Entrepreneurial Project Management

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Archive for the ‘Anti-pattern’ Category

FakeSteveJobs, Where Are You?

Posted by matteverard on August 7, 2006

The blog that put sunshine in my day appears to have been shuttered. I was reading it yesterday and have the last several posts. I’ve posted them as a Word file at my own peril.


Posted in Anti-pattern, Innovation, Society | Leave a Comment »

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs

Posted by matteverard on July 25, 2006

I’ve just blown the last 30 minutes at this site.  My face hurts from laughing (don’t miss the comparison of Eric Schmidt to a squirrel).  From GMSV:


“Wow. Will ya look at these friggin financials! Sales up 24%, net profit up 48%. And our EPS is 10 cents above what those imbeciles on Wall Street were predicting. Gosh. We are sooo friggin hot right now. We’re like the Michael Jordan of business. Nothing but net. Hey, Michael Dell, how you guys doing down there in Buttfriggerville? Huh? What’s that? I can’t hear you. Watchoo say, boy? Sales up 6%, net down 18%? Well, sorry to hear that, wall-eye. Hey, maybe you guys should try to actually invent something. Like, hire engineers and actually design a product. Or maybe not. Maybe just leave that invention stuff to us. Ha! We R 2cool2Btru!!!!! I am going to run out to the JobsMobile and do donuts in the parking lot!!! Then I am going to kiss Peter Oppenheimer on the mouth!!!! Later losers!!! I am so cool!!!!”– Excerpt from the laugh-out-loud funny Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, Aged 51 1/2

Posted in Anti-pattern, off-topic | Leave a Comment »

Jon Stewart on Net Neutrality

Posted by matteverard on July 13, 2006

I’m continually amazed by Jon Stewart’s intellect, grasp of complex social issues, and, of course, comic delivery.  (His book, America: Democracy Inaction is a gem, especially as audio.)   For those you who were aghast by US Senator (and Chairman of the Commerce Committee) Ted Stevens “the internet is a series of tubes” speech, you will enjoy this 5 minute snippet.

Best quote: “People, if you let those tubes of the internet get clogged, how long do you think the gerbils that power the internet are gonna run?  No long!”

Posted in Anti-pattern, off-topic, Society | Leave a Comment »

An Open Letter to the Audible.com CEO

Posted by matteverard on June 28, 2006

I sent this email a few weeks back and have not heard a reply. Perhaps it was too cheeky–this was after a very frustrating visit to the site. Let me know if you are an Audible subscriber with similar complaints.

Dear Mr Katz,

I have been an Audible customer for several years and frequently evangelize your services to friends and colleagues. Recently my “customer experience” has been going down the toilet, and I’m starting to loathe visits to your site. I write this email in the hope you will make the necessary changes before people like me defect in droves.

1. I can’t find what I want. Your (new) merchandising layout is awful. I don’t say this kind of thing lightly (I know how hard it is to strike a balance between marketing needs and clean design). I put up with your old layout (which was lacking but serviceable), but this newer version has these fatal flaws:

a. Home page real estate never has anything for me. Over 50% of the space is dedicated to huge spotlights (today Ricky Gervais and Dan Brown? No thanks. I read Mr Brown a while ago and Gervais may be interesting, but I’m a monthly subscriber and not interested in getting out my wallet). Key fact: I’m spending 2-3x as much time trying to locate a new book as before. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your average customer visit time has increased? Don’t take that as good news.

b. The left-hand categories are too numerous (humans can manage 5-8 well and maybe up to a dozen but you have over 30!) and, in my case, they are irrelevant. Do I want a bio or a biz book today? I don’t know. I want to listen to something good. My interests are eclectic (last month The Wisdom of Crowds but in January it was The Year of Magical Thinking). Why can’t you show me books that have high review scores from readers and critics?

c. Your “New Releases/Our Top Sellers/In the News” area is a nice idea poorly executed. You can’t read the titles of most of the books b/c of space (e.g. a featured product reads “What Price L”?), can’t see any blurb about the book without clicking through (take a look at Netflix for an elegant solution to this type of problem), and we only get <12 recs, many of which are really old.

d. The top categories “Best Sellers/Award Winners” are at times usable, but most of the inventory is old–is there a shortage of quality product on the market? The top “New Releases” category is also unhelpful–today a long list of $1 items from the Biography station. I am a monthly listener–I want to find another BOOK!

e. Who came up with the left hand navigation elements such as “I want to: feel like a kid again”? Maybe some focus group liked that approach, but I think it stinks. I want to find something good. So much of what is out in the market is rubbish, and I want you to help me avoid it.

2. Major usability issues. I get “This American Life” every month. Why not let me sign-up for an automatic renewal? Last monthy it took me ten minutes to find TAL and buy it. I wanted to upgrade a few months ago to get two periodicals per month, but your site wouldn’t let me upgrade my basic listener program until my year was over! I got a new computer and your DRM software said I had too many devices. On top of this, everything loads very slooooowly. All user actions require a page reload?!! Where is the AJAX? Is BroadVision the problem? If so, dump it now.

3. Summary: it feels like the VP of marketing runs the site. He’s always trying to sell me something and he’s doing a bad job. Mr Chairman, if I were you, I’d put an ombudsman in charge of the site, someone who is sympathetic to the customer’s needs. You are running a community (at least for monthly subscribers). It needs to feel like a comfortable, smart place that is solving my needs for intellectual content collection and delivery.

With all respect,

Posted in Anti-pattern, off-topic, Usability | 2 Comments »