Hi, I’m Brett Greene – The Seattle Anti-Freeze

5c94c1c227661b6ffb9782004ddd5549Originally I wrote this post as a comment in response to yet another article about the “Seattle Freeze” in the Puget Sound Business Journal:

This concept of a Seattle Freeze is BS. The Seattle freeze is either a myth, or only happens to people who are focused too much on what others can give them rather than what they can give others. 

Saying it’s true because of how people in Seattle use a networking app versus how San Franciscans use it is also not proving the articles premise that it’s ‘killing our startup culture.’ Dramatic headline and angle used to write a story to promote an app, true. Factual, false. 

And by the way, every city has people who are warm and people who are cold. Get over it, move on, and make things great in your own life rather than wasting time whining about what others aren’t doing for you.

By hustling, helping others, and hoping for good things to happen, I’ve experienced more amazing experiences and deep relationships than I have through years of living in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Boulder. 

I’m an evangelist for the Seattle anti-freeze. I moved to Seattle in September 2012 knowing 5 people from high school and college from Las Vegas who had moved here. When I chose to move to Seattle I reached out to my extensive network (who I’ve been helping and giving to for years) and asked for connections to anyone they knew in Seattle to help me build a professional and personal network here. 

Through asking, I began to actively build my Seattle network, and my conversations began with asking how I could help my new connections, not how they could help me.

The first 6 meetings I had with with people I reached out to in Seattle were awesome, and 5 of the 6 refused to let me pay my bill or the bill for both of us when we met for coffee, lunch or dinner. Six out of six repeatedly said “welcome to Seattle!” and verbally acknowledged that they actively welcome new comers to the city because of of the negative “Seattle Freeze” hype.

In less than two years of living in Seattle, I’ve co-founded the fastest growing event in Seattle history , which is currently the largest monthly event in Seattle (Seattle Tech Meetup). I also just joined Project Bionic as a partner and finally found my dream job. In both cases, my partners are warm (some would say ‘hot’ in the startup community) Seattleites that I did not know when I moved here.

My success in Seattle has happened partially through my efforts and ideas, and mostly by everyone I’ve met in Seattle supporting me, my ideas, and sharing their resources openly with me. The majority of people I’ve met in the startup community have been immensely helpful to me, love this city, and are dedicated to making the community better for everyone.

I encourage everyone, especially the Seattle media, to look for positive examples of Seattleites helping each other and new comers rather than perpetrating this “Seattle Freeze” negative concept. It’s a tired headline that does an injustice to the people of the warmest city I’ve lived in. (Boulder is a close second though).

This is the most heartful, intelligent, civilized, humanist-driven city I’ve experienced, and I’ve spent time in most states across this country. There are other great cities, though none I’ve known offer this level of both opportunity and people honestly supporting the innovation and dreams of others.

If you think you’re a victim of the “Seattle Freeze” I invite you to continuously ask yourself “How can I help everyone I meet to get what they want?” 

The more you help others get what they want, the faster you’ll get what you want. That’s how you melt any concept of a “freeze” – be the warmth, do not blame anyone else for not going the extra mile for you before you do it for them, live with an open heart, be actively grateful for what you have, and you’ll attract the warmth.

Today’s Growth Hacking is Really Just Yesterday’s Digital Marketing

Are you tired of the word ‘hack’ yet?  A few years ago the word held meaning.  First it described a clever and playful way to program and code.  Then it became a scary word for how rogue coders exploited weaknesses in a computer system to do bad things like break into your bank and steal your identity.  That’s still true of  black hat hackers ( aka crackers), but sites like LifeHacker (which I love) brought the word into the mainstream.   …though a life hack is just another way to say ‘helpful tip’.

Somehow the word hack has evolved into a hip way to refer to a tip or a best practice.  Yes, ‘hack’ sounds more dangerous and cool, but if the hack is simply a different way to do something, it’s not a hack.  Modifying a system is the basis of a hack.  If nothing is modified, it’s not a hack.

Oiling and sharpening your lawn mower blades is a tip, this is a lawn mowing hack:

See the difference?

I recently attended a Growth Hack meetup because I’m aware that there are always things I don’t know that I don’t know.  After not understanding how growth hacking is any different from digital marketing, I thought this event might school me.  It didn’t.

The meetup had great food, drinks and a nice crowd of about 30 people, but it ended up being 3 companies pitching what they do, and one company (known for doing cool things) almost convincing me that growth hacking is a real thing.  One company sells video services, one sells social media services, one sells marketing services, and one sells a dashboard to track marketing metrics.

All of them (besides the dashboard company) presented digital marketing tips and called them hacks. The video production company presented ‘hacks’ like, “If you’re a woman wearing a lapel microphone don’t wear a scarf because it will scratch the mic and make noise over your voice.”  Would you call that a tip or a hack?

A hack in that case would be to tell her how to modify a button on a blouse into a laser microphone.

Growth hacking consists of using using techniques such as search engine optimization, web site analytics, content marketing, A/B testing and social media to get better conversion rates.  …so how is growth hacking any different from digital marketing which consists of (you guessed it) consists of using using techniques such as search engine optimization, web site analytics, content marketing, A/B testing and social media to get better conversion rates?

Though we’re going to continue to hear more about ‘hacks’ for a long time, lets try to use the word appropriately.  Like guru, rockstar, ninja, and diva, ‘hack’ will be misused to make normal things seem awesome until we hit a saturation point and the word stops being cool.

Top 10 Reasons Why Walking Meetings Will Be Your Best Meetings

Walking meetings are nothing new, but they are becoming trendy for great reasons.

The most famous walking meeting is the historic walk that Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev took at the 1985 Geneva Summit. It’s been said that after many failed attempts to come to shared agreements, Reagan invited Gorbachev to walk with him and that walking meeting was the turning point to end the Cold War.

392x338xwww.openideo.jpeg.pagespeed.ic.t535jCnkyrTaking walking meetings with coworkers, clients, and new connections can make a big impact on the effectiveness of your conversations and outcomes. Imagine for yourself how much better walking together is versus sitting in chairs at the office, or a coffee shop, looking at each other from across a table.

Walking; it’s not just for in person meetings. Try walking outside for some of your phone meetings.

In one of my recent walking meetings we walked from lower Queen Anne to the Elliot Bay waterfront and back. Just imagine how different a meeting goes when you’re smelling the sea air, feeling the sea breeze, looking at a beautiful city, looking at a beautiful body of water, feeling the sun on your skin, and enjoying a stimulating and productive conversation. It’s awesome.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you’ll benefit from taking more walking meetings whenever possible:

10. Being outdoors inspires your creativity.

9. Walking side by side rather than facing each other directly creates a sense of collaboration rather than competition.

8. You are getting great exercise while being productive in your job.

Read the full article on Huffington Post