Analog Kid, Digital Man

signals Analog Kid, Digital ManWhen you were a teenager, did you ever feel like this?

The boy lies in the grass with one blade
Stuck between his teeth
A vague sensation quickens
In his young and restless heart
And a bright and nameless vision
Has him longing to depart
You move me
You move me
With your buildings and your eyes
Autumn woods and winter skies

Today in the 21st century, do you ever feel like this?

He’d love to spend the night in Zion
He’s been a long while in Babylon
He’d like a lover’s wings to fly on
To a tropic isle of Avalon
He plays fast forward just as long as he can
But he won’t need a bed
He’s a digital man

You were an Analog Kid. Now you’re a Digital Man.

His world is under anesthetic
Subdivided and synthetic
His reliance on the giants
In the science of the day

And here you are sitting in your office today, trying to fabricate dreams out of digital reality.

Both these songs are from Rush’s Signals album, which hit the streets when I was 14. Everbody’s got a soundtrack to their life and those songs happen to play on mine.

I deeply related to BOTH then, and still do now.

I’ve noticed that successful people manage to live with one foot in the “Analog Kid” world and one foot in the “Digital Man” world. Harsh realities in one hand, dreams and blades of grass in the other.

Analog is the key to the digital. Digital is the key to the analog.

By the way I’ve got an awful lot of customers who are programmers and engineers. The successful ones always understand: The tools are digital, but human beings and persuasion are analog.

Analog is the key to the digital. Digital is the key to the analog.

Just this week, after who knows how many years, Rush finally got inaugurated into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Frankly this should’ve happened a decade ago but it doesn’t matter now – they made the cut. Which brings me to another aspect that I think is HUGELY important for success:

Rush created art that stood the test of time.

Boy George didn’t. Loverboy didn’t. Adam Ant didn’t.

You too should aim to be in the business of creating things that stand the test of time. Not eternally working for the weekend and chasing fads and slugging down fickle hits of adrenaline.

Where do you learn how to do… that???

Well they don’t sure teach it in grad school. But I can offer you a hint:

Read or re-read Lord of the Rings. NOT 50 Shades of Gray.

You only learn to create enduring art by immersing yourself in… enduring art. Cuz lizard-brain pig slop has zero long-term value.

Congrats to the boys from Toronto who made the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with their enduring art. And here’s to all the aspiring Analog Kids and Digital Men in Planet Perry who create the future with 1′s and 0′s that drip with empathy and human touch.

Perry Marshall

About the Author

Entrepreneur Magazine says: "Perry Marshall is the #1 author and world's most-quoted consultant on Google Advertising. He has helped over 100,000 advertisers save literally billions of dollars in Adwords stupidity tax."

He is referenced across the Internet and by The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and Forbes Magazine.

Last 5 Posts by Perry

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Posted by Perry on December 12th, 2012. Filed in Marketing Blog. Tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Follow responses thru Comments RSS. Follow responses thru Comments RSS.

Comments on Analog Kid, Digital Man »

  • congrats to Alex’s backing band :)

  • …”lizard brain pig slop…” I love it!!! Reminds me of pretty much everything on TV. Thanks for describing the way I think in a way that makes sense. Got my husband a record player for his big gift this year, and we are making fools of ourselves singing and dancing to 33rpm albums night after night. We are immersing ourselves in enduring art, such as CCR Live in Europe 1971. Priceless…

  • greg says:

    Hi Perry,
    I’m a nobody from nowhere north of Toronto but I have a small claim to fame…I spent 3 days installing Geddy Lee’s wine cellar in his home in Rosedale / Toronto. It was a cool experience brushing with such fame.
    I got to chat with “the man” for a few minutes and though nothing earth shattering took place during the conversations what did occur to me is this: I met a man who was a king at his craft yet talking one on one he was just a man. He was casual and real, relaxed and hospitable.
    Seeing the man who is a legend on stage showed me that those with enough passion for what they do can grow to legendary status if they apply themselves and be REAL, strive for pure excellence and above all know what they have to offer and give it all they got.
    You do that with panache and endearing stories about your humble beginnings which makes you a rock star in your field… and I think we all love it that you do what you do and how you do it.

    So YEAH, Rush finally gets the much deserved spotlight they deserve after all this time, not that they need it or that their fans didn’t already think of them as Hall of Fame worthy…we just love the tunes.
    Kudos to RUSH and thanks to you Perry. Keep the inspiration flowing.
    All the best,

  • Over the years this album has become more and more important to me.

    Too many hands on my time, too many feelings …

    7 years of commuting to work on a 747 – writing TV in Africa while my family remain in the UK

    When I leave indeed …

    I was also 14, I now have friends younger than this album – an album that I bought on the day of release … Signals remains one of my dearest friends …

  • Mary Blanc says:

    RE: Your Bottom Line…

    “And here’s to all the aspiring Analog Kids and Digital Men in Planet Perry who create the future with 1?s and 0?s that drip with empathy and human touch.”

    Howzabout catchin’ UP to These Dayz in Your writing–Perry…

    “Analog Kids” IS Gender Inclusive…
    SO–Let’s Write “Digital Men & Women”… hmmm…

    Cuz–Dude–I’ve found that even tho’ Most of US Galz HEAR Ourselves Called By Masculine Terms–As Well As By The Feminine…


    Too Many Guyz Do NOT Think–
    That The Words “Man” &/or “Men” Refer To ManKind–AT LARGE… Which IS WHY There Was That BIG PUSH For Gender Inclusive Language…

    After Enough Times of Hearing IT & Reading IT–
    Men–AS WELL AS–Women…
    That Y’all Might ACTUALLY Begin To “Get” IT… 8 D

    The good news is that…
    Among Many–IF NOT MOST–of The College Students that it’s been My Privilege to meet at DePaul University in Chicago’s Lincoln Park…

    I’m encouraged to see that THIS GenNEXT DOES–IN FACT–”Get” IT.

    • Dave Seldon says:

      Mary Blanc, please. The title of the song is “Digital Man”. Take a pause and breathe, it’ll be ok.

      • Mary Blanc says:

        Dave- PLEASE–Do NOT Be Alarmed By The Number of Capitals That I Employ IN My Writing…

        I–for One–do NOT subscribe to the online convention…

        Upper Case = Yelling

        My liberal employment of capitals predates the World of Online Conversation and was formed & solidified from My years of studying & teaching Life & Chemical & Physical Sciences mostly to Junior High School Students. Yes. This damage can NOT be undone–Why Do You Ask ??

        Back to “Digital Man”…

        RUSH’S Music…
        Like All Music That Stands The Tests of Time…

        SO–Here We Have A Band…
        Formed in Toronto, Canada… composing heady music & lyrics… incorporating influences from All Around The… WHAT ELSE ??–UNITED KINGDOM–INCLUDING… a touch of Reggae from Jamaica…

        It’s just too bad that They didn’t title THIS song…

        “Digital Mon”…

        Where Anyone Who Cares To Listen Closely…
        Can Hear BOTH “Man” & “Mom” Together…
        Like double-stopped notes played on a fiddle…

        Doncha Know ??

        RE: “lizard-brain pig slop has zero long-term value”…

        THAT’S what a LOT of US thought of Reggae when This Music first started arriving on The Scene from its Original Playas… until groups like Rush started to make it… more palatable to Our “Tastes”…

        Remember ??…
        Perhaps You were too young at the time to have been a Witness to THESE Culture Wars.

    • Rachel Collinson says:

      Yes… the song is called Digital Man, we get it.

      Here’s my perspective.
      This was the first Perry Marshall email that I did not relate to *at all*. And I thought – wow, what an irony – when he’s talking about relating to human beings analog style.
      If only Perry’s database knew my gender, and his email addressed me as a woman rather than a man. (If he was talking to me in person, he would *never* have said, ‘a Digital Man like you’. And that, surely, is what we are trying to achieve – an intimate relationship that feels like it’s in person.)
      This is not about an equality campaign for me… it’s simply about what works… and this email just didn’t work. It felt distant. It pushed Planet Perry further away rather than drawing me in.
      Sorry Perry.
      But I bet even Rush had days where their songwriting was off.

  • The Classics are an excellent way to develop and maintain persective. Balance is key, everything from Atlas Shrugged to Grapes of Wrath helps you understand the problems of the digital man are not new.

    Animal Farm
    Atlas Shrugged
    Call of the Wild
    Count of Monte Cristo
    Crime & Punishment
    David Copperfield
    Don Quixote
    East of Eden
    Gone With the Wind
    Good Earth
    Grapes of Wrath
    Old Man & the Sea

  • Art as expression,
    Not as market campaigns
    Will still capture our imaginations.
    Given the same
    State of integrity,
    It will surely help us along.

    • Mary Blanc says:

      THE BEST Market Campaigns
      Art As Expression…
      Doncha Know ??

      And Most of US “Get” IT
      Even IF We Have NO Idea
      WHO–Andy Warhol–OR–Marshall McLuhan–ARE.

  • robert says:

    Speaking of the 80′s, the Piston’s Isiah Thomas used to promote a sporting goods store with the line, “Our big names bring you back.”

    Similarly, Rush’s sound drew you in, but their lyrics brought you back. [Or maybe it was both.]

    There weren’t a lot of artists who had anything worthwhile to say back then, much fewer now.

    In fact, I would say that a lot of lyrics are downright harmful on a repeated basis, which is why I moved predominantly to jazz.

    As a marketer, I guess I follow a similar beat- I sell them what they want, but I make sure to give them what they need.

  • Eric Steele says:

    Greetings Perry:

    I, too, have been a huge Rush fan my entire life since first purchasing 2112 as an eleven year old boy and am so happy that they are finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have seen/heard Rush on over 30 occasions now and they just keep getting better with time, not to mention both of my sons (which are now young men) were raised on Rush and have both got to experience Rush perform live eight times along with hearing me philosophize and draw life-lesson parallels from Neil’s lyrics…many times late into the night.

    I was first exposed to your teachings a number of years ago through another business associate studying Google AdWords and also heard Dan Kennedy mention your name a few times at a couple of his seminars I attended several years ago. But, it wasn’t until I stumbled upon your experiences of “drinking the Pink Kool-Aid” that you really caught my attention. Then, after signing up to your e-mail series on Rush and reading a few of your e-mails, I was sold on you (especially your overall marketing integrity) and your teachings and signed up for your Renaissance Club along with purchasing your White Papers Course.

    I continue to learn so much from you that I pulled the trigger on Mastermind a couple of weeks ago through your LOPS webinars and am looking forward to one-day soon being able to attend one of your 4-Man Intensives. I am really excited to continue soaking up as much knowledge as quickly as possible for I am in a micro, micro-niche…putting on ultrarunning events, 50K-100 mile foot races, several of which I just launched for 2013. I am determined to dominate my ultra-targeted market here in the Midwest and with Planet Perry as “my primary toolbox” I am confident I can achieve that.

    From one Rush fan to another…THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! I look forward to meeting you in person at one of your live events soon.

    Be Epic,


    • Perry says:

      Being epic sometimes means not being the hot new thing in town, right? But it pays long-term dividends. Nice to meet you, I look forward to shaking your hand at an Intensive.

  • fernando Gonzalez says:

    Hi, I´m from México and yes, Belive it or not, I´m a big RUSH fan, and believe it or not also, by pure chance and destiny, I had once the oportunity to shake Geddy Lee´s hand in Puerto Vallarta in my country, I went to Toronto once for a few weeks in a business trip and among all things to do there I only had time to visit and took a picture of me in front of the Canadian government building that appears in Moving pictures album. when I knew that RUSH finally had recognized in the R&R Hall of fame I was not surprised, it was natural consecuence. RUSH songs had a deep impact on me throug my youth and now as a more seasoned person still. from signals album there are a couple of songs that also impacted me: New World Man and subdivisions. In latin America and third world countries I think these songs have a special meaning, The message is universal another reason to pass the test of time.

  • Greg says:

    What was that Perry?

  • Bob Pepin says:


    I can’t wait to read this email more in depth. “New World Man” is another applicable song:

    He’s got to make his own mistakes
    And learn to mend the mess he makes
    He’s old enough to know what’s right
    But young enough not to choose it

    He’s noble enough to win the world
    But weak enough to lose it
    He’s a new world man


  • Paul Braoudakis says:

    Perry, what a breath of fresh air to receive an encouraging email with the words of the beloved “professor” that I had memorized back in 1982! Rush’s place in the rock pantheon is finally complete and it’s been great vindication for those of us who tried for many years to “be cool or be cast out” by being Rush fans. The contrast of the Digital Man and the Analog Kid have been profound for me for decades now and I’m so glad that we’re talking about this. As we’re trying to move our businesses forward and balance the rigors of an increasingly complex world, the concepts are refreshing to revisit once again. Thanks for keeping your finger on the pulse of this important discussion!

  • Dave Seldon says:

    Thanks for this. I was familiar with a few Rush cuts, but only now realized the breadth of their work, thanks to this. I guess it was obscured by the ‘haze’ of the times back then …

    Anyhow, today bought a bunch of their cuts, listening now, amazing.

    Oh, and ‘lizard-brain pig slop has zero long-term value’ – amazing copy!

    Dave Seldon

  • Congratulations, Rush. This album’s cover was not one of your “enduring art” ones, a fad 80s thing. A dalmatian sniffing a fire hydrant is not art. Check out some enduring art at my site and be inspired.

    Thanks, brother Steve, for forwarding this to me. It’s also good to get analog letters and messages from you as well as digital forwards.

    Love you.

  • Eric IANNA says:

    Nice truth. I love truth. Thanks Perry

  • video says:

    Thanks for this. Rush are timeless!

  • Gordy Chamberlin says:

    Thanks for the Analog kid/digital man message I needed that today. I appreciate all of your messages but that resounded.


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