A close someone had set up a meeting with someone she’d never met to discuss potential career opportunities. These kinds of meetings tend to be uncomfortable for most people. So, she got to their meeting point well ahead of time. As she was waiting, she decided to ask the person she was meeting what kind of coffee they’d like. A few minutes before their meeting time, she got on the queue and bought coffee for both of them.
Now, by the time the person came, the coffee was hot and ready. They skipped the awkward small talk while standing in the queue and ended up having a really nice discussion.
Would they have had a good discussion even if they spent those 5 odd minutes in the queue? Probably. But, did doing this help? Absolutely.
Sometimes, small amounts of thoughtfulness can make a big difference in changing the environment and showing that you care. And, these opportunities to be thoughtful are rife in every day interactions. Consider how many times you have met people for coffee. I certainly found myself reflecting at the many missed opportunities in the past where I could have done something like this.
In the long run, we don’t always have the opportunity to do big things for people. But, we almost certainly have the opportunity to do small things with extraordinary care.
App release notes are the notes that accompany an app update. Most people don’t read these as they are generally very staid and boring. “v2.1 – bug fixed on pressing send button in screen in some iOS devices.”
Over time, however, developers realized this was a nice way to showcase their creativity. So, companies like Medium, Tumblr, Pinterest, et al, created notes that were a almost random. This evolution got a bit annoying for hardcore users who wanted to understand what was fixed. “Jam packed full of amazing things” and “bug fixes” didn’t do it.
Release notes need to be functional – they need to inform users on what has changed. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t inject creativity. A good friend shared Slack’s release notes as an example of their sense of humor (Thanks Kaushik!). Slack is a workplace collaboration/messaging tool used heavily by engineering teams.
Slack has a history of doing this. Just type “app release notes” on Google Image Search. They are specific about the bug (functional) but always describe it with humor.
I think of this as an example of doing small things with extraordinary love. After all, release notes could just easily be a tedious exercise. However, you can almost feel the love as Slack works through fixing one bug after another.
We can all add personality and character in the small things we do.
All we need to is decide to do the small things with extraordinary love.