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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Connecting the dots

This image is from the California Subcontractor Listing Law page from the Carlin Law Group in San Diego. The law, about 50 years old, is intended to prevent bid shopping and peddling. But is it truly effective? In researching my story on bid shopping and peddling, people said legislative measures often result in greater corruption and manipulation as owners, contractors and suppliers manipulate the rules to protect favored relationships (good marketing) or reduce prices.

Yesterday, a group of seemingly unrelated calls and emails brightened my day. In one, a source elaborated on observations in a pre-publication draft of my story about bid shopping/peddling. In the second, we worked on implementing a good deed to a previous client (and a group of strangers) that correlates with the apparent demise of a once-formidable competitor. And I had intriguing conversations and invitations from people I hadn't known previously, who have read this Construction Marketing Ideas blog.

The experiences in the final sentence of the previous paragraph can (and later will) be turned into public blog postings. The other events need to remain confidential. The reason for the confidentiality is not the events themselves, but the circumstances that lead to the events. They result from connecting dots and being in the right places at the right times -- and disclosure of part of the story would lead to unintended consequences and possibly the violation of real, meaningful confidences.

So, as I write this posting, I am tangling with my desire to communicate a vital marketing message -- with some wonderful real-life examples that I cannot share. Frustrating, I suppose (but I know well that under the contradictions are an increasing number of respectful, warm relationships with individuals and businesses in a diversity of circumstances and trades).

If you would like an advance draft of my stories about bid shopping and peddling, please email me at There's no cost -- and I've made sure that confidences shared in researching the story have been observed in the final written words.

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