Under-promise. Over-deliver.

Listening again last night to Guy Kawasaki’s book, Enchantment: the Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, one of his tips on “How to Enchant Your Boss” was (and I’m paraphrasing because it was an audio book, so I’m not sure I got the quote exactly right):

Under-promise and Over-deliver. Only make promises you are 120-percent sure you can deliver in 80 percent of the time.

This applies in not only in the workplace, but in customer relationships as well. In fact, it’s probably just a good general rule to live by. I experienced the benefits yesterday when my iPhone 4S saga, previously detailed here, came to an end.

After my AT&T hassle and finally getting to the point where I could place my order through the Apple on-line store, I was told my new iPhone 4S would arrive sometime between November 4-14. I was a little disappointed in that because I will be leaving for a trip to Australia (with a couple of stops before I get there) on November 2.

But I at least had a target date.

Imagine my happiness when I got an email a couple of days ago telling me that my iPhone had shipped from Hong Kong, and that I could expect delivery October 31 by 10:30 a.m. I was able to click through to the tracking on FedEx, and saw that it had been picked up and was on its way.

And how much better it was when Lisa called me yesterday to tell me that she had just signed for a package from Apple!

Here it is:

This is the last photo taken with my iPhone 3G, and was featured in my ceremonial last tweet. All of my photos will be at much higher resolution from now on.

But this was a great example of Guy’s guidance.

  • I ordered my phone originally from AT&T and was told it would arrive in 14-21 days. When I checked in 14 days later, I found that my order had been cancelled and no one had notified me.
  • I ordered from the Apple store and was told it would ship in 7-14 days, and that I should allow 5 days for delivery. My phone arrived 5 days after I had placed the order.

How’s that for under-promising and over-delivering?

Guy Kawasaki Social Media Interview

I was honored a few weeks ago when someone I greatly admire, Guy Kawasaki, did a blog post highlighting one of my presentations about Mayo Clinic’s use of social media on the American Express Open Forum. Apparently he had seen it on Slideshare.net and thought it was worth passing along.

I’ve been a fan of Guy’s ever since I read Selling the Dream in the early 90s. He was the original Macintosh software evangelist, who led the effort to get developers to write software for a computer that didn’t yet exist, and that was going against the IBM juggernaut. As a Mac guy, you might even say he was a hero to me.

So I was pretty jazzed when he included my presentation in his blog post, and even more excited when he said he wanted to do something more in-depth to fill in the gaps that you don’t necessarily get looking at a series of slides. He posted that interview (which we did by email) today on the American Express site, and linked to it from How to Change the World, his personal blog.

I’ve learned a lot from Guy over the years, both from his books and his blog. I especially appreciate his tips on doing good pitches and speeches, and how to be a good panelist (although he puts it less delicately). I try to incorporate his lessons into everything I do in public speaking and forums.

So while he hasn’t actually heard me speak, I’m honored that he liked my slides, and it’s been great getting a chance to interact with him by email. I hope you find our conversation useful.

Alltop Releases New Top Hospital News Site


Alltop Top Hospital News Page
Alltop Top Hospital News Page

In response to suggestions raised in the #hcsm group discussion on Twitter, Alltop has created a new site, hospital.alltop.com, that aggregates RSS feeds of news releases from several top hospitals. You might want to bookmark or “favorite” it.

For people working in healthcare public relations, it’s a good way to see at a glance what kind of news your peers are releasing. It’s also a good news source for others interested in healthcare news. Besides Mayo Clinic, other institutions featured at launch include University of Maryland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Sutter Medical Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Aurora Health Care and about 20 others. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Alltop, check out my earlier post, “Alltop: RSS without the RSS.”

Thanks to @guykawasaki and the Alltop team for creating this site, and to Tom Stitt (@tstitt) for his leadership in helping to make it happen.

Alltop: RSS without the RSS

I’ve been getting @GuyKawasaki ‘s Tweets about Alltop, but until today I hadn’t clicked through to find out what it was all about.

In essence, Alltop is a pre-loaded set of RSS feeds by subject, in which Guy and his fellow curators have sought some of the top sites and aggregated them into one page.

I was pleased to see that MayoClinic.com was in the top left corner of the health.alltop.com page.

There’s a PR page, as well as others on homeschooling, Cancer, Lifehacks, Christianity, DIY, Science, WordPress, Blogging, College Basketball and many others. More are being added at least every week.

What’s great about Alltop is you can just use it, and you don’t have to waste time customizing. In fact, you can’t customize it, except that you can hide particular feeds you don’t want to see.

As you use a page, when you mouse over a link you see a brief excerpt from the feed, and then you can decide whether to click through to read the whole thing.

And when you use Alltop, it keeps track of which pages you’ve visited, so you have a built-in dashboard of your feeds.

If you’re already using a feed reader, you may not like Alltop because you’ve chosen your feeds. But if you haven’t really figured out RSS, Alltop is a great way to start. And if you want to help other people get the functionality of RSS without having to learn the lingo, point them to Alltop.

So I guess that for about 90 percent of the Web user world, Alltop provides a tremendous service.

Check out Alltop today!

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iPhone First Impressions

I’ve had my iPhone for a little over a week. It’s quite a marvel, and what’s even better is that it’s a platform that can accept applications to extend its functionality. So far I’ve installed the free Facebook, Twitterific and WordPress apps. I’ve used the WordPress app to create this blog post. It’s pretty elegant.

I had to wait until my Sprint contract expired in early September to make the switch. If any SMUGgles have
longer-term experience with the iPhone (and recommendations on must-have applications), please share your thoughts in the comments below.

I also just adopted most of Guy Kawasaki’s settings for improved battery performance. I’m also getting some of his applications, particularly “If Found.” I’ll tell you why that’s so important in a future post.

Meanwhile, what are your must-have iPhone apps?