The Limits of Technology: When eHarmony Failed

True story: I once signed up for eHarmony. Well, let me clarify—I never "dated" using eHarmony, but I did create an account. But I had a good reason. Once, not so long ago, when I was single, I was driving down the road and heard an ad for eHarmony on my car radio. I heard all about how they were offering a "free, no-obligation personality profile" where I could take a relationship questionnaire with over 250 questions and they would give me a complete profile of who I am, the type of person I Read More

Your Internet Speed Explained: Megabits vs. Megabytes

I called my ISP the other day (Qwest) to ask for an upgrade on the speed of my DSL line at home. When I did, I learned something  very interesting:Qwest employees don't know the difference between a megabit and a megabyte.Cut them some slack, you may say... it's an easy mistake to make. Right? Wrong—this is a glaring error. There's a massive chasm between the two. And for a company that eats, sleeps and breathes megabits, they should be all over this. They're in the business of selling data Read More

Square Card Reader

Here's a pretty cool video I found that talks about the Square card reader. (I've got one of these, by the way, and it's totally awesome). Here, the Wall Street Journal interviews Jack Dorsey, (also the co-founder of Twitter). It's kind of funny to me—both Twitter and Square are incredibly simple ideas. Actually, two of the simplest ideas anyone's come up with in a long time. Square is a great example of one of those things in life that was so obvious that it should have been invented decades Read More

Google Wave – The Email Killer (Not)

I've found the recent commentary on Google's decision to shut down Google Wave rather entertaining, and sometimes annoying. For several reasons. Here are a few:   I wasn't impressed with Wave in the first place. I watched the big overblown video announcement at Google I/O, and I was excited at the time, but amidst all the hype and chatter about how "exciting" it was, I couldn't figure out what the heck it was. What is Wave? What does it do? Why should people care? None of these questions Read More

It’s Time To Go Electronic (For Real)

I was talking to a client a while ago who happens to be my dad’s age. I told him that he needed to get an iPhone or Palm Pilot or some other electronic daily planner. I’d been egging him to “go electronic” for months, and that once he did, he would wonder why he hadn’t sooner. He was constantly misplacing his Franklin Covey planner, so scheduling appointments with him was hit or miss. If he had his planner, he would write down the meeting details, but if he had forgotten it at home (as Read More

What I Mean When I Say “Cool”

Something I’ve recently caught myself doing is calling features and benefits “cool” when talking to friends and customers.For me, this is natural, and it’s the result of good intentions. Cool means everything wonderful and worthwhile. It's actually a business term, as far as I'm concerned. Apple makes cool products. Google has a cool search engine. Net profits are cool.But I've got to know my audience. I’m finding that there’s a disconnect when I talk to clients that are older than me. Read More

Remember Those Disposable DVDs?

Today's subject is the history of technology, and predictions we used to make about where we'd be today. So, if I really wanted to, I could go way back in time and write something cliché about what previous generations predicted we would have been driving by now... hovercraft,  rocket jet packs, personal spaceships, lunar rovers, out-of-body teleportation, etc. But I won't. But still, it's an interesting concept—talking about how far technology has come, where it was in the past, and where will Read More

My Most Powerful Business Tool: The iPhone

Every once in a while, when I pull out my iPhone to put in a calendar item or check my email, someone standing next to me will strike up a conversation about smartphones and eventually say something like "I would get an iPhone, but they're too expensive for me" or some other comment that seems a little ignorant and a comes off as a little annoying. I always do careful research before I buy things, and I can feel good about my purchases after the fact. But what's interesting is that aside from the Read More

MacWorld’s Shortened URLs

It's no secret—I like URL shorteners. A lot. And as long as my mind's still stuck on the subject of technologies that were ahead of their time...I was leafing through my MacWorld magazine at the kitchen table the other day, and saw (as I've seen a thousand times before) their unique way of providing the reader with more information on a topic or article.If you're reading about a new Mac Gem, for example, and they've only got a small box to tell you about the product, they'll often say:"to learn Read More

Remember AOL Keywords?

How many of you remember watching TV about a decade ago, and seeing commercials for large, well-known companies (and I mean really large ones—say, for example, Proctor & Gamble) and hearing "visit us on the world wide web at www.tidedetergent.com, or type in AOL Keyword: 'laundry'"?I was thinking about this the other day... AOL was way ahead of the curve on this. They were so far ahead of the curve that it didn't catch on. I know some people just slightly younger than me might say "AOL? Who's that?" Read More