Ctrl Alt Delete, by Mitch Joel

Ctrl Alt Delete: Reboot Your Business. Reboot Your Life. Your Future Depends on It  is a new book from Mitch Joel, the author of Six Pixels of Separation.

The world has changed, Mitch Joel says. Your business has changed. You need to admit to yourself and to your marketing department that people now take a digital-first approach to life. They no longer distinguish between different kinds of screens, and they think about content in terms of the information it contains, not in terms of books, videos, websites, and so forth.

People expect things to be fast — no, faster than that. They expect to be able to make a lot of choices in terms of how they interact with the world, and they expect a lot of their experiences to be personalized even if they aren’t consciously aware of how much information we have about them.

If these things aren’t true now for all of your customers, they soon will be, so you should be ready to reboot the way you approach your business.

You need to be useful — even your marketing needs to be useful. You have to act like a human being, because blaring out advertising messages with interactive media as though it were a newspaper or a TV is pointless. Your potential customers can escape now. You have to deliver value and build relationships before people buy from you — or they won’t buy from you. Your customers have more choices than ever before, and they know it. They don’t have to put up with things that aren’t the way they like them.

On the other hand, you also have more choices than ever before, and you also don’t have to put up with things that aren’t the way you like them.

Joel recommends not only that you reboot your business and your marketing, but also that you reboot your life. He lays out a picture of the present and near future that is going to affect your brand, and suggests specific changes you’ll need to make. Then he does the same for your life outside of work.

Except that we should give up that old idea of life-work balance.

We should also change our workspace, our approach to meetings, and the way we use technology. Joel gets discursive at the end of the book and goes through a bunch of specifics:

  • How to get a job now
  • How to start a blog (on WordPress, with a great design — and pay attention to grammar and spelling, too)
  • How to design an office
  • How not to be a jerk on social media
  • How to get more time with your kids

This is a book to read and enjoy.

Can’t wait? The book will be out in about a month and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon (click on the title at the top of the post to find it). However, I can give you the Big 5 transformative changes:

  1. Direct relationships between consumers and businesses: your customers expect you to be there for them.
  2. An expectation of utility: your content has to be valuable to your customers; they won’t bother with promotional fluff that only benefits you.
  3. Passive and active media: consumers increasingly use both, and they don’t use them in the same ways, so you shouldn’t either.
  4. Big data: you should use it to benefit your company, and also to benefit your customers.
  5. The one screen world: customers no longer care which screen, they expect to be able to use whichever one they have on hand at the moment.

Is your company responding to these changes? Are you, as an individual? Are you ready?


I received an advance copy of this book for review. I was not paid for this review, and I always tell you the truth.






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