.  And have fun doing it.

Have a beautiful day and an incredible week!!!



Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528;


Tuesday Topic Talks – Are You Ready for the Cloud?

Hola Todos!

Today’s Topic talk is from Sal Cardillo, Senior Analyst – Project Management/Product Development of Verizon.  Sal and I go way back to my University of South Florida days in Tampa and I believe Sal was in my first Professional Selling class I ever taught! As with many of my former students, we keep in touch and I help out with career advise/thoughts/ideas when we chat.

In today’s Topic Talk, Sal asks us if we are ready for the cloud – because it’s coming!  Sal, the floor is yours…



Hello everyone,

I just came back from a conference in Toronto Canada.  I am not sure how in depth I can really go, but I guess I can repeat what my president at Verizon said and maybe this will spark the interest of the group.

The panel discussion was: Measuring the Impact of New Services, Technology Innovation and Market Consolidation on the North America Carrier Market.

From Verizon’s perspective, we are seeing a lot of companies merging around the world.  Verizon is buying firms as well.  For instance, in the past 5 years, Verizon bought businesses such as Cloud Switch, Terremark, and Cyber Trust.  Companies are heading into the “Next Gen Products” these days and not buying or selling the traditional voice and data services.  Our President made a comment that these great services and new services are NOT free and NOT cheap, even when buying wholesale.

I guess my topic questions for your blog would be, how does everyone feel about moving to the Cloud?  Are they ready for the cloud computing days?  Do they feel safe and secure knowing their data and personal information is being backed up someone around the world?  Probably not to the same extent, but that same level of “trust” we had with the Internet circa 1997/1998 is probably the same level of “trust” we have with cloud services right now.

At Verizon, we are trying to make customers feel comfortable by buying what we feel are the best companies to have on our side so our customers information is safe at all times.   Terremark for there data centers, Cloud Switch for the software and experience in the cloud, and Cyber Trust for the security of it all.  In some parts of the world, the cloud is just a buzzword, but in other parts of the world, the cloud is already here and moving full speed a head.

Something to think about today…



Sal Cardillo

Senior Analyst – Project Management/Product Development of Verizon

Market Orientation (plus Market Driven vs. Market Driving)

Hola Todos!

In classmate Jenny Zhang’s question below, Jenny asked about the difference between a “marketing orientated” company and “market oriented” company.  I have a feeling what Jenny is asking so I’m going to blurt first and then see what Jenny and everyone else thinks.

To begin, let’s review “market oriented.”  Market oriented firms have three main characteristics: (1) an incredibly strong external orientation towards customers, (2) an incredibly strong external orientation towards competition, and (3) incredibly strong internal communication within the firm.

Most firms do #1 and #2 well.  These two orientations are relatively easy.  Its #3 is which most firms do not do well (or at all).  Most firms have functional silos (e.g., divisions, SBUs, offices, etc. are relatively independent and do not talk/plan/coordinate together).  Non-market orientated firms have mostly an internal orientation for items 1 & 2 and items 3 is non-existent.  Companies that have mostly internal power struggles and are dominated by politics are mostly not market-orientated.

Now “marketing orientated” is not something I condone and I have a feeling Jenny was referring to something else to which I will get to in a moment.  I always liked to stress in class, that it’s called “market orientation” and not “marketing orientation” because its not JUST the marketing department doing steps 1, 2, & 3, it’s the ENTIRE firm.

So WHAT if the marketing department can listen to customers, monitor competition and disseminate that information across the firm.  If no other division takes advantage of the competitive intelligence, then the entire firm suffers.  If the marketing department doesn’t listen to operations or finance, how can one plan strategically?  By contrast, its “market orientation” because the entire firm and not just the marketing department is doing steps 1, 2, & 3.  It’s not the marketing department’s job to tell the firm to be orientated towards the marketplace, it’s the members of the C-suite (e.g., CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, CIO, C-etc.,) to tell the divisions of the firm to be market orientated.

Now what I think Jenny was getting at was two similar and somewhat related terms – –  “market-driven” and “market-driving.”  (Notice, the word is still “market” and not “marketing”)

A firm that is market-driven seeks to understand current customer needs and wants and finds ways to fulfill them. This term is very similar to market orientation.  Where as market orientation is a philosophy, market-driven is a verb.  Southwest Airline is a good example of a firm that understands passengers want to spend little time in the gate area, get on and off a plane as quickly as possible, and obtain luggage without delays. By contrast, a market-driving firm seeks to fulfill needs that the consumer does not realize exist or is possible.  A market-driving firm is often more market orientated then most but not fully as it violates/ignores item #1 above.  Apple a good example of this and Apple changed the way consumers look at computers when it introduced the iPad. It created a new market.

Please let me know what you think.


Dr. Dan-o



Jenny Zhang says:

Hi Professor,

I was thinking that you are going to talk about the iphone4s, lol.

Actually, I didn’t find it disappointed because there is no iphone5. Personally I feel that Apple is trying to bring in more user-friendly and helpful tools/apps to the apple family rather than bringing forward a new look of iPhone. Siri is a big surprise to me. To some extent, I feel that people are looking for some appearance/ shape changes of iPhone, if that happens, many people will possibly say that this product is revolutionary.

In addition, I remember you used to mention about the differences between a marketing-oriented and market-oriented company. This time, I feel that Apple is a marketing oriented company rather than a market-oriented one. Every new app roll-out and operation system’s upgrade is driven by the extensive research of consumers’ behaviors, expectations and needs. Based on the marketing research, there is new strategy to create brand new products that competitors don’t have. Apple is different from its competitors because it has always been creating the new markets for the consumers, e.g. iPod, iPhone and iPad, while its competitors have been trying to satisfy consumers and competing in an established market. If I was right, you said that it is important to be a market-oriented company, rather than a marketing-oriented one.

I am not sure if I understand it in the right way, so, what’s your thoughts?


Jenny Zhang

Nugget Dictionary Edition – “Jumped the Shark”

Hola Todos!

This week’s Nugget Dictionary Edition is not a word, but rather a phrase.  I love phrases and these can be just a powerful and philosophical as a good keyword.

I was reading the other day and it popped up again.  The headline went something like this, “Has XYZ firm Jumped the Shark?”  This article was about TiVo but less then a week earlier I saw it with 3D TV.

According to, “Jumped the Shark” is a pop culture reference to (click here):

“The precise moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc.; the moment you realize decay has set in.”

An example offered on – “Tom Cruise jumped the shark the moment he jumped Oprah’s couch.”

Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis. Happy Days was a popular show but clearly began to decline “post-shark.”



Dr. Dan-o

Topic Talk Thursday – Know Your Audience

Hola Todos!

Today’s Topic talk is from Steve Stiles, Associate Program Coordinator at The Strive Group. Steve is going to talk to us about knowing your audience.  Steve, the floor is yours…



Hello everyone,

I found an interesting article in a recent Business Week issue titled “Cultural Tastes Affect International Food Packaging.”  A quick summary of the article includes:

  • Cultural differences greatly affect how food product packaging is perceived and how products are sold in various countries.
  • The material, size, imagery, color and quality of a product’s container can significantly influence how a product is perceived in other countries and cultures.
  • Some executives are hesitant to change their strategy or even their brand to conform to international cultures. In many cases, all it took was enough market research to turn a risky decision into a successful campaign.

Ultimately, what I was able to take from this was how important it is to know your audience. There are plenty of social media campaigns where success is based on how well marketers can deliver a message to their target audience. The great campaigns have hinged on a combination of many factors, including timing, credibility, and even luck. I remember in Direct Marketing we learned specifically for social media campaigns to keep the overall look and feel consistent (logos, color schemes, formatting, etc). This article shows that in terms of going international, it might be a good decision to be open to change certain aspects of your brand to appeal to different audiences.

My industry is mainly focused on retail marketing and supply chain management. Coincidentally these were two of my marketing electives my senior year so my transition into the industry has been a bit smoother than if I hadn’t taken those two courses. Although there hasn’t been much social media incorporated into the industry (not yet at least), I’ve noticed that the goals and strategies are still very similar to any other division of marketing.

Something to think about today…


Steve Stiles

Associate Program Coordinator at The Strive Group

Leadership – 30 Days Makes a Habit

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike gives us a lot in his leadership nugget below.  First, we’re reminded how incredible those TED sessions are on YouTube.  TED is a nonprofit firm devoted to IDEAS WORTH SPREADING (click here).  Founded in 1984 as a conference of people from the Technology, Entertainment and Design worlds, TED has incredible videos on its website of the biggest names in (you fill in the blank – see Malcolm Gladwell’s latest here from an July 2011 session).

Second, in his TED video (click here), Matt Cutts reminds us that true behavioral change in us complicated organisms called humans involves 30 days of repetition.  If you want to start an exercise program – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit.  Do you want read more often – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit. Do you want a better co-worker – it takes 30 days of repetition for it to become habit.

Please read the post below and watch the video when you get a chance.


Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o



To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

In a recent TED talk Matt Cutts, shares and exciting invitation to Try Something New for Thirty Days.  He encourages great leaders to add a new approach to their arsenal of powerful tools that will enables them to more efficiently and effectively add continued depth, breadth and richness to their life.    Here is Matt’s story (the video is above):

“A few years ago, I felt like I was stuck in a rut, so I decided to follow in the footsteps of the great American philosopher, Morgan Spurlock, and try something new for 30 days. The idea is actually pretty simple. Think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life and try it for the next 30 days. It turns out, 30 days is just about the right amount of time to add a new habit or subtract a habit — like watching the news — from your life.

There’s a few things I learned while doing these 30-day challenges. The first was, instead of the months flying by, forgotten, the time was much more memorable. This was part of a challenge I did to take a picture every day for a month. And I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I also noticed that as I started to do more and harder 30-day challenges, my self-confidence grew. I went from desk-dwelling computer nerd to the kind of guy who bikes to work — for fun. Even last year, I ended up hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. I would never have been that adventurous before I started my 30-day challenges.

I also figured out that if you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days. Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own 50,000 word novel from scratch in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you’ve written your words for the day. You might be sleep-deprived, but you’ll finish your novel. Now is my book the next great American novel? No. I wrote it in a month. It’s awful. But for the rest of my life, if I meet john Hodgman at a TED party, I don’t have to say, “I’m a computer scientist.” No, no, if I want to I can say, “I’m a novelist.”

So here’s one last thing I’d like to mention. I learned that when I made small, sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There’s nothing wrong with big, crazy challenges. In fact, they’re a ton of fun. But they’re less likely to stick. When I gave up sugar for 30 days, day 31 looked like this (a hug bowl of candy).

So here’s my question to you: What are you waiting for? I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days.”

Matt’s words have a strong message: we are in control of our journey: of the joy, beauty and excitement that we choose to bring to our life.  Great leaders all have their “bucket lists” of the dreams that they will someday do, of the beauties they will someday experience, of the person who they someday will be.  So why not seize the ‘try something new for 30 days” approach to start working on it now.  As Matt says, “I guarantee you the next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days.”

Roman poet, Horace, wrote:  “Life’s short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.”  With this new way of approaching the things of which we dream, challenge his words, reach and surpass your hopes, and be more than you ever dreamed you could be.

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!




Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528;


Topic Talk Tuesday – Relationship Loyalty vs. Company Loyalty

Hola Todos!

As you all know, I love to do what I call “Topic Talks” in class.  A Topic Talk is an article or topic that is interesting, current, and most important, has a “nugget” for future use.  Best of all, students found and presented these Topic Talks which always involved the class jumping in for discussion and commentary.

Well I am happy to announce Topic Talks are now going to be a regular part of  First up is Tracy Acosta-Spore, Office Manager at Bowman & Brooke and Tracy is going to talk to us about the difference between relationship loyalty and company loyalty.  Tracy, the floor is yours…


Hello everyone,

An incident the other day got me thinking about the difference between relationship loyalty and company loyalty.

I am currently the President-Elect of the local chapter of an international association aimed at professional-level members of my own profession. Each year we sponsor an event in collaboration with the business partners (vendors) who generously support our organization. Most of my peers also look to these same vendors when seeking products and services.  The event is designed to help business partners gain face-time with current and potential clients while allowing the members to thank the business partners for their support of the chapter.  The event has historically been well attended. Many vendors plan to attend up to a year in advance to participate in this unique marketing opportunity.

At this year’s event I, as the Board of Directors liaison, had the responsibility to mingle and to make sure everyone was enjoying himself or herself.  I also needed to check that participants were making the networking connections they sought. As I worked my way around the room an account manager from a company I had done business with in the past pulled me aside to chat.  He asked me why, after a strong seven-year business relationship, I had recently switched to another service provider.

The answer was simple…my loyalty had never been with his company. Instead, my loyalty had in fact been with the account manager and former employee of their company.  That account manager had moved to a competitor – therefore my trust, loyalty and business had moved with him.

This encounter prompted me to consider the business relationships I maintain with other suppliers and service providers. I realized that the reason I continued to use one firm or the other was because they understood my business needs, challenges, constraints, and preferences. I didn’t need to start at “square one” each time I had a need for their product or service, but could merely pick up the phone and describe what I needed in a few sentences. I knew I would consistently receive what I asked for. If they could not meet my need, they were candid about that fact. There was never an attempt to sell me something they knew I didn’t want or need. They did, however, know I would reach out to them should I have a legitimate need.  They also felt comfortable making suggestions intended to save me money, time, effort, or frustration based on their knowledge of my firm, but the pressure factor was pleasantly absent.  It was not necessary.  In each case, the mutually beneficial business relationship was based on past experience and previous performance on both sides.

So my thought to you is….when meeting with clients (current and potential) do you approach it from the aspect of what you can do for them that will build that level of trust and loyalty? Or are you more focused on what you can get from them that will increase your own “numbers” or bolster your “contact” count?

Something to think about today…


Best regards,

Tracy Acosta-Spore

Office Manager at Bowman & Brooke