Archive for December, 2008

The Future of Pubs in 2009

Got a bit of a shock last night as some friends and i hit Dublin’s City Centre for a night out. Some places are visibly in trouble, Ron Blacks was the first big eye opener. Arrived at around 1am and were surprised that on a Saturday Night the place was fairly empty and that getting a table for 8 wasn’t an issue – amazing since the bar next door Cafe En Seine was packed like Sardines. Then we realised why.

Myself and one other ordered Vodka and a mixer. I thought mine was very week and then other the Vodka Drinker in our group said she thought we got her a 7-up cause she ordered a double but didnt taste of any Vodka. We brought it to the Bar Managers attention, he tasted and agreed their was no vodka in them. Then tossed a shot in as if that would be enough to fix the issue – but did not apologise and didn’t seem as shocked as we were. Clearly someone had watered down the previous Vodka bottle as they did poor it from a smirnoff bottle in front of us with the correct measurements.

Now before i go getting myself sued i want to point out i don’t know or think that this was coming from the top down – but obviously they’re having serious problems somewhere in the staffing chain. Needless to say we left after that drink and told others of what happened. One other group we met said they had a similar experience there.

Then off to Reynards for a last drink before we called it a night. Like every other bar in Dublin January is going to be a tough month and I was impressed that everyone from their door staff to the bar staff have signed up to the managers vision to get them through the tough. We hesitated at the door as their was an admission charge into the bar – which we hadnt expected and a few of our expanded group now 10+ including myself were questioning wether it was worth the money since the bar would be closed in half an hour. The door man quick off the ball, just as some of our group went to hail a taxi he negotiated that if all of us went in he’d let every second person in for free.

Which do you reckon of the two will survive 2009?

Commercial Property

Ireland is still in Major denial about the prices of its commercial property sector. At the moment its sitting on a tipping point and many stand on the knife point blissfully unaware.

This month i’ve been Jaw droppingly shocked at the lack of foresight of people / professionals in the business of commercial property. One actually told me “It’s awful times, I’m basing the price on the mortgage (they took out to buy the unit in 2007), that and my small mark up so i’ve no room to negotiate on price.” The person owns property in an estate that has remained 95% unoccupied for the last 12 months and had been fortunate to have a tenant who is now moving out. Supply in the area has doubled in those 12 months. I know it may not sound like it but these are smart people – they just haven’t seen that supply does not always meet demand at the equilibrium point of their mortgage repayments.

Galway Babe Shared this vid on about actually how much commercial property is sitting in Galway used and with no potential for demand to increase.

The more i research the issue the more 2009 looks to eclipse 2008 for its economic recessionary readjustment. The best advice one can hope to offer is that Market Rates take no consideration of the cost to get things to market in recessions.

Steve Jobs – Just Three Stories

Steve Jobs and his Stanford Commencement Speech 2005. His view on college and so much more.

Here’s what i love about this speech. He points out why college isn’t all that and how you can succeed by following what you love. I believe in college but do think you have to be sure your following your own path and not one some education system set out for you – If you follow this path it leads to being an employee and hoping a pension will be your light at the end of a tunnel you don’t own.

How to Write Great Sales Material

Jay Abraham is another of my marketing / Business Hero’s. His method of doing business has created BILLIONS of additional revenue for his clients and, to me, his most important gift is how he simplifies the business process. There’s no rocket science, just well thought out common sense.

In this part of his seminar speech on copy writing he give amazing insight into how he goes about getting to the core of what people really think / want from a product.

Pub Price Freeze – Spin Selling

As some of you may know i’ve put a complete freeze on TV and Newspapers in my life in the last year due do their negative take on the economy and general non-sense that makes it into the news these days.

I do however keep up to date with the salient points of whats going on through blogs and radio. When i read this take on the recent spin selling done with the Irish pub price freeze from The Irish Sentinel i thought you couldn’t have hit the nail on the head better:

So now when you go to a bar and ask for a pint of tap water with Blackcurrant cordial it’ll cost you the same €2.50 in a year’s time as it does now. A bottle of Stella that you can get for less than a euro in the off-licence will be €5.50 next December and it’s €5.50 now. A tiny measure of gin and a splash of tonic that costs the publican less than €1.50 but is sold for upwards of €7 depending on which bar won’t change in price one little bit. And when you’re in a late bar and the price of the pint goes up after 11pm then up again after midnight you can rest assured the prices will only go up by the same amount for the next 12 months.

I think people will recognise that we’re doing our bit for them and they need to do their bit for us by coming into town earlier and not drinking at home, the ungrateful bastards”.

Eco Friendly Christmas Wrapping

Thanks to guykawasaki for sharing this on Twitter.

The Japanese Art of Furoshiki. Now i know most of you will agree this a really cool, eco-friendly idea. But for me this feeds my inate lazy nature – one less thing on the shopping list!

Furoshiki gift wrapping from RecycleNow on Vimeo

Remarkable Marketing

Author Seth Godin is another one of my hero’s. This Marketing Guru is really intouch with the new age of disruption marketing and offers massive amounts of priceless information and inspiration.

In this talk he discusses why TV advertising is dead and how to really launch a product.

Choose from either player to view clip.

Another Great Talk from TED, also Kudos to BMW for sponsoring such an event and its streams.

Trial By Fire

Tim Ferris Author of one of my favourite books and blogs has a pilot show airing on the History Channel in the US. This show looks incredible and i really hope he gets the series – i’ll definately be buying the DVDs.

The Concept

The concept is simple: I have one week to attempt to learn what is usually learned over 5-20 years. I either crash and burn — or survive by the skin of my teeth — in a final test (trial by fire) each time.

If it’s made into a series, which depends entirely on viewership numbers on Thursday night, I’ll deconstruct a new complex skill each week. It will show you exactly how I approach learning, and no fake TV drama will be required to make the stakes real.

This episode was shot in HD in Tokyo and the mountains of Nikko, where I rolled the dice on Japanese horseback archery, or yabusame: full gallop, no hands, no safety gear, with wooden poles lining the track on either side of the horse. Please don’t do this at home. I had access to the best in the world, and you’ll get to see some never-before-seen footage of a rare and brutal samurai sport few non-Japanese have ever attempted. The show preview is here.”