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Archive: September 16, 2009

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one ping only

Wednesday,  09/16/09  10:06 PM

"one ping only"An interesting observation: the fewer questions you ask in a survey, the higher your response rate.  If you want “everyone” to respond, ask only one question.

A few weeks ago I sent an update to some of my customers, and sprinkled among the status were a few highlighted questions.  I was thinking they would read the status, and as they were doing so they could type their thoughts in answer to my questions.

I got one response.

And some “I will do this when I have a chance” replies.  And some nothings.

So I tried again.  I forwarded the same exact same email to each of the non-respondents, and asked just one question: “If you had any advice to give, what would it be?”.

The next morning, less than eight hours later, I had a bunch of responses.  The replies were thoughtful and lengthy, too, the respondents took at least as long as it would have taken them to answer the ten or so questions in my original email.

SO if you want “everyone” to respond, ask only one question.

 

I'm going to lie to you (New Yorker 8/31/09)

Wednesday,  09/16/09  10:20 PM


and that's the truth :)

 

Wednesday,  09/16/09  10:26 PM

Pathology Visions 2009Whew, escaped from the spin cycle!  It was just as bad as I thought it would be... but it was also great, and I learned a lot, and was amazingly impressed with the quality and content of the speakers at Pathology Visions.  (Check out my Aperio blog for a recap.) 

I also revisited the Midway aircraft carrier on a late night ride around the back bay of San Diego, and must tell you about that when I have a chance...

Meanwhile, it's all happening...

If you're wondering how President Obama's health care proposals might work out, you should read Philip Greenspun: Massachusetts Health Care Reform Results.  The experiment has already been performed.

Wow, so Intuit has bought Mint, for $270M.  The headline of the press release says it all: "tried and true combines with fresh and new".  I can't figure out whether Intuit really needed capabilities (and users) which Mint had already acquired, or whether this was just taking a competitor out of the market.  Either way the combination makes sense...

What's interesting about this is that Mint is probably the most successful use of underlying technology for account aggregation developed by Yodlee.  After all these years, Yodlee has a success.  I wonder if they participated?

green volcano - Italian shopping centerInhabitat notes: Colossal green volcano building rises in Italy.  Unlike some of Inhabitat's rather interesting posts, this one is really happening; they are building this thing.  Wow.

Power outage caused by squirrel.  Makes me proud to be an Eichhorn.

Tim Bray wonders Where's the mobile biz?  Following up on Guy Kawasaki, Will Anyone Pay for Anything?  It does seem like FREE is the default expectation online, and despite Chris Anderson's book, it is not a great business model for most things.  I think it has gotten worse, too; if Amazon or eBay or PayPal launched today, their users would expect to get books or auctions or payments for free. 

I'm sure right now there are people working on business models to give books away (make it up with advertising?) or give auctions away (advertising?) or payments (advertising + aggregated information?)...

Related: does profitability matter for IPOs?  (quick answer: no, but a path to profitability matters a great deal.  This is why the YouTubes and Twitters of the world are much better being acquired than going public.)

Also related: RedBeacon wins the TechCrunch 50 award.  RedBeacon is a referral site, kind of like OpenTable but for all kinds of products and services.  In theory it could be profitable, as merchants will pay to be referred (just like OpenTable makes money from restaurants).

Speaking of FREE, from the Bing blog: visual search: why type it when you can see it?  Indeed.  Search is definitely one of the things we get free, supported by ads (Google!  Yahoo!  and now Bing!) and expanding Search to support more and different predicates is going to happen.  I think this will drive adoption of augmented reality; if you could search in realtime for what you are looking at now, how cool would that be?

Alinghi's cat becalmed on the lake. A boat-clearing brawl ensued?The Onion: Eight sailors suspended in boat-clearing brawl.  Ha!  I love the accompanying picture of Alinghi's cat becalmed on Lake Geneva, that's perfect...  [ thanks, Greg ]

Roger Federer incredible between the legs shotRoger Federer makes the most incredible tennis shot of all timeDo not try this at home - ouch!

New Buick tagline: "the new class of world class".  Huh?  You have to know who you are, and Buick, you are not world class.  Not even.

Remember my comment about smartphones taking over?  Well Kottke noticed it too: Your company?  There's an app for that.  "Few technology and device-making companies probably realize it, but they are in direct competition with Apple (or soon will be).  How did this happen?  Well, the iPhone does a lot of useful things pretty well, well enough that it is replacing several specialized devices that do one or two things really well."  Good is the enemy of great.  And good enough is the enemy of all specialized products...

Meanwhile, in another attack from below, the Kindle version of Dan Brown's new book is outselling the hardcover on Amazon.  Well that didn't take long, did it.  I don't think you would have bet on this two years ago.

ZooBorn: A little Red PandaZooBorn of the day / week (/ and year!): A little Red Panda.  Wow, that could be the cutest animal picture ever, amid heavy competition...

 
 

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