Say no to Black Friday

say no to black friday

Across North America everybody wants more of everything faaster and cheaper than ever. Plus they want the vendor to absorb increases in carrying costs, inflation and shipping. Oh yeah - they also want a "no questions asked" lifetime guarantee. And amid the onlging Covid 19 lock-downs they also want all their stuff delivered for free. 

To satisfy this insane desire for more cheap food, goods and services, we’ve sent millions of jobs and billions of (C+US) dollars overseas. In the process we've taught our kids that if you shop online you can find whatever it is you want cheaper.

Not better, just cheaper.

We’ve also taught our kids that most manufacturing jobs are not worth doing or having.

Now they're impossible to do at all in North America because our workers want to earn a fair wage (and rightfully so), but the desire for cheap, cheaper and cheapest products and services (rather than good, better and best products + services) has shuttered industries and laid waste to cities, towns and individuals all across America and Canada.

Where will this end?

When companies don't earn decent profit margins their foundations crumble.

  • They cannot compete and pay the best and brightest.
  • They cut back on the full time staff, along with training, development and employee benefits.
  •  Then full time staff are rehired as part-time staff with no benefits.
  • They can no longer afford to do research and development.
  • Without leading edge research and development their managers blindly follow the “best practices” of their competitors, and fail because they can't create or defend any sort of relevant USP.
  • Part time staff juggle two, sometimes three, jobs to make ends meet. "Employee loyalty" dies along with any remaining brand loyalty - often because they can't afford the products and services they produce.
  • Because they are just making ends meet, time and money to support the arts in their community and those who are less fortunate also declines.
  • It impacts their time with family and friends - as well as their physical + mental health.
  • Because the business is marginal, it has no rainy-day savings fund to get the business and the  staff through these tough Covid 19 times.
  • And the shit-list goes on and on and on.

As a business owner . . . why not charge a fair price and invest the profits in your people, your communities, your industries and your home and native land?

As a consumer . . . why not shop locally and pay a fair price so that the businesses in your community can invest in the community it serves?



Honda Men’s washroom


Recently I went to the washroom at my local Honda dealership and was intrigued by the floor under the urinal. While I’m very accustomed to seeing urine on the floor below and beside the urinal because many men can’t or won’t aim – and also used to the smell, this solution is a first.

It makes me wonder in a few ways:

1.  How frustrated did the business owner get and for how long before resorting to this (rather expensive solution)? Note: Below the grate there’s a drain so-that the urine that drips onto the grate and the pan below can be rinsed away easily.

2.  Does the grate encourage men to be more considerate and aim, or more indifferent – and just piss on the floor?

3.  In marketing, and life, all we say and do helps people form a more positive or more negative opinion of us. What does the need for this kind of drastic urinal hygiene solution say about this Honda Dealership’s owner, staff and patrons?   



Deep-fake dubs will mess with your head and finances


Deep-fake dubs can modify or change an 

actor’s original film and TV performances.

A new start-up is helping TV shows and films effortlessly reach new markets around the world. Customers feed the company’s software with video from a film or TV show along with dubbed dialogue recorded by humans. Machine learning models then create new lip movements that match the translated speech and pastes them onto the actor’s head. The results aren’t 100% flawless (yet), but they are pretty good. What makes this technology particularly interesting is its potential to scale. These deep-fake dubs offer tremendous value for money: they’re cheap and quick to create, especially when compared to the cost of full remakes. And, with the advent of global streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video, it’s easier than ever for such legitimate and illegitimate dubbs to reach international markets. 

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted, reported that the demand for streaming services in the US is saturated + companies are looking abroad for future growth. In the first quarter of 2021, for example, 89 percent of new Netflix users came from outside the US and Canada. To create shows with domestic and international viewer appeal you can now roll out versions with local V/O that seem more authentic because the deep-fake dubs preserve, to some degree, the performance of the original actors. The dubs are more sensitive to the facial expressions of the performers, retaining their emotion and line delivery.

My concerns are these. 

Like all other technology that makes something faster or cheaper to make, or replicate, this deep-fake dub technology will quickly get better and cheaper. 

The machine learning aspect scares me because the goal of that learning is to make the deep-fake invisible (to the human eye and brain).  

Once that happens this technology will be embraced and used by unscrupulous people to coerce, confuse and steal from groups and individuals. What is now being done with robo-calls will be done on video platforms like zoom™.



YouTube Changes Terms of Service


The 1st clause in the summary of changes makes it clear that YouTube has said in the past and present that you should not collect information that might identify a person without their permission. 

If Google has sent this mandatory email service announcement to everybody that has a Google account can you imagine how many violations it is aware of?




If you depend on lists like these you’re in deep shit


 Almost every day I get lists like these. If I collected them all and tried to act on them I don’t think I’d get very far with my day. They remind me of my mother when I was a kid – telling me to wear clean underwear, an undershirt, appropriate cloths, sit up straight, chew my food twenty times, go straight to school, or bed, etc.

Her “lists” were part of her early childhood training routine, not a replacement for it.

The lists I use today are SHORT and rank what projects I need to do, not how to do them. That’s the purview of training which I see less and less of today because everyone wants everything fast + cheap. So there's no time or financial margin left for training.

I wish business leaders would wake up, return to basics and deep-six all these stupid lists.

They are not a substitute for, and a VERY poor supplement to common sense and genuine on-the-job training.

I’m very good at what I do because people took the time to train me, years of practice and my commitment to making the good better and the better best.

Not because I've got a bunch of (how to do) lists.