Tag Archives: business

With BB10 until the End

blackberry-passport-vs-keyboards

More often than not when I am in a social setting and I pull out my lovely BlackBerry Classic Smartphone I get similar comments:

- “Oh, you still have a BlackBerry?” (shocked or frowning face)

– “It’s been a looong time since I have used one of these”

– “Why do you still have a BlackBerry?  I thought they stopped making them”

The last comment can be blamed on BlackBerry’s lack of marketing for BlackBerry 10 and the Priv.  But as for the comment “Oh, you still have a BlackBerry?”, the answer is quite simple: It gets the job I need it for done faster and efficiently – and I don’t play games or care for timesink apps

Now, don’t get me wrong; timesink apps have their place and are very important to a vast majority of users – as is evident with the abundance of apps in the ecosystems of Android and iOS.  And when I say ‘Timesink’ apps I am referring to games (a la Candy Crush, etc.) and social media apps (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc.).   The primary function of a phone; or at least 80+% of what a phone is used for is communications – that relates to phone calls, e-mail, sms.  Throw in another 10-15% for organization such as apps for calendars, GTD’s, and contacts.  Every other app is virtually a timesink (and yes, there can be positive timesink apps that allow you to learn).  And on BlackBerry 10, and on my BlackBerry Classic, nothing beats the communications experience.  As for the ‘app gap’ situation, doesn’t bother me as much as I don’t have that much down time to download the latest doo-hicky app – and the Android runtime on BB10, though limited, serves up for the few Android apps that I do use.

With the current state of BlackBerry always in flux, and the state of the BlackBerry 10 OS in a greater state of flux, I still stand behind the device and platform because it is truly a great innovative fast and fluid OS that has an only hindrance of not being able to cater to the ‘lore’ of timesink apps that exist on iOS and Android.

.:: LiBM ::.

Small Business Malarkey

big-business-bailout-plan

Small Business Talk

I’ve worked with many small businesses throughout the years and for the most part the experience has been beneficial to me in realizing GA certain salient point – I either don’t really want to work with them or makes me want to focus on my own business (which is small). By definition, ‘small businesses’ are exactly what their title implies – so this causes resources limitations, and more annoyingly the hustling by them to try and get you to do work for free – which I hear to often. Small Businesses can at times use the tactic of “do this job for us, and down the road it may open up the opportunity for more work” – I’m sure that many entrepreneurs and creative professionals have heard this line in many ways and forms:
– You know if you do this for us, well it can be the start of a partnership
– If you do this and it turns out well, I know several other businesses that may require your services

The ‘Dangling Carrot’ works as you (the rabbit) is susceptible to chasing this carrot because we want to be successful – and we want more carrots of course.

Now don’t get this post confused with myself not understanding that small businesses are the backbone and core of this economy – and heck, I’m a small business owner myself, though I haven’t really tried to exploit others to work for free for me, guess my thing with ethics and doing the ‘right thing’, kinda gets in the way.

If you have a small business story to share, please post in the comments.

.::LiBM::.

Platform Specific Businesses

smartphone-wars

There are many tech start-ups that aim to solve a problem by utilizing technology. Most of these start-ups emerge from ‘The Valley’ out in California where Venture Capitalists and wealthy folk throw money hoping to have the next FaceBook or Twitter on their hands – businesses with no real solid business model that makes no money outside of advertising (but I will save that rant for another post). A lot of the start-ups are uber niche – niche is a good thing as a small company does not have the resources to take on a big sector of an industry or market. But I always often wonder the logic that some start-ups take when they support their Web app native app from one platform over the other – especially when the barrier for entry is very low – very low. (Instagram and Vine are examples of apps that were iOS first before Android)

I’m not necessarily talking about the 1-3 start-ups that are working on their apps out of a Coffee house or Momma’s business, but I’m referring to the start-ups that have some funding such as Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, etc.. The dominant mobile platforms are Android and iOS, and many start-ups will usually embrace iOS before they go to Android (though that is slowly changing). But let’s look at how much it costs to publish an app in iOS App Store and Google Play:

  • Google Play – $25/year to publish app
  • Apple App Store – $99/year + SDK/NDK fees ($250)

It is actually cheaper to publish an app on Android than on Apple – now, there isn’t much of a difference there in my opinion, and I would postulate that most sane people would say the same. So the other important factor is programming – and let’s be honest there are many tools that devs can use to port their code OR they can code in HTML5 and JS and use many wrappers. Or if you really want to go native, then there is not a big hurdle in finding native developers, and to be honest most start-ups should have at least 2 devs that can cross-program iOS and Android.

So then if that isn’t the answer, we have to look at the psychology of targeting specific platforms (or at least I choose to ‘take it there’).  To be blunt, there is a perception that iOS is perceived as ‘high class’ in part due to its pricing from Apple. For this article’s sake, let’s just say a snobbery attitude exists hat has been cultivated quite cleverly by Apple that posits something to the effect of “Apple products are for those that prefer the finer things in life with”. From a marketing perspective that is not necessarily that bad because as humans, well in Western society especially, we have a desire to attain opulence and the finer things in life – from as a child with our fascination with Barbie’s and Hot Rods to our adult wishes of BMW’s, designer clothing, big houses, we have been receptors of marketing messages that promote this message. Some of us will spend our money, even when we don’t even have it, to go line-up at the Apple Store at the launch of a new iPhone or iPad. Developers tap into this murky technological psychology of brand perception and exacerbate this phenomenon – as technically, there is nothing that separates what an iOS vs an Android app can perform (the arguments even suggest that you can do more with an Android app). So the issue boils down to something that may seem confusing to someone that is rooted by economics of scale – though there are technically more Android devices out there, let’s produce an app for the platform that ‘appears better’, because we look down on the other platform.

Snobbery exists everywhere – even with something as simple as an ‘app’ – there are social complexities that exist.

.::LiBM::.

A Research Study into how much do Research Studies really cost

Research into Research

Everyday news networks and the blogosphere report either the findings of a research study or state that a research study is about to commence(funded); usually the research comes from a branch of the government or an education institution. A recent study I heard was a municipal government conducting a ‘Feasibility Study’ for transit improvements – which was going to run a few millions of dollars; it got me thinking – why do research studies cost so much? A primary factor for the costs is that research companies are overpaid consultants that charge a lot of money to pretty much tell an organization of what they already suspect is occurring (within their own organization). In this day of age of SurveyMonkey and Google Docs, you’d figure that research costs would subside, but that doesn’t appear to be the case – in my opinion. As Research institutions/firms are sprouting up like its spring in farm country.

A lot of the research studies that you may find may be one of those ‘duh’ and ‘obvious’ things; which begs the question whom thought it would be useful to waste their time and somebody else’s money in this endeavor? Here are a few examples:
– Surgeons Perform Better with Eye Movement Training
– Abstinence-Only Education Does Not Lead to Abstinent Behavior
– Relaxing Can Make You Fatter
– Under Money Strains, Some Older Adults May Turn to Alcohol

As you can see, some of these research studies fall under the Common Sense realm, which unfortunately is not at all that common. I was trying to do some research into why the costs seem to be so much, but I couldn’t find anything, kind of ironic isn’t it? Or maybe I need to spend a bit of money to conduct some research into the matter …

.::LiBM::.

Contractors Hyperbole

The Language of Contractors

I find the Home Improvement Industry to be a very challenging field, its either ‘Do-It Yourself’ or hire a Contractor. This post will focus on the latter, and their interesting rhetoric. Recently had to ‘monitor’ (be present) at my Mother’s house while several contractors vied for a chance to complete a floor tiling project; and I have noticed several ‘Talking Points’ that ALL Contractors seem to have. So here are some Talking Points that I have observed, and my interpretation of what they really mean:

“I know a guy that can do that for you”
– means that he can’t do it himself, so he worked out a deal with someone that he knows, and will take a percentage

“His work is very very good, amazing”
– this claim will hardly never be validated, who is really going to take the time to view strangers houses?

“Its not going to cost you, its going to cost me”
– it will still cost YOU, but probably in the long run

“I’m giving you the best possible price – I’m not making any money”
– even at the baseline cost, I’m still making money, sucka!

“These things happen from time to time”
– I f#cked up, and since you don’t know shit about this industry, I will blame it on ‘natural circumstance’

“Unlike other contractors who would just tell you anything, I’m being honest with you”
– I’m saying this to gain your confidence, but I am more like the contractors that I have tarnished

In all, I have to give it up to the Contractors, they have realized how they are viewed amongst the general public as sleezy, corrupt, ex-con, dirtbags; thus, there probably was some ‘Contractor Meeting’ a few years ago where they adopted some psychological rhetoric as they try to get into their customers heads and try to distance themselves from the perception of their own industry.

Kinda clever.

 

<<< Wish this was how all Contractors looked like, then, I wouldn’t really have that much of a problem with ‘em.

.:: LiBM ::.

Defining an Era or Error: Pagers

The Pagers

Still has a use after the cellphone

A pager (sometimes called a page, beeper or bleep) is a simple personal telecommunications device for short messages. A one-way numeric pager can only receive a message consisting of a few digits, typically a phone number that the user is then expected to call. Alphanumeric pagers are available, as well as two-way pagers that have the ability to send and receive email, numeric pages, and SMS messages.

Until the popular adoption of mobile phones in the 1990s, pagers fulfilled the role of common personal and mobile communications. Today, pagers mainly support the “critical messaging” markets. They are the ideal solution for very quick, very reliable personal or group messaging. Unlike many other mobile communications networks, they continue to work in times of emergency or disaster as they do not suffer from network overload as has been proven many times (September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina). For this reason, they are still very popular with emergency service personnel, medical personnel, and information technology support staff.

If you still have a pager now, hopefully you are in some medical profession because it will be very hard to find a payphone.

.:: LiBM :::

The Peter Principle

Rewarding Incompetence

The Peter Principle – explains a lot

When I first heard about the Peter Principle I felt a couple of things; first, this explains a lot – that’s it. Sorry for saying a ‘couple of things'; as I guess the first explanation explains so much situations and scenarios that we all can relate to. The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails. This is “The Generalized Peter Principle.” It was observed by Dr. William R. Corcoran and he found that in an organizational structure, the Peter Principle’s practical application allows assessment of the potential of an employee for a promotion based on performance in the current job; i.e., members of a hierarchical organization eventually are promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to incompetence. That level is the employee’s “level of incompetence” where the employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career’s ceiling in an organization.

The employee’s incompetence is not necessarily exposed as a result of the higher-ranking position being more difficult — simply, that job is different from the job in which the employee previously excelled, and thus requires different work skills, which the employee may not possess. For example, a factory worker’s excellence in his job can earn him promotion to manager, at which point the skills that earned him his promotion no longer apply to his job.

How to resolve the Peter Principle:
– employees who are dedicated to their current jobs should not be promoted for their efforts for which they might, instead, receive a pay increase.
– employees might be promoted only after being sufficiently trained to the new position. This places the burden of discovering individuals with poor managerial capabilities before (as opposed to after) they are promoted.

I don’t know about you, but this explains a lot and allows me to understand the chaos, dumb, asinine logic that exists in the corporate/government world.

Some Key Examples of the Peter Principle (Fiction & Non-Fiction):

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown

Former FEMA director Michael Brown was called to testify before Congress for the botched relief operation in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina 2005).

 

George W. Bush

Self-explanatory for most

 

Michael Scott

– The Office star, and lovable incompetent boss that represents so many of our bosses

 

.:: LiBM ::.
Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peter_Principle

Cheap E-Way

Cheap E-Way

Ways to save and cut back

Most of this is logical (hopefully), but in a tight economy, there are many ways that people can save their money and cut back.

Write-Off

Register a small business. Do it. Regardless if you have no idea of what product you plan to sell or what service you want to offer. Then, any activity/purchase you do for your business, can be a write-off – transit fare to meet clients, food purchases, clothing, wireless/internet expenses … the possibilities are endless.

 

Shop at a Dollar Store

– they have the everyday household items for $1, body spray deodorant, binders, lotions, drinks – and all the name brands; no ‘Acme’ or generic never-heard of brands

 

Bring your own beverages to work

– let’s do the math; let’s say you bought a Coca-cola beverage everyday at your work cafeteria for $1, 5 times a week. Over a month period, that equates to $20. If you went to the grocery store, and picked up a 12 pack of coca-cola for $5.99, you would save around $.50 per day rather than buying it at the cafeteria.

 

Cloud Computing

– This is working and storing information into the cloud (essentially a server) where you can access the data from any machine; no longer being restricted to a specific computer. Google offers many free cloud services like ‘Google Docs’ (wordprocessing, spreadsheet, powerpoint) and if you need a desktop software suite, Sun Office has a bunch of applications that are compatible with Microsoft and the best thing is that it is FREE.

 

.:: LiBM ::.

tan(004) – Road closures cause a logical mess with Paypal

Part 4 in the Expression of foolery:

A logical Mess, Road Closures, Paypal fees

A Logical Mess
Its always the worst when your away from work for a couple of days and your work peer comes over to your desk to do your work and completely reorganizes your things. They say that they were just trying to ‘clean up’ your things, but b**ch, the perceived chaos/mess is subjective – and usually items are strategically placed in certain areas for a reason. Its really rude and abrasive to come into another person’s work area and go through their stuff; business and/or personal – usually they do it to snoop, lames. These types of people need to be dealt with; severely and swiftly (you know what I mean).

Road Closures
Driving on the highway especially in the summer is an interesting time as construction narrows lanes, roads are unpaved, and they always have signs indicating that a certain part of the highway will be closed during a certain time between certain intersections. This is a gross logical error, because if you are traveling eastbound, the signs will tell you the closures that affect eastbound traffic only; but, the driver most likely will need to know of any construction occurring on the westbound lanes (as it will be rare that the driver will travel eastbound again after returning westbound). Am I the only one that has noticed this? Does it not make sense to give notice to the most likely course of actions of drivers?

Paypalery
This will be quick and sweet, but isn’t it odd that Paypal is quick to charge you fees for your transactions whether you are buying or selling, but when you need to withdraw some money from paypal it takes 5-8 business days … Just saying …

.:: LiBM ::.

Get your Sue on

Getting our sue on

Some funny legal cases from http://www.re-quest.net/g2g/humor/cases/

We have, and will probably always be in a litigious era where lawyers run rampant trying to sue over every little thing.  This leads to a tie up of our judicial system, which in turns causes taxpayers more money; and now, more than ever, we need to find ways to save money.  Anyhow, enjoy: 

United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff
54 F.R.D. 282 (W.D. Penn. 1971)
A Real Devil of a Litigant. Plaintiff filed suit against Satan and his staff for violation of his civil rights. Among the allegations were: (1) that Satan had on numerous occasions caused him misery and unwarranted threats, all against his will; (2) that Satan had placed deliberate obstacles in his path that caused Plaintiff’s downfall; and (3) that by reason of the foregoing acts, Satan had deprived him of his constitutional rights.
The court noted that, “Even if plaintiff’s complaint reveals a prima facie recital of the infringement of the civil rights of a citizen of the United States, the Court has serious doubts that the complaint reveals a cause of action upon which relief can be granted by the court.”
The court went on about its concerns and further noted, “We question whether plaintiff may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial district …. the plaintiff has failed to include with his complaint the required form of instructions for the United States Marshal for directions as to service of process.”
Case dismissed as frivolous.

Carter v. United States
530 U.S. 255, 185 F.3d 863 (2000)

Playboy Mystery Writer Unveiled? In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Ginsberg wrote, “The Court’s woodenly literal construction gives rise to practical abnomalies and effectively shrinks the jury’s choices while enlarging the prosecutor’s options.”

Ruth v. Congress of the United States
71 F.R.D. 676 (D. N.J. 1976)
Right to a Speedy Trial? Plaintiff, while a guest in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, filed suit, in pro per, against the U.S. Congress. Among his allegations were the constitutionality of a number of statutes dealing with the salaries, retirement pay, survivors’ benefits, etc., of Judges, U.S. Attorneys, Clerks, Marshals, and others; and that he was unjustly tried and convicted in both Federal and State courts because the charges against him were processed and tried by the court and staff in an extremely rapid manner, failing to consider all issues, due to the fact that the court “was overworked and under paid.”
Case dismissed as frivolous.

Koutsouradis v. Delta Airlines
___ F.4d ___ (11th Cir. 2005)
Batteries Included. A 36 year old married woman filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines for being publicly humiliated after she boarded a Delta Airlines flight with her husband in Dallas, Texas on a stop over from Las Vegas, Nevada to her home in Clearwater, Florida. After boarding, the woman surprising heard her name being called on the plane’s P.A. system asking her to identfy herself and to please come forward. Alarmed, the woman complied, and was greeted by a Delta security agent who informed her that something in her luggage was vibrating. The woman was escorted off of the plane by the security agent and lead to the tarmack next to the plane where her luggage had been placed. The woman explained to the security agent that the vibrating must be from an adult toy she purchased while in Las Vegas. The security agent, not being satisfied with this representation, made the woman remove the toy from the luggage and hold it up for inspection, in full view of curious passengers looking out the windows of the plane as well as in front of a few Delta ground personnel who, as the complaint alleges, “began laughing hysterically.” The woman was allowed to repack her luggage and return to her seat on the plane. Albeit, a little red faced we’re sure.

Check out http://www.re-quest.net/g2g/humor/cases/ for more funny and dumb cases! 

 

.:: LiBM ::.