Chris is the President of Human Business Works and started New Media Marketing Labs to work with large and mid-sized companies such as Pepsico, Comcast, Molson/Coors and The Henry Ford Museum to improve online business communications like marketing and PR through the use of social software, community platforms and other emerging Web and mobile technologies. Chris also is co-author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book “Trust Agents,” with Julien Smith.
Prior to these roles in the media and events space, Chris had more than 16 years of telecommunications experience in wireless and landline technologies, including enterprise software and hardware experience, project management expertise, and applications/solutions engineering experience, as well.
He lives in Northern Massachusetts with his wife, Katrina, and two children.
What are you working on right now?
I’m launching Human Business Works, an education-plus-community company that builds niche education for people seeking to improve their small businesses.
3 Trends that excite you?
Mobile technology, local-to-online marketing and the tablet computer’s impact on publishing.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I start with a wild idea, throw it out to my community, and then find people crazy enough to work with me on those types of ideas.
What is one mistake that you made, and what did you learn from it?
I can only pick one? I once made the mistake of launching a company with no business model. That didn’t go very far. I had a content model, and assumed money would just show up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have millions. How about peer rental. I think there’s a huge market in peer rental projects, like when people rent out college textbooks to each other.
You are considered an expert in your field, can you give some pointers on what people can do to become thought leaders in their industries?
Thought leadership requires one to have stuff worth saying, mixed with a unique way of saying it. It also requires that people care what you think. The best way to get that going is to comment on other people’s things, to invest in other people’s ideas, but to sprinkle in bits of your own thinking. When people can then come back to your own site and see more evidence of what makes your ideas important, they’ll better understand what you’re thinking, and will decide whether or not you’re worthy of their time.
You seem to work almost 24/7 and must rack up some serious frequent flyer miles along the way, how do you possibly balance your work and personal life?
When I’m home, I’m really home. I spend very unplugged time with my kids and wife, and I do a lot to keep my parents in my family’s life, as well. I have been home more in the last few months, and when I’m away, I’m still very much in touch. It works for us. It’s like having a military dad who gets home a lot more often.