Tips and tools: Why Airbnb’s CEO values method marketing, how to persuade people who disagree with you, and a bird that sings like a chainsaw

Published: October 2023

Here are some great resources we have recently shared with one another

(We don’t profit from recommending things. We just love sharing things we think you’ll appreciate. You can see our other Tips and Tools articles here.)

Airbnb’s CEO on method marketing

A screenshot of the Brian Chesky interview.

We learned a lot from this interview with Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. Brian has been taking Airbnb back to basics, method marketing the product by inviting guests into his home:

“And so I kind of went through the experience that many hosts probably go through,‘…wait, I’m going to have a guest in my house.’ And then I’m like, ‘Okay, well what kind of verifications are we doing?’ You start to really put yourself in the shoes of the customer, and suddenly, it’s not just what are people asking for — it’s what you want.”

In the interview (available in podcast or transcript), Brian also talks about the benefits of flexible working, the impact of AI, and the advice Jony Ive gave him.

How to increase the open rate of your mailing lists

A screenshot of the Hello Inbox landing page.

Hello Inbox offers an Email Deliverability Checklist & Toolkit for marketers struggling with low open rates on their campaigns. The toolkit isn’t content advice; it’s the technical work required to avoid the spam folder.

The free service (in return for your name, domain, and email address) creates a customized cheat sheet, along with step-by-step advice on how to fix each issue.

Twenty-minute masterclass: How Kanban cards keep work-in-progress low and eliminate mistakes

If you’ve read our article on building unbeatable focus, you’ll know the importance of keeping work in progress low.

In this short video from Fastcap, the team shows how Kanban Cards reduce work-in-progress, manage flow, and eliminate errors. Their attention to detail is fascinating and inspiring.

A screenshot of the Fastcap YouTube video showing the cards they use in their Kanban system.
Bonus points if you spot the scooter whizzing past in the background of the video.

At 16m 30s, Lukas shares the key value of Fastcap’s kanban system: “… you don’t have to remember anything, and there’s no manual entry… so there’s no room for error.”

Although Fastcap is a manufacturer, we use similar thinking—including documents, links, and checklists—to track our workflows, improve efficiency, and eliminate the potential for mistakes.

Lastly, we liked the “job description” at 17m 30s: “My job is to solve problems, and there will always be new problems.” If you read our recent article on The Theory of Constraints, you’ll recognize this as Step 5 thinking.

From the archive: Use the steel man technique to persuade people who disagree with you

A man in armor.
The Steel Man Technique: Begin by improving on your opponent’s argument.

If your visitors have objections, you need to present counterobjections immediately. This article covers two techniques that lay useful groundwork for counterobjections and increase their persuasive power.

As a bonus, on pages 242-244 of our book, Making Websites Win (which is free when you subscribe to our newsletter), we include a simple template to manage visitors’ objections (and how to find the right counterobjections).

And finally, for your next coffee break…

In this BBC Earth video, Sir David Attenborough shares how the Lyre Bird imitates the sounds around it. Though sobering, it’s still amazing to hear how it can perfectly replicate a camera shutter, car alarm, saw, and more.

We wouldn’t dare skip Sir David, but the sound effects are mostly from 1m 45s.

Have you come across something worth sharing? If so, let us know. We could include it in a future article.

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