Helping front office teams grow better

Here you’ll find an archive of Nathanael’s weekly email. The email features an essay and curated reading on technology + marketing + simplicity.

Nathanael also posts longer-form pieces about CRM software, front-office strategy, and similar topics.

work from home desk

Simplicity: Building a Life that COVID-19 Doesn’t Disrupt

When starting a consulting call these days, the first thing everyone discusses is how COVID-19 and its self-quarantine impacts our lives. But, aside from now working from home, the COVID-19 quarantine doesn’t disrupt my life all that much.

Why? I live a calm lifestyle, constructed from simple, repeating patterns. With work and home, parenting and hobbies, my life alternates work and rest. It’s a life to be lived consistently for decades. The kind from which you don’t need a vacation. It’s a calm life: valuing simplicity over complexity, time over speed, limits over stimuli.

Close up of hand with wrench fixing mechanism

CRM Customization: These Setup Decisions Have a Big Impact

A friend wrote:

I’m neck-deep in planning for a migration to Salesforce, which has exposed some fascinating differences in philosophy. Salesforce is, in principle, infinitely customizable, which leads to this dispute: leaving intact the system’s core data structure (based on B2B), or gutting Salesforce’s data structure to power the simplicity of future usage.

How should you approach structuring a new Salesforce instance? If, for example, your company doesn’t think in terms of leads, opportunities, and accounts, would you use those as the default objects or would you use something custom? On the one hand, a custom CRM architecture feels both simpler and better, but on the other hand you’d end up losing a fair amount of any CRM’s interoperability, extensability, and, likely, outside expertise.


Acton MBA Lesson Learned: Email Subscribers are Customers

When I worked in a political non-profit, I ran the digital shop. Like most political non-profits, we had invested a lot of time and money in our email list. People subscribed to our messages because they agree with our objectives and want to do their part.


Read about Cities - Issue #137

As I prepare for a short trip to DC this weekend, I culled a few essays on cities, how we govern them, what we find in them, and how we grow them. There’s something really cool about DC or Boston or New York. Just below the surface lie intractable challenges. From expensive housing to expensive infrastructure to expensive salads, cities are expensive. Many are left behind by soaring costs. In the articles below, you’ll see liberals, capitalists, environmentalists, and rich people all blamed for the problems of cities. Most of this is probably wrong, but some good ideas start out with a wrong idea. Enjoy the reading and enjoy your city!


Nathanael's Reading

More than a hundred and fifty  people read the weekly email “Nathanael’s Reading,” which he’s sent every Friday since 2016. Nathanael includes original thoughts and curated reading on technology + marketing + simplicity. Subscribe by entering your email here