It started with a late-night call
My friend Mike texted me and said he needed to talk to me ASAP.
Mike is an entrepreneur. He is also a photographer for the National Geographic magazine. More often than not, he is in some distant part of the world taking pictures and researching stories. Late night texts from him were unusual. I was worried.
We got on the phone and he jumped right in, “We’ve all spent the last year listening to you talk about the clean energy space and all the ideas you have. I’m calling you because I’ve figured out what you should do.”
Well, OK. Do tell.
Mike went on, “When you came in as CEO at your marketing tech company, were you already pretty knowledgeable about marketing?”
No. I came into the industry as an outsider.
He said, “remind me how you learned about marketing…”
[Lightning flash] Wow. I W-R-O-T-E A B-O-O-K. And, yes, that’s exactly what I need to do for clean energy.
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There is an old Latin proverb, Docendo discimus, which means “by teaching, we learn.”
In 2004, I wrote a book called The Quiet Revolution. Even though I was new to marketing, I was able to use the “author card” to get interviews with CMOs, agency directors and even a U.S. Senator. From those discussions, I laid out a vision for the future of digital marketing. My book predicted that digital technology would let marketing evolve beyond simple brand advertising and become a true one-to-one relationship platform. The Quiet Revolution not only helped me become an expert in a new field, it ended up providing a vision and a road map for my company for many years.
Mike’s suggestion was spot-on. The idea of writing a book on clean energy began to consume me. A few days after his call, I resigned from IBM and laid the plans to write a book on clean energy.
Being an author lets me ask dumb questions to the smartest people in the world. It forces me to read everything I can get my hands on. It’s like getting a graduate degree, complete with the final dissertation. And, through the process, I have had the privilege of meeting and learning from some of the most respected people in the industry like Jim Rogers, Amory Lovins, Jigar Shah, Eric Toone and many, many more.
My plan is to finish the book and get it published in early 2018. Thanks to Mike, my family and my many friends who are helping me on this journey.