We are all creators now. All publishers. And companies are collaborators. Okay, and sometimes, we’re fans of other people’s creations, too. But even then, there’s a change afoot. We see ourselves on the same level. We’re all the star. But you? You’re the star.
Publishing is a Privilege
This post is a bit meta for me. I walked out of the movie theater feeling so exhilarated after seeing a movie (doesn’t matter which one). I thought to myself, “Wow. If I want, at this very moment, I could go write a blog post (this one), shoot a video for my YouTube channel, or record a podcast episode. I have a voice and I can use it.
It’s amazing how many opportunities we get as buyers to feel dumb. Imagine you need a new laptop and maybe it’s been a while since you last purchased one. What would you look for? You’d probably glance at things like processor speed and storage capacity and hope you got what you needed. But a company could make you feel smarter if they said, “This is a great laptop for most people’s business needs.” Or “If you’re doing any video editing or want to play games, this would be the best laptop for you.”
Make Me Feel Smart
It’s not any one technology that helps us feel smart. An airport with lots of great signage can help us feel smart because we can navigate ourselves through the process. When you order food at a restaurant, if the menu describes any uncommon words, you’ll feel better about knowing what you’re thinking of getting. An air conditioning and heating expert can sell the right sized unit and services for a company by walking the prospective facilities management team through the sizing and provisioning process in a simple calculation spreadsheet.
We Really Have to Crash the Whole Platform
Whether we’re talking about kids in school or grown ups in the workplace, it feels like the majority of what people are learning comes from old and outdated premises.
I’m in the business of helping companies use tech to drive better customer interactions. I help companies earn more customers. The most common way people employ me is to help them build content marketing projects, expand their existing ones, or in general, turn their marketing, sales, and communications efforts into something more effective.
Well guess what?
The following post is sponsored by Staples. The words are all mine. They paid for me to give away an hour of consulting to a small business owner looking to grow their business.
John Grossman runs the Holyoke Hummus Company out in western Massachusetts. He started out with a food truck promoting fresh tasty falafel sandwiches that were healthy but felt decadent. John’s had a lot of success in other businesses, but food can be tricky. When timing struck that he could acquire restaurant space and open a brick and mortar business to complement the truck, he had to take the opportunity.
If you’ve known me for a while, maybe you’re wondering, “What’s Chris up to right now? Why is he talking about stuff like AI, blockchain, chatbots, and the IoT?” I know. It feels weird, because maybe you have me categorized wrong like lots of people do. Maybe you thought I was supposed to talk about tweets and emails forever, as if they were ever the goal and not just the delivery mechanism.
Not going to happen.
We have to stop phoning it in. Everyone. You. Me. Those guys. It’s not okay. It’s boring and it’s messing up the entire opportunity to reach people and help them succeed. In short, quit your bullshit.
I’m on a flight to San Francisco to help credit union people market their services better. When I went looking at how they do it now, it’s all copy/paste. If I strip the logos off the sites, there’s nothing that differentiates one from the other.
The reason I love Staples comes from when I was younger. I used to run a greeting card business and I’d go to Staples, buy card stock, and print my designs in their Copy Center. They made my business cards. They made my little sign I needed for the one store crazy enough to let me put my cards in it. It was just easier with Staples.
In 2009, Julien Smith and I wrote Trust Agents. It was a book about how to be human across the web. Now, almost a decade later, I’m hot on the trail of how companies can extend their business relationships even more, and how emerging technologies like blockchain are helping deliver TRUST at a distance.
China’s answer to Amazon, JD, has just started using blockchain to validate the authenticity of beef. Before I read the article, I hadn’t really considered just how much of what we buy is based on hearsay and assurances. Did I just get Wagyu or Kobe beef? That’s what the label says. But how do I know?