Illustrations for REMOTE: Office Not Required are being done by the fantastic Mike Rohde again. This one is for the essay “Stop Commuting Your Life Away”. The book is due out in October of this year.
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I’ve been working on some video tests with the iPhone and I needed to mount it on tripod for some steadier shots. Some folks in the office had good things to say about the Glif from Studio Neat, but the only one we had lying around didn’t fit my phone and sat kinda goofy on our tripod plate. So, I did something I wouldn’t have imagined possible a few years ago. I printed a new one.Continued…
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We’re working on a entirely new product, and I’m looking to meet some potential customers. We can meet in person, over the phone, or via Skype, etc.
The tool is for the small business owner who runs a company of between 25 and 75 people. You used to be smaller, but now you’re bigger. And you experienced some personal growing pains along the way.
When you were smaller, you used to know everyone a bit better. When you were smaller you used to be in the loop a bit more. When you were smaller you used to have a better feel for what everyone was thinking and feeling. When you were smaller you used to know what everyone liked – and didn’t like – about the direction of the company.
But now you’re bigger. And now you’re struggling to stay on top of it all. Or maybe you didn’t really care that much before because things took care of themselves. But now, you have to pay closer attention since you’re responsible for a lot more people. You care deeply about your team, and your company culture, but sometimes you feel like you don’t know enough to act decisively.
This is my story. And I have a hunch there are a lot of small business owners out there just like me. This tool can help you individually, and together we can all help each other.
We’re using this tool as we’re building it, and in the past few weeks I’ve learned a lot about my own company. We’ve already implemented some of the company-wide changes that bubbled up from what I’ve learned. These insights wouldn’t have materialized without this tool.
We’re only looking for 25 perfect customers right now. I want to get to know every single one personally. And I want to do everything I can to make this product outstanding for those 25 people. I want to help each customer to make incredible progress using this tool. I want it to change their company for the better.
So if you’re a hands-on business owner running a company with anywhere from 25-75 people, and you kept saying “yes, I totally know what you mean” when you read the story above, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your story. If I feel like you’d be a great fit for this product, I’ll tell you more.
We have a lot of data to parse through at 37signals. Our internal stats application, Dash, does the majority of heavy data lifting for us, including reports, application health, CI builds, and much more. Our Campfire bot named Tally happily pings us when a build fails, deploys are fired off, and when Nagios alerts pop up.
I had a problem though: I needed to have all of this data open constantly to absorb it. Either I had to look at the pages on Dash directly or make sure I’m in the reading through messages in the right Campfire room.
I decided it was time to fix this overload. The release of Status Board let me take a step back and understand what pieces of data really mattered to my daily work. As a programmer, I want to answer a few questions:
- What’s the on-call load like? Do I need to help out?
- Are there are any problems with our apps?
- Is there an influx of exceptions?
- What are other developers up to?
Most corporate customer service departments seem to have been reduced to call scripts of apologies with no power whatsoever to actually address the problems they encounter. That’s the conclusion I’m left with after dealing with three business bureaucracies this year: Comcast, Verizon, and American Airlines.
All train their front line people to glaze the interaction with the plastic empathy that’s supposed to make you feel like they care, even when they demonstrably do not. It’s the customer service equivalent of empty calories, but worse, it’s also infuriating.
There’s simply nothing worse than someone telling you how sorry they are when you can hear they don’t give a damn. Nothing worse than someone telling you that they’re doing all they can, when they’re aren’t lifting a finger.
The emotional chain reaction is completely predictable: At first, you’re comforted that someone appears to care even if the tone is off (humans are remarkable at sussing out insincerity). Then you realize that their only job is to get you off the line, not solve the problem. Then follows the feelings of being powerless and betrayed. And then follows the anger.
That’s a vicious cycle and it must be almost as bad on the other side. Imagine having to field calls from customers every day who you want to help, knowing that the only thing you’re allowed to do is feign that “we apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced”.
What’s so sad too is how little it would often take to resolve the situations. You bend a policy here, you expedite an order there, you bubble an issue up to a manager. A natural, caring organization designed to create passionate customers stretches and bends. A rigid business bureaucracy looks to nail every T on policies, procedures, and practices—customers be damned.
(This post was brought on by my recent experience in American Airlines earned an enemy)
By showing the shark less, the movie was even scarier, and as Steven Spielberg said in the documentary The Universal Story, “By the shark not working, it allowed me to be much more experimental and find a way to make the surface of the water, and the threat of the unseen, as powerful as having seen the shark too early. I think the film would have made half the money had the shark worked.”
Via Tested article Hubcap Spaceships, Giant Spiders, and The Charm of Low Budget Special Effects