Here’s a little lesson on hype for all my wanna-be self-promoter friends.

If you hype something you’ve got a vested interest in it’ll come off as fake.

If someone else hypes it for you, even if you lose some level of control, it’ll go a lot better.

Three examples:

  • I follow hundreds of pastors on Twitter and Facebook. (Totally guilty as charged) They are all excited about what they are teaching and think hundreds of people should invite their friends to come hear them speak. Their band is gonna melt your face. Their preaching is going to be super cool. They’ve got an illustration that’ll make every knee bow and tongue declare that Jesus is Lord.
  • Lots of people I know have written books or created a product you can buy. (Again, guilty as charged) There’s a fine line for an author between being accessible as an author and overhyping your product.
  • Each day I write a blog post. If I post a link more than twice, the click through rate on that to my blog goes straight to zero. Knowing that it drives me nuts to see bloggers post a link, 8-10 times per day to their blog.

You need recommendations

Times have changed. It used to be that having access to an author or a speaker somehow validated their message. But now, since everyone is instantly accessible that is no longer the case. In many case the best way to hype something is to limit access to the creation process. (Apple is the master of this, all the hype is in the speculation)

Think about your actual decision-making process. Take a few minutes to do some self-examination. I think what you’ll see is the power of recommendation. A recommendation is infinitely more powerful in my day-to-day life than hype.

  • I rarely go to a restaurant for the first time without checking Yelp or asking about a place… unless I want to discover something so I can recommend it.
  • Wander through the maze of a bookstore. The average Borders will have 100,000+ titles. You wouldn’t have a clue what to read if it weren’t for recommendations.
  • Think about the products over $100 you buy. Or the places you take your kids. Or the things you try at work. Now think about how you heard about those things or knew it was worth putting your name behind.

Right now, it’s all about recommendations.

If you want to (or need to) hype something, focus all your energy on recommendations. And stop with the self-hype.


iPad 2 vs. Kindle review & comparison

iPad 2


  • Fun to play with.
  • Feel cool in coffee shops.
  • Lots of apps.
  • Perfect for consuming media.
  • Fun for taking short notes, like a giant iPhone.
  • Light, battery lasts a long time, shiny.
  • Lots of apps for kids to play with. (Or entertainment for bored adults on planes)


  • Not going to pay AT&T more money for 3G service, so stuck finding wifi.
  • You can’t read books on this and keep your eyeballs happy.
  • Where did the SD card reader go?
  • You can’t write for a long time on this, need to buy the external keyboard.
  • It’s too heavy/awkward to hold for long periods of time.
  • The camera stinks compared to the iPhone 4.
  • Completely useless in bright light.



  • $139 or less, great entry price.
  • Almost all of the classics are free. And I adore the Kindle Single format.
  • Very light, easy to hold for a long time while reading.
  • Doesn’t feel fragile.
  • The screen is amazing, doesn’t hurt your eyes and you can read it in full sunlight.


  • A lot more money for the 3G version. While doesn’t include a contract, it’s steep.
  • It would be nice to listen to music while you read, I can’t figure out how to do that.
  • Needs a backlight option so I can read in bed without turning on a light.