Over the past couple of months, we’ve been quiet here. We’re not ignoring you. Quite the contrary. We’ve been heads down building some big, big things that our community has been asking for. This isn’t a pitch blog. Those are worthless. We’ll tell you all about that new stuff soon, but there are some things about head down work, as a culture, that I wanted to talk a bit about.
The very first thing that stands out to us about this last couple of months is that focus on the end user, your alumni, is everything. It always has been everything so when we get into a pickle – do we do feature A or feature B? – we just snap back to alumni. We ask them questions. We look at what they’re doing. We look at what’s going to make them happy.
Our Occam’s razor question is: will an alumnus thank their alma mater for this? If not, why would we ever waste time on it? Why would YOU waste time on it? I have some ideas on why there’s a lot of non-additive digital junk out there:
All in all, ‘new’ is not necessarily the answer and the arms race for ‘new,’ I’d argue, undermines success. Again, we’re innovating here and our average alumni app user consumes 3,000% more content than alumni on any other channel, but we didn’t start out saying, “let’s build apps!” That’s not a thing. Websites aren’t a thing, either. They can be amazing assets, but I’d venture a highly charged guess that a lot of shops could pretty much turn their website off and nothing would change. Crazy? Maybe. The idea is that you have to be critical of your own suppositions. We are.
Would love folks’ comments and experiences – either here, by email (email@example.com) or call.