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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.


I get the Ad Contrarian newsletter delivered to my inbox every Sunday. The writer, Bob Hoffman, is an agency veteran who is perhaps best known for his willingness to blatantly and unapologetically call bullsh*t on ideas that many marketers simply accept as incontrovertible fact.

It's always an entertaining read, and Hoffman usually makes a number of really great points. I'd strongly recommend you subscribe to his newsletter... except, you can't.

Hoffman is no longer allowing additional people to subscribe.

His reason is practical, as explained in his newsletter last week:

This newsletter makes no money and has cost me thousands. Yes, it costs money to babble and drool into cyberspace. Right now, we're at 9,774 subscribers. When we get to 10,000 subscribers this thing will be elevated into an even higher cost category. I'm getting cranky about having to send off a check every month. Consequently, I'm getting rid of the "subscribe" button. Then, no more subscribers. Bottom line: If you like to read this thing but aren't a subscriber you should hit the subscribe button now because next week it will disappear.

And true to his word, this week's newsletter did not have a "Subscribe" button. Anyone not currently subscribed to his newsletter will need to ask a friend who is to forward a copy of Hoffman's email.

What Hoffman decided to do is increasingly uncommon: he took a look at his situation, determined the incremental cost of having more would outweigh the additional benefit he would receive, and decided what he currently had was enough.

We probably don't do enough of that.

People fill their calendars with various events and activities... often to the point where they are left exhausted, not energized.

People work longer hours in the hopes of (eventually) earning more money... but the more time they spend working, the less time they have to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

People look to increase the number of followers they have on social media... forgetting that as their audience grows, they have less time and attention for each individual fan.

And brands, in an attempt to fuel growth, will often broaden their scope to appeal to a wider audience... and in doing so, often lose what made them distinctive, unique, and appealing to their core target in the first place.

It's worth thinking about the trade-offs required to have more of any given thing... and deciding for yourself at what point you have enough.

- dp


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