I’ll let you in on a little secret (no, not that one). I like to work in the yard. Mowing, planting things, you name it, I put my earphones in and can easily spend more time on my hands and knees than [fill with totally inappropriate joke here]. What I really love the most though is weeding. Pulling weeds, especially that satisfying yank when you know you’ve got it by it’s little roots, feels as close as I will probably ever get to being a sniper.
The other day in Starbucks (duh) I saw what had to be the oddest of odd situations. And I do see my fair share: high school girls practicing their cheers (too cold outside), the guy who took his shoes off, hacking away on his PC while other patrons tried to prevent their eyes & nose as far away as possible, the dog barking under the table while the family pretended they didn’t have one.
Last week I got an email from Groupon, that they would be conducting a discussion group in Chicago to better understand what I think about them. Well, ok. I’d like to think I’m one of their biggest fans – apart from the VIP party invites and comped weekend @ Camp Groupon, I buy a bunch of vouchers to boot . So, I filled out the survey and waited to hear back. And waited. Nothing. But I realized that their non-response shouldn’t surprise me. The Groupon of today isn’t the company I adored 5yrs ago. And so I thought I’d share what I would have shared at this little meetup, in the hopes that someone there will happen to read this (hint: I know they will).
It’s my opinion that the Internet, and more specifically services like Facebook, have done more to raise awareness of the selfishness of people than anything else.
Now, while I’m not a prude, I do feel that there is a time and place for “artistic” nudity. And that place isn’t on a social network where kids 13yrs and up reside. Yes, I’m one of those folks who do Hide, Mark as Spam, and even Report as Abuse photos and comments that don’t seem to me as appropriate for an audience that wouldn’t be allowed to see a movie with the same content.
So when my News Feed alerted me that a relative had updated their cover photo with artwork consisting of a female nude, I was not happy. Why? Because my first thought was whether my teenage boy was a friend of theirs on Facebook, and would see this. So, I Hid the photo from my news feed and sent them a private message expressing my concern that a) the photo probably shouldn’t be on Facebook, and b) express my concern in a way I felt they would understand – that their teenage nephew could possibly see this.
The response I got was not what I expected. Basically, it’s not their problem. Wow. Ok. Wow.
Granted, we are not the closest – our branches of the family tree are through marriage. But I’d hoped that they would understand and respect my request as being reasonable.
Sadly, I’m sure I am not alone in realizing the futility of wishing common sense and reasonableness would somehow be infuse the collective consciousness of the Social Public. The reality is that everyone (including myself) tend to find social networks an empowering soapbox for expressing ourselves, while hiding behind the virtual expanses of the internet.
So, partly because of the harshness of their reply, partly because I don’t feel the need for Facebook Drama, I unfriended this person. And, I’ll make sure my teens aren’t their Friend on Facebook. At least until their 18yrs old.
10. Update LinkedIn profile to “exploring new opportunities”
9. Call former US Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. Laugh maniacally.
8. Head to New York for a real pizza
7. Buy a TV, find out what a Honey Boo Boo is
6. Finally get that Virgin Mary tattoo
5. Change Facebook status to “Single” from “Married…to God”
4. Poke Betty White
3. Reconsider Dancing with the Stars invite
2. Dump Vatican-issued Blackberry for “something less evil”
1. Gym, Tan, Laundry.
Let it be known: I love a good shave. I mean love – I’ll take close to an hour to lovingly rid this milk dud-looking orb of hair just to get that wonderful feeling of smoothness. But, this comes with a pretty hefty price, as I go through premium razors like an LA Crisis Center on a really bad day. Most of my adult life I’ve used Gillette but switched to Schick Hydro last year, which seemed to offer the same quality shave for a little less cost per blade.
Being in the startup community, I’m always rooting for products and services that disrupt the norm. When I found the video for Dollar Shave Club, I was intrigued, but not enough to risk going Corleone on my own neck, bleeding out, and ruining a perfectly nice shirt. So, I continued burning cash in hopes of extending my youthful look and saving my kids from the ridicule of being asked why their granddad is kissing their mom.
The way it works is this: you sign up for one of 3 different plans: $1 (The Humble Twin), $6 (The 4X), or $9 (The Executive). Natch, I chose The Executive, which seemed most like the razors I’m used to. In return for a $9/mo subscription, I’m promised a first shipment of blade handle + 3 cartridges, followed by 3 new cartridges each month. So, I decided to give it a try.
Within a few days I received my first shipment, as ordered. Thoughts of impoverished Chinese workers putting the components together with dirty hands then applying a last minute rinse and polish using sweat from their brow and the tail of their shirt encouraged me to take my time examining the handle and the blades. I was impressed: the handle had a good balance to it, and the blades seemed sharp and very similar to those of the Gillette variety. Eyes closed, I really couldn’t tell a significant difference. So it was time to put them to the test on my face. After laying out the first aid kit and putting on an old shirt, it was time to get started.
Admittedly, it was difficult using a new razor while staying consistent to my style of shaving, but I think I did pretty well. The results: not bad. In fact, I was impressed with the results and felt good about the fact it was saving me a lot of money too boot.
Like clockwork, I’ve received my new blades the past 2 months, and continue to have a great experience. It’s definitely worth trying, even at the $1/mo (which includes 5 blades per month). I’m using new blades more often, and not having to remember to shop for them or wince at the prices. The video is pretty awesome, and Dollar Shave Club has backed it up with a pretty awesome product and service too.
Don’t ask me why, but right before drifting off into a fitful sleep last night, the thought came to me about the often heard declaration made by companies that they “eat their own dog food”. Symbolizing the process of using the tools/processes/products they market to others internally, as a way to demonstrate their understanding of the problem and ability to solve it. Most of us would aspire to be considered a great cook in our own home. But it’s only when we go out to a decent restaurant that we realize how close or how far removed we are from our potential. There are a few companies I’d love see take a 100 of their employees and for 30 days subject them to using their competitors products solely. Then, their “solution” for 30 days. Alas, I think many fear the outcome and would rather spend the effort on marketing instead. Continue reading