The Corvette wait list and the Google+ “back door”

Hmmm, I see... circles?

My company is full of the old-school kind of nerd, not really the “social media” kind of nerd.

It’s cool… there is room for everybody to be a nerd where they are particularly suited.

I run a custom software company in which one of our guys got an invite to Google+ and found a way to get everyone else in… as you might expect from resourceful custom software guys, right?

Anyway, the result is just about the whole company is now using Google+, and all but one of us “got in” after the invitation cutoff date.

Many of our folks still lurk on blogs, in fact if you are faint of heart beware that many are lurking behind this blog post as you read it…

Most don’t have a Twitter handle, so they are definitely not social media nerds… but last Friday the “buzz”seemed to be mostly about Google+.

It is fun and engaging, and hard to pull away from. Early conversations were the kind you expect when people are just figuring out what something means to them.

The Google+ wait list?

Some will drop off, and some will get pulled deeper in… the “limited access” strategy is a lot like the Corvette wait list… it makes you want it more.

For my teams to feel they have found a back door in makes it special for them, too… and I suspect it is a back door that was left propped open, with the kitchen light left on.

Now, I am not a conspiracy theory guy. I just think if the invitation cut-off was a form of wait listing strategy or not… it sure ended up producing the same outcome in terms of behaviors.

…And the kind of people who can find the back door to get in might feel a little better for winning the prize.

…And the kind of people who have cracked into the platform have already demonstrated they will play with the rules to see what happens next… so why not “invite” them in early?

…And along with the social marketers, aren’t those the kind of ravenous fans you want to build (like Facebook with its college-only initial strategy)?

So this is perhaps a little shameless, but I am going to have some fun with you. If you want in, you will have to post a meaningful comment below. Of course, most of my coworkers are already “in”, but I would love to hear your thoughts about this, too.

On freedom and liberty

Political liberty gives us a lot of freedom

We are “free” to do some pretty stupid things in our careers and businesses.

We are at “liberty” to really mess up, and I have, from time-to-time.

If you really want freedom and liberty, be careful what you ask for. Better yet, have an idea what you plan to get out of the deal.

Now, this is not a patriotic post. It is not a political post.

It is not even an abstract, philosophical post. (Or at least it’s not intended to be.)

My intention is to make it very practical for your work and your career. I am open to your assessments of how I did if you want to share them.

I’ve been thinking about how our sense of time affects our notions of freedom and liberty.

In this moment, I have the freedom to choose what I will do. I have many liberties that I can exploit.

I also have the obligation not to do something stupid if I also want to preserve my freedoms in the future.

Of course, I stopped and looked up freedom and liberty in the dictionary before writing this. Here is a short summary of the distinctions:

  • Liberty – freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction […]; power or right of doing […] according to choice
  • Freedom – an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one’s rights and powers

So, both terms have to do with the absence of restrictions, obligations, limitations or what we might otherwise consider to be a constraint. Adding the notion of “undue” we could think of simply “the absence of unwanted constraints“.

But freedom to live a good life requires accepting obligations

If living a good life, having a good career and being valuable to the world and the marketplace is important, then being able to choose how to use my freedom in the moment to optimize my freedom over time must also be important.

Toby Hecht of The Aji Network has said that he doesn’t have the freedom to play the piano, because he never accepted the obligation to practice.

To make that personal for many of my readers… you need to learn to use social media tools… you need to engage the Internet community…

Not feeling any obligation to do so won’t help you avoid the consequences of being lost in the marketplace when you’d like to have opportunities, just like not accepting the obligation to fill your car with gas won’t help you avoid the consequence of running out at the worst possible time.

Here is a safe place to start. Feel FREE to post a comment… I don’t require that you log in… and then you will have it out of your system.