Mike Landman

Mike Landman

Observations On Business. Maybe a Little Preening. And A Few Lessons Learned.

Where should this blog go?

So I have been thinking a lot about this blog and what it should do, and where it should go.

I started this as a way to experiment, and collect my own thoughts. I thought a few friends would dig it maybe. But I’m not sure I am offering anything here that has much meaning. It seems to me that to provide real value to anyone a blog needs to be deep. As in: What am I an expert in that no one else is? What could someone learn from me? And how might that provide you (reader), and me (writer) some benefit? What would be interesting?

The only thing I am a true expert in is Ripple, my own company. At first blush I thought "is that boring?" Maybe it is. Or maybe it is damn interesting. I mean we watch TV shows about individual characters all the time. I love to watch a character develop. Warts and all. And a business is a huge culmination of characters. It is a massive boiling pot of values, ethics, compromises, risks, mistakes, fear, elation, second-guessing, and pure unadulterated passion. I have never had anything in my life teach me more lessons, test my values, or define my humanity like running Ripple. Maybe there is something to learn there for others. The idea would be to have a running dialog about Ripple, not just a positive spin type blog, or a place where we announce new products. You know, warts and all.

I feel like the pros are as follows:

  • People could really learn from my experience (it’s interesting to try to understand why we as humans feel the need to give back – I’m glad we do, but it’s interesting nonetheless).
  • Prospective clients and employees could get a meaningful window into what makes Ripple, and Mike Landman tick.
  • It could be an interesting way to demonstrate what we are great at.
  • When people see what the real motivators and values are behind Ripple they will be more understanding of us in general.
  • It could be a great feedback loop for clients, prospects and the world at large.

I feel like the cons are these:

  • People could come to see the mistakes and imperfections as weaknesses that make them want to work with another company.
  • Prospective clients and employees could get a meaningful window into what makes Ripple, and Mike Landman tick. πŸ™‚
  • Competitors might leave armed with nifty information.

What do you think? Interesting? Just another CEO blog? Waste of time? I would love to get your input. Email or comment whatever you think.

And, before I forget: Thanks for all of your support to date. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me so far.


  1. Charles Brian Quinn

    As a fan of Ripple (heck, I’m not even a customer), and your blog, I am very interested in hearing about Ripple, and scarily enough “what makes Mike Landman tick.”

    Your cons for the new direction, to me, all seem like pros — if a company doesn’t value the honesty of admitting “hey, here’s what we’re not good at…” then they might be better of with another service/provider/company. And, I’ll bet, even if it comes out that Ripple’s secret sauce is an undying passion for perfection — well, let’s see ’em put it in their business plan and then *try* to execute like Ripple does.


  2. Will Powell

    Mike – your blog is awesome. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and learned from your insight. Disclaimer – I’m a fellow Octane FANATIC.

    Started following your blog after my wife bumped into some friendly Ripple techs in line at Octane.

    I like your writing style and no-nonsense approach to business. You’re a “tell it like it is” guy. I’d rather hire a company that is continually seeking to improve rather than be skeptical of one that claims to be faultless. That drive is what makes you and your company GREAT.

    Thanks for “keeping it real” on your blog. The culture at Ripple sounds like the kind of company most people dream of working for.

    I particularly like your observations about Octane – but would like to see more observations from other area local businesses. I’m getting bored with Ritz-Carlton/Starbucks (national) based stories of successful Customer Service and want to hear more about local companies that defy the “easy money” and build companies that last.

    Keep sharing that unadulterated passion.

  3. Josh Tabin

    Mike, sounds like a mid-life crisis of sorts. πŸ™‚

    Frankly, I like the idea of you blogging about the evolution of your business. Knowing where you are in the company’s life cycle, I suspect that as you transition to the next stage, you will have valuable insights for entrepreneurs.

    Whatever direction you take, I will continue to read.


  4. John Reid

    I think it could work well.

    Transparency is a huge macro-trend now. It’s good to let people see inside. After all, your “warts” are fairly mild. And no one’s under the impression that you’re perfect anyway.

    As for arming your competition: I have this theory. The best way to come up with lots of killer ideas is to freely give them away. Not sure why it works, but it works. The more ideas I give away, the more I seem to have. Try it!


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