Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/15/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Mother’s Day was yesterday in the US, though the occasion is celebrated in scores of countries on various dates. It began here in 1908 when Anna Jarvis chose to celebrate the work her mother, Anna Reeves Jarvis, had done as a peace activist caring for the wounded in the Civil War. Her daughter was later upset that Hallmark Cards and others had begun to commercialize the holiday. I love delving into the reasons for things, whether it’s Labor Day, or …


Out of the Way!

Since we acquired Puppy (AKA Coco) Maria has decided to keep both dogs in the kitchen when we leave the house. Bentley isn’t accustomed to this. Maria accomplishes this by putting a movable wooden gate at the entry to the dining room, and another at the entry to  the family room. The fist time we returned, both dogs were roaming around because Bentley, who weighs in at 80 pounds, shoved the gate aside. (He could probably jump the gate, but …


Wait, What?

We’re dining last night in a restaurant next to the venue where we’re about to see a ballet, where my wife is a long-time board member. As we’re about to leave, my wife spies two of her fellow board members across the way. She says to me, “You MUST go over and say hello, they see us here!” So, I turn the charm dial to maximum (“I can’t give you any more power, Captain, or the warp drive will surely …


If You’re Proclaiming Good Health, Why Are You Driving Like A Moron?

I don’t know why, but I’ve started thinking about bumper stickers. It’s rare to find a car with just one. They usually come in multiple postings, ranging from politics to health food, from sports teams to mystical affirmations. It seems to me that the drivers feel obligated to inform the rest of the world of their positions. I think they do so because they feel otherwise powerless. So this is the way they impress themselves on the world. Their only …



How Much Is That?

A commodity is something generally purchased solely on price. It’s undifferentiated, and no marketing heft is put behind it except for how inexpensive it is for the purpose intended. However, value is attached to non-commodities, including today: cars, pillows, hair coloring, cosmetic dentistry, pet supplies, lawn services, coffee, and coach seats on airplanes. These and other products and services demand differentiated pricing and purchasing based on factors other than “cheap.” Those factors include comfort, security, speed, quality, and ego. If …



Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 05/08/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

The farther removed an event, the less its impact on most of us. We sympathize and send government help to Fukushima, for example, but Three Mile Island dominated our news and national attention. Volkswagen’s unethical actions with emissions was a regrettable problem in Germany unless, of course, you owned one of the vehicles, thus afflicted wherever you live. I admire people who refuse to allow distance to insulate them. My dentist, for example, goes to Haiti yearly to help out …



Are You Feeling What I Feel?

Be sensitive to the fact that on many occasions, you’re trying to influence, cajole, argue with or otherwise obtain something from a person who simply isn’t as bright or capable as you are. That person may be a gate agent, an acquisitions editor, a customer “care” representative, a government functionary at the DMV, or someone serving on a non-profit board with you. Just because you’re interacting with them doesn’t mean they’re peers or equals. They may well be nice people, …