Skip to main content

Posts

New Product Introduction Inspiration

Innovation and new product introduction isn't glamorous. Here are three quotes I often reference to inspire innovation when times get tough.

#1
"To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
~Buckminster Fuller, American Architect (1895 - 1983)

#2
"A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows."
~William James, American Philosopher (1842 - 1910)

#3
"It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily bel…
Recent posts

The Founder

I watched The Founder two times this year. The movie was a recommendation from a co-worker that spends so much time in airplanes he's seen the majority of the in-flight movies. So, I knew The Founder had to be good to stand out from all the other movies he's seen. Plus Michael Keaton is the lead actor. He's great.



For me the 2017 keyword was grit. I read Angela Duckworth's book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, earlier in the year and as the year closes out The Founder sticks with me. As I approach 42, I guess I can begin to relate a bit to someone like Ray Kroc that didn't experience a great deal of career success until his 50's. Ray had flaws, but he also had grit.

Here's a small snippet from The Founder's final scene that I really enjoyed:


RAY KROC: How the heck does an over-the-hill 52-year-old milkshake-machine salesman build a fast-food empire with 1,600 restaurants in 50 states and five foreign countries, with annual revenues in the n…

Modern Retail Counter Measures

Let me start by reminding you guys that I'm an Android user and I like to try new features even if the use cases aren't well established. As a result of my interest in somewhat experimental features in Android (and other Google apps), I have the Google Nearby feature enabled.

Google Nearby allows devices such as localized beacons to post notifications over 2.4ghz Bluetooth to my phone. Right now the use cases associated with Google's Nearby feature seem really basic and almost exclusive to the retail environment.
Recently, I went into my local Starbucks and started getting Google Nearby notifications. These notifications were actually ads for a beacon service that you could buy and install in your retail store. Below is a screenshot of the ad I received in Starbucks.

To me this is a very weak way to use the Google Nearby feature. In fact, I almost disabled Nearby because this ad is just awful. Not only is the content spammy and not relevant to me, it also disturbed my othe…

MoviePass, First Impression

About three weeks after signing up for MoviePass, I received my MoviePass card in the mail last week. MoviePass enables the subscriber to attend one standard movie per day for just under $10 per month. In other words as a MoviePass subscriber, I can go to a theatre and see a non-3D movie everyday. If I see one movie per month, my MoviePass subscription seems like a nearly break-even financial decision.


Last Friday night with my recently received MoviePass card in hand, I decided to go see Lego Ninjango with my son. I briefly skimmed the packet that came with my card, but I didn't download the MoviePass app or take any special action. I just went to a self-service kiosk to purchase my ticket and my MoviePass card was declined. Without much additional consideration, I went to the ticket window and tried again. The transaction failed but the theatre employee asked, "did you check-in on the app?" She then added, "but if it doesn't work that's a MoviePass problem…

Nest Thermostat Installation Tips (2nd Generation)

I've been looking to add a Nest Thermostat to the house for years.  I'm probably the only person in our house that enjoys voice commands, but being able to voice control the thermostat is something I want to do. This weekend an awesome neighbor that had a spare Nest, let us borrow one to see if we like it. 

The unit I'm borrowing, pictured above, is a 2nd generation device. 3rd generation Nest thermostats are currently in stores with rumors of a new version around the corner.

Of course the industrial design is really good, but I want to briefly share my installation experience in bullet form:
Installation isn't physically hard. Nest includes a screwdriver that will help you remove your old unit and install your Nest thermostat. The white plate in the picture above is included in the box. This plate eliminates the need to patch holes or paint when removing larger thermostats.Getting the wiring correct is another more difficult story that required trial and error. For ex…

31 Days of July

A few days before July started I had a realization that I was destined to be in an unhealthy state well into the future unless I tried something different. An idea came to mind to try and really push myself for 31 consecutive days to be healthier. For the month of July (including a week of vacation at the beach), I was going to focus on three tactics to improve my health.


My idea was pretty simple. One, I wanted to track my caloric intake with a goal of less than 2,000 net calories per day. Net calories for me was caloric intake minus exercise. My second goal was to drink 100 ounces of water daily. The third and final goal was to walk more than 10,000 steps every day. Let me say that I'm relatively healthy. I didn't consult a doctor before I started this program, and I'm not providing any health advice. Before you start any program you should consult your primary care physician.

In addition to the three goals above, I also decided to go to battle against sugar. I started r…

Passed the FAA Part 107 aka Drone Test

Last summer my brother-in-law showed me some video he captured with a drone over a small river in central South Carolina. The video was a slow moving shot about 30 feet above the water going upstream. I was immediately mesmerized. The video was peaceful. Aerial video is something us humans can't naturally do and I could watch aerial video for hours.

After seeing Rob's video, I got the bug to learn more about small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).



After about ten months of looking at drones and considering what I would do with one, I made the leap and purchased a DJI Phantom 4. This is a very popular quadcopter with built-in safety features such as forward-facing collision avoidance. The Phantom 4 also has a 4K video camera that is capable of capturing the high-resolution video that attracted me to the idea of one day piloting my own sUAS.

Because I was planning to upload what I hope will be a mesmerizing collection of videos to YouTube which can be monetized, I decided it was…