Monthly Archives: May 2007

The Great Cholesterol Con

I have been reading this book this weekend and I am in total agreement that the whole Cholesterol thing is a bit of a red herring. Being involved in the food industry the mass use of low fat foods that replace fat with carbohydrates cause the problem in my view.

It is an excellent read, very funny in places and makes quite a good easy read. Before you spend £000’s on cholesterol lowering foods, spreads and cheeses probably best to read it!

Viral – taken too far

We have been discussing Viral Marketing today, it is a well trodden road with lots of ad agencies, video cameras and car crashes along the way. There is certainly a lot to be said for increasing the brand reputation through using word of mouth and viral marketing can really help do this.

The big problem is that ad agencies all think that viral marketing is about taking a funny, clever ad and posting it to YouTube, Google Video etc. and waiting and that was probably the case when they began to emerge. The big problem now is the first thing people say is “let’s create a viral marketing campaign” which usually means “lets create a quick, cheap and ill conceived ad and stick it online”.

Someone in the office pointed to a well respected Edinburgh ad agency The Union and said let’s go to speak to them. So having browsed their portfolio I stumbled across their video – I have to say too much detail for my liking!! – Ezeedog

The Somme version II!




Trench War!

Originally uploaded by Kevin Dorren.

We used to have a lovely holiday cottage in the Highlands, it was nearing completion finishing touches and painting of an odd fence or two was in order. Our first weekend of peace and quiet and enjoyment after 18 months of planning, building control, builders, architects and drainage issues.
So when we arrived and found a new battlefront had been dug into the nearly finished landscaping for a water, drain and electricity cable to be installed our chins hit the floor. It would have been too much to ask for the JCB driver to remember where he dug the original water pipe in just 2 months ago, so lets all dig the garden up again to find a suitable site!!
Arggh….so after a few hours of digging the knocking on the door asked for the electricity cable – where was it they asked!! I wasn’t even in charge of this – but don’t worry its in Elgin it will be here over the next few weeks.!!
I won’t post any pictures of the new landscaping but just point out that DJ was very excited about the opportunity to re-enact the Somme at Nethybridge

Chores and more chores…

I thought that a holiday is when you relax and don’t spend all day doing chores. Not for me, so far in the last 24 hours I have put together a chimera, painted a fence, sealed the deck and fixed the 1 LED light that wasn’t working in the deck. I am now sitting out in the sun feeling very pleased with myself.

There are still some further things to do but I the end is nigh.

So Monday and Tuesday can be true relazation days. Apart from waiting in for the hot tub engineer to come and fix the jet control within the tub.

Forth Bridge Roadworks cancelled

Hoorah!!!

They have decided that due to weather this weekend’s roadworks should be cancelled.  Thank goodness I say as I couldn’t leave tonight to go up North due to a prior engagement. It is Grant and Claire Stott’s 40th Birthday Party tonight and we are luckily enough to be going along. So what more could you ask for – a night out and no hour long delays the following day on a 2.5 hour drive to Nethy Bridge.

We are all heading up for a long weekend until Monday so thats good we will have time to relax and get things organised. This weekends activities include:

  • Paint the Fence
  • Spray and seal the deck
  • Assemble Chimera
  • Fix deck lights (1 is broken)
  • Wait in for Hot tub engineer to arrive on Monday
  • …Oh and perhaps spend a little time relaxing

I will post a bit from Nethyb and keep you updated about going on.

Shopping for Shops

We have been struggling at Go Lower to deal with recurring billing and shipping in Zen Cart our current ecommerce solution. So we looked at solutions including coding an interface to Paypal’s recurring billing module and also create multiple shipping quantities.  Writing code isn’t in our business plan and since we are getting pretty close to launch we need a new solution. We did look at osCommerce, Zen-Cart etc in our evaluation and decided to go with Zen due to the simplicity of install and the large community support. But people have been asking for recurring billing support and multiple drop shipping for a while.

So we bought a new shop x-cart and will report back on the simplicity to create and use.

Things I hate about e-commerce

I have become totally addicted to HotUKDeals. No this isn’t a porn site but a community of bargain hunters that scour websites for bargains, misprices and discounts to help you save money. I seem to be looking at this every day, but having bought from a pile of e-commerce sites over the last 30-60 days there are things I really hate.

1. E-mail addresses that no one responds to!
2. No telephone numbers on the site
3. Telephone numbers split into sales and customer service

Give you an example, our freezer packed in last week, so I surfed to HotUKDeals to find the best deal on freezers. I found a voucher for a £15.00 discount and went to the Curry’s site. I ordered and then found about 30 minutes later that my own freezer jumped into life again. So I emailed Curry’s to cancel the order. Guess what happened next, a freezer was delivered on Tuesday.

So I refused the delivery and then called the customer support line and held for 45 minutes. So I hung up and called the sales line, they answered in 30 seconds and told me the number on the weborder was wrong. So redialed the NEW customer support line and guess what 50 minutes on the phone.

I hate this!

Added About page

I have spent the last 20 minutes doing a whirlwind summary of me. I quite enjoyed the time as I thought about the types and sizes of businesses that I have been involved in over the years.  I have typically been involved in small team startups but not usually as the founder but as one of the first employees or investors. I thought I would try and write about some of the things I have learned in this time over the next few weeks.

In the meantime I am away to sulk about not making it to Page 1 today. Over excited as I was yesterday has turned into long{er} term optimism instead of euphoria…!

Page 2 woo hoo…

nethybsearch.png

Well Well, were on page 2 of Google today. I don’t know what’s happening but we will be on page 1 by Tuesday at this rate. My big issue now is the search term. We are moving up on NethyBridge but we are still on page 7 of Google for Nethy Bridge. I don’t know which people would search for but Google search tries to correct Nethy space Bridge to Nethybridge. I just don’t know which is better.

So will drop a note in hear on Tuesday once I have checked the search terms…the excitement..I can’t bear it.