three wifi flight passes for $6.50 each
Buy three (or more) flight pass codes for $6.50 each, and sell them for more to passengers on the flight.
I like little exercises like this (like when I hacked a Vegas cab line), because being a salesperson is uncomfortable. Creating value can be a scary, anxiety ridden process. You have to talk to people you don't know, who aren't expecting to talk to you, and often whose first reaction isn't welcoming. You have to overcome all these obstacles and get them to see the value you're bringing.
That's why while making $20 off a couple of passes isn't a material amount of money, it's very material in the skills you need to use and hone to sell other, more expensive services or goods.
My wife and I have been making an effort to eat unprocessed foods as a part of a healthier lifestyle. Simply told, that means if there's a label on the food (or if it's in a box), we try not to eat it. I'll write a more comprehensive blog soon about the thinking behind this approach.
Part of this initiative is to buy organic fruits and vegetables (Rainbow grocery in San Francisco is just amazing) and consume them over other foods as often as possible. We try to juice every morning and most evenings, replacing evening meals with juice as often as scheduling permits.
We've gone through three juicers looking for the exact right one, and finally we've found it. Here's a review of the ones we tried, so you don't have to.
The Jack Lalanne high-speed juicer: This was our first juicer. (The link at left is for Amazon, although you can also purchase it at Costco for $89). It actually worked quite well. It has a large opening and consumed all types of fruits and vegetables we could throw at it. Cleanup was simple enough, although there were a number of large parts to be cleaned. But there were two things about this juicer that made it a non-starter for us:
Audible.com has a very mature customer acquisition and retention strategy. I originally signed up for Audible after they sponsored of one of my favorite podcasts, This American Life. Audible was offering a free audio book, just to try the service. I decided to try it.
Little did I know that I was entering the Hotel California of software subscription services. I'm not upset with them -- it's more that I'm in awe of their ability to keep me as a customer for a year longer than I expected.
The reality is that Audible is expensive -- around $15/month to be able to purchase one audio book per month. After using up my free month, and then paying for two additional months, I realized I wasn't going to use it enough to justify the cost since I'd only listened to one audio book in a three-month span, and I went to cancel it.
Audible then offered me a deal: Just $5 for me to keep my existing credits for the next year. Since I had two audio books I hadn't read, I took the bait. But I never used those credits so when the renewal came up, I knew I really wanted to cancel.
Here's what the process was like when I just tried to cancel the account:
I just attended a fantastic, standing room only SXSW panel titled "Why Social Ads Work. Ignore Facebook Naysayers" with Kurt Abrahamson, the CEO of ShareThis, and Brandon Rhoten, the Director of Digital Marketing for the Wendy's restaurant chain. Both Kurt and Brandon spoke very openly about digital advertising, and social ads in particular.
Wendy's is a $9 billion company with over 7,000 locations in US & Canada (although only 150 locations in CA). Its biggest competitors are other QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) like McDonalds and Burger King, but Wendy's is more interested in what newer chains like Chipotle are doing than these more traditional competitors, since Wendy's biggest business challenge is to have 20 and 30 somethings choose Wendy's over chains like Chipotle (Wendy's does very well with the older demographic, though, since it's a 60+ year old brand). The entire QSR industry is a $519 billion industry.
Here's the video of the event (sorry for the poor video quality; I was barely able to squeeze into the room)
I'm traveling in Barcelona, Spain this week, and Hertz gave me the best upsell ever: A 4G MiFi for 8 euros per day.
The last time I traveled internationally just three years ago, these didn't exist. Now, this little device, which I rely on at home, has made all the difference traveling internationally.
This wonder combo has allowed me:
That's Barg wearing Google Glass above and also below
A DC-based startup called dSky9 is creating some super interesting apps for Google Glass. At yesterday's Mobile Outlook 2013 event, the founders Barg & Greg showed off a Glass Simulator they've created to develop apps for Google Glass.
A few interesting things about Glass:
Well, the time is fast approaching (7 weeks!) so Sue and I are starting to look into the products we need to buy. Our friend Carrie wrote a fantastic blog with her pics & Pans.
Carrie recommended this Levana Monitor ($99 on Amazon).
Does anyone else have an opinion? We're going to have to upgrade Sue's iPhone soon, so one option might be to use this iPhone app as a baby monitor and use Sue's old phone as the recording device. Just not sure how reliable it would be.
I'll be happy to post details here once we make a decision, along with details on how it's working out.
Vision Mobile just created a fantastic report called "State of the Developer Nation." Here are some highlights and thoughts:
There's no question that apps are here to stay (and that was a big question, even just 24 months ago). Over half of all phones sold worldwide are now smartphones:
With lots of app growth already and doubling in the next 24 months:
Startups feel like a race against the clock, because they are. The trick is to extend a startup's runway (or as one of my investors put it, "oxygen in the the scuba tank") long enough to become successful. This means creating the right team, finding product/market fit, executing flawlessly, and either becoming profitable or raising enough money to keep oxygen in the tank until you do (or until you get acquired trying).
One thing I've firmly come to believe after doing several startups is that a startup doesn't die until its founder(s) give up. By that I mean, there's always one more thing that the founding team can do to eek a bit more oxygen from the tank, even when things look hopeless. But when a founder gives up, there can still be money in the bank and it won't matter; the startup is done. It kind of feels like the tail wagging the dog, in a way -- startups succeed from pure, raw determination of the founders as they race against time.
What got me thinking about writing this post, though, is an awesome blog post I read about putting time in perspective. So often in startups it can feel like time's running out that it's refreshing to think about time on a grander scale. Here's an infographic from that article that really does put things into perspective. A great quote from that article is:
My wife Sue and I have spent the past two years visiting many types of camper facilities in our quest to find the perfect camper for our needs. We’ve toured the factories at Sportsmobile, Four Wheel Camper, XP Camper, EarthRoamer, Hallmark, Outfitter, and Phoenix, and we visited the Overland Expo last year.
In the process, we’ve documented and written up each of those experiences in separate posts to provide you with an insider’s guide to purchasing a camper. Our goal was to do the hard legwork ourselves so you wouldn’t have to, and to document what we saw with honesty and transparency. In this post, I’m summarizing what we’ve learned in this two year journey. Hopefully, you’ll find this guide a useful tool in your decision making process.
First, a bit about us and our priorities:
We have been looking for a camper we can live in for an extended period of time (6+ months) while also having a vehicle we can still use as a daily driver. We’re looking for a camper that we can easily take on weekend or week-long trips, as well as a vehicle that we can take offroad on medium-difficulty trails (like that hard-to-reach deserted beach).