Swipe File #46: Maybe direct mail still works

"Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning."

— Malcolm Gladwell

Hey All,

I signed up for Trunk Club months ago after hearing about it on Tim Ferriss' podcast. They sent a few emails and even called, but I never took action.

Just yesterday, a nice looking postcard arrived in the mail from them. My wife noticed it and said, "Hey that's cool, you should try it."

It was just the push I needed to take the next step. Whether it's a C-Suite deciding on enterprise software or parents looking for children's birthday gifts, so many purchasing decisions are made by groups. It took an ad, email, phone call and direct mail (via my wife) to activate me.

Maybe most marketing strategies are too narrow. And maybe direct mail does still work.

1. Your Job As a Founder Is to Create Believers

via @josephwalla

You need to believe in your work to give your best effort. This is nice reminder from HelloSign and HelloFax Joseph Walla.

When a friend pitches me a startup idea, I recently started asking, “do you really want to work on this?” I learned that it doesn't make sense to dissect the idea first. It's belief that will keep the company alive and create other believers.

The Airbnb founders maxed out their credit cards, then sold cereal to stay afloat. For 999 days they didn't see traction. But, they believed.

2. Everything you think you know about happiness is wrong

via @jesswhittles

This post outlines five mistakes we make as we pursue "happiness."

In an interesting paper in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers distinguished between two different kinds of happiness—calm and excitement—and found that they were experienced differently depending on the time frame the person was thinking in.

When we’re focused on the present, we’re more likely to feel happiness in the form of calmness; when we’re focused on the future, we’re more likely to feel excitement.

3. iPaulGraham

via @jamescun and @ColinHayhurst

Need to practice for a pitch? Here you go.

4. Should I quit because there is a huge, established company already doing what I want to do?

via /u/OriginalGarnier

This is a thread on the Entrepreneur Subreddit. The answers are really interesting. I won't spoil it here — go read them for yourself.

5. Book of the Week: Outliers

via @Gladwell

I read this book recently and really enjoyed it. If you're down for a major dose of counterintuitive thinking, you'll love this easy read.

Have a great week!


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