This Week’s Tweets

  • IndyStar.com has their "Build a Ballot" doo-dad online. Frankly, I'm having a hard time picking between the various bags of crap. #
  • I may or may not have just made a correlation between an attractive woman and "her great bass" in a fishing catalog. #
  • How is it that programming and development books have some of the most useless book cover art? Objective-C & a merry-go-round? #
  • ADT guy is here installing more sensors. If someone so much as sneezes around this house, I think they send someone out here. #
  • I've been reading and reviewing several business/design/marketing books lately: http://bit.ly/9vAaHJ #
  • No one ever gives Mitch Daniels credit for saving map maker jobs. Someone has to draw a new squiggly line for I-69. #
  • Things have been going way too smoothly so far this morning… #
  • These storms in Indiana are God's way of punishing us for tolerating (choose one): gays, tax caps or democrats. #
  • Naturally, the only pink-looking cell in the state is aimed right at my house. #
  • HAHAHA! My trash can is the only one on the block still standing!!! #
  • news is reporting a funnel cloud in Speedway. #
  • Tornado sirens going off in Indy… #
  • Thunderstorm warnings in October. Weird. #
  • You too can fight crime in Washington, D.C.: re-elect no one! Or, just vote Libertarian like I plan to. #
  • Would it have killed whoever thought of "GLBT" to make it "GBLT" instead? This way we can make bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches gay. #
  • Todd Young down in Indiana's 9th gets some help from The Onion: http://onion.com/azJiZk #
  • Some 5,000 janitors in the US have PhDs: http://gizmo.do/8X3OWq #
  • ADT's website makes me want to cry every time I use it. It even makes me check a service agreement box JUST TO LOGIN. #
  • I need to find a free piece of Windows software that's not a virus and can batch-generate PDF index sheets of photos… #

Book Review – Delivering Happiness

Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos.com, wrote a book called Delivering Happiness. It’s an amazing book. In fact, it’s probably my third favorite book ever (it’ll take a lot to knock Holes and Wayside Stories off the top two spots from my childhood).

I enjoy reading biographies and Tony’s book is just absolutely fascinating and he takes us through his whole life. I had never heard of him before I read the book, but his life and mine seem to be similar in several ways. Not a lot, but enough times I caught myself drawing parallels.

Go download the first chapter from Amazon to your Kindle device and read it. You’ll be hooked. Then, either buy it ($11 for Kindle!) or pick it up from your local library (for free!).

Book Review – Buyology

There’s a book out there by Martin Lindstrom floating around called Buy-Ology. It’s a good book, but not useful for my kind of marketing.

Lindstrom is a professor at Stanford’s business school and goes into great detail about whether various kinds of marketing arrangements actually work or not. Like, do all those commercials have an impact (no, they don’t), does seeing other people with a product (think iPods) make us want them (answer: yes), does subliminal messaging work (actually, it was never really done — it’s all a fake and even when it’s been tested, it doesn’t work).

My favorite bit was about American Idol and the amount of money Ford, AT&T (then Cingular at the time of the writing) and Coca Cola spend on advertising. Ford spends nearly $40 million dollars and lo, it doesn’t do a damn thing for them. Using brain scanning (fMRIs) technology and user tests, they figured out no one notices Ford because they don’t actually play a role in the show aside from having a bunch of commercials.

AT&T fares well because they play a role that’s almost like a character — “you can vote with us” — and it works. But Coke, my goodness, they have it down to a science. We all know that Coke cups sit in front of the judges and that they often plug Coke’s refreshing taste. But, did you know that the table the judges sit at is cleverly shaped like a Coke bottle? Or that when someone gets the nod to go to LA the winners are taken to a room with dark red walls? Subtle, eh? The results play well for Coke.

In all, Lindstrom’s book is fascinating, especially if you enjoy reading about human behavior and psychology. However, it’s not at all useful if you don’t have a marketing budget with millions of dollars at your disposal. The book takes a hard look at major marketing efforts of the world’s top companies. There’s no discussion here if putting flyers on telephone poles work or not (my guess is that it doesn’t).

This is Not Better, Microsoft

Sorry, Microsoft. This is not what I consider an improvement. You’ve Window-fied my Mac, but retained some Mac-ness to the point of creating some sin against nature you call Office for Mac 2011.

Also, no one uses Styles. No one. And only dim boobs use document themes. Please, lose the crap.

Seriously, look at all that stuff in Word: This doesn’t even include the required OS X menu bar! With that, they’re 18 (!) menus, 5 sub-menu category things (I think they call them “trays”) and a medley of icons up top that I have to guess at what they mean (seriously, what is that button directly to the right of “new document”?).

AND THEY STILL USE THAT FREAKING DISKETTE ICON FOR THE “SAVE” BUTTON!