O J Way Oren Rosenthal Austin,TX

Dry Cleaners’ Name Keeps Pace with Inflation

Posted in News and Events by OJWay on August 15th, 2009 permalink

When we last left Rick’s $1.99 Cleaners back in September ‘08, they’d had to change their name after they raised their price from $1.99 to $2.09. Inflationary pressures have declined since then on account of the deep recession. So imagine my surprise when I drove by the other day and saw that they’ve changed their name again, this time to Rick’s $2.39 Cleaners! The moral of the story is don’t name your business for something that changes as often as your prices.

Size and Speed Beat the Full Court Press

Posted in News and Events, Technology by OJWay on May 27th, 2009 permalink

Everybody’s talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s recent article, How David Beats Goliath. For example, my company’s chairman, Eddie Lampert, has been tweeting about it. The central premise is that by eschewing traditional rules of engagement underdogs can predictably triumph over larger and more established foes. He begins with an exciting example of a 12-year-old girls’ basketball team that built their strategy around using full-court pressure defense all the time. They made it to the National Finals.

I can’t argue with Gladwell on the main argument, so I will pick on his example. The way David beats Goliath is that he turns Goliath’s strength into a weakness. However, it’s easy for well-trained players to beat the full court press. If you ask the 7′7″ Manute Bol, he’ll tell you that you can beat the press with size, just by throwing the ball over the defense. Or if you ask the 5′3″ Muggsy Bogues, he’ll tell you to do it with speed, by cutting for the fast break.

So long as they don’t get rattled, superior players will beat the press every time to get easy baskets. 12-year-old girls will get rattled, but college and pro-level players won’t. Rick Pitino, the college coach famous for using the press, only won an NCAA tourney when he had All-Star Antoine Walker on his team. He has a losing record as an NBA coach.

I’ll stop nitpicking Gladwell now, because he is my favorite nonfiction author. In his defense, another point he was making about the girls’ basketball team is that they worked much harder than their opponents and attacked in unexpected places. Other examples, such as Lawrence of Arabia, illustrate the point better. But they’re not nearly as much fun.

Cell Phone Companies’ Opportunities for Voice Mail UI

Posted in Technology by OJWay on October 11th, 2008 permalink

Hanging On The Telephone

Have you ever heard this before?

Record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page, press 5. When you are finished recording, hang up; or for delivery options, press pound. (Beep).

That’s the message appended to each T-Mobile subscriber’s voice mail greeting. Other carriers’ versions can be found at http://dwipal.blogspot.com/2006/04/voice-mail-messages.html.

However, I don’t use numeric paging. I wish I could turn this message off, but that isn’t a configurable option.  So if you leave two phone messages each day, waiting for this message takes up 14 hours over the course of a year. If you make $15 an hour, then that’s $210 of your time wasted (If you make more or less, then do your own math.)

Perhaps customers don’t recognize this because they rarely call their own voice mail. But why aren’t carriers aware they’re inconveniencing their customer’s inbound callers for the sake of a tiny audience that uses paging. This is a blind spot in their usability testing.


Personal Web Sites - Drupal or Joomla?

Posted in Technology by OJWay on October 2nd, 2008 permalink

Article in Folio comparing Open Source CMS environments.

It’s impressive that enterprise publishers, such as Us Magazine are using Drupal. Doesn’t it look great? Notice that they’ve even implemented pop-up windows.

So certainly Drupal provides a capable platform for high-end development. But according to the article Joomla is easier for basic users.

Now, let’s take a look at a Joomla site - Las Vegas Sports Magazine.

It’s very “template-ey”. It’s the current standard vanilla site. This would be poisonous to a world-class brand like Us, but certainly a lot less effort for a smaller publication. When it comes to personal web sites, it appears that Joomla would be the better choice unless you’re going after high concept design.

What Bug Is This? - Part 2

Posted in Austin, Science and Bugs by OJWay on September 22nd, 2008 permalink

Another specimen. Please comment if you have any idea what it is. Some kind of beetle?


And here is the first of my “What Bug Is This” posts. Major props to John McGuire who knew that it was the Giant Leopard Moth.

Beautiful Big Big

A Sign of Price Inflation

Posted in Austin, News and Events by OJWay on September 15th, 2008 permalink

It looks like Rick’s $1.99 Cleaners on Bee Caves Rd. has now changed their name to Rick’s $2.09 Cleaners. I wonder if they changed the corporate letterhead and web site too!

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