How to start a conversation in the LinkedIn newsfeed

Here's an excellent way to re-energize your LinkedIn posts. FIRST, you have to think about which people you want to converse with!

Managing Editor: Why It’s Worth Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy, 2018-Dec-6 by Mary Ellen Slayter

“Tagging is very powerful when done right, but you see people that do it in a skeezy way. You'll see people that post something and then they tag 30 people for no reason. And that's the wrong way to do it.”

What’s the right way? Jake offers an example: “There's this trend in technology called ‘no code.’ When I heard about it I didn't even know this existed. And so I wrote about it and tagged a bunch of my technical friends to get their insights and feedback on it. That led to a ton of conversation and dialogue in the comments.” It worked because he was genuinely interested in the concept and invited others he thought would be interested to have a conversation about it.

Our instinct is often to focus on ourselves — sharing our content, publishing our ideas and consuming other people’s content. But LinkedIn is more helpful if you resist this impulse. Invite people to be part of a conversation, and participate in other people's conversations. Amplify other voices.


Christof Spieler explains how to complain about public transit (and be justified)

Vox is calling this a 'very opinionated' view of U.S. public transit from Houstonian Christof Spieler, but I think it's more... a practical, systematic, evidence-based, and YES irritable view of what matters in U.S. public transit!

Vox: The best and worst cities in America for public transportation, according to an urban planner, 2018-Dec-7 by Christof Spieler

...complaining is kind of part of our relationship with transportation. I have yet run into a city where people have no complaints about their transit system. And, in fact, sometimes the places where you hear the most complaints are the best systems because the fact that people are complaining about it is a sign that it actually matters to them. [In] places that only have very small, low-frequency bus networks, people don’t tend to complain much about transit since they don’t think about using it.

Some of the most [frequent] complaints about transit are Chicago, Boston, and New York, and it’s partially because those systems actually serve a lot of people.

I would also say, in the United States compared to the rest of the world, we’re not doing very well. If you look at even cities like New York or Boston or Chicago, those are huge international cities, the absolute center of the US economy, and we’re underinvesting in transit pretty dramatically. In New York, we’re talking about a major lift just to keep the subway as it is operating. When you look at cities like London or Paris, they are actually building major new lines on top of their existing network. The most ambitious plans in New York pale in comparison to what its competitors around the world are doing.

So I think when people are complaining about transit, in many cases, they are right. In many cases, the resources aren’t there. And it’s not just money. It’s also things like being willing to say, “This is a really busy bus route down a congested street; we will give it its own lane.” Being okay with saying there will be no parking on this street or there will be one less lane of cars because actually, the buses carry more people than anything on this street. And very few cities are actually willing to make decisions like that. So I think people’s complaining about transit in many ways is accurate.


Loyalty expert Jackie Huba hired by Houston startup Rally

On the QViews website, you can scroll down to my recommended books and see Creating Customer Evangelists by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell. Jackie Huba has gone onto to build an amazing consulting practice that teaches businesses how to make customers feel special. 

Rally is a recovery and rehydration drink created in Houston. It's been growing for a couple of years and is now available at HEB, Spec's and other regional outlets. 

Congratulations to Rally and Jackie... I know you'll do well together! 

BusinessWire: Beverage Company “Rally” Hires Sales and Marketing Talent to Connect With Customers, Fuel Growth, and Expand Into New Markets, 2018-Dec-3 

Rally is designed to help athletes -- including football players, runners, cyclers, CrossFit enthusiasts and more -- achieve their top physical performance and aid in quick recovery.... Rally is available select HEB, Spec’s, and local retailers in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas.


McKinsey finds that good design is a corporate goal as important as revenue and profit

  1. Design performance is a measurable goal like revenue and profit, and top management should treat it as such. 
  2. The customer experience at every touchpoint is all part of the same product/service design. 
  3. Employees achieve design excellence by working on cross-functional teams. 
  4. Commitment to constant testing, measuring and revising is crucial. 

McKinsey Quarterly: The Business Value of Design, 2018-October, by Benedict Sheppard, Hugo Sarrazin, Garen Kouyoumjian, and Fabricio Dore

The diversity among companies achieving top-quartile MDI performance shows that design excellence is within the grasp of every business, whether product, service, or digitally oriented. Through interviews and our experience working with companies to transform their strength in design, we’ve also discovered that one of the most powerful first steps is to select an important upcoming product or service and make a commitment to using it as a pilot for getting the four elements right. This approach showed far better financial results than trying to improve design as a theme across the whole company—for example, conducting trials of cross-functional work in isolation from real products or services.


Address clearance service

Perhaps we need an address clearance service. People used to be able to use the post office for this... "Notify everyone who mails me that my address has changed." We need to have this for every way we connect. And people need to own their data. 

Max Niederhofer blog: Why are contacts still such a mess, 2018-Nov-4

When I think of building contacts consumer software, I think it should be fully decentralized. Everyone should have their own record and permission who gets to see what (name, email, phone number, postal address in increasing level of sensitivity). An app sounds like the right way to do that.

Then scale it via OAuth to other apps: if you’re in contact with a person in Gmail, call them on the phone, meet them in person as tracked by calendar, prompt a data access permission flow.

And don’t even think about replacing the address book. Just build it alongside it, without touching the old world.

The nice thing about contacts, of course, is that you can grow virally (carefully, without spamming the world).

For some reason every company we have ever seen try to build something like this has failed. I’m not sure why.

If you are thinking about taking a crack at the problem, talk to the folks who did Bump, Brewster, Plaxo, who are now doing FullContact. I’m sure there’s a wealth of knowledge there.