New Biz Advice #1 : Cookie Incentive

I run a development studio with my twin brother Tom. Things are happening fast (been 3 years now), and there are lessons I'd like to say, "Hey, that worked!" to my past or future selves. I assume they'll read this in the future (and when we reach significant technological breakthroughs, from the past.)

Cookies are a Powerful Incentive

Whenever anyone joins our company, they get an "AT" e-mail, usually their first name. Someone noticed all our e-mail signatures were formatted a thousand different ways; every N-P combination of name, title, company name, mobile, home, even fax (we have a fax?).

We had a quick pow-wow with our team and came up with the new signature. We asked everyone to add at the bottom from their "AT" e-mail addy's. After 2 days, I noticed only a few people were upgrading their sigs, so in thanks to them, I sent a cookie basket to the New York and Chicago offices.

People e-mailed to thank me, but were cautioned against doing so until AFTER they had updated their sigs. See, word caught round that "thanks" were only official after they came with the new e-mail sigs. Now these baskets had a variety fancy-ass cookies, but limited quantities of each, so everyone moved like lightning to upgrade before all the epipen-licious-ness were gone.

It became a neat "mother, may I?" game. E-mails from everyone in the company throughout the day, all with the new e-mail tags, and everyone comparing the subtle, fancy cookie flavors. All thanks to the power of cookies!

Consider them in your arsenal of incentivication.

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