Saturday, June 25, 2011

Stop the texting madness

I am told that I will stare at my phone at any provocation. However, no one has ever said that I have kept a client or customer waiting while I update my Twitter feed, Facebook page or send a text. There is an epidemic of texting and phone updating madness. You can no longer go to restaurant, retail store, heck even a place of worship without servers, workers, even managers and clergy checking their phones and sharing their thoughts with the world.

We have been able to stop workplace smoke, now we need to stop workplace texting and phone checking.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

12:16 CDST - Summer

Take out the beach wear, put your feet in the sand, it is officially Summer. There are only two seasons in life really. Summer and not Summer. Enjoy Summer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Social media pushback

Business owners as a rule tend to be a shoot from hip, wear their emotions on their sleeve bunch. Social media has the capability of taking simple vents or rants and destroying your brand or business overnight.

Tweeting is not like sounding off to your friends in a bar. It feels that way, however your drunken stupor rants will be interpreted  quite differently by the instant access of the web.

Business owners must maintain their professional persona's 24/7 in every communication channel.


Monday, June 6, 2011

How to insure greater accountability from individuals

Kimberly Weisul explains a reframing of the question

But the researchers did find one very effective way to promote honest behavior: Simply ask filers to sign the statement of ethics at the beginning of the form-before it’s been filled out-rather than the end. As the researchers write:
“…simply moving the signature line from the end to the beginning of a form will bring one’s moral standards into focus, right before it is most needed… When signing at the end of a form, the “damage” has already been done; by the time individuals have filled out the form, they have already engaged in various mental tricks and justifications that allow them to maintain a positive self-image despite having cheated.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trends Trends Trends

MSNBC has a collection of trends

Urban foraging

Now that some city slickers have figured out how to raise chickens at home, urbanites are taking aim at another farm favorite: pick-your-own produce. New tools are making it easier to harvest wild, indigenous edibles that sprout up anywhere from city parks to sidewalk cracks. Neighborhood Fruit, a GPS-enabled app, forages for the nearest trees growing on public lands across the country (for iPhone, $1),

Night markets

Long a fixture in East Asia, the night market has finally hit our shores. Pairing the breezy, open-air setting of a greenmarket with an under-the-radar, after-dark vibe, these nocturnal gatherings attract experimental cooks and eaters who are up for adventure.

Single-item restaurants

Death to the 100-item menu! Today's hyper-focused chefs are devoting their kitchens to turning out a single signature dish, albeit in countless customizable variations. 

Bicycle cafés

Forget granola bars and trail mix. A sophisticated new breed of hybrid repair shop cafés is popping up to cater to the two-wheeled foodie set
Rent-a-tree, get the products of a tree

Why am I paying you?

I have a serious grip with real estate brokers whose only solution is to lower the price. I do not need no fricking real estate broker if the price they offer to sell the house at is the same price as a bank foreclosed property is selling for. What do brokers not get? If you bring no value to the transaction, why should I pay you a commission. When real estate was booming brokers did very little but bring a buyer to a property. Now, that real estate has collapsed they believe that the same level of service is sufficient to earn a commission. It is not, I hire a broker to add value to the transaction in the form of a higher selling price. I am sick and tired of reading articles about how brokers are happy that sellers finally get it. Guess what it is the brokers who do not not get it. If they can not sell a property for more than I can sell the property for, they have done nothing to earn a commission.

Many other businesses have the same mentality, they do not understand that to survive in this environment, they need to add value to the customer's life, is your business adding value or are you just collecting a revenue stream?

The recession was over two years ago however the depression rages unabated

There has to be a special place in hell for economists. After the worst economic meltdown in 80 years we are to believe that the "recession" ended two years ago. Housing prices, the single largest investment for individuals have dropped more during this five year period than they did during the "Great Depression", real wages have dropped, people who have lost their jobs and been lucky enough to replace them have done so at lower wage levels. Confidence has been lost in the system and there is no end in sight. At some point some economist will say that this was in fact a depression.

Against this backdrop it is very difficult for individuals to commit discretionary dollars to fun. Yet fun is what is needed most. Yes we might not have any money tomorrow however "it is better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a lamb". Rage, rage against the dying of the light. As hard as it is to believe if your savings are being drawn down every month, there is opportunity. Businesses that have adjusted and are providing value for the service or product are in fact prospering. The massive amounts of liquidity in the system will at some point be deployed and finance another boom. Boy it sure feels like hell though. "When you are going through hell, just keep on going, you might get out before the devil knows you are there."


Thursday, June 2, 2011

First customer picks you.

The oft told story of social proof is that a person walks up to building with empty restaurants on both sides. That person picks restaurant A, A second person walks up and sees one person in restaurant A and no one in restaurant B. that person chooses A, and so on. Restaurant A is a major success, Restaurant B must re-concept the space because it has fails on a massive scale.

There is a also the dynamic that social networks be definition build much the same way. People who would never have joined on their own are forced to join because everyone else is in the network. Individuals are very uncomfortable when they are not part of a common whole.

The business lesson is that the key is to create a social network that individuals wish to be a part of in your business.