With a flight delayed six hours and no WiFi in the airport (it was not fun) last Saturday, I got home and went straight to bed…and forgot all about you!
So this is the 35th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (Honora, A Better Mess), Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), and me!
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t suscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
This week we have thoughts on empowerment, the NSA (renamed No Such Agency), and great customer service.
Michael on Empowerment. Of the many things I love, my daughters top the list. Much as I like to pretend I can freeze them at this age and never have to worry about them growing up, I can’t (legally and logistically, trust me I’ve checked and I’ve tried). As their growing up seems inevitable, it’s impossible not to think about who they will be when they’re older and what they will do.
There are many futures I imagine for my daughters (and more than anything I want them to be able to create their own), but I’ve never imagined them as programmers. Something tells me if you have daughters, you probably haven’t either. It’s not that I don’t know any female programmers (although I only know a few), but it’s just not a logical leap I’ve made when looking and thinking about my two little girls.
I love that Jean MacDonald and the team at [App Camp For Girls] is looking to change this perception and this imbalance. I’m excited this is something that may empower my girls to consider something that is currently culturally unexpected and I leapt at the opportunity to support what they were doing. I hope you will check out what Jean and her team are attempting and consider supporting this as well.
Howie on 420 Billion. This is a very big number. I could easily make the case the NSA is a bit disturbing in its powers. But really what shocks me is that for every American, 1,400 emails are sent every single day. I forget the exact stats, but I think the average Facebook user updates their status once every few days. You need access to those private emails if you want to truly know influence. Because that is America’s story. Who we really talk to. What brands we signed up for emails from. Our politics. None of this can truly be found in the public arena. We are too smart for that.
Gini on Customer Service. How many of you have gone through the phone tree at the cable or phone or utility or bank only to have a stupid script read to you that doesn’t help your problem and makes you feel dirty because the human interaction leaves something to desire? What? That doesn’t happen to any of you? Come on! In all seriousness, I know it happens more often than not and it’s a super frustrating experience. Zappos was one of the first organizations to empower their customer service team to work as human beings. Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada didn’t exactly empower their team to do the same, but one employee took it upon himself to go off script. The result is hilarious!
Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?