Limeade Acquires TINYpulse: More Than Meets the Eye?

The acquisition is interesting on its own merits — even in a Work Tech market that rarely suffers from a slow news day. The combination of “employee listening” with “immersive well-being solutions” is a unique variation on the theme of employee experience platforms.

It’s Time for Work Tech to W.O.R.K.

If you’re looking for yet another way to kill some time, go research the old game show The $64,000 Question. The show ran from 1955 to 1958, so it’s pretty safe to say that most of us haven’t seen an episode recently. (I watched reruns when I was a kid.) The premise of the show […]

Masks and marketing.

Back when I was a kid, you had to put a yard sign out front for people to know who you were voting for. Now everyone can tell simply by whether you’re wearing a mask or not. If you posted #blacklivesmatter on your social feeds. Or some other nuanced variation of a thousand things people see and […]

“Quiet Time” and Four-day Work Weeks

This message is for our past, current and future clients (and anyone else who may find inspiration in our approach to employee experience during COVID-19). I sent this message as an email earlier today to all of our client contacts. We love our clients. I mean it. They put food on our table. But they […]

During COVID-19, customer experience (CX) is eating marketing’s lunch.

(and Stealing Its Milk Money While Smashing Its Glasses) COVID-19 has brought many things that were previously fuzzy into sharp focus. For example, the employee experience matters more than anything else in business. Leadership is different (and more important) than management. And (one of my personal favorites) talking to people is more important than processes, […]

In Search of a New Organizing Principle for Work Technology

Every now and then, something happens that changes the way we think about everything. Like, oh, I don’t, what’s a good example — how about a global pandemic?  Major events like COVID-19 cause us to take things apart, examine the pieces, and put them back together again in a different way. But the way things […]

How Strategic Is Employee Scheduling?


Before I started the agency (way back near the turn of the century), one of my early marketing positions was with a time-and-attendance and employee scheduling company. I had moved from Austin to Boston to take the job. My wife and I had never lived outside of Texas, and being newly married with no children […]

Small Acquisitions in Workplace Technology Can Pack a Big Punch


It’s no secret — there has never been as much merger and acquisition activity in the human capital management technology segment as there is right now, today, at this minute. Even so, small strategic acquisitions continue to be overlooked. Same as it ever was.

When You’re Right, You’re Right

When Zenefits secured $500 million in funding last year, vendors lined up to drink from the champagne fountain. Most were charmed (with palms extended). But not The Starr Conspiracy. See this article from our own Steve Smith posted in May 2015 eerily predicting the events of Q1 2016: “5 Reasons Zenefits Will Be the Biggest […]

Living Our Authentic Self: The New Starr Conspiracy Website

If you haven’t seen it yet, you will soon: the new online face of The Starr Conspiracy. It’s clean, open, and easy to navigate (honest!). With a white canvas, clean typography, hand-drawn illustrations, and black-and-white photography, our website now tells our story with heart and transparency in a way we’ve never done before.

The Sales Funnel is F*cked

Last week, I remembered a poem I love by William Butler Yeats. “The Second Coming” is a work of dark genius. Here is the first verse of the poem:

Innovation or Transformation?

I’m reading Disrupting Digital Business by R “Ray” Wang right now. It’s a good book, and I recommend it. You should read it, too. You can buy it here. 

Fast, Good, and Cheap: Pick Two

When people call consultants like me, they sometimes feel vulnerable. Perhaps they know some elusive business process is broken but they can’t put their finger on it. Or maybe they’ve found the problem but can’t fix it. And sometimes they’ve even tried to fix it themselves but have failed.

The Economics of Business Leads

Economics is all about supply and demand. (Technically, it’s all about the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.) But hey — I’m a marketer, not an economist.

Hyperbole Aside, This Webinar Might Break the Internet

I know that marketers are given to hyperbolic statements. And everyone expects a little artificial exuberance when we are marketing ourselves. But I am not exaggerating when I say that our upcoming webinar — Understanding the HCM Brandscape — is probably going to break the Internet.  

Advocacy Marketing to Increase Social Media Advocacy

Paid media is losing ground to owned and earned media in B2B marketing. I don’t mean that B2B companies are spending less on paid media. In fact, they’re spending more — especially in industry and digital contexts.