It’s Not a Real Vacation Unless You Turn Off Work Email

It’s Not a Real Vacation Unless You Turn Off Work Email

Given summer’s end, I’ve seen a number of articles about Americans’ general reluctance to use vacation days.  The _Wall Street Journal’s_ Sue Shellenbarger reports that 15% of U.S. employees didn’t use _ANY_ of their vacation time last year and that one company, FullContact, is now actually paying it’s employees $7,500 to take vacations.  Yes, you’re wishing you worked for them. Let me save you a Google search, click here.

The bigger issue, however, is the percentage of Americans who take vacations but never truly disconnect from work.  The Latin root of vacation is vacare, which means to “be unoccupied,” and that’s impossible if you’re reading and responding to email while ostensibly on vacation ... 

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Millennials Don’t Like Soft Drinks or McDonald’s

Millennials Don’t Like Soft Drinks or McDonald’s

In Why Coke Paid $2.15 Billion For Monster Beverage (Energy Drinks), I linked to a _Wall Street Journal_article indicating that consumption of soft drinks had fallen from 56 to 42 gallons per person per year since 1998, and that the U.S. energy drink market had grown by 50x during the same time.

Well, it turns out Millenials aren’t crazy about McDonald’s, either ...

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John Legere: T-Mobile’s In-Your-Face CEO

John Legere: T-Mobile’s In-Your-Face CEO

Direct competition is a concept in the strategy literature that is often overlooked, but plays out every day in competitive markets.  Direct competition is the rivalry between two companies offering similar products and services that acknowledge each other as rivals and take offensive and defensive positions as they act and react to each other’s strategic actions. In other words, direct competition occurs when companies know they’re battling for the same kinds of customers with relatively similar products or services across a number of different markets.

Mobile phone companies - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile - are a perfect example of direct competition. 

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Uber Update: NY State Announces that Uber "Agrees" to Cap Prices During "Abnormal Disruptions" of the Market

Update regarding "Uber: Why Dynamic Pricing is Usually Not Price Gouging, New York State announced that Uber has "agreed" to cap its dynamic pricing during "abnormal disruptions of the market" that will be limited to the normal range of prices it charged in the preceding sixty days. In addition, it will further limit the allowable range of prices by excluding from the cap the three highest prices charged on different days during that period."

In short, there will be more people stranded as a result of this agreement because there's now less incentive for Uber drivers to respond to hyper-surges in demand. This is straight forward economics. You can either let the market work and obtain market clearing prices that match supply to demand, or you can artificially lower prices through regulation and thus take more Uber drivers off the street when demand increases.

Uber: Why Dynamic Pricing is Usually Not Price Gouging

Uber: Why Dynamic Pricing is Usually Not Price Gouging

It’s commonly believed that raising prices when acute shortages occur is wrong. Indeed, a google search about “price gouging” returns stories about how a New Jersey Hotel raised room rates by 150% to $199.99 per night during Hurricane Sandya case of water selling for $40 in the midst of Hawaii’s severe water shortage, and a hotel room 23 miles from downtown Indianapolis, [which normally rents for $74 a night, going for $399 a night the week of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl.  

More recently, Uber’s critics loudly proclaim that the ride ...

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"Think of It As a Baby Monitor for Your Car"

It’s estimated that half of new Chevrolet Corvette owners will purchase “valet mode,” which records data, audio and video while your car is - hopefully - just being parked, and not out for a Formula ONE test drive. Harlan Charles, a Corvette product manager says, “Think of it as a baby monitor for your car. Anyone who has felt apprehension about handing over their keys will appreciate the peace of mind of knowing exactly what happened while their baby was out of sight.

Corvette owners can view the audio and video, as well as the data, on the 8-inch touchscreen. Want to bet they check the monitor before tipping?

Edmunds, a well known car web site also notes, “The memory card for valet mode is tucked into the electronically locking glovebox. In other words, it's virtually impossible to defeat the system.

Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rear Window:" See How Air Conditioning Changed Our World

Alfred Hitchcock’s "Rear Window:" See How Air Conditioning Changed Our World

We seldom appreciate the transformative impact of technology if, for us, “it’s always been there.”  And while we think of technology as smart phones, wifi, computers, etc., technology is anything that transforms inputs into outputs.  Sewers and sewage treatment plants, for example, are technologies that eradicated Cholera by eliminating street drains that overflowed with human waste.  Google the “big stink” or the “great stink” to see just how miserable London was in the 1850s before sewers.  Here’s a start.

Air conditioning (A/C) is another taken-for-granted technology because for many of you, “it’s always been there.”  Of course, it hasn’t.  And like sewers and sewage treatment, A/C has dramatically changed how we live our lives. 

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How to Edit a Blog Footer on SquareSpace

Yes, I AM a nerd.  SquareSpace is the web hosting/development platform via which ThatChuckWilliams.com comes to life.  Gives you tingles, I can tell.

Why SquareSpace and not the ubiquitous WordPress?  Well, as a nerd, I’m willing to dive down a rabbit hole to do something, but there are limits.  And, with soooo many options and packages and add-ons, the WordPress rabbit hole was too much for me.   

The advantage of SquareSpace is 26 templates, each of which can be customized endlessly, built in blogging, galleries, commerce, etc.  If you know a little bit about web design - I do - you can be up and running within a couple of hours (if you’re willing to stay with a standard template), and a couple of days if you’re willing to customize those templates using SS’s fantastic block designs.  

But, if you’re a bit of a geek, you soon find some things that you’d like to change, but can’t. Hence, CSS, cascading style sheets. I know HTML, but didn’t know CSS. So if you want to tweak your SquareSpace web site, you need to learn some CSS ...

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