Mike Landman

Mike Landman

Observations On Business. Maybe a Little Preening. And A Few Lessons Learned.

I don’t post anymore

While I don’t write blog posts anymore, I have left up my old posts from long ago for posterity πŸ™‚

SanDisk finally vindicates me

2 years ago, I surmised that SanDisk could not make any headway against the iPod, because they we're trying to violate the laws of positioning by challenging the iPod on it's own turf. SanDisk's CEO said it even more succinctly today (albeit 2 years late): "You can't iPod the iPod." I dunno, I was feeling kind… Continue reading β†’

Best quote ever from a US automaker?

This was in 2006, and I think it says quite a bit about the fundamental problem the US automakers find themselves in. Upon closing 14 factories, Bill Ford let us in on the new plan: "From now on, our cars will be designed to satisfy the customer, not just fill a factory." To be fair,… Continue reading β†’

No voicemail? Glorious!

Kodak, I love you. This is the first mainstream company I have heard of eliminating voicemail. I have been dreaming of doing this for years, but haven't for fear that people will find it unfriendly. Maybe Kodak has blazed a trail for 2009…

Anything can be rethought

Rethinking is happening with classical music right now.  Going to the symphony is a fine thing, no doubt. But it is an undertaking. Get dressed up, file in, stay silent, clap at only the prescribed moment, file out. Most people are, quite honestly, nervous at the symphony. And it isn’t really a natural way for… Continue reading β†’

What exactly is the point of these things?

I sent an email to a friend at KPMG. At the bottom of the reply is this. Why do these things exist? Is there any POSSIBLE way I am legally bound by this? Is this designed to make the lawyers at KPMG feel like they are earning their salaries? Or to scare me? Or what?… Continue reading β†’

Who are you?

Everyone knows your weaknesses. Or your quirks. Or your strengths. The truth is, you rarely fool anyone (Which is why people like people who are just themselves. Watching a charade is exhausting). I learned this again last week in a most unusual way. My girlfriend threw a surprise party for my 40th birthday. But not… Continue reading β†’

Perhaps Sony could invert the message they are sending?

So, when you buy a new computer, it invariably comes preloaded with trial software, promotional stuff, and generally a whole host of speed-sucking, annoying software pre-installed. This is fondly known as "crapware." Sony, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to charge you for the luxury of buying a computer that comes free of such detritus…. Continue reading β†’

Rob and Julie Haag – Changing The World

Rob and Julie Haag – and their son Michael on CNN (this is video) – making the world a better place. When I wrote about this 2 years ago, it made me proud to know the Haag’s. It still does.

Atlanta #1 wireless city

Per Forbes magazine. When we started giving away WiFi 4 years ago, Atlanta wasn’t even on the list. Lots of people chipping in to do their part. We’re just happy to be on of them.

Frightening Brand Extension

Hot on the heels of this brand extension tour de force (The….drumroll please….Levi’s Mobile Phone!), I’d like to announce that Ripple will be introducing a line of designer sausages just in time for the holidays. How’d that cellphone move work out for Hummer, I wonder?

Another Voicemail Hater!

Woohoo! One of these days the utopian world of no voicemail will be upon us! And then I shall exact my revenge! Let’s all save the world a collective 2 million seconds a day, and follow these guidelines.

Where should this blog go?

So I have been thinking a lot about this blog and what it should do, and where it should go. I started this as a way to experiment, and collect my own thoughts. I thought a few friends would dig it maybe. But I’m not sure I am offering anything here that has much meaning…. Continue reading β†’

Completely Failing Customers

It’s really astonishing how Microsoft is failing their customers. Here are two of Microsoft’s biggest proponents absolutely SLAMMING Vista ( Jim Louderback is the Editor of PC Magazine, and Joel Spolsky is a famous developer that came from Microsoft). Even the box it comes in. Rightfully so. Vista wasn’t even close to being ready to… Continue reading β†’

Come to Bierfest!

Every year, Ripple sponsors the German Bierfest put on by The German American Chamber of Commerce. It is an awesome time. Here’s a great commercial for it! Funny Americans  Atlantic Station,  Saturday August 25th. 2PM. Official site

Broken Record (Industry)

You ever notice that when broken model is in its last throes, it fights like a sad, defeated bully? If you haven’t, witness the record industry villainize an artist who dares to embrace the  obvious shift in how music is changing. Prince wants to give away his music. More power to him. The industry want… Continue reading β†’

Right Under My Nose

So I have written about Octane several times here. But it occurred to me the other day that it really is an extraordinary business with a lot of lessons to teach any business. I learn from Octane all of the time. So I thought it might be fun to do a series on Octane, what… Continue reading β†’

This Is Just Interesting

Seth Godin has a thought provoking piece on voting and how technology has made many of the conventions we hold onto obsolete.

Welcome! (I think you are probably a criminal)

So I visited a friend’s parents for Memorial Day, for an afternoon of grilling and such. They live in a lake community out in the country. It happens to be a gated community. After approaching the gate guard, explaining that we were on a list, and answering some questions, we were handed a slip of… Continue reading β†’

Crossroads at a startup

A colleague forwarded me this story today. It’s a great tale of crossroads at a startup. We have had many such moments here, although perhaps none so seminal. My favorite nugget: "Hope is not a strategy."

Dark, Powerful, Evil.

I wish I could say Kathy Sierra and I were friends. We’re not. We have had some contact, a few emails shared. She owns one of my T-shirts. But I wish we were friends. Because Kathy is one of the nicest, smartest, most intuitive people I am aware of. She makes the world a better… Continue reading β†’

A Crack in The Dam Widens

The reality is really twofold here:1. The evolution of diverse technologies has chipped away at Microsoft’s lock on the desktop.2. Vista took too long and ultimately sucks too much. Given that, leaders are starting to question the "no one ever got fired for recommending Microsoft" mentality. clipped from www.macnn.com The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)… Continue reading β†’

What??? (Or, “why Yahoo! is in trouble”)

Corporate double-speak is a serious problem. It creates confusion, wastes time, and reduces people to babbling idiots. I don’t really understand the phenomena actually. Here’s the thing: It seems to me that the larger a company gets the clearer its communication needs to be, simply because there are so many more people to communicate to…. Continue reading β†’

Brand Extension At Its Worst

Brands get dumb. They get self-inflated, forget what they stand for, and do stupid things. Like Coors Water.And now, Hummer cellphones.

Wow. Wow! er…wow.

Some companies simply lose their ability to understand customers; they misplace the relevant language somehow. Microsoft is really a case in point. They are the GM of software. Wow is certainly appropriate here, but not really the way that’s intended. Thanks Seth. wow.

You Can Be Too Clever

Last night I was at a new restaurant. I got up to use the restroom, and, well, it wasn’t that easy. A quick glance should tell me which door to choose. An "M" would be nice. Or even that little Weeble guy with the legs (ladies, you apparently self-identify when you see a skirt). Why… Continue reading β†’

If You Are Looking For a Wholly Inaccurate Picture of Atlanta

Look no further than this smarmy, inaccurate, and entirely condescending article in The New York Times. It’s peppered with nifty backhanded insults like this: "…a city so transient it barely recognizes itself, where more than half the adult population is from somewhere else, and where every urban fad, from underground parking to savory ice cream,… Continue reading β†’

Why don’t people use Compact Florescent lightbulbs?

As part of a webwide effort to help the plight of Compact Florescent lightbulbs, I am adding my 2 cents. I think Seth probably has it right. At least partially. Compact Fluorescent (CF) light-bulbs do have a marketing problem. I’m not sure that problem is perceived difficulty of use though. I think it’s a name… Continue reading β†’

Ingenuity With Bees

Umm…wow. This is pretty cool. Training bees to save human lives. Bomb-sniffing bees. Maybe I can train my cat to find my car keys.

Turns Out Zune Forgot One Thing: The Customer. Doh!

I’ve not personally held a Zune. I’m not really inclined to. But this article in The Chicago Sun-Times perfectly chronicles what happens when you put the customer last in any product (or service). The customer loses. If you’re a monopoly like the airport, that works OK. When you’re going against the entrenched leader in MP3… Continue reading β†’

Don’t Be An A$$hole

It’s not like that’s particularly sage advice – most people don’t want to be assholes (except for assholes, of course). But what I like about Guy’s book review is that it has some good tips for dealing with people that are assholes.

Use The Right Tool For The Conversation

Although not really the point of his post, something in Seth’s riff on marketing fear struck me: “Fear is an emotion and it’s impossible to counter an emotion with logic.” I think that is probably true in the opposite as well.

Why Is This Impressive?

I use a Mac. I like Macs. Now, the last time I criticized Apple , I was lambasted. I’m OK with that πŸ™‚ This isn’t really about Apple. This is a quote from PC Magazine praising Apple’s high quality: “Last year, Apple’s score on units needing repair was an impressive 11 percentβ€”well below that of… Continue reading β†’

No One Cares

Until you make them care. We all know this applies to personal stories. That’s why one person’s story about their 2 year old learning how to pick their nose is cute and funny, and another person’s is an eye-roller. But it applies to business too. Kathy Sierra makes the point most eloquently as usual. What… Continue reading β†’

Why Not Be Amazing?

Seth Godin has an interesting observation about customer service this morning (it’s amazing how many lessons about what NOT to do can be learned at the airport!). The basic point is this: Do you treat every interaction you have with your customers as an opportunity to further the relationship you have with them? EVERY opportunity?… Continue reading β†’