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Archive for November 2011

Think Big, Start Small

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I ran into the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of my boss at London City Airport. He did not recognize me of course; there are quite a few Oracle consultants in Europe apart from myself. But once properly introduced, he offered to buy me a drink so we could have a chat while we waited for our flights.

He asked me what I wanted to drink.

I said that a beer would do just fine.

He asked me what kind.

I mumbled something about having no preference.

Obviously that last statement was a half-hearted lie. This being England, the bar had a respectable selection of beers and ales on offer; not all of which I would have enjoyed. Perhaps I did not want to seem picky, or did not want to waste time perusing the bar. Whatever the reason, he seemed unfazed and wandered off towards the bar to order while I attended our luggage and seats.

Q: What beverages would you have purchased if you were in his position?

Presumably, one does not become the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of the boss of me without a lot of effort, skill and hard work. One does not simply walk into a top-position at a multi-national cooperation without some special abilities and a lot of experience.

Technology and tools change fast, but people will be around for some time. I enjoy keeping up with and learning about new technology in my spare time, but people experience takes serious effort and dedicated investment. It is why I do the work I do the way I do it. A chance encounter like this is a great opportunity to leapfrog ahead.

Pay attention to the details, and you might learn a trick or two.

My high-placed patron returned from the bar with two completely different beers, stated he was fond of both and let me choose between a dark ale and a normal lager; thereby maximizing (doubling) the odds of me getting something I liked in the absence of more information. Furthermore, because I was allowed to choose, the endowment effect almost guaranteed I would be satisfied with what I got; even if it wasn’t really what I wanted. Simple, but effective!

A: Buy two diametrically opposed beverages you personally enjoy equally. Let the other choose.

Think big, start small. They say happiness is in the little things, but so is success.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

November 21, 2011 at 15:48

Posted in Oracle, Psychology

Back To Back

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Gruber asserts.

Being able to label the back button is a big reason why the iPhone’s on-screen buttons are better than Android’s hardware Back button. A dedicated hardware Back button can never answer the question “Where?”

Oh really

The Back button on my browser is not labeled in any way, nor are the (to Gruber perhaps confusingly labeled) emergency “exit” signs in most buildings. Some things are just so blindingly obvious they do not warrant a label at all.

I guess I never really considered the “Where?” question to be important. I always figured the Back button on my phone would do pretty much what it says on the tin: take you back. Back to where you came from; wherever that may have been.


When I click my Android hardware Back button after moving from one application to the next (for instance when opening a map, webpage or dialing a number from within an app) Android does exactly what I would expect; it goes back to the previous screen. As long as I keep tapping that button, Android will take me back; even if I have been moving acros a multitude of applications. Right up until I return to the Home screen.*

This makes total sense to me.

When the user presses the BACK key, the current activity is popped from the top of the stack (the activity is destroyed) and the previous activity resumes (the previous state of its UI is restored). Activities in the stack are never rearranged, only pushed and popped from the stack—pushed onto the stack when started by the current activity and popped off when the user leaves it using the BACK key.

For me, this consistent Back functionality across applications is a big reason why Android’s Back button is better than the iPhone’s on-screen buttons. Even if they do have fancier labels.

[* As a side note, I’ve always felt the Android applications integrate more often and more nicely producing a more natural flow between apps. Perhaps this point is not a salient to those used to the more clunky iOS flow where manual application switching is more common, at least for me. ]

Written by Lukas Vermeer

November 16, 2011 at 19:36

Posted in Android

Cornamified Intersite

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Written by Lukas Vermeer

November 16, 2011 at 08:13

Posted in Javascript, Meta

Marketers and Accountants

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Seth Godin on the topic of perception, memory and marketing concludes.

Your accountant might care about the facts. You, the marketer, need to care about the conversations and the memories.

I recognize the sentiment, but think that’s only partially true.

Individual consumer perception might be the result of conversations and memories, but marketing to consumers  as a group is also about numbers. Results should be measurable, lest a company risk investing a lot of money not just in stories, but in fairytales.

You, the marketer, need to care about the conversations, memories and the facts. You need to be an accountant as well as a storyteller.

Written by Lukas Vermeer

November 13, 2011 at 21:14

Posted in Marketing

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