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A wacky invention will lead to your success.

Ivan Schneider
Today's fortune submitted by:
Ivan Schneider

Seattle, WA, USA

Ivan Schneider, with a tech background from Carnegie Mellon and Vanderbilt, began with early graphical interfaces and now innovates with Microsoft Power Platform. A proponent of low-code/no-code tech, he supports the citizen developer movement. Ivan is a writer, project planner, and consultant, focusing on empowering citizen developers via his weekly newsletter, Model Citizen Developer.

The Invention of You.

Today's Marketing Cookie is about the invention of you.

You are the subject in this week's episode of Shark Tank. You have been working on yourself your whole life, and you are your best invention. Your board of advisors has given you their guidance, friendship, and coaching, and now you're ready to unveil the you we've been waiting to see. The total sum of your life choices, experiences, knowledge, and ambition have all come together to create you—a product unlike anyone the world has ever known.

Not feeling too confident about the product you've invented? That's okay! Neither was I, and neither is anyone else. (Shhh, don't tell them I told you.) The secret I've learned about inventing yourself into a product of high demand is looking for something you like to do, being willing to learn new things, and having the courage to change and reinvent yourself along the way.

When I first got involved in web design, I couldn't find the power switch on the computer they gave me. True story. I had no experience with the Internet except that I had used Prodigy and AOL before. That was okay though because even with that, I already knew more than the guy who hired me. Besides, virtually no one outside academia knew what a website was anyway. I saw the whole thing as better than the deli job I had been doing, and it was an opportunity to work in a new industry from the very beginning. When everyone eventually knew about websites, I had unknowingly invented myself into a "Web Nerd." I had invented myself into the right product, at exactly the right time. This first product release of me was in high demand.

Roughly ten years later, the web had dramatically matured, and so had I. The dot com bubble had burst, and "playtime" was over. Web nerds like me were forced to put away the foosball tables and get serious about business. IT managers began giving the company website over to the marketing department. Rather than conversations about features and functions, top executives began asking questions I hadn't heard before about leads, revenue, results, and delivering a return on investment. Soon, I was teaching companies about user experience, call to action, ecommerce, and analytics. I didn't have any formal training in such things, but I learned quickly, and somehow reinvented myself into the beginnings of a "Web Marketing Nerd."

Over the next ten years, I had founded and sold a number of website design and digital marketing companies. I had twenty years of experience in the digital space and was leading a team to build those capabilities for our clients. I was also elected the president of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). I didn't realize it, but I was reinventing myself again, into a "marketer."

I remember when I first became a Chief Marketing Officer. Suddenly, I wasn't only talking about digital marketing or social media anymore. I was attempting to tackle the task of executing and measuring integrated multi-channel marketing campaigns, which I've named "Unified Marketing." Now, I ask the questions about leads, revenue, results, and delivering a return on investment. Last fall, the AMA leadership in Chicago nominated me onto their International Board of Directors, and I have been reinvented once again.

The truth is, the product you're inventing yourself into is never done, never complete, and is not typically "ready for market." You will be learning on the fly, reaching for the next level, and stretching yourself into your next product release. Keep reinventing yourself and have the courage to try new things along the way. As today's fortune says, "A wacky invention will lead to your success."

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Cookie

Percent Daily Value


Percent Daily Values are based on the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy mindset, fostering success in your marketing, prosperity in your career, and fulfillment in your life.








Submitted by:

Ivan Schneider

Unpackaged in: 

Seattle, WA, USA

Cookie Ingredients:


What marketing is really saying:

"What was it made with before?"

What marketing says:

"Now made with real cheese."

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