Keep false friends out of your winner’s circle

I had the good fortune of working briefly in the equine business through 1997-98 while also selling exercise bikes to paralyzed people (true story). One lesson I will take away always.

Winning the Kentucky Derby is such a long shot that most people don’t even shoot that far. When it does happen through a series of happenstance, luck and skill, you have a lot of friends who want to crowd up on the winner’s circle and get their picture taken with the jockey, horse and owner just to prove they were there. But, it is most often these same people who probably less than a year ago were the horse’s worst critics. Or worse, didn’t care about the horse, the jockey or the owner.

Whenever a tech company gets acquired by a larger company, i.e., Zappos, Woot, etc, it kinda feels like a winner’s circle at the Kentucky Derby. Everyone with any bit of knowledge of social media, customer experience, marketing, etc, etc all crowd up on Twitter and congratulate, make YouTube videos on their concern about the death of the company culture, write blogs and stuff with keywords, blah, blah, blah. They all claimed to be instrumental in company’s success.

In truth, they are just leeching on the story.

Learn who your true friends and supporters are early on. And keep the rest out of your winner’s circle when it happens.