The Three Things, Edition 35

Mad River Rainbow, Vermont

Mad River Rainbow, Vermont

So this is the 35th edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss from Michael Schechter (HonoraA Better Mess),Gini Dietrich (Arment Dietrich, Spin Sucks)

For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t suscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.

This week we have thoughts on empowerment, the NSA (renamed No Such Agency), and great customer service.

[App Camp For Girls | Indiegogo] 

Michael on Empowerment. Of the many things I love, my daughters top the list. Much as I like to pretend I can freeze them at this age and never have to worry about them growing up, I can’t (legally and logistically, trust me I’ve checked and I’ve tried). As their growing up seems inevitable, it’s impossible not to think about who they will be when they’re older and what they will do.

There are many futures I imagine for my daughters (and more than anything I want them to be able to create their own), but I’ve never imagined them as programmers. Something tells me if you have daughters, you probably haven’t either. It’s not that I don’t know any female programmers (although I only know a few), but it’s just not a logical leap I’ve made when looking and thinking about my two little girls.

I love that Jean MacDonald and the team at [App Camp For Girls] is looking to change this perception and this imbalance. I’m excited this is something that may empower my girls to consider something that is currently culturally unexpected and I leapt at the opportunity to support what they were doing. I hope you will check out what Jean and her team are attempting and consider supporting this as well.

No Such Agency’ Spies on the Communications of the World

Howie on 420 Billion. This is a very big number. I could easily make the case the NSA is a bit disturbing in its powers. But really what shocks me is that for every American, 1,400 emails are sent every single day. I forget the exact stats, but I think the average Facebook user updates their status once every few days. You need access to those private emails if you want to truly know influence. Because that is America’s story. Who we really talk to. What brands we signed up for emails from. Our politics. None of this can truly be found in the public arena. We are too smart for that.

Shoppers Drug Mart Employee Admits to Hilarious Customer Service Response

Gini on Customer Service. How many of you have gone through the phone tree at the cable or phone or utility or bank only to have a stupid script read to you that doesn’t help your problem and makes you feel dirty because the human interaction leaves something to desire? What? That doesn’t happen to any of you? Come on! In all seriousness, I know it happens more often than not and it’s a super frustrating experience. Zappos was one of the first organizations to empower their customer service team to work as human beings. Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada didn’t exactly empower their team to do the same, but one employee took it upon himself to go off script. The result is hilarious!

Now it’s your turn. Is there a podcast, video, book, or article you think we need to see?

About Howie Goldfarb

Howie Goldfarb

Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic Marketing, Howie Goldfarb relishes his role as an industry outsider. With 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Business Operations experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive.

His Degree in Finance givess him a CFO’s view to marketing, bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. After a 14-year career in direct B2B industrial sales Howie decided to lighten up his dreary work life and move into consumer advertising and marketing. Now he champions up and coming Consumer Brands.

Formerly an Angelino and New Yorker, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are his family, community, art, music, and the outdoors, He tries to cook, has been known to hunt Fiddleheads and loves the Vermont Fresh Network and other sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.