Making people feel special
Meryl Streep in the Oscar winning movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” plays the part of an overbearing, rude, and humiliating editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine, who has two personal assistants to cater to her every whim. What I wouldn’t give to have that!
Her two assistants remember important dates, facts and details on all the people in Miranda’s social and business circles, know which gifts are most desired by her children, colleagues and associates and even handle communications for Miranda. In one scene, the two assistants are memorizing “the book,” a massive 3-ring binder that contains the myriad of names, photos, facts and details on each person Miranda might encounter at a fashion party later that night. It’s a daunting task but the two assistants perform admirably. They are seen whispering in Miranda’s ear important information on people who are approaching so when they meet, they’ll feel special and respected because Mirada “remembered” all their details.
Only a very small percentage of people could afford to have two personal assistants, let alone even one assistant who helps you to organize your calendar, remember names and faces, keep business relationships fresh and active, and recall facts and details about people that make them feel special.
What would your 3-ring binder look like? Hopefully it isn’t literally a 3-ring binder you carry with you. Forgotten are the days of the rolodex, trying to take notes in your Contacts app, or even jotting a few details about someone and some encounter in the Notes app. The average American knows approximately 600 people, which would make for a very large 3-ring binder. Other studies have reported that the average person stores more than 300 contacts in their phone.
Because of my difficulty in remembering the name of someone I just met, and because I couldn’t afford to hire two personal assistants to do the job for me, I embarked on writing an app that will do much of what Miranda’s assistants did. It would allow me to create “the book” specific to my needs, enabling me to remember names, faces, important dates, facts, details and goals of my friends, family and business associates so that I could give them the respect they deserve – the respect of remembering.
I wanted to remember when an important business associate’s son came home from a two-year service trip abroad, a neighbor had her 5-year anniversary of being cancer free, or even being reminded weeks in advance of my wedding anniversary so I could plan the perfect gift. And, when it reminded me, I knew I would need not just one reminder, but several until the actual event.
The app would not just help me to remember the basic details, but it would allow me to keep up to date on my social circle’s recent Instagram posts, upload photos and videos specific to that person, and allow me to show who was linked or related to a person. I also wanted to be able to jot notes about someone so that the next time we meet, I could recall specific details they told me so they would realize that I cared enough to listen, pay attention and remember; because I actually do! If I wanted to improve my social-butterfly game, and my memory, I needed the right tool.
That is what makes us different from Miranda. Her goal was to recall information to further a business relationship while not particularly caring about the other person as an individual. She made them feel special even though she didn’t think they were special. In contrast, our desire is to remember these details because we do care, people are special, and we want to demonstrate to them that they are special to us.
The Circles app was created for people like us who want a better memory, a more organized way to manage our social circle, to nurture a friendship, or to grow a business relationship. You may not yell to your assistants to “get Armani on the phone, now!” as Miranda did, but you will remember, thanks to Circles, that your favorite uncle loves to wear Armani t-shirts and that it is his birthday in 3 weeks. Now you have enough time to get the perfect gift, or at least send a nice card.