When Customers Vote

This is actually very clever… it looks and feels like it’s built on Salesforce.com Ideas.

A new coffee blend is scheduled for an April debut, and a Web site, www.mystarbucksidea.com, will allow customers to submit ideas to the company and to vote on them.

[From Starbucks CEO sees economic tailspin | Reuters]

Sprint was running their new advertising in heavy rotation on Jericho last night featuring CEO Dan Hesse saying stuff like how a simple flat rate billing plan was awesome and if you have ideas for how to improve the mobile company then email them to dan@sprint.com. The problem is that this is a cheap advertising stunt, the company acknowledged that it’s not his real email address and more to the point, they don’t make public what people want anyways so maybe this is just some autoresponder that pings every schmuck who takes the time to write in about all the things Sprint could be doing better. As I was watching the commercial I was thinking of all the things I could write in about, but what’s the point? It really doesn’t matter because for Sprint it’s just lip service.

Thumbs up to Starbucks and back into the penalty box for Sprint.

In the end I wish more companies would just do this:


Protest Focus

The protesters were complaining about fee hikes, the use of the SAT exam in student admissions, UC management of nuclear-weapons laboratories and what they called the university’s lack of diversity.

[From UC protesters chain themselves to doors at regents meeting]

This is exactly why modern day protests have zero impact on public opinion and public policy, they lack focus. If you watch any of the many (many) protests about U.S. foreign policy here in the Bay Area you will see 60’s retreads trotting out their dusty peace symbols, Che Guevara groupies sporting the latest in Che fashions, and modern day anarchists with the protest points ranging from Darfur and Tibet to Guantanamo to anti-globalization to “social justice” and the requisite “no blood for oil”.

It’s a grab bag of everyone’s favorite catch phrase and cause with no meaningful focus on anything specific other than angry people who feel they are not getting the attention they deserve:

“We need to take it into our own hands and tell them we are not going to let you meet until you listen to us,” Olson said.

The First Amendment declares that each of us has the right to speak our mind and no government can restrict us, but nowhere does it also direct that government or surrogates actually have to do what they are demanding, or even listen to them for that matter. Ms. Annie Olson isn’t angry because she isn’t being heard, she is angry because she isn’t getting the outcome she wants. There is a difference.

Maybe if Ms. Olson applied some of her considerable energies to consolidating an actionable message with the appropriate soundbites, and promoting that focused protest demand she would get more than 12 people to join her, she would enjoy public support and maybe have a chance at success with her cause. As it is now, she might as well stay home because chaining oneself to a door and arguing that SAT exams should not be used in university admissions is protest theatrics and not a way to actually build support.

These protesters are blowing a rare opportunity to take advantage of the spotlight that has been on the UC Regents this last year, and it’s really a shame because specific to the rising fee issue (mind you, UC is still a hell of a good deal for a world class education) in the face of the questionable compensation practices of the Board of Regents is a real issue that can get a lot of attention. But as long as groups like this insist on throwing every possible cause, no matter how ridiculous, they will continue to be ignored.

Sticking w/Flock

I’ve been using the Firefox v3 beta for the last couple of weeks to see how it behaved and I’m going back to Flock, which has been revved to version 1.1.

The problem with Firefox on the Mac is twofold. First and foremost, it is still not a well behaved application in terms of memory and CPU utilization and it’s slow, but it also suffers from a really dated UI that gives you little more than what Netscape did 10 years ago. From a product management standpoint, I just don’t know what vision they are attempting to build to.

Flock isn’t perfect, it occasionally does require a force quit and the UI is a little overdone, but the integration of services into the sidebar, like email and social networks, points to their attempt to make the browser something more than just what you use to load web pages.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

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