Yesterday we received the following great testimonial from Bill Anthopoulos who manages several properties in Ontario and Quebec (Canada):
“I speciallize in University Housing through Ontario and Quebec. I love the Product. You really did a great job and carved out a niche. I’ve recommended you to two other well established Property owners. I’ll keep talking about you.”
And upon asking him if we could use his comment above for our testimonials, he added the following:
“I’m starting up a Property services firm and this software will definitely be a major selling point in acquiring clients and instilling customer confidence. I am truly impressed with the speed of your responce time on a Saturday at 10:00PM. As I hope to grow, I will definetly work with any future products you may put forth. “
Thank you very much Bill for the great comments! They’re very appreciated.
Ben from StartupSpark.com just posted up today an interview he did about me and my company LandlordMax. It’s a great interview, and I’d especially like to thank Ben for taking the time to interview me. As well he had some very complimentary comments about the interview:
“Stephane understands what it takes to be an entrepreneur. When I ask him about competition, he hits the nail on the head. When I ask him about what it takes to start a business he demonstrates incredible passion. You’ll have to read the interview to see what he says.”
Thank you Ben for those amazing comments!
Just an extra little note, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Ben’s blog StartupSpark.com, he’s been doing interviews with other small software vendors and getting their take on what it takes to make it. There’s some really good interviews there, I personally got some great nuggets of information from all of them. One interview that I particularly liked was with Ian about his company HelpSpot. So go check it out, there’s lots of good information.
This week when I was in the Tim Hortons drive through line, a very very famous Canadian coffee/donut chain, and I noticed something very peculiar. When I got to the order kiosk in my car, a very friendly voice greeted me and talked about their latest breakfast ordering. Nothing out of the ordinary, the tone of the voice might have been a little more pleasant than usual, but nothing too unusual. Anyone whose ever worked as a cashier knows that after saying “Hi. How may I help you” many times over, that you get a little less enthusiastic with time. Anyways, like I said nothing too too special, so I went ahead and proceeded with my order. However once I had finished another voice came on to give me my total and tell me to drive forward.
That was odd. At first I thought maybe I was in the middle of an employee shift change, or that maybe I had missed something entirely. However because my car window was still opened when I drove up, I could hear the next car as they drove up to the booth and the same very friendly voice started with the exact promotional description of their new breakfast menu item. The person ordered, and again the second voice came back to give the amount and tell the person to drive forward. Then as I moved up further, although I could barely hear, I did notice the same pattern again.
What’s interesting about this is that it’s the first time I’ve personally seen a company use an automated greeting at a drive through (I’ve heard of order being taken in another country, but not an automated greeting). But what’s VERY interesting is that it seems to be very effective! Why not do this? Firstly you’re guaranteed that every single drive through customer will get a very pleasant greeting. Second, you know that whatever you’re trying to promote will be promoted. Thirdly, you will get exactly the corrent content and tone you’re looking for, it will be a professional voice. And lastly, other than a few people, no one will really notice it!
Now the question becomes just how effective is this technique? I don’t know, only Tim Hortons knows this. But from anecdotal evidence, I can say that the last time I was at Timmie’s (as it’s affectionately nicknamed in Canada), I saw many people ordering this new breakfast menu item. Possibly it’s due to TV commercials, possibly to other marketing avenues, but this definitely can’t be hurting its sales conversions.
Even if it isn’t that effective, the cost of using this technique can’t be very expensive! And as a worse case scenario, you get a consistent and standard greeting that’s guaranteed for all locations. It’s great to see companies trying and testing new marketing techniques in the wild. I suspect this one will become more and more common with time, at least until it’s overused.
Up until this week, we’ve normally had our CD’s created on an as needed basis. That is to say, either we created them ourselves through the special machine we purchased, or we sometimes had a local printing shop create them. Each CD is customized to the customer, which includes your personal license code, etc. saved on the CD itself.
On average only about 10% of our customers choose to have a physical CD shipped to them. Interestingly enough, for the first year or so we were open, we didn’t even offer the option of a shipped CD with your purchase. But enough people requested it that we had a CD professionally designed which we now optionally ship. Over the last year or so as our sales have increased, where we’re now at the point where it no longer makes sense to have them manufactured in-house or even by our local printing shop.
Therefore, we’ve just ordered our first test run of 100 manufactured CD’s as a test from a larger printer/manufacturer to see how they would turn out. Although I know that ordering in larger quantities does drop the price, I’d rather pay a bit more now per CD to see how they turned out. This way in case were not fully satisfied with the end result, or even just with the manufacturer, we’re not stuck with 1000’s of bad CDs. So far I have to say I’m very impressed with the manufacturer, the CD’s look great as you can see in the image above.
I’m really happy that this initial test run succeeded so well. And it’s great to see the company growing to a stage where we now need to do CD production runs rather than one-offs! I can’t wait until we do our first full run, this time for at least a full 1000 CDs at a time!
Programming Language Usage Graph
Interesting graph showing open source project adoption of the different programming languages (as hosted on Sourceforge.net)
Design by code
Excellent article on how coding should be done. Great analogy!
Why IQ is Important
Although I don’t think this IQ is the cause, the following chart does provide some interesting correlations
Programmers Don’t Like to Code
Yes and no. But what I really liked about his argument, where he hits dead on, is that programmers like problem solving.
Blinded by the user interface
Never forget the importance of the User Interface.
Ship or Shut Up
If I had a dime for every time I saw this happen… (humor)
Website Demographics in Photos
I don’t know that I necessarily agree, but it’s very interesting nonetheless. (humor)
If It’s Not in Google, Does Your Website Really Exist?
The reality is that this is more often the truth than not!