Every golfer knows that the finer the green, the faster and smoother the ball roll. And that translates into birdies and eagles that Tiger Woods, Phil Michelson, Rory Mcllroy, Sergio Garcia et al keep chasing days on end. Without world class turf managers, these professional golfers cannot practice their trade. I am especially trained to create and maintain those playing surfaces. If you own a golf facility and you aspire to hold a Grand Prix event, I am the guy to help you achieve that end. A smooth playing surface is not only an integral component of any successful golf tournament but a club membership boost. Trained at Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst, which offers one of the best turf programs in the United States and indeed the world and having worked as an intern for two seasons and a crew member for one season at the Pines Golf…
Growing up I would always hear my parents, friends and relatives talk about how much fun collage is. They would all say “Those are the best four years of your life…” or ” Take advantage of your time in school because time flies… ” or “This is the time to make connections, join clubs and gain experiences you will never forget…”. Speaking with other in High School confirmed the same consensus.
I used this as my motivation to get into the school I liked and not compromise on my decision. Getting accepted is exhilarating and fulfilling but what happens next? Schools use marketing techniques to make sure you decide you choose them. You are invited to come and stay a night for orientation and get a taste of what is like to be a student. Stay at the dorms, eat at the cafeterias, listen to the various clubs and urged to participate in activities, visit the gyms, indoor arenas and football stadiums. Now that I look back, the orientation left me excited and made my decision easier. It was the right subliminal marketing message. “Come and join us because we are right for you as you are right for us”. Not overpowering but exciting, “just see what you could be doing if you choose us”. It reminds me of the excitement my siblings and I had the first time we stayed at a resort. The pool, tennis and basketball courts, the gym, sauna and steam rooms. Too much wow and too much excitement to contain ourselves!
The reality finally hits once school starts or at least it did for me. I always longed to go to football and basketball games, join the ski club or play basketball at the gym or at least go exercise on a regular basis. What people don’t tell you is the big elephant in the room. Schoolwork! Lots and lots of schoolwork. I could go to the gym for a well-disserved workout but what about the Accounting homework? I could go play basketball but what about that Marketing blog assignment? I would like to bake the cake and eat it too but I just need to finish my homework first.
If you take a trip back to your educational experience in the early 2000s, you may remember using stick-like tubes filled with colorful ink in order to jot down your thoughts on a crisp piece of white paper. Now fast forward to modern day school life. Where pens and papers use to adorn student’s desktops, nowadays, laptops, tablets, and smart phones are replacing these so called “archaic” items. While using electronic devices in the classroom may be a common trend nowadays, science has shown that the old school method of using a pen and paper to take notes triumphs.
The science behind it
Research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer demonstrates that students who write more actually learn more*. In their experiment, traditional note takers had a better conceptual understanding and had an easier time applying and integrating information learned compared to individuals who took notes on their laptop. Mueller and Oppenheimer postulate that the reason behind this is caused by the focus required when taking notes by hand. Students can’t possible write down every word in lecture when taking notes traditionally, so they are forced to take away key points and word them in a way that makes sense! Also, having your computer open during class may tempt you to check out your besties tweets or your hubbies new profile picture. So make sure you use class time productively and wisely.
So what do I do now to get an A+?
Leave your laptop at home and stop by your local school supplies store to pick up all of the supplies you’ll need to be an A+ student. Pick up a pack of pens, some notebooks, a few highlighters and anything else you think you’ll need to take notes by hand. Now get to learning!
This is what I found when I login my facebook. I visited amazon few days ago, and I was trying to find a trash container for my kitchen. I didn’t place an order, so when I see this advertisement on facebook, I clicked it. I visited amazon again, and I bought a trash container. How can facebook know that I want a trash container? Same thing happens when I visit other shopping websites. The advertisement of those websites that I visited will soon appear on my facebook page. How can facebook and other websites know what I want to buy?
I used to be confused about this. One day, I discussed why facebook is more successful than Renren (It’s like “Chinese facebook”) with one of my friend who are currently working on computer science PhD program. I mentioned that the advertisement on facebook is more effective than the one on Renren. The advertisement on facebook is the advertisement of the websites that I visited, so I would more likely to re-visit the websites again. I asked him how facebook can do this. He explained to me that every time I visit a shopping website, a cookie will be stored on my browser . When I login my facebook with the same browser (I think most of people use only one browser, so they visit facebook and shopping websites with the same browser), facebook can get those cookies and make the advertisement on the shopping websites I visited.
More effective advertisement- A successful way of marketing
I am an indecisive person. When I buy something, it takes me time to make decisions. For example, when I buy a printer, I will compare many different printers and then place an order one or two days later. During the time I make my decision, advertisement about printers will be the most effective advertisement. I believe everyone is more willing to click on the advertisement of the products that they are interested in. “Tracking people’s interests by cookies” is a way that helps shopping websites to make their advertising more effective, and also a way that helps people find the product that they want more convenient. Ignoring the concern about privacy, I think “tracking people’s interest by cookies” is a successful way of marketing.
There has been an explosion of new products as a result of diligent research on the animal kingdom and how some species have developed to solve complex problems that humans are now trying to solve. There is a name for such a field and it is known as biomimicry, a sub field of Bionics. Biomimicry can be defined as the replication and imitation of the models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. There have been a number of products and breakthroughs which have been developed through biomimicry. In this blog I am going to reveal to you my top three favorite examples of some technological advances made through the field. Also at the end of the post please fill free to vote on your favorite of advance out of three.
3) Mercedes-Benz Bionic Concept Car
Let us start shall we? Most of us have dreamed or imagined what it might feel like to fly and soar through sky. But have you ever imagined being a fish on land? I hope not… This leads me to my third product developed through the field Biomimicry, the Mercedes-Benz Bionic concept car. This car is truly a one of a kind. It was designed and modeled after the yellow boxfish (see below) known for its aerodynamic shape and curves. The goal for the car was to achieve the ultimate aerodynamic, light weight, car in order to achieve fuel efficiency. It is truly a one of a kind car and in fact achieved the goal intended when it was designed. According to National Geographic wind tunnel tests have shown off the car’s aerodynamics to actually help boost the cars fuel efficiency to as high as 70 miles per gallon. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Next time you hear the term “You look like a fish out of water” you could very well take it as a compliment given this highly efficient car.
(Mercedes Benz: From Fish to Car)
2) Vertical Wind Turbines
The second product is truly remarkable and poses a solution to a controversial topic. Global warming is a major problem human kind faces and the development of wind turbines producing wind energy have given humankind hope. Yet although we all know wind turbines are good many people feel as if wind turbines look ugly and degrade the beauty of the Earth. This ideology has made wind turbines a strongly controversial topic stalling progress. John Dabiri of Caltech has found a solution to the debate. After researching the tactics and behaviors of schools of fish Dabiri became enlightened of the way such groups of fish take advantage of the currents in order to swim vertically effortlessly. Dabiri confronted with the problem of redesigning wind turbines in the effort of solving spacial, energy and bird issues. What did Dabiri come up with? Well the end result was something out of this world or at least not from dry land. Dabiri designed powerfully efficient vertical wind turbines. This new design which was vertical as opposed to horizontal not only solved the problems of birds being killed but also the problem of spacing the turbines farther from each other meaning now more turbines could be placed in smaller areas maximizing energy creation. Hopefully Dabiri’s design catches on and we start to see schools of wind turbines.
(John Dabiri’s Vertical Wind Turbines)
The number one product made from Biomimicry is a well known one. When I was a little kid I had velcro strapped sneakers since I was too lazy to keep on double tying my laces in order to sprint around the playground. Never did I ever imagine that the inspiration for velcro was to be found in the little fuzzies found in the forests known as burrs. Velcro is probably the best known and most commercially successful product developed from biomimicry. Velcro was developed by the swiss engineer George de Mestral after his dog was covered in burrs when returning from a hunting trip. When they got home the engineer who was intrigued put the burrs to the microscope and discovered tiny hooks to be the root of the stickiness of the burrs. Following this discover Mestral experimented in the hopes of developing a convenent strap and after a few years he did it the 7th best thing since sliced bread was created.
(Microscopic Picture of Velcro)
Well that concludes my top three countdown for favorite biomimicry inventions and advancements. It is truly ironic how some of the best break throughs in science come from other species. Also it is funny how many of the problems created by humans are being solved by other forms of lives such as fish or plants. Humans think they own the world, they might but they are also destroying it. Thankfully we are not the only life on this planet. Please do not forget to vote in the poll for which invention is your favorite, I am curious to find out.
I love breakfast. I love sleep. This is a big problem just about every single morning of my life. The struggle between my two loves leaves stopping to get breakfast every day before work. Fast food companies understand the routine people have in the morning, and they all want to be part of that routine! They are going at each other’s throats to gain me as a customer every Monday through Friday.
The only two breakfast options that cross my mind are McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts. I have decided that McDonald’s has better food, and quicker service. So for now, they are the quality breakfast choice. We have witnessed Burger King, Wendys, and other fast food restaurants desperately try to get involved, with no success. Here comes the newest contender to the ring, Taco Bell.
Taco Bell has unleashed their breakfast campaign that is taking as many shots at McDonald’s as physically possible. With commercials featuring people named “Ronald McDonald” and consistently referencing the actual product of the “Egg McMuffin”. Taco Bell is ferociously pumping out these ads. I can’t watch TV without seeing one. The relentlessness of these ads show how committed people are to their morning routine. This is an interesting take from Taco Bell. I have heard some people say that it’s a poor strategy because it is acknowledging the McDonald’s is the best. McDonald’s has the best product. People may feel the same way about Samsung taking shots at Apple for their competition of phones.
Feed Me, Taco Bell
You know what I think when people say Taco Bell is acknowledging that McDonald’s runs the breakfast industry?! DUH!!! We all know that. Taco Bell isn’t telling me something I don’t know saying they need to compete with Micky D’s. I LOVE how Taco Bell is saying they are better than McDonald’s. You know what I did when I saw these ads, I went out and bought the A.M. Crunchwrap. And it was delicious. And after that, I got the Waffle Taco, and that was delicious! It ALL looks so good.
Who’s the Champ?
The food is great, but I haven’t seen one ad for their coffee. People are looking for coffee in the morning. I make my breakfast choice on the food, not the coffee, but this could be a problem for Taco Bell with other customers. Their coffee game needs to be stepped up to be a big time player. McDonald’s dominates Taco Bell in preferable locations. And this is what it’s all about in the morning. We are always running late anyways, no one has time to go out of their way to get to Taco Bell. I want more Taco Bell breakfast in my life, but I can’t find it as easily as McDonald’s. And that, is why McDonald’s is still the champ….for now.
An insurance broker friend of mine said something to me once that made a big difference in the way I think about sales and marketing. He pulled out a picture of his seven year old son and asked me, “how much do you think he means to me?”. I was taken aback by the question and didn’t know how to respond. He continued by saying, “I’d like to know that in the event of my death, or some other horrible condition, he can get even a hundredth of that value.”. His reason for asking me that was to demonstrate a point: Marketing is not convincing someone to buy a product, it is showing them that they NEED the product. In my friend’s case, he was marketing insurance.
Let’s fast forward a few weeks to when I was talking to my Taekwondo instructor and boss, Master Jorge. He and I were talking about the direction he wanted to take for the school. I brought up the conversation I had with my friend the insurance broker, and he was stunned. With a background in cognitive psychology, Mr. Jorge knew all about sales methodology and different persuasive techniques. What he said next, I will never forget as long as I live. He asked me, “what is it we are selling to people?”. I thought the answer was obvious, Karate, fitness, the features of a course in Taekwondo. He answered with this, “look at everyone that has come into this place. We meet them as knuckleheads, invalids and losers and turn them into successful, fully functioning adults.” It made perfect sense. He was trying to tell me that marketing or selling a Taekwondo school is not just about the features of Karate, but the BENEFITS that come with it. Basically, he said that we are not marketing a PRODUCT, but we are marketing an IDEA, the idea that with our help, we can make any person great.
At the heart of the conversation was the principle that people do not need what we have to give them. People may want what we have, but it is our job to create NEED for our product. In the case of Taekwondo, we are not marketing kicking and punching, we are marketing the idea that there is potential within every single individual who comes through our door. If the consumer does not see the value in creating successful people, then Taekwondo may not be right for them, but that is what we do, our item of value is the success you gain from training.