Monday, May 22, 2006

The Power of One, Why We Buy and Links

This was a long weekend in Canada so I really was able to get caught up. Worked a full day Saturday and most of the day today (except for 2 hours off for some weight training and a 10K run). Since it is not a US holiday, I had calls with the US today.

And of course since technically today is a holiday, I don’t feel guilty posting to my CEO blog during business hours.

I did finish a couple of books this weekend. One was purely recreation.

The Power of One by Bryce Courtney is a novel about a young white boy growing up in aparthied South Africa. At 500 slow but captivating pages, it took almost 5 hours to read.

Like all books that I read, someone suggested it was a good read. It was well written. Pure recreation. Highly recommended for fun but the business lessons are few and you need to stretch a bit to get them.

One quote from the book (used in a boxing context) was "Lead first with your head then with your heart". Does that apply to business? Without the logic and head, there can be no heart because the business would not survive. Another good quote was "I was cultivating a habit of winning. Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do, so I found I won in other things as well.". This quote definitely applies to my life philosophy.

An awesome business book I read was Why we Buy - The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. This one is a business book primarily of interest to retailers (although I see similarities in retail and online habits). Paco (and his researchers) followed and recorded the behavior of tens of thousands of shoppers. From this he is able to run a consulting business that makes recommendations to retailers on minor changes they can make to increase their sales.

Examples include - Provide a spot for people to sit, especially the person who brought the shopper. Leave parking spots for people at fast food places since 10% of the customers buy then go eat in their car. Children and old ladies are the primary buyers of doggie treats - put them where they can seen and reached.

He gives many examples of simple changes that can be made to increase sales. As with all brilliance, many of his observations are obvious.

This book is a must read for any retailer.


On the blog front, since I moved to my own domain, I have not regained my links. I was ranked 38,000 with 126 links from 58 sites. Now I am at 172,000 with 27 links from 17 sites. So link to me.

I thought the following was interesting:

My blog is worth $32,743.32.
How much is your blog worth?

The value is scientifically calculated based on traffic and links. Of course I have not had anyone step forward with a cheque yet.


At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You read 500 pages in 5 hours???? What is your reading speed Jim? :-O


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