Behind-the-scenes advice for busy solo professionals courtesy of Michael Katz, Blue Penguin Development

received a follow-up call from Verizon.


A guy came to my office yesterday to fix my phone line, which was dead.

He was great. On time, friendly, knowledgeable. He had it back working in half an hour.

Today’s call was a “courtesy call,” to see how the service had been.

One problem: The call was completely automated. They wanted me to answer a prerecorded list of questions.

In other words, they don’t think it’s worth their time to assign a live person to the conversation, but they expect me to participate.

Our big competitors necessarily focus on scale, uniformity and cost reduction. Along the way, the “courtesy” part becomes anything but.

That’s how we beat them.