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DeLorean Speedo

Sep 26 2017

DeLorean Speedo Watch Face - v01 | DaveTavres.comThe “DeLorean Speedo” watch face was inspired by the speedometer of the DeLorean dashboard.

The numbers on the face are the same font as used on the DeLorean speedometer, and the hour & minute markers are the same shape and color of the mileage marks on the speedo.

Download “DeLorean Speedo – v01” here.

DeLorean Speedometer | DaveTavres.com

DeLorean Speedo Watch Face - v01 | DaveTavres.com

 
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Posted in Watch Faces

 

MoviePass – Better Than a Gym Membership

Sep 16 2017

MoviePass – Better Than a Gym Membership | DaveTavres.comI love business. Especially small business. And I love to see ideas grow from a couple of people at a kitchen table, to something that goes viral. And I especially love seeing one type of business plan applied to something that looks completely different (but actually isn’t.) That’s MoviePass.

MoviePass is a month-to-month membership site that (now,) lets you watch an ‘unlimited’ number of movies in the movie theater for the low monthly price of… $9.95. Yes – less than the price of a single ticket. With e-ticketing, or a physical card, you can go to a surprising number of theater chains to see any standard movie (standard means no 3D, no IMAX, no D-BOX, etc.) So, what’s the catch? Read on… But for the moment, look at MoviePass as being basically the same idea as Netflix or a monthly membership to Planet Fitness.

Discount theater tickets | DaveTavres.com

HOW is it the same as a gym membership or a streaming video service? I’m sure there’s a technical, economics term for it, but in regular words – people are more likely to pay for it and not use it, than those who pay for it and over-use it. At $10 per month, most people don’t think twice about that “small” amount of money being automatically charged to their credit card. Especially since the average cable bill in the US pays over $100 per month. Add on to that, Netflix at $10/mnth, Hulu at $8/mnth, and anywhere from $20 to $150 per month on a ‘subscription boxes‘, plus the daily Starbucks charges. Most people just don’t think about such a “small” amount of money for something they thought was a good idea one day – but often forget about the next. And just like that gym membership people sign up for but don’t use, they keep charging your card each month until you cancel it. Brilliant! Charging you for a service that you rarely use. That’s money in the bank – for the business.

Sure, there are people like me who will get every penny’s worth of using MoviePass, but I’m unusual. And just like how Expedia and Kayak and Orbitz and Travelocity and Priceline work, I’m pretty sure that MoviePass is just buying “tickets” in bulk, at a good discount from these chains around the Country, then letting you grab the seats (or tickets) if there’s any left for that movie. It seems to have worked for the travel companies. And there’s lots of hotel rooms and airline seats that get purchased but never sold, because the those online sites have done the detailed math to figure out how to charge just the right amount to make a good profit.

MoviePass... like Orbitz and Planet Fitness | DaveTavres.comAnd, along with copying a couple of good business plans, MoviePass is also ‘assured’ cooperation from the theater chains, because the movie theaters are losing a lot of money to home entertainment systems (and lots of awful movies getting made!) As long as the box office sales are down, theaters will happily sell those otherwise empty seats to MoviePass. I’m just wondering how long before Priceline and Orbitz ‘copy & paste’ their algorithms for plane tickets, to the movie theater tickets and cash in there too – or, until people start dropping MoviePass because they only have “3 tickets” for ‘that’ movie at ‘that’ time. When subscribers figure out that they aren’t getting their moneys worth because there’s no inventory, even though they’re paying the monthly fee, they’ll be searching for “how to cancel my account.”

Well, until that happens, I’ll give them $10/mnth and take advantage of a good, ‘new’ idea. Let’s just hope it’s not as difficult and frustrating to cancel MoviePass, as it is to cancel your cable subscription.


UPDATE – November 1, 2017

Okay, it took 30 days to get my card. But, considering that they got SLAMMED, that’s cool.

And I’ve now used it 4 times… and each time it was flawless. When I parked – but before I get out of the car – I “check in” on the mobile app. It says I have 30 minutes to make the purchase. I get to the window and tell them which movie and I swipe my “MoviePass MasterCard”; the charge goes through, and I get my ticket. (I even get the ‘loyalty points’ when they scan my loyalty app!)

I’m going to take an updated guess to what I wrote above though. Now, I’m thinking they are NOT buying seats in every theater – I think it’s just a numbers game. I think MoviePass has figured out how to ‘put money in my account’ – that is, my ‘MoviePass MasterCard” – to cover the cost of a standard movie at the theater I’m going to. And since I have to ‘check in’ to that theater/movie, they know how much the ‘standard’ ticket costs.

I think the ‘numbers game’ they are playing is just like I said above… like a gym membership. While *I* may use it 2-4 times a month, I think they’re betting that a large percentage of people will sign up and only use it once a month… or less… which leaves the money ‘in the bank’.

So, I’m pretty sure that I could ‘check in’ to ANY movie in the app and pay for it with the card, since the theater doesn’t send movie details in the credit card transaction.

I’d still say this is a worthwhile membership (while it lasts.) If you use it just ONE TIME per month, you’ve already saved money (at least for movies in LA, since standard tickets are $12-$16 each.)

Sign up here – www.bit.ly/JoinMoviePass

 
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Please Just Say "I Don’t Know"

Aug 28 2017

I suppose it’s human nature to want to look smarter than you really are. But when it comes to customer service, there’s nothing worse than having someone try to help you when they know less than you do. People often fall back to circular talking, trying to say the same thing in different ways, mainly because they don’t know the answer to the question – but they don’t want to concede that fact.

Please Just Say "I Don't Know" | DaveTavres.comSomething I learned very well as a Guest Relations Host at Disneyland was that it’s okay to say “I don’t know… but let me find out for you.” That phrase is powerful and helpful for everyone. The customer won’t get a sense that they are getting the run-around, and the person trying to help doesn’t feel trapped into circular talk. Saying “I don’t know” may not feel good – but it will drive (a good person) to educate themselves on whatever the topic is, so that next time they don’t have to say “I don’t know,” but they can then speak with authority on the issue.

I recently had an hour-long phone call with a business “consultant” who refused to employ the any form of “I don’t know.” The first 10 minutes were the normal niceties and small talk, then we got into my questions. Questions that I have spent a lot of time researching and thinking about – but I wanted a “professional’s” opinion. What I got instead, was someone who knew all the catch-phrases, keywords, and hot topics that they effectively recycled multiple times in the conversation, without actually saying anything. It was very frustrating.

If she had said some form of “I don’t know”, we could have gotten out of the circular talking, and focused on the things she DID know. Instead, I wasted 30 minutes trying to change the topic and questions, but she was stuck. She kept trying to give answers to the previous questions, but she didn’t know what she was talking about. And even when I did try to focus on her experience, she would loop it back to answer the questions I was no longer asking.

I’m sure it’s a subconscious thing that we all do to reassure the person we’re trying to help, as well as ourselves, that we can figure out whatever it is that needs figuring out – but we can’t. If we don’t already have the answer to straight-forward questions (i.e. questions that have a clear answer), no amount of talking through it will give fully satisfactory solution.

Ultimately, if you can’t help the person at all, go find someone who can. Or go find the answers. Everyone will be better off, and you might actually create some trust in the process.

 
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Posted in Business, Customer Service

 

LinkedIn Invites…

Aug 25 2017

We all know that Facebook is the ‘social’ networking site, and LinkedIn is the ‘business’ networking site. Facebook is pretty easy – when you get an invite from someone you don’t know, you ignore the invite. They’re probably scammers/spammers trying to get access to your friends list.

But for business networking, it’s more difficult. I’ve met a lot of people over the years in business, and I don’t always remember them. Or, they’ve been referred to me by someone I do know. However, there are also a lot of time wasters on LinkedIn. People who send invites just to bump up their ‘reach’ for sending junk. And that’s where the LinkedIn invite system is broken.

LinkedIn Invites... | DaveTavres.com

Right now, if you invite someone to connect on LinkedIn, the default message is "Hi Dave, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network." I RARELY accept those invites when I don’t personally know the person. Instead, those people should be WRITING SOMETHING in that box that tells me WHY they want to connect. They may have a very good reason for wanting to reach me. But if they don’t take the… 7 seconds… to write something in the text box before hitting ‘send’, I will assume they are time wasters.

If LinkedIn would just clear that text box and require that the sender write something in there, it would make for MUCH better business connections, because people would have to say something. Sure, it might slow down the number of "connections" that people have, but that’s a good thing. Why? Because business networking is POINTLESS if you don’t actually know the people in your network!

Multiple times I’ve tried to get introductions to people via LinkedIn for legitimate business reasons, by reaching out to someone I know (and am connected to on LI) – just to be told by my connection "Oh, I don’t actually know that person. They just sent me an invite and I accepted it." That’s where LinkedIn breaks down as a business tool.

If I’m looking for a local auto mechanic and I ask my neighbor who worked on his car, he can give me the name and location of the shop and tell me if they did a good job. But if that same neighbor just says "Oh, here’s a random shop that I’ve seen on the drive home.", that’s a useless, unqualified recommendation. Just like when people accept any invite that comes their way on LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn profile is pretty clean. I’d bet that 98% of all my connections are people I personally know or have done business with. And even with that, I don’t usually connect with social friends on LinkedIn – only people I’ve worked with, done business with, or who I know what they do. So if you need an introduction from MY LI network, there’s a pretty good chance I can connect you in a meaningful way.

I might even go so far as to suggest that people start pruning their LinkedIn network. Clean out the random connections and stick to business. If you can’t explain what someone does or how you know them, they probably are not a real business connection.

 
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Review: Capital One | Spark Business Banking

Aug 08 2017

Bad Customer Service: Capital One's Spark Business Banking | DaveTavres.com

I recently started a small side-business, filed the incorporation paperwork and looked at business banking options. One of the options that came up was Capital One’s Spark Business Banking.

I filled out all the questions, uploaded the documents they asked for… and never heard back from them again. No email. No phone call. And when I sign into the website, just a message that they have reviewed the documents and will be in touch. But apparently that does not include calling potential customers, or putting a notice on the website after you sign in.

It’s been over a month now, and I need to deposit a check, so I called the number on the website (844-88-SPARK) and talked to someone who was very bubbly, but did not actually listen to what I explained. I told her twice that it had been over a month since I uploaded the required documents, but had not heard from them – to which she responded "How long has it been since you submitted the documents?"

Ultimately, she explained that since they had not heard from me in over a month, that they "closed the account" (an account that wasn’t even opened,) and that I would have to re-apply.

Bad customer service, as usual. If Capital One’s Spark Business Banking can’t be trusted to call me when there’s an issue OPENING an account, how can they be trusted with my money?

Review: Capital One's Spark Business Banking | DaveTavres.comReview: Capital One's Spark Business Banking | DaveTavres.com

 
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Posted in Business, Customer Service, Reviews