And there's something on yer mind you wanna be saying…
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin'…
But it's trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head…
And it bothers you badly when you're layin' in bed …”

Bob Dylan “Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie”

Black Caesar

From time to time, I see articles like this recent SEOmoz post about industry specific books that one should read because contain great tips and actionable insights into key aspects of Internet Marketing.  I’m sure all these titles are worth checking out…however, I’ve never thought that immersing yourself 24/7 in this field will increase your odds of success.  Far from it…I believe people in our industry should get as far away from it as possible during their “spare” time…not just to decompress but because the mental activities participated in away from work can give you potent insights into work that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Those folks that follow my Twitter Stream know I’m a huge film buff and Blaxploitation is one of my favorite genres of film.  I’ve seen all the major films and many of the minor ones and I really dig seeing the freaky combo of Cadillacs, Afros, and funky wardrobes.  Even when the movies suck, they’re always fun to watch :.)

So I was checking out one of these films recently and, truth be told, it wasn’t particularly good…so my mind was wandering elsewhere as the movie played on.  Suddenly, they cut to a scene where the “gang” of good guys had to hide out somewhere and the place they chose was a warehouse used to store caskets.  Something about that scene piqued my interest since…

Willie Dynamite

  • Recently Costco started selling caskets…and WalMart followed suit.
  • Caskets are a product that meets a universal need.
  • Plenty of people are searching for caskets online and from this data, one can extrapolate that AdSense clicks in this vertical will likely pay a “worthy” amount to a site owner.

So after the movie ended, I went to my computer and within a relatively few minutes, I bought a very nice relevant two word domain name at the basic registration fee that would work well either for development or resale (and I was very shocked this particular domain name remained available).   While this is the only domain I’ve purchase as a results of watching a Blaxploitation movie, I’ve gotten plenty of other excellent ideas from “extraneous activities” (e.g. watching television, conversation eavesdropping) that I have been able to put into play for my financial benefit.

I’ve always felt that success in this industry is far more dependent on the insights you can glean than any amount of work you do.  Insights can come from anywhere and I think the law of diminishing returns comes into play when someone decides to read in their spare time the same sorts of material they look at all day in their feedreader.  I’ve picked up lots of these books at Search Engine Conferences and I can’t actually bring myself to look at any of them, favoring instead whatever compelling literature I’m fancying at the time.  If I’m inspired by what I’m reading / watching / seeing, my mind is more open to possibility which makes it more likely to glean the sorts of insights necessary to succeed in my profession.