Success is Knowing You Made a Mistake. Knowing is Everything

This is possibly one of the shortest posts I will ever make, enjoy:

A mistake or an error
An unexpected outcome, but none the less, an outcome. Knowing its a mistake or an error is critical!

Knowing is everything, knowing that the outcome is a mistake, means you can try something different, not knowing means you carry on making the same mistake.

Bruce Feiler: The council of Dads – Behold the World in Pause

Today my oldest daughter is 3, in watching this talk and you’ll understand why I was a babbling wreck. A truly epic journey.

I’m looking forward to “beholding the world in pause” today.


The Emotion. The Black Screen. The Pain. The Love. The iPad.

The iPad, this single device gave me the most moving experience of the entire year on the train the evening I received it. It superseded the birth of my youngest that year.

A post Christmas, completely unexpected Christmas gift, left me almost speechless and those who know me, know that’s almost unheard of. Flicking through the pictures of the children, growing up, the oldest is not even three and I’ve compiled an image library of over 1000 already. It was truly quite something, the journey of several hours passed in minutes.

It was only natural that I would use the device for more than just a photo album and probably end up breaking it in the process, which I proceeded to achieve on both counts, as you’ll now see.


Fighting the iPad at the start

I am a Windows fan, sorry MAC lovers, I like Windows, it works and works well. Steve Jobs has done a brilliant marketing job at crafting a ‘tribe culture’ where its a MAC user against a PC user, I wholly applaud him for this.

I’ve used many variants of Linux before and are very much at home both in server SSH only and Desktop versions. But sorry, Linux nor a MAC cannot replace the windows experience and the breath of applications I need to use to complete a typical day.

With that said, I am not a MAC hater by any means, I’ve used them before, I might have Leopard as a VM and it was a close call between Ubuntu on a PC and a MAC for the parents; Sorry Jobs, Ubuntu won as the beige-box was free.

It took me a while to get used to this tablet lump, I’d like to think I am a fast learner, I can pick up code very quickly and have had no issues with other OS’s before. The touch screen interface is quite intuitive, but it turned out, I needed to know more than to poke the fat sausages aimlessly at the screen.

No manual, I am an Idiot

Coming with no manual (sorry I do not call a two page ‘sleeve’ in 2pt font a manual), a quick thumble-around found the power button and we were in, the setup was relatively easy, as I already had iTunes set up on the laptop. But once setup, you’re kinda left completely on your own, with no manual and I’d argue less than an idiot proof OS.

Its the the little things, like a common theme to moving around the device, as intend to cover in an a later article, although we regularly hear of application developers moaning that the API is too restrictive, what Apple should have done is give developers a user interface (UI) set of guidelines and told them to stick to it, because as I started to delve deeper, some of the apps are shockingly bad when trying to use them.

Google Earth, was not one of these I hasten to add. Here is my beautiful home town.


Black Screen of Death

Yep, you got it, I managed to bork-it under 24 hours. Completely dead, no go, b-s-o-d of a new kind.

Trying what I thought was every key pressing combination (I used to work for Xerox, they have the oddest of key combinations to unlock photocopier administration functions) I could think of, but no, 24 hours in and a visit to the Apple store in Cabot Circus, Bristol was needed.

Fair do’s the chap was slick, it had crashed and showed me how to restore it after a crash (top, then the big button on the front for ~3 or so seconds). The diagnostics said that the device had been running low on memory (where was the warning???) and had crashed unexpectedly (I doubt it was a planned event) because of an ‘unknown application error’, helpful.

I queried about a manual and what about a simple video at the start to cover some basics, like how to close open applications, get back to the wifi menu on its first run after the setup? He smiled and gave a vague answer, is it not easy to use? Obviously not for an idiot, I mean new user.

Where the BEEP is Flash?

I do not buy the flash is unstable or whatever line you want to push. Flash works, the first application I shelled money out, for 59 pence for ‘Atomic Web‘, a web browser that actually had tabs (I am am avid Chrome user, I needs tabs more than I need coffee) and plays Flash just fine. There is a ‘Lite’ version to this app as well for free, its because of this ‘Lite’ version, I bought the paid for version.

The provided Youtube appllication is poor, yea it plays videos, but where is my like and hate buttons or the comments box, I like leaving comments, this sealed the deal on another browser, that actually worked like every-other web browser does, unlike Safari, the inbuilt browser.

The same goes for other media files, like wma, avi and associated codecs. With no inbuilt support, I had to rely on my trusty windows application list, VLC. The VLC player will play literally anything and there was a cheer from the Ogborne camp when I found it in the Apps directory, quickly installed and saved me from this cage I found myself in.

No iPlayer

Most shockingly of the entire experience, no iPlayer support. For those with Children, you’ll have mothers that are sick of ‘Octonauts’ or ‘Shaun the Sheep’, so 30 mins for proper TV for the parents and the ‘Atomic Web’ browser on the iPad-toy worked a treat, thankfully the BBC have made a mobile version of the site, so navigation by screen bashing, is a lot easier.


Skipping forwards, Today. I <3 You

The first 48hrs of owning the iPad was one heck of a roller coaster ride, from the emotional battle of trying to not cry at the pictures of the kids, to the black screen of death in just 24 hours and thinking “I cannot tell them I broke it in under a day”, to finally in grinding this portable window of the Internet, to almost all aspects of my life, even while cleaning my teeth I was reading a book on the iPad version of Amazons Kindle (Consumerology, its really good).

I found myself taking the iPad instead of the laptop to the coffee shop to work from this morning. Yes, my tasks were not heavily typing related, but even still, holding down several Skype chats, numerous emails and to complete the appraisal of a collection of eBay IDs was easily within its task and probably easier, as I used traditional pen and paper to draw, doodle and compile the notes, for typing up later when back at my main machine.

Have I used it for buying stuff, sorry e-Commerce yet?

You betcha, several items on eBay, I now have four cases for it (yes, four, figure that out), Amazon, several Amazon Kindle books, a few apps and the better half was on here looking at stuff, I did see credit card come appear, so I dread to think what she bought.

If I had to pay for the iPad

I didn’t stump-up the cash to pay for the device, I had written such a device off a long time ago as an ‘expensive toy’, but now I have one (I am most grateful, thank you) with some real-life use, I’m not so sure I would have dismissed it so lightly.

The real acid test is that if I was without the iPad for what-ever reason, would I cope?

The frank answer is yes, but I’d feel at a disadvantage and at on that note, I’d go get another one.

Own an iPad or thinking about one?

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you.

Also look out for an article in a few days, there are some truly brilliant shopping applications (eg eBay & Shop Style) and some truly awful ones (H&M and Zara).

My New Years Resolution. ‘Like’ The Mirrors Reflection (More)

Firstly, Happy New Year! I’m assuming that the hangover has worn off, apologies have been made to the Neptune statue you so rudely fondled and you’re almost ready for the fresh week ahead.

The first week, carries so much optimism, so much hope. Those resolutions are freshly welded in your mind, the walkers are out, the joggers are pushing their limits and the cycle track between Bristol & Bath will see countless pound its track for the next two weeks.

But that’s it, about two weeks. I was recently reading that the average new-years-resolution, lasted approximately 11 days. ELEVEN DAYS!!! That’s pretty bad and spurred me to consider a resolution that was so simple, but equally diverse, so that no matter what, it would be continued.

My conclusion, ‘Like’ My Reflection

There after bushing my teeth, it hit home, the bearded ape in the mirror needed to look no further that the reflection that was presented in the mirror.

If I ‘Like’ the reflection, then I shall be happy(ier).

It was brutally that simple. Now this got pretty deep quickly, but I needed to keep on track, I decided that each day, if I am not happy with the reflection that was shown to me in the mirror, I will change something, it doesn’t need to be massive, just something.

To start my new years day, I took a shave. For those who have know me, I have sported a goatee since about 17 and for the best part of the past 10 or so years & have had a beard covering the rest of my face, its now gone, well with a token V left behind.

This lead me to ponder further possibilities, because its so simple, anything will work:

  • Picking up something on the stairs to go up, which I would have normally passed over
  • Spending those extra few minutes with my little ones to help them learn or master something new
  • Donating just £1 to a random charity I have never heard of
  • While driving letting someone out, whom I’d glazed over before
  • Telling my partner, that I love her, randomly
  • Helping a random stranger in a forum I have never visited before
  • Instead of just chopping the barrels & barrels of wood for Grampy every Sunday, I’ll try and stack them too.
  • Putting up a bird table


I’m sure I will come up with others, the first few changes I make will be probably visual, but as I’m typing this, I am about to leave my office, I have already decided that today I will buy a copy of the ‘Big Issue’ magazine that helps homeless people. Rather than glazing over the chap, that’s been freezing his nuts off all day with a lame mumbled ‘no thanks’.

Maybe I’ll make a point of standing and chatting to him, maybe I’ll get him a coffee next time, maybe, maybe… I’ll like my reflection even more tomorrow, than I do today.

Happy New Year.

A Quick Post: A Child’s Perspective – Buy More

There was not much time left this morning and the bulkier posts that are being drafted are still quite long way away from public exposure, however one little thing I learnt from one of my daughters today was, that Children are not yet fully corrupted by the boundaries the outside world and there is some very interesting thought processes to be picked up from them.

The example is this: As she was leaving the house with mum, the flowers we had out the front that were absolutely beautiful had passed over, her mother said they were ‘gone now’, she pondered it from a few moments and responded with ‘Buy More?’.

Brilliant and why should we not buy some more? They really did look beautiful, so what if they last a week with a frost?

Two Blatantly Excellent Marketing Ploys, One Really Cheap, One at £10,000

Morning, firstly a very Happy Friday. I am not entirely sure, but I have in the past few years been in love with Fridays, there is something special about them, I don;t even work in a traditional office environment, so its not the office atmosphere that kicks in, its.. something about Fridays.

McDonalds A Winner

Anyway, in a break away from the cell more commonly known as the office, I darted off to grab a pot of black gold (that’s coffee for those non coffee lovers), while sipping away and I noticed a stack of papers on the bin. Eh? Morning papers? I was reading How to Grow Your Business: For Entrepreneurs book at the time, but two people in front of me were happily reading way.

I ignored it for a bit and carried on reading, on the way out and emptying the tray (yes I was a Mc Muffin eater today) I took a closer look at the papers, they were yesterdays 3 star Evening posts. Amazing, they’re recycling ‘yesterday, yesterdays’ news for todays consumption.

What a stroke brilliance, yesterdays papers, recycled to use today and they’ve done nothing and exploited a product that would been previous;y trashed or put back in for recycling.

Econsultancy A Winner

The second one, is far more expensive, but so blatant, I love it. See the Econsultancy facebook page and take a read of the text down the right hand side:

We believe this’ll work, so Econsultancy CEO and Co-Founder Ashley Friedlein has gambled donated a £10,000 prize fund to keep you interested. The top 20 ‘influencers’ (defined by the amount of revenue generated) will take a share of the winnings as follows:

‘Human’, humorous, marketing, the best yet and its not even lunch time.

Whatever you are doing, be aware of whats going on around you, you never know when you’ll spot a brilliant marketing idea, sometimes they can be free, inexpensive or cost £10,000.

Enjoy your Friday and let it be a Happy one.

Random Post: I Wanted Coffee, I’ve Been Marketed & Visually Abused

Totally random post is about to follow. You have been warned.

When was the last time you actually took a few moments to take in transactions going on around you? Lets take my very simple trip to Mc Donald’s for my Friday coffee shot this morning.

I jump in the car and immediately I am told I need fuel, besides the swear word about my partner not filling it up, I realise I have not even started my journey and I am being told that I need to make a purchase, this does not bow well for the rest of it.

$%&~| brilliant, I might as well get my wallet out and sprinkle the entire car with cash, yep you guessed it the car now says ‘Arrange Service’. I decided to futilely ignore all spending warnings on the lump of tin and proceed to get my much needed intake of caffeine.

After counting 4 bill boards, 2 scaffolding companies and I could not keep track of on-car advertising, I finally made it past the petrol station, to spy two sets of transactions in immediate progress, the first ‘the queue’ in the shop, the second someone sticking their card into the pump. Personally I sometimes relish in the faceless transactions of petrol pumps, they’re so well scripted, the entire Indian population could learn from them.

I’m ignoring the pub to my right, its not open yet (shame), Sainsbury’s and the car lot to my left. Finally the golden arches of the Big M and my eyes instantly hit the white Mc Donald’s lettering across the place. I am almost there, I can taste it.

Ace, one car in front, I pull up at the drive through window and see the woman in front ordered a 2.99 meal, I order my ‘Large Black Coffee’ and turn the bend. WTF She’s just paid with a card, for a £2.99 meal. Damn, parting with cash is too easy.

Handing over my £1.49 for the pot of black gold, I arrive at the next window to be greeted by a smile and a pot of gold, the chap recognises me and says ‘no holder, no milk, no stir’er, have a great day’. Jeas is it not bad enough that I have just been rough-lessly slammed through the Mc Daddy’s of ALL TIME franchising, but the chap to recognise me and go that one stage further? I make my getaway fast.

Bugger, I distinctly remember someone saying ‘milk’ as I walked down the steps, so stop in the ‘back shop’. I don’t know who does the marketing for these places, but typically its not done well, I can’t see in the shop for all the posters and clutter, if this was someone website, I’d shoot them.

Immediately as I enter I am forced to eye-swing the tinned items, now it hits me. WTF Why don;t they put their high value items right here, at eye level. Matt stop it, I’m getting my milk and running. I eagerly smile and hand over the 60p of convenience for 1 pint of milk and run.

Four ‘For Sale Signs’, more car advertising and I’m home, I feel safe, at least until my ad-block fails in Chrome. Epic, all I wanted was coffee.