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Showing posts from September, 2006

The Truth Will Set You Free

I'm a conspiracy theorist at heart (no, I'm not a wacko about it...more a hobby than anything) so I really enjoy "dispelling myths" offerings: Freakonomics, John Stossel's new book, the "10 Things..." series in SmartMoney Magazine...

Here's a hilarious and well-written article in The Economist detailing a lot of airline travel myths. It's so pleasing to call "B.S." on some of this garbage.

Wright Tosses Microsoft

I'm not familar with this gentleman but I admire his pursuit of passion. This is something I've not done a good job managing in my career. Peter seems bitter but I can understand; I've developed with Microsoft products my entire career. I think it's important to remember though, Microsoft helped us get where we are today. If nothing else, they pushed technology and other firms to innovate.

Reflections on 9/11

I finished watching 'The Path to 9/11' last night. Factual or not, it brought back a lot of memories. I can easily play back the 24 hours following the attack in my head. My wife was on a plane due to arrive at LaGuardia around 9am. She was diverted to Philadelphia. Thank God she was ok and I was able to drive from Chicago to pick her up and bring her home.

It is easy to look back at the years since 9/11 and criticize. Despite this, I think the criticism is warranted. Terrorism has not won the war but they've won the first several rounds. They will continue to win as long as we continue to focus on politics and spin ignorning positive change.

Watching 'The Path to 9/11', it occurred to me that I really don't care who is to blame. Democrats simply drew more attention to the program by flipping out over it a few days beforehand. I don't care if Clinton screwed up. I don't care if Bush screwed up...the CIA, FBI, INS, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, the Flo…

You've Been Marketed!

My office "won" a free lunch yesterday at a local eatery. Unsuspecting, naive professionals that we are, we all figured, how fortuitous of us--we won! Wrong. We were about to be 'marketed'.

Gathering at the front door of the restaurant, one of our crowd didn't belong. Who's this guy, I thought. Oops, I'm out of the loop again...new employee. Nope, that's not it. Why is he wearing a suit?

"Hi, I'm Ron. I'm hosting your lunch today. I have a table ready over here for us." Ok, so this guy is with the restaurant. He's milking the opportunity to show off the restaurant. Fine. Although, what's up with the suit?

After we sit down, Ron goes on to explain he's a financial advisor with Ameriprise. Huh? Where'd you come from pal? Then it hits me: he's "purchased" our time. Brilliant! Now I'm really into this. I start reviewing the marketing:
captive audiencegetting something in exchange for listening to a pitchtarg…

Broadcast 'The Path to 9/11'

The blogosphere is erupting this morning in debate over ABC's "docu-drama" (?). Democrats want it pulled from the airwaves. ABC is [reportedly] taking a ton of heat.

I support the airing of this program. Yes, it needs to be historically accurate and correctly identified (is it a documentary?, is it complete fiction?, is it historical fiction...?) but the message should not fail to air due to political pressure. Our country was built on freedom. Let the people judge for themselves. If it doesn't air, should we then burn the 9/11 Commission Report?

Only a single poster on Jim Rose writes intelligently this morning on the issue:

Seriously, this is a really sad affair for our country. We have a group of politicians that are willing to abuse their power and bully a corporation in order to get their way. I've said time and time again, the new war is not the war on terror, it's the war for the control of information. Take it to the bank.

An Open Letter to Sears...

Related to my previous post seeking a refund for a part ordered from Sears, a fellow blogger (thanks for reading, Ellen!) posted a provocative comment prompting me to take the next step: propose some solutions for Sears to improve their customer service. The old phrase, "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem" comes to mind. In that spirit, I propose several actions Sears could take today to improve customer satisfaction:

#1 Assume a "One Sears" Attitude and Structure
I've always been impressed at the businesses Sears tackles: retail, installation, parts, contractor work, finance, etc. However, it appears these many aspects of Sears also creates fragmentation which further distances Sears from customers.

First and foremost, consolidate customer touch-points. Sears has (as far as I can tell) dozens of 800 numbers as well as local numbers. There are also contact points through the web site and email. Consolidate these such that any ti…