How Marketing and Greed Destroyed Black Friday

How Marketing and Greed Destroyed Black Friday

This article was originally posted on my LinkedIn Profile at
http://bit.ly/1WQwmgz
on 11/28/2014

As I sit here enjoying my Seattle’s Best #5 coffee, after spending what seems like an eternity deleting Black Friday promotional emails from my gmail inbox, I just can’t help but wonder, what is Black Friday anyway, and why should I care? Why are all these marketers emailing me about Black Friday?

After all, I’ve been getting emails from marketers for an eternity, it seems. They’re all getting in my face, clogging up my inbox, trying to get me to buy this and that, telling me that I’ll save big bucks, claiming my eyes will pop out… here are just a few examples of the absurdly ridiculous attempts to get me to pull out my wallet:

  • Prices so low, they’re scaring us!
  • Get your treats! Last chance to save
  • Time is running out!
  • Black November – a month of Black Friday deals
  • 50 eye-popping black friday deals

The problem with these? (more…)

7 Ways To Guarantee Your Great Idea for Software in a Hot Niche Market Will Fail

7 Ways To Guarantee Your Great Idea for Software in a Hot Niche Market Will Fail

As an independent consultant that works both in and on my business all day, every day, I’m always on the lookout for new software and services that can help me stay organized, streamline my workflow, keep the constant ebb and flow of my seemingly never ending ToDo list under control, and capture the time I spend every day in a way that allows me to quantify the billable hours that I present to my clients as well as quantify the apparently massive amount of non-billable time I spend in front of this PC every day, day after day, week after week, and month after month. Some weeks I work 80 hours and only bill 20. Some weeks I bill 50 and only work 60. It all depends on whether I have billable or non-billable projects to do.

Either way, I want to be able to look back and know what I did yesterday. Believe me, without keeping track of projects, tasks, and time, I could work on something all morning and forget what I did by the afternoon.

So when new tools come around and present themselves to me in the form of a carefully crafted advertisement promising productivity nirvana, you bet I’ll go and check it out. Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat several times in my quest to find (more…)

Forcing Your Customers To Talk To A Computer Says Everything About Your Hatred For People

Forcing Your Customers To Talk To A Computer Says Everything About Your Hatred For People

OK, I’m all for answering machines, especially for small businesses. I use one. I even have a virtual receptionist available to me with my Ooma Office Phone Service any time I decide to take advantage of it. Right now, I just have my office number ring on my cell phone simultaneously so I never miss a call. If I don’t know who’s calling, or I’m too busy to answer, or the call is coming too far outside my normal business hours, I let it go to Voicemail.

And even then, if I decide to use it, the system allows me to configure voice prompts simply by typing the content into a text box. What I type is what the Virtual Assistant says. So I can say “Thanks for calling AppDataWorks. Press 1 for Sales. Press 2 for Support.” and so on. I think that’s appropriate for a very small business like mine. I could hire a “live virtual receptionist” to answer my calls and give a human touch to that contact, and I may do that down the road if my phone starts ringing enough. But for right now, even a highly configurable robo-voice prompting callers to the correct line would be fine.

In fact, it should be fine for any size business. Do you hear me Sears? Bank of America? Verizon? (more…)

A Thank You to Extensitech

Back in January I had the opportunity to sit down and share in great conversation and some awesome Tex-Mex food with the staff of Extensitech where we were able to “geek out” (thanks Crystal for the cool term) and share with each other the various technologies we work with.

Extensitech is based out of Brooksville Florida and is very unique in the Custom Software Development space in that they work primarily with FileMaker. This is rare, not an easy to find skill, and they are extremely good at what they do. If anybody reading this blog post is searching for a FileMaker Certified Development shop, look no further. This company has created a framework application they call xBase that they use to build custom software around and can pretty much build any kind of software on top of it. They are fun, personable, and professional and I would recommend them to any company seeking assistance with FileMaker solutions. (more…)

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