Feeling Hopeful

My son just introduced me to this video by the British group “Bars and Melody“: Hopeful. The guys sing/rap quite well, but I find the anti-bullying message of this song powerful. It looks like this is a key part of their identity, which I fully support. Now, it’s important to note, this video is from Read More …

Reflecting on Fortune’s article “Howard Schultz Has Something Left to Prove”

I’m an alum of Starbucks, having worked at the SSC (Starbucks Support Center) from the time Orin Smith was at the helm, through Jim Donald’s tenure, and then getting laid off with 300 of my colleagues a few months after Howard returned. Starbuck’s history overlaps with key parts of mine. I still care quite deeply Read More …

Thinking About Downtown Everett

Yesterday I spent a little time walking right along Colby. I was struck by the large number of vacant store front spaces. Which surprises me, since retail space in the region is in high-demand. I guess we can see the upper bound of that. Perhaps Everett is considered too far from Seattle. I find that Read More …

Sears CEO Lampert blames company’s woes on ‘irresponsible’ media

Sears CEO Lampert blames company’s woes on ‘irresponsible’ media I just had to shake my head after reading this one. This Mr. Lampert is, well, an eccentric chap and, sorry to counter his statement, but either in deep denial about Sears’ states, or a terrible liar. He spends a great deal of time comparing Sears Read More …

The Future of Work: Cashiers

This morning I read Cashiers’ Last Stand, which covers some thoughts I’ve had about AI recently. I tend towards the futurist’s view: that these changes will happen (machines will take on more of the rote work of the cashier) and that those displacements will happen relatively soon. I also think that the service role of Read More …

A few reflections on marketing 

A few quick reflections… Focus! An easy, and dangerous, trap: selling to everyone! That kills sales, unless you’re already at a huge scale. Yes, Starbucks, Microsoft, etc, market to the planet. They didn’t start there. First they focused on a niche, on quality service. Build the relationship, the connection, a reputation for expertise and quality. Read More …

Thoughts about Amazon and Seattle 

Back in the mid-90s I worked a short project at Amazon.  The gist of it: assembling work stations in a new call center.  It was a unique place to be. Most striking: this guy who had his corgi at the office. About once an hour, he would throw a ball down the hallway. The dog Read More …

The independent artist and social media

Earlier this evening I attended a performance by Aaron Strumpel at my church. Talking to the musicians afterwards, I was reminded of several ways that modern technology is changing the music business. Yeah, there’s tech impacting performance, but that’s not really what’s got me jazzed right now. No, it’s the way the music business is Read More …