Inspired by The Setup, I’ve written my own “how does this person get their shit done” blog posts every other year or so, mostly to see how my setup has changed over time and to share some tips that work for me.

Some context — I’m Brian Doll, half of the go-to-market consultancy, Reify, where we help companies sell more software.

My goals are simplicity and focus. I want to have the right tool for each important activity, while freeing up as much of my time as possible to do fun stuff like ride bikes and hike around outdoors.

Email

  • Keith Rarick’s Inbox Zero for Life is how I’ve been managing email for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love email and this system makes me feel like I have my shit together. …

Like many other olds, I have a Flickr account I’ve had forever. At some point along the way, Flickr required folks with more than 1,000 photos to buy a Flickr Pro account or you’d lose access to those photos. So I paid $7 every month for way too long. I wanted to free those photos from their Flickr handcuffs and get them online, and I wanted to do that as cheaply and simply as possible. So here’s what I did. (Note: this post assumes you have a Mac)

First, download your photos from Flickr

Go to your Flickr account page and navigate to the “Your Flickr Data” section and request your data download. It will take a day or so, but you’ll soon have access to a bunch of zip files to download. …


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Fishing on the Yuba River, California

I always sort of hated fishing. People talk about how fun and relaxing it is, but that never seemed to match what I’d see when folks go fishing. Lugging huge tackle boxes around, constantly untangling fishing line, staring aimlessly at a bobber on lake. This did not seem fun and it definitely did not seem relaxing. Hiking is enjoyable and relaxing. Fishing seemed like an exercise in frustration to me.

There is a different way to fish, though. An incredibly simple, minimalist approach that erases all the unnecessary bits of fishing and leaves you with just the good parts. Being in nature. Being present. Listening to the water. …


I received the rank of Eagle Scout when I was 17. After all the usual merit badges and projects along the way, Eagle Scouts must complete a Service Project. Scouts come up with the idea, pitch the idea to the Scout Board, win approval, develop a project plan and budget, get funding, and then execute the plan. But there’s an interesting catch. The Scout can’t do any of the labor themselves. They need to recruit other people to execute the Service Project, and they lead this team. The Scout then develops a written presentation of their project with photos, budget, and benefit to the community. …


I am in love. The Yeti SB100 seemed too good to be true. Climb like an XC bike, and party like a trail bike, designed and built by the best bike brand around?!? I had been dreaming about this bike for nearly a year before I decided to go for it. This is the absolute most incredible and fun bike I have ever ridden. It makes me want to ride more, pick more adventurous lines, and plan big trips. I had a chance to ride this bike in Moab for a week recently, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Many thanks to Big Swingin’ Cycles in San Francisco — a dream of a bike shop. Impeccable bike builds, precise mechanics who ride hard, and a small-town vibe that makes you want to pull up a chair and chat for a while. …


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At Reify, we have a systems-driven approach to marketing. Marketing can often feel abstract, and a key aspect of what we do is to make marketing concrete. (Word nerd alert — That’s also the literal definition of ‘reify’.) We develop frameworks and models that we can use repeatedly to remove the guesswork and to stay focused on what’s most important at any given time.

Today we’re sharing our maturity model for social proof, which is an integral part of any sales process. …


The Loam Ranger posts incredibly beautiful and cinematic videos to his YouTube channel of him riding mountain bikes in gorgeous places. It’s safe to say most action camera video looks terrible, and his videos stand head and shoulders above the rest.

He recently posted two videos (linked below) where he shares his setup and process for creating beautiful action camera video. I wanted to emulate this setup, so I took notes and wanted to share them here for anyone else looking to up their game.

Camera

  • While there are lots of great cameras out there, nearly everyone swears by the GoPro Hero 4 (Note this is 2 generations behind, but the camera + microphone is unbeatable…

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Attribution is the practice of trying to figure out which marketing activities successfully nudged a prospective customer further into your funnel, resulting in your desired outcome (signup, trial, etc.).

There are lots of million dollar tools you can use to help attribute your marketing campaigns. I’m going to share a very simple marketing attribution solution that I built in the very early days at New Relic that you can probably implement in under an hour that will get you 80% of what you need today.

‘First’ and ‘Last’ Only

Once you have attribution working on your funnel you’ll notice that it takes a long time to convert someone to a signup or trial or whatever your goal is. Keeping track of every single campaign a prospect interacts with is pretty difficult to do, and is best left for the big attribution platforms. We’ll get 80% of what we need by tracking the first campaign they touch, and the last campaign they touch. From this information, we’ll also learn how long it took from that first touch to your goal, which is a metric you’ll want to try to reduce over time. …


I was buying flowers a few weeks ago and during the checkout flow the website had a checkbox with “Click here to double your flowers for $10”. And I clicked it. I was already shopping for flowers, I’d found a good vendor, I found a product I wanted, they’d be able to make the delivery at the appointed time, and I wanted the best they had.

This reminded me of one of my favorite upsell moments. A good friend and I traveled to Tucson to do some rock climbing over a long weekend. We had rented the cheapest car available, as you do. …


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The author being yelled at by a prominent sales leader with bad advice.

Don’t sell past the close!!!!!!!!11!!!

This phrase was screamed at me a few years ago, during a sales meeting, right in front of the customer we were with. I immediately laughed, because, what sort of person lacks the self control necessary to know that maybe that wasn’t the best possible time to give feedback?

It was a ridiculous experience, but it’s also just bad advice

The advice, as far as I could tell after wiping the spittle off my face, was that selling is transactional, and once you get a “yes”, don’t spend even a second “over-selling” someone. Move on to the next lead. A win is a win. …

About

Brian Doll

I’m a story-driven marketer, a technology-infused strategist, and an entrepreneurial executive.

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