The Amazon Prime Directive

photo credit: mendhak What did you learn from – and change in your business – after Amazon launched Amazon Prime? If you aren’t aware, Amazon Prime is a membership-based service that provides access to Amazon video-on-demand and free Kindle books from the Kindle lending library – but more importantly, it upgrades all purchases to from […]

Borders and homemade apple pie

photo credit: See-ming Lee æ?æ?æ?? SML Recently, Borders book stores reported that they were closing their remaining 399 stores, including our local store here in Kalispell, Montana. The store has about three months, enough time to liquidate their existing stock. Survival of the fittest demands that some prosper, some get by and some die. Borders was […]

Paper. Ink. Electrons. Winston Churchill. Charles Manson.

photo credit: kekremsi Recently, the New York Times published a story about changing prices for books in print and how those prices compare to prices for electronic books. In particular, the story focused on comparison pricing occurring at Amazon.com for books published both in paperback and for the Kindle, a very popular eBook reader manufactured […]

Choices are more important than talent

Our local swim team’s coach has a saying: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” He’s telling the kids to make a choice to work hard to improve themselves rather than just assuming those Eastern Montana farm kids are going to swim faster by default. They still might not beat that incredibly talented […]

With 1800 employees, Hsieh is still an entrepreneur

photo credit: quinet Today’s guest post is an interesting Inc. Magazine interview with Tony Hsieh about why Zappos sold to Amazon. What makes it most interesting (to me, anyhow) are the discussions about the culture and differences between the two businesses. I think there are a few take-home items for anyone who owns a business […]

Where were you when the iPhone and Kindle were being designed?

photo credit: truedudi As we discussed yesterday, anti-competitive businesses sometimes do “unfair” things. Occasionally, they commit illegal acts to gain an edge. Commonly mentioned examples include bribing officials to get contracts or have them look the other way on enforcement or quality issues. Sometimes the unethical things are illegal, such as refusing to sell spare […]

Stunningly reasonable, efficient, and customer-oriented service

photo credit: FreeWine In four minutes. On a Sunday morning. Something like that can be hard to find these days, but that’s exactly what Chris Matyszczy found when he contacted Amazon recently. Sunday morning aside, is your staff providing 9am Monday morning service all week long? Even at 4:45pm on a Friday? Think about this […]

*Which* fries do you want with that?

photo credit: Derek Purdy So I’m on Amazon to pick up a copy of “Coaching Salespeople into Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and Executives“. Like any good salesperson would, the Amazon cart reminds me… “Wait! You need to add $5.23 to your order to qualify for FREE Super Saver Shipping”. Fair enough. But […]

You have 2 choices: Listen or Die

photo credit: strochka Anyone who has listed items on eBay on a regular basis won’t find today’s guest post from Henry Blodget the least bit surprising.  For years, eBay Power Sellers have been complaining about the company’s sales-unfriendly tactics and persistence in ignoring their feedback.  The stories in the comments section of today’s guest post are not […]

Overstock.com 1, New York State 0

New York state’s legislature recently passed a law declaring that any company with affiliates in New York must collect sales taxes on purchases made in that state, effectively inventing sales tax nexus out of thin air. This was the budget balancing brainchild of now humiliated former Governor Spitzer, and unfortunately, his successor pushed the bill […]