Why the extra label on Dogfish Head specialty beers?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Most national beer brands attach two labels to their bottles -- one on the largest part of the bottle and another on the neck. Small breweries tend to just use one label because the added cost of the second label (materials, machinery, and the complexity of alignment) isn’t worth it to them.

It’s interesting to see that Dogfish Head usually follows this rule, but doesn’t for certain beers. The Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA is their flagship product. It’s 5% alcohol, sold in 6-packs, and has a single label. Their 90-minute IPA is also very popular, but is 9% alcohol. It’s sold in 4-packs for around the same price and has two labels. Why the extra label?

At first I thought it was to prevent people from sneaking the 90-minute IPA bottles into a 60-minute 6-pack, but now that I look at it, they have different color caps as well. So, why does Dogfish Head have that extra label?


Who Will Buy Cisco's Umi?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cisco is marketing their Umi (telepresence) service to consumers, but they've set the price at $600 + $25/month. They’ve signed Ellen Paige and a series of extras who look like maybe they had the idea for Windows 7 to help promote it.

I can't imagine who their intended customer is. Certainly not the tech-savvy-looking people in their ads; they've already got Skype for a $50 webcam + $0/month.

The only people I can imagine doing this are the very rich who have a tech person who maintains their portfolio of technical devices. A video conferencing system could be the latest “must-have” feature for luxury renovations. Even then, it’s a challenge since it requires the other end to have the system as well.

I could imagine a use-case for parents / grandparents to use this on one end with children / grandchildren using it on the other. But, if the grandkid is competent enough to set up Umi, she’s probably competent enough to show grandpa how to turn on the computer, with Skype auto-starting and auto-logging in. Maybe that’s a lot of work, but then again, maybe we want video chatting to be harder than phone calls.

I’m sure Cisco will sell some of these systems. I just don’t understand who will buy them.


Today is not Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It’s one of the few that’s observed by the entire country (store closings are second only to Christmas), but what really stands out for me is that it’s our most celebrated national holiday. Everywhere else in the world, today is just another Thursday.

I’m having just another Thursday in Santiago, Chile. The only evidence I have that today is a holiday is that my Twitter and Facebook are getting fewer posts than normal.

My CruiseWise cofounders here have offered to do something to celebrate Thanksgiving. They’ve both come to the U.S. in the last few years, so it’s interesting to hear them talk about their Thanksgiving experiences. One said he didn’t think he’d really gotten the full experience because all he’d done was sat around and eaten too much with some of his friends. It took me a minute, but I realized: that’s exactly what Thanksgiving *is.*

Thanksgiving has no ceremonies, no requirements for any day but Thursday, and that one requirement is that you eat with people you like. I used to associate Thanksgiving with returning home, seeing family, and meeting up with childhood friends, but now that I don’t go back to Iowa every year, I think of it as a very long weekend that demands nothing of me but dinner. Say what you will about turkey, but I think friends, family, and relaxation are the essence of the day. Even WikiHow’s article on how to celebrate Thanksgiving uses half its space to discuss food and the other half describing how to relax in different ways!

That’s why I’m not ‘doing anything’ for Thanksgiving this year when I’m half a world away. There are no ceremonies to pantomime and expressing the true meaning of the holiday would mean spending the next four days lounging around. I think we’ll keep building a product instead.


Unintentional ease

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The most interesting thing I learned today was that the GRE vocabulary section produces bi-modal results for most French students. The GRE is a computer-adaptive test; it gets harder or easier based on how well you've done. It's meant to more accurately measure ability if fewer questions by reducing the number of very easy or very hard questions for each test taker (in other words, it reduces the questions that a student is almost certainly going to get right or almost certainly going to get wrong).

What my co-founder Nicolas said, though, is that the first few questions were relatively hard for French speakers, but then got progressively easier if they did well. The esoteric vocabulary words with obscure latin roots were just part of his normal French vocabulary! But, if he got the first few questions wrong, the test fed him progressively shorter, and generally Saxon words that were unfamiliar.

Probably not what the test-makers had in mind.



Monday, November 15, 2010

New word today:

whaelstrom (noun): an event or series of events that cause a surge of traffic to Twitter, effectively shutting it down, i.e., a maelstrom of tweets that cause a whale storm. Whaelstrom is a portmanteau combining maelstrom and whale storm. For instance, "Why is Twitter down? Oh, the Justin Beiber - Britney Spears duet just caused a whaelstrom."

A maelstrom is a restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs (from the original, "a large, powerful, or violent whirlpool").

A whale storm is a failure across Twitter that produces Fail Whales for a large number of users. It can be caused by high use or by technical issues.


  © Blogger template Writer's Blog by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP