The StickMonkey wants you to get personal with me

Photo by Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, CC BY 4.0.

I don’t want to be treated equally. I want to be treated fairly.

And because it’s 2015, I want companies with which I do business to communicate directly to me with messages and offers that are based on the information they have collected (or which I have provided them) about me.

That messaging doesn’t make sense via social media. Nothing engages me more than a personal email containing information or an offer relevant to me. It doesn’t have to be exclusive.

I’m not alone in my preference. According to The E-Tailing Group,  41% of people surveyed indicated that actually do purchase more from retailers sending personalized emails based on past browsing and buying behavior.

Another survey shows that 58% of us are looking for a more compelling offering personal services and benefits. After all, that’s the reason we have a relationship with a brand. It’s as if we’re saying, “Hey, I’ve invested in you. Now it’s time you invest in me.” That investment goes way beyond the virtual lip service that most companies push out on social media.

Who’s really knocking this out of the ballpark? Amazon. And, sure, most people don’t pay that much attention to sales receipts – but why would a company not take the opportunity to deepen my relationship with them on those little slips of paper? Especially now that I’m opting to have more sales receipts emailed directly to me instead of snagging another piece of paper to get lost in my pocket or briefcase.

You’ve got all this data on me, right? I would encourage you mine it for actionable insights and help me purchase more of your products and services. Use the avenues and the permission I’ve given you to contact me directly, and then tell me something you know that I, in particular, will find interesting.

Go ahead. Make it personal.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey thinks it’s time to fasten your seat belts…

Or, at least get comfortable and prepare yourself for an amazing ride.

I’m a huge fan of  Shanghai-based filmmaker Rob Whitworth, who makes amazing time-lapse videos of places we all want to visit, and turns these destinations into places of pure magic. His latest effort is of the city of Dubai.

Enjoy the ride, and you might want to put down your beverage until your feet are back on the ground.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey ponders that for which we will be remembered

Photo by Joselin Ramos, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by Joselin Ramos, CC BY 4.0.

For what will we be remembered?

That for which we will be remembered is likely something which was not an innate talent. We probably weren’t even good at it when we first started. Perhaps it is something we even used to fear.

We can decide what we wish it to be and work toward that end; however, history may decide otherwise. That shouldn’t sway our decision. Be less concerned about the importance of what you can do and focus more on mastering ability.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

The StickMonkey flings poop at Gwyneth’s GOOP

Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by Kārlis Dambrāns, CC BY 4.0.

Full disclosure: I personally do not have a vagina and therefore am not qualified to offer an expert’s opinion on its care and maintenance. Still, I suspect that Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendation on her GOOP website that women should steam their vaginas is something that should be ignored.

I say this mainly because again – although my vagina knowledge is limited – I can easily recall enough of my high school science class regarding the human body to ascertain that the distance between the vagina to the uterus is…more than just a little bit, shall we say? Plus, isn’t steam generally around the temperature of boiling water, which is approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit?

Nevertheless, Gwyneth Paltrow claims that this vagina steaming actually makes it all the way up there and “cleanses your uterus, et al.”

Vagina-owners might want to Google such a claim to establish veracity.

So sayeth the StickMonkey.

Half the World is Not Enough

Photo by Andrew Magill, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by Andrew Magill, CC BY 4.0.

It probably doesn’t matter if you agree that Pinterest is just for women. The resounding belief out there is that the image-based online scrapbook really is only a woman’s thing.

What’s wrong with that?

Apparently, half the world is not enough. Recent articles have highlighted Pinterest’s efforts to interest male users to equalize the gender imbalance.


The obvious answer is revenue. Currently valued at $5 billion because of its potential as an advertising platform, the only way Pinterest can increase its value is to increase its user base. Because apparently, appealing to only 3.42 billion women planet-wide and 156 million women in the United States just isn’t enough. The annual $7 trillion in the U.S. and global $20 trillion of female consumer spending power isn’t enough.

Someone – either investors or Pinterest – is pressuring for more.

Which begs the question: should a company be built for its potential, or for its customers?

Someone is coming…look busy!

Photo by David Ramos, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by David Ramos, CC BY 4.0.

In his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown asks this question:

What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?

We wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor. If we’re not as busy as we believe the people around us to be (and it’s likely they’re not as busy as they claim but want you to think to the contrary), we start to feel guilty, as if someone will catch us not being pushed to distraction and issue a reprimand.

The irony is that what we all need is the contrary: we need to be pushed to focus.

One way that can be achieved, according to McKeown is to travel the “way of the Essentialist,” which he sums up as the “relentless pursuit of less but better…it isn’t about setting New Year’s resolutions to say “no” more, or about pruning your in-box, or about mastering some new strategy in time management. It is about pausing constantly to ask, “Am I investing in the right activities?” There are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in. And although many of them may be good, or even very good, the fact is that most are trivial and few are vital.”

As a startup, we at Changelane are constantly introduced to opportunities which we simply do not have the time or resources in which to invest. We’ve learned from experience what can happen if we become distracted by stuff that makes us busy.

If you eat too much, you get indigestion. Eat less.

If you take on too much, you get busy. Choose to do less.

Talk to people at a truly successful enterprise – whether it’s a startup or a mature business. They won’t tell you they’re suffering from being too busy. They might, though, ask you to wait for just one moment while they enjoy the passion of focus.

The two states might appear to look quite similar. Try them both. One is far more productive.


Photo by Anne Petersen, CC BY 4.0.
Photo by Anne Petersen, CC BY 4.0.

The word “priority” came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular.

At that time, “priority” meant the very first or prior thing.

“Priority” stayed singular for the next five hundred years. It wasn’t until the 1900s that we began to pluralize the term and introduce the concept of “priorities.”

Could it be that we were never meant to have priorities? After all, if something is first, how can it have an equal?

Pick one thing. Make it your priority. Distorting the word will not change reality. If you want to be true to its origin, only one thing can be first. What is your priority?