In 2006 Business Week magazine published an article entitled, “Smashing the Clock.” The article detailed electronics retailer Best Buy and a new work environment they were promoting – Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). The basic premise is companies and workers are tied to a old mind set of a forty hour work week. The mind set is wrong. Companies actually want specific amount of work out of each worker and the number of hours is just an artificial hold over from assembly lines. ROWE says that as long as you get your work done; it doesn’t matter how, when or how long it takes.
On the surface this seems like a very elegant statement. Companies pay for results and employees deliver results.In turn, companies give workers the freedom to do their job in the way that works best for them. As long as the results are delivered every one is happy.
I think the difficulty with ROWE is in the implementation. Cali Ressler and Jodi Thompson have written an book about the program called “Why Work Sucks.” The book discusses some of the mental roadblocks to a ROWE mindset but is light on important issues like setting the “outcomes” for the first time and how to avoid being given too much work. The two authors left Best Buy and created their own consulting firm that sells implementation kits.
OTB only offers one product per category.
Have you ever walked into a consumer electronics store only to be overwhelmed by all of the choices?
You want to spend your money wisely. But, this sea of products seems to ensure you can never be certain about your purchase. If you’re like me, you probably walk away from your purchasing experience frustrated.
Research tells us that in order to compensate for vast array of choices the average consumer now spends 12 hours researching online for each consumer electronics purchase.
OTB is a retail website that sells a single best-in-category product in popular consumer electronics categories. By researching and selecting only the best products, OTB guarantees consumers will make a great purchase.
For example if you visit the OTB website looking for a digital camera, the only camera you’ll find is the Canon PowerShot SD1100. OTB has done the research for you. All you do is click buy.
In addition OTB will build strong relationships with it’s consumers by providing the most comprehensive information on our products and suggesting complementary products. These additional services will
ensure that OTB continues to provide value to the consumer even after the purchase.
What do you think?
So, there is the core of my business idea. Let me know what you think in the comments. We’ll look at some of the numbers supporting the concept in the next post.
Walking our dog twice a day gives us plenty of time to look around our local streets. Lately we’ve started collecting what we call speed bumps. They are the little plastic pieces glued to the concrete that seperate lanes. We later learned through the marvels of the Internet that these bumps are officially called “Bott’s Dots” after their California inventor. Now before you accuse us of causing wrecks we have developed strict rules regarding our collection practices. First, we only pick up bumps that have already been knocked out of position and are now just littering the road. However a good kick maybe nessecary to ensure that a bump is still stuck to the road. Second, you can only pick up one bump per walk. It is allowable to swap a better bump for an less favorable. It becomes important to remember where you dropped the swapped dot though in order to pick it up on the next walk.
Posted in Personal
Tagged dog, Personal
My first task for my “Starting a Business” class was to think of a business I wanted to work on for the entire semester. I brainstormed for about a week and half about potential ideas. I found the most useful formula for plausible ideas came from combining three things:
- Something I’m interested in
- Something I know how to do (or at least have a clue about)
- Something that people will pay for
In the end I settled on an e-commerce website that sells consumer electronics. I’ve always been interested in gadgets and gizmos so consumer electronics matched that interest. A large part of my current job can be categorised as “web stuff”. While my skills are much more refined on the marketing and content side, I understand the programming side enough to be dangerous. So, creating an e-commerce website isn’t too much of a stretch for the something I know how to do category. In order to figure out something people would pay for I needed to find a good angle about purchasing consumer electronics. We’ll explore that in the next post.
I’m getting an MBA at night and this past semester I took a class called Starting a Business. The bulk of our work focused on writing a business plan for a theoretical business that we might start. Since I put a good deal of work into the class I thought I would share over the next few posts some of the ideas and thoughts behind this idea.
Posterous is a service that should appeal to people who want to post things online but don’t want to deal with the technical details. It works by simply emailing what you want to post to firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t even need to create an account to get started, just email them. The contents of your email whether text, pictures, or a video are automatically uploaded to a page that is created for you. After your first email, you have the option to visit the site and customizing address and settings for your content. If your looking for an incredibly simple way to post content or blog on the web try Posterous.
My Posterous page: jamesvandyke.posterous.com
The Posterous Website
I want to love Linux but it doesn’t share my feelings. To be honest, I think it’s hurt that I’m only looking for a fling; a trophy of geekdom to casually flaunt at parties. “Yeah, I”ve got a Linux box at home.” We both know that when I’m done experimenting I’ll head back to the Mac.
I think that’s the problem with Linux, even all dressed up in Ubuntu’s latest, it wants a serious commitment. Linux is a idealist and I’m looking for practicality. The little penguin even lectures me when I try to have a little fun with Flash.
“You know that’s not open source. We can do it if you want but I’m not going to enjoy it.”
“Lighten up a little. I’m just looking for some fun,” I reply.
We’re ships passing in the night, exchanging glances, thinking what could be but ultimately knowing nothing will come of it. I can tell this spunky OS has features and the ideals it pushes are mesmerizing. Sadly, those ideals aren’t as easy to live with as they are to listen to. Sure, I want information to be free but the cool stuff, it’s not free, and Linux can’t compete.
So every once in a while I’ll keep looking back over my shoulder at the little preachy penguin, wishing that it could live up to it’s own dreams; but sadly, I’ll walk away with Mac because I can live with Mac.
Even in Texas it’s getting to be Christmas time so I thought I’d pass along some holiday greetings in the form of the Christmas card we sent out this year. Merry Christmas to you.
James, Erin and Tigerman pose for the camera
Tigerman with a Santa hat on
What to do when you need to know which font was used for a graphic? Well, if you’re short a typographist or font-spotter graphic designer you might try What the Font. It’s a free web service from myfonts.com who I’m guessing hopes you discover that the font you need is sold right on theirwebsite. So, if you ready for the certain to come pitch to buy something then give it a spin. At the least they have a few examples you can test it out on.
Visit What the Font.
Posted in Technology
Tagged tools, web
David Pogue, technology columnist for the New York Times, has released a entertaining way to narrow down your choices before a tech purchase. This new tool called the “Pogue-O-Matic” basically just narrows your choices as you select the options you want. The treat comes as Mr. Pogue’s video commentary helps you choose which option is right for you. It’s not perfect and it only covers cameras, TVs and cell phones but it will help you understand the basics of which technologies are right for you.
Try the Pogue-O-Matic.