Friday, July 22, 2011

Top 10 Apps on My iPhone July 2011

Someone once told me that despite the millions of apps available we generally use only 3 or 4. Not me. I use a bunch. Here are my top 10, must have iPhone apps.
  1. Leme Cam - Leme Cam got me back into photography. It's a funky combination of lenses and filters. Instantly turns out way better photos than anything I can do on my own.
  2. Waze - Waze (ways) is super-cool. It's Foursquare for commuters. Truly useful social networking. Not only the whole GPS route mapping thing - but up to the minute road conditions, police spotting reports, accident and other road, location information from other users on the route. It is fantastic. You can even join commuter groups! My local community group has 58 members!
  3. netTalk - netTalk was recommended by the sales person in the Bell store for saving money on my phone bill (??). Free calling all over North America. Works perfectly.
  4. Yelp - Yelp is the best way to find a new restaurant or store - or whatever, where ever. Up to date. Lots of user comments, ratings. Great tips. Even deals.
  5. Skype - Yeah. Skype. Do a video call anywhere. This is becoming a standard business practice!
  6. Dropbox - Dropbox has turned out to be a saviour. Sync my Windows laptop to my iPhone to my iPad. Fastest way I know to go from Powerpoint to Keynote.
  7. ooTunes - ooTunes is a radio app. There are a bunch. Any radio station, anywhere in the world.
  8. Cinema Times - is Cinema Times!
  9. Where Z Timmy - As in Timmy's. Hortons. Coffee. But also includes Starbucks, banks, gas stations, fast food, beer, liquor stores, etc. Love it!
  10. WeatherEye - From the Weather Network. The forecasts are great but the it's the radar that makes it a serious golfers friend!
Other cool apps. Qik (live streaming video app). QRReader (for QR codes). WebEx (conferencing). Hashable (hash tag anyone!).  foursquare (love the other use tips once you check-in somewhere). Natalie MacLean (wine app that even reads bar codes and provides wine info). Air Madness (air traffic control game).

What have I missed? Other favourites??

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Burned-out, summer mind-gazing

Yeah, I am feeling a little burned out. I wouldn't trade places with anyone, but the fun and stress of what we're doing with the Company does seem to take a toll occasionally. Fortunately, I seem to be pretty good at grabbing a beer and a lounge chair when that happens.

So, some thoughts. Sorry to hammer the RIM theme. I know it's getting old. But just an interesting observation. Everyone I meet lately seems to have this sense that helping RIM is their patriotic duty. I met someone again yesterday who told me they'd work free for RIM. Just to help them. Wow!

That's interesting - and a little....sad? Unnecessary? The RIM boys don't want our help - and isn't it time we started focusing on some other great Canadian tech businesses. Without looking around very much, what about Open Text? They're also from Waterloo. It seems to me those guys have gone quietly about their business, built a global leader and get modest recognition. I'm betting they like it that way. Probably the last thing they need is to become the next great Canadian tech hope.

Next. Honesty. I see my buddy John posted a comment on my last post tweaking me to remember that being honest isn't always easy on the people who are on the receiving end. He's right. Some can take it. Some hate it. And me. I've even considered changing my approach (but am apparently genetically incapable). Recently I saw a 'lessons learned' piece in some biz magazine by a bunch of high performing CEO's. One CEO's point was that having truth tellers around is necessary but not easy. And that they won't be very popular. Hmmm.

Golf.  Allan - I'm confused. We golf every Saturday morning. But you have us booked for tomorrow? Isn't tomorrow Friday? Have you accountants been thinking outside the box again?! :)

Back to the RIM thing. Best quote of today. "Sorry. I couldn't watch your video, I had my Blackberry." Uggh!

Final thought. Is Molson 67 better for you than water? I think it might be. God knows what's in the water!

Enjoy the heat!

PS try getting to the Molson 67 page from the 'signature brands' navigation button on the Molson Coors website.  How do you feel about filling out your birth date and location so you can look at one of their brands?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What We Get Known For

Yesterday I met someone for lunch that I hadn't seen for a while. The first words out of their mouth, not even sitting down were: "I see you're not much of a RIM fan.". Geez, a couple of honest blogs! I didn't even know people read them!

Actually I did, and lately I've thought a little about what I am known for and what I would like to get known for.

Here's what I think I'm known for so far.

First, yes RIM. People blame me for their demise. I'm pretty sure that's not true. I was just trying to help.

Second, my views on cancer fund raising (stop giving). My video rant this weekend is the first time I've mentioned it here but anyone who's hit me up for a donation over the past two years knows my feelings.

Third?? Not sure. Maybe my personal views on consulting? I've been a consultant for a long time. I don't hide the fact I think that most consulting dollars are wasted.

What I'd like to become known for?

How about this? Get over your taxes. Roads and medical care and garbage pick-up aren't free. If we don't pay for them, we won't have them. I'd like to think that putting everything in the hands of private business is the answer - only buy what you want and trust businesses to provide it efficiently - but lots of services don't and won't work that way.  The American model (no taxes ever) DOESN'T work. Just watch - and check out Minnesota (Minnesota?!!) which has been shut down already for the past 2 weeks. I'm not sure Toronto is that far behind?

Beyond that I guess I'd like to be known for at least having, and exploring a point of view. My sense is most people don't have one - or if they do - they're either afraid, too lazy, or not sure how to share it. That's ok. There's less stress that way and perhaps the benefits of being known for something aren't that obvious?

I'm pretty sure that won't stop me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Smarten up on Cancer - Follow-up

Surprise. I got some basic #'s wrong in yesterday's video post on cancer funding.  It's important to get them right because the right numbers don't change the point at all - they just reinforce it. The correct number are this: the Canadian Cancer Society spent $48 million on research - out of a total budget of $223 million - that's 22%. Some would argue that's surprising - and too little.


Also a  challenge - what ways are you finding to cut out the middle men and donate directly - and efficiently to important causes? See the follow-up video here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Smarten up on Cancer

Cancer and diseases like it will never be cured if we keep mindlessly donating to the middle-men we trust to fund research. This week's news that the Canadian Cancer Society spends a measly proportion of their dollars on research shouldn't be a surprise. Fund raising - not curing cancer is their business. And they do a great job.

We need to wake up. Start saying no when someone asks for our dollars. Start demanding accountability and results. It's the responsible thing to do.

With holding dollars will drive results. More dollars won't. Let's smarten up. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wanna be Cool? Stuff You Need to Know About

The Blackberry is done. Get over it. The boys blew it. Time to move on.

You can't hang on to this stuff. It makes you look old, out of it. Fuddy duddy (of course if you're rich and out of it you don't give a crap - texting your kids from the cottage is all you care about anyways). But for the rest of us...

How about this? The other day I took my iPad golfing with me. Video'd my perfectly horrible swing. The video is fantastic. It explains why I score the way I do. I uploaded it to YouTube. It's listed as 'comedy'.

iPads are cool. If you wanna be cool you should consider one. Of course my 78 year old mom also has one. But that's kind of cool too (forget the Playbook. Playbooks are not cool. They tell everyone you are trying hard to be cool but that you have no real idea what you're doing - or that your company got a great deal and is giving them away free at conferences).

Wanna be super cool? Get something with an Android operating system. Even me and my mom aren't that cool.).

You wanna be cool? You need to learn about Google+? You haven't heard of Google+ have you? Google it.

You've heard of Facebook right? Remember, the kids were pissed when you signed up for Facebook (my mom's on it too)? Well. Surprise! It's done now. Going the way of the Blackberry.  Thanks to Google+.

You need to know this stuff. Here's some info on it. If you're going to a BBQ this weekend use it. Even your kids will think you're cool. And they know better.

Of course if you can get a Google+ invite......woah! You've made it.

Finally, you wanna be cool?  Check out a Katy Perry concert (woohoo, Regina, July 13! - how cool is that?!). Then sit at your Club and yak loud enough so that everyone within patio range can hear you rant on about how your daughter was busy but you went with her friends, and bought them all beer, and Katy Perry touched your hand, and...).

Katy Perry is hot. Her concerts are amazing. And you will sound like a complete, cool, dufus.

And we will all (mostly) be envious of you. Because I'm not going to Regina. And I didn't know Katy Perry was still cool. When did that happen? A few rubber dresses and I thought she was done!

I am so out of it.