Monthly Archive for August, 2002

no smile missing here

Apple got rid of the ‘happy mac’ icon greeting on startup that has graced the Macintosh for so many year with Jaguar. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about that, but the best comment I’ve heard so far comes from Andy:

“The smiling face is still there every time I boot my Mac. It’s just not reflected back anymore.”

Perfect… thanks Andy.

Apple PR Stunt?

In case you didn’t know, Ken Berekstein, Mac OS X Product Manager, is attempting to blog the 150 new features of Mac OS X. Pretty interesting idea, and I hope he can keep up the momentum.

The real interesting part of this experiment by Ken, is that to me it really seems as if Apple is just jumping on the ‘blog bandwagon’ without fully endorsing Ken’s actions as their own. I mean, Apple has traditionally frowned upon their own employees putting their own name on something. A few years ago, when Jobs came back as iCEO, Apple stopped employees from listing their names in Apple branded about screens, and every time I spoke with an Apple employee in the past they were very, very carful about what they spoke about.

So, it really seems to me that if Apple is allowing this employee to start telling people about the benefits of Jaguar, then they have to be behind it, and they have to be endorsing it. I would even suppose that they are reading the material before its released, and approving it, though that might be taking it a bit too far.

It’s just really odd to see an Apple employee speaking publicly about a product.

At the same time, there are plenty of other Mac OS X sites out there that’ll point you to new features, and probably a lot faster than Ken will be able to do so:

Mac OS X Hints

O’Reilly’s MacDevcenter

Apple’s Developer Pages

MacNet Journal

And Many Many More… Just make sure you realize that anything coming from Ken’s blog will be a positive about Mac OS X, as that’s his paycheck he’s writing about…

hellacious week

This week has been hell. I’ve been looking at starting my own business, with a couple of friends, but I feel like its all just going too fast. I make a pretty decent living, but at the same time, don’t really enjoy working at the company I work at. It’s sort of odd, having a good job at a badly run company. (I work at a company that I have no doubt would be all over fuckedcompany.com if we were slightly bigger, or more publicly held).

Anyways, I’ve been looking at a bunch of resources for starting your own business like the SBA’s website, BusinessTown and the ABCs of Small Business, but I just don’t have enough time to read everything that’s available. I have so many questions about the ways to organize your business, how to do things like simple accounting (should have paid more attention in college, shouldn’t I have) and other questions that are almost too numerous to name.

All of these questions swimming around in my head and at the same time I’m just not sure that I really want to quit my job right now, and start a business with no guarantees of income, some distrust of my potential partners and my own abilites and our dedication. At the same time, it looks like a great time to start the business that we’re looking at, because the main players in that realm are probably all worn out from the past 2 years or so of crappy economics, and having run their own businesses full time for the past couple of years. I know we can be successful, but am not sure right now is the right time.

There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to learn everything I want to learn, and still keep up the appearances and efforts that my full time job requires…

I guess I’ll just keep grinding away, and keep looking for more information. If you have any good resources for ‘why should should be an LLC vs. an S-Corp or C-Corp?’ or ‘how to form a partnership where everyone doesn’t have the same amount of capital to invest?’ or ‘how to do simple accounting when there aren’t any employees but the owners, and they’ll all get paid sporadically for 6-12 months?’ I’d appreciate your leaving a URL in the comments.

Thanks…

updated 9/21/2003: If you’ve come to this website by reading the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, you should read this entry I posted for some pointers in your quest for information on business blogs.

Customer Centricity

Ever heard of it? I hadn’t until recently. I downloaded a report from the Vanderbilt eLab research manuscript area that describes Customer Centrity as “… maximizing the understanding of our customers within a time frame and a context ń short of long duration ń to achieve business objectives and maximize customer value.”

I read over the report and thought to myself “is this any different than what I’ve been preaching at my current place of work for the last 18 months?” The answer to that question is “no,” but I haven’t used those words. I’ve read a lot of books recently like Good to Great and Built to Last, and the funny thing is that they also talk about customer focused companies that are very successful, too, but they don’t deal stricly with the internet, which is what the eLab does – quite well I might add.

So, I picked up a few great nuggets that I’d like to share with you:

The many-to-many communication model reverses the traditional one-to-many broadcasting paradigm. Any user can be an information provider.

This is being proven today many times over by the decline of mass media and the proliferation of weblogs. You see, any user can be an information provider, and many all becoming one. I turn to many sources that are 360° from the sources I turned to a year ago for vital information. I read as many different things as I can during the course of the day, and still don’t find enough differing viewpoints to satisfy my urge… I surely don’t watch all that much TV anymore, except for the local news program every once and a while, and for some entertainment, but even then, only rarely.

The Web, much more so than traditional media environments, allows customers to alternate between experiential (non-directed, “fun”) behavior and goal-directed (“work”) behavior. Online commerce must take account of both.

I absolutely agree that this is one place that the majority of the marketing people out there just aren’t “getting it”. The people behind traditional marketing are trying desperately to put into context what they’re learning on the web, but the problem is that their context is all wrong.

You see, as this article states, “Traditional marketers think that we on the Web are markets. They define a market as a group of people who will respond favorably (i.e., 2% twitch) to a message.” But people on the internet don’t fit into a ‘market’ yet, and likely won’t until the internet adoption rate is up there around 90%, and when that happens, there’ll be so many places to find information, unless a marketing agency recommends to the ‘big companies’ out there that they need to transform their voice into a bunch of little voices speaking intently about their products, to the people that want to hear about them, they’ll miss out on a lot of sales.

We’ve still got a lot to learn about the web, and marketing on the web, but the key to all of this is that customers on the web require customer centricity. But they call it ‘giving a shit about me’.

hack into windows

Scary: Hack into Windows XP/2000/NT anytime you want.

cluetrain, gonzo and a swiftkick

Lately, I’ve been reading Gonzo Marketing, and just ordered Cluetrain Manfesto from Amazon, and I have to say that I agree with a lot of what they books are about. Mainly that traditional marketing and mass media approach to the internet are all wrong (from what I’ve read so far).

So today, while watching the VMAs, I read this article and was blown away again. This group of authors is on to something.

The Two Reasons Marketers Don’t Understand the Web

And why they will continue to get it wrong.

August 28, 2002 – It’s really very simple:

1. They can’t tell the difference between a party and a market.

2. They think it’s their party.

You’ve got to go read the article. And there are some great nuggets in the comments:

If a website gets really annoying I’ll stop using it. If it makes me jump through too many hoops to get to the place/info I want to get to then I’ll shop elsewhere. Something for website “owners” to consider. –Tammy

As David rightly points out, the problem with marketers/advertisers is that they think it’s their party. Despite the fact that they’ve determined a theme and paid for the affair (i.e. website), they really aren’t in control. People/users attend as they wish and leave early if it’s boring. They don’t come back and they tell their friends. –Susan

If a business can truly relate to the values of their clients, no matter what the product/services, they will have good business, with or without marketing hype. Most succesful companies do have a (almost) personal relationship with their major clients. –Dmitri

Freeside and/or CBMS ?

Freeside and CBMS are two things that I want to check out sometime soon. Scott mentioned them in a post, and I’m interested.

Has anyone ever used either?

Today’s quote… seems totally applicable

“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back” — Chinese Proverb

Today starts a new day

I’ve been thinking about testing MovableType for a while… and today is the first day I’ve gotten around to trying it… we’ll see what becomes of this…