“and if only one percent of those people…”

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I got this story from Derek Sivers, about a musician who bought a quarter-page ad in a big magazine. The magazine had a circulation of a million readers:

The musician had pressed up 10,000 copies of his CD in anticipation of 10,000 orders that were sure to come through that week.

He kept saying, “If only one percent of the people reading this magazine buy my CD… that’ll be 10,000 copies!  And that’s only one percent!”

He bought 10,000 padded mailers and mailing labels. He converted his garage into a big mailing center.

He kept saying, “Maybe we can get like 10 percent! That’s 100,000! But worst case scenario, if only 1 percent… that’s still awesome!”

The magazine issue came out, and… Nothing. He bought an issue. There was his ad. But the orders were not coming in! Was something wrong? No. He tested it. Everything was working.

Over the next few weeks he received four orders. Total CDs sold: FOUR.

My friend telling the story ends it with the best line:

“He forgot there was a number lower than one percent.”

Heh. If one percent of the people who read my blog bought my prints, I’d be richer than the Andy Warhol Foundation by now…

[Backs­tory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twit­ter. Cartoon Archive. News­let­ter. Book. Inter­view One. Inter­view Two. EVIL PLANS. Limi­ted Edi­tion Prints. Essen­tial Rea­ding:Everything You Always Wan­ted To Know About ‘Cube Gre­na­des’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

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Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
@copyblogger
 
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark
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