Be Prepared

We often don’t have a contingency plan in place for something that hasn’t happened to us before – it tends to be top of mind only after we’ve gotten burned. I noticed this last week due to a few different circumstances.Read more

Dark Patterns

Dark patterns are deliberate design decisions made to trick people into believing or doing something they might not have done otherwise. They’re so insidious that often times we don’t even realize we’ve fallen for one. Read more

Babies, Bathwater, and Watches

I recently saw a quote written a few years ago in the context of business strategy that says (paraphrasing) “You don’t want to be starting a mechanical watch business when everyone is switching to digital”. The intent of that piece of advice is clear – don’t jump into a dying industry – but as a bit of a watch nerd I found that specific example interesting, in that it refutes itself. Read more

Reinventing the Wheel

The marketing industry, especially the more tech-driven corners of it, tends to pile onto new technology as soon as it launches. I’ve been guilty of it myself with failed platforms like Google+. Read more

Obsolescence Through Technology

Cars used to have a useful lifespan of decades. Compare a ’38 Ford to a ’58 and there are some marked improvements, but the older model would have been quite at home on the roads of 1958. That longevity applies less and less to the cars of today.Read more

Goodbye Cable

We’re now about four months into our Cable-less life (and home-phone-less for that matter), and I regret not doing it earlier. The pros massively outweigh the cons.Read more

Of Standards and Shower Curtains

I’ve been investigating home automation systems lately; partly because I like to overcomplicate things, but also because automated lighting and HVAC seems like a good idea. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I’ve been dissuaded by the fact that the many systems that exist are mostly incompatible with each other.Read more

Being the Center of the Universe

I was helping a friend with his business website on Sunday; he uses Shopify for ecommerce but wants to move to WordPress for his CMS mostly because of the excellent WPML plugin for multilingual websites (affiliate link, but I would recommend it for free). While adding his content I was momentarily shocked to discover that Shopify doesn’t make a WordPress plugin.Read more

Bending the Truth

Cereal is my breakfast food of choice. I usually buy it at Costco, and last time we were there I happened to buy a box of “Vector” cereal “meal replacement”. The front of the box advertises the fact that it contains 13 grams of protein per serving, and I wondered as the box was in my cart whether they had sneakily included the protein from the milk (after all, it is the “suggested serving”).Read more

Conservative Disruption

I recently got back from the 2014 Legal Marketing Association conference, where one of the sessions was a small roundtable about disruptive business models in the legal world. Much of the discussion centered around Axiom, a law firm that eschews the conventional associate/partner structure and that is quite innovative overall.Read more

Target’s Lacklustre Apology

I’ve just received an email from Target, far too late after their credit card hack debacle. Despite the ample time they had to word a true apology, the following is what they’ve released (with my comments):Read more

Predicting the Future is Hard

I’ve been on a bit of a sci-fi novel binge lately (I usually read nonfiction, mostly history) and I’m always struck by the predictions in those books, the authors’ extrapolation of current technology far into the future. Often they are remarkably prescient in some areas, while comically missing the mark in others.Read more