Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Effective Execution

The below message is a rewording of an IM I sent.

If you can effectively execute you will be successful.

There is plenty of room in the ocean for everybody to swim.

OK, there are sharks.... but the ocean is mostly safe.

More people die walking down the street than from shark attacks.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Startup Weekend Tips

Via Twitter

@DanielleMORRILL provided the thoughts below as being important for Startup Weekend success

  • Get a working prototype as early as possible
  • Then polish polish polish.
  • Keep your team small and focused

Original tweet

If you have some thoughts on this, add them in as a comment. Thanks.

The Flow of Information

The cycle of information. Where it starts, where it leads.

This is not always the process but how it sometimes works. Compelling content creates positive chemical reactions. These reactions can be captured. See below how it all played out.


1. Email from Smart Brief ---> Leads to article on CNNMoney.com: “Garbage mogul makes millions from trash

2. Search on Twitter for TerraCycle



BTRfeatures: Come listen to the Innovative Business Model: TerraCycle show by Planet Good Radio on BlogTalkRadio LIVE at http://tobtr.com/s/437950


3. Top result from BlogTalkRadio Link leads to…

Planet Good Radio

Show Name: Innovative Business Model: TerraCycle

4. Listen to show…

3.5 Before listening… see an Amazon book link… visit site to see book. Added book to Wish List.


  • Information that is compelling drives decisions and actions.
  • BlogTalkRadio gets more mind time
  • Amazon gets the sale
  • TerraCycle gets a positive reference point in mind
  • Tom Szaky gets recognition and searches. [seems like an innovational entrepreneur]

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Three I’s


Information, Insight & Influence


  • Set of facts.
  • What is the situation?


  • Why is this important?
  • How can it be useful to know?
  • What are the ideal moves or counter moves?


  • This is the strength of faith others have in your information and insights.
  • In one word: Trust.
  • If you have trust you have influence.


You build from information. You analyze it and develop insights. With experience and increasing levels of skill your insight accuracy increases. People with high levels of accuracy earn respect from peers and others. With this respect, skill and accuracy earn you influence.

Uncustomer Defined

Uncustomer: Person or organization that has not chosen you and your product or service.

They had the potential to become a customer. They have unmet needs, wants and desires [and ability to pay]. Your offering failed to compel them to buy. You came up short in delivering value.

What are you going to do about all your uncustomers?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I Love IM

You know why I love IM and live chat?

It draws out thoughts and IDEAS and those are the basis for blog posts. Conversation creates thoughts. These thoughts are part analysis and part imagination. It’s analysis because problems are frequent topics of discussions. Imagination is part of it too because some problems require different methods. New problems sometimes require entirely new ways are developing solutions.

Situations and circumstances require thinking. Follow up questions in IM can clarify any misunderstandings. Answers and solutions are not one size fits all. Each problem is different and must be thought of as unique in the thinking and idea phase [where you are listening]. If you think you have seen the problem before it is fully explained, you better listen a little longer and clarify all critical points. Any of these points, if misunderstood may drastically reduce the effectiveness of any proposed solution.


Who is Hiring?

People with money are hiring. Who are these people with money?
We call them customers [or prospects in sales speak].

Find their wants and needs. Serve them. Create a customer. Market to them, then innovate your product or service. Innovation drives prosperity.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Work at Home Spam Scam?

Sure looks that way to me.

Read and come to your own conclusions.


Quickly make an incredible 159 for very easy typing tasks
that you can finish in your sparetime.

[Ed: Link removed]

Undoubtedly, this is the best method of getting incredible
revenue without commuting. Unique skills aren't needed
whatsoever nor is any marketing called for.
Earn topnotch revenue daily by just finishing short forms
on the web and then get comfortable and wait for your pay.

[Ed: Link removed]

Sick to death of the endless parade of flashy scams,
fishy gimmicks and bad programs that just don't work?
Want superb income by using an amazingly reputable
and tested program? You've found it!
In 7 days time you can make an incredible 1680 for
simple work that is so uncomplicated that anybody
can manage it with absolute ease.

[Ed: Link removed]

If it were only so easy?

Monday, March 16, 2009

U.S. Congress & AIG


Since the Federal Government has taken a controlling stake [80% ownership] they should talk less and take action on their investment. Talk is cheap. These elected representatives talk like they have no responsibility. They [we] own 80% of the firm. They [Congressional reps] ARE the board of directors. Management works for them.

Board of Directors... tell management how you want things done. This grand standing is dumb. You have power and control. Stop pretending you don’t.

Would taking action hurt your reelection prospects?

Number of Spam Emails

Noticed that the number of spam emails Gmail has filtered out is 1981. This is over the past 30 days. It is also a considerable drop from recent numbers. It had peaked above 3000 at some point in the past six months.

What are you seeing regarding spam emails?

Five Gallons of Pennies

What does 5 gallons of pennies look like?

See nearby picture. Never try rolling a full five gallon jug of pennies. The sides are not as strong as the bottom.

January 2009 004

It took the better part of two decades to acquire this many pennies. As you can see the jug broke and created a very big mess. Each gallon of pennies is approximately $50 [total was a little more than $250]. The credit union had an industrial coin counter. It probably took less than thirty minutes to count them all.

Detroit Tweetup #tweetea

Goldfish Tea: Royal Oak, MI

Random March 09 009

This tweetup is currently each Tuesday evening starting between 7 and 8pm.

View Larger Map

You can use the #tweetea hashtag to follow along.

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

  1. About ten years ago I was a certified master mechanic in Michigan.
  2. A few years ago I graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Food and Consumer Package Goods Marketing.
  3. Helped a friend move from Anchorage, AK to Detroit, MI. [Approximate map]
  4. I run almost every single day. Went 694 straight days of running one mile or more.
  5. Was an editor for Guy Kawasaki’s book Reality Check. This opportunity came via Twitter. Turn to page xix in the book for more details.
  6. Fixed a bicycle U-lock for Guy Kawasaki from 2,000 miles away. Read the blog post about it here.
  7. Each month I review 10,000 + posts in Google Reader. Current stats: “From your 331 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 11,325 items, starred 49 items,shared 72 items, and emailed 44 items.”

Tagged 7 friends to write their own “7 things” post. They are as follows:


The rules are simple. Link to your original tagger and list these rules in your post.  Simply share seven facts about yourself in the post.  Tag seven people at the end of your post and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogging: A Year of Posts

Just realized that this blog was started a year ago. It came about from Fast Company and how they had a platform for blogging set up. This platform proved not to my liking and it lead me to Blogger.

First blog posted here was “START Theory” from March 2, 2008.

Fast Facts

  • In 12 months there were 164 posts [March 2008 – February 2009]
  • About 13 posts per month
  • Most posts for a month was April 2008 with 28
  • Fewest posts were for October and April 2008 with 8 in each.

Do you blog?

If not, why not?

If so, why?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shifting Consumer Choices and Preferences

Food is something that is bought on a regular basis by consumers. Each shopping trip is an opportunity to present a mix of products to the consumer.

Target and Walmart have a goal to increase visit frequency per year . Another way of stating this is they want there to be fewer days between visits. It’s a lot easier to close a sale with a customer when they are in your store and already making purchases.

The statement below from the CEO of Target is a good example of what many retailers selling food are trying to do.

"We continue to invest in our food offering in recognition of its importance in driving greater frequency, increasing guest loyalty, and making Target a preferred shopping destination," company CEO Gregg Steinhafel

Three Points

  • Frequency
  • Loyalty
  • Preferred

Frequency is driven by having more items that people frequently purchase. Food and consumer products are excellent examples of items bought frequently. Selling these items at attractive prices gets consumers in the door where higher margin and dollar profit items an be presented to the shopper.

Loyalty is the trust that a retailer earns and maintains with consumers. What is the value proposition and does the retailer consistently deliver on its promise? Retailers that do, build trust and are chosen over competition if their proposition is more compelling than competitors.

Preferred is where there are two or more equally compelling choices and the consumer constantly chooses one retailer over another. There are many different factors that drive being preferred. These factors can shift very rapidly. For a time, style and value pricing was a powerful consumer preference that resonated with shoppers and drove them to Target. At some point, shoppers shifted their preferences to low price. It is in this instance, where the impression of “Every Day Low Prices” drove consumers to shift their buying behavior and choose Walmart.


What will be interesting is to see if there are other preferences that retailers and merchants can deliver a compelling message to consumers. Those that are able to effectively do so will see increasing visit frequency, loyalty and consumer preferences.


What are your thoughts on consumer preferences?

Video - Harvey Mackay: The Most Important People in Your Life


A few words from Harvey Mackay.

Hope you enjoy this short clip.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Whuffie

 Think of it as reputation

  • Do you want to do business with someone with a good reputation? Most likely the answer is yes.
  • What about someone with a bad reputation? Most likely you will avoid business dealings with a person or business with a poor reputation.

If a firm has a bad reputation, IE: paying on time, their score drops. People and vendors will stop interacting with such entities. People and organizations with low or zero as a whuffie score are avoided. Higher scores attract people like a magnet.


Low Scores: Fewer interactions are of lower quality and effectiveness. Interactions are fewer and weaker with lower whuffie scores. When input strength and quality is lower, output quality moves in tandem.

High Scores: More talent with stronger strengths. Firms that make the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for list are probably deluged with applicants when they post job openings. These firms have a strong reputation for respecting and valuing their human capital. People make it all work. These firms understand that as well as their reputation [whuffie].


Not sure if there is yet one method for measuring it. It probably exists, but there is not yet a common standard. This may change in coming years as technology expands and innovation creates new ideas.

*This post is my current opinion. It was created in about 30 minutes while multitasking. Looking forward to expanding my understanding with the release of “The Whuffie Factor” next month [April 21, 2009]

Windows Live Writer: Test Post


This is a test post from Windows Live Writer. It came as part of the upgrade for Windows Messenger or whatever Microsoft was calling it.

  • Nice layout
  • Preview is a nice feature
  • Might make blogging more frequent
  • Blogger writing window was small

This is the end of the test post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Creative Destruction: Newspapers

Wall Street Journal - Recruiters Use Search Engines to Lure Job Hunters - [Retrieved 3/10/2009]
Companies have long used search-engine marketing to lure online consumers. Now they're looking to draw job hunters the same way, while scaling back on competing media such as job boards and newspapers.

In search-engine marketing, employers bid to place ads next to search results for certain keywords, like "accountant," or "nurse." The ads can be limited to users in specific ZIP codes. Advertisers pay search engines when a user clicks on their ad.

Last March, Baylor Health Care System, a large Dallas-based nonprofit, began purchasing keywords on Google, Yahoo and employment-related search engines SimplyHired.com and Indeed.com. The search-engine ads generated more applicants, at less cost, than the other recruiting methods, says Eileen Bouthillet, director of human resources communications.

In the first six months of the program, Ms. Bouthillet says, the search-engine ads delivered 5,250 applicants, at an average cost of $4. By contrast, Baylor paid an average of $30 for each of the 3,125 applicants who came via job boards, and $750 each for the 215 applicants who replied to a newspaper or magazine ad.

This is how technology destroys old industries. 

Classified and job ads were cash cows for print. Why would anyone hiring use newspapers to get applicants? Look at the costs per applicant.  

Some sobering math  

5,250 applicants for $21,000 from search engine ads  
3,125 applicants for $93,650 from job boards  
215 applicants for $161,250 from newspapers or magazine ads  


Search engine ads are 86.98% less expensive than newspaper or magazine ads [In this example. We assume the search is filling one job]. At the same time search engine ads deliver 2342% more applicants to the pool that a candidate will be selected from [at a significantly reduced cost].  

Where do you think the most bang per buck comes from?


I am in hurry writing you this message and I am sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling. I traveled to England and i got my self stranded. I am really stranded in England because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents, cell phone which i have all my contacts and other valuable things were kept on my way to the Hotel am staying, I am facing a hard time here because i have no money on me. I am now owning a hotel bill of (600GBP) and they wanted me to pay the bill soon else they will have to hand me over to the Hotel Management, I need this help from you urgently to help me back home, I need you to help me with the hotel bill and i will also need (850GBP) to feed and help myself back home so please can you help me with a sum of (1,450GBP) to sort out my problems here. I am sending you this email from the city Library, I will appreciate what so ever you can afford to wire the fund and promise to pay back your money as soon as i return home without any delay. So please use my details for Western Union money transfer because i still have one of my I D card with me,that is the only way i could be able to get it fast and leave. hear is the detail below....
Name:    ******* *****
Address: 38 London Rd, Manchester  
zip code M1 2PF
State;  mancherster
Country ;England
After you have send the money, email to me the western union money transfer control number or you can attach and forward to me the western union money transfer receipt so that i can pick up the money and leave. Right now, i don't have any access to phone communications because the phone in my hotel room had been disconnected due to too much bills imposed on me, i only have access to the computer at the library where am sending you this email right Hope to hear from you soon. Also, the embassy here has already promised to give me a covering traveling papers that i will need to have my way back home, all i need right now is the money to settle up the bills and leave,God bless you.
***** *****,

*Ed: Name removed.

Monday, March 2, 2009


If you are trying to sell more books, create more value for customers.

How do book sellers do that?

Find book lists. Examples are The 100 Best Business Books of All Time and the Personal MBA book list [77 books]. When a customer is looking to buy a book on these or any other list, included should be any lists the book is on. Some books are on more than one. Provide each. Then ask this question...
Are you interested in any of the other books on the list?
If the customer indicates they are, the book inventory database can instantly pull all the titles available. This can create an extra sale and save the customer a bit on shipping and handling. This is like cross merchandising categories in the supermarket [EG: Peanut butter and jelly near the bread]. 

Make it easy for the customer to do more business with you.  Doing so will deliver more value. Customers love value. 


Are you asking your customers how you can delight them more?

Better yet, are you asking yourself how you can do this?