April 15, 2011

The *Shipping* News 3: Thoughts on Seth Godin’s Poke the Box – New is the new black

(The third of our posts – see Ryan’s and Stanton’s thoughts)

Let it be said that Domino Project has lined up great thinkers: Seth Godin, Derek Sivers, Steven Pressfield. But let is also be said that they have lined up great action-takers. We elected to participate with the first book – Poke the Box – because we believed in it. As consultants, we take a partnering role in shaing and bringing someone’s – hopefully a company’s vision to action. We help clients “ship” the best they are to their clients. We’ve covered Ryan’s and Stanton’s perspective. This one is mine – and while I’ve worn many titles, the one I received from my client 10 years ago is the one that stuck: muse and maven.


I read Poke the Box on a Kindle. There’s a quote in the book, one that was not tagged by a ton of people (since Kindle tells you what others tagged.) “Four years of doing something new, seeing what works and doing it again.”

For me, shipping is delivering a great experience to our clients and their customers. I’ve done hundreds of presentations, but I build each one new. I have an inventory of slides and methods and a willingness to test new ones each time. This allows me to create a one-and-only version for each client. In every engagement, we test new approaches like:

  • scenario based requirements design (2003 test, still using, getting better and better)
  • desk-side user engagement (2007 test, still using, new methods evolving)
  • paired tech and design requirements templating (2009, still using, needs new format)
  • visual integration (2009, still using “selectively,” better for retail than anything else)
  • web-based requirements capture (2008, failed, needs to be re-evaluated with tech improvements)
  • videos in user education (2011 test, we’ll see. it’s cheap and easy. audio quality…eh)

We pressure test our methods each and every time, reshaping and learning and adding new. We work alongside our clients to partner in being smarter – even when it means we all have to venture into the new together. Shipping isn’t done in isolation. It’s about hard work, facing fear of failure and acting in concert to support the new.

Blue Blocks

We are sharing what we’ve learned. If you are going to #MIS2011 – The IBM Unica Conference for Marketers in Boston in May – come get a gift copy of Seth Godin’s latest manifesto. He exhorts us to take action. Will you?


Cristene Gonzaez-Wertz

#PoketheBox, #MIS2011, @covalent_mrktng, @hermione1, @swillins

To see more of Cristene’s thoughts about Customer Experience, Marketing Process, and other general musings, you can read them on her blog Muse and Maven.