Timing is everything

Why is it that you can hold onto something for years, unused, but as soon as you decide to discard it, within hours a need for it will pop up?

Just a few days ago, my wife donated a pair of pajama pants that she didn’t need, along with a bunch of other clothes. That very night, as she got ready for bed, she ripped a huge hole in another pair that she had kept. So, where’s that spare pair? At the thrift store, of course!

So, this experience illustrates what we might call the Fundamental Law of Hoarding: Do not get rid of anything, because as soon as you do discard something, in only a very short matter of time, you will need it again.

Oh well. Life is full of regrets. And, anyway, we can console ourselves with the thought that in a couple of days, the thrift shop will have processed her donation, and she can make another trip down there, and if she’s lucky, she can buy her donation back!


Time Flies

My college roommate had this posted on his bedroom door:

Time Flies.

You can’t. They’re too fast.

In a nutshell, that ambiguity illustrates the difficulty of what is termed Natural Language Processing.

Question: How do you get down from an elephant?

Answer: You don’t. You get down from a duck.

The One Hour Business Plan: Building the Value Proposition Statement continued…

Module 1: What does your organization do?

Defining what your company does and justifying its purpose for existing is not an easy task for most of us. Author of the book “The One-Hour Business Plan” points out the value proposition of the business model is the starting point for the business plan. And that it provides the basic framework to clarify the answer to the question, “What do you do?”

Defining the customers Need.
To help answer the what do you do question, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer who is keenly aware of what they need to make the buying decision. Answering the following questions will help.

What need is the customer looking to be filled?
What void can your product or service fill that is not currently satisfied adequately for customers?

Try to avoid a perceived need the customer does not value or need.

Mental Exercise: The Need
How do customers interact in your targeted market?
What events or conditions have to occur to create a customer need and does your product or service fulfill that need?

Say out loud the need your product or service satisfies? Ask yourself if that sounds meaningful to a potential customer? Next, repeat it multiple times making it more clear and precise until you think you have properly defined what your company does and the services you provide.

Next step, “The Solution”.
Being the solution and not the problem.

December 2nd

Only 23 shopping days until Christmas!

Can we predict what you will buy, based on your previous behavior?

Should we send you an ad for the next Lisbeth Salander novel? Will you buy if we do? Will you buy if we don’t? In order to figure that out, we will beĀ attempting to perform some Uplift Modeling.

We can segment our audience into 4 groups:

  1. Leave Me Alone: I’ll buy, but only if you’re not hectoring me with advertising.
  2. Sure Thing: I’ll buy, regardless of your advertising.
  3. I’m Not Listening: I won’t buy. Period.
  4. Frasier: I’ll buy, only if you make me an offer.


I know what you did

How do you know if what you are doing is having any affect? When a customer sees your ad and then buys your product, how do you know whether your advertising had any effect or not? Maybe the customer would have bought in any case.

And, of course, you’d like to know that because you don’t want to be wasting money on advertising that is not having any payback.