PLYs & PLUs: People Like You & People Like Us


Chronicles of a Reluctant Entrepreneur and a Reticent e-Author

OK, so I’m not a natural blogger, so why start a new blog in such a polluted blogosphere?

Well, like many of you, I’ve a story to tell—one which started at the brink of the millennium, yet whose plot has just thickened and whose pace will advance dramatically over the course of the next year. Maybe it’s a story you’ll want to hear, maybe not. We’ll see.

I should start by explaining my blog title: “PLYs and PLUs.” It means People Like Us and People Like You. It was originally one of seven dysfunctions that I was going to explore in a business book proposal I pitched to my publisher back in 2002: Seven Dysfunctions of Highly Ineffective People. They were nonplussed at the idea of riffing on Covey’s famous title and added that using negative positioning word like “dysfunctions” in the title was a biz book publishing no-no. Two weeks later my editor confessed that, after rejecting my proposal, A) they received another book proposal from their star author Pat Lencioni: Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and B) she read a synopsis of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book that focused on another of my dysfunctions, one I called unconscious inefficiency. His book was called: Blink. Oh well, timing is everything.

You may think from this title that I’m going to rant about the divisions that keep People Like Us from the privileges afforded by People Like You. That would be a bit hard to carry off since I’ve achieved a bit of success in the People Like You world. Instead my story is a tale of breaking from the constraints of the PLYs and PLUs mindset by whatever means necessary.

As for the “reluctant entrepreneur” and “reticent e-author” bit, it’s true. Had you asked me at the end of 1999 if wanted to start my own company or navigate the labyrinth of e-publishing, I would have laughed. I was at the height of my corporate career, had recently published my first business book (through a traditional publisher and with an advance) and would soon sign a contract (with a bigger advance) to write my second. I had no plans to rock the boat. Not to mention, I’m risk averse, pragmatic and despise uncertainty. Yet eight years later, I’m a co-founder of a fledgling technology company and on the brink of e-publishing my second novel, and as mentioned above, I’ve had some degree of success in both. At Pie Digital, we have secured our Series A financing, and my first e-published novel, Able Was I, achieved significant acclaim for a POD book. I’m not sure how much of the past I want to tell though there’re likely many entrepreneurs out there who want to know how to snag a VC, and many would-be authors who question everything about e-publishing, from process to distribution to marketing. I don’t know if I have any answers or even if my story is that unique, so I guess I’ll just start and see where my blogging muse and your feedback take me.

I guess I should set expectations in case a few of you start listening in. I will do my damnedest to blog at least once a week, maybe twice. I’m busy, but I’m also an insomniac. Certainly, interest could fuel frequency and disinterest, apathy. I’ll take the cues and blog accordingly. Or I’ll take ambien.

Until next time,