Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thank you Hugh

The above art originated from the following post.
Original art work by Hugh Macleod. Art work released by Hugh under the Creative Common License.

Monday, October 30, 2006

You read the darnest thing on blogs these days

This is an excerpt from the blog of Guy Kawasaki (a very original blog btw).
The first step is to recognize who is an asshole. Sutton’s blog cites one method. It’s called the Starbucks Test It goes like this: If you hear someone at Starbucks order a “decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” you’re in the presence of an asshole. It’s unlikely that this petty combination is necessarythe person ordering is trying to flex her power because she’s an asshole.
Dang, I love that test. I know it makes me sound like an anti-starbucks elitist. But whatever, these days everybody has an opinion, everybody publishes their opinion and anybody with an opinion is an elitist of some sort.

In other words :) Go read the post here. Thanks Mr Kawasaki.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Business plans need compassion too

I like the idea behind greendimes. They work (constantly they claim) on taking you out of the junk mail life cycle. In addition they plant a tree, for every month you continue to be their customer. Will this make you carbon nuetral, heh I don't think so :) but it does seem like an interesting business model.

Is this a eco-friendly marketing plan?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What if

All the shoe companies decide to fight Zappos at their own game. Why not have retail shoe outlets whose only purpose is to help you (the customer) find your size and check out the look in front of those fabulous full length mirrors. Have you located your shoe of choice? Great here is what you do now.

Next to every shoe rack is a kiosk/browsing station that lets you order the shoe from their online warehouse and at prices that are cheaper or competitive with Zappos. So why not? Yes you do lose customers who desire to walk out of the store with the smell of new leather or suede or whatever composite nasa inspired material in their bag. But do they really want that over the savings they would get if you dropped the rates and deliver the shoes in a couple days.
Can you crunch the numbers and see if the increase in sales (assuming there is an increase in sales) would justify free shipping or two day shipping, etc? Strike a partnership with UPS (almost everybody does these days)
You have increased floor space, more creative ways to use your store so it becomes less of a shoe store and more of a "shoe bar". Give your users an experience.... and let them place their orders whenever they want.

So why not? What do the shoe stores have to lose by trying it out?

Disclaimer: My favourites are Kenneth Cole and Cole Haan. I tried a bunch of others but these fit me the best and I love their style.

Image link from shoeblogs.com (if I am violating any copyright please let me know and I will remove the image).

We saw "Chalk" last night and it was good!

Go see it.
It is a very funny movie that has 5 real actors in its entire cast. I know because I was at the QandA last night after the movie. The rest are either people with little acting experience or not actors. It has real teachers, real students and employs heavy improvisation. All in all well done. It is humorous but also a revealing documentary on the state of our public school educational system and its effects on the lives of all involved.

Other related bits,
  • Movie details here. This movie website is hosted by Bside which was started by Chris Hyams and also employs a bunch of other smart and cool folks I used to work with. They are doing really good work with their product. Check it out here :).
  • The movie was directed by Mike Akel and I found that one of my friends (Rod Henegar) edited the first movie Mike made. Mike is also close friends with some other friends of mine. Basically Austin is kind of small and you eventually find connections with people :)
  • I am currently with a startup and our goal is to help us (the USA) move away from the school we saw in the movie. One school at a time of course ;-). Nothing like a big goal eh. We are just starting.....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What if the world was reduced to 100 people

Thanks to presentation zen for the link.

Is this an example of a vertical search engine

I am not sure what is going on here. I am talking about the Ms Dewey search engine. Umm.. maybe they should let the user choose the "librarian" and include a Mr Smith to give Ms Dewey company so both men and women can use this search engine.

Is being different all that matters

I checked out the Chipotle website today. It was the topic du jour on wallstrip today. It was an interesting browsing experience. The website is dense but clean and almost sparse. It involves the users in unique ways. I think the live feed of guac being prepared or chicken marinating is very cool :-). I love the amount of interior and exterior design examples on the website. For a Chipotle groupie, I am sure there is plenty to devour on this website.

But is it trying to be too cutting edge and sacrificing some simple usability in the process? Why is there no search feature (esp. given the density of the website). Why is there no site map. I understand that the whole website was built in flash but still... I was curious about who built this website and there was nothing available. I was curious about latest stock performance related news and again bupkis.

Whoever is in charge of these things over at Chipotle,

The website is very cool and unique but make sure it is usable also :).


There are times when Hugh says it best

This is one of those times. Thanks Hugh :)

(image belongs to Hugh and gapingvoid as the (c) clearly states).

Monday, October 02, 2006

I am happier than a wooden spoon at a spelling bee

Apparently we say stuff like where I live :). Props to Scott Adams for today's Dilbert.

Grilled Chicken causes cancer

A US doctors' group has sued seven leading fast-food chains including McDonald's and Burger King over their use of a "dangerous carcinogenic" in grilled chicken.
Aside from McDonald's and Burger King, the chains named in the lawsuit were Chick-fil-A, Chili's, Applebee's, Outback Steakhouse and TGI Friday's.

I love the lack of information apart from the sensational headlines. I am sure the "US doctor's" group sued the fast food chain. Looks like doctors realized that it is easier to file class action law suits to make money rather than pay insanely high insurance and practice the craft of curing people of ailments.

Don't you love good informative educative journalism. Link to the article here (thanks to my brother for the link).