Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blind faith and dedication are powerful

I just watched this video from NFL.com on Lance Long. Lance was a walk-on at Mississippi State and an undrafted free agent on the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals. He hopes to be a contributing member of the 53 man roster this year.

His path to professional football has never been easy. But he gets up every day and goes out to make himself better at his job. He strives to be the best he can and contribute to the success of something much bigger than himself. Think about how you approach each of your days. Do you push yourself everyday? Do you strive to be something bigger and better than what people give you credit for? Do you care about something so much that you will blindly follow a path towards it each day without letting the pressure of the future derail you?

I am always moved by stories like these. It illustrates that hard work, focus, and dedication is everything.

@RealJoe is a Real Genius

I’m sitting at Liberty Market and I was inspired to write this. Which is saying a lot considering what a terrible blogger I am.

Liberty Market is busy this morning as it seems to be every time I come here, and it just sank in that @RealJoe is a true genius in the business world. Across the street is Joe’s Real BBQ another amazing place to eat and one that is regularly busy even in this crappy economy. Of course this one too is run by Joe.

However, also across the street is a place that used to be called “Grain Belt” and before that it was a multitude of places each with it’s own theme. It even carried the name of one of the most beloved sports stars in Arizona, Luis Gonzalez. But Gonzo’s crapped out like the rest.  And so the building sits, an empty symbol of failure.

What makes the Joe joints thrive, while the “Grain Belt” died. It’s not location location location as “they” always say, but it’s more about being the right place with the right attitude and the right food for Joe. The food is precise and amazing. Recipes that were hunted down and vetted to be perfect for each place. The decor suits each place without getting in the way. The wifi is free and predictable. Everything is calculated and implemented according to a master plan by a man who knows his customers.

Details. Details. Details.

Rarely am I this impressed with an individual in business, but I think Joe is my new hero.

Community in Conflict?

I can see that this is a dangerous topic, so I will tread as lightly as I can. Community is such a foreign concept in the tech/creative circles in AZ, it seems that we don’t know how to let it grow without force.

If you don’t already, you should know that I am a Gangplanker (http://gangplankhq.com), and that I have not been to many non-Gangplank events. Not because I don’t appreciate them or that I have anything against them, but it’s just hard with all the Gangplank events and a family to make it.

However, I do know one thing. Community is an organic and capable organism. It can determine what is important. What works. What it needs. It will also decide what sucks and is a waste of time. It does not need people who “know better” telling it what it should think and what won’t work.

Don’t get me wrong, I love people who support Gangplank. We could use more. Especially those who fervently evangelize and defend Gangplank from those that find it in their best interest to tear it down. But if the people of our community choose an alternative because it offers something more or better, good. Good for the community.

If you are in AZ and care about community, push past the bickering. Stop working against each other and throwing veiled barbs and 140-character call-outs. If you have a grudge or personal agenda you are NOT working for the community.

A stroll down memory lane

My first blog UnhappyEmployee.com started out as a project to try to show people how to overcome the roadblocks to personal achievment in business, but has digressed a bit into a personal blog. While I am contemplating the future of that site, I found a few nuggets that I thought would be applicable to this readership. So instead of reposting them here, I submit my greatest hits list if you will. I hope you enjoy.

  1. 2 Great Lessons from Pixar’s Brad Bird
  2. Accountability: The New Corporate Disease
  3. The Entitlement Mentality
  4. When the cost of doing business is not exactly the cost of doing business
  5. Conventional Wisdom and Cause vs Correlation

Viral Loops and Whuffie

Two concepts that I’ve known abstractly for some time have been clarified in my mind as they relate to my specialty: Web application development.

What makes one Website launch to instant success while others struggle to get just a few users and then disappear? To be fair, I’m sure there are a million reasons, but I’m going to focus on two that are particularly applicable to the new social economy of the web.

The first is a Viral Loop or “viral expansion loop“. A viral loop is basically a scenario where in order for one to get value from a product or service, they have to get others to use that product or service. Twitter is a perfect example. Sign up for a twitter account, but don’t tell anybody that you are on Twitter. This means no contact at all, including following people you know. Now, how’s that working out for you?

It doesn’t work. Twitter has no value unless others know you are on it, so the first thing you do when you sign up is find people you know and follow them. Now they know you are on it, and then you tell all your friends that aren’t on it to join. This makes Twitter valuable. And viral.

The other is called social capital. Tara Hunt has a new book coming out called The Whuffie Factor in which she explains the value of social capital (and why she calls it Whuffie).

In an interview with Tara on Mixergy.com, she gives a great preview of the concepts. I recommend you listen to the interview. It’s a great insight into how to build up social capital, bank it, and use that capital to “buy” attention when you have something to launch.

There is a catch of course. Increasing your Social capital happens organically, so you have to be willing to give … to get. Building captial happens when you participate in community and give freely for the benefit of the community. You can’t force it. You can’t game it. Be genuine and you will build the network and relationships that will pay dividends in the end.

Updated (thanks to @sunaz): In the interview Tara uses Zappos.com as an example or how whuffie can propel success. From their customer service policies to their CEO’s participation on twitter, their openness, transparency and commitment to their customers creates loyalty and success.

DIY Moo.com Minicard holder in less than 10 minutes, Just in time for SXSW

Even though I’m not going I can’t go to SXSW, I thought I might contribute a very little something. Moo.com makes some cool minicards that are very popular (have been for some time now). And if you are a collector or just a distributor of your own I’ve made a simple minicard holder and I’m posting the instructions here for you. You can find the template I used here (MiniCard holder small) or a slightly bigger one here (MiniCard holder large).

Here is what it will look like when it’s done:

Ok let’s get to it.

What you will need:
What you need

Glue, something to cut with (you can use scissors if you have a steady hand), and the template. A straight edge will help but it’s not really necessary.

Step 1: Cut it out.
Cut it out

Cut around the outside of the template. Keep your cuts straight.

Step 2: Fold it
After cutting. Now fold on the lines

Fold crisply along the interior lines.

Step 3: Glue it
Glue the flaps to the inside of the back panel

Smooth the glue out and use just enough to hold, but not so much that it oozes out all over the place.

Click on any of the images to see the flickr version with additional notes. You can make these out of just about any material that is sturdy. If you can’t print on it, use the template to transfer the pattern to your material.

If you make one, post it to my flickr group or to the comments here. I’d love to see what others can do with it.


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