Browse Month: March 2010

DropBox Has Just Gotten Boxier

DropBox Has Just Gotten Boxier Honestly, I am surprised I have never wrote about DropBox. Why? Perhaps I was so excited when I started using it so I completely forgot to share. Now that I have two accounts running on the same laptop I am twice excited. I even missed it from my Decade Technology Roundup!

I will assume everyone and their mothers are now know what DropBox is: it is a drop-dead solution to share your files between all your computers (Windows, Linux and MacOS are supported) without even thinking about it. Free account allots you 2GB of space. Additionally, there’s a free iPhone app to dig into your DropBox. It actually is very cool, you can stream music from it and do other fun stuff – within the limits of iPhone, of course. For those of us who crave Android app – it’s in the works already.

The good news this week is that DropBox, who also has a referral program (just like everyone else these days) has allowed to earn up to 8GB of free space for referrals in total – it used to be 3GB only. Since I almost maxed out my own referrals before – this was a welcome change. For those who will register using this link I will send a direct link to download a DropBox Portable, developed by one of the DropBox fans. Saves you a bit of time searching for the latest version yourself – a kind of a thank-you from me. The Portable DropBox runs alongside as many copies of itself as you want, so if you got friends and colleagues in separate boxes – you can stay updated with both.

If you haven’t yet used DropBox – go ahead, try it – you will be surprised how easy it is.

Einstein’s Riddle – A Complete Solution With Illustrations

If you haven’t heard about this riddle before then you should try solve it yourself first. It’s a lot easier than you think. Most web sites post it with huge notices that Einstein himself said that 98% of the population would not be able to solve it. Well, this could have been true in his time, since about 98% of the population would not have a chance to read the riddle in a first place, but now with the power of the interwebbies you can read and solve it too. It’s not really hard, if I could do it in under 15 minutes – so could anyone else.

I am posting the rules the way I found them on the internet – this way you can get hyped up about 2% vs. 98%.

ALBERT EINSTEIN’S RIDDLE

ARE YOU IN THE TOP 2% OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD? SOLVE THE RIDDLE AND FIND OUT.

There are no tricks, just pure logic, so good luck and don’t give up.

1. In a street there are five houses, painted five different colours.
2. In each house lives a person of different nationality
3. These five homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke different brand of cigar and keep a different pet.

THE QUESTION: WHO OWNS THE FISH?

HINTS

1. The Brit lives in a red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The Green house is next to, and on the left of the White house.
5. The owner of the Green house drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the Yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the centre house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbour who drinks water.

The solution is under the cut. I encourage you (again!) to try and solve it yourself before you look there.

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Small Business Issues – Part III

This is a third part of the series, first part is HERE and second part is HERE.

Issue 3: Executive Management
You may have already derived this issue from the previous two (Issue 1: Human Resourced, Issue 2: Sales and Marketing). This, however, covers more than just inability to trust own employees. The issue with executive management is that they both are unable – and unwilling – to admit that they don’t really know how to run this specific business. Once they get over their own oversized egos, they will start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel the issues they themselves create and, hopefully, will do something about it. They have big plans of opening same kind of salon (with the same business model) in more expensive neighborhoods. Of course, it won’t work: more affluent people are used to certain level of service and once they won’t see it – they will never come back. Again, it’s not that the owners are making the mistake of having only low prices their competitive advantage and their value proposition, it’s the inability to have a basic understanding of how markets work.

Another issue with management is that they are cheap – in a bad sense of that word. There’s nothing wrong with being conscious about your spending. However, there’s a pretty thick line. Unwillingness to afford paper towels for clients being covered in creme at every procedure, or provide bare minimum to cover sanitary needs, or cheaping out on cover for hundred thousand dollar worth of equipment is not smart spending. Any requests by employees fall on owners’ deaf years, however.

To add injury to the insult, management tend to blame employees for low income. The rationale goes as there are money being spent on advertising, but the outcome is very low, not many appointment are booked and not much of income is generated. Obviously, employees that are motivated in such manner do little – if anything – to help the business grow in a right direction.

They say at least 50% of start up businesses are failing within the first year and 90% – within two years. Here’s another one bites the dust.