Word Population by Latitude & Longitude

by jim on August 19th, 2010

Some really interesting population charts from Bill Rankin of Radical Cartography:
World Population

88% of the world’s population lives in the northern hemisphere.

via Kottke.

How to Sell Luxury Goods

by jim on February 20th, 2010

I’ve always been fascinated by salespeople because they have one of the hardest jobs in the world – selling something. If you’ve ever read sales techniques, you’ll know that it’s hardly a hard science but there are many things deeply rooted in psychology. In this WSJ article titled How to Sell a $35,000 Watch in a Recession, luxury goods sales consultant Jean-Marie Brücker shares a few tips on how to sell high-end luxury goods in a recession. We’re not talking $300 Coach purses, we’re talking watches that cost as much as cars.

The strategies mentioned in the article:

  • The macaroon technique – where you sandwich the price of an item between two statements about its benefits. “Madam, this timepiece (or diamond or handbag) comes from our finest workshop [benefit] and it has a value of $10,000 [price]. If you buy it, your children are sure to enjoy it for generations to come [benefit].”
  • Say value rather than price.
  • Don’t offer a discount, offer gifts.
  • Positively distract other members of the party so they don’t get bored and drag the group away (since the target customer of a high end watch is typically a man, the article discusses how to show a watch to his wife so she doesn’t get bored).

It’s a quick read too so it should only take you a few minutes to complete.

Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur, wrote a fantastic post on Techcrunch about the “yo-yo life of a tech entrepreneur.” The reason I think it’s fantastic, and the reason why I enjoyed it so much, is because it gives you a behind the scenes look of what it’s like to live the entrepreneur’s life. Compare the italics introduction, where TC gives a four sentence biography of Suster, with the rest of the article.

The italics part is the glitzy and glamorous part. Suster started and sold two companies and is now a VC. That’s pretty awesome no matter who you are and intuitively we know that he has to be a smart and hard working person. However, just like how we don’t see Kobe Bryant practice thousands (if not tens of thousands) of shots each day, we don’t see how hard it is to do all that. In fact, if more people knew, I bet they wouldn’t be so quick to swap lives or be envious. 🙂

If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend reading it.

Ever Wonder What Congress Is Doing?

by jim on May 31st, 2006

GovTrack.us basically takes all the information from THOMAS, the official site from the Library of Congress that tracks legislation, and puts it in a nice box with a pretty bow on it. Joshua Tauberer, the site’s creator, also pulls in a ton of other information from other sites and basically provides what I think is the best look into the activities of Congress. You can search bills by keyword, you can track voting records, etc. in a very to use interface.

Curious about the status of the Fair Tax Act of 2005? (H.R. 25) It’s in committee and looks like it’ll die in committee. It was introduced 1/4/05 and the last time anything ticked with this bomb was November 1st of last year… the Senate version is worse off, it was mentioned 1/24/05 and then referred to the Committee on Finance.

Peruse the site, it’s great.