Jul
21
2009
0

Stupid Disclaimers or Stupid People?

Please don't sue us!

Please don't sue us!

This last weekend I stayed overnight at a hotel in Chico.  In the planters next to the parking lot they had placed these disclaimers/warning labels that read, “OXFORD SUITE HOTEL NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WATER SPOTTING DUE TO SPRINKLERS.”[1]

This brought to mind any number of responses:

  • “Oxford Suite Hotel not responsible for water”
  • “Oxfor Suite Hotel not responsible for H2O on your H2”
  • “Oxford Suite Hotel:  You failed physics in high school, didn’t you?”
  • “Oxford Suite Hotel:  Newton and Einstein – what bastards!”
  • “Oxford Suite Hotel:  Life’s tough.  Buy a helmet.”
  • “Oxford Suite Hotel not responsible for the administration of midnight beating for people who complain about water spotting due to sprinklers.  You brought that on yourself.”

I’m sure some idiot called their management to complain about how the sprinklers had left spots on their car.  When you think about it, Oxford Suite Hotel should be responsible for the installation, functioning, and maintenance of their own sprinklers, just as people who own vehicles should be responsible for the care and maintenance of their own vehicles.

There’s no making some people happy.  If they are going to complain about thier vehicle getting wet, while it’s outside, they’re going to complain about the lighting, the room, the service, the sheets, the ice being too cold, the A.C. being too loud, and the TV being too dry.

Here’s a decent business model: sprinklers automatically spray a customer’s car as soon as they pull up.  If they moan about spotting, send them on their way.  If they thank you for washing their car, offer them a complimentary breakfast with their stay.

In any case, I blame the huge evil sign industry that has purchased our elected officials.

  1. Sign, parking lot, shrubbery, and wood chips are the sole responsibility of Oxford Suite Hotel – no matter what disclaimers they put up.  Photo by Jay Shergill, all rights reserved. []
Nov
06
2008
0

How to Start a Business: Plan B

A while ago a very entrepreneurial friend of mine suggested I read a book called, “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki.  This one book is responsible in no small part for the website you see today.[1]  Guy worked for Apple and later started an influential and innovative venture capital firm, Garage.  As if that wasn’t enough, he’s a frequent lecturer, best selling author, and avid blogger.

In one of his recent articles, he talks about “Plan B for Fund Raising.”  Here’s my take on Plans A and B:

Plan Bee*

Plan Bee

Plan A

Anyone who was alive during the late 90’s has heard of “Plan A.”  Build a prototype, put together a PowerPoint presentation, get some venture capital, and spend venture capitalist money.  You know how this story ends.  The company gets bought out and everyone is rich or the company never goes anywhere and its assets are sold for scrap.

Plan B[2]

Anyone who was alive during the 70’s knows all about “Plan B.”  These are the people who started businesses in their garage.  I suppose we really only hear about the success “Plan B” stories.  No one’s surprised when a home business doesn’t go big so no one talks about it.  Plan B is where somebody believes so feverishly in their own idea they work on it nights and weekends after they come home from their day job as a barrista.

The whole reason I’m writing this blog post, indeed the reason why I have this blog and website at all, is because of “Plan B.”  At its most hectic in the last year, I was working a day job, doing contract attorney and techie work for various clients, while marketing and programming these calculators.  While I didn’t live with my parents, I participated in a surprisingly (and embarrassingly) large number of the activities Guy describes under Plan B.

This is NOT something I intend to do ever again.  Thankfully, the hard work of building the calculators is done.[3]  These days my only continuing time commitment to this site is writing blog posts and answering fan mail.[4]

  1. So, if you don’t like it – blame him!  Haha! []
  2. Original photo courtesy of Eye of Einstein []
  3. Well, more accurately, its always almost done.  ;) []
  4. But, mostly blog posts. []

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