Monday, March 31, 2008



What it costs in fuel to drive one mile.
87 Unleaded $3.359 per gallon.
The only gas station in town.
There are two others just one mile west.

15 Miles Per Gallon = 22.39 Cents Per Mile
20 Miles Per Gallon = 16.80 Cents Per Mile
25 Miles Per Gallon = 13.44 Cents Per Mile
30 Miles Per Gallon = 11.20 Cents Per Mile
35 Miles Per Gallon = 9.60 Cents Per Mile

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Was in Jet's Pizza for some slices. The box had two messages. These were both new. Didn't get these with pizza last week.

First, a carry out menu was included. They want to sell more then just slices of pizza to me.

Second, a small note similar to a Post-It note was included. It was informing me of a new product.

Product name: New York Style BOLD FOLD PIZZA.

These messages got my attention.


How are you getting your customers attention?
How are you communicating with your customers?
What is your message?
Is it effective in increasing sales and profits?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Monday, March 24, 2008


Real Estate seems to be at a bottom.
  • Inventory is high
  • Long Term 30 yr fixed mortgage rates are low and stable
  • Buying season is starting soon [most (or is it more) sales occur in spring and summer]
  • Sellers are figuring that it is better to reduce prices to market than to continue paying interest for many months [or years] waiting for a sale [at last years valuations].
  • Existing homes sales are slowly increasing still falling. Business Week coverage.
  • The slowdown may be coming to an end as government stimulus checks are going out in about 5 weeks.
  • As usual the stimulus will probably be late and the economy will already be in recovery.
  • This is the bottom and the deals will not be this good for some time [if ever again].
  • As this becomes the sentiment of buyers [and vultures] they will rush in to get the best locations and values.
The next few months will be interesting...

Any thoughts on housing, interest rates or the economy?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

G3: Gotta Get Goals

It has been said that we become what we think about. Things we want to do, achieve and become are goals. No goals, no anything. Goals + persistence + tenacity = Achievement

Get some goals in your mind. Some you really truly want. Focus on them. Think about what you need to do to accomplish them.

Pick some Short [S], Medium [M] and Long [L] Term goals

[S]hort - Goals that can be achieved within a month.
[M]edium - Goals that take longer than a month and perhaps up to three years.
[L]ong Term - Goals that take three or more years to achieve.

These are simple definitions of the time frames. Make adjustments if you so desire. This system is flexible so you can make it fit your personality and beliefs.
The point is to think about what you really want, then to decide if you are willing to work hard and long enough to accomplish it.

Come up with a few goals for each time frame.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, March 21, 2008



Ross Hunter

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Where is real value?

What is more important, price or cost?


Retailer A always has the lowest prices. Customers flock there to make purchases because they have the lowest prices.

Retailers B, C, D, E ... are closer, faster, more conveniently located, and provide higher service levels.

Example transaction - Printer Cartridge

Retailer A has the lowest price

Retailer B has a higher price

Difference of $2

The Low Price Theory says go to Retailer A.

That is the wrong decision in this case and in many cases. There are a few other factors not specifically mentioned above. Retailer A is 13 miles away and Retailer B is 1 mile away.
Round trip miles, Retailer A 26 miles Retailer B 2 miles. Differential cost of 24 miles.

Average car gets 25 Miles Per Gallon
Average price of 87 Unleaded $3.009
Cost Per Mile = $3.009 / 25 = $.12036 or 12 Cents per mile
Our travel differential was 24 miles at 12 cents per mile = $2.88

True Cost [product + variable fuel costs only]

Retailer A
$19.99 + $3.12 = $23.11

Retailer B
$21.99 + $ $.24 = $22.23

ANSWER: Purchase at Retailer B since the true cost is less. Doing business with Retailer A clearly costs more.

The Lowest Cost Theory requires that we allocate real costs that can be calculated to determine the best value.

This example leaves out depreciation, wear and tear costs and buyer time to travel.
The advantage of Retailer B becomes even more dramatic if all variable transportation expenses are allocated [tires, oil changes, vehicle depreciation etc].

Lowest cost is what matters when buying commodity products [products that are not differentiated and the supplier adds nothing of value to increase profits of the buyer].

What are your thoughts?



"Perceived value is what really counts."
  • How is your product or service important?
  • How is it different than other firms offerings?
  • Do you truly deliver?
  • How do you communicate your value proposition?

"People buy products and services because of how it makes them feel."
  • Do you believe that?
  • Why do you have that belief?
  • What experiences support or conflict with that?

Your comments, thoughts and ideas are appreciated...

Monday, March 17, 2008


"A focused man is a force."

dld 10-19-2006

  • Do you know what your goals are?
  • Are you focused on what you want?
  • Are you persistently pursuing your dreams?
Thoughts and comments?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Peter F. Drucker on Leadership

"Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes."

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Cable TV Price Inflation

People are concerned about rising prices. Food, fuel and cable TV. Food and fuel are relatively new in the inflation game. Cable TV prices have been outpacing inflation for what seems like forever. You will find a New York Times article here about cable price inflation from nearly 20 years ago.

Several years ago it was reported here that "The average cable bill rose 5.6 percent in 2005 — to $43.04."

Question #1

At what price would you cancel your pay TV service [$50, $100, $200, $400 per month]?

Question #2:

How long can the price of a product or service increase before revenue decreases by either substitution or ending use of the product or service?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Daily Thought

What is the best "F" word?

Friend is a word that immediately jumps to mind.
[F******] is the second

What are your thoughts?
[please keep it clean]

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Quality & Improvement

"There is always a better way; it should be found."

Friday, March 7, 2008


"Be a price maker, not a price taker."


How do I become a price maker?
  • Acquire skills that are in demand [or will be in demand]
  • Develop skills that create value
  • Strive to become the best... The best are at the top of the pay scale for the skill/talent/ability
  • Persist in out working the competition
  • Increase your knowledge [specialized is more valuable than general knowledge]
  • Improve critical thinking

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Uncompetitive Offering from Amazon MP3

How can free be uncompetitive? See below.
Earlier today I came across a message saying that Amazon MP3 was giving away some free music. Went to the website and indeed there appeared to be 2 "free" songs available. When it came down to it, you were forced to select a payment method. There did not appear to be any way around this step. Pay for "free" music, sorry no deal.
This was a hassle compared to iTunes from Apple. So instead of gaining a customer they got negative feedback. Hopefully they get lots of feedback so they can "fix" the problems. As long as these problems remain, Amazon MP3 will be an also ran in the digital music business.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Old and Happy?

The New York Times has a recent article about living long and well. It is targeted at men but one could also apply it to women.

"Gentlemen, 5 Easy Steps to Living Long and Well"

Published: February 19, 2008

The Five Things
1. Not smoking
2. Weight management
3. Blood pressure control
4. Regular exercise
5. Avoiding diabetes

My Thoughts...

1. Eat more healthy food [more fruits and vegetables]. Only total health nuts eat enough of these. For the other 99%, me and most everybody else, we need to eat more of these foods.
2. Exercise a little everyday. This is not complicated. Do something besides sitting on the couch, eating bon bons and watching TV [my apologies to the makers of bon bons].
3. Do not over indulge in treats. We all have our favorite foods. The food that makes us feel good when we eat it. If you know it is not a good idea to eat it everyday, don't. A couple [2] of times a week shouldn't be a problem.

Do things in your own best interests.

Commodity Prices

Hard Assets an Easy Call?
March 4, 2008; Page C1

Great article in today's Wall Street Journal. Take a minute to read it.

Monday, March 3, 2008


" The way to a great day; make it that way for others."

Take some time and think about how you can serve others. In doing so you will find a way to create value and happiness.

The more you serve, the more you deserve. Serving comes before deserving. That's just the way it is.

Service is more highly valued that you think.

How can you serve to make it a Great Day?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

RSS - Is it the way of the future?

RSS feeds seem like they have been around a long time. At the same time most people have little knowledge of them. Just last month RSS feeds became more relevant to me. I set up feeds in the past, but did not understand how powerful they could be. Now specialized information comes to my little corner of the Internet. Before, I had some on my iGoogle page. Then somehow I stumbled on to Google Reader.

An average day has me going through 300+ postings. Don't read them all. The good ones get stars and some are shared with others. Some are set up as job alerts [, and ]. Once you create a search that finds jobs that interest you, create an RSS feed and similar search results come to you.

Hopefully you find this post somewhat interesting. As I write more and more, thoughts and writing style should become more focused and clear. If you can leave your thoughts, please do. This site is so new, it is not clear if readers can leave comments.

Job searching in challenging times

Firms seem to be very cautious in their hiring. They want top performers that create value many times their cost [wages + benefits]. They always do. But now, the time from the first job post to hire seems longer than usual.

Some of the tools being used in my search...




What are some job search sources you use or have used in the past?

START Theory

"The only way to get things done is to START."
How to get it done

Simplify - Basic focused idea or goal
Think - Use the brain and other tools to come up with solutions and ideas
Act - The way to get things done is with Action
Review - Results must be measured against the task or goal as success or failure
Tendency - Do more of what works and less of what doesn't

It is possible to start and never finish. But you must start in order to get it done.