Category Archives: Stuff

Interview: Saxon Henry

I was interviewed by Saxon Henry for Adroyt.

Saxon Henry helped me structure the book through her blog-to-book strategy, one of her services. It was an extremely rewarding process she wanted to have me share so that others who might be struggling to publish a collection of works might be inspired to take the leap.

You should check it out; good stuff. The questions are better than the answers, but then you won’t know if I’m making that up unless you read the interview and judge for yourself.

Influence

Today I discovered entirely by accident that I had deeply affected someone else’s life. It was not my intention to do so; I was merely living my own. Fortunately, the affect was a positive one.

It is intimately humbling and terrifying to think another human being would make life choices based on something I said or did.

Bag of crumbs at Tim Hortons

What do you see

What do you see in the photo above? Look very closely before you answer. Really, really closely.

Before I tell you what I see, I need to share a short story with you.

When my son was young, Saturday was grocery-shopping day. My job was to occupy him for the hour or so it took to get groceries. We would immediately head to the bakery counter where they gave us doughnut holes for free.

“Take them, we’re just gonna throw them away!”

Then one Saturday we showed up, headed to the bakery, the clerk handed us each a bag of doughnut holes and asked for $2.00, $1.00 for each bag.

“But they are FREE!” we protested.

The grocery store and every other bakery figured out that there was money in what they were throwing away. Some places even branded their holes as Tim Bits or Munchkins.

As I was waiting for my coffee at a Tim Horton’s drive-through yesterday, I was nibbling on the muffin in the bag. It was crumbling apart as I picked at it. I wondered out loud, “Would someone pay for a bag of crumbs? What does Tim’s do with their muffins that crumble? Throw them away?”

NOW what do you see in the photo above? At worst, you should see a revenue-reclamation product. At best, a branded product.

Basic ad fail

coach
I clicked on a link on the Pure WOW newsletter (don’t judge!) that led me to an ad for a Coach leather briefcase here.

“Wow, I want that,” I thought to myself. So I clicked on the ad, which brought me to this page on coach.com. After scrolling around a bit on the collection of Father’s Day stuff and not finding the bag, I clicked off. The bag very well have been on the page, but it didn’t look anything like the ad. There was no visual to tie it to the ad that attracted me to the product.

I don’t know how much the bag cost, so I couldn’t even guess what the lost sale cost Coach. A targeted landing page with the same visual elements as the ad would have closed the sale.

Retailers, this is basic merchandising. Don’t build a display and then dump your sold customers into a big ol’ bargain bin. Take them by the hand, directly to the shelf the featured item is on.

Your most impressive accomplishment

As I dig deeper into the world of job-hunting tools on the internet, I ran across the site angel.co. I’ve known it was there for some time, so this is actually a rediscovery by accident. I was following the fox hole that Secret built and decided to apply for their open Community Manager job.

One of the fields that really caught my eye on the application was to name your greatest accomplishment. I started with “…sold exercise bikes to paralyzed people” but realized I had done much more. Could I rattle them off as a carnival bark?

  • I’ve sold exercise bikes to paralyzed people.
  • I’ve created a community around a thinking, tweeting plate of pastries.
  • I’ve anthropomorphized a dog on the Internet that launched a community and a book.
  • I’ve created a sports event management system from nothing.
  • I’ve written for glory; I’ve hoboed for food.
  • I’ve got more…

Maybe Secret will call me. I doubt it; I’m in Dayton, they are in San Francisco and I want to end up in NYC. There is probably not enough money to make all that happen.

But it was a cool exercise!