I Hate Monday: Edition #9

IN: I Hate Monday

Welcome to I Hate Monday, the most productive way for small business owners & bloggers to procrastinate until it’s not Monday anymore.

  1. Here, Erika illustrates one of the real secrets to blogging that no one talks about much because it’s much easier said than done: Don’t just talk. Don’t just teach. Make meaning from the mess. Here, she tells a story of paying it forward…and what it means for all of us.
  2. “The experience IS the product,” says me 100 times a day. Which is why I was damn delirious to discover Mysterious Package, who does a great job at illustrating this point better than almost any company I’ve ever seen. The company hand crafts a one-of-a-kind mystery for the recipient to solve, and might, say, send a collection of spooky letters from a woman who lived in the 1800’s. Maybe they’ll include a wooden crate that’s nailed shut with some old newspaper clippings and a ticket for a ship voyage. Maybe they’ll send along an object whose past must be discovered. In every case, the experience is entirely anonymous, and it’s not until the company sends the final letter, revealing your identity as the person behind the gift. In terms of actual value, an old wooden crate and a random Buddha statue don’t amount to much, but it’s not in terms of actual value that we find the real value, which is that of the experience of being teased and tickled with delight and joy. The experience IS the product, and when you do it right, the product is also an unforgettable experience.
  3. Surf in place at your standing desk? I’d love to, but only if I can get a Mai Tai, too.
  4. Jen writes about letting yourself be seen. I thought this piece was important because so many of us struggle with not wanting to gloat, or rub it in, or sound like a show off. And so, we deflect. We deflect our accomplishments; make comments that are self-defeating. Fuck, even I did it the other day when someone asked what my forthcoming book was about, and I made some bullshit preface of, “I know everybody rolls their eyes at memoirs…” Uh, hold it right there, self. That’s not cool. It’s undercutting my hard work and the fact that, yes, that I’m a represented author and that literary agency SAW ME. Not everyone can say the same. And, you know what? Sometimes, credit IS due. Don’t sell yourself short.
  5. This makes the list because I feel like we should all have a little more goddamn fun sometimes. This service is called Santa Slam, and it’s a hilarious way to anonymously text your friends lines from Christmas carols with the sole purpose of bugging the sh*t out of them. *hurriedly scribbles list of victims*
  6. Still hunting for original gifts? Buy something from a startup in France! I’m obsessed with this website, and think they did a great job of, once again, positioning themselves. The real selling point here isn’t the items they’re selling; it’s that they’re custom from France. And they’re piggybacking off of our perception of everything French to be chic…hoping that we, ourselves, will feel a little bit more so, just for buying. That’s the power of emotional appeal, baby.
  7. If I could count the number of times people have said to me, “I want to do this, but it’s been done before…” I would have nothing less than a Rockefeller Center skating rink full of BROKE PEOPLE SCRATCHING THEIR CONFUSED AND HURTING HEADS. It’s not the what…it’s the how. And the Carrot to-do-list app proves it. (Hint: You do not want to piss this app off.)
  8. Speaking of it’s not the what, it’s the how, Fast Nomad took the concept of a backpack (totally been done before, right?) and gave it a new angle: A tech backpack for nomads. Applause for the positioning, but that said, there’s one thing that drove me nuts when I clicked to find out more. What’s missing from the sales page? Anybody? (Hint: How about any copy that says anything—something—about why this bag is perfect for me.) Ambirge and Ambirge give it two thumbs up for concept, two thumbs down on execution…so far.
  9. Wish you had time / knowledge / patience for making all of those cute & ultra sharable social media graphics? Adobe just came out with a pretty killer app for creating professional graphics on the fly.  (Other alternatives we like: Pablo by Buffer and, of course, Canva.)
  10. The most creative ad for a used yoga mat ever. The product description works because it takes an everyday, ordinary object and gives it an emotional, human backstory. And as we know, humans pay attention to—and connect with—stories…not ads.
  11. Digging Bradley, a personal travel assistant. I’m not sure yet if this is a robot, or an app with a person behind the scenes handling the requests and live chatting (their FAQ makes me think it’s the latter), but either way, if this IS a person behind the scenes, I would likely trust this service more—especially because it appears that your credit card gets linked—but I think this could be neat! (I, personally, hate shopping for flights.)
  12. If this product gets off the ground, I am going to want to make out with my Mac. How many times have you gone to touch the screen to swipe or tap and….uh….you can’t? AirBar might just be able to MAKE ALL OUR DREAMS COME TRUE.
  13. Since I’m on a copy critique binge, let’s take a quick look at this email course landing page, designed to “Reboot Your 2016: Refresh to a more resilient you.” Why isn’t this compelling? Answer: Because I have no idea what you’re talking about. Who is this really for? What problems will it help me with? Why is this relevant for me? Resilience is vague. Don’t forget: The more specific, the more people can automatically read something and think, “Oh my god, this is exactly what I need.” Here, though, there’s much to be desired. Mostly because “resilience” is not something anyone wakes up in the middle of the night thinking they need more of.
  14. Verizon’s got an interesting new subscription product called Hum, which is suppose to turn any car into a smart car by plugging into your diagnostic port, and linking up to your phone. (We’re this close to making our very own Kit come to life!) Definitely useful, and worth mentioning that the word “smart” is going to start popping up in more places this year. The word has an ultra positive connotation, and is being used more and more to describe things that are modern, slick & tech and help make your life easier. I’m in the process of testing it with client copy as we speak—we’ll see how we do!
  15. A promising tool for anyone who offers any type of website consults, be it copy, design, UX or something else. By being able to comment directly on live web pages, it saves you the hassle of having to print to PDF first. ?
  16. This fascinating article on what happens to food once you eat it is a fantastic example of why breaking down hard-to-grasp topics into digestible language—pun sooooooo intended—is a hella good way to stand out from the sea of sameness, and actually get people to HEAR what you’re saying.
  17. This morning I wrote some holiday AdWords ads for a client of mine, and realized how useful this character count extension is for my work. Highlight any text and it’ll show you the count on the fly.

There we go. Politely piss off now, Monday. We’ll see you next week.


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