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Newsletter #872: The “Help Them Do It” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

We support and promote the businesses that help us do things — things like have a little more fun, learn something new, or lead a slightly better life. Get started by checking out these ideas on how you could help:

1. Fix their motorcycles
2. Meet fellow travelers
3. Give a guy a Valentine
4. Check it out: Tripline

1. Fix their motorcycles

For most of us, when our car breaks down, we drop it off somewhere and it (hopefully) is returned to working order a few hours later. It’s great when it works — but it also means most of us can’t fix our own cars. But at Vancouver’s Motomethod repair shop, you can ride your motorcycle in, rent a bay, and find all the tools you need to fix it yourself. Owners Paul, Ian, and Simon are there to show you how. It’s become much more than a repair shop, it’s a place to hang out. People are actually coming in even when there’s nothing wrong with their bikes — they just want to tear it apart, learn how it works, and put it back together.

The lesson: Being the repair guy means one-off interactions. Being the teacher means lots of reasons to come back again and again.

Learn more: PSFK

2. Meet fellow travelers

If you can help customers make strong connections by being the middleman that starts it all, you can earn fans for life. KLM Airlines is doing this with their “Meet and Seat” program. Through it, passengers can share their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles when booking travel and review other profiles on their same flights. They can also change their seat selection based on what they find. The service is available on select international flights, and it all makes sense: 19 hours is plenty of time to make a great business or personal connection with someone.

The lesson: Think of places where powerful connections can be made — traveling, conferences, classes — and look for simple ways to help people do it.

Learn more: KLM

3. Give a guy a Valentine

When it comes to giving a girl a Valentine, there are plenty of safe, well-tested options to go with. But guys are harder. There just aren’t many gifts designed for them on the big day. That’s why the Kirin Beer Bro-Quet is so great. It looks much like it sounds: It’s 10 mini cans of Kirin beer hand-arranged in a leafy bouquet.

The lesson: While everyone is making gifts for the obvious recipients, what can you do to show love to the people a tradition often overlooks?

Learn more: Beer Bro-Quet

4. Check it out: Tripline

Tripline is a fun little tool to map things — your Foursquare check-ins, the location of your Facebook friends, your Instagram photos — all in one interactive spot.

Check it out: Tripline

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