Archive for March 2012
The photo above was taken by me when I visited the National Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. What you are looking at is a wood carving and I am amazed at the skill of the person that did this.
Opening day for the Major league Baseball season is April 5th and the first night of baseball is on April 4th. We are a little more than a week away from the start of baseball in the United States. I for one am excited. I am especially excited because my favorite team; the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates recently re-signed Andrew McCutcheon to a 6 year 51 million dollar contract. That signing shows a real commitment from ownership that the losing ways may be finally coming to an end.
The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning season was 1992. George H.W. Bush was the President of the United States back then. In case you are curious, listed below are the World Series winners since 1992:
1993 Toronto Blue Jays 2002 Anaheim Angels
1994 No game due to strike 2003 Florida Marlins
1995 Atlanta Braves 2004 Boston Red Sox
1996 New York Yankees 2005 Chicago White Sox
1997 Florida Marlins 2006 St. Louis Cardinals
1998 New York Yankees 2007 Boston Red Sox
1999 New York Yankees 2008 Philadelphia Phillies
2000 New York Yankees 2009 New York Yankees
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks 2010 San Francisco Giants
2011 St. Louis Cardinals
This time of year is always a good one for me as the weather gets warmer and baseball season starts and there is hope. Hope even for a Pittsburgh Pirate fan. Maybe this year they will win more than they lose. That is not too much to ask is it? I for one am looking forward to baseball so I can watch games almost every night until November. Almost every year I create a mental to do list for my summer activity wish list. This year is no different. A few items on that to do list:
- Buy a new lawn mower that is self propelled to help me cut my hilly areas of my lawn. I am not getting any younger.
- Finally take that road trip to Alabama. It has been delayed due to bad weather and general malaise this winter.
- Go to Stone Mountain to see the massive carving. It is many times larger than Mount Rushmore and I have yet to see it. Traffic issues have dampened my enthusiasm to see it.
- Paint my garage. The walls need a fresh coat of bright paint. I hate painting and will get much needed help from my wife who does most of our painting.
- Watch a Pittsburgh Pirate playoff victory? At least watch them live at Turner Field when they play a 4 game wrap-around series on April 27-30.
Have a great week. Better weather and baseball season are soon to be here.
Today’s blog is about pizza! I love Pizza, you love pizza we ALL love Pizza. However; there is a lesson to be learned from Pizza and how most restaurants sell it. I recently got a deluxe pie at our favorite local shop and discovered something that I would like to share with you.
My lovely wife and I got a large, 16 inch pie this time and it was way too big so we had plenty of leftovers. The gigantic size of the 16 inch pizza got me thinking. “Why does this seem so much larger than a 12 inch size when it is only 33% larger? My mental math was as follows: 12 X 1.333 = 16. That math is in fact WRONG! Here is why: To determine how much pizza you are getting you must use Pi(e) in the calculation and I was not. What do I mean by that you ask? I need to consider the area of each pie to compare how much pizza I am buying. When I ran those numbers, I was shocked and here is the lesson we need to learn.
The area of a circle or a pizza pie must be determined using the following formula: πr2 This is where things can get a little too detailed for some people but stay with me it is going to be worth it. The calculation of the area for a 12 inch pie and a 16 inch pie are shown below and the result of the calculations reveals that there is about 78% more pizza in a 16 inch pie compared to the 12 inch pie. Here are the details:
Click here to see a website that calculates the area of a circle.
π = 3.14159 r = radius The radius of a 12 inch diameter pizza is 6 inches and the radius of a 16 inch pizza is 8
3.14159 X 62=113.09 = area of 12 inch pizza
3.14159 X 82=201.06 = area of 16 inch pizza
201.06 ÷ 113.09 = 1.78 or 1.78 X 113.09 = 201.06 approximately
If you assume the price of a 12 inch cheese pizza is $10 then based on area the 16 inch pizza should be $10 X 1.78 = $17.80 At my local shop that 16 inch cheese pizza is only $12.75 If you look at the deluxe pizza we bought the 12 inch was $14.95 and the 16 inch was $19.95 if you applied the same price to the 16 inch pizza it should be $14.95 X 1.78 = $26.61 We were getting a great deal with the large size at only $19.95 – right?
What is the lesson you ask? The first is that the area of a circle is not linear so you cannot apply a linear relationship to the price. A 16 inch line is 33% longer than 12 inch line. But it won’t work for pizza. Another lesson is the pizza shops are probably overcharging for 12 inch pizzas to subsidize the price of the 16 inch pizza. I think you would agree with this because it does seem expensive for a 12 inch cheese pizza to cost $10. Since they probably sell more 12 inch pizzas, they can overcharge a little and that will ease the beating they take on the large size and we are all happy. From now on I will always order the large size pizza as long as I am getting the greater value based on the math outlined above. Have you ever had to throw out pizza from the fridge that went bad? Me neither. The leftovers will be welcomed by members of the household for late night snacks or a quick snack any time of day. If you really want to get a headache, try to figure out how they price extra toppings for each size Pizza.
Another lesson we need to learn is how can we apply this pricing strategy to our advantage? Can we apply this in our business if all others in the industry are not? I think the pizza pricing strategy results from the incorrect perception that their customers have in assuming that the prices should have a linear relationship. In my industry, I believe there is a built in premium on standard rates but they are adjusted up or down based on the number of hours for an engagement.
I hope you enjoyed this topic as much as I enjoyed the pizza that inspired it. I also hope that you will always keep an open mind and take a different approach to your business. People who do that typically are successful. It is easy to do what everyone else is doing but it is genius when you discover a way to Turn Things On End To Achieve Results! The people who follow the same path as others are lost in the crowd of sameness but those who don’t go down in history. Some of those names are Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Ray Kroc, Sam Walton, Henry Ford and Bill Gates.
Have a great week finding a new way to use Pizza as your inspiration.
Happy Birthday to the love of my life, you are MY inspiration.
March Madness starts tomorrow, March 13th and the championship game is on April 2nd. I am not a big college basketball fan but I will watch some games during the tournament if nothing else catches my attention. For today’s blog I will describe a typical Saturday night at my house while the games are on.
It is 8 O’clock and the tip-off is in 5 minutes. I have settled in to my favorite spot in front of the television which is not high def nor is it a flat screen. Read more about my opinion of high def television here. As I sit awaiting the game to start I find my lovely wife sitting next to me browsing the internet on her iPad. This is typical on a Saturday night when we invariably are watching a sporting event. Next to my lovely wife I have a beverage and the remote control for the television. I like to call it “the clicker”.
The game starts and I become bored because as stated earlier I am not a big basketball fan. To keep things lively at about 10 minutes after tip-off I begin asking my wife questions that appear to annoy her. I continue this until I am distracted by a funny commercial. As I watch the game resume, the boredom creeps in and I am back to doing something that again appears to annoy my wife. It is now 8:22 PM.
Midway through the first half*, I chase the dog (Jimmy Sad Eyes) around the house because he seems bored too. Read about him here and here. After chasing the dog around, I am winded and decide to sit back down and watch the game. It is now 8:36 PM and I realize I am thirsty from all that running around and I get another beverage and refill my wife’s glass. The game is tight and the lead changes hands back and forth as it is now just 6 minutes to go before halftime.
I manage to sit through the rest of the first half without needing to prove to Jimmy Sad Eyes that I am the Alpha male or needing to bother my wife who seems content with her internet and the iPad. As the halftime is about to finish the first outburst from my wife happens. I am simply asking her some questions and making fun of her and she suggests that I should count the tiles in the bathroom with irregularities and report back to her. This actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea so off I go creating a spreadsheet in excel for the task complete with special colors, fonts and a pivot table to make things interesting. After about 20 minutes I go back to her with the results and she yells at me again and calls me “Douglas!” so I know she is really mad. I decide to lay low.
At about 9:45 PM I get bored again and start shaking her iPad making it hard for her to read the internet nonsense. I do this a few times and she appears to ignore me so I stop and rethink my strategy. After watching a few lay ups and a missed jump shot or two I hit the jackpot and ask her what she would rather do make me a sandwich or wash the car. Her response is typical and she tells me to knock it off or I will be sleeping in the basement with the spiders and the spider poop. After careful analysis I have learned that this is my signal from her that I should cool it and switch the channel to one of many ubiquitous SVU episodes. What’s the harm; it is now 10:00 PM and the game is a blow out. That is what I call March Madness!
Have a great week and beware of the spider poop.
*To prove I have some basketball knowledge please note that I used the term first half and not first quarter. In college there are two, 20 minute halves and in the NBA there are 4 quarters of 12 minutes each. Okay, to be honest I had to goggle to make sure it was four, 12 minute quarters in the NBA but let’s not worry about that now.