Saturday, January 08, 2005

Selling Your Boss

Ever had one of those eureka moments, where all of the planets align, you can tell north from south absolutely without a compass, the stock market and racing track and health insurance forms all make complete sense, and Einstein's General theory of Relativity falls into place?

Or at least a new business idea makes such perfect sense to you that you wonder why you haven't been doing it all along. But you then face having to sell your company, or at least your boss on the idea.

I've been there, and it can be a tricky business.

Michael Hyatt, at Working Smart has a great set of guidelines on how to try to do just that. It's nice to see a well defined strategy for communicating new ideas like the one put together under the title: How to Sell Your Boss.

Friday, January 07, 2005

On the troubles with pricing

I recently had to get a certified copy of my birth certificate.

I was talking with my sister on the phone last night, and found out that she also needed to get a copy of her birth certificate, a couple of weeks back.

She drove an hour away, spent 2 hours waiting, and returned home with proof that she was born when and where she claimed. I spent fifteen minutes downloading a form, filling it out, and faxing it to the same office. Then fifteen minutes driving to the local Fed Ex office to pick my copy up the next night. I paid about $20.00 more. It was worth it.

It had me thinking a little about what we are willing to spend for goods and services, and what we consider value for our money and time.

An excellent post over at Joel on Software also considers those topics, but in the area of pricing software. See Camels and Rubber Duckies for an amusing way to look at how one might price software.

Take my advice, offered about 20 pages back: charge $0.05 for your software. Unless it does bug tracking, in which case the correct price is $30,000,000. Thank you for your time, and I apologize for leaving you even less able to price software than you were when you started reading this.

I'm not sure I agree with his conclusion, which I've quoted above. His essay is a thoughtful exploration of factors that one might consider in setting a price.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Not so Nasty Businesses

I really liked the list of companies that Johnnie Moore put together recently.

They are Brands... with a conscience?

Nice to see that there are companies which strive to set a good example, and act as responsible social entities.

I'm going to have to look for some more Not so Nasty Businesses in 2005. It sort of gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to see some.

How do you measure success?

An article in the New Yorker about doctors, and the treatment of Cystic fibrosis is one of the best essays I've read in quite a while.

The Bell Curve looks at how doctors from two different hospitals treat the disease, and how they interact with their patients.

It also looks at how they learn from their efforts, and how they apply what they have learned.

(via Design Observer)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Welcome to the working blog

There's possibly some good to blogging about your work, and there's potentially some bad to it also: Looming pitfalls of work blogs

The companion BBC article involves a police office and an emergency medical technician, who explain why they blog about their jobs.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Business Blogs Interview

For 2005, I'm going to predict that many more businesses will adopt blogs in an effort to start conversations with their customers.

A lot of design firms, and online marketers have made that move, as have software manufacturers and search engines.

John S. Rhodes has a nice interview with Matthew Oliphant on the subject at Oristus: Blogs, Business and Some Usability.

Here are some reasons why I think that blogging might spread to more mainstream businesses:

  • Content management tools that bloggers are using make publishing to the web much easier than having to create the html for new pages.

  • People who have been testing the waters with personal sites may see the benefit of using blogs in their businesses

  • Blogs allow businesses to bring timely news to their customers, and to share their views and reactions to changes in an industry

Is the world ready for more business blogs?