Women only gyms
Flying with 25kg of excess fat around your body
Men only golf courses
Checking in bags with a few extra kgs in it
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
I must once again expose my nerdy side by proclaiming my admiration of this collage of Steve "Mr. Apple" Jobs, who is one of my business related "heroes". The collage is surprisingly life like considering it is constructed entirely of Apple products/logos. I like it, I like it alot. Click it to enlarge, go on... I dare ya
Originally published in Fortune Magazine, brought to my attention by way of geekologie.com
Posted by Ed at Friday, March 28, 2008
When I was working at the recent Work Matters conference I saw on one of the slideshows being presented the tagline for Lulea University in Sweden, get ready for it folks...
"Lulea University: The northernmost University of Technology in Scandinavia"
I just like the way that rather than refer to the college as being high achieving or forward thinking, they promote the extent of its northerliness... True outside the box thinking
Posted by Ed at Friday, March 28, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This wonderful site is a brilliant collection of cover letters, rejection letters and other job related materials that resulted in not getting the job. Below is a perfect example of the gold to be found on the site. click for bigger imageH/T to Evilhr lady & Execupundit
Posted by Ed at Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
...For the most ridiculous corporate lawsuit I have ever seen. It seems that because shift supervisors, who are glorified regular staff (and not exactly as well paid as execs), were taking an equal share of the tip pool at the end of the day, Starbucks are guilty of a crime under US law.
Just silly stuff really.
Posted by Ed at Friday, March 21, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I have been spending the last few days "working" at the Work Matters Conference in the UCD business school, which has essentially entailed me sitting in on quite a few interesting talks about research done about various work areas ranging from the aspirations of migrant workers to the uncovering of rebel activity in a luxury hotel.
Although I have found these talks very enjoyable, I have been a slight bit disappointed to observe the degree of what I would class as disrespect (although more subtle than the term might suggest) between the Academics attending the conference.
There are 3 main things I have noticed that I found slightly amiss:
- Punctuality - People continually strolling into talks ten minutes late as if there were nothing wrong with it at all. It is obvious to see that this does have an impact on the presenter and acts as a distraction for the next minute or so as they try and get all their bits and pieces in order. I find this quite surprising as they are all lecturers themselves and I'm sure wouldn't be to tolerant of such a casual attitude towards punctuality from their students.
- Q&A Time - I remember when I was in 1st year in college, that at the end of presentations I would always make a point of asking an intentionally tricky questions... just because I was mean. When I saw this happening at the conference, and on a regular basis, I was shocked. Some of these guys ask questions such as "OH.... you didn't think of studying x,y,z etc..." questions that seem to serve no other point but to make the presenter squirm.
- The Presentation Itself - I have sat through 15 presentations in the last 2 days, with the exception of literally one, they have been appalling. Poor/no slides, poor/no preparation, poor/no timekeeping and often going over the allotted time... pretty unbelievable I thought. People have travelled from the 4 corners of the world to attend this conference and what do they see when they get here? The crappiest bunch of presentations I have seen in a long time, and content that adds no further value than if they had just read the damn paper at home with a nice cup of coffee in hand! I'm sure that the presenters lack of practice and preparation was as annoyingly obvious to everyone else too, and to be honest it even peeved me off a bit, and I'm just a lowly student.
With all that said though, I have very much enjoyed the content and theories discussed over the past few days, but I just think that a little more respect between attendees would make the whole thing even better.
Posted by Ed at Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Just a quick follow up to the piece on book merchandising at Borders.
I was chatting online recently to my friend Ben who studies English in college. It was his opinion that this merchandising would only work on "novelty" books that were gimmicky, and no-one who was looking for a "proper" book (by which I presume he meant art/literature etc) would be swayed by such techniques. I did a little research on this because I had a pretty strong feeling that he was right to a certain extent, BUT that sales of "proper" books was so minimal that not being able to sway those intending to buy these books wouldn't be a huge issue.
Unfortunately the latest figures I could get were book sales in the US from all those years ago in 2000, but I would imagine that trends in booksales do not shift in a dramatic fashion.
In descending order, the most bought categories are...
- Cooking - 10% of sales
- Religion - 9.3%
- General Non-fiction - 7.8%
- Business - 6.2%
- Scientific - 5.8%
- Psychology - 5.2%
- Biographies - 3.7%
- Art/Literature/Poetry - 3.3%
- Reference - 2.2%
- Travel - 1.3%
So out of the top 10 categories, I would be of the opinion that attractive merchandising, as in ANY shop that regular customers shop in, would influence peoples likihood to purchase.
Posted by Ed at Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
A bear has been found guilty by a court of stealing honey from a beekeeper. Fancy some honey perhaps?The animal was convicted of theft by the court in Bitola, in Macedonia, following a year-long case.
However, he was excused from attending court.
The case came after a beekeeper reported the bear for stealing his honey. He told the court he had to protect his hives by playing thumping folk music. Beekeeper Zoran Kiseloski told the court: "I tried to distract the bear with lights and music because I heard bears are afraid of that."
He said he bought a generator, lit up the area and played songs by the Serbian turbo-folk star Ceca. The court heard the bear stayed away for a few weeks but returned when the generator ran out of power and the music stopped.
Mr Kiseloski added: "It attacked the beehives again."
The court found the bear guilty but since it had no owner and is a protected species it ordered the state to pay for the 140,000 denars (£1,700) damage it caused to the hives
There is no information on the bear's whereabouts.
This is very possibly the most rediculous outcome of a lawsuit I have ever heard of, I wish this was a joke, I really do.
Posted by Ed at Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I do love to look through my sitemeter account every so often and look at the traffic that Google sends me from searches. I especially like when they seem to give me an absurdly high ranking on very popular searches. My favorites from the last week are:
Ford Pinto - 8th of 142,000
For what I wrote about the "barbeque that seats four"
Aer Lingus Marketing - 10th of 461,000
For my views on the lack of strategic vision at the company
Lunch is for wimps - 5th of 370,000
For what I said about Gordon Gecko-esque attitudes towards the lunch break
And last but not least...
Good vs Bad - 12th of 14,300,000 !!!!
For what I had to say about good lecturers vs bad ones
Posted by Ed at Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
If you have ever been to either city please do let me know where are the best places to go!
Posted by Ed at Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I really really reaaaaallllly hate when people make completely crappy charts and use them in presentations or even worse on TV or websites. The Federal Emergency Response Agency (FEMA), one would imagine, would be immune to such crapulence, it seems they aren't.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
This was Guy's response when a member of the audience asked how it was that VC's could make such brilliant investment choices. He also mentioned that out of every 20 investments they only ever really expect one to go big, if ever quizzed about the other 19 investments... "they were made by my... partners...
Friday, March 7, 2008
We recently undertook an assignment that asked us to identify our most liked and disliked brands, and I found it very interesting to see the reasons why people chose the brand they did. Some people liked the brand for functional reasons such as high performance, whereas others felt a real emotional connection to the brand and it’s products.
One of the girls in the class discussed her favourite perfume and described how the fragrance and the brand gave her “the confidence I need”. Another student said that Apple computer was their favourite brand both for emotional reasons such as fashionable, unique design, and also functional reasons such as ease of use. In terms of brands that were disliked, some were targeted for reasons such as unhealthy products, however again emotional reasons constituted the bulk of the rationale behind the choices made. One group highlighted Ryanair as the brand they disliked, citing it’s “in your face image” and general brashness to be factors that they did not like.
One of the more interesting examples was the naming of Google as being a favourite brand, which most of the class agreed with. It seemed that most of the class also exhibited a rather strong emotional connection to the brand, claiming they “trust” Google, and would not consider swapping to another search engine. This reminded me of a video of a talk I watched on the internet recently, where renowned marketing author Seth Godin talked about an experience he had in New York. He was walking through a market in New York wearing a Google t-shirt he had been given and a woman approached him, “do you work for Google!” she asked, “Google is my friend”. It is interesting to note that through its reliability and trustworthiness, Google, whose search engine is in reality just a mathematical algorithm, can evoke high emotional responses.
Creation of an emotional link with the customer is one of the most important things that a brand must seek to do, as it gives the company one of the strongest competitive advantages possible, a strong emotional tie with a customer can deem your product to be "irreplaceable". I think that the academic, Cowley, explains it better than I ever could in saying that...
“a brand with price advantage can be simply undercut, a brand with performance advantage can be outflanked by technological development, but a brand with an emotional difference can potentially command a premium forever”