The Three Things, Edition 24


Banksy – Murdered Phone Booth, London 2006

Welcome to 24th 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), and me!

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 productivity, the value of a meme, and in-office culture.

Happy Sunday reading!

OmniFocus Setup: Do Stuff!

Michael on Productivity. David Sparks changed the way I work. For the longest time, I was overwhelmed by my task list. There was just far too much on it and no effective way to find what mattered. I’d use due dates to highlight what was important, but this only led to everything having a due date (usually when they’re not actually due) and nothing being important. Over time, I learned a few tricks and tactics for finding the right actions, but this was always a struggle, there was always far too much to consider. Then David came along and started evangelizing start dates. This approach hides what you don’t need to think about, shows you what you do and let’s you save due dates for the few times there actually is one.

You’ll often hear geeks, especially OmniFocus geeks such as myself, suggesting a start date centered approach, in this video, David Shows you how it’s done.

Mayer Culpa

Gini on Culture. Howie and I are reading the same magazine this week! I know most of you are tired of hearing about Marissa Mayer’s mandate that all Yahoos show up for work in an office, beginning in June. But what I found most interesting about this The Economist story is not that, but the stats from Cisco and J.C. Penney for and against having people work remotely. Did you know a third of Penney employees spend their time watching YouTube videos instead of working? And they’re all in the “office.” It goes to show this isn’t about where you work, but about HR, operations, and your culture.

The Harlem Shake: What’s in a Meme?

Howie on Memes Gone Wild. I find this fascinating. Doing work for a client in the pool industry, it seems many college swim teams have done Harlem Shake videos. The University Minnesota did theirs in speedos in the snow. Ball State did theirs underwater ending with swimmers lunging on bikes into the water. This is a big issue with big media today. People such as Gunther Sonnenfeld evangelize the freedom of content to be changed, retold, and shared as a good thing. But many brands are afraid of their intellectual property going off message even at the cost of more revenues and fans. So glad the owner of that famous Hitler video hasn’t felt the same. Oh and this is a boon for Harlem even if they don’t think so. When was the last time the country went nuts of something with the word Harlem in it?

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

About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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