Everything I Know about Marketing I learned from Google

FAQ #3: How Did You Come Up With the Idea?

August 4, 2010 by Aaron Goldman

As discussed in my post on how social media helped me land a book deal, my first idea (Tweet-o-biography) was rejected. But I had the ear of an editor and I couldn’t let that go to waste so I set out to find a more relevant topic for the McGraw-Hill Professional (MHP) catalog.

The idea that turned out to be the basis for my book was actually inspired by an old poster my brother, Noah, had hanging in his room growing up. It said, “Everything I Need to Know About Life, I Learned From Star Trek.” (Yes, he was, and still is, a trekkie.) My favorite quote from that poster, by the way, is, “Always set your phaser on stun.” I’ve since adapted that to my repertoire of quick quips with, “I always set my phaser to stunning.)

After dropping that line one day, I got to thinking about the poster which made me consider that as affected as my brother’s life has been by Star Trek, mine has been by Google. From there, I started laying out life lessons learned from Google. The list quickly morphed to business lessons as that had been consuming my life at the time and viola, the idea was hatched.

I thought the topic had book potential but I needed to be sure that 1) others would be interested in the topic and 2) that I had enough to say on the subject… so I set out to pen a series of bylines for MediaPost under the theme, “Everything I Need to Know About Marketing I Learned From Google.” These 3 columns became the outline of the book and the fodder I used to lure MHP into making me an offer.

The title ended up getting shortened by MHP’s editors to remove “I Need” and the rest, as they say, is history.

Note: this post is part of a series. For more, see the full list of FAQs.


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