I’ve picked CRM systems a few times. Some flopped immediately, others worked at first but were outgrown, and only rarely did the CRM provide long-term value. But it’s those CRMs that stuck around that were the best: CRMs only add value if you keep them!
Here you’ll find an archive of Nathanael’s weekly email. In it, he features an essay and curated reading on technology + marketing + simplicity.
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After starting my career in the family business (taxes!) and then shifting to non-profit work, I now work in technology. I’ve noticed a thruline: everyone complains about how little they make. The most common reason my friends have had for switching jobs is to increase their salary.
This is my third try at a podcast. In 2004-6, I hosted a short-lived podcast (MindPlacebo) with my brother Andrew. It was really fun for us to record. I'm not sure why anyone listened. But listen they did: we reached about 60 people per episode and began a regular listener mailbag, where people wrote in and we made jokes about their emails.
The Importance of position and place.
It was a big launch meeting: here’s the new CRM! My pitch was polished; the screenshots and demos were airtight. We gathered in the conference room, but then the whole thing landed with a thud.
When I’d finished the first part of the presentation and was about to switch into the demo, the first question was, “do we have to use this?” Followed up with a senior partner musing, “yeah, why do we even need a CRM?”
We hadn't even launched, and the CRM implementation was about to fail.
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.
Jonah Goldberg has a great podcast. It’s a great reflection of the traditionally conservative but Trump-skeptical. He’s a center-right pundit who’s maintained some sense of true north and a modicum of straight talk amidst the recent turbulence. That’s rare. Now he’s launching, along with two partners, a media company called The Dispatch.
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.
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