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All posts from February 2020

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810: Shaking The Status Quo Is The Point

Your work doesn’t have to be perfect to make a difference, because perfect isn’t the point:

Preventing morally bankrupt subcultures designed by adults from continuing to permeate our youth? Whether you lead a brutalist “let them see where it takes them” movement or a delicate “protect them and nurture a new path” movement isn’t the point. Shaking the status quo is the point.

Challenging big tech privacy erosion to avoid a global police state dystopia? Whether you lead a macro “break the companies up” movement or a micro “use this search engine instead” movement isn’t the point. Shaking the status quo is the point.

Untangling the human trafficking ‘industry’ and its persuasive climb toward biggest crime economy in the world? Whether you lead with offense (“protect the women and punish the men”) or defense (“heal the Johns so they don’t ‘consume’ anymore) isn’t the point. Shaking the status quo is the point.

What does your work stand for?

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809: Better Than Amazon

We know Amazon is a lousy place to work for a lot of people. Underpaid drivers and stressed out middle-managers galore.

We know the Amazon machine has eroded competitors because they need to make profit but Amazon doesn’t.

We don’t have to like Amazon to recognize what they got right:

  • Buyers want prompt, free delivery. So they ship fast, usually for free, even if it loses them money.
  • Buyers want great prices. So they eschew profit in exchange for growth.
  • Buyers want good customer service. So they have a near-universal “no questions asked” refund process.

For meaningful work to compete with whatever the cheapest Prime-ready option is, one must be better than Amazon’s best:

  • Ship quickly, or make it worth the wait. The gap between order and arrival is an opportunity to delight, as well as a gap to close. Add delight.
  • Good prices, or make it worth more. So the quality and social contribution becomes more than worth the extra they pay compared to the low-cost Amazon version.
  • Easy refunds, or actually helping people. A refund leaves them where they were to start with, but a great partner takes it upon themselves to refund the solution but keep the problem… so that it can be solved properly.

Amazon has set the criteria for what “best” means to them.

But you get to set your own criteria, for the betterment of those you wish to serve, if you choose.

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808: Who Decides the Market Leader?

Who decided how we should do things and who the market leader is?

Facebook ads are the best way to attract leads? Facebook and Facebook advertising vendors would have you think so. Our Creative team produces advertising (albeit in an aggressively privacy-conscious and no-snooping way) but they wouldn’t try to convince you it’s the only way, the easiest way or the fastest way. It’s a way, not the way.

Google Chrome is the best web browser there is? Google‘s website will peddle it so that you think so. But there are many wonderful browsers out there – like Firefox for instance – that have lots to offer (like respect for your privacy) that you may have never tried before. It’s a browser, not the browser.

The big player in your industry is the big player because they’re best? They would have the market think so. There are many other players in the market who think so too, consequently. But you are the best – for a certain body of people – and it’s your moral responsibility to outthink those who think they can outmuscle your rightful market position in the eyes of those you can serve best.

The market chooses, as much as big players try to influence that choice. Give the market the message they need to hear to make the right choice.

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807: Price and Value

It’s never just about price. Or just about value.

Our Creative team’s consulting-only package (called “Execute”) works because the information is valuable and the cost drives action.

  • If the information wasn’t valuable, it wouldn’t be effective (partners would implement the wrong things).
  • If the information was free, it wouldn’t be effective (partners would feel no need to take action on what they heard).

The latest iPhone sells because the product is good at what it does and the cost ensures it’s good at what it does.

  • If it didn’t function well with accompanying social status, people would still need a phone to go with their purchase.
  • If it didn’t cost what it does, it would lose it’s social status and people would be less inclined to buy the device.

We all need to design a price for our work, even if the price of some pieces is $0. If our work matters – if we wish to create change with the fruits of our labour – we must remember: it’s never just about price. Or just about value.

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806: Nothing Worth Doing

After completing the ‘big rocks’ of the day’s schedule, do you ever look at your to-do list and think to yourself…

”…Some of this stuff doesn’t seem worth doing”?

You know the tasks…
…the adjusting logo size in all your documents.
…the meeting that didn’t come with an agenda.
…the blind calendar block of ‘email’.
…the bland newsletter blast that basically nobody reads.

Some things enter our work world in the name of ‘productivity’, based on the assumption that ‘productivity’ is about filling your schedule with as much to do as possible. To maximize output, regardless of what that output actually is.

What if ‘productivity’ instead embraced the idea that, after your important work, there could be “nothing worth doing” for the rest of the day? What if ‘productivity’ permitted you to create margin for the rest of the day to plan your next piece of important work.

If you do work that matters, you need this type of ‘productivity’. ‘Productivity’ won’t mind if you make the switch.

The normal kind produces robots. This new kind enables good teams to produce great work that makes a difference.

Which would you prefer?

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805: How To Own The World

Here’s how to own the world:

Step 1: Define “the world”. It could be your neighborhood’s vegan delicatessens. It could be your state’s urban homelessness problem. Scope “the world” as tightly as you can, because only specific goals get met.

Step 2: Define “owning”. It could be to barter or partner with those delicatessens, being the best viable source for your work. It could be to be orchestrate the best focused effort toward solving that homelessness problem. Scope “owning” as tightly as you can for the same reasons as Step 1.

Step 3: Define “why”. It could be “to become the preeminent supplier in your market”. It could be to make a meaningful, lasting difference in the world. Know your “why”.

If you do work that matters, if you’re trying to create change, please, own the world.

Just know what it means first.