Happy Election Day!
There’s a lot at stake this midterm cycle, so for those of you in the States—whatever your political views—I hope you’ve carved out time to cast your votes.
(Apologies in advance to non-US folks for what might be a bit of an Americana overkill. Feel free to stop reading and we’ll catch up next month.)
What we’re up to…
It’s been a busy month of sharing our story with press, analysts, and loads of prospective new partners—check out The Washington Post, or this industry view from analyst Josh Bersin on Humu’s advancement of the employee “engagement” market. But as big believers in the power of micro-interventions to drive outcomes that matter, we’ve also been thinking a lot about the ways that our individual efforts can make a big difference in the Midterm elections.
Personally, I’ll be driving folks who need rides to the polls this morning, and lots of the Humu crew have been hitting the streets to educate voters over the past few weeks. Engineer & privacy lead Yonatan talked cyber security and protecting digital democracy at an October Bots & Ballots event (slides here), Griffin on the partner success team spent the weekend phone banking, engineer Jose translated ballot measures for first-time voters in his Mexican-American family, and co-founder Jessie published a blog post on the most commonly-used behavioral science measures used to get people to the polls.
What we’re learning…
As Jessie touched on in her Humu blog post, there’s a lot happening at the intersection of behavioral science and voting behavior. But this recent write-up from Behavioral Scientist put the importance of choice architecture in a rather stark perspective: “If every person who didn’t vote in the 2016 election (but could have) voted for a candidate named “Nobody,” Nobody would have crushed both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”
Engineer Jose and CEO Laszlo, our resident Hamilton fans.
What we’re loving…
Immigrants—we get the job done. But more than that, amidst major debate on immigration in the U.S. we look to research from Harvard Business School which concludes that immigrant-led U.S. companies grow at a faster rate and are more likely to survive long term than native-led companies are.
Why this is true remains murky, even to social scientists, but as lead researcher William Kerr points out, “The very act of someone moving around the world, often leaving family behind, might select those who are very determined or more tolerant of business risk.” Our CEO Laszlo’s experience of fleeing Communist Romania with his family in the 70s shows this drive playing out close to home. Laszlo, his brother, and both of his parents found their paths in entrepreneurship.
What we’re reading…
From Humu engineer and data-scientist John, this month’s recommended read is particularly timely today. With a foreword by Senator Dick Durbin, author Carol Anderson’s One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy puts the American history of policies that have systematically impeded the progress of black voters in our country from the height of the Civil Rights movement to today.
But it’s not all doomsday: Anderson, who is also a professor of African American Studies at Emory University, believes that—at least at the grassroots level—things are looking up. After all, in last year’s special Senate election in Alabama, Democrat Doug Jones upset incumbent Roy Moore, in part thanks to N.A.A.C.P.-mobilized efforts to get people to the polls. Here’s hoping today’s efforts are as heroic.