Just Dumb Ass Stupid

Someone I’ve never heard of by the name of Howard Stein write me to tell me that “my logo is awful, low grade 1970s” and that if Bentley used such poor practices you’d never know you were the owner of a fine car. (Forget that illogic for the moment, because the value makes the brand. My logo could be a tree frog—I hear them nightly here in Fiji—and it wouldn’t matter to my success.) He wanted to provide better typography …


Shut Up and Let Us Eat

We dined in Ocean Prime last night on the Boston harbor, one of my favorite places for steaks. We had maybe the finest bone-in filet we’ve ever had, and I sent that message to the kitchen. The drinks and wine were excellent. But the waiter was a cloying, annoying, interfering guy who thinks constant discussion enhances a meal. His “brief” descriptions of specials took five minutes. He interrupted us twice before we had chosen our dinner. He came over three …


What’s In It For Me???

I receive calls and emails weekly from people who want to “partner” with me. They bring zero to the table. They want to use my brand and my community and relationships to sell their crap—and it is almost always just that, crap. This ranges from publishing articles on my blog to using my lists to promote their products, or using my name to attract people to their offerings. Many of them have “internet learning platforms.” Their stupidity in assuming a …


Prison (Dumb Ass Stupid Management)

The Liberty Hotel in Boston is a fascinating property. It’s a former prison, so their “do not disturb” signs say “solitary,” and the bars and restaurants are called “The Clink” and “Alibi” and “The Yard” and so forth. Very clever. The prison closed in 1990, and apparently that was also the end of good service. Despite constant conversations with the general manager and senior people, they couldn’t persuade the chambermaids to conduct their normal turndown service. The orange juice was …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management in East Greenwich, RI

In the affluent community of East Greenwich, RI, where there are 12 places on Main St. to buy coffee in them morning—including Starbuck’s and the award-winning Main Street Café—the owner of Dunkin’ Donuts has decided to stop giving out free dog treats, a practice in place since the shop opened over a decade ago. He told employees: “That’s my money you’re throwing out the window”! How much does a stale munchkin cost? Don’t they have to be discarded? How much …


Tail, Meet Dog

Have you noticed the number of hotels and auto dealers who are sending notes after customers’ recent visits advising them they will be receiving a survey in the mail soon. If the customer has been unhappy with anything, please call to have it addressed prior to taking the survey. In other words, we’re not really interested in your feedback, we’re interested in perfect survey results because that’s how we’re measured and rewarded. Dumb-ass, stupid management.


Dumb Ass Stupid Management: Gale Pacific and Coolaroo

Coolaroo is a brand of pet products produced by Gale Pacific, Ltd, and sold on Chewy.com among other places. Stay the hell away from them. Their product was defective—couldn’t be assembled—and they have not replaced the part even with proof of purchase. Their phone people are disempowered and simply sing the company denial song. Do not buy from them, they may have poor products, but they’re also lousy at service!


DASM: Why Not Just Burn Your Money?

A sandwich shop franchise is usually between $200,000 and $400,000. The sandwiches are probably about $7 on average, and with drinks and chips figure about $10. If salaries, taxes, benefits, rents, utilities, insurance, supplies and so forth cost another $300,000, let’s say that’s a $600,000 total investment the first year (the franchise fee has to be funded somehow, even if by loan). That means you’d have to sell 60,000 sandwiches to pay that bill, or at least 30,000 to pay the …


Take It Or Leave It

I’m told that Cisco takes 120 days—four months—to pay its venders and suppliers. Of course, there’s no sound reason for that except to maximize their cash flow by taking advantage of small businesses for whom cash flow is even more critical. But Cisco apparently isn’t interested in partnerships, just in being the 2,000-pound gorilla. There’s a word for that: bullying.


Plain Dumb Ass Stupid

A guy named Littlejohn asks to connect on Linkedin and immediately sends me this pathetic, mass, stupid marketing email:   Thanks for being connected! I’ve had many consultants reaching out to see how we generate so many high-end leads for ourselves and our clients on LinkedIn. So we put together this brand new 72-minute (content only) training for you! (LINK REMOVED) Talk soon, P.S. Our online system can only handle 100 live viewers at one time…and this email went out …