Ignorance is bliss

This sign appears next to escalators in the Hong Kong Airport.

What they meant was, “Make sure that you help children and elderly people navigate this escalator safely.” (True, my long version would not work in that space.) However, the translator’s lack of knowledge of the finer points of English may have been a good thing. Perhaps this sign caused a few English mother-tongue speakers to increase their caring for the children and elderly with them.


Similar to me?

I was amused that Twitter thinks Donald Miller is similar to me. (If you are a Twitter user, you will recognize that pane — which allows you to find new people to follow — or strangely sometimes puts people there who you are already following.)

True, I thought A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was a great book — enough that I bought a copy for a friend. But I wonder how Twitter thought we are similar?

By the way, the Amazon link is an affiliate link — but not for me. It’s for my friend Jon Swanson. Amazon killed off their affiliate program for Colorado a while back.


Change the context

Hard to tell from this picture, but Apple was displaying giant iPads inside giant snowdomes. The display creators took the analogy a little further and had snow falling throughout the whole display, rather than just inside the dome.

I thought that was a very fun way to capture the viewer’s imagination. (And that appeared to be true for those inside the store, anyhow.)

It’s often helpful to take things out of context. That can greatly increase awareness of what you wanted to highlight.



A month or so ago, the weekly iTunes email arrived in my inbox. Rarely do I even look at them. But that time, I saw this little ad. I was amused at the thought of Apple earning interest on deposits from eager customers. (Think of however many people who pre-order, and a week or two’s interest on that sum? I’m not a banker, but I’m sure it’s significant!)

Takeaway: What are some ways you can help your customers feel like they are winning when you are winning too?


Extra care pays off

We ordered some videos for my in-laws for Christmas. The Amazon seller wrapped the video set in a plastic shopping bag — making it seem like a gift. They did such a good job of placing the bag’s image and making it seem like a present for us that I rewarded them. I took the extra time to leave very positive feedback on Amazon.

Their special care and effort was a really nice thing. But it paid off.

Takeaway: What are some ways you can add extra value through a little extra effort or care?


And the winner is…


Domain is bought. Project is in the works. And I’ll keep you posted on developments.

Thanks to those who voted!


Did NOT take the extra time

I get daily emails from a discount online luxury retailer. (And one time, I actually bought something!) Anyhow, a few weeks ago, this picture appeared with one of their sales. Please notice how the type around the lens on the left camera is backwards. The art director thought it would look better if the cameras were facing each other. Unfortunately, that’s not how those cameras are made.

I was maybe one of a thousand who noticed the mistake. Was it a big deal? No. But I submit that it was a choice that should not have been made. And there are always some out there (like me) who care about details.


Nails vs. screws

I was reflecting recently on how my dad could hammer a big nail in about three strokes. He was amazingly handy. I think I am pretty handy, but I am about 25 on a scale compared to his 100.

I realized early on that I was not good with hammers and nails. So I use screws instead. They are easier to reverse and also stay in longer. But it’s much slower to do screws than nails — if you’re good with nails.

Point of this story? If the normal way doesn’t work for you, find another. Do that and be satisfied.

p.s. I also remembered how my dad hit his thumb more than once. Those times were the closest he ever came to cursing. (So even if you’re good at something, failures happen from time to time.)