Ernie’s Laws of Marketing

I’ve just updated
Ernie’s
Laws of Marketing
, a collection of
apothegms reflecting lessons learned while working at Apple
Computer
and Boston Consulting Group. I started collecting
them several years ago, making them my earliest attempt at applied
philosophy.

The most famous, if I may
use such a term, is my First
Law:

The First
Law:

Make things as vague as
possible, but no vaguer

It sounds
silly, but I actually find it almost as useful as Occam’s
razor
in converging on an optimal solution. Which is perhaps
unsurprising, since mine is derived from Einstein’s related dictum on simplicity:
Things should be made as simple as
possible, but not any
simpler.

While Googling for my laws
(ironically, I often find Google fastest way to track down my own URLs), I ran
across two related Laws of
Marketing:

First wasĘAl Ries &
Jack Trout’s book
The 22 Immutable Laws of
Marketing
, as well as its sequel
The 22 Immutable Laws of
Branding
. I haven’t read either,
but I found the summary intriguing: Leadership, Category,
Ladder, Duality, etc. I think I agree with most of it, though I’m not sure if
first mover advantage is all its cracked up to
be; or rather, I believe being first only helps if you are wise enough to
efficiently capture the relevant learning and have the resources to stay ahead
of potential competitors.



Amusingly, I was even more impressed by Dr.
Ralph Wilson’s tongue-in-cheek tribute called
The Five Mutable Laws of Web
Marketing
, which surprisingly
mirrored (and expanded upon) advice I gave to my father-in-law last night about
building his web
business
. I’m always relieved, pleased, and slightly disappointed to
learn that other people have had the same ideas I have, only
better…

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