Monday, January 31, 2011

Different color coffee cups

When a person orders decaf coffee, he or she does not want to keep explaining the decision to everyone who comes around to refill the cup. How about using a different color cup or some other distinguishing feature, so that I do not have to explain that I want decaf?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vegan Pizza Day

There are four days to Groundhog Day so that would be reason enough to celebrate, however Vegan Pizza Day takes happiness to a new level.

We want to celebrate and spread the word about vegan pizza by eating lots of it and encouraging others to as well. Let's show the rest of the world what we've known for a long time...that vegan pizza is amazing and can be enjoyed by everyone.
We have so many great options today for vegan pizza and it's time to share this. Let's convince people through fresh veggies, tasty mock meats and melty vegan cheese that dairy & meat free pizzas can be the best. 
I am in!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mindset creates reality

Jeffrey Pfeffer shares Chip Conley's wisdom about mindsets

I asked why he thought it was so hard for people to do things like networking that didn’t seem difficult and were clear paths to power. Conley said that for most people, networking, building social relationships with strangers at, for instance, events and functions, was seen as a task. That mindset held true for many of the other actions required to build power–they were tasks. Tasks, he said, are things like taking out the garbage. You don’t try to develop your “skill” at taking out the garbage, you don’t think much about it, you just do it and get it over with.
However, if you think of networking as a skill, then that mindset changes everything. Skills are things that can, and maybe even should, be developed. You think about how well you are performing skills, you work on getting better, you get feedback, you apply thought, you learn.

The implication of Conley’s insight: the difference between people who build effective networks and those that don’t, the difference between people who develop political skill and grow that skill over time and those that don’t, has much less to do with intelligence or charisma or charm and everything to do with how people see and define what they are doing–as skills or as tasks.


So here’s some practical advice: the next time you find yourself at some meeting or event, the next time you get what you think is a boring, trivial assignment, consider how your mindset affects your approach. Chip Conley is right–there is a big difference in what we do and what we learn depending on whether we define some activity as a task or a skill. As a consequence, our ability to build power and influence derives as much from how we think about our activities as from our abilities.

Friday, January 21, 2011

One cookie.

There are many interactions that a customer might remember when visiting your restaurant however the last one carries the most weight if it goes wrong. The meal was perfect, the ambiance was delightful, the service was good and then they bring dessert.

They bring out a smallish tray of cookies. Actually one cookie for each individual at the table.
What does your guest remember? The puny cookie of course.

End with a flourish, always!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wallet in the smartphone

This story from the Dow Jones wire,

Starbucks Corp. will allow customers at U.S. company-operated stores to use some smartphones to pay for their purchases in an effort to drive sales.
Customers with Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry or Apple Inc.’s iPhone or iPod touch will be able to pay using a Starbuck card mobile app at nearly 6,800 company-operated stores and 1,000 Starbucks in U.S. Target Corp. locations.
The introduction builds on test programs that included Seattle, Northern California and New York. The company said its Starbucks card platform saw growth of 21% last year, partly driven by its rewards program.
Starbucks in November reported that fiscal fourth-quarter profit surged 86 percent as worldwide same-store sales rebounded for the fourth consecutive quarter, with the coffee giant reporting balanced growth in the U.S. and abroad.
The future has arrived, your business needs to assimilate ...
resistance is futile

Monday, January 17, 2011

Midnight ride

Wray Herbert explains the "Midnight ride" concept and how it impacts the story you are telling.

With the country on the verge of civil war in 1860, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a patriotic poem about Paul Revere, a little-known Massachusetts silversmith and minor hero of the Revolutionary War. “Paul Revere’s Ride” played fast and loose with the facts of the now famous 1775 events, but the narrative had the psychological effect the author intended. It got Americans wondering how history might have turned out differently without that heroic act—and how the country might never have come to exist. By focusing on the nation’s precarious origins, the poem bolstered nationalism at a time when it was sorely needed.
“What if” thinking is always a bit tricky. Too much focus on “what might have been” can mire us in regret and feelings of powerlessness or keep us from savoring our good fortune. But is it possible that a bit of such thinking might save us from complacency about our circumstances? Some scientists are beginning to think that imagining an alternative reality might have ironic and tonic effects. Indeed, it might be a practical tool for strengthening commitment to country, workplace and relationships.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

While you were waiting.

Seth shares these thoughts

How to finance the project

Scott Shane offers 4 key lessons on entrepreneurial finance

In short, unless you have a rare, super-high-growth business with plans to exit through an initial public offering or acquisition within five to seven years, your best bet is to minimize your capital needs and finance your start-up with your own money, money that you borrow personally, and trade credit.

1. For most entrepreneurs, seeking outside financing isn’t worth your time. 

2. Your personal credit and personal collateral matter a great deal when financing a startup.  

3. You are more likely to get a loan than an equity investment from an outsider. Because venture capital and angel investments are sexier than bank loans and trade credit, the former gets the lion’s share of attention in books and articles about entrepreneurial finance.  However, most of the companies that get outside financing obtain debt, not equity.
Only a tiny percentage of startups are financed by selling equity to accredited angels or venture capitalists.  The statistics show that around 1 percent of companies get their financing from these two sources combined.  Other informal investors – like friends, family and unaccredited angels – add a few percentage points to the share of businesses that get outside equity, but research shows that these sources are actually more likely to lend money than to take an equity stake.  Therefore, unless your business is the type that angels and venture capitalists look for, you shouldn’t waste your time seeking equity investors.
4. Tapping trade creditors is where your odds of obtaining financing for the business itself are highest. According to analysis of the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Small Business Finance, next to having a checking account, trade credit is the most common financial tool used by small businesses.  Because trade credit is offered by suppliers to help you buy their products, even the newest businesses can obtain it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 rings in with new hope.

"today we sailed on", those are words that Christopher Columbus would right in his journal nightly during his voyage in 1492. Alone in the North Atlantic engulfed by water with only the hope of a new world to keep the intrepid sailors moving forward into uncharted seas.

2007 was the beginning of the end, 2008 was the financial meltdown that devastated hopes, dreams and forever altered lives, 2009 saw the slender shoots spring ever so perilously from the barren torched ground. 2010 saw less bad which is the new normal. Those who have endured, those whose resources have weathered the Category 5 headwinds of the last four years are hoping the winds subside and fair weather returns. 

My hope is that "today you sail on"