Week 42

A few thoughts about what gets us out of bed every morning and how we use technology to boost our productivity.

We’re techno-optimists

At the very core of Third Wave is the belief that we’re living in mind-blowingly cool times. Every day we share links, videos, articles, app tips and much more that makes our jaws drop. Our world is changing constantly and we embrace it full-on. A lot of it has to do with advances in technologies.
Yes, we are techno-optimists. We believe that technology will help us to live better and more fulfilling lives. We also understand that technology and the changes that come with it, can be frightening and daunting. That’s the nature of change.

We founded Third Wave to help people and organizations to cope with change by better understanding it. The better you understand something, the less daunting it gets. Our goal is to get our clients to a place where they feel competent to use new technology to fulfill their own visions and reach their goals. If after a project a client tells us for example that social media is no longer a black box for her and she now feels able to use it to build closer relationships with her customers, we’ve reached our goal.

So, if you sometimes wonder why we’re doing stuff that doesn’t seem connected with each other like, say, doing social-media-consulting and a conference about the future of cities. Here’s the red thread: it’s all stuff that we’re enthusiastic about because the outlook of the connected technology changes are super promising. It’s what gets us up in the morning and keeps us researching until deep into the night.

Personal productivity

Besides doing the more big-picture-work with Third Wave, I myself am also very interested in the little stuff by which technology makes our lives easier. The tools, hacks and tricks that help to get stuff done faster and aid in our daily life. What you might not know is that I used to work as a professional blogger for the Swiss productivity blog imgriff.com. One reason for that was that I somehow became an expert on the well-known self-organization-system Getting Things Done. This overview of the system is still the most linked to article on my personal blog. I also wrote an extensive series about the system for imgriff.com.

Even if I’m not making any money from productivity consulting anymore, I’m still very interested in the topic. And Igor and Peter have to endure it. I come up with new ideas, apps and systems every week. “I’ve read this article over the weekend. Let’s try this new thing here.” Last week, I got them to switch to plain text-files formatted in Markdown for all our notes (clients, projects, etc.). It’s a great way to make sure everything is easy to read with whatever tool one has available and super easy to publish on the web. The general goal is to become better at using this tools so that we don’t have to think about them anymore and can focus on the big-picture stuff. So we slowly go from process to process and look at how we can optimize it.

I’m thinking about doing a little talk at our office about the tools I use every day. Anybody interested in that?

Defining our services

As you might have seen on teh Twitter, we’ve created a new deck of slides to introduce Third Wave and our services. This feels like another giant step for us in our process to define what this company is offering. If you’re interested in working with us, send us a message and we’ll send you the deck.

Another thing I did this week, is starting to define our approach to social media. I’m working on an article about how we develop social media strategies. As a kind of prequel to this article, I wrote down some thoughts about what has been bugging me about social media and where I see it going: Reclaiming Social Media.

Author: Johannes

Johannes is a strategist and consultant for digital communications. His work is informed by his experience of working with brands like Deutsche Telekom, MTV, Postbank, Maggi and Nike and by his insatiable appetite for finding the bigger patterns behind current developments in technology and science. Holding a diploma in Media System Design, Johannes is a regular speaker at web and marketing conferences like Republica and the Social Media Summit.

5 thoughts on “Week 42”

  1. About Markdown: You must love iA Writer then and should probably look at @konnexus Blogging-Systems which is based on txt-files with Markdown and simple FTP+Folder-principle: http://konnexus.net/2011/07/iawriter-txtracer-blogging He has some thoughts about the Problem to have a doc in Markdown that is supposed to be send to a client as well. How do you solve this? Do you re-format everything in Word for you client-docs? Or do they get txt as well?

    PS: Some comment-answer system would be great like http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscribe-to-comments-reloaded/

  2. Notational Velocity is excellent, syncs with Simplenote and has Markdown preview.

    (On the off chance you guys don’t already know about it)

  3. Yeah, Notational Velocity is great. I’ve been basically living in the fork nvALT for quite some time now. However, with its premise of working with one folder, it’s not really great as a collaborative tool over a directory tree.

  4. True.

    I’ve used symbolic links to make some stuff “exist” in two places, namely in Dropbox, I’m sure part of that would work but definitely not ideal for collaboration.

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