The Happiness Gap

As a company, we exist because we offer some sort of product or service that solves a problem. By solving that problem, we deliver happiness to whomever our core customer/constituency is.

When I sign up for a new app the first thing that I’m look for is… does this fulfill its promise of solving the problem that I have or how long do I have to wait to get my problem solved? How long do I have wait for the happiness? I call the time from when you sign up for an app to when it actually delivers on solving the problem the happiness gap.

The private town car service startup Uber is classic for getting this so right. Their goal is that after 5 mins of ordering the car phone that it should arrive. Once it happens, you feel like a million bucks. BOOM. Happiness.  Uber gets that what they’re doing is bigger than providing transportation services.

The design ecommerce platform Fab gets this too. You’d order an item and it’d take 3-4 weeks for it to arrive at your door. It was just too long. I’d forget that I’d ordered something from Fab. The happiness gap was too big. That’s why they’ve invested in their own warehouses and taking inventory so they can be more in control of the UX of shipping and fulfillment.

What service or product do  you deliver to your users?  How can you expedite the delivery of happiness to your users?

Talk about yourself. It’s what your readers want.

I love sharing what I’m thinking, reading or seeing (photos/Instagram) via social media. It gives me an avenue for expressing myself. But… I never know, of everything that I share, what connects with people. What do my friends & online followers want to read?

Well, online reputation score Klout recently released a large update. They’ll show you of all your posts and which got the most engagement. In the end, what matters is engagement. It doesn’t mean much to have 1 million people follow you on Twitter, if they don’t click on the stuff that you’re posting.

It was fascinating to see what Klout came back with. I saw the highest engagement and exercised the most influence when I talked about myself or my family. People were excited to hear about our latest travels, new photos of the dog, my latest culinary creations, or what’s happening with Lauren’s startup Umba Box.

The experience underscored the importance that this medium is the most powerful when you’re sharing yourself. People subscribe to your feed, wherever it might be, because they want to keep up with you personally. Talk about yourself and what you’re going through/experiencing.

The same idea applies to business and organizations, especially at the early stage. People are using/trying your products for the usefulness of the product but also because they support you personally. Your users follow you because they’re rooting for your success. When you win, they want to celebrate with you. If you have your service/product has a problem, be transparent about it and your users/customers/readers will understand.

I manage all of our online marketing analytics at HelloWallet. I can see which posts our followers engage with. We write these great posts with incredible insights about personal finance. But… what gets us the most engagement is when we talk about what’s happening at the company & with our team personally.

So go out there and share.  Be transparent.

What I’m Reading – Wednesday, October 3rd

Here’s some of what I’ve been reading over the last couple days…

Solve a problem

Over hyped apps Airtime & Color have been making the headlines again and getting a fresh round of criticism.   It underscores a few things… the importance of when you build something that you need to actually have a problem that you’re trying to solve, people need to have that problem, and   you have to be in a unique position or have a unique approach to solve that problem.

Roasted Chicken: Executing On The Simple Ideas

On Sunday, Lauren made one of my absolute most favorite meals, roasted chicken. It’s something you can get at the grocery store for $5. Put a lemon in its butt. Season with salt & pepper, shove it in the oven for an hour, and you have an amazing meal.

If you want the full recipe, read Michael Ruhlman. He has a great write up.

When you watch TV, like Top Chef, you get the impression that the best dishes are super complicated. That’s the furthest from the truth.  In many cases, the best meals are about executing on really simple ideas with just a couple of ingredients like a roasted chicken.  We’ve also fallen in love with roasted broccoli.  Mmmmm. 🙂

It’s a great lessons for life too.  Instead of trying to bite off too much or making things too complicated, really focus on doing the best at executing against the simple tasks infront of you.