The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

Archive for February 2012

Song Title Contradictions

leave a comment »

Dazed and confused

Let me begin this week by saying I really enjoy writing these non-business blogs.  It gives me an opportunity to be creative which I can’t do as an accountant.  No one likes an overly creative accountant – they usually end up in jail.

Today’s topic: Songwriters and their contradictory song titles.  Perhaps the songs in their full context aren’t contradictory but their titles sure are.  The idea for this came as I was sitting at my computer trying to figure out what to write and Carole King’s song It’s Too Late came on and for some reason Will You Love Me Tomorrow? came to mind and it is struck me that it was a bit contradictory.

Carole King

From her early career she wrote: Will you love me tomorrow?  Then had a hit mid-career with It’s too late.    I guess she answered her question.

Crosby Stills and Nash

Dark Star from about 1977 then Daylight Again from the early 80’s.  What happened to the Dark Star?  Did it become bright and hence it was Daylight Again?

The Beatles

They wrote Happiness is a Warm Gun and All You Need is Love there is a contradiction in those titles in my opinion.

Bob Dylan

He wrote: I Want You and It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue  That certainly sends a mixed signal.

Chicago

They wrote: If You Leave Me Now and Wishing You Were Here  and also Call On Me Something tells me that relationship was bound to fail and they saw it coming but still longed for their old companion and then they were getting desperate asking for a phone call.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

They wrote Who’ll Stop The Rain? and Have you Ever Seen The Rain?  How can they go from wanting to stop the rain to asking if you have ever seen it?

The Eagles

Take It Easy seems the opposite of Take It To The Limit

The Police

So Lonely and Don’t Stand So Close To Me     Which one is it, do you want to be left alone or are you so lonely?

One thing I learned by writing this is I really have nothing new in my music collection.  Have a great week and take advantage of leap day.

Advertisements

Written by pacelinebiz

February 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

Business Lessons From Richard Cory

leave a comment »

NOT Richard Cory but the Author of the Poem

Before we learn the lessons from Richard Cory some of you may need a little background as to who Richard Cory was.  He, in fact was a fictional character written about in a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson and later a song by Simon and Garfunkel.  The song is based on the poem which they studied while in middle school.  I also read that poem in school and it has stayed with me over the years.

I  have included the poem below for you to read and a link below to the song performed by Simon and Garfunkel on YouTube

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town, 

We people on the pavement looked at him:

He was a gentleman from sole to crown,

Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,

And he was always human when he talked;

But still he fluttered pulses when he said,

“Good Morning!” and he glittered when he walked. 

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,

And admirably schooled in every grace:

In fine — we thought that he was everything

To make us wish that we were in his place. 

So on we worked and waited for the light,

And went without the meat and cursed the bread,

And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,

Went home and put a bullet in his head.

There are several lessons we can learn from Richard Cory.  The first is be happy with what you have and maintain a good balance between work and home life. This is true today.  When the times are difficult we are tempted to put more hours in at the office to land that next sale.  Remember; don’t let your business run you.

The second lesson we can learn is to be charitable to the best of your ability.  Mr. Cory was richer than even a king yet he passed by people on the street that had nothing and ate only bread.  Perhaps he could have employed these people in one of his business ventures from where his fortune came.  Perhaps at least he could have given a helping hand in some way so they could have a little better life through his charity.  Is this why Richard Cory was unhappy, unhappy enough to put a bullet in his head?  In my years as a CPA I prepared many tax returns for many “Richard Cory’s” and have seen a shocking amount of charitable giving on their tax returns – shockingly little.  I have seen tax returns where absolutely nothing was given to charity for people making hundreds of thousands of dollars and worth millions of dollars. 

Yes, we can assume Richard Cory was a very successful business man but the lesson he has for us is to not follow his example.  I encourage everyone reading this to keep working hard but temper your success or failure with a good work and home life balance and to measure your success by making the world a better place, not in the size of your bank account. Doing good deeds for society through the success of your business is an important metric to measure as a business owner.  How do you measure up?

Have a great week NOT following the example of Richard Cory.

More Definitions Not Found In Webster’s Dictionary.

leave a comment »

Webster's Dictionary

Last May I wrote a blog about this topic and it has been very popular – getting “hits” quite often.  In the spirit of all movie sequels out there, this week I figured why not try a sequel myself.  I run out of ideas too, just like Hollywood did in about 1982.

Streaming – usually used in the following context:  “The use of mobile devices to watch streaming content increased 55% in 2011”. This means to download and watch movies, television programs or live events on a cell phone, tablet or similar type device instead of watching it on a 55 inch flat panel hi-definition television with Dolby surround sound.  Sometimes this “streaming” occurs within a few feet of the aforementioned television.

Content – See above for use in a sentence.   Until recently, this was generically called entertainment.  For some reason it is now called content.

Mobile device – See above for use in a sentence.   This is what used to be called a cell phone, but can also be anything that has cellular phone or internet connectivity.  These new items have been grouped together but I don’t understand why my old car with a bag phone wasn’t called a mobile device.  Actually, a Winnebago is a mobile device as far as I am concerned.

Tablet – See above for use in a sentence.   This is also a new invention but my definition would be: a computer that does nothing productive.  I believe, when invented, it was designed for how most people use computers and stripped away things that were not used.  After these tablets were in circulation, people realized they could be useful in doing tasks at work so “apps” were created so they could use them for spreadsheets and for letters and other written correspondence.  This phenomenon reminds me of the days when personal computers were first “networked” and it was hailed as a brilliant idea.  IBM kind of thought it was just like the mainframe-“green screen” terminal concept they invented decades earlier.

I hope you enjoyed me poking fun at the world of technology.  I enjoy technology but also find some of the jargon and fads very funny surrounding the latest gadgets.

Have a great week and don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Maybe you can buy your sweetie a mobile device so she can stream content on her new tablet.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

Costs… And Benefits Of New Technology

leave a comment »

Hi, I'm a QR code

Technology has created additional needs for businesses and many people, including myself, focus on areas of these new costs that did not exist in the mainstream that long ago.  A few items that come to mind are:

  • High speed internet for website, email, Facebook page, remote connectivity to the company network and E-Commerce
  • Social media ad campaigns using QR Codes in mobile text messaging, Facebook and Twitter to name a few
  • Data plans for smart phones
  • Smart phones
  • Point of sale technology – “Pay at the pump” etc

The cost of the items listed above are substantial but to be fair let’s look at things that have been reduced or eliminated as a result of the technology.  Employee productivity has gone up simply due to the ability to work when out of the office using remote connectivity to the company network and smart phones for email on the go.  Many forward-looking companies have reduced office space needed by implementing a telecommuting policy.  By doing so, other overhead costs are reduced such as electricity and office supplies since more work is being done at the employee’s home.  The employee on the other hand does not mind because they win by working from home and many times work more just because they can and bottlenecks caused from being out of the office are reduced. See the blog I wrote about telecommuting by clicking here.

The cost of point of sale equipment can be significant but also can reduce the need for labor in the form of cashiers handling customers.  It also increases the speed of the transaction so that more transactions can occur in the same amount of time. Doing more with less without sacrificing service is always a plus.  Think about the swiftness of transaction via debit and credit card versus handling cash and counting out change.  Another benefit is reduced cash drawer shortages since the amount of cash handled has been greatly reduced.  The cost of debit and credit card transactions are not inexpensive, but you must take into the account the positives when counting the cost of the transactions fees that the card companies charge   See my recent blog about credit card company fees by clicking here.

Social media ad campaigns have reduced the need for traditional advertising and marketing media such as the yellow pages and direct mail.  Many studies have also suggested that these new forms of advertising are many times more successful compared to the traditional forms.  Companies with large advertising budgets need to consider reducing their spending in traditional area and taking the savings and devote it to the new social media of Twitter, text/mobile for discounts and coupons using QR codes and Facebook to engage with their customers.

The message we need to understand is that we should be objective and look at the additional costs AND cost savings in the new age of business before making final decisions. I encourage everyone to embrace the technology available today.  If you don’t you may be left behind by your competition and may lose customers who are no longer being reached in traditional ways.

To be fair and balanced, next week I will poke fun at technology.  Have a great week.

Written by pacelinebiz

February 6, 2012 at 10:11 am