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.

To subscribe to the podcast:
Subscribe in iTunes
RSS feed

– – – – – –

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.

– – – – – –

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.

How can Creative Good help your team? Contact us.

I've just posted the second episode of my podcast, Creative Good with Mark Hurst. This time...
• my favorite iPhone so far
• my take on the UX of AirPods, and where they're leading us
• listener mail, and a new game recommendation

Take a listen below:

To subscribe to the Creative Good podcast:
Subscribe in iTunes
RSS feed:
[Valid RSS]

Mentioned in the show:
Help Chip In, founded by Ron Livingston
Agar, the free web browser game I recommended (see also the excellent iPad game Osmos)
Email us if you have a question that I should cover in a future Listener Mail segment.

Finally, I noticed this fake ad from Conan O'Brien, with much the same take on AirPods:

I’m excited to announce the launch of our new podcast, Creative Good with Mark Hurst, in which I discuss experience designs, both good and bad, around a common theme. In the first episode I discuss “games that help” – asking whether fun, engaging games like Pokemon Go might be even better if they had an emphasis on delivering knowledge that extends into the real world.

[Valid RSS]

Next Steps:
Listen to the first Creative Good podcast.
Email us if you have a question that I should cover in a future Reader Mail segment.
Read my review of Pokemon Go from last month’s newsletter.


Also: just in time for the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, we’ve released a new version of our mobile game, Brooklyn 1776 – and it’s free. Download it for iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

From the NYT: “On August 22, 1776, more than 34,000 British troops landed at Gravesend Bay aiming to capture the Continental Army . . . in what became known as the Battle of Brooklyn.” Your challenge, in the game Brooklyn 1776, is to lead the American troops to survive the battle. (Listen to the Creative Good podcast for more thoughts on how I designed the game.)

Next Steps:
Free download for iPhone/iPad
Free download for Android devices