Category Archives: Business

ways of conducting business, business practices, business decisions, capitalism

Dear David and Scooter Luggage Video

Micro Airpot Shoot 125

At work, we got an email from David, asking about the Coolest Toys On Earth showroom on the outskirts of Cincinnati, OH. He asked the following:

“We are coming to your location soon. I would like some info on the area. Like good restaurants and other things to see in your area while we are there. Coming in from Akron, Ohio. Any help would be of great help. Thank you. David Jones”

When I responded, however, my email bounced. Argh! So, wherever you are David, here is my solution to this puzzle: post my reply to the interwebs hoping that eventually you will google (i.e. vanity search) your name, and find it. Here was my response that I tried to send your way:

Good morning to you David! We’d be happy to give you a few pointers and recommendations [about the Milford and Cincinnati area].

Our toy store is definitely an attraction: we get people from Indiana, all over Ohio, and Kentucky to come in, especially during December – we’ve even hired bouncers in years past because we get so packed. Here is a teaser video: http://www.coolesttoysonearth.com/cincinnati-oh-store

One of the coolest toys we just got in is Scooter Luggage 2.0 (a must see video). It’s carry-on luggage that fits fine in the overhead bins, that folds out into a scooter for the terminal. It is super cool!

When it comes to food, one of Cincinnati’s favorite

How to Rate Your Skill at Anything

On a technical forum I stumbled upon, I found the following 1-10 rating guide pretty useful (and funny) in trying to figure out how to measure your ability at programming or any skill/tool for that matter.  Thanks to Adam Jaskiewicz for this great analysis.

<begin quote>

10 – You don’t know that you don’t really know anything.

9 – You’re just bragging, and you probably aren’t as good as you think you are. Even if you are really this good, you lack the political skills to see what picking a “9” says about you. That, or you’re pretty well-known/worshiped in the industry (i.e. you wrote a book once, and it has a nickname like “The __ Book” or an acronym that most developers would recognize instantly), and not afraid to throw your name around.

8 – You’re [sic] damn good and you know it, but you’re smart enough to realize the stigma of picking 9 or 10. You’d better be able to back it up.

7 – You’re very good, but you know you have a lot to learn.

6 – You’re competent, and have a lot to learn, but aren’t very confident in your abilities. Are you sure you aren’t a 7?

5 – Decent junior dev. You’re just out of school, and smart enough to realize you don’t really know anything about real-world programming, but you know how to hack together code.

4 – Mediocre junior dev. You’re just out of school, but your basic coding skills leave something to be desired. You had a hard time just passing most of your programming classes, but for some reason decided you still want to pursue a career in software development. You also don’t really believe in yourself, so why should an interviewer?

3 or below – If you have so little confidence in your programming ability, why are you applying to programming jobs?

So the “correct” answer is probably 5-7, depending on what kind of job you are interviewing for. An 8 has enough experience that she wouldn’t be asking this question.

<end quote>

Facebook Just Pulled a Chrome with Facebook Home

Facebook Home Welcome Mat - A Take Over Strategy

Facebook Home Welcome Mat – A Take Over Strategy

So, back last year Mark Zuckerberg was pretty clear that Facebook would not build the all-amazing ‘Facebook Phone’ that blogs have waxed eloquent about. No, software was the puzzle they were focusing on … not hardware. But today, I saw where Facebook pulled a trick from Google’s playbook in taking over an ecosystem with their own ecosystem. The Zuck calls it Facebook Home – and it is a pretty cool idea for the company with an IPO anniversary coming up in May. See the video below for

Celebrating the New CoolestToys.com

flower bouquet

A perfect way to celebrate a big accomplishment at work was partake of this awesome fruit bouquet. Pineapple flower anyone? Sweetness … literally.

I am pretty pumped about finally launching the new website I have worked on since I started my new job last summer. Eight months later, I can say, we have reached a major milestone – through all the craziness that it is to redesign and manage a reboot of Coolest Toys on Earth’s visual identity, we have a new look and feel for cool toys! A chocolate covered strawberry was perfect to enjoy this moment.

Part of what I am really excited about is some of the really cool videos that are part of the new website, like this one showing a really cool toy called Continue reading

Video: A Peak Inside Coolest Toys On Earth

Store front

With all the wind-spinners, it is hard to miss the store – but it is no wonder that people mistake it as ‘just’ a kite store. If they only knew …

So I have an interesting puzzle to solve: how do I get the ‘uninitiated’ to actually take the first step into the toy store that I work at? Almost everyone locally knows where it is. Thousands of people have driven by it. But most people think it is just a kite store. What if we tickled their curiosity with an epically fun peak inside? And what if those that have fallen in love with the store actually shared this video with all of their friends and family around Thanksgiving dinner? Watch below!

I believe once you walk through those doors, the rest will take care of itself.

One visit and either you will love it and be back for more or you’ll get all  Continue reading

The McDonald’s Daily Double: Are You Fooled?

McDonalds Sign "Try Our New Daily Double Just $1.99"

The McDonald’s sign that first attracted my attention to their “new menu item”

Ever since McDonald’s updated the design of their restaurant buildings from the crazy-clown red and yellow motif that seemed to eerily scream ‘come to me kids!’ to a more substantial and calming brick, glass, and yellow design with their built-in McCafe’s, I have frequented them much more often. Their image is heading in the right direction – different eating areas for kids, young folk, adults, seniors, etc. Muted tones. Fancier and more lifelike display of food on digital signage. It finally seemed like McDonald’s was going to re-image itself as a higher-end quick service type of restaurant. That was, until I got fooled by their Daily Double.

I had seen the sign driving by a local McDonald’s over the past few weeks suggesting I try a Daily Double. Finally last week, I decided to try this new ‘deal’. At first, I thought it Continue reading

I Got to Drive a Tesla Roadster: Their EV Marketing is Spot On

Driving the Tesla Roadster is like being strapped to a rocket. Pure awesomeness. I am in one of the ‘Coolest Toys on Earth’.

Who, in their right mind, would turn down an offer for driving a Tesla Roadster? Who would not want to own this all-electric sports car if they could afford it? The answer: everyone I know – especially those EVangelists at Plugin 2012. I unfortunately can’t say the same thing about the Volt, LEAF, Focus Electric, and the handful of other models of electric vehicles out there. You know why – Tesla made a car that was worth something to the higher class folk, which then created desire in everyone else. All the other AutoOEM’s missed the mark, unfortunately, and are fighting an uphill battle – but in the next three years will finally ‘get it’.

I have heard and seen Volt and LEAF owners get crazy frustrated with people who ask the simple questions about their cars – how much was it, how much range do you get, can you take it on trips? Then with very little thought, these inquisitive people say something like, “Well I could buy a $23K Prius for that and do everything else that limits you. Why did you buy that?” Talk about an irate EV owner – yikes!

Have you ever compared a Porsche 911 to a Prius?

Have you ever asked why the owner of a Maserati bought one, and not a simple Dodge Neon (if they still sold them)?

The funny thing about electric vehicles is that Continue reading