We received our full wedding video this week. 
 

It was beautiful. We're the luckiest people in the world. Life is beautiful and perfect and love is love and *cue the waterworks.* 

On to edition #26 of the World's Best Newsletter. This week:

1. So you wanna be a big company...
2. Next big shift in SaaS
3. Your browser history now for sale
4. Marketplace feminism
5. The problem with empathy
6. Ode to my bitch-face
7. My life as a consultant
8. Quote of the Week


1. So you wanna be a big company...

I want to kick off this week with a quote from communications expert and entrepreneur Maura FitzGerald from a recent Q&A in HuffPo:

"If you want to be a big company, you have to behave like one, even when you’re small. It’s never too soon to start building a strong culture around a big vision and implementing the processes and procedures that will help sustain high growth."

It's advice I've given to many of my clients, and some that I learned while working for Maura. Read the full article for more and act like the company you want to be.


2. Next big shift in SaaS

Tomasz Tunguz (VC at Redpoint) believes the future belongs to those who can change the way companies operate. Rather than better systems of record (ERP, CRM, MPM), he argues the next wave is workflow application systems that fundamentally improve processes like sales followup. This OpenView piece does a great job breaking it down as well.

"The next big shift in SaaS is an evolution from software as a service as a displacer to a disruptor. Displacement technologies compete with incumbents on the same buying parameters. Disruptive companies change the way a buyer thinks about solving their need. Most SaaS products today are displacers."

He should know, he's dumping other people's money into these types of companies :) No pressure. Read the full post.


3. Your browser history now for sale

In this week of the "real world" we now live in, our US Senate voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs to get consumers' explicit consent before selling or sharing Web browsing data and other private information with advertisers and other companies.

Consumer advocates are furious, as is generally their state of being. 

This means that internet providers will be able to share your web browsing history without your permission. 

It's a move ripe for marketing potential (file this under "times I cringe at the marketing profession") ... but with limited consumer options (how many choices do you really have for internet service?) and a lack of widespread understanding or control over consumer data, this sets a dangerous precedent of disdain for information privacy. It's being touted as something they've done in the name of protecting companies from "overreach." 

Not buying it. 

The acronym "ISP" is now being used to mean "information sold for profit," and "invading subscriber privacy," rather than "Internet service providers" in an attempt to clarify the real purpose of the bill. 

I understand this is the world we now operate in. I know firsthand the value of selling information. I just wish those who were not in marketing and aware of the supply-chain of personal data were more aware of what was happening, and able to have a real say in the matter. Wishful thinking.


4. Marketplace feminism

I've written before about the use of the "feminist" narrative to sell products that have nothing to do with women's rights (deodorant, soap, you know, WOMENZ THINGS), while the companies themselves employ a teeny tiny number of women at senior levels, and invest nothing in internal equality programs like bias training or inclusive hiring practices.

AKA, hypocrisy at its finest. 

This week I was encouraged to see mainstream (lamestream?) coverage in USA TODAY on the issue. My hope is for enough consumers to see these campaigns for what they are - pandering and exploiting the very real struggle for women's equality in the name of selling products! 

AND... women-owned companies are not excluded from bad behavior. Check the recent news of Thinx co-founder Miki Agrawal coming under fire for prohibitively expensive health care plans and a volatile work environment. Can you not. 


5. The problem with empathy

This article made me think and it's worth a read.

When I was CMO of Cintell, we operated in the persona world, where empathy is the driving force behind the effectiveness of buyer insights / customer intelligence / buyer personas. That led to my TEDx talk on the subject, and a lot of blogging/reading/speaking about the power of empathy. And I do still believe that it's a critical skill to be honed, and part of successful marketing.  

That said, I have been a little... well, unsure, about the feel-good nature of what we were saying. Empathy is important but it's not perfect. This article helped me round out a more practical understanding of the intricacies behind empathy, which is a very human emotion, and therefore, a very dynamic and complicated thing. 

What it comes down to is essentially this. "Empathy is a spotlight with a narrow focus; it shines brightly on those we love and gets dim for those who are different or strange."

It reminds me of the fact that one murder is a tragedy, while a million is a statistic.

We are only capable of so much empathy. It is a limited emotion that must be balanced with, as the author says, "self-control, intelligence, and a more diffuse compassion." 


6. Ode to my bitch-face

The author of this slam poem writes odes to the ridiculous things she's supposed to feel ashamed of, like her Resting Bitch Face. (I love that.) She explains, "shame works because we're told to feel a certain way about the way we live, act, walk, speak, and dress."

Watch her piece "Ode to Bitch-Face."

If you've ever been told you have a "resting bitch-face" or RBF, you're mistaken for being angry when you're really just... neutral. It's a real scientific thing, and calls for the same blood-boiling annoyance as being told to smile. (Please see the best response to this.)

7. My life as a consultant

I was asked to write about my life as a consultant - stories, lessons learned, and insights into the realities of the world of freelancing and solo consulting. Read on. 

8. Quote of the Week

"If you wanna be invited to the party, you must have something to bring." - RuPaul

Substance with the style please. Steak with the sizzle. One of either is not enough. 

And girl, you better work.

Put some bass in your walk this weekend,
Katie

Comments welcome, below, but only if they're nice and use proper grammar. Or four letter words. 

 

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