Tag Archives: Mobile Industry Review

Mission iPad: The Power of Personal Networks

Mission iPad is NOT impossible!

About two weeks ago, my friend Ewan at Mobile Industry Review posted a request for someone from America to purchase and ship an iPad to him in the UK.

Because the iPad was being launched in the US only, he couldn’t get his hands on one.

But if someone purchased one for him, he would happily reimburse the individual for the cost of the iPad and shipping.

As I recounted in my Dear Santa post, someone did, in fact, hook him up.

I was impressed by Ewan’s ingenuity because he tapped the power of his personal network to achieve his mission: getting his hands on an iPad.

I was also intrigued.

Did I possess such a network?

Could my network be galvanized by a similar call to action?

Anyone who knows me, knows that I think I possess the gift of gab.

I believe myself to be highly persuasive, with all the skills and characteristics of an effective marketer.

Inspired by Ewan’s initiative, I decided to put my skills to the test.

Could I convince my network to get me an iPad?

More importantly, could I get them to pay for me to have an iPad?

With my 40th birthday approaching, I’ll admit I was playing with a stacked deck.

I was essentially asking for a birthday present.

But I was asking solely through my social media networks.

Using Facebook, Twitter and Buzz, I began the campaign to get me an iPad.

It started off with the Dear Santa letter, and was followed by regular Facebook updates and daily countdown tweets.

The initial response was, ummm, underwhelming.

My wife told me I should be ashamed of myself.

A few folks said I should wait for the 2nd generation so that Apple could get the kinks out.

At least one person told me that I should be saving for my children’s college tuition.

Several of my friends openly mocked me.

Why would anyone buy you an iPad?

But as I persevered, the responses became more encouraging.

Someone inquired if anyone had contributed yet.

Another asked where they could go to make a donation.

And then people started to put up money.

My sister threw in $100.

My friend George from college threw in $5 and then another $5.

Erica Robinson added her $5 contribution.

Slowly but surely, the momentum began to build, and then took a life of it’s own.

My frat brother suggested I set up a Chipin page to give folks the ability to micro-support my little endeavor.

One of my sorors input that I could ask people to donate Apple gift cards.

Folks asked where they could send checks and if I had a PayPal account.

One of the best ideas I received came from my friend (and up-and-coming brand strategist) Ben Tannenbaum, who suggested that in exchange for the generosity of my network, that I contribute my time to a charitable cause. FYI, I’m going with CASA (wifey volunteers there too).

Universally, over the course of the past ten days, well wishers and the inquisitive chimed in on my iPad campaign (many are still inquiring today about the success of my efforts).

On the eve of my birthday, I had raised enough to purchase my iPad.

You know what?

I learned, unequivocally, that I possessed a powerful network.

One that could be galvanized around a particular (albeit self-serving) purpose.

One that, properly approached, had the capacity to help achieve any goal.

These are lessons that I intend to bring to the brands I represent.

I don’t have the iPad yet.

The 3Gs don’t ship until April 30th, but as soon as it arrives you’ll be the first to know!

Thanks to everyone who helped make my 40th birthday memorable (and everyone who put up dough for my iPad).


Filed under branding

Dear Santa, I want an iPad for my 40th birthday

Dear Santa,

I know I haven’t written to you in eons, but please don’t hold that against me.

I would like a 32GB iPad with Wi-Fi and 3G in Black for my 40th birthday.

I recognize that you usually don’t do birthdays, unless they fall on Christmas, of course.

But I think you can make an exception.

With four kids, a sagging economy and bills to pay, gifting myself a shiny new gadget is not the most responsible thing I could be doing with my money.

That’s where you come in.

I want it.

For years, I’ve assumed that parents, not you, were the real jolly giants placing presents under the tree.

My belief in you was shattered one year when my Uncle hung a Santa suit (still on the hanger) from his collar, and proceeded to ‘Ho-ho-ho’ in the thickest Nigerian accent.

The disappointment of my siblings, cousins and I, was palpable.

But as I approach 40, I’ve come to see the error of my ways (discounting your very existence).

And, well…I’m desperate.

You see, I’ve been very good this year.

I’m on the front line with the 4 kids, and that includes the 9 week old. Think smelly diapers, vomit, sleep deprivation.

I coach my son’s soccer team. Organized confusion.

I take the kids to Kumon twice a week. Can you say: Chinese water-torture?

I had the procedure. This alone should justify you getting me one! Hello?

I could go on, but you’re Santa. You’ve got the whole ‘naughty and nice’ list.

One of my friends, Ewan who publishes the Mobile Industry Review, put a call out for someone in the States to buy him an iPad and ship it to him in the UK.

A day later Gif Gfroerer from i2SMS did just that. Gif was reimbursed – he’s not all generous like you.

The point is that Ewan made a wish, and the Universe granted it.

Santa, I don’t know if you’ve got skills like that, but my birthday isn’t until April 21st. So you’ve got time.

I’m counting on you. (Picture me doe-eyed, blinking, looking up at you.)


Stephen (who-hopes-you’re-real-but-knows-you’re-not-and-prays-that-someone-within-the-sound-of-this-blog-post-is-reading-moved-and-paid-enough-to-hook-a-bruh-up) Chukumba

PS If you need to talk to the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny to pool your funds, by all means do.


Filed under Smack talking

Trade shows and more shows

I LOOOOOOVVEEEEE trade shows…and conferences…and conventions…and panels…and seminars…and I could go on and on.  I love them because they are usually in different places (different from where I live) and involve the exchange of information, networking and parties (I love to party).  I generally leave conferences energized and RFTW.  I haven’t been to anything since BESLA 2008 in St. Thomas, USVI, and I’m jonesing.

So I’ve got a tradeshow coming up and I’m trying to get my game face together.  It’s the CTIA Wireless 2009, one of the largest mobile conferences of the year.  CTIA occurs twice a year, once in California (either San Diego or San Francisco), and once in Las Vegas.  It’s a must-attend for anyone interested in the mobile industry.

Last year, I was featured in a video in the Mobile Industry Review, by Ewan MacLeod and I was quite a hit (apparently), considering how often I appeared in the video.  It was quite accidental, I walked back into our booth, and my boss turned Ewan (and his camera) on me and said ‘talk to him!’  This year, I’m feel like I’ve got to go above-and-beyond my previous output, lest my star fade or fall!

I’m quite excited to go, since I’ve missed a few shows this year (CES,  GDC, Mobile World Congress) and I will not likely got to the few upcoming events before CTIA (WMCSXSWLA Games Conference, Billboard’s ME Live!) – although I would reaaallllllyyy like to.  C’est la vie.

Hopefully I’ll catch a few of the larger shows throughout the balance of the year, like CMJ, E3, Ad:Tech, Cannes, NY Games Conference, and M3 (to name a few).  But who knows.

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