Busyness or Business: Your Focus

Busyness in Business can be dangerous.

While running a business, you can easily can wrapped into busyness. Something I realized years after it was too late running my business and burning the candle at both ends was the simple view into both words…. the only difference between them is a single letter. It’s the focus on that letter than can help course-correct oneself so that priorities realign in the proper direction.

If you make the business about “I” because of your busyness, you must stop and ask the question “Y” – because often times in business we make our business foundation = busyness. The two words often get put together to create more issues for the people in the business.


Busy Business can have some serious drawbacks on the longevity it can be tolerated. Just like an engine hitting red on a tachometer, at some point, it can’t handle being so busy it self destructs. When an engine is properly taken care of, it can drive for hundreds of thousands of miles. The mindset today with consumers is often oh well, it broke, time to get a new one. And while the engine analogy is very cache, it may ben the perfect analogy for you at work. You may be that engine that gets the pedal to the metal, held down under full throttle for too long that without constraint and change will fail. You too can break down and while that’s the extreme, you too may be willingly burning the candle at both ends.

But I need to look busy!

Looking busy is a trait many people strive for at work. It may be part of the culture to be overly busy, but you must protect yourself from being wrapped up and consumed in it. You may need to step back and say – I will not be so busy, so consumed, so self absorbed to lose control over my business. You may need to embrace new habits and use wisdom as your fuel.

This may apply to your own business or position you fill within an organization. Busyness is addressed by better habits, delegation and control over your time and energy. When they are properly aligned, you can begin to help your business grow in the proper direction for others working alongside you too.

Ask WHY you’re doing what you’re doing to stay on track.

Next time you face busyness in business, step back and ask yourself WHY your so busy and if it’s a certain task, season or being busy for busyness sake. Make some change in the proper direction and realign yourself so you also don’t miss what may be right in front of you – the ability to chose peace when confronted with chaos.

I hope you can see the decision is simple: busyness or business. What will your focus be when faced with an overwhelming workload. Don’t burn the candle at both ends, work smarter, not harder, learn to use the word no or not now, delay certain tasks and learn to better delegate. You’ll then be able to return to business vs busyness.

The 8-Lateral Touchdown Win #NeverGiveUp

The 8-Lateral Touchdown Win

Achieving the impossible

It was a busy weekend jammed packed with kids activities, events and parties so football took a back seat to other priorities. Like many guys who enjoy their sports, I often take it in doses and set aside time to watch games of interest. And this weekend was just too busy. Yet, I did manage to fit in half of the final quarter of some Temple football – because they are just having the season of their lives! And everyone likes an underdog especially one that is undefeated and playing a highly ranked team. Notre Dame just happened to bring the luck of the Irish with them. Many in Philly are still shouting “Go Temple” after the game even though they lost on Saturday night.

The-8-Laterals-for-the-Win-MiamiBREAKING NEWS…

It was during the end of the Temple game when the announcers broke in with a college football league update. While I just moved my dad’s favorite team, the University of Miami, to the back burner for the rest of the season, they were front and center, Miami-style, making headlines. It wasn’t about their new interim coach or how they were mounting a larger loss than they experienced last week (a 58-0 loss last week was the worst in history for Miami and is just embarrassing for any fan).

This time it was good news. It was the unthinkable. Miami just came from behind in the final seconds of the game and WON. That alone made me pump my fist and congratulate the team through the screen.


What they showed next SHOCKED ME. It shocked many college football fans. Here’s a team that just had penalty after penalty called against them (some controversy about those calls against Miami) which gave Duke the go ahead score with seconds remaining. To Miami, it seemed like fate. More bad news dished to them. It would be at this point every Miami fan shook their head in disbelief and just sighed it away as another disappointment to the their season. I know my father did. But the game wasn’t over.

Miami’s only consolation was they weren’t shut out again this week and played a close game: 27-24 with Duke winning… but there was 6 seconds left!?!


Then the unthinkable happened. The wind shifted… there was a change of tides… The Hurricanes responded. Something was happening as the ball was kicked and bounced down the field into the hands of the Miami player who just blamed for their loss minutes prior.

8-Lateral Touchdown Win

Watch the full ESPN 8-Lateral Touchdown Win (Recap)

The ball was caught… ran, tossed, ran, tossed, ran tossed… forward, forward, back, forward, back, back… to the 10 yard line… then STRAIGHT AHEAD THEY RAN and tossed it again, again, again… and again and right for the end zone. They took two steps forward, then a step back over and over again. It looked like a live pinball game of football players. In total, they lateraled the ball 8 TIMES back and forth, across the field. At any point, if one of the players was tackled, the game was over with no more time left to play. At any moment, if the ball was fumbled or tossed a player on the other team, the game was over. And if they tossed it the wrong way (forward not backwards), the game would be whistled dead, game over.

That wasn’t the case. They perfectly executed the play – AS A TEAM. They didn’t give up on the play or the game despite setbacks. They played until the final whistle blew. In just ONE PLAY, 46 SECONDS later, they crossed the finish line and WON THE GAME: 30-27.


But it wasn’t over. There was then TWO official referee reviews in the booth. Every lateral was reviewed to make sure they were true laterals and not forward passes. Then another review – UNDER REVIEW a second time for a possible knee touching the ground before the player lateraled the ball. Again, another reversal which would blow the play dead. Almost 10 minutes later: the play wasn’t overturned.


The the interim coach, Coach Larry Scott, had this to share at the end of the game regarding his team and how they played & finished the game:

Coach Larry Scott

  • Never give up.
  • Never give in.
  • It’s not over… you play until there are zeros on the clock.
  • Who is going to fight?
  • Who is willing to overcome adversity?

Well, the team responded – and gave everything they had.


It was an amazing testimony to their determination to play hard and win. They had a strong foundation. They overcame adversity. They remained focused. They pulled off the impossible. And they were crowned the WINNER.

Congrats @MiamiHurricanes!
Lesson learned: #NeverGiveUp

TwitterMiami Hurricanes
TwitterDavid Geipel

Note: While well after the game additional photography showed a Miami player’s knee was down, the referees still made the decision after reviewing their footage and the call from the referee on the field. Remember, it’s an action sport and while certain calls go one way or the other, it’s part of the sport. Perhaps a few other calls in the game were missed or went the wrong way. It’s never perfect.

Donald Trump’s Hair

What’s up with Donald Trumps Hair?

I am not going to attack the Don’s hair. I think it suits him fine. It’s his, he has embraced it and it works for him.

Some people now wonder IF he becomes our next President of the United States (POTUS), is his hair presidential? I don’t have much to offer other than this fine side-by-side I put together once I came across an older Jimmy Carter picture. You be the judge:

Donald Trumps Hair

Recently while on the campaign trail for President of the United States, he was asked about his hair. It’s usually the first question someone WANTS to ask him. But in Trump’s own words:

“As everybody knows, but the haters and losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a ‘wig.’ My hair may not be perfect, but it’s mine.” (Twitter)

Donald Trumps Hair - Twitter

There you have it. Here’s a guy with access to top hairstylists in NYC and don’t forget, he was the main host of the Apprentice and I am sure he had great Hollywood stylists. He will have the same access to a great barber and stylist at the White House too. That’s not going to change his appearance though. Donald Trumps Hair is presidential. Now he just needs to remain focused on winning the election.

Jet.com takes off but why jump onboard?

Launch Day for Jet.com

Today marks a huge day for Jet.com. Their founder and chief executive Marc Lore came from Amazon after selling a company to them years ago. He has been said to have learned how to build a company that:

Customers are passionate about & willing to pay a premium to join.

To that end, he’s raised $220 million to launch the jet.com. He’s been said his plan is to raise another $300 million over the next five years (source: The WSJ). That insane but if you want to compete against his former suitor and employer, it will take deep pockets.

So with GREAT anticipation, I signed up in advance and got a great offer: 6 months free (about a $25 value). I then plunged into shop mode looking for a deal. After 10 minutes, I got bored. I found a couple of cool price comparisons against Amazon.com (loved that feature) but over time, it should not send someone AWAY from the jet.com website. That’s an ecommerce 101 no no. My sentiment after looking for a good deal on launch day: now I know why it’s free through Christmas – the site needs help. It just falls short of being a compelling experience.

My initial reaction was asking if they were Amway. Many don’t remember the early launch of Quixtar in 1999. If you missed that momentous day, then jump over to jet.com. It’s identical. I wish I had a better comparison, but that’s about how good Quixtar was back then (as of May 1, 2009, Amway Global changed it’s name to Quixtar). Why such a harsh comparison? One word: Merchandising.

At first appearances, they have the free shipping option (and promoted free returns) when you spend $35. Ok, that’s average.

Jet.com Merchandising

Next, the homepage today looks messy. A lot of purple (a favorite color of mine) forced to highlight their value: many items with great savings. I didn’t realize I also joined a club, but that’s ok as long as it’s a good club.

When I try to find my first item, a new iPhone, they only showed 1 in stock… two others out of stock and that was it. Again, not impressed.

Due to the nature of the site design, it’s nothing more than an ordering mechanism. Know what you want and go hunt for it. If they have it and are proud to show their savings over Amazon, they will show you them side by side. It’s their mantra – beat amazon.

The main goal of the site becomes apparent… compete against Amazon (but only on price).

Selection? I have no idea how they compare. They could have loaded their database with tons-o-junk to say they have a huge selection but who knows. I don’t have time to think of something I don’t need.

Tip to Jet.com executive team. I love your concept and wish you the best. But if all you plan to do is to offer Insane Prices, then you’ll become a Crazy Eddy.

(note: no reference to their legal issues, just their best price promise)

Crazy Eddy did a decent job promoting their merchandise. The product was put out in front and the deal was highlighted. Today, on jet.com, you’re not showing me anything I can’t find elsewhere. So you have to make the experience special, please. Find out what I’d like to buy and present the deals to me.

Take a page out of Costco and setup sampling stations around the store.You know you don’t NEED those items they’re sharing with you but since you’re in shopping mode, sell it to them. Show off your selection and price – your value proposition. When you walk into a club store (BJs, Sams, Costco) you know where to walk because it’s laid out well. It’s easy to walk a store. It’s difficult to browse an online store. And as of today’s launch jet.com, you only rely on the search bar. That will fail in a big way. You MUST merchandise and create a shopping experience.

Some ideas: place a deal of the day (yes, it communicates that it changes daily) on the homepage. Place top category deals up front. If you rely on the search bar, then those who get the free trial will discover what I have today – a difficult to navigate site. Without skin in the game (a paid membership), the customer will not invest to justify the experience. In other words, when you pay for a club, it compels you to participate so you get your money out of the membership. When it’s FREE, consumers won’t hunt for the deal the same way. They wont be as loyal to the club. They won’t spend as much as a paid customer would spend.

Just my initial comments in hopes you’re listening. I like the promise of competition for Amazon (and Walmart) but you have major work cut out for jet.com… The good news? It’s only day one for your company.

Wishing you the best!

~ Dave

If you want the 6 month special, just use the promo code: FREE6 (don’t know how long that will work).

Amazon’s PrimeDay was SubPrime to me

My Review of Amazon’s 20th Anniversary: #PRIMEDAY

Amazon PrimeDayMost people heard about the upcoming Amazon Prime Day this July 15th (7-15-2015). Amazon strategically spent resources on a PR front and media blitz to run spot ads promoting the event. However, while it will move the needle for Amazon, it misses the mark on the most important aspect of this day: their Prime Customers.

Let me first share – Happy Anniversary Amazon. Today, it’s their 20th Anniversary. There are many things to celebrate alongside Jeff Bezos and other eCommerce companies. Bezos did eCommerce better than anyone else. He cracked the code first in Books, Music then everything else. Something similar I pitched QVC before I worked for them in 1996 – a show concept I called A to Z. They didn’t like the show idea but liked me to bring me on board. I went to QVC for one reason: to get into eCommerce – a new business venture they were brainstorming and exploring which finally rolled out in stages over the next five years. The early name: iQVC. I fought hard between 1999-2001 to change it to QVC.com and executive management finally came around to agree. Those were the good ole days.

Today’s Amazon 20th Anniversary should have been a statement for eCommerce: to show us how it’s done twenty years later. However, I woke up today to little fanfare or excitement or even reminders – today’s a BIG DAY for retail. So here’s what I’ve taken in and learned about Amazon through #PrimeDay 2015.

That’s right, nothing to celebrate the day. This should have been a no brainer. You have my email address, I’ve given permission and have opted in for promotions… but I didn’t get an event email.

Amazon PrimeMusic Email
Note: I did get one email – but it was to push PrimeMusic which I use on occasion but it promoted their Sweepstakes over the big event.

Lots of Amazon branded items highlighted in their sale, but that’s where it ends and looks like an everyday event. Oh, you can get their new PrimePantry items (no thanks). And a special PrimeMusic sweepstakes (more on that below).

Amazon PrimeDay Deals

No, I didn’t come to Amazon to buy a Kindle or Firestick (already have them). The main feature they used to promote their PrimeDay offers is something I visit often: Lightening Deals. That’s where they show items offered for a limited time of limited quantity of specially marked-down items until their either sell out OR time runs out. I bring up a very important issue here: so many items requires a lot of time to sort through these deals.

This may be my biggest disappointment with their 20th Anniversary. At this point in time, I except Amazon to know me, my family (including my kids). They don’t. They have all the data they need to see what I’ve bought (purchase history), what I want (wish list) and what I would likely buy in the future (if they did a good job using big data and look-alike profiles) through personalization. Today, it’s still not present for their sale. They don’t even recommend anything to me. It’s just the standard retail free-for-all.

Same thing, it’s missing. Today’s sale, like Black Friday, feels like Walmart’s $5 DVD bin in the back of the store where I have to spend precious time to *maybe* find something of interest. While the Lightening Deals offers a filter feature to show only the categories I’d like to see, you can still only view them one at a time. Let ME, the customer, the Prime Member (better than a regular customer) – shop smarter! Give me the ability to choose a few categories and display only them.

I also will likely not be back because the future lightening sales are either not populated (you don’t tell me that, I don’t see many future items loaded like you do daily or even on Black Friday).

Amazon PrimeDay Deals

When I was trying to search through the Lightening Deals, all you showed me Amazon were those claimed or sold out items – some w/ no waitlist. Over 50% were gone – so why can’t I remove them from my view? Seeing an empty shelf in retail is one thing but online I don’t have time to look at empty shelves.

Update (11am 7/15): Between Midnight (12:00am) ET and 10am ET when more than 70% of the U.S. would have awakened with Amazon excitement and checked out their site, 80% of the deals had yet to post. In other words, people lined up outside, doors opened and the rush began only to find junk (well, that’s what we call a failed sale). The shelves had nothing special. No one said – come back later when the sale begins. Why should we expect that was going to be the case?

As of 11am ET, I decided to come back and to my amazement, the store was loaded with deals (over 2000 Prime Exclusives). A merchandising error or oversight? Force everyone to think it starts 7-8am PT and not tell anyone when to come back? I don’t know but at that point, you already lost the east coast Amazon. Shoppers made up their mind – this was a bust.

Yes, this was and is a means of getting new Prime Members. Unfortunately, when you have a large base of customers who have Prime, you need to make it really special for them. The ad spend seems to only support the company goal – getting new revenue from subscriptions that will lead to increase spend from this key buying group.

Yet as a customer who uses Amazon weekly AND has a reward card, you did little for me today. Didn’t make it easier, didn’t give me something I want (or even need) and you turned me away asking why this was bigger than Black Friday.

Shopping is a sport these days. It’s entertainment to many. It is also personal.  Amazon needs to relearn the basics: Basic Mobile, Social and Email Marketing, Cross Selling, Personalization, Promotion.

There is a sweet spot in retail when both merchandising and marketing are aligned and hitting all cylinders. Today’s Amazon event gives every retailer HOPE they can beat Amazon on all these other fronts. It appears Amazon is becoming mature like Walmart and other oversized retailers – some past their prime like Sears.

Their Achilles heal is to do it the same way only bigger and not making it better.

Amazon seemed to neglect the aspect of keeping it easy, fun and exciting. A Super Sale requires a Super Shopping Experience.

Amazon, your communication must be engaging. That includes a strategy that includes Pre, Per (during) and Post marketing. Give me something to get excited about (marketing). Give me something to talk about (social). Give me something to buy (sales)!

I am hopeful your post-mortem management meetings will reveal my sentiment and feedback. I fear the simple needle moving will count this as a success. However, as of 10am on July 15, 2015 – you haven’t “knocked it out of the park” (a baseball analogy a day after the MLB Allstar Game and two days after the MLB Homerun Derby).

As of today, I leave your store not impressed. And to set the record straight, I used both your Website and App because I couldn’t believe this was it. I was convinced I missed something. Just pretty celebration banners and landing page creative. Please get back to marketing basics and have your buyers merchandise it better with tools for self-discovery.


David Geipel
Member Since 2000 (maybe earlier)
PrimeMember & Rewards Cardholder

BTW – Happy 20th Anniversary Amazon. Very proud of you and I hope you get better with age!

Amazon.com PrimeDay

Apple Watch is the new Swatch Watch

The Apple Watch

If you’re like me, you’ve been following #Apple since they announced the Apple Watch last fall. The common sentiment is simple: sure looks cool.

When I talk to friends and acquaintances in various circles, I also hear the following comment about the shiny iWatch: I don’t know… And that is anchored by perception based on price. If you have money burning in your pocket, the answer is – I’ve gotta have one. But for the average person these days, they still need to be convinced.

BUT the real question Apple cares about: do you want one?

Swatch vs Apple Watch
Swatch (1985 McGregor Watch) versus the Apple Watch (2015 version)

What I’ve realized is that Apple has done something no other company has done in the accessory industry with a watch since the mid-80s. Yes, I cannot recall a time since 1985 when one watch captured the attention of the masses where they considered the question: do I want one? And that happened to me too. While a youth, I had to answer that question when confornted with the Swatch brand. The watch I wanted was the McGregor Swatch. It was colorful, represented a diverse watch that had swiss movement. Ok, it was nothing special when you broke it down because it was a lot of plastic. But the STYLE spoke for itself. I could now make a BOLD statement with my watch. It didn’t require a close up look, but from a distance, others knew I had the hottest watch you could get – a Swatch.

Well, Apple hopes to convince you too that their new watch it the one you have to get.

Besides the fashion statement an Apple Watch makes with the exchangeable watch bands (yes, more are planned) it’s more about being Swiss than you think. It aims to be the SWISS ARMY KNIFE of watches. So it actually shares a cool aspect the Swatch shares – it’s swiss functionally by design.

The main difference here is WHAT you can do with your watch. It’s about style and function together. Something Apple really prides itself with in their design planning stages.

Yet I argue that one major issue remains for Apple and the entire smart watch category. Consumers are comfortable looking at their phones for the time. Period.

You get a text… you see the time.

Get an email… there’s the time.

Facebook or Twitter chiming away… you know the time.

So back to the main question: why get an Apple Watch? I would argue it’s the Beats argument. They produce a good sound with a look that’s unquestionably Beats. So for the Apple watch, it’s because they customize your watch making it stylish, cool & productive and well, you know you want one.

The challenge remains at the price point. If you’ve ever spent more than $200 for a watch, you will already be in the Apple target market. The hope for Apple is to introduce customers who never spent that much for a watch to reach deep down and spend for the money for their “most personal device yet.”

For me, I will wait. I’ve learned that Apple makes a great intro product but once they nail it, they really NAIL IT with their second version. So I hope that’s sooner than later. Till then, I may be asking Apple Watch users for the time – just to see it in action.

OS X Yosemite – Preparing to upgrade my Macbook OS

Well, I decided it was time to get ready for the latest Apple MAC OS 10.10. I’ve been running a variety of Apple operating systems since I first got my Macbook Pro in 2008. Of course, that system is still working great, but won’t be able to upgrade from the current version: 10.9 (OSX Mavericks). So that machines can’t be updated this time around, but my Macbook Air can. So my preparation begins.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite My current Macbook Air has a 256GB SSD hard drive. It’s not the largest that will fit in this machine yet I don’t want to open it up to replace a HD. My issue is that it is full. I need space! Once I’m done calculating my drive space: music, photos, videos, work documents, songs, etc I am out of room. I literally get the System Full message weekly. Not good for my system either. So it’s time to DELETE.

As I prepare for OS X Yosemite, I realize I will need to clear out about 10GB of space. That is conservative because previous upgrades were slightly larger. It isn’t as easy as hitting delete either, so I will begin today to make room for the new features, bells & whistles I must not be able to live without. Here’s some quick things that helped me. Hope they help those too in a precarious situation: keep or delete.

First, I begin with a look at the folders I have on my system. This time around, I realized that I had the DEVELOPER folder for Xcode still installed. No longer needing it, I deleted it right away. Net result: 1.3GB

Next, I ran one of my favorite tools: Gemini. It scans your HD looking for duplicated. Low and behold, I found some bible teaching albums in iTunes that I also had backed up on my drive. Went into iTunes and deleted the folders individually. Result: 3GB

Note: if you add an album from another folder, it will become a duplicate files as iTunes contains the new tracks. You can also safely delete the original tracks as well once iTunes adds them.

Another tool I use to visualize my drive is OmniDiskSweeper. I used to use a more visual tool, but this seems to give me the best access to these larger files and folders. You can find it in the App Store.

I only recently realized that a complete backup of your i-devices can be really large folders. I mean really large. Deleting my iPad backup and I gain 8GB. Tempting…

If you use cloud-backups such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you may think you’ve moved folders or files from your computer to the cloud but often times you will have them on your HD plus in the cloud. You’ll have to stop the sync between them and remove the folder from your computer to lose the duplicate nature of those folders. Use with caution. My gain was 500MB

Do I need to keep deleting? Perhaps I will have to clean up my computer even further than I have today. One tool I love is CleanMyMac 2.0 – definitely worth the investment. It finds all sorts of goodies like language files (Russian, Arabic, Spanish, etc) that I don’t need – so hit scan and clean and they are gone. This didn’t help me this time around

Finally, you can use ONYX for a squeaky clean setup prior to the upgrade. This eliminates caches, history folders, user preferences and all sorts of system clutter. Use with caution as you can easily be overly aggressive with this tool. The other tool they make is called Maintenance and is highly recommended as well. This would be a finishing touch before you hit UPDATE.


Yosemite Apple Macbook & iMacAs of this post, there are no official space requirements posted by Apple for the final release version of Yosemite OSX. If you’ve upgraded your OSX before through the App Store, you may remember the space needed for Mavericks was close to 11-13GB. The clean install of Mavericks was 11GB. The previous version required 16GB. So we are hopeful this one will be below 10 but I won’t hold my breath.

Comparison: If you are a Windows user, version 7 required 20GB and Windows 8 increased to approx. 24GB. So be grateful your requirements with a Mac is only 10ish GBs.

Compatible Macs able to upgrade to Yosemite:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro / MBP (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air / MBA (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Basic Yosemite Requirements:
Mac needs at least 2GB of RAM, 8GB of available storage and at least OS X 10.6.8 already installed.

If you’re really lazy, you could dump nonessential folders onto an external HD and then move them back when your upgrade is complete.

Important: Perform a Time Machine backup once your machine is clean. Then and only then proceed to upgrading your OS X.

Always be cautious deleting & cleaning up your machine. And good luck with the OS X (10.10) Yosemite upgrade!

UPDATE: The new Yosemite is really slick. It took me about 20 minutes to update my 2011 & 2008 machine. Yes, my old late 2008 Macbook Pro was available for the update for free. AWESOME.

What I noticed when I went to download was the warning tell me what the actual space requirements were for Yosemite. Drum Roll….

Yosemite OS X 10.10 Requirements

Just 4.81 GB required for this upgrade. Loving Apple today. Very slick guys. Loving Yosemite and all it has to offer. At some point I will see what the actual effect of the upgrade was on space but for now, it’s great. Loving the integration and once iOS 8.1 is released, complete tie-in features will be available.

The Day Before…

It will happens in exactly 24 Hours

Just 24 hours from now, you'll learn why you need the new iPhone and other cool Apple stuff.
Just 24 hours from now, you’ll learn why you need the new iPhone and other cool Apple stuff.

I love mobile technology and the promise it holds: to give us freedom and ultimately mobility. To be able to do what I need to do at my computer and yet so much more – because of the design, shape and ways it can be used (consumed). In order to help us get closer to the full potential, equipment and software must be design with these goals in mind. The OS and Device equation must be embraced together in order to achieve maximum utility.

Last August, I posted a sarcastic Blackberry opinion about their latest device. Yes, the Blackberry was one of my favorite phones of all times. For me, it did four things really well: made reliable calls, texts, chat and of course, email. However, innovation lags when it came to their App Store and allowing others to develop on their platform. This severely hindered their efforts as they also didn’t nail down the touch phenomena. They held the keyboard (and ability to type) higher than the other benefits of touch. So it lagged and slowly died to devices like the iPhone (the only other true Equipment+OS company) and then to Android. Sure enterprise users moved to Apple once they got their act together with enterprise connections and management. However, in the end, the consumer won. Their preference won.

Deja Vu – Another iPhone is Coming

So on the eve of the new iPhone 6 release, I find my comments about last year’s Blackberry ironic.

> Bigger, Better
> Sharp & Vibrant (larger screen)
> Light & Durable

Apple knows a bigger screen will do well and that’s what they will finally deliver. They didn’t break their formula of running two years with each model – think 3 & 3G, 4 & 4S, 5 & 5S. See my point? We will predictably get an iPhone 6 tomorrow and next year, a 6X (six-something-or-other). Are they planning to keep the current size available in a new model? Will they offer two or three sizes? Will the phablet concept (phone-mini-tablet) become a new category for them like the iPad “mini”? Does it really matter?

Consumers are always looking for the newer, faster, better (bigger if better, thinner if still durable, etc)… it’s how we are wired. So will tomorrow’s iPhone (9/9/14) be a success for Apple? Only if consumers see it. So, yes, of course. Will we want more on 9/10/14? Yup.

~Dave Geipel

Top Bible Verses to Know – the TOP 20

Bible Verses such as 1 Thessalonians 2:4 remind us we are entrusted with the Gospel. Pick up His Word and share it today.

I was asked recently where someone should start to memorize verses. While I have 2-3 apps on my phone I find helpful (like VerseMinder and Bible Verse) some people still like to print or write them out. Yes, I am one of “those people” too.

So I looked at a few online sources and found one that ranked verses by popularity. What a great way to learn the Word from memory. Take a list of the most popular and commit them to memory – so you’ll be able to quickly recall the Word planted within.

I always recommend you start with prayer when you enter the Word of God. We shouldn’t approach it in a dogmatic way as they are just words, rather, as the living Word.

Bible Verses to Know

So here’s the quick list I call the TOP 20 BIBLE MEMORY VERSES. Start reading, writing, speaking and meditating.

#1 John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

#2 John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

#3 John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

#4 Matthew 28:19
Go therefore a and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

#5 Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

#6 Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

#7 Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

#8 Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

#9 2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

#10 Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

#11 Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

#12 Acts 2:38
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

#13 John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

#14 Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

#15 John 1:9
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

#16 Genesis 1:26
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

#17 Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

#18 Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

#19 Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

#20 John 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

For the rest of these and other verses, checkout TOPVERSES.com

You can also start with something you’re dealing with in your life and topically memorize them. Some of the topics include: Friends, Husband, Wife, Children, Courage, Wisdom, Worry, Anxiety, Work, Money, Death, Salvation… etc.

Remember, one of our weapons in the spiritual battle is God’s Word: the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God).

Cut the Cord.

I did it. I finally did the inevitable. Some say it couldn’t be done. Well, it can and you should consider doing the same. Get out your scissors and cut the proverbial cord. Why cut the cord? Because it can lead to better service for everyone and there are some other benefits you’ll discover. It’s also easier than you think.

Cut the Cord

I recently decided to take the challenge and “cut the cord” to my cable television. Yes, I figuratively “cut” my cable TV cord by canceling the TV portion of my bill. I am sorry Comcast, but my family has the tendency of turning on worthless programming to have some noise on in the background (most times). While I will miss some time-wasting shows like Gold Rush (will they ever find a massive gold reserve in the jungle), the Great American Food Cart Race (Tyler, I will have to catch you on reruns) and even Storage Wars (Barry will be ok without me) – what I hope to regain is both freed up time and better choices.

That’s a funny word – choice. It’s really freedom we desire that gives us the ability to choose. We can choose what stores we’d like to shop both locally and online, the choice of water we drink in bottles or special purified water in our refrigerator all the way to the place we worship which I am grateful for as an American. We love our freedoms in the US. However, as someone who knows a little bit about the television and entertainment space, I have to say that freedom isn’t available as we would desire when it comes to true content availability.

Have you ever wondered why you have to pay extra to get a few channels you want to watch on TV? Let’s use ESPN for example. It’s never included in a basic cable television package. While the main channel may be available in the next upgrade, the real package we want is the 3rd or 4th upgrade. Notice how I use the word upgrade in my description. That’s what the entire pricing model is based on – getting you in then upgrading you to the “proper package” as if they are doing us a favor.

What we really want is more inline with what we need – simple choices. We “really don’t need” the other 20 junk, filler channels that complete the package we have to purchase to get the 2-3 channels we want to watch. You have a HDTV set, “that’s the next tier we offer” and the classic line: “did we mention you need to rent our set-top box to receive the signal we send to your home?” Oh you want to record your shows? Well, that’s the watch-me-now package and that’s another upgrade and equipment fee too. We quickly price ourselves up and out of our desired budget because if we are not careful. And that’s the problem. When it comes to cable tv, they maximize your spend till it’s too difficult for you to pull back. No one wants to “downgrade” or lose something the channels they want to watch, when they want to watch it. Everyone knows it’s a trap. And as a customer, you, me, we… have all fallen victim to their ways.

What would be ideal (in a perfect world) is more like an iTunes model. Pay a flat price to get access to programming. In some ways, Netflix is a great base package to consider. What is missing are new releases, current seasons, and the “fake out” they put you through when shows go missing. It’s happened several times to me as a customer and each time I’ve called to explain that they are abusive with their “customer service” as they yank programming without notice. They still don’t get it. Time Warner customers understand the power of yanking off programs you pay for and expect to receive. However, the content providers get greedy wanting greater fees. The service provider wants lower fees and greater selection. The one forgotten in their negotiations – the customer.

The customer loses. Over and over again, we are losing when it comes to proper television service. We forget when we have cable tv that we pay for the service – to watch a channel we subscribe to in our package. Then we have to sit through commercials. It’s a double-dip. For Time Warner customers, this last time around, CBS wanted a transmission fee to carry their channels. Time Warner wanted to keep the ability to insert commercials they, the cable provider, sells into their channels. The broadcaster or station still sells their own ads direct too. The money is spread across multiple sources of revenue for all parties. Yet, as the customer, we never get true selection and convenience for the price we pay to get quality service.

Cable TV started in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania as a gloried antenna – pull in clear signal for local customers who couldn’t access it without a powerful antenna they couldn’t locate on their home. The name cable tv is named from the cable that ran from the main antenna the provider operated and run into customers’ homes. Don’t believe me? Look up CATV. It’s called “Community Access Television” or “Community Antenna Television” because it provided clear broadcast signal within a local community. Today, they’ve morphed from just broadcast television into behemoth companies selling cable tv, movies on-demand, phone, internet, home security and phone service. Any way they can maximize their investment in the “cable” or fiber they run to your home or through their relationship with you as their customer. It’s a good model.

The problem they face is customer backlash if we were to stand up against their price and packaging practices. They are not the only one to blame for the mess. It’s also the greed flowing through Hollywood. They own the content and will try any means to make more off their investments. This may mean selling rights of certain properties to a network, service provider or even their own services that sell it direct to customer.

There are some trying to fix this imbalance. We know from basic economics of supply and demand that they all can only survive as long as customers put up with their system. It’s really an ecosystem since no one has been successful to break it. Steve Jobs was determined to break it as he did with music with iTunes. What do we do? We can wait around for Google, Apple, Aerio, Netflix and others to do it for us, but until we unite against the system, it won’t change.

So I’ve taken my step to add to those who’ve cut the cord. I am tired of losing time to the worthless channels that compete for my eyes and ears. I miss many quality channels that gave me relevant and timely news, weather and sports. I will miss some shows I looked forward to watching each week. But I am slowly replacing it with more studying, reading and writing. Our family has more time together instead of being sucked into the television. I’ve kept our internet, antennae, Netflix and Redbox for now and will wait for Cable and Content providers to reinvent themselves because of customers like me who said enough is enough.