I came up with today’s Journey title in the shower this morning. I planned to tell you about the LinkedIn tsunami washing over my Medical Devices Group (350,000+ members).
That was 14 hours ago. And an very unexpected coincidence just happened.
Singing, Ice Cream, and Cancer
I’ll take them in order.
So I’m spending this entire week in Nashville, TN. My entire Northwest Sound Men’s Chorus flew out to what they call “Harmony University.” All week we are being coached by the very best instructors in the Barbershop Harmony Society in the three main categories: Musicality (how we interpret the music), Singing (obvious), and Performance (also obvious).
I’m not big into repetition and thought I’d be bored, but I’m really enjoying myself. (Despite the fact my roommate snores and I haven’t slept in a single bed in quite some time.)
I guess the namesake for today’s post also falls into “Singing” but you’ll have to wait a bit for it because Ice Cream comes next.
10x Medical Device Conference attendees know my “famous ice cream sundae social” has been a staple of every event I’ve produced. I love ice cream and the act of choosing your flavor and selecting among a half-dozen toppings is just plain fun! No offense to the 10x staff but the Ice Cream is my favorite part of 10x.
It so happens that “ice cream” is a Harmony University institution (hat tip to my Harmony Brigade quartet buddy Adala; who gave me the word institution to finish my thought – before she dragged me off to sing in a hallway with Michael and Erin for a half hour).
It was 10:05 p.m. and I began to write in a crowded and noisy ice cream room. I overfilled my bowl with Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry, Cookie Dough, and Oreo, chocolate sauce, sprinkles.
I know. ????. But it was free!
So I was sitting there, clearing email, eating ice cream, collecting my thoughts when a couple from Canberra, Australia sat down. They wanted to know what I was working on, so I told them. And, of course, they had a medical device story.
A few, actually.
Jennifer, who looked perfectly healthy to me (she was delighted about the 30 kilo she dropped), had lost weight as a side-effect from two bouts of jaundice.
Jennifer has a cancerous liver. A tumor grew to a size that blocked bile from entering her stomach. It made her feel sick and it depressed her appetite.
First they drained the bile (which helped relieve discomfort but did not restore appetite) and put in a stent. Needing still more relief, they added a second stent later. She sent me these fascinating images.
She also showed me her Power Port (from Bard), made of an MRI-safe material, implanted just below her collarbone. It is an alternate injection site she preferred to intravenous treatments.
She told me, “I should have died a year ago,” which really surprised me. As I said, she looked fine to me!
Her wife Glenda added, “So we look at this as bonus time – and we’re excited it’s only Tuesday! – there are four more days of barbershop ahead of us!”
I told them I’d work them into my Journey but I didn’t yet know how.
After they left, I got back to the Journey business at hand and had to find Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” when I found the version below. If you choose to watch it, you’ll see what it has to do with cancer.
For those who don’t, Dee repurposes his song to be a battlecry against childhood cancer.
And I thought my chance Jennifer meeting was too coincidental to ignore.
I’m not going to take it.
And finally, why I originally named this week’s Journey as I did.
LinkedIn is so goshdarn stupid and I’m not going to take it anymore.
This scene from 1976’s network is so good. Peter won a posthumous Oscar for this performance. You can afford three minutes to watch it now – no one is looking.
Knowing no bounds, LinkedIn is removing the only two ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY tools a group owner like me needs to run an effective group:
1. The ability to send a weekly email to the group
2. The ability to block spam before it is published.
Why are they removing these?
I don’t have the energy to spell it out here but I’ve covered it amply in LinkedIn articles, the first of which, with 12,500+ views and counting, is the most viral thing I’ve published on their aggravating platform. See:
• LinkedIn is DESTROYING GROUPS AS WE KNOW THEM.
• The Medical Devices Group will be DESTROYED
• What’s Happening with the Medical Devices Group (and Groups in general on LinkedIn)?
I built this group from 72,866 members on December 22, 2011 to its present size. I will not go quietly into the night.
So I’m taking the step I’ve been loath (I had to look up ‘loath’ versus ‘loathe’) to take: With (God Bless Him) Martyn‘s help, I’m rebuilding https://MedicalDevicesGroup.net (“MDG”) from scratch in eight days, conveniently nestled between the job he just quit and the start date he pushed back a week for me.
• The Medical Devices Group “before” – a group on LinkedIn, supported by MDG, a companion site; and,
• The Medical Devices Group “after” – MDG, complemented by what remains of the LinkedIn group.
It’s costing me money and, I estimate, no more than one-in-five members will make the transition, but I’d rather write tens of thousands using a blog and Drip (as I do with you) than who-knows-what for hundreds of thousands.
It’s a more-exciting-than-usual time to be Joe Hage.
Wish me luck.
Implication for your business
I built my little Medical Devices Group empire on a third-party platform. It’s what I inherited when Chris died.
And while I’ve steadily lured subscribers to the MDG site, I didn’t control the primary information site. Now I’m paying for it with, potentially, fewer migrations than had I taken this approach earlier.
Do you have a critical aspect of your business completely dependent on a person, group, product, or service?
How can you change the dynamic now, while you still can?
Think about it.
BARBERSHOP! This is a real treat, trust me. I prepared a short barbershop playlist for you at https://medgroup.biz/barbershop.
At least listen to the first one. Recorded in 2009, it is the single highest-scored chorus performance in the 80-year history of the Society.
Tonight Adala (lead), I (bass), Mike (baritone), and Erin (tenor) compete in the “pick-up” quartet competition. We sounded pretty good in the hallway last night so, who knows?
Tommy, can you hear me? I’m definitely going to have to study this article about audio search. They say 50% of searches will be done by voice by 2020. What have you done, marketing-wise, about it so far for your business?
Yeah. Me neither. But we’ve got to get on this.
Jennifer addendum. I’m on the Belmont University campus. It’s beautiful here. It’s 50 minutes until this post goes live and I was just finishing up when Jennifer and I bumped into one another by the coffee.
I led her to my computer and had her read what I’d written. It was then she shared those images and cleared up the parts I mis-remembered.
As she left she said, “So I made an impact on your life.”
Yes, Jennifer. Yes, you did.
Thank you for joining me on The Journey.
See you next week – or sooner – if you choose to reply to this email,
P.S. Thank you for the lovely replies you sent me about last week’s Journey. If Jennifer doesn’t punctuate that story, nothing will. Enjoy your day, will you? ❤️