Archive for February, 2010

I’ve seen a lot of articles where the author insists that the key to business success is not being afraid to make decisions. Whether the decision is big or small, the theory goes, you should assess the situation and make a swift and decisive judgement on how to proceed. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, this line […]

A few days ago, I was researching some marketing strategies and needed to find out the cost of joining a particular non-profit organization. According to their website, they charge an upfront membership fee and an annual maintenance fee after that. However, no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find any current info about how large […]

Chicago seems to have a lot of gourmet cupcake shops. At some point last year, one of them opened up near the Randolph and Wabash CTA station, which is a location I pass fairly often. However, I don’t think this particular purveyor of pricey cupcakes will be around for long. Here are some of the […]

When I visited Trader Joe’s over the weekend, the cashier asked for my zipcode. That’s a common question in many retailers, but unheard of at this one. I asked him why they were collecting that info, and he said they’re trying to figure out where customers live in order to choose the locations for their […]

On Saturday, I tried out a new 24-hour breakfast place. As the hostess led us to our table, we walked past numerous empty booths and tables near the front of the restaurant, and found ourselves deep in the bowels of the venue. I politely rejected this location, and asked for a booth instead. The hostess […]

If I remember correctly from my first microeconomics course, “price elasticity” refers to the often tricky relationship between price changes and the volume sold. It seeks to answer a simple question: if we raise prices, will people still be willing to buy enough units to keep our revenues at the same or a higher level […]

Email signatures have become a dumping ground for all sorts of unnecessary and ironic text. For example: – “This email may contain confidential information.” Email is not a secure communications channel, so why are you sending confidential info in the first place? – “Please consider the environment before printing this message.” Since every byte of […]

While riding in a taxi last week, I came across one of those newfangled credit card machines that has a digital signage screen built into it. Basically, it’s a small display with local news updates in one zone, and ads in the other zones, attached to a credit card reader. Aside from the video quality […]

During a typical trip, I use my laptop in a variety of places around the airport. Here’s how I would rank them, from most productive to least productive: – Wrap-around desk with proper office chair (San Francisco-SFO) – Countertop with bar stools (Chicago Midway-MDW) – Oversized recliner-style chairs (Midway again) – Regular airport waiting areas […]

When you’re going out to lunch or dinner with a business associate, a few basic guidelines apply. In my experience, it’s good etiquette to pay for the meal when you are: – The person doing the selling, if the relationship is that of customer (or prospect) to vendor – The person who invited the other […]