Albert Einstein taught an important lesson about failure: namely, how important it is to move off of faulty conclusions – and soon. Listen to my new podcast episode as I interview bestselling author David Bodanis about his new book “Einstein’s Greatest Mistake” – recently named Science Book of the Year by the Sunday Times.

Mentioned in this episode…
Einstein’s Greatest Mistake and E=mc2, both by David Bodanis
Customers Included, my book about listening to customers (makes a good team gift for the holidays!)
Good Todo, my online todo list for Web, iOS, and Android – solve email overload to get more productive and less stressed. Really.

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Uber could be challenged by a new app (like Juno) or by its own lack of focus. This is my argument in Episode 4 of my podcast, Creative Good with Mark Hurst. I’m happy to be joined this time by entrepreneur Bea Arthur (BeaArthurLMHC). Listen here:

Mentioned in this episode…
• What Uber has in common with Microsoft Word
• How a new competitor, Juno, is trying to improve on the Uber experience
Juno Takes on Uber, the New Yorker story from last month (and p.s. see other recommended reading I just posted)

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Here’s what I’ve been reading recently…

Exploring the urban experience and Jane Jacobs’ legacy: very thoughtful.

The Statue of Liberty wears a very particular color of green. Great longread.

More on the Wells Fargo fiasco, from the inside. An employee describes how a toxic culture led to customer-hostile actions.

The experience of being a top food critic: see in how Pete Wells’ reviews of Per Se, David Chang, and Guy Fieri affected the restaurant, or not.

Read Martin Buber, not the polls, says David Brooks. Great piece about empathy. See also this piece by Chris Arnade about empathy in a divided political moment.

Village Voice on the Link wifi kiosks sprouting up all over New York. Buzzfeed covered it as well. But then in September, the New York Times reported that Wi-Fi Kiosks Were to Aid New Yorkers. An Unsavory Side Has Spurred a Retreat.

Profile of Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard in the New Yorker, well worth reading. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to “create good” for employees, customers, and the environment while still making money.

“When technology becomes idolatry it ceases to be life-enhancing and becomes soul-destroying.” This is a nice segue to several reads, below, on the tech idolatry in today’s Silicon Valley.

The internet as an engine of liberation is an innocent fraud.

How Elizabeth Holmes’s House of Cards Came Tumbling Down, and the followup How I Got to the Bottom of the Theranos Mess. Nick Bilton’s summary of Silicon Valley is outstanding: “In Silicon Valley, every company has an origin story—a fable, often slightly embellished, that humanizes its mission for the purpose of winning over investors, the press, and, if it ever gets to that point, customers, too…” Read the rest of it.

One entrepreneur’s experience navigating Silicon Valley, an (edited) excerpt of the book Chaos Monkeys.

New Yorker profiles YCombinator: fascinating look at the highest levels of Silicon Valley startup culture. (Compare with Peter Thiel’s recent speech in which he declared “skepticism that Silicon Valley is building a better world for all”).

This is your life in Silicon Valley.

Imagine if we could design the ads shown to us.

On “centaur warfare,” with robot-enabled soldiers: one key idea here is that humans will be present.. “use the tactical ingenuity of the computer to improve the strategic ingenuity of the human.”

In this “top 10 smart alternatives to TED Talks,” I’m happy to see that my Gel conference is listed as #7. (All our videos from this year’s event are posted here.)

My list of “techie to-do lists” and why I’m horribly biased to think that my own product, Good Todo, is superior.

• Speaking of which, Robert Sharp writes: “Not a day goes by when I don’t wish that everyone had read Mark Hurst’s Bit Literacy.” (Here’s the Kindle version of Bit Literacy.)

At our Gel 2016 conference earlier this year, Margarette Purvis described some of the strategies and technologies that she and her team have built to address hunger in the city.

Margarette Purvis, President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City
Speaking about the life-giving experience - in many cases, a life-saving experience - that her organization creates for New Yorkers.

Watch Video: Vimeo / YouTube

Food Bank For New York City on the Web:

Finally, I'm happy to announce that all Gel 2016 videos are posted, both on Vimeo and YouTube: Watch all Gel 2016 videos here.

How big is customer experience? In the third episode of my podcast, Creative Good with Mark Hurst, I take a crack at an answer. Listen here:

In this episode…
• my connection to the Wells Fargo story
• an unusual sponsor break
• a book recommendation

Mentioned in the show:
Up The Organization, the 1970 bestseller by Robert Townsend.
Customers Included, my 2015 book on customer experience.
Good Todo – sign up in 10 seconds and forward an email to
Email us if you have a comments or suggestions.

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Gel Videos are up

At the Gel 2016 conference earlier this year, I was honored to share 10 presentations of new, unusual, and innovative “good experiences.” And now the videos are up.

Watch all Gel 2016 videos here.

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Fun Stuff

This is how you design an experience for buyers, as opposed to the end-users.

Comparing a bank ATM vs. the iPhone 7.

• I can’t turn off my copy editing. My immediate thought is, why not type one more period to get it right?

Video of a “thought leader”: definitely not a Gel video.

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