Archive for May, 2012



Before Creating an App, You Need a Mobile Strategy

Many of my current conversations start with “we need our own app.” I usually answer this question with one of my own, “why do you think you need an app?” The usual answer is something similar to what junior high boys give their parents when they want a new game console: “All the cool kids have one.” But before you try to keep up with the cool, rich kids of technology, I would suggest you take a step back and think about creating a mobile strategy first. Much like creating marketing pieces without an integrated marketing campaign is not a smart idea, creating apps without first designing a mobile strategy is not a good move. Sometimes your best app is not an app at all, but a killer mobile version of your site. Recently, Google put out some good thinking on mobile strategies. Following are 4 questions you should consider…

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This is Not the Way to Thank Someone

A handwritten thank you note is one of most personable and kind things one can do whether in a business transaction or on a personal level. I don’t care how bad your handwriting is, it’s always a pleasant surprise to receive a note from someone who went to the trouble to write it out and mail it to you. I love it, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. But sometimes even something simple as a thank you note can backfire if it’s not executed properly.   So you can imagine how glad I was to get a thank you note from someone on his personal stationary. However, the label with my name on the envelope should have given it away, but I still opened it hoping for the best. It was not to be. Obviously this was a generic “thank you” printed on personal note stationary. And to make…

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The Case for My Smallest Office Yet

The A Group has just moved into its new offices. This is the third, and the largest, office space I have helped design for my company; however, this is the smallest corner office I’ve had since the beginning of our company 10 years ago. The shrinking of my personal space and the growth of my company is both symbolic and practical. It’s been a slow learning curve for me to lead a growing group of highly talented professionals. Here are some thoughts about my shrinking office: The A Group is much more than the sum total of my skills. At one point I ran a business that was mostly, if not solely, dependent on my abilities. When you hire smart people, they will not stay around unless you allow them to grow, find their place, and make their unique contribution. You cannot do that if you believe that every great…

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The Fun Theory

Intuitively we know that the more fun we inject in activities, the more likely people are to respond positively to them. When my boys were small I used to play let’s-see-how-fast-we-can-put-up-the toys game. They would clean the room in a matter of minutes as opposed to the whining and gnashing of their teeth that would be manifest during other chores. This video is another reminder that people will choose even a more difficult path if we make it fun. Where have you experienced the fun theory at work in your life?

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Christianity, Hospitality and Immigrants

“The great majority of Christians in America will never host a meal for someone from another culture making his home in the US,” said my friend across the table.  I immediately thought of my fortune not only in having been invited for dinner, but to have been “adopted” into an American family my sophomore year in college. In retrospect, it made all the difference in the world. I though it was a silly, frivolous prayer at the time. But in the depths of my lonely days as an international college student, I prayed to God for a family–more precisely, an American family. I had grown weary of not having a place to go during breaks, specially the long summer breaks. My parents in Brazil were financially struggling to keep me in school, my student visa limited the amount of hours I could legally work, and flying home during school breaks…

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