Life on one leg

A while back, I posted a blog about never neglecting your health. Since then, a colleague of mine has died, causing me to think much more than usual about life, death, and all the to-often neglected aspects of daily life. Regarding my colleague, it is amazing to me how much you an grieve for and miss someone you really did not know all that well, and how, once they are gone, how you wish you had tried to know them better.

Personally, I've had several issues this year. Starting with dual sinus infections, ear infections, all culminating in a perforated ear drum. After that, a root canal failure requiring a complicated (and painful) molar extraction. And finally, this weekend, when I wanted to give my wife a much-needed break for Mother's day, I fell and broke my right foot, laying me up for weeks without the ability to drive, walk without crutches, or do much of anything to help out with the kids.

To say the least, it's been a tough 2011 so far.

And so, believe it or not, this is a message of hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for improvement. Hope that, in the midst of controversy, we somehow can rise to the call, and find in ourselves that which was always there, but heretofore hidden without the impetus of challenge. And hope that our high-sounding words can, when they need to be, be transformed into actions that we can be proud of upon subsequent reflection.

And, perhaps most of all, hope that, when things are better, and we can take care of ourselves as well as offer ourselves to the care of others, we appreciate this ability, and gratefully acknowledge this great, awesome, and precious gift we call health.


Find out why

The world of business is changing. There is a growing trend toward more honesty, more generosity, more just plain human behaviour. And I like it.

My mad friend Joel D Canfield would like to lead the charge toward something totally different. Today, he's shifting his focus from his various businesses to a philosophy he thinks will change the world. In his words: "Too many people spend life stuck, going through the motions; believing they know what to do and how to do it, but never really clear on why. Finding 'why' makes 'what' and 'how' become clear. I want to help folks who are stuck being what the world expected to find their why, to find meaning and joy in life, and show the world who they really are."

Visit his brand new website http://FindingWhy.com/ and see what you think. As expected, there's honesty, generosity, just plain human-ness. 10,000 words already written and hundreds of thousands to come. Free downloads. Room for conversation. A little insanity.

Joel's putting out the welcome mat right now.


Join the conversation!

Hey check out Joel Canfield's new Internet radio show. It airs Tuesday March 2 at 10AM PST. And, as luck would have it, your's truly will be one of the guest speakers. Who knows, this may actually morph into something! In any event, it might make next Tuesday a little less boring. Check it out!


Apple flatters Kodak

They say that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Well, if that's true then Apple, in their latest marketing campaign, has just lobbed a bucketload of flattery in Kodak's direction. Whether they knew it or not.

Just take a look. Here is Apple's latest Aperture 3 Ad.

The tag line says "Taking photos. Further."

Now, just about anybody who has ever taken a picture can remember the famous Kodak ad that proudly proclaims that Kodak can help you "Take Pictures. Further." This tagline, still in wide use today, dates all the way back to 1996 according to Kodak. But if you can't seem to recall it, here is an excerpt from Kodak's own published history, direct from their own website [highlight added]:

And, just in case you were wondering, yes, the tagline is trademarked. At least it is according to this excerpt from a web page on Kodak motion picture technology:

Or, again, take a look at an image used by Kodak researchers on their own PPT slides, available via a Nasa website:

Now, whether or not folks at Apple knew they were ripping off an old Kodak Ad may never be made public. Perhaps they are all too young to remember the old Kodak ad. Perhaps they in fact knew exactly what they were doing, and did it specifically because they thought it would be fun to rub their newfound photographic permission in Kodak's face, as the venerable photo giant struggles against the forces of the new Internet-based economy stripping away Kodak's once indomitable market power. Perhaps they simply did not care.

One thing everyone, especially folks at Apple, need to remember. The Internet never forgets.


What will you have to show for it?

Seth Godin is one of my favorite writers. I don't always agree with him, but his perspectives are often stirring and compelling. In his latest post he looks back to an article he wrote a while ago about planning for the future, and with 2010 looming, I thought it would be good to echo his thoughts and add my own.

Howard Behar, former COO of Starbucks and author of It's not about the coffee once said "When you don't know where you are going, every road looks like a good one." He was talking about the need to have goals. If you don't have goals, then how can you be upset if, after a period of time, you have achieved nothing of value? It's a simple concept, but very powerful.

Both Seth and Howard are saying the same thing in different ways. You must have goals, no matter how simple. You must write them down. Date them. Review them periodically. Assess how well you are proceeding toward them. Decide if they need to change. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

If you do anything different this year, consider this. When you look back on 2010 a year from now, what would you like to say about yourself differently than you can right now? What would make you proud to achieve? How would you like to see yourself and your accomplishments?

Got 'em? Ok. Good. Write them down. Date them.

Those are your goals.

Now go make it happen!


Happy Holidays!

I hope everybody out there in Cyber-land has a great Holiday season. There is a lot of crazy stuff out there, good and bad, and the world is more chaotic now than ever before. But each year we stop, pull our heads up from our desks and computer screens, and take a breath. Look around, see your families, friends, and loved ones. Realize why you work so hard. Realize what you come home to each night and why you get up in the morning. Take stock. And give thanks.

Here's hoping we all realize just how lucky we still are in this county to have the opportunities we have. All we need to do is capitalize on them, and never give up.

Have a great Holiday, however you choose to celebrate it. But do celebrate. Come January, it's back to work!


Marketing 101, CrunchPad-style

If you have been watching the news about the "apparent" demise of the CrunchPad, you have been witness to what appears to be a mess. How could Mike Arrington, the visionary behind this fabled device, have messed up the management of the media so badly? Or did he?

Admittedly, Arrington looks sort of like a goofball right now, with his design partner, Fusion Garage, apparently running amuck and about to hold their own press conference next Monday. But consider this. What if you really didn't have enough money to complete the project? Or what if you simply wanted to whip the media and other folks into a frenzy right before you came out with something in order to stimulate initial sales? What if you needed to divert attention from the fact that you really weren't delivering exactly what you said you'd deliver for the price you initially said you would? If any of these scenarios were true [and I'm not saying they are, wink-wink] then you might just concoct this type of media circus. And believe me, Arrington is just the guy to pull something like this off.

So we'll see. We'll see if my predictions are right or wrong. We'll see if someone actually ships a robust tablet that costs $199 $299  $399 or, as they are saying now, "$399-ish"...which in my book is more like $499, which is exactly my bottom-end prediction for the Apple iTablet. Now a company like Arrington/FusionGarage might just be willing to sacrifice margin early-on to get market share, so I would not be surprised to see initial pricing pretty aggressive. But I stand by my predictions.

This may be as it appears. It may simply be a bunch of buffoons stumbling around messing up a good idea because they are letting their emotions get in the way. They may be incapable of balancing hype and reality. They may actually be practicing What Not to Do. Or, it's just possible it's all part of the plan. If so, they are not messing up. It's simply Marketing 101.

For now, we'll simply have to wait and see.