December 14, 2006

Always A New Way

A reader writes:
    I signed up for the 14 day trial of rhapsody.com ... As I'm enjoying Roxanne by Sting I hear Feliz Navidad playing over the track. I instantly assume that something is wrong with the stream and try to replay the song. It happens again. I then go back to the song list page trying to figure out what the heck is doing that. Then I realize it. It's the Cingular Banner at the top of the page!!! How horrible. I was enjoying rhapsody.com. Now I'm done.
Interrupt. Annoy. Lose.


December 13, 2006

Immediate Results Or Years Of Struggle?

"Focus on that which is beyond what your eyes can see."
- Albrecht Durer

Visionaries are never right in the short term.


December 11, 2006

Tell Me What It Costs

There are two ways to sell tickets. The first way is to set a price, charge that price to customers, and then pay all the interested parties (performer, venue, ticket seller, etc.) their share. The second way is to set a price for the performance and then tack on fees for the venue, ticket seller, etc.

The first way is clean, fully operational, and easy to understand. Tickets are $40. OK. Here is $40. Thank you for the ticket. Tickets show up or are printed out and you stick them up on the refrigerator or bulletin board, eying them in anticipation for weeks. See you at the show. Everyone understands what the ticket is worth. Everyone understands that all the details are included.

The second way is overtly capitalistic. Tickets are $23. Facility fee is $6.75. Ticket seller "convenience" fee is $5.25. Shipping is $3.00. Printing the tickets directly, right now, is $5.00. Greed, confusion, and miscommunication are included - free. What other charges are going to come up by the time the show starts?

Selling tickets the first way shows thought and foresight. The second tactic demonstrates that a line has been drawn between creating a customer-centered experience and creating an easy to manage ledger for the promoter.

When in doubt, easier is easier.


December 7, 2006

You Have Two Choices Every Day

1. Invent the future, be remarkable, and change the world.

2. Be a used tire in the landfill of history, wasting away over a century, eventually becoming an unrecognizable part of the landscape.


December 5, 2006

Keeping Track

While no one will argue that measuring your efforts or maintaining a diary are good ideas, the story of Robert Shields from Dayton, Washington is truly remarkable.

For the last twenty years of his life, he meticulously chronicled every single thing he did and thought. He recounts everything he ate, every piece of junk mail he received, the weather, including temperature and humidity, inside and out, medications, prayers, bodily functions, and even the time spent typing his diary.

Believed to be the world's longest diary, it also includes such curiosities as samples of nose hair taped to the pages, as well as price stickers from meat purchased at the supermarket, and accounts of how he never slept more than two hours at a time so he would be able to remember, and thus record, his dreams.

A transcript of a radio interview and a sample page from his diary are both fascinating.


December 4, 2006

The Great Firewall Of China

When considering how important it is to preserve the neutrality of the internet, chew on these observations about what China and Iran are already doing. Communism and capitalism are coming increasingly close together when it comes to regulating content that should otherwise be free and freely accessible. What would it have been like if you had to pay for certain, designated books at the library when you were growing up? Try to imagine Ted Turner in one of Kim Jong-Il's jumpsuits....