Free

A couple days ago, I received the following email –

We’re proud to announce that we’ve just released a new e-book called The Myth of the Garage and Other Minor Surprises. It’s a collection of our favorite columns for Fast Company magazine.

And it’s free.

Here’s how you can get it:

  1. Get it for the Kindle or  the Nook or the iPad.
  2. For readers outside the U.S. or without ebook readers, download the PDF version of Myth by going to our Resources page and signing in using your email address (the same one this note was sent to).

We’d appreciate it if you’d forward this email to any friends who might be interested – everybody loves to get something for nothing.

Thanks!

-Dan & Chip

 

Given how much I enjoyed their previous book Switch (see my previous post for a review), I decided to give their ebook a quick browse. Two stories in, I was hooked.

The articles are super short, the tone is humorous and light, their stats are attention grabbing, their writing is smart.

Some of my favorite bits to date include:

  • I Love You. Now What? – Their stats and analysis start to shed light on customer service issues I’ve recently blogged about. They maintain that having an effective channel in place for customers to express gratitude and for employees to receive this gratitude has powerful implications for the health of the organization as well as for the people involved in the transactions.
  • The social psychologist in me is really drawn to their discussion of change and how notions of change are threaded throughout their articles. Lots of insight can be gained for anyone facing change.
  • On Handcuffs: Why Customers Will Pay You To Restrain Them – The data in the article is compelling….but it also raises issues of personal accountability. What I struggle with as I read this article is the notion of others putting handcuffs on to help the consumer attain/maintain their desired behaviors/goals versus the individual taking accountability. I think we straddle a dangerous divide when it comes to accountability and putting the onus on others to protect us against ourselves is a slippery slope.
  • I love this quote and it fits perfectly with PROVOKE’s philosophy of relationships: “Incentives are dangerous. Good managers aren’t. So forget about that jet engine and get back to the slow, messy business of actually interacting with your employees.”
  • We’ve had the opportunity to do quite a bit for work for clients where stigmas were at play. The discussion of stigmas in “Stigma Abusers” is excellent reading in terms of introducing the reader to the phenomenon as well as highlighting the ways marketers perpetuate stigmas for corporate gains.

I’m only half way through the ebook at this point and looking forward to reading the rest. My next post will be a review of the remainder of the book.

Download their book and give it a try – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

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Over the past few weeks, my eyes have been especially open to the plethora of excellent online resources that are available for “free”.

I really shouldn’t be surprised since through the years of working with PROVOKE, some of our greatest discoveries for clients have occurred through online methods – you would be amazed what a bit of time, some superior sleuthing skills and plain old persistence can unearth!

Below, I’ve showcased a few of the resources that I have especially enjoyed recently –

Pinterest – I didn’t get the full power of this site the first time I visited. As described by Pinterest:

Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.

The site is visually stunning and the potential of what you could accomplish (personal or work wise) is impressive.

YouTube – No matter what you need to learn, somebody has probably created a video to help you with the task or to grow your understanding. From how to seal a new concrete floor, to how to create a blog, to developing a better understanding of Twitter – You Tube can help. If in doubt on how to accomplish a task, don’t forget to give YouTube a try.

Various food bloggers – There are just so many to choose from. Whether you are a novice or a professional in the kitchen, food blogs have something to offer you. Perhaps it is the social psychologist in me, but I find it fascinating that so many people electronically document (through stories, videos and pictures) what they and their families consume on a daily basis.

Here are some of my most recent go to sites for food –
Simple Bites
Dinner with Julie
Eating Rules

Feedly – This newsreader has changed the way I consume information on the web. The feel and visual of the reader is much like a magazine – you can customize the reader to deliver the content you want to read in the way that you want to read it (i.e., various layouts). As described on the website –

Feedly is a news reader for creative minds, a simple and elegant way to read and share the content of your favorite sites.

It is easy to install (just a few seconds) and is available on iOS, Android, Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

In the spirit of sharing resources…I’d love to hear from our followers what online gems you have unearthed. Anyone care to share?

And for anyone who is interested in the notion of free and how it can be applied as a business strategy, take a look at Chris Anderson’s book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price and his assertion that information wants to be free. If you have been considering how to incorporate “free” into your offering, this is the book to get your cognitive wheels turning.

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