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Business posts:

Louis CK: Good Things Come From Trusting Your Customers

Many of us at Harvest are fans of Louis CK. We were super impressed with everything about his recent internet special – from the comedy itself (the $5 is well worth it!), to how simple the purchase process is, to this statement below the purchase button:

To those who might wish to “torrent” this video: look, I don’t really get the whole “torrent” thing. I don’t know enough about it to judge either way. But I’d just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without “corporate” restrictions.

I found myself actually reading every single word on the purchase form (and re-reading it). I did that, not because I was confused, but because I actually enjoy what Louis CK has to say. He’s genuine, saying things that make sense without any buzzwords or corporate language. It wasn’t crafted by an ad agency figuring out the tone and stuffing words in Louis’ mouth. There wasn’t a consultant urging him to be be a certain way in order to boost conversions. I’m sure he wasn’t even thinking about SEO or A/B testing when he was writing for his online store. It was just Louis CK, acting as a (somewhat!) reasonable human being, speaking directly to us.

It is incredibly inspiring and gratifying to see someone follow common sense, do the right thing, and make good money at it. Just in case you need another reason to pay Louis CK $5 for his “Live at the Beacon Theater” special, here’s a hilarious 4-minute outtake:

For more Louis CK:

Don’t Take On That Project!

The following is a guest post by Edward Guttman, Director of User Experience at CodeStreet, LLC and Harvest customer. Ed has been honing his craft as a designer for close to 20 years, and here he shares his thought process behind deciding which projects to take on.

Let’s say your design firm is looking at a healthy sales pipeline and the signs are that you may get more work than you can handle. Everyone should have such problems, right? Should you just hire more people and grab all the work you can? Maybe not. There is a good chance that some of that work isn’t good for your business because it doesn’t align with your goals and your company vision.

Everyone who starts a business does it with some goals in mind and a vision of what kind of company they want to be. Most prospective clients have no idea what these are, so it’s up to you to make sure that you only pursue and take on work that best serves your needs. At my firm, we found that a useful tool was to establish assessment criteria that helped us to filter out work that we didn’t want to take on. These criteria gave us an agreed upon framework for our discussions and allowed us to make decisions efficiently and with confidence. We defined this framework by identifying three key things that an ideal project would provide us:

Venn diagram of an ideal project

Continue reading…

All I Want Is a Free Trial

I’ve been trying to join a gym, and this is how it went down:

Last weekend I walked into the gym and told the front desk that I’d like to try the place out. A person came, shook my hand, led me to his desk, and sat me down. He pulled out a form and asked me questions – what’s my name, what’s my workout routine, what’s my goal (I had none, and he gave me a look), where do I live now and where I moved from? I interrupted him and asked, “can I just get a quick tour?” He told me this is the process and he had to ask these questions.

Ten minutes or so of my life evaporated. He then showed me the price – and this part I never understood – he pulled out a laminated price sheet and told me that even though there’s a number printed there, he was offering me a different number (was it a psychology test? should I have clapped?).

He gave me a 10-minute tour of the facility, even though I’ve just explained that all I want is to come in two to three times a week, run for half an hour, and sweat a little. Then he showed me the pilates and spinning rooms.

I left, head spinning, and forgot to get what I went for: a free trial pass. So I went back this past Saturday. The guy wasn’t there. Another lady helped me, but she did not have access to his forms, and she was going to ask me for all the information again. After my insistant pleading and explaining, she gave in and offered me two business-card size guest passes. I took them and ran.

At Harvest, we make it easy and fast for people to try us out, and we make pricing as simple and straight forward as possible. It’s bewildering to see another business trying their best to confuse potential customers and waste their time.