Average Folk Don’t Have A Clue About Manifesto – Weekly #1

A  Living, Breathing Cluetrain

A friend of mine, Rob Wade, and his family were excited about the delivery of a new television the day after Thanksgiving.  What a perfect time for a new TV with all the sports and holiday entertainment ahead. 

The TV arrived on the big day but it was not the one they ordered and it didn’t work.  Rob’s wife called the Best Buy store where they purchased the TV, to talk to the manager.

Rob overhears the conversation which becomes rather heated with the Best Buy manager being rude and not willing to remedy the problem.  Rob goes to his Blackberry and twitters the following:   “I will never buy another TV or anything else at Best Buy in Arlington.”

Within 15 minutes, Rob was twittered by three Best Buy employees, all in different locations, and all offering to help, even providing their phone numbers.  In 24 hours from the time Rob had done his first twitter post, the TV they originally ordered, was installed  and working in the Wade’s home.

Oh, the power of the internet.  The power of twitter.  Or was it the Cluetrain Manifesto playing out just like the authors wrote about in 1999.

Now, I’m certain Rob, his family nor the Best Buy staff had any idea that they were a 2010 living breathing example of at least nine theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto.  But, in fact they are.

The first theses – Markets are conversations.  Rob sent his message on twitter which resulted in a conversation with three Best Buy employees.  Indeed, the market conversed a human voice coming across twitter.

Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy, another theses, was certainly proved.  Best Buy employees did not go to the rude store manager for help.  As far as we know, he was never contacted.  The employees subverted the hierarchy and solved the problem themselves.  Working together as a team, the networked market here did not let the company get in the way.

Forget the television ads selling the company, today it’s the networked person-to-person that is selling the company, another theses clearly shown in the Rob and Family versus Best Buy.  The Best Buy staff knew that all of the TV ads and promotions in the world would not change the situation unless they personally acted.

Both the Wade Family and Best Buy staff had to be laughing once a satisfactory outcome was reached.  They all had beat the old system.  Companies looking down from their Ivory towers need to lighten up when this happens and not take themselves too seriously, another important theses.

Brand loyalty, a thing of the past because of the blinding speed of the networked markets, is another Cluetrain theses.  Rob was ready to never be a Best Buy customer again, according to his first tweet.  In seconds, the Best Buy brand loyalty was gone.

Best Buy to its credit got out of the way and allowed its employees, connected by twitter, to do their job, perhaps inadvertently upholding another theses–smart companies get out of the way.  (Maybe Best Buy got out of the way because they didn’t have a clue.  Did Best Buy fire the rude manager?)

Everybody likes this marketplace better, is the seventh theses in the Manifesto.  The workers as well as the customers, all like it better.

Companies can still make money.  Yes.   In fact, that’s probably the only way companies are going to stay in business by staying out of the way and empowering their employees.

The power has been turned up side down, number nine and the final theses.  It may sound confusing, say the authors of the Manifesto, but everyone is linking up. 

Eleven years after the Cluetrain Manifesto was published, Rob, his family, and three employees of Best Buy lived it.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    lobrien said,


    Thanks for your feedback! Your blog is off to a great start as well 🙂


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