Dave Balter is not only the CEO of BzzAgent, a company that measures the honest word of mouth and lets consumers try new products, but he is also an author on the subject of word-of-mouth marketing, in a popular book called "The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II." A well-known entrepreneur, Dave has been recognized as a Future Legend by the AdClub and was named in the prestigious "40 under 40" list by the Boston Business Journal.
3 Questions With Dave Balter
1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?
Well, it probably has something to do with a few chilled glasses of Patron and Ginger. Outside of that, I do my best to shut out the noise of current trends and norms. Any really good, groundbreaking idea is going to take some time to unfold. When I hear the words, "But that’s not how it’s done!" it’s like music to my ears.
2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?
Most of them are totally unfit for public consumption. Sorry. The ones I can talk about: live music puts me into a trance that is a huge creative canvas for me, as does reading obscure works of fiction (think Flann O’Brien or Haruki Murakami). Also, long road trips can really free up the mind to wander and find those creative nooks and crannies.
3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
In 2001, I spent 6 months preparing to launch a mobile company – I know zero about mobile, but read everything I could get my hands on, networked like crazy, developed a model, wrote a business plan. Just as I was preparing to launch the business, I had an interaction with an office mate who frantically pleaded with me to buy and read a certain book (Butterfly Economics by Paul Ormerod). I was so struck by his passion – and the psychology of why he would have to share his opinion with me – that I dumped the entire mobile concept and immediately started BzzAgent.
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