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Check out this pretty interesting analysis on the possible satirical undertones of Psy’s Gangnam Style by Max Fisher of The Atlantic. If you haven’t seen the video, Psy, real name Park Jae-Sang, goes through a scenery of imagination and riches. Some would find it hilarious, but to others, it is a funny satirical analysis of the excessive consumerism of Korean aspirations. Hopefully people see more than just a funny video, but something more of a serious view of life outside of America. Really changed my understanding of this video.

So Microsoft dropped a bombshell on the tech industry on Monday. A secretive, but well speculated and informed bombshell. The Surface is probably the most important product launch for Microsoft since the original Xbox.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has tried Tablet PCs. Their first effort were hardware driven products with patched on hand writing recognition features. Clunky devices that were more laptop than true tablets of today. Microsoft would have been more successful if the product was more integrated.

Make no bones about it, Microsoft is still all about the software. But for a company known for 3 decades as a software company, suddenly making hardware products is a big leap. Microsoft used to just license software and wait for hardware manufactures to create and innovate around their product. With this strategy, there was not an harmonious connection between hardware and software. Windows based PCs feel like clobbered messes. Junk software wth mix and match hardware. Microsoft is taking a stronger control with their overall product presentation. Their own software and hardware in a strong synergetic fit.

Microsoft has also been known to have one of the most confusing product segmentations in the tech industry. Windows 7 comes in 6 flavors with also 3 additional sub editions. Microsoft thankfully avoided that with the surface and Windows 8. 4 editions of Windows 8 and there are only two flavors of their tablet, Surface and Surface Pro. No more confusion and regrettable decisions at the computer store. You’re either a basic user who only wants the essentials or someone who knows their way around the computer and wants full power. This is a sign of the evolution at Microsoft.

No longer a broken company with a disjointed company culture, Microsoft now has a strong design and software language.  The future is strong for Microsoft and the technology industry as a whole. Competition is strong and innovations are coming. Android and iOS are at the top, but Windows Phone 8 is a strong product. Microsoft has answered the Mobile challenge and they are coming in strong.

A bike is great fun. A fixed gear bike is even greater fun. On a fixed gear you can’t coast. At all. You can pedal slowly, but you can’t stop pedaling. That’s a great thing about a fixed gear bike. The rush of air hitting you in the face as you pedal faster and faster, testing your body and mental capacity to just keep on pedaling and pedaling.

The thing about a fixed gear bike is that you have to use toe clips in order to secure your feet to your pedals. I hate toe clips. They are not meant for big footed people, at least the ones that came with my bike. I decided to take them out and needless to say it wasn’t fun. Pedaling was a bitch. I exerted too much force pushing down and keeping my feet on the pedal.

So I decided to purchase this product called Feetbelts. For $20, plus $6 shipping, I received a set of belts made from recycled seat belts. They get a bunch of belts from damaged cars at the junkyard, they do their magic, and you get a great product! Ha, I love this thing. It’s made my rides very fun and much more comfortable.

Pick up this product if you are looking for a great alternative to traditional toe clips.

As many of you know, Jack, the star of Jack in the Box commercials, was in an “accident” this new year. As he was leaving his office, Jack was hit by a incoming transit vehicle. A bus by any other name. What transpired afterwards was a viral marketing campaign that ran for a few months. With it came a website. HangintherJack.com.


The whole idea for the marketing plan was to report the “life of Jack Box” as he was recovering from a horrific accident. Videos of the accident, first hand accounts, get well wishes from fans, and interviews with key employees accompanied the website. When he “awoke” from his coma,

What was the point? The marketing department or agency working for Jack in the Box Inc. utilized this approach to roll-out a new brand strategy for the company. Gone is the simple, but recognizable, red box with diagonal text. What resulted is a completely redesigned website, new logo, and a new more updated products & services for the chain of restaurants.

The logo is intuitive. Playful like the old one but with a much more updated and upbeat feel. Look at the tail of the “K” and you will recognize the classic smile of Jack Box.

jack-in-the-box-before-and-after

The website was a great way to utilize the power of social networking. Many companies are utilizing twitter and facebook, but I haven’t seen a company push a complete brand strategy through social networking. Supporters can link their youtube videos, send e-mail well wishes, follow Jack’s “status” on Twitter and Facebook, and download images to show support through aim or their own personal blog. This was a well executed marketing strategy utilizing the usefulness of social networks.

I would like to see more and more big corporate companies to follow Jack in the Box’s lead. Many are still hesitant to push their marketing strategy through social networks. Even though Jack in the Box utilized social networks in their campaign, the main avenue were still television commercials. Before this decade ends, we will see one more major marketing campaign with a major utilization of social networks. Maybe the company wont devote their entire time to social networking, but any company that won’t utilize the power of this tool may not have a better effect than what Jack in the Box inc has done