Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Yeah, I'm certain you've heard about this, but the massive FAIL for the owners of 30GB Zune's that deathlocked themselves at midnight last night is still pretty damn funny.
Don't worry about an uptick in iPod sales as a result because 1) If you own a Zune, you're too stupid to own an iPod and 2) there's only been 8 of those Zunes sold anyway.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
NWA has finally rolled out its mobile barcode boarding pass system which I'll be using to board my flight tomorrow. This is real E-Ticket technology that's been long in coming, and for me, this will make my trips through the airport even faster.
Though I'm kinda unsure how the TSA dudes are going to work with it since they always 1) make ink check-marks on the boarding pass document. And 2) you typically pass through the metal detector WITH your boarding pass in-hand ... something that will be impossible with your mobile phone.
(and no - the above image is not my boarding pass ... that would be stupid to post an image of your pass which includes your frequent flier information which is pretty easy to hack)
Monday, December 22, 2008
You have to see it for yourself.
Click here. Yup, this is the official Russian Federation Ministry of Defense website. Specifically the gallery section ... now scroll down. Nope. Keep going until you see, "Miss Russian Beauty Contest"
Ok, now I want to know; Where's the US Military's counterpart website??
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Its been over a year since I sold TheCity.com to the law firm representing Circuit City, and finally we're beginning to see their brand change. Last weekend in NYC, I walked past one of their Manhattan locations that featured the new signage, and even though they struggle through bankruptcy proceedings, the rebranding campaign continues.
Will the change do anything for sales? I know how much my part cost them, but I'm curious about the entire campaign and have to ask the question, is it worth it and was it really needed?
Are there things that you are doing in business that could be abandoned with little to no ill effects on your future revenues? Are you making decisions based on their impact to your bottom line? Really, are you? Why not? In fat or lean times, all decisions should come back to revenues.
And no, the domain is not yet in use.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Anyone else think that its odd that we're only 3 weeks before the keynote for MacWorld Expo and there's no announcement of Steve Jobs on stage as usual? Sure, the announcement is typically late, but this time around its really late.
Conspiracy theorists have at it! ;-)
UPDATE - Well, guess ol' Steve isn't doing the keynote. They just announced it.
Also - the announcement was done after the close of today's stock market. That makes the rumors about Steve's health stick to the wall that much more. I figured that they would do a "changing of the guard" kind of keynote, ala the previous MacBook/Pro press conference, but perhaps Steve's health has fallen faster than they figured and Schiller had to step in. The late announcement is also probably ringing the MacWorld Expo's phones off of the hook with people asking for refunds.
And yes, I'm still planning to go.
Kinda weird that I posted the original blog entry just this morning....
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I remember like it was yesterday back in 2000 - Almost exactly 8 years ago this month when marketing spending literally shut off. My interactive media company's monthly revenues fell off the map with a 75% drop as customers shunted all media spending. We made it through and emerged on the other side stronger than ever before and this time around, we're continuing strong into territory that our contemporaries are back in the same trouble again as we all were 8 years ago. (I'll post more about how I did that recovery later)
So, what's going on here? Why are we looking to hire, when others are cutting staff and battening down the hatches?
A few things - first off, interactive ad spending is showing itself to be fairly resilient in this economy. I believe this is a result of the fact that you can track back revenue dollars directly to media spends for email marketing, keywords, etc. whereas in other spending (outdoor, broadcast, etc) you can't track those dollars. As a result, you don't know that your media buys are bringing in revenue, so you keep with what you KNOW is working (ie. interactive) and cut back on the rest - or shift those dollars into interactive.
In regards to us directly in terms of what we're doing right (and what we might be doing wrong) when we cmae out of the last downturn and prospered, we didn't change our value prop as things got good, such that we're operating with the same mentality that we had when things were really tough. Remaining in an downturn mindset keeps us focused on what's important at all times, regardless of how good things are (or aren't). Our clients continue to receive value from our relationship thus projects (and revenue) are continuing in ernest.
Mind you - every month we have to sell our A/R and while about 25% of our revenue is contractually recurring, we haven't adopted the attitude that we're bullet proof. Exactly the opposite is true. If anything, we're selling harder (and smarter) than ever and continue to add clients to our portfolio as we move forward.
As long as we continue to provide ROI much like online marketing is doing against other media, I believe we'll continue to prosper in these tough times.
Is your mentality one of survive or thrive?
Better yet, what is your competition doing?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Some entrepreneurs are cursed with the "Never say die" attitude. Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for tenacity. But blind devotion to something that goes into uncharted (red) territory and sticking to it even though the voices inside (and out) are screaming at you to shut it down just isn't healthy nor does it make good business sense. Too many a founder continue to pile headstrong into an area where there's no hope of success for plenty of reasons, but it takes someone will not only humility but also vision to cut the cord and move on.
Today I sat down with a young founder who recently made the decision to discontinue operations on his venture to head into what he believes will be greener pastures.
I commend him on his decision to back away from where he is - not that I thought it was doomed to fail, but because the mere fact that he made the decision shows entrepreneurial maturity and a lack of emotional tie to a business that would cause him to fixate on the opportunity of possible, yet remote, success and blind him to the reality of the lack thereof. The decision he made is something that future investors and business partners should be aware of, but probably will never be privy to.
In the book that will tell the story of his life as an entrepreneur, his call to close this chapter and pen a new one is a telling insight into his character that will ultimately bring him success in the long run.
I look forward to reading what's next in his book.
These guys were SOOOOO close to cool, it hurts.
Putting a PICO itx board in a ZX81 - COOL.
Not utilizing the membrane keyboard - LAME!
They might as well just put it in a cardboard box. Seriously, you can't put it in that case unless you use the keyboard.