I’m so spurned by the Bills futility…

…that I have to be honest with my emotions and KNOW that I’m not being impatient with the Bills and their lack of effort in FA so far. Rather, the Bills have proven over the last decade + that they are inept. I’ve lost hope.

Year in and year out, I was patient. I had a wait and see attitude. No more. Sorry. It’s run out.

That doesn’t mean I’m not a fan. It means I don’t expect them to do well. Maybe Sunday’s will be filled with surprises, instead of letdowns. At least now when they lose (notice I say when not if), I’ll have expected it. And if they win, it’ll be a happy surprise.

Tropicana, what were you thinking?

Funny. My wife mentioned to me a few weeks ago that Tropicana’s new packaging makes it look like a cheap generic brand. I didn’t think much of it. Until I went out grocery shopping. Standing in front of the OJ section, and being a loyal Tropicana customer my entire life, I found myself staring in a trance like state in search of my favorite OJ. What my wife mentioned to me didn’t register right away. It took me a good 30 or so seconds for it to click. That’s right, they changed their packaging, and my wife is right, it looks horrendous.

And others agree:
http://www.nytimes.com/

Working in marketing, I know the arrogant reasoning that goes into these rebranding decisions.  Maybe “arrogant” is harsh, but here’s how it happens. Someone is bored with the look, and decides to change it. “Everyone’s tired of the look,” they think. They don’t take into account that they are around the product and brand all day long. The customers, whether the marketer likes it or not, don’t ponder branding all day long. With something like simple OJ, it’s a quick emotional tie/recognition. Nothing else. Customers interact with the brand when they see it on the grocery shelf, and when they pop open their fridge.

Working in web marketing and merchandising, if I got a dime for everytime I heard “the site is stale, it hasn’t been updated in a while” I’d be a multi $100 aire. Now I’m not stupid. Depending on what you’re selling and the market, fresh content is essential. What I oppose is the thinking that customers spend 24/7 on the site and “get tired” of seeing the same thing. WAKE UP CALL!!! A lot of your visitors are there for the first time, or come back weekly (not hourly). I’m NOT taking down the bestselling product because I’m bored of looking at it!!! And I’m fully aware of the power of personalization and dynamic content–this isn’t my point.

Perhaps some snob at Tropicana got sick of looking at the straw in the orange image. And didn’t consider their loyal customers’ bond to the image.

I’m not done!! Tropicana’s failed new design is artistic, yes. But art doesn’t always sell. I want OJ damnit, not an ego enhancer.

Agreed, but government needs to look in the mirror too

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Democratic senator said Tuesday he will introduce a bill to end “the extravagant spending practices of U.S. banks” after reports that Northern Trust Corp, which got taxpayer bailout money, last week threw lavish parties around a California golf tournament.

http://money.cnn.com/

Companies can do what they want, as long as they are not subsidized by taxpayer’s money.

I’d like to see how much government waste there is when put under a microscope. Actually it would probably make me sick if I did. Can we end extravagant spending practices of U.S. government too?

Another Item for My G1 Wishlist

I forgot this in my last post.

On maps, I wish the map would orient itself to the direction you are facing (or driving) and have a compass icon integrated. It stinks when you are driving south, the marker moves down the screen. So when you have to make a right turn, you have to think of the map upside down (or hold the phone upside down).

Do you have a hate on for Microsoft?

I have to admit, I fell for it myself. Microsoft is so big and powerful that it’s hard not to point a finger at them whenever something goes wrong with the computer or when a security hole is found. I went into a Vista rant a while back.

I do have an undying love for MS Office though. Excel never ceases to amaze me. I just needed to get that out there…

Fair? Maybe. BUT a ton of other companies are given a free pass when things break, crash, or don’t work quite as well as they should. Granted Gmail is free, but it was down last night and is having problems this morning. I’m a big fan of Google’s offerings, but a lot of them have plenty of room for improvement.

The G1 phone has plenty of bugs (albeit minor), and even a security flaw, but they are given a free pass by fans. Actually, what’s funny about the G1 is that their uber-fans’ hatred is directed at the IPhone, not Microsoft per se.

Macs can’t do EVERYTHING, yet some shortcomings are ignored. The Microsoft hatred is blinding I guess.

There are a million and one products and services out there that are good, but not absolutely perfect.

What’s my point? Microsoft’s products aren’t THAT bad.

Abundance, Rate of Production?

This post is more of a note to myself to do some reasearch on this.

I just saw that Home Depot has posted a loss. I have to think some stores bring this upon themselves. I think they can be profitable, but their location strategy might be working against them. I live in Levittown, NY, and I have 4 Home Depots in easy driving distance (East Meadow, Farmingdale, Freeport, and Westbury). There HAS to be something wrong with that. Throw in 3 Lowe’s in just as easy of a drive (which there are), and there is definately something wrong with that.

“Gee Matt, which one of the 7 home improvment warehouses should I go to today? If I had a coin with 7 sides, I’d flip.”

I’m just guessing, but their margins are probably pretty thin when times are good. And when times are bad, well then they are stuck with a whole lot of inventory in too many stores.

View Twitter Statuses in Google Reader

I figured this out! Yes! Well no not really, someone else did. But I pat myself on the back for finding it and then doing it for myself.

One reason I haven’t been on the Twitter bandwagon is that I find it hard to keep up with. I have almost all my favorite sites aggregated and published together in my Google Reader–rather than visiting every page. Now low and behold, there is a way to get Twitter updates in there too using Yahoo Pipes.

I’m not going to write how, rather I’ll give props to who has:
http://dblume.livejournal.com/112262.html

Thanks David!

Now I have to find other uses for Yahoo Pipes! There is a little mouse running on a wheel in my head.

In Defense of GTD and Productivity

I posted this response to a few blogs bashing productivity. While I totally agree that “productivity” can be taken way to far (see my Productivity vs. Resistance post) and cross over into being counter-productive, a lot of good can come out of adopting a solid system. I’ve benefited from GTD. I figured it’s a good enough response that I’ll host it on my own blog too!

There comes a point when you have a system down and it’s as good as it’ll ever be.

I guess some feel that when you reach this point, it’s wasteful to try to squeeze out more productivity since the effort will cross over and be more than the reward.

I think there is an insane bias in the backlash though. Because not everyone has mastered being productive. Or even started. I’m so glad I’ve found GTD and have adapted it to my life and work–even though I don’t follow it to the letter or worship it like a cult. I’m at the point where I don’t need to think about it. It’s a discipline/habit.

Perhaps the backlash is from those who have been there, done that, and talked about it ad nauseum. And are frustrated that they can’t achieve absolute perfection (because it doesn’t exist). Fine, then step away. But please don’t dismiss GTD or productivity for those who may need it.

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