Monthly Archives: April 2008

April 8th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

HALTS

Know when to walk away. Developing and abiding by a system for negotiations is critical to getting what you want. This entry will only address a small portion of the overall negotiations system required. However, when negotiating you must be able to walk-away and take a break. Remember, the following nemonic is great for helping you remember when to halt the proceedings and take a break. Stop if anyone is: Hungry Angry Lonely Tired Sick Get back together and continue only after you believe your side and the other side of the negotiation are no longer in a HALTS state. …

Read more...
April 7th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Constant Discomfort

Humans are constantly uncomfortable. We are always hungry, thirsty, physically tired, angry, sad, or disinterested. As a result, humans are always working to be come more comfortable. Comfort can come from positive thoughts or focused optimism. Often, optimism or a positive attitude is able to over come common discomfort. Most people are able transcend common discomfort based on their perspective. Momentary discomfort can be set aside as one looks to their greater role or purpose. Many would argue that this is a pessimist’s view of human nature. However, at the end of the day, humans are working up Maslow’s hierarchy …

Read more...
April 5th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Why are most coffee shop design plans so poor?

Nearly every coffee shop I enter in the world has a few fundamental design flaws. Most coffee shops have figured out the comfortable chairs, free wifi, and tables. However, most still have not mastered the space efficient laptop work environment. I think the best coffee shop layout are the ones that cater to laptop users. When you’re designing a coffee shop you must consider the different users (personas) and then correlate the user type to potential revenue per user type. When I think about coffee shops, I think of the following user types and average revenue per visit (not empirically …

Read more...
April 5th, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Buying into a Franchise

Franchises can be a an ready-made solution for many budding entrepreneurs. Buying into a franchise requires different levels of capital, but ultimately can lead to very healthy returns depending on the franchise type. Recently, the WSJ published a ranking of the most successful franchises in the US. The one that surprised me most was two men and a truck. The marketing behind this company makes it appear as though its just a few people and a truck, implying little loyalty and likely a fly-by-night organization. That’s my perception, at least. But, in reality, they have the highest customer satisfaction rating …

Read more...
April 1st, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Blue Ducks: Writing to be Read

Product managers are always asked to write everything down. Some documents are read (e.g., requirements, specifications, whitepapers, etc.), most are not (e.g., demo scripts, strategy documents, processes). Certain large organizations seem to thrive on documentation. One’s productivity equates to the number of documents created. The more you create, the more productive you appear and the happier your boss is. And, consequently, the less is ultimately read. As a result, it’s fairly difficult to discern what should be read, skimmed or ignored. Granted, people learn through different mediums. So, a combination of communication techniques is always required. But, often writing and …

Read more...
April 1st, 2008 Systems posted by dmerritts View Comments

Twitter Verification – That’s Usability

This morning I finally got around to configuring my twitter account that I created way back when it launched. I tend to create accounts on everything in beta. And, play around with them for a few weeks, get bored and only eventually wander back (usually only if it becomes popular useful). I was quite impressed with the twitter mobile phone verification letter pattern. Instead of the typical engineering hash of crap, the engineers or product managers at twitter make the alpha-code to correspond with the first letter on a typical phone number pad. That is, they have a 6 letter …

Read more...