Author Archives: Braden Kelley

Running at “half-caff” in a caffeinated world.In the first of a series of “From the Outside Looking In” articles I will give my take on how I would address challenges that different companies face.For those of you not from Seattle or familiar with Tully’s, it is a regional coffee chain based in Seattle. It probably has the distinction of being the second largest coffee chain in Seattle, although that doesn’t really help it a whole lot.Tully’s has a big problem, or should I say a small problem. Tully’s is too small to compete with Starbucks’ buying power, but too big to be seen as a credible Starbucks alternative in the mind of those who refuse to patronize chains and instead favor local coffee houses. As a result Tully’s struggles to differentiate themselves from their larger competitor, and continues to lose money.Tully’s has chosen to differentiate itself based on factors such … Continue reading

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Curious where some of the big deals have gotten done in Silicon Valley?For a bit of Friday fun, check out this video:Of course you won’t get a deal by just hanging out in these places, but if you slip your one-pager into the menus, who knows. ;-)

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I’m in the middle of trying to buy an HP Pavillion dv6700t Special Edition. I tried to buy it from Costco because you can configure it at costco.com for about 10% less than buying through HP directly.Days passed, the promised ship date passed and an e-mail arrived saying that the wireless mouse I had “ordered” was out of stock. I was told my shipment would arrive late with a wired mouse followed by a month later by my wireless mouse.Wireless mouse I ordered? I didn’t order a wireless mouse. Phone calls ensued.It turns out that HP, convinced people will only buy a laptop if a free wireless mouse is involved, had decided one must be included with every laptop order before it can ship. So I called, and asked for the laptop to be shipped on time sans mouse – no dice. Apparently, HP laptops are built and shipped directly … Continue reading

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I was looking at blog publishing alternatives yesterday to see what new developments are available, and after a stop at Twitter that led me to Facebook, I had an epiphany. Facebook is going to rule the online world, and here is why:Before the invention of the automobile, towns were built around town squares or high streets. Town squares were gathering places, often populated by churches. Italy has the piazza, Germany the platz. Clusters of stores and restaurants often were nearby. In the UK, these clusters of retail businesses are called a high street, in the United States they became known as main street. In the United States, main street is dead or dying, replaced by shopping malls, strip malls, and big box stores. The negative consequence of this is the loss of community as these stores have larger catchment areas and lack that neighborhood feel, resulting in further isolation of … Continue reading

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Intel and AMD are making processors faster, ATI and nVidia continue to accelerate graphics and video, while faster memory and buses underpin both. Meanwhile, hard disks are spinning a bit faster, but getting bigger at the same time. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like hard disk access speed continues to be the bottleneck. So can our laptops really get much faster?The answer is hopefully yes, and here is an idea that hopefully will make them faster and more reliable at the same time. Some of you may have heard of SSD (Solid State Disk), but probably only a handful of you have ever had your hands on a machine with one built-in. For those who don’t know what an SSD is, it is a small capacity “disk” made of flash memory chips that retain information without power. By small capacity I mean that most current implementations are 32gb … Continue reading

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I finally got my password to the beta program for hulu.com and I must say it is what I thought it would be, a site where you can watch advertising-supported Fox and NBC programming for free. This article is a followup on innovation article #75 of November 11, 2007. ABC.com has been doing this for some time, but this marks the first time that two competing networks have gotten together to share development costs on such a venture. The real question is not whether it will be successful or not, but how successful it might be.The site sounds a near-certain death knell on iTunes future capacity to offer television content profitably. ABC already has their content for free online, and now NBC and Fox do as well. While some people may want to be able to watch content without commercials, I surely doubt that the size of that market segment … Continue reading

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I’d like to start today with a quote from a NASA article in Fast Company – “But sometimes the better part of innovation, is not invention but effectiveness.”I’ve detailed my views before on how invention is not the same thing as innovation, but to build upon them and the quote above – sometimes progress or innovation is achieved by taking value out of a product or service. Southwest Airlines created innovation not by giving passengers more food, more legroom or more options, but fewer. Apple succeeded with the iPod, not by providing more capacity or more features, but by making the features they provided more beneficial than the competition.People ultimately do not care whether a product or service is better at the tasks it is asked to perform, but whether it more effectively meets their needs. These are not the same thing, and in fact make success far more difficult.A … Continue reading

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