The Engel Journal

Personal opinions of Eisaiah Engel, a product marketer in Dallas, TX.

1 Thing Great Inventions Have in Common

I was just reading this list of the world’s most famous inventions, and I found a common thread between them. Here it is: Great inventions bring the world together.

When you’re thinking about creating your next invention, ask, “How can I make it easier to bring people / resources together?” The more people / resources you connect, the bigger your potential market.

One way to remember this is to package the concept in a “trigger.” I recommend the word: CONNECT. When you’re brainstorming think about what to CONNECT, who to CONNECT, where to CONNECT, etc. This framework will help inventors save time and maximize their creative impact.

Let’s Talk About That

I recently came across an article in Forbes titled, Most Annoying Business Jargon. So I wrote a whitepaper that incorporated each word from the article. Enjoy.

“Let’s Talk About That” 

The international operations’ group core competency focused around a vertically integrated strategy where buy-in was required to coordinate functions across departments. Project managers needed a channel to communicate feedback, so a swim lane was established to better empower those resources. It wasn’t until the team drank the kool-aid that they were able to move the needle. The company established itself as a player on the bleeding edge of its industry. Tiger teams and swat teams rallied around the idea to create a burning platform with lots of moving parts. Corporate values notwithstanding, the tendency of outside players was to make hay to show short term results, but the end product wasn’t scalable. After careful budget planning, the committee was tasked with compiling a list of best practices to assist the corporation in thinking outside the box. Participants found that the exercise was very effective in getting all the ducks in a row. The resulting benefit to the organization was that an ecosystem was created to present solutions in collaborative manner. Ideas were first socialized and when a quorum of the managers agreed that one should be pursued, they inevitably found that the process did provide the most leverage, which is critical in a vertically integrated organization best optimized to provide full service to its stakeholders. Those responsible for drilling down into the details were often the least likely to go over the wall with their findings and so the methodologies for accretive growth weren’t fully optimized. “It is what is is” was exactly the type of thinking that change agents sought to improve with more robust strategies, so when those items were taken offline, the team more fully synergized and optimized learnings. Still, some wished to boil the ocean before reaching a hard stop. But McKinsey and company was able to pull out the stops and create a proposal which had the most impact for the organization. Because McKinsey and company gave 110%, the body of work was produced at a price point which took everything to the next level. Solutions which are cut and dry are not always within the window of opportunity because of labor efficiency and out of pocket resources that are better used for grabbing the low-hanging fruit instead of peeling the onion.

Recording of my Dreamforce 2014 Session

The recording of my Dreamforce 2014 session is available here:

The session was titled, “Top 10 Adoption Tips for Small Business Success.” The speakers were me, Damian Mogavero and Melissa Botelho.

Speaking at Dreamforce was a great experience. I’m grateful to Salesforce for inviting me as a guest!

List of Metro Areas and their Area Codes

For all of you out there who are dying to get your hands on a list of area codes by metro area, look no further than this Google Fusion Table.

I compiled this dataset for some interesting research that I’m doing. Hopefully it will save you some time with your research.

Here is the CSV version in case the Fusion Table goes down: Metro Areas and Area Codes.

Skyline Panama City

I’m speaking at Dreamforce 2014

This will be my first Dreamforce. I hear that it’s an epic event. I am very honored to one of the speakers.

If you are going to be there, be sure to look me up. I will be speaking Monday and Wednesday around 12 o’clock at the Marriott. My speech will be on the “Top 10 Adoption Tips for Small Business Success.”

I’ll be sharing the stage with two amazing speakers: Damian Mogavero, CEO of Avero, and Melissa Botelho, Senior Success Manager at Salesforce.

InsightSquared is recommending our session here: It was very nice of them to give me some attention.

Salesforce tells me that the session is going to be recorded and posted on YouTube later. If you’re interested in seeing how Review Concierge uses Salesforce, be sure to check around November/December on Salesforce’s YouTube channel.

I’ve been dieting and running 4 miles a day so I can look good and be in my best shape by the time I get to Dreamforce. Hopefully all that hard work will pay off. Just kidding. Wish me luck!

I wish you all great success with Salesforce.

David Engel and Dan Johnson learning about computers
Photo: How we really use Salesforce at Review Concierge.

Creativity tip: write your ideas down

In order to have great success with creativity, I’ve learned to write everything down and imagine it being done in vivid detail.

The process of writing ideas down in a notebook help to you solidify what the ideas actually are. For example in software design, you may say let’s connect this screen with that screen. While the general idea is there to connect to screens, there are so many other factors that need to be decided like how do we render the contents of this view with that view if we merge them together? What technology changes are needed? What is the best order to do things in?

Writing this all down in a notebook and visualizing the answers to these questions will help you clarify your thinking. That way when you present your idea to other people, you are presenting a coherent well-thought plan as opposed to a vague idea.

A notebook also helps you understand the priorities because you can look at the other ideas in your notebook and decide which one merits being worked on at this time.

It’s very easy to get excited when you get a new idea. The bottom line is that writing it down will help you clarify the idea to a point where it is ready to come to life.

Dance of the angels

Here is a poem that I wrote during the holidays, inspired by this photo.

Diving into turquoise seas of mystery.
Dark currents wash upon a dark shore.

Waves leap against the rocks.
Two watery Angels embrace.
A tear drop from Neptune’s eye ripples…

Their tango is swept away.

One to the North.
One to the South.

Still flowing gently in the winds–a prayer–
That the angels will dance again.

I’m on a content marketing roll

I’ve been on a content marketing kick lately. It all started when I was scratching my head about how to spice up our “Call Your Concierge ASAP” campaign and an AdAge email for the Going Native: Content Marketing Strategies report came across my desk. Needless to say, I bought it.

Page 14 mentions a Nielsen study, commissioned by Virgin Mobile in 2012, that showed 150% brand lift in consumers who had seen content sponsored by Virgin Mobile. I thought, “that’s exactly what we need.”

And so my fellow concierges and I have begun writing content that answers doctors’ most basic questions. Questions like, “How do I remove a bad review?” When doctors type these questions into Google, we want to provide the answers.

I’d appreciate any comments or insights you might have about content marketing.

Reflections on “my 2nd go”

I just finished up posting the last of my 2010 – 2012 portfolio titled “my 2nd go.” This was a cross-section of my work from 24 to 26 years old.

It’s been quite a journey over the last two years. Putting this portfolio together caused me re-live some the experiences that I had during this time. I found myself upset, happy, despondent and overall grateful for the way things turned out.

I have many people to say thanks to for their support over the last two years. (I will do so privately.) I feel like a new chapter of my work is beginning. I’m looking forward to new friends and new successes with ol’ pals.

What goes into a Review Report Card?

This is an ad that Mark Leggett and I created to illustrate what goes into Review Report Card.

Read the rest of this entry »

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