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With school starting in this house, my tech stack has been pushed to the max and has put me in some uncomfortable situations.
As you may know I’m an avid Linux desktop enthusiast. Every computer (except the one issued to me by my employer) is using some sort of Linux variant. I thought I had everything lined up for the kids for virtual school, but found out at the last minute the primary program needed will not work on a Linux desktop. It’s an Adobe product, which are historically shitty for my desktop of choice.
For the 48 hours leading up to school starting I was scrambling to figure out what to do. I could run in Wine? No. Will in work in the browser? No. Should I set up Windows VM’s? How would I even begin to explain that to a middle schooler. Then I had to concede they had to have a Windows or Mac PC in order for them to do their work. Right when I ready to run out the door and hopefully find something under $500 that wouldn’t be a total turd, I stopped and gave myself 24 hours to think about it.
That night I realized I had two very quality computers that me and my wife used. What would be cheaper is if I installed Windows 10 on each of those, which would solve my problem and get the solution ASAP.
This got me thinking about two things:
- How are other “non-technical” parents handling this?
- How many things were more difficult because I’m refusing to be pragmatic?
Virtual learning and in-home tech support is a serious problem. This includes the PC itself, plus networking, applications, security, and peripherals. Turnkey solutions like Chrome OS just aren’t ready (Linux based after all) and the networking gear you get from your ISP is garbage at best. If you are having issues with any of these things, email me and I will try my best to help you wherever you are. Also, if you’re a technical person, reach out to your non-technical friends and check on them. With WFH and home-school, they probably need help.
Now the second part. I make a lot of things more difficult in my life. The question I’ve been thinking about over and over is if my stubborness is a political choice (being vegetarian for the last 20 years) or is it a refusal to be pragmatic. In this case I was refusing to use Windows because I planted my flag with a different team. But, I still use other Microsoft products. Why was I being so stubborn about a Windows PC but not about my Xbox?
It always comes back to what is the most important thing you’re trying to accomplish. I was refusing to acknowledge numbers one through five on the priority list to appease number 6.
How many things do you have your priority upside down? What can you be pragmatic about?
Authenticity to the max
This tweet hit me hard. Well, harder than it should.
In the last month or so I’ve started following more and more finance, money, and fintech people on Twitter to better understand the community around investing. If you’ve paid attention to anything money in 2020 I’m sure you’ve heard of Robinhood, SoFi, and the plethora of apps for buying and selling shares, ETF’s, and fractional stocks. This is how this tweet ended up on my radar.
The person is referring to Twitter, but I think this applies to everything in marketing. Yes, the main brand accounts for your company should behave like what they are, a brand. But how does the rest of the company use social? Email? Video? Are they as sterile, bland, and emotionless?
People do business with people. We’ve tricked ourselves into believing we can somehow convince customers that our brand is important. Reality is the people they do business with are important and we’ve been telling those people how they can use platforms and the words they can use.
This also applies to our personal brand. How does your LinkedIn read? Your blog? Your Twitter?
What if we all behaved more like ourselves instead of a brand? How much better would your content be? How much better would your sales team be? What if we actually treated the reader as a person and tried to connect with them personally?