Saturday, January 22, 2011

Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste...

When you arrive at work in the morning, work on something important for an hour before checking your email.   This tip is from a list of 7 reasons you should never check email first thing in the morning.  (Guilty as charged.)

 Did Picasso influence the Mac Finder icon?

Why wake up to your alarm clock's beep beep beep when you can be lured awake by sizzling bacon with the Wake n' Bacon.
  • Tecplot's CFD visualization software helps in the quest for alternative fuels.
  • Kenneth Wong weighs in on Altair's acquisition of CFD software developer ACUSIM quoting an Altair VP as saying it "fills a void in our portfolio."
  • Rhino's SDK is now open source.
  • FloEFD won the Design News Golden Mousetrap Award for best product.
  • CAE blogger Jeff Waters is dumping Twitter, changing jobs, and taking several months off from blogging.
If you're into marketing and want to add 42 blogs to your blogroll here are the top content marketing blogs for 2011 as compiled by Junta42.  Do you take into account a product's future plans, its roadmap, when making a purchasing decision?  PTC thinks it's important which is why they're spelling out the future of their new Creo product line.

Hey Canadians.  Check out this guy who during 2011 "will only buy Canadian products, eat Canadian food and consume Canadian media."  Good luck, eh.

Interesting opinion piece by the president and CEO of Campbell's Soup on how to stop being victimized by your own life.  Example: not all fires are equal and you don't have to put them all out yourself.  (Factoid: Campbell's is headquartered in Camden, NJ.)

Copyblogger warns us about the 5 mistakes that kill landing pages on web sites.  #2 is using your regular site design.  Instead, lose the clutter and get focused on converting the prospect into a customer.

 If I wore t-shirts more often, I might wear this one: Groverfield.  (I recommend the movie Cloverfield, just take your Dramamine first unless the camera work isn't as disorienting on the small screen.)

We try to make our customers very happy but sometimes we fail, or as this blog post about How to Save a Disgruntled Customer says, we suck.  From my own experience, I recall this one customer for whom we could do nothing right - missed deadlines, lost shipments, simple misstatements.  The first thing to do is call and dig deeper to fully understand where you went wrong - and stop trying to sell.

You have all probably seen the hilarious parody of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as mangled in PowerPoint.  Now someone's done the same thing for Martin Luther King Jr's I Have an Action Item.  "Coordination of interethnic actors needs to be improved."

Last week it was MaximumPC, this week Deloitte makes their technology predictions for 2011.  There's a lot of focus on TV.  After all, 4.5 trillion hours of TV were watched worldwide in 2010.  That's a helluva lot of toddlers in tiaras, real housewives, and Snooki.  But I think the really important comment is at the end of the article.  "Batteries will probably become the biggest single limiting factor in the growth and penetration of smart mobile devices."

Two places to enjoy a fine beer: The Pour House and The Ginger Man.  (Note: I have not personally been to either of these places but am simply parroting what my beer guru told me.  Last night I had Buds with buds at B-Dubs.  My beer guru probably hates that.)

Someone took extensive notes at the Startup Lessons Learned Conference last year.  It's gonna take some time to read through all of these.  From the notes: "entrepreneurship is not the best way to make money.  Entrepreneurship's goals are to change the world, build an organization of lasting value, and make customers' lives better."  That sounds gallant, but somewhere there has to be a profit motive.

Fortune has ranked the 100 best companies to work for.  Notable: #4 Google, #6 Zappos, #12 Scottrade, #44 Intuit, #72 Microsoft, #87 Men's Wearhouse.  Here are 10 simple truths that smart people forget.  #6 Every mistake you make is progress.  I've made a lot of progress!

This list of classic texts in visualization surprisingly does not include anything by Edward Tufte.  But How NOT to Lie with Visualization sounds interesting.

My current reading backlog.

How to cross a moat, the animated series.  Dentophobia, the fear of dentists, requires a sympathetic ear.  Indeed.

Now I know why all you Zimmermans are impulse buyers.  Research shows that people with last names at the end of the alphabet tend to buy items much more quickly than those with last names at the front of the alphabet.

Not sure I see the need: tinySrc sizes your graphics for mobile screens.  Software Carpentry provides freely available tools and resources for learning about software development.  What do basking sharks have to do with hydro power generation?  Check out this shark-inspired turbine.

From the How Low Can We Go department, a TV commercial for Luv's diapers features a toddler pooping contest.  I certainly hope that Proctor & Gamble doesn't take this same approach to marketing their line of feminine hygiene products.

...that they hurry past it.  ~Kierkegaard


John said...

Being the first commenter on my own post makes me (even more of) a jerk, but I just saw this and it dovetails nicely with this post.

Jim said...

never check email first thing in the morning

I found this incredibly difficult because I felt I'd potentially "lose" a day if I didn't get back to our European distributor. (And email is like Pringles: once you pop, you can't stop).

We try to make our customers very happy but sometimes we fail, or as this blog post about How to Save a Disgruntled Customer says, we suck.

I had an incident this year with a customer who was abusive. As he was implacable, I had to "fire" him. I'm still reflecting on this because it was a new situation. If I had to do it over again, I would have done it sooner.

"Batteries will probably become the biggest single limiting factor in the growth and penetration of smart mobile devices."

It seems like the network reliability/security is going to be more of a problem. With devices like my iPhone chargeable by a USB port, it's very easy to add a few hours to them. When I went on my bike trip last September, I found a very simple external power pack that I used to get through the entire week.

John said...

Hi Jim:

You have a good point about email. Sometimes those emails contain questions and until you send an answer that person is stuck. I'm speaking about internal emails from coworkers mostly.

Ah, the abusive customer. We had a couple of those over the years. Lots of people write about firing bad customers and this is a perfect example of where it's warranted. Sometimes you have to go over their head to their boss. We recently had a customer drop a couple f-bombs during a class we were teaching. This was at a big corporate customer's site and I'm certain the behavior violated some sexual harassment policy if we had decided to pursue it. At the end of the day it seems that some customers get way too wrapped up in work and start taking things personally.

I understand what you mean about network security. For example, "the cloud" will be ripe for abuse. But I still like the author's point about batteries. Imagine compact batteries that never had to be replaced - or even recharged. Less stuff in landfills, less use of electricity to recharge. I guess I'm waiting for Back to the Future's Mr. Fusion.

Joel said...

Yes, he does. You hold such promise as a man of science and finer tastes. Friends don't let friends drink Bud. Crestfallen

John said...

Joel: sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't

Francis Shivone said...

As usual, you got me laughing, the book photo was great.

I have looked at hundreds of blog-advice blogs, Copyblogger is one of the best, imo.

John said...


Based on your recommendation I just RSS'd Copyblogger.

If you laughed at that stack of books all you're proving is that you're just as juvenile as I am.