November 27, 2007

It's Finally Done!

After long hours of figuring out html works and much gnashing of teeth my new "other blog" is finally done. As most of you know I quit my job and started my own consulting firm. As part of this initiative one of things I noticed was that there was very little online content in the way of blogs for hospitality technology. Most of the major industry media organizations have one as part of their website, but there really isn't anything from someone that works day to day in hospitality technology consulting.

So, as of tonight hospitality technology made simple is up an running. It's a blog about trends in hospitality technology. My hope is that the blog will be helpful to venues looking to implement new systems and to consultants in the industry looking to get or give advice. I hope to do some interviews with major figures in the industry, and if people actual find it interesting get a forum up where we can all share ideas for success.

I will only be posting every week or two weeks at this point, so I'll still be updating this blog regularly as my personal blog of business and life in general. If you know of anyone that may find the new blog interesting please point them to it. It will be a couple of months before there is enough content to be really meaty. You can also email me topics that you think would be interesting (if you care about hospitality technology). I'll need the content ideas.

November 21, 2007

Word of Mouse Marketing

My friend DJ always talks about word-of-mouse marketing. The power of the web in marketing is that if you do something unique it can get passed all across the world in hours. WHAM! You have gajillions (yes it's a word) of hits. Check out this website and watch what happens.

My friend Paul posted this. He got it from a friend I'm assuming (as Paul doesn't speak anything but English), and that person got it from someone. I'm betting I am way down in the chain of people to see this and I'm passing it on to all the people who read my blog (maybe 6) .

Reaching the Masses

One thing I love about blogging is that you can reach a bunch of people without being "published". It also means that you don't have to be a great writer to submit your ideas and opinions. And most importantly it's easy. But that doesn't mean that people will read your blog.

I was recently introduced to The Blog Readability Test by Justine Ungaro's blog. It is a service that analyzes your blog and tells you what the reading level of the person must be. I thought cool, I'll try it out on this blog.

It came back that my blog was at the reading level of college undergrad. I ran it on a few of my favorite blogs which include friends blogs and business blogs. The highest reading level I came back with was Junior High.

cash advance

I have no idea how this score is calculated, but I'm going to make an effort to make this blog easier to read. Chrystal is always telling me I say things in overly complex ways. Which just goes to prove that my wife is right again.
I also ran it on the blog I'm working for my business (currently unreleased) and this is what came back. But I'm not as concerned about it for this one because it's written for a very specific industry.

November 17, 2007

Delivery for a $1.00

I'm on my way home from my first client trip. I was at Microsoft's office in Seattle for three days (never saw the sun).
I was working out of the R&D building and tried to see the latest Microsoft Surfaces demonstration but no luck. I didn't even get to see the current one. Most of the things going on in the building we won't see for 10 to 15 years. How do you plan for technology products 10 years in advance? With as fast as technology changes that just seems unrealistic...but I suppose somebody has to do it. There were also supposedly 30+ researchers with PhDs in the R&D building! That is a whole bunch of brain power.

Most of the offices are in Redmond, WA and the entire city is pretty much Microsoft. From what I was told Microsoft employs 45,000 people at the Redmond campus! That is almost half the population of Santa Barbara! And the campus is pretty amazing. They have multiple soccer, football, and baseball fields, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, and all sorts of other fun stuff.

I was there to install eMenu, a software that will allow all Microsoft employees to order lunch via the company Intranet and have it delivered to their desk. Seriously. You can check out eMeu here, but don't order from this site because this place actually exists in NY. Microsoft has the most amazing company cafeterias with awesome food and now they are offering to deliver your lunch for $1.00 (plus the cost of the food). I think that is awesome because I'd take a lunch break to go work out and then have my lunch delivered to my desk and eat it there (in the scenario I had an office of course).

James, the Microsoft analyst I did the install with, had a futon, big screen TV, DVD player, Xbox and wii in his office! It was complete with a small movie and video game library. How would you ever get any work done?
Microsoft's countdown to release clock

November 14, 2007

Dinner of the Traveling Type

Sometimes when I travel the thought of airport food just isn't appetizing, so the free food in United's Red Carpet Club turns into dinner. Crackers and cheese with carrots and ranch dressing washed down with a Coke. Chase it with a chocolate chip cookie...who could ask for more?

November 12, 2007

"The Gratitude Dance" I just finished my "Extreme Marketing" post and was reading some of my fav blogs. On Escape From Cubicle Nation I found a link to The Gratitude Dance which I had to share.

I love this for two reasons. First because it fits well with the header from my blog. Sometimes my posts having nothing to do with what is up there, but I think they are all important things. Second because it makes you smile, and smiling is good.

  • spur conversation
  • create joy
  • foster thought
  • speak well
  • love another
  • practice forgiveness
  • embrace change
  • enjoy life
  • impart knowledge

When you wake up tomorrow, do the gratitude dance.

Extreme Marketing

Marketing is hard. Really. Once you are uber successful I'm guessing it gets much easier, but before that point it's hard. When you don't have a huge customer base all blabbering on about how brilliant you are the only option is to self blabber about brilliance. I've spent the last two work days self marketing. Whether cold calling, emailing, requesting references via LinkedIn, or getting my new hospitality technology blog (to be announced soon) together. This is all pretty much standard new business stuff though and comes with the territory. It's one of those things though before you start you think, "I've got a huge network, I'll get business." (at least that is what I thought). The reality is that it is a long ramp and you have to claw for every opportunity. Nobody starts at the top. People may indirectly reference you but most likely they are not looking for business for you.

I am a true believer that word of mouth marketing is king (especially in my business). But, if you can't tell one great story about yourself no one else will be able to either. To get one big deal someone has to believe that you can be successful with that big deal. And if you have no references for your greatness then you must become your own self reference.
This post was prompted by an absolutely outlandish extreme marketing example I saw in the Starbucks parking lot today. Check out this guys car. He caught me taking pictures of it which was pretty funny. He acted like it was a totally normal occurrence, which was more funny.

November 7, 2007

Chicken Little and Sky Catcher

My dad used to always say, “If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.” (though the saying is generally credited to Eldridge Cleaver). I've tried to take this philosophy with me to every project and believe it is a good rule to live by. For the sake of clarity I'll define this as being a person that brings solutions not problems (hugely insightful I know).
Everyone has been on a project with someone that has “Chicken Little Complex”. They bring up every possible pitfall in the project, why ideas won't work, and regularly send emails to the project team when pending disaster is inevitable - leading everyone on the project in a fire drill effort that generally could have been avoided (i.e. Foxy Woxy's hole). As a project manager or a project team member strive to be the antithesis to Chicken Little. I call this person “Sky Catcher”. I've held this title on projects multiple times in my career. Sky Catcher is the person on the project that objectively looks at each situation and offers solutions to problems, but more importantly becomes the person that helps advise Chicken Little.

Imagine how different the story would be if Chicken Little was productively educated by Henny Penny on the elemental nature of the atmosphere, the concept of gravity, prompted with ideas of what could have hit her on the head, and more importantly the danger of “forest frenzy” due to adoptive apprehension.

If you have a project team member with “Chicken Little Complex” make it your personal duty on the team to be “Sky Catcher”. Provide solutions but also help prevent others from only bringing problems. Most likely you will find yourself in the position to offer advice often, and may just find yourself leading the next project.

November 4, 2007

Take A Chance...Be Outlandish

This post has been moved to Next Gen Dads. Click here to see this post.

November 1, 2007

"Seven Steps to Success"

My friend Nazia sent me a "Tip of the Day" email with some wise words from Dr. Mark Goulston (author of Get Out of Your Own Way at Work) on things you should know the answers to when starting your own business. If you want to start you own business make sure you have an answer to these questions.

1. What do you love making (product) or doing (service) that has enough value that other people would be willing and want to pay for (your DREAM)?

2. What desire or problem is your product (what you make) or service (what you do) the best answer or solution to (your VISION and MISSION)?

3. What people or what company has a desire or problem that most urgently needs your product or service, i.e. who are the ones that "Gotta have you!" (your MARKETING)?

4. How do you get those people or that company to be aware of their urgent need for your product or service (your ADVERTISING)?

5. How do you convince those people to buy that service or product that they "gotta have?" (your SALES)

6. How do you get your product or service to those people or that company (your PRODUCTION and DELIVERY)?

7. How do you continue to increase the satisfaction and enthusiasm for your product or service, so they'll tell others (your CUSTOMER SERVICE)?