February 28th, 2011

Low Tech Rally: What I’m Most Looking Forward to in 2011


My wife has a female friend who wore a turtleneck to a party at the Playboy mansion. It was a work event and she was not psyched about going – “I decided to zig where they zag”, she said. The genius of that quote has always stuck with me.

I’m currently working on publishing a print magazine for my business. In the age of social media and digital publishing it’s a curious project to embark on, but I think the death of traditional publishing has been oversold. Rather than dying, I think it’s just changing. It’s not about actually delivering news, it’s more like a big, huge Christmas card / love letter we’re writing to anyone who cares enough to pay attention to us. It’s been a great excuse to connect with the people who are important to me and think about what the company values. Most of all, it has been fun.

The bigger lesson? Some really great stuff gets lost if we exist solely in the virtual world. Besides print magazines, here are the two low-tech vehicles for building quality relationships in 2011:

1. Hand-written letters. When was the last time you got, or wrote, a really good letter? It can be unforgettable.
2. Face-to-face events. Cleantech Kingpins was a genius idea and I’m hopeful that Chris will get that going again in 2011. I met new people and built on existing relationships in a way that you need eye-contact for.

Writing this post will probably get me kicked out of the GLD Insiders for being too old. But I’m not advocating that you give up social media or blogging. It’s just that sometimes the only way to stand out is to put on a turtleneck. I encourage you to give it a try in 2011.

I’d love to hear from anyone with print magazine publishing advice, or other low-tech ideas for standing out.

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Brian Hayden

About Brian Hayden

Brian Hayden founded HeatSpring Learning Institute in 2007. He's an accredited geothermal installer and creates technical training programs on geothermal and solar systems. HeatSpring has been featured in Business Week's "America's Top 25 Promising Social Entrepreneurs"