Saturday, March 15, 2014

Selling 'Cool'.

Apples, Blackberries and Cups, Oh my!



I stumbled across something new this week. I was talking with my husband about how Quizno’s has filed for Bankruptcy protection, right after we drove across a Second Cup at a plaza. Raj mentioned that Second Cup was supposedly going through this big re-structure to change their image and try to become somewhat profitable. This conversation made me come to the conclusion after time and time of seeing examples surface that it’s more important to have a simple idea that can be executed with perfection rather than a fantastic idea with poor execution… If you want to be successful.

Look at Apple vs. Blackberry. Not the fruit (ha ha). If you really dissect Blackberry, the company’s ideas in and of themselves are very sophisticated and really put together by smart minds. A lot of their intel and technological advancements are top of the line. I’m not a tech person and I won’t pretend to be one but I’ve spoken to quite a few of them who all agree that Blackberry is far superior to any of its competitors. The problem is their execution. They weren’t able to translate their greatness to the masses and they were cocky about having to do this.

The brilliance of Apple however is that it took similar technology which is not as good as Blackberry’s (I’m sure all the tech giants will argue that they came up with all the ideas first…it’s irrelevant for this purpose) and it just dumbed it down so the masses could enjoy it. The execution of their products (even though the machines are supposedly not as ‘intelligent’ as others) made it so intuitive that anybody including my 15 month old son can use it!

Even I was loyal to my Blackberry for many years. I even got the Playbook and bought stocks in RIM. I tethered my phone to my Playbook and thought I was set. Then the silly Playbook would act up and not respond properly to the touch screen among other problems. I just got annoyed with it and gave it away. Then I got the IPad 4 Christmases ago. It was simple and easy to carry around. It hasn’t broken down even once. It does what you want it to do. We have taken it to over 5 countries in 3 different continents and it is still rock solid.

At the end of the day, Starbucks and Apple are cool. Second Cup and Blackberry are not. Making your idea or product cool is all about execution.
So let’s take this little tidbit of info and apply it to ourselves. Let’s not worry about coming up with the next big grandiose idea/fad/diet/trend.

Let’s focus on simple ideas and execute them flawlessly.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

4 out of 7 ain't bad.

A Slice of Life from Robin Sharma


It’s 11:17 p.m. and I lose an hour tonight as we ‘spring forward’ for daylight savings. I really should be sleeping but instead I’m trying to stay up and ‘digest’ my dinner which I ate too late and feel guilty about sleeping so soon after eating. Also, I haven’t written on this blog since December and even though I’m the only regular on this blog I feel like I must do this as often as possible because I always feel better after having written something. Anything.

I just finished reading a book. The latest Robin Sharma book. It was a good read and a lot of good tips, some of which I’ve read in his previous books and many tips I’ve held onto. In this particular one, towards the end he describes 7 fundamentals for personal leadership. I can’t possibly do all 7 every day. I’d go nuts. But I figure if I do at least 3-4 each day then I’m heading in the right direction. Strive for a 4/7. Not as easy as you’d think. Let me explain.

The 7 Fundamentals I’ve made into a nonsensical acronym: GLENJAV so I can remind myself daily of what to do when I have a bit of time to myself and don’t want to waste it. Say it with me, GLENJAV. Some are self-explanatory and others need little explanation.

Goal Setting: offers you a North Star in times of adversity
Learning: Read biographies/stories that inspire and teach. Listen to books in the car/train


Journaling: Good to keep a record of your life. Gratitude. Diary.

Affirmation: Use words of affirmation and encouragement on yourself. Reset your mind.

Visualization: Picture realising your goals and playing at your best.

The first step is to remind yourself every day what GLENJAV stands for. Then think about which ones you can fit in. You must fit in 3-4. The catch however is that if you do something negative towards one of the fundamentals, that’s a -1. For example, today I exercised (1), did some visualization (1),and did some reading (1). But then I ate really poorly (-1). So if do some writing/journaling (this blog for example), I’m back to 3 points and although not the ideal 4/7, it’s better than a 2.

The beauty is that these fundamentals fit perfectly with my values from the last entry and in fact if I do 4/7 of these each day I’m acting in tandem with my values and that makes me even happier.
We all deserve happier.