Jason Fried. Make shit awesome. Dont “Maximse”
I can’t imagine anything less interesting in business than maximizing shareholder value. Yet this is what public companies are pressured – if not legally required – to do.
A lot of non-public companies follow the same path towards performance and results. To take it further, maximization as a concept just isn’t interesting to me. I don’t care about maximization.
Not maximization of profit, revenue, people, reach, productivity, etc. Not interesting. I feel like this makes me an outcast in the business world. Part of the minority, the ones who simply “don’t get how it works”. I get how it works. I just don’t care. I’m not interested in squeezing something so tight that I get every last drop. I don’t want, need, or care about every last drop. Those last drops usually don’t taste as good anyway.
My thirst is usually well quenched far before that final drop. Am I interested in increasing profits? Yes. Revenues? Yes? Being more productive? Yes. Making our products easier, faster, and more useful? Yes. Making our customers and employees happier? Yes, absolutely. Do I love iterating and improving? Yes sir.Do I want to make things better? All the time.
But do I want to maximize “betterness”? No thanks.
A Manager’s Manifesto
10) Always get the full story before making a decision.
9) It’s incredibly easy to ‘flip the switch’ and start writing people off after a few bad experiences. Resist at all costs. You were bumbling once too. You made poor decisions. You learn and grow, and so does everybody else.
8) Sweep up the crumbs. Wipe the tables. Turn off the lights. Plug the holes that need plugging—even if it’s menial, even if nobody will know you did it. Do it in service of the product, the company, and this wondrous, magical thing you are all building together.
7) Recognize you can’t do everything. Close your eyes, fall backwards, and learn to trust.
6) Clearly, there is a more efficient way to do the things you do. How? Ponder that on your daily drive home.
5) Figure out which people rely on you and how you can help them be self-sufficient. You may feel important having a monopoly on salmon provisions, but if the whole village learns how to fish, it’ll free you up to do something else. Like figuring out how to grow wheat. Or how to domesticate those cute wolf-pups.
4) Don’t say anything if it’s not actually contributing to the discussion. Your voice is not so melodious that it absolutely must be heard.
3) Making the best decision is not as important as putting in the right processes to ensure that the best decisions get made.
2) Dole out thanks and encouragement like you dole out opinions.
1) Above all, this: never, ever get in the way. It’s better to twiddle your thumbs and squint up at the clouds than to obstruct progress for the sake of that stupid, childish thing called ego.
- Julie Zhuo, Product Design Director, Facebook
The Problem with Digital Campaigns
Many award-winning digital campaigns are really very empty experiences. You are led along an arduous (though often very pretty) path for a “chance to win” something great. Which is fine – it is what it is – but I don’t think these represent excellence in digital experiences; marketing or otherwise. Two well-received campaigns that spring to mind are Volkswagen’s “Hitchhike with a Like” and the Shoppers Drug Mart “Spin to Win” contest. Both are brands that I really like, but after going through the motions of their game mechanics (spinning wheels, clicking to ‘hitch’ a ride), I left both experiences feeling a bit used. I didn’t get anything out of them except for that chance to win and the likelihood of winning anything is slim. Both of them present themselves as games, so even if I don’t win, I should be having fun, right? Instead, I left both experiences with a tangible film of regret, my life energy being converted into a “time spent” stat for someone’s impending measurement exercise. What is the goal of these programs? That I spend half an hour on their Facebook promotion? I know it’s a game, but it’s slow and unfulfilling. It’s pretty, but I expect more from my game experiences these days. And what happens to these sites when the quarter is over? Some will be recycled but most will drift off toward the garbage heap. Which makes sense because they weren’t built to last. Made by Many coined the concept of ‘landfill marketing’ or ‘digital landfill’, which is a great way to describe disposable digital marketing efforts. They don’t provide much value to anyone and are a threat to the health of our digital environment. Good digital experiences, on the other hand, are designed to be durable and to provide to long-lasting benefit to everyone involved.