Why Sharing Ideas is Marketing and Teaching

Jon Morrow argues that ideas are like kids – having them is one thing, but nurturing them to adulthood despite their ailments is something else. Marketing your ideas is the nurturing that they need to have a life of their own. Marketing is what you do for ideas you love.

Marketing is a dirty word, and I don’t like it.

To avoid the image of sleazy people in super modern suits meeting around black tables in high-rises, I imagine dirty, barefoot farmers shouting, “Wares for sale,” in the market.

Both images suck.

So I’m going to think of marketing as teaching.

You would be a pretty bad teacher if you just threw ideas at your students, without showing them why those ideas where worth believing, or what to think about them, or how to use them.

A good teacher carefully plans for all of the pitfalls and misunderstandings students may have, so that those are addressed.

A good teacher understands where students are coming from, so that the lesson covers what they need to know to get what they want and shows why they need it and how to use it.

A good teacher plans creative demonstrations, gifts, discussions, and sudden field trips to get students interested and inspired.

A good teacher organizes so the ideas connect perfectly, and plans to use every bit of time, and then throws everything out the window when it doesn’t work.

Because a good teacher is in it for the students.

There are teachers who love to think, speak and argue; study, question and discuss. They can be decent teachers. But the key ingredient is that they care about the students.

The same must be true for bringing an idea to the world. You must love the idea immensely, and you must love those who you share it with even more. And out of love you go as far as possible to make sure your idea makes a difference for people.

That’s why you have to share what you have to share with the world.

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