Years ago, I read a book called The Paradox of Choice, in which the author, Barry Schwartz, describes the very modern dilemma of being paralyzed by choice (you can watch his TED talk on the subject here). Basically, he talks about how in the Western world we are constantly confronted with a nearly limitless array of options, for everything from blue jeans to laptops to flavors of jam at the supermarket. And rather than making our lives easier, having so many options often stresses us the hell out. 54 Flavors = 53 Losses Say I stop by the store to… Continue reading Great Expectations: Why Letting People Know What You Want is the Nicest Thing You Can Do
I recently reread a great article over at Gizmodo by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: “Google Can’t Fix What’s Really Wrong With Email: Us”. The article is specifically about Google’s launch last fall of their email management tool, Inbox. However, I think the article is also useful as a broad reminder of what we really mean when we talk about the problem of email. Here’s the author’s description of Gmail Inbox: “It ‘bundles’ related emails into single-topic threads, and even adds relevant info. It gives you the ability to ‘snooze’ emails…it pulls out important info from certain emails so you don’t have to… Continue reading Email Is Not the Problem. We Are.
“I don’t need more time. I need more deadlines.” —Duke Ellington In the world of journalism, they have something known as “burying the lede.” It is one of the cardinal sins of traditional “inverted pyramid”-style journalism, where you put the most important information at the top of the story, and increasingly less important details farther down (so, like an upside-down pyramid, where the top is the biggest part and the bottom is the smallest, hence the cool name). The “lede” is the lead paragraph, which should deliver the most important news in the story. “Burying the lede” is thus putting… Continue reading On Email, Upside-Down Pyramids, and Burying the Lede
“To speak kindly, speak clearly.” —Delfina Goikoetxea We don’t do anyone any favors when we don’t say what we mean. That seems obvious, but all too often we are presented with situations in which we find ourselves struggling to come up with the right words. That’s why there are Hallmark cards with pre-written sentiments—it’s not that Uncle Ted and Aunt Missy don’t really care about your graduation…they just don’t feel like they can express themselves with more clarity than some guy who gets paid to write stuff like “ConGRADulations, Nephew!” for a living. Coming up with the right way of… Continue reading Let’s Be Clear: How Timyo Brings Clarity to Business Email
Timyo began its life with one short question: “What went wrong with email?” In just a few years, email has gone from one of the great new conveniences of the Internet Age to a cause of persistent and increasing anxiety that seems to take ever more time, energy, and patience, until we shudder at the mere thought of checking our inboxes. How did this happen? And more importantly: what can be done about it? What went wrong is a long story, but it basically amounts to two simple truths: email has been saddled with a bunch of jobs that it… Continue reading What went wrong with email?