Updated Go Bag list

I’ve updated my Go-Bag slightly. Most of things remain the same, as does the goal: prepare for what is likely. This is the key thing about disaster preparedness, of course: many people prepare for insane highly unlikely events.

Unfortunately, this means that they’ve not only put their resources into things that’ll never be used, it usually means that they are ill-prepared for events that actually might happen.

Alright, here’s the new list:

Bag Nalgene for water Some sort of sterification for water Spork Change of clothes Running shoes Rain gear Flashlight Some food (bars + beef jerky) Duck tape Multitool warming packs Extra wool socks Lighter Warm jacket Warm hat (wool beanie) Paper, pen, perm marker Toiletries Hand sanitizer Whistle Earplugs Plate

Clever extras: car inverter Lantern Extra batts (but not necessary) Television or radio USB Battery pack First aid kit USB surge protector thing Emergency sleeping bag Can opener Wet wipes Paracord Wool Blanket

Don’t forget your brand’s most important audience

Who is your brand’s most important audience? A particular customer segment? A market?

For many companies, their brand’s most important audience is internal: their employees.

A well-defined corporate brand creates clarity and purpose, and communicates a clear vision of to work towards. When everyone in a company pulls in the same direction, they can achieve incredible results.

Many corporate brand efforts are laser-focused on external customers, and lose sight of people inside the organization. A corporate branding effort is a great chance to rally the troops, to re-inspire, and to reinvigorate your entire corporate effort. Use it wisely.

Corporate brands are different than product brands

It’s pretty easy to conflate a product brand and a corporate brand.

But they are different and require different strategies.

Corporate branding is (drum roll) all about the company or organization. Product branding is, not surprisingly, all about an individual product.

For many purchases, the purchaser’s relationship with the selling company is tenuous at best. If you buy a Coke, you don’t care where it was bottled (or canned). If you buy Tide, you don’t care about Proctor and Gamble. Your relationship with the brand is almost all (though not entirely) through the product. In these cases, purchasers are buying the brand the company has created around the product through product qualities and advertising.

On the other hand, many enterprise or large purchases are dependent on a corporate brand. A customer is theoretically buying a product, but what they are really buying is a relationship with the company behind the product.

In these cases, purchasers care about the culture of the company as much as the features of the product itself.

Both types of brands have internal drivers: a product brand needs to be backed up by features, and a corporate brand needs to be backed up by features and culture.

The mistake many make is thinking that they have a product brand when they really have a corporate brand. Which is yours?

More than ping pong and pizza

At too many companies, “culture” is an HR issue. How do we make our employees happy?

This misses the point. Culture is a strategic advantage (or disadvantage). Think about it: every one of the company’s products and services are created by its employees, and they are operating in the milieu that is the company’s culture.

Executives that dismiss culture as an HR issue are ignoring the one lasting strategic advantage they can have. If you build the right culture, your employees will build the right products and deliver the right services – products and services that the executive team couldn’t have imagined.

Focus focus focus

I’m a big fan of things that kick ass therefore I’m a big fan of focus.

In almost anything you do, more focus is better. Try to get as focused as you can on doing something really really well. This is pretty hard when you’re talking about yourself, but easier when you’re talking about a company, and much easier when you’re talking about designing an application.

By focusing on one thing, you can really make it awesome. Don’t think Minimum Viable Product. Think Minimum Lovable Product. You want your customers to love your product. That’s rarely accomplished through additional features – it’s accomplished through one key feature, perfectly executed.

When you’re entering a competitive market, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to do everything better than the established players. By focusing on doing one thing much better, you can clearly differentiate.

You have limited time and resources to get a product to market. You want it to market as fast as possible, for as cheap as possible. This is the idea behind the MVP: building less means spending less. But, leave some time in for polishing. Never launch with something that’s not polished: you want to be known for quality not crap. You’ll be tempted to use that extra time to add more features or change it around, but don’t!

Thoughts on things, uncollected and poorly written