Usually I’m Steve Case the Xerox guy, or the Dell guy, or the JoeBugBuster guy. Sometimes someone confuses me with the other Steve Case, like the person who recently sent me this thoughtfully crafted invitation on LinkedIn:
I’m getting in touch as I’m really looking forward to your insights at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin next week and I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn if that’s ok?
Good luck with all the good work!
The South by Southwest Connection
I’ve never even been to South by Southwest. In fact, when I worked for Dell and visited the Austin area a few times a year, I deliberately avoided visiting during SxSW. Flights and hotel rooms were painfully hard to come by as Downtown Austin hosted the festivities.
Continue reading The Other Steve Case
I pass several coffee shops and kiosks on the way to my favorite one. Certainly I could save a little time and mileage by stopping at one of those, but going the extra mile is worth it to me.
What makes Blue Steele Coffee Company worth the longer drive? In fact, how do folks know Blue Steele exists? They don’t do much marketing beyond social media postings on Facebook. Thanks to word-of-mouth advertising, they’re known for several things including their coffee, their service, and their history.
They bring me my food and drink. (They don’t make me listen for my order to be called the way fast food places and some coffee shops do.) That’s a big deal to me, especially if I’m meeting someone.
Continue reading 5 Reasons I Visit an Inconvenient Coffee Shop – and You Should Too
Some at Consumer Reports were no-doubt trying to figure out a good way to explain how their much-vaunted ratings system had broken.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
As it turned out, Consumer Reports cleverly decided to trumpet that their ratings system had been broken. The strategy worked so well that their web site crashed, apparently under the load of all the interest raised by the headline: Tesla Model S P85D Breaks Consumer Reports’ Ratings System.
Continue reading Tesla, Consumer Reports and Exceeding Expectations
When I previously wrote about comic book shows and their fans, I was talking about small-to-medium shows like the Jet City Comic Show. Their site states that “Jet City started in order to fill in the void for a quality one-day show for fans and dealers.”
Comic-Con International is the 800 pound gorilla, and Emerald City Comicon (ECCC) bears a strong family resemblance. This year they brought in 80,000 fans and took over the Washington State Convention Center in the middle of Seattle, despite the Department of Transportation shutting down multiple vectors into town. The DOT earned some jabs from Comicon attendees after declaring that there would be “no major events this weekend,” but it didn’t keep the fans away.
Continue reading Emerald City Comicon draws 80,000 fans to Seattle
If you fly, you’ve seen the SkyMall catalog in the seat-back pocket in front of you. It’s been a great business model, marketing to a captive audience that may have nothing better to do for hours than watch the in-flight entertainment and read the seat-pocket reading material.
Of course a lot has changed since SkyMall came into being a quarter-century ago. Catalogs are getting thinner, and though paper catalogs aren’t going away just yet, less are printed every year. Due in part to reduced mail volumes, the United States Postal Service is losing money, and is slowing service while raising rates.
Continue reading The End of an Era – SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy
I’ve been simplifying my life, which included a cancellation binge. I cancelled my Consumer Reports subscription, and allowed my Costco membership to lapse.
I was puzzled that Costco never made any effort to find out why I was no longer a member, and never even acknowledged my departure as a customer. Their emails kept coming, and when I unsubscribed from those there was again a deafening silence.
My experience with Consumer Reports was completely the opposite. I unsubscribed online and was immediately surveyed as to why I was leaving, how they could do better, and whether I’d consider coming back. They even asked if I’d be interested in joining a focus group with fellow ex-subscribers.
Continue reading What You Can Learn from how Costco and Consumer Reports Deal With Quitters