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I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today – just yesterday I had the pleasure of hanging out with a great friend of mine. When I say ‘great’ in this case, I really mean it. This guy and I have had each others’ backs since the 7th grade. We’ve been through tons of life together; from the bad (nasty car accident) to the good (being at one another’s weddings).

Grabbing lunch with him yesterday was very cathartic – I think it’s important to remember where you come from and the people who helped to lift you up along the way.

It also got me started reminiscing about old technology. I’m gonna really date myself here, but when my friend and I were in high school, we used pagers to communicate. PAGERS! Obviously this was before the days of cell phones, but for those out there who don’t know how pagers worked, you would dial the pager number (using a landline telephone) and after it connected, you then entered a string of numbers. Those numbers were then sent to the owner of the pager and showed up on the pager display. The intention was that you would page the person with a phone number that you wanted them to call you at, so that the person who owned the pager would receive a phone number that they would then call in order to reach the person who sent the initial ‘page.’

This all seems so archaic now, it’s almost comical… but this is how we communicated in the 90s (yikes!) Anyhow, this communication was too slow for my friends. Not to mention the fact that we didn’t want to carry dimes to make calls from payphones (whipper-snappers, you’ll have to look that one up on the internet). So, we soon developed a way to communicate messages through numbers – it was the early version of text messages. This started out quite simply. The first code I remember was ‘143’ which meant ‘I love you’ (the number of letters in those words are 1, 4, & 3). This code was clearly not scaleable, so we soon had to develop an improved code. See if you can crack it yourself with some examples here:

533  4011 50017  = See you soon

017  1774 11144  = On my way

1774  1770177  61501117030  1773 = My mom grounded me

This code was certainly not perfect, but 99% of the time we could decipher what the sender was communicating. Sure, it was clunky – but it was the 90s… this was the cutting edge of communication.

Which brings us to today. If your team is not on Slack, you’re effectively using beepers to communicate. Get with the times! Slack is a communication tool that has an outstanding free version. I first found it when I worked for a booming startup, and subsequently I’ve brought it over to GAP Consulting where it helps my remote team stay connected.

But siloed data is worthless data – we need to get things talking! So definitely explore the integration with Airtable and Slack. Getting changes in your data posted to a Slack channel, or direct messaged to a team member is incredibly powerful and not to be overlooked. Check out this week’s video for inspiration and let me know if you have any questions!

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