It’s great to see your friends succeed. It’s even greater to see your former students succeed. But it’s unbeatable when a friend who happens to be a former student knocks one out of the park.
I can’t take much credit for Seth Michalak’s success, because he was pretty bright long before he became my student a few years ago. But as his friend, I can sure as heck take pleasure when his hard work and innovation earns some well-deserved public validation, as it did the other day. Seth runs marketing for Savannah-based social media developer Balaya, which I’ve written about before. Balaya recently won the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2009 People’s Chocie Contest, thanks to a combination of a) a great offering, and b) Seth’s thoughtful, well-executed social media campaign.
As I’ve noted before, economic down cycles are important times for innovation. Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes, including everything from product innovation to operational improvements to marketing strategy. Maybe you’re getting a better offering ready for market. Maybe you’re finding new and better means of production. And maybe you’ve got a great service already, but you’re looking for inventive ways of getting the message into the marketplace – something that’s always a concern, especially when budgets tighten (as they always do in a recession).
In all cases, if you’ve making your company better while others are turtling – if you’re working to thrive while the competition is just trying to survive – you’re going to be pretty well positioned when the market bounces back.
Balaya and Seth are the only ones doing a good job of making lemonade in a lemon market, but since I’m a big fan I thought I’d say a public congrats.