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Sixty things I learned at Reseda High School

Reseda High School Front Entrance
This year, Reseda High School is celebrating its 60th anniversary. On my website, I’ve shared a number of the lessons I’ve learned at this school. For this list, I picked the 60 most important. Although they pertain to my time there in the late 1970s, they apply equally to high school students today and to all of us throughout our lives.

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How to become important

Man in bow tie and suspendersWe all want to feel important. Part of it is a human need to matter and to feel like we’re doing something of value with our lives. Another part of it is our media-driven culture where some believe that if you’re not famous, you don’t exist. That part has led people to do terrible things to gain notoriety. If you are one of those people who needs attention to feel valued, this post isn’t for you.

But if you want to matter and do something of value, there’s an easy way to become important: help someone else.

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Anatomy of a hoax

Facebook URL

Recently, a hoax went viral on Facebook telling people to copy and paste text into their status to protect the privacy of their photos and posts. I responded by giving my own version of the text showing why it was a hoax. Here is what I posted.

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Sonic bust: How bad design ruins the user experience

Chevrolet Sonic nameplateI have a theory about rental cars: Rental car companies fill their lots with the most uninspiring, unenjoyable, and unsellable fleet vehicles imaginable so that you are motivated to return them. It doesn’t matter how old or dumpy the car you own is. You will love it like the day you bought it after you’ve spent several days in some underpowered rental car with a smelly cabin.

Last week, we rented a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic while our 2013 Honda CR-V was being repaired. I could tell how overjoyed we would be to get our car back the moment I got behind the wheel of the Sonic. It has the worst user interface I’ve ever seen on a vehicle.

Something that seems as minor as the layout of a dashboard can have a big impact in how we view a product. It can determine whether we will enjoy driving the car or dread it as a typical rental vehicle. Here’s why.

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The Apple Watch and how customers “get to yes”

Apple Watch Sport

And Mickey’s smiling face was too hard to resist

As I wrote earlier, I didn’t rush out and buy an Apple Watch when they first came out. I waited four and a half months. What made me go from “It may be best to wait” to “Here’s my credit card”? Although good technology is useful technology, one has to see the usefulness. It took a combination of the experiences others have had with the Apple Watch, how Apple supports the product, and what capabilities Apple’s partners offer in order for me to see the usefulness of the product.

Here are several lessons I’ve learned in my process in becoming an Apple Watch owner. They can help anyone who wants potential customers to “get to yes.” Read more »