Some say it's controversial in places, but I found it to be one of the most succint, plain talking business books I've ever read. "The obvious isn't always apparent" is a somewhat overused phrase - however this book points out what should be the obvious, but my experience has proven is often lost in the melee.
One section I didn't entirely agree with though, was the PR piece in the chapter on Promotion. They say welcome obscurity and use the time to make mistakes before the whole world is watching your every move. I get that. That's why we spent a year working with Tesco kicking our tyres, making sure our Augmented Reality platform can scale to up to 20,000 products (whereas our competition can only scale to 100).
They say build an audience, which we're starting to do now we have something to talk about. And go behind the scenes to let your audience see how things are done, which this blog, over time, should achieve.
The one thing I don't 100% buy (and I really could quote most of this book ad verbatim) is that Press Releases are spam. I think it depends on the business you're in and the story you have to tell.
I despair of software companies who issue a press release about 'our latest feature or version' - it's pointless. I despise the recent and growing strategy of press releases for SEO, spammed up with keywords that are distributed in the faint hope that a few blogs will pick them up and link back to the site in question. And I do think that a mass distributed press release, to a wide, anonymous audience is fairly pointless too.
But our situation is different. Tesco will be doing their own PR for Augmented Reality, they have some big plans for it, it's exciting. But we have our own angle and needs that are different from Tesco; we want the Kishino story to be told & to get the chance to explain that we're the company powering the first retailer in the world to roll out a multi-channel, multi-category Augmented Reality retail experience. Our risk is, if we don't do a press release, that we'll get lost in the Tesco PR machine. And we're hoping that some journalists will be interested in hearing about this little British company who are making such huge strides in this arena.
So we're doing a press release, with a great story, which will be sent to carefully selected journalists. Hopefully I’ll be linking to them from here in the coming weeks.
So thanks Jason Fried, for your amazing book and sharing the 37 Signals thoughts and strategies with us. I respectfully disagree that (all) Press Releases are spam. But will let you know how we get on