The great BlackBerry marketing mess

You should go over to Ken’s site to read the whole article. But I think there is so much irony in this teaser.  Especially launching something like this before RIM announcement of abysmal sales and mounting losses.

I think they should take some of their own advice and do something different.

The great BlackBerry marketing mess:

RIM’s teaser on its UK and Australia sites

It probably wasn’t the plan, but RIM may soon enter the record books for Most Self-Inflicted Wounds By A Market Leader.

After being spanked by iPhone and Android over a period of four years, RIM is fighting back with a marketing campaign. And wow, it’s a doozie.

(Via Observatory)

Apple turns over entire inventory every five days

When I read this on MacFilos I was shocked.  I have been thinking about this for a weeks now, mostly pondering how Apple is doing this so well.  What they are doing differently etc.?  Daring Fireball commented on the original Gartner Report a well. There is no smoking gun here, no magic bullet just amazing products and supply chain management.

In fact I am sure most people don’t care about this at all but it is truly remarkable.  I worked for a very large manufacturer in the United States for 7.5 years.  We were a global seller with manufacturing in several countries around the world and we sold a lot of product. The company was on the the bleeding edge of JIT (just and time) and cell manufacturing.

We moved a lot of product – but we did not turn over our inventory EVERY 5 days!. I would say maybe every 20-30 days at best.

Apple turns over entire inventory every five days:

Tim Cook, the maestro of just-in-time source and supply, has achieved the near impossible in turning over Apple’s entire inventory every five days. Just think: All that stock, all those millions of phones and gadgets, all turning over in such quick time. No chance of the shelves getting dusty down at your local Apple Store.

(Via MacFIlos)

The Making of the Leica M9-P

This is a video Shawn Blanc posted last week that I have been meaning to link to.  Personally I love videos that are created like this which show an item being made.  Shawn says this is classy.  I have to agree.  The care and detail that go into making this Leica kit is amazing.  No detail is left untouched.  The leather case, the lens shades and the box are all treated with the same level of precision, there is no differentiation in parts and quality of fabrication.

If you want to see a real thing of beauty spend 3:00 minutes and watch this.  If you don’t enjoy it I would be shocked.

(Via Shawn Blanc)

How to make money online

If you didn’t see this post from Seth Godin check it out here.  Below are Seth’s 21 steps for making money online. So many good points here but #5 and #6 are so important.  

How to make money online:

  1. The first step is to stop Googling things like, “how to make money online.” Not because you shouldn’t want to make money online, but because the stuff you’re going to find by doing that is going to help you lose money online. Sort of like asking a casino owner how to make money in Vegas…
  2. Don’t pay anyone for simple and proven instructions on how to achieve this goal. In particular, don’t pay anyone to teach you how to write or sell manuals or ebooks about how to make money online.
  3. Get rich slow.
  4. Focus on the scarce resource online: attention. If you try to invent a way to take cheap attention and turn it into cash, you will fail. The attention you want isn’t cheap, it’s difficult to get via SEO and it rarely scales. Instead, figure out how to earn expensive attention.
  5. In addition to attention, focus on trust. Trust is even more scarce than attention.
  6. Don’t worry so much about the ‘online’ part. Instead, figure out how to create value. The online part will take care of itself.
  7. Don’t quit your day job. Start evenings and weekends and figure it out with small failures.
  8. Build a public reputation. A good one, and be sure that you deserve it, and that it will hold up to scrutiny.
  9. Obsessively specialize. No niche is too small if it’s yours.
  10. Connect the disconnected.
  11. Lead.
  12. Build an online legacy that increases in value daily.
  13. Make money offline. If you can figure out how to create value face to face, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to do the same digitally. The web isn’t magic, it’s merely efficient.
  14. Become the best in the world at something that people value. Easier said than done, worth more than you might think.
  15. Hang out with people who aren’t looking for shortcuts. Learn from them.
  16. Fail. Fail often and fail cheaply. This is the very best gift the web has given to people who want to bootstrap their way into a new business.
  17. Make money in the small and then relentlessly scale.
  18. Don’t chase yesterday’s online fad.
  19. Think big, act with intention and don’t get bogged down in personalities. If it’s not on your agenda, why are you wasting time on it?
  20. Learn. Ceaselessly. Learn to code, to write persuasively, to understand new technologies, to bring out the best in your team, to find underused resources and to spot patterns.
  21. This is not a zero sum game. The more you add to your community, the bigger your piece gets.

A few years ago I put my book The Bootstrapper’s Bible online for free. You can find it here.

(Via Seth’s Blog)

This Is All Your App Is: A Collection of Tiny Details

Jeff Atwood at Coding Horrors wrote a really good post comparing the details of his automatic cat feeders to the little details in your software. Below is my favorite line. Its a good read and lots to think about.

This Is All Your App Is: A Collection of Tiny Details:

This is all your app is: a collection of tiny details.

This is still one of my favorite quotes about software. It’s something we internalized heavily when building Stack Overflow. Getting the details right is the difference between something that delights, and something customers tolerate.

(Via Shawn Blanc)

What is worth supporting?

Today there are so many causes worthy of being supported. Charities, community work family and friends all are great and really no brainers. But how do you feel about supporting artists?

Wait wait I don’t need to support artists that is what the National Endowment for the Arts is for. Right?

Well that may be true but it also depends on your definition of an artist. I think many people are artists but don’t feel like they deserve the moniker. But my definition of an artist is someone who creates something great or wonderful regardless of their medium That can be writing, music, a podcast, a computer application or a photographer. There are many of these people who create fantastic products. Some do it for the love of the craft, some do it on the side and hope to be able to do it full time and some people have made that jump and do it as their full time job.

Lately, I am personally attracted to supporting writers, photographers and podcasters. Why these groups? Perhaps it is because someday I would like to write more professionally. For now I write my random thoughts as best best I can and hope I can learn a few things. Podcasting is another group of creators I really enjoy as well. Sometimes it is for the entertainment value, but lately I have been thinking about it’s more about audible learning. I can listen to something while I am driving that is topical for me and take something away from it. Having worked as a photographer myself in the past I understand how hard it is to do great work and find others that appreciate your talen. All of these things have costs associated with them. It could be the writers time, a photographers equipment or a podcasters bandwidth charges.

Support does not mean forking over your entire paycheck either. Support can come in a simple membership. It could be as little as $3.00 a month to support that writer or purchasing a t-shirt from the site. Many times bloggers will have affliate links on their site so if you purchase something using their link to that store they will get a small piece of credit. Sometimes if could be a simple donation. There are thousands of examples like these listed below.

Here are just few examples to conisder.

These sites are out there – great work is out there. If you see something that really resonantes with you conisder supporting the maker(s).

Minimal Mac makes me spend more money

I love listening to the Minimal Mac podcasts with Patrick Rhone and Myke Hurley. I was listening to episode 36 of the Minimal Mac Podcast called Enough I re-learned more about a product called ScotteVest.

I had heard about their products for a while but dismissed it as a piece of geek tech clothing that I could do with out.  As I was listening to the podcast I found myself flipping through their website and learning about the options that they make and how the product line has expanded.

I broke down and ordered a tropical weight jacket/vest that was on sale.  It was lightweight and packed into a small pocket if needed.  The jacket arrived the next day.  Opening up the box I realized that this was a very high quality product.  I tried it on and it looks like a straight-up windbreaker with no signs of what lies underneath.

With the coat I noticed that there were couple of things that really impressed me that I did not catch on the website.  One was in the right hand side pocket had a built in keychain with an coil clip to prevent you from loosing your keys.  Another thing was in the glass case pocket.  I reached in and there is a glass cleaning cloth attached to a string.  I really liked this as I have a pet peeve about fingerprints and smudges on my sun glasses.

Photo1The thing that really impressed me was in one of the pockets was a small pack of what looked like business cards. I opened it up and there were 10 customer testimonial reference cards. These immediately reminded me of “Brag Tags” to share with friends and create a W.O. M. conversation that the folks at Church of the Customer spoke about. These are a great conversation piece. Overall I am very happy with it and hope that wears well.  I have not had the opportunity to fill all the pockets but will give it a shot. I love the quote from Myke  ” thank you very much sir for making my wallet a little lighter. ”

And thank you for making my wallet a little lighter as well
P.S. : I love Minimal Mac and the Enough series!

Disposable Culture

Almost 20 years ago I bought a John Deere lawn tractor for my yard.  I had been envying one for a long time.  We had one growing up and I knew as soon as I had enough land I would but one.  At the time I think I paid $1,500 which was and is still a lot of money.  My friends told me I was crazy when I could get another brand for less than half of that.  I thought about it but knew about the quality and reputation.  I could get parts, it was easy to work on and there was a local dealer nearby if I needed one for something above my repair skills.
My friends all purchased other various brands and let me know how much money they saved.  Two years goes by and the first one dies, engine not to be revived.  New purchase.  The following year 2 others ended their life as lawn mowers and had to be replace.  This cycle continued on for the last 19 years.  To date – the three friends have bought more then 12 new tractors.  The have spent much more than I have.  In addition there are a lot more tractors that made it to the landfills creating an even greater problem.

My question is this… are we a disposable culture now, have manufactures stopped designing for the long term?