RIP Steve Jobs

The world mourns the loss of a visionary. There are so many of us that have stories to share of how Apple changed our lives. Here’s mine.

My father introduced me to Apple products back in the mid-70’s. He knew this was something remarkable and wanted us to be a part of it. Computers were pretty expensive back then, for a middle class working family. In fact, the Apple I went on sale in July 1976 and was market-priced at $666.66 (Steve Jobs sense of humor?). That’s about $2,572 in 2011 dollars.

When Apple went public Dad said we needed to buy shares. At $29.00 per share, the best I could do was 10 shares. Dad said to hang on to them, they would increase in value.

In 1986 we got a new computer. This time the Apple II GS. For it’s day, it totally rocked.

Apple II GS

Gathering Dust But Just Can't Part With It

Unfortunately, this would be the last Apple computer I owned for a long time. The times were changing, Apple wasn’t really developing the business applications like Microsoft was. And in those days, business was my focus.

Still that is when computers changed my life forever, and it was all because of Steve Jobs, Apple, and my dad of course. A visionary in his own right.


Google+ Goes Public, Will it Survive

Today’s big news the announcement that Google+ is open to the general public. Google+ invites were in big demand when the service first launched sometime in June, and the service quickly attracted 20 million visitors in its first month. I’ve been “sort of using” the service since the end of June, and have accumulated 230 additions to my Circles. But, I have to admit, I don’t use it half as much as I use Twitter and Facebook. In fact, I still have 150 invitations left. What I’ve seen so far is just a duplication of posts that I read elsewhere. But, I’m not ready to give up on it quite yet. I kind of have a feeling Google knows what it’s doing with this one. *wink*  (Yes, I bought in to Wave and never really used it much)

What is interesting to me is that the doors to the public flung open just days before Facebook’s f8 conference. (Sept. 22nd in San Francisco). Note to self: need to move to Frisco, a lot of cool stuff going on out there. Are we ready for a new social media war? laid out some of the new features Google+ is launching, including mobile support for the Google+ video chat feature known as “Hangouts.” Yet over on WebProNews, they look to have declared Google+ dead.

It will be interesting to see how the general public responds. The one thing I know is that if there is a social media war,  the public stands to benefit greatly as the leaders start rolling out even more features to compete. Let the war begin!


Seth Godin’s Domino Project offers free eBook

In honor of Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work, the Domino Project Street Team brought together their collective talents to create a free eBook entitled No Idling – “30 Inspirational Stories from those who “Do the Work”

It’s available from the link above, and yep it’s free. You may use it, print it, and share it freely but please don’t change or re-sell it, that’s against the rules.

Steven Pressfield’s book “Do the Work“,  (available free on Kindle until May 20th), is designed to coach you through a project from conception to finished product, seeing it from the point of view of resistance. Kicking aside procrastination, fear, self-doubt and self-sabotage, “Do the Work” will give you inspiration to stop dreaming and start doing.  I got my copy a couple of weeks ago and quickly devoured it and put the ideas into practice.

The eBook features Andrew Warner, Neil PatelCharlie Gilkey, James Altucher, Neil Pasricha, Mark Silver, David Siteman Garland, Carol Roth, Michael PortMarshall Ulrich and 20 others who talk about their inspirations for doing the work.

The Domino Project is a new way to think about publishing. Founded by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon, they’re trying to change the way books are built, sold and spread. Find out more about this amazing project here.

Analytics, Dashboards and Your Customers

One of the biggest web analytics tools in the industry is IBM’s Coremetrics. Recently, I attended a webinar called “You Have Data, Now What?” The first speaker was Eric Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified fame.

If you haven’t seen the recent whitepaper “Dashboards Are Not A Strategy“, I highly suggest you do.  You’ll have to register to receive a copy, but well worth the price of giving your email address.

The premise is that delivering snazzy reports to your boss or upper management is not the goal of web analytics. The goal is to be able to take that data collected, combine it with your understanding and knowledge of the business you’re in and leverage it to create value to the shareholders, the business and your customers.

In my experience, I’ve seen managers requiring dashboards to include in a PowerPoint or hang on an office wall. You spend oodles of hours, sometimes days, getting all the information gathered and formatted into beautiful charts and graphs. You analyze the data against the information it has given you, and then stand before a room full of peers and your boss, watching heads bounce up and down in implied agreement your recommendations. But then something else happens. Everyone gets up and goes back to their work at hand, only to return the next week, or the next month to do it all over again. Little or no action is taken against those metrics. You walked into that room excited, you walk out of that room disheartened.

It’s not their fault.. web analytics isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, but foremost it takes a strategy. There isn’t a software developed yet that can create a strategy for your company. You know your business, you know what you or your managers want to achieve, now you just need to communicate that and integrate it into the overall strategy for the business.