Mike Landman

Mike Landman

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

If You Want To Start A Business

I have been writing this blog for nearly 2 years. Sure, I think I’ve captured a gem or two about business. But this gentleman nails it. Read this and you will have a pretty good idea of what doesn’t build a great business. Top Ten Geek Business Myths

Funny Feelings About The Zune

This is some email back and forth between a couple of my coworkers. I think there is a lesson in here about storytelling, strategy, and hubris. The Zune. Is This A Joke?I’ve got an idea. Let’s make a product to go up against the most successful consumer electronics product in the history of man. Then,… Continue reading

Creative Space…Creative People?

I hope so. I think so. Ripple is in the middle of a buildout designed to do so, and it’s nice to see someone else making the same case that we do: Design matters, tools matter, environment matters. It’s especially nice to get some vindication from someone as sharp as Kathy Sierra.

Voicemail Really is Silly

People who know me know that I hate voicemail. But my friend Suizo puts it in a nice perspective: Where is the intersection of technology and “human behavior change”?   I always thought it was a short gap between the introduction of a world changing technology and the evolution of how we use it. Apparently not… Continue reading

The World Finally Makes Sense

So Forbes reports that people who drink socially make more money. My sincere hope is that binge drinking will make me rich!

Unseating a Monster

It is possible. Firefox is proving it. Of course it helps that: A. It’s free.B. The incumbent product sucks. But still. Most folks in 2003 would have thought it impossible. My hat is off to you, Mozilla geniuses. Spread Firefox.

Small Business and IT

Businessweek reports on a trend we see all too often: Small businesses don’t see the value in IT, and end up losing out to companies that do. A big part of that is that there are so few companies that can help them sort through it in a meaningful way. So yeah, it’s biased advice,… Continue reading


It’s funny. Americans are obsessed with portion size. We treat it as a sign of quality. Ask someone why they think The Cheesecake Factory is a good restaurant and the answer you get is inevitably "big portions." Supersize. Big Gulp. The list is endless. Why are we hungrier now than we were 50 years ago?… Continue reading

I laughed, I cried…no, I just cried.

Normally not one to post links to audio or video "funnies," this came across to me this morning. It is the audio of a gentleman trying to close his AOL account. Of course AOL has virtually no reason to exist anymore, so they feel they can no longer earn customers – they must con them…. Continue reading

OK, this one I predicted

Yeah, it’s only my ego that wants to point this out. But hey, it’s my blog dammit! John Moore chronicles the end of the Starbucks Music Kiosks. My post from last year. If you do want a cool music option, check out Pandora. It rocks.

Is Google omnipotent or lost?

I can’t decide. They roll out new products almost daily, but like a gifted 5th grader, they seem to have a hard time following up. Finishing the job. It seems like they get bored very quickly and move onto the next project. Looks like the next one will be music. Is it all part of… Continue reading

You Stubborn Bastards

Bread in Northern Italy tastes like crap. You know why? Because they are stubborn. Centuries ago, the Pope levied a prohibitive tax on salt in regions of Northern Italy (basically Tuscany). So the Tuscans revolted and made their bread without salt. It is terrible beyond words. I know that, and they know that. Hundreds of… Continue reading

Kraft Gets It

Kraft just signed a deal to outsource their IT. Kraft is smart. They know that they are in the cheese business, not the IT business (I only wish Ripple was the provider!). What business are you in? So why exactly are you still screwing around with your computers?

Begging Richard Branson

The American airline industry is broken. And I believe that only Richard Branson and Virgin Air can fix it. Richard, I am begging you: Please figure out a way to get Virgin flying thousands of routes around the US. Here is an exchange I had with Delta. Mind you it took them over a month… Continue reading

A Nice Dig On IPU

A month or so ago I riffed about IPU (Interruptive Phone Usage). Now, Wired magazine has joined my call to end IPU with an article entitled "How to Squelch Your Inner Jackass." Enjoy!

Bad Ad II

Remember last week, when I panned this ad for being pure crap? Well here is a perfect example of how a great story becomes a crappy ad. And even though it’s a parody, it’s spot on. I laughed. And I cried.


What’s the point of having a blog if you can’t pimp your friends every once in a while??? This Saturday, February 25th, two of the coolest Atlanta bands will be playing together at Vinyl. The Gates of Berlin and Variac. Don’t miss this show. Why? Two reasons: I’ll be there (do you need a #2?)…. Continue reading

If Your Workplace Sucks… You Are Dumb

Seriously. A lot of us have always known that we don’t want to work in soulless cubicle hell. But we’ve always been looked at as artsy jerks who like pretty things. Here’s some evidence that the artsy jerks are actually the smart jerks. In a nutshell, a boring environment stifles brain growth. Cubicles make you… Continue reading

Find And Kill Old Thinking

Seth Godin had a little riff this morning about antiquated ideas that persist, and challenged folks to find the ones in their lives. I know what ours used to be at Ripple. Charging for time. We killed that thinking 2 years ago. The reason(s) people bill by the hour are: They cannot capably predict their… Continue reading


Holy. Crap. This was a banner ad on my Yahoo! home page this morning. WTF is this??? This is meaningless, irrelevant, useless advertising. I am shredding my Visa card right now. Here’s what happened: Someone at "Ad Agency" said "we need to make an emotional connection." But no one in the room could come up… Continue reading

Don’t Be Evil

One of the founding principles of Google is "Don’t Be Evil." But is putting people in a high likelihood of becoming victims of evil very much different? I like Google. I use a lot of Google stuff. But Google does worry me. They are about to release the next version of Google Desktop (Google Desktop … Continue reading


Sometimes, mass personalizations and their associated algorithms just go awry…

Email Without Causing Rage

Now, I know that all "Here’s The Thing" readers are hip to email ettiquette, but (cough) just in case you’re not, the always wise Guy Kawasaki has laid it out for us. If you don’t need this, pass it on to someone who does. I know you know at least one such person… My favorite… Continue reading

Sloooowww Dooowwwnnn

This should probably just be included in my six-week course, but allow me to remark briefly on voicemail etiquette. First of all, for me personally? I hate voicemail. Hate. I procrastinate returning it, and it always falls to the bottom of my list. The problem is, it’s linear. I can’t just go to the information… Continue reading

Make some change

A gentleman we know, Scott Hampton, wrote a nice post about change. In it, he offers sort of a workplace parallel to the Broken Windows Theory. His words are indeed wise. Sometimes I use this as an example when I’m at client sites. I tell them the moral of the story, too: "If you can’t… Continue reading

Death of a singular musical force

Chris Whitley died this week of lung cancer. He was 45. Most folks don’t know much about Chris. And that’s a shame. His music was singular, individual and smoldering. Perhaps more people will explore his music now that he’s gone; that always seems to be the way. But it is unfortunate, because nothing he’s ever… Continue reading

Atlanta Secrets Unveiled

Having suffered through months of lumbering, senseless posts about nothing, I thought I would take a break and hip you to a few of Atlanta’s best kept secrets this weekend. Best place for a great beer.Most of you already know what a great place Octane Coffee is. But what you may not know is that… Continue reading

CEO Afterward

After correcting my many grammatical errors, my friend John had this to say about my CEO post. I thought it too pithy to languish in "comments." Oh yeah, he works in advertising. This is so very true. Here’s how you can tell if an ad agency is bad at what they do: They think that… Continue reading

Wrenching Sadness

No pithy commentary today. Just sadness, awe and wonderment at the frailty of human civilization. Click here and give money to The Red Cross. Don’t give in to the temptation to click away and not give money to The Red Cross. Someone has to help. And who better than you and me?

I Love Apple

Here’s the thing: In the 6 months that I have written this blog, I have had a total of 3 comments posted. I posted a semi-negative post (and quite possibly a logically flawed one) about Apple 4 hours ago, and I have had a rash of comments and email. Impassioned I might add! It is… Continue reading

Apple Dissent (gasp!)

An email from my friend John: I was just pricing a new laptop. I like the new G4 12" iBook. Bump up the HD from 40 to 80 gigs for 100 bucks and that’s a very useful machine. Here’s where Apple falls down for me: The Apple Care package is $250! That raises the price… Continue reading


I have had a number of emails about the word brand. I use the word “brand” a lot when I talk about things that companies do. Good for their brand, bad for it, out of sync with it etc. There are many people more qualified than I to delve into all matters brand (my esteemed… Continue reading