‘Marriage Saver’ Video Store Section

I was at the video store in the ‘latest release’ section and with nothing better than ‘must love dogs’ to rent, I realised that my wife would love me if I brought home that title. On the way out I joked with the video store owner that he should have a section called ‘Save your marriage’ and stock it with titles like Sleepless in Seattle, Must Love Dogs, and other girlie flicks.

Now, when a guy has forgotten to take out the trash, missed an anniversary or slept with his neighbour’s wife, he can visit the ‘Save your marriage’ aisle and grab a sure-fire movie to win back his partner’s affection.

Other video aisle sections could be: ‘Traumatise your Children’… horror movies etc. ‘Viagra’… porn films. You get the idea.

In fact, a video store that does this would not only stand out from other stores, it would be quite remarkable. The sort of store people would talk about. Combine that with little review cards talking about the movie – similar to what you might find in good book shops- and you could really create a unique experience for customers. But then I could be wrong… I saw that Big Momma’s House 2 is the top grossing film here last week… *sigh*.

Anyway, my wife is calling, the movie has started *yet another sigh* … here’s another hour and a half of my life that I will never get back.

Published in: on February 12, 2006 at 8:53 pm Comments (42)

Make a book from your blog


So much work goes in to your blog and blurb.com have a great service where you can turn your words of wisdom into a hardcover book.

You can also create your own recipe books, photo books etc.

Nice idea and something I’m going to look into when I get back from my trip. Check it out at Blurb Blog Book

Published in: on February 10, 2006 at 11:32 pm Comments (43)

Sleepless in Seattle horror film leads to opportunity


My friend Murray has a mate, Demis, who is a talented musician, web developer, film editor… I’m beginning to think there’s nothing he can’t do. Anyhow, Demis is sitting around, bored, and decides to re-edit ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ and turn it into a trailer for a horror film. There’s nothing new about that. ‘The Shining’ has been re-edited to become a love story… but here’s where Murray steps in.

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Published in: on January 31, 2006 at 11:05 pm Comments (1)

The problem with being a ‘thinker’

fired.jpg

I was thinking about drug testing at work the other day and came to the conclusion that if I was running a large company I would use drug screening to hire certain substance abusers… I don’t want them to operate heavy machinery but my thinking is if you stick everyone with a degree and a suit in the same room you’re going to get similar ideas and opinions.

None of them want to give you their more crazy ideas because they are scared of looking like the guy in the picture… if their idea fails, or is too whacky they become prime targets for the next staff cut.

Because most staff will avoid doing anything that exposes themselves to friendly/enemy fire most fly just under the company radar as this is the safest place to be if you want to keep your job

The person with the whacky idea that just might change an industry might not come forward because they don’t want to appear to appear to be smarter than their manager, and if the idea fails then they know who’s going to take the blame and it won’t be their manager or the boss.

smallknife.gifBut get a drug user hopped up on goofballs just before the meeting and he/she just doesn’t care about these things. While everyone is sitting around talking about creating the new knife block, our drug user starts ranting about the movie ‘Kill Bill’ and babbles on about a knife block that is shaped like a human with knives stuck through the body!

I was thinking about all of this when visiting Jake who created surfume (a perfume for surfers). I’m not saying Jake was on drugs when he thought about the idea, but Billabong, Rip Curl,and Quicksilver all could have created Surfume but none of them did.

Who wants to be the Billabong employee and say to the boss… ‘you know, we make surfer fashion, why don’t we make surfer fragrances?’… when you know your manager is going to tell you that Billabong makes clothes and wetsuits not perfume!

So it’s left to crazy guys like Jake to create a new niche market product and I’m willing to bet that a company like Billabong will come along and buy him out.

We see it all the time, big companies buying out small innovative companies simply because the small guys dared to dream!

Published in: on December 24, 2005 at 3:49 pm Comments (1)

Custom covers for Ikea Furniture… brilliant

Very often in business we look down the wrong end of the telescope. Someone in the furniture business would see Ikea as a competitor, but if they were willing to look at their business and Ikea’s business in another way they could become partners – probably unwitting partners.

Ikea has sold more than twenty million sofas in Europe in the past five years, the mind-boggling logistics of this means they can only offer a small range of colours or patterns. I’m willing to bet that a HUGE percentage of these ikea sofa owners would love to change the colour or pattern of their sofa about now. Enter a company called Bemz.

These guys simply make sofa, chair and cushion covers for Ikea furniture… that’s it. Their business doesn’t need retail outlets because the customers already have the furniture… all the customer has to do is choose a pattern or colour they like… it’s that easy.

So Bemz as formed a symbiotic partnership with Ikea… and Ikea probably doesn’t know about it. But both stand to benefit from each other’s success. Ikea might sell more sofas because customers know they can go to Bemz to get patterns or colours that match their decor. Bemz wins simply because of Ikeas market share in the industry.

Sometimes there’s no need to re-invent the wheel… just make the wheel prettier or work better will also bring great success.

Check it out at Bemz.

Published in: on December 20, 2005 at 7:20 pm Comments (6)

The NEW music business model… people actually pay for free stuff!

Boingboing were quick to tell us all about Jane Siberry’s amazing new online music store where people can hear and download her music for free, or pay. The choice is left to the consumer.

So you can listen to a song like:
Calling All Angels…
and if you like it, you can buy it… (and ‘yes’, Jane gave me permission to stream this song, all I had to do was ask).

Now hang on to your hats folks, it’s what boingboing didn’t tell us that is even more amazing about Jane’s new online music store…

I was listening to some samples and was scrolling through the price options for her album ‘Shushan’ (one option was a price of $0, a gift from jane) and the most amazing thing appeared below the list:

50% of people PAID for the album at a standard price of $11.11. That’s amazing… but there’s more…
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Published in: on December 5, 2005 at 12:15 am Comments (55)

How you got screwed when I was trying to legally blog a song

Hold on to your hats folks… you’re in for quite a ride. This post is a case study in how to create a killer record label and an unlimited advertising budget:

I wanted to blog a great cover of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by a rockabilly group called ‘The Fargone Beauties’… we’re talking hillbilly heaven here folks, a ‘Deliverance’ style intro of banjo and guitar and the famous guitar solo with licks traded between guitar and banjo… we’re going to make you squeal, boy… yeeehaaaw!.

Of course, I wanted you to hear this gem… but you – and I – got screwed…
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Published in: on November 24, 2005 at 3:37 pm Comments (49)

Turn a competitor’s strength into a weakness

Buried in these pages is a pearl of wisdom that seems to be striking quite a chord with readers, so I thought I might bring it to light with its own topic.

People and companies always use their x years of experience as a reason to hire them or trust them. Many years ago I had the displeasure of working with a marketing lady for a small company who would dismiss my ideas by telling me she had 7 years marketing experience in this particular industry so I told her:

” The truth is you’ve only had one year of experience and you’ve done it 7 times”.

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Published in: on November 23, 2005 at 11:26 pm Comments (6)

Cropping works for business and photos

Here’s a great lesson in photography and business- trust me, I can make this analogy work – Len, Mark and Anne are amazing photographers and run Arthouse Reproductions… they have been teaching me how to SEE. Take the image below which Len shot with a small digital camera…

This is not a photography lesson but obviously this picture is cropped (by Murray) from a bigger picture. The unusual shape of this picture and cropping out the rest of the image turns it into a remarkable art piece. Turning it into black and white means our eyes aren’t distracted by colour and makes us focus even more on what Murray wanted us to see.

Now let’s see the whole picture and learn our business lesson…
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Published in: on November 19, 2005 at 7:56 pm Comments (54)

A ‘desk’ teaches us two incredible lessons…

I have a friend who makes furniture, each piece is hand-carved from beautiful timbers. The problem is, there are hundreds of other craftsmen out there also hand-carving furniture out of timber… so his pieces may or may not stand out of the crowd, but they’re not necessarily remarkable. The desk below is remarkable… people have described it as cool, insane and awesome once I tell them the story :
b-25 bomber desk picture
This is a piece of tail section from a B-25 bomber that has been stripped back, glass added and turned into a desk. That’s pretty cool.

So there’s lesson 1: You can make anything remarkable… even a humble desk.

But the real lesson here for anyone who sells anything is how and why you might pay $15,000 for that desk…
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Published in: on November 13, 2005 at 11:46 am Comments (3)
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