» business landonhowell.com

The Apple Store’s 5 Steps of Service
posted on Jun 20 2012

1. Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
2. Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs.
3. Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
4. Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
5. End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.


Working Less = Being Productive (Unless You’re Just Being Lazy)
posted on Jun 19 2012

I want to take this article… print copies with big text on large, durable sheets… turn those sheets into a hot air balloon… and drift around the office building of my old company in Seattle because there are 4 manager in-particular who need to read it, again and again.

“…when managers judge their employees’ work by the time they spend at the office, they impede the development of productive habits. By focusing on hours worked instead of results produced, they let professionals avoid answering the most critical question: “Am I currently using my time in the best possible way?” As a result, professionals often use their time inefficiently.”

I feel sorry for people who have to put up with stuff like that. (I used to be one of those people.)

The video pitch for Doulingo is perfect in every way
posted on May 22 2012

Perfectly explains the product, its goal, how it works, and why it matters to you and the world. Also, it’s simple and beautiful. Yeah, I said beautiful.

Zynga looks like a really tough space to work at, you guys
posted on May 11 2012

NYT’s Kevin Roose lives like a billionaire for a day. Seems like part fun, part “no thank you.”
posted on Apr 12 2012

Living Like a Billionaire, if Only for a Day

Everywhere he goes, he gets four-star service. Doors are opened, luggage is carried away wordlessly, and at one point, warm chocolate chip cookies magically appear. When his brakes sputter and his convertible starts spewing smoke, he picks up another Mercedes.


I feel bad admitting it, but my billionaire day has been stressful. Without an assistant, just keeping up with the hundreds of moving parts — the driver, the security detail, the minute-by-minute scheduling — has been a full-time job and then some.

Apple employees’ favorite bar is staffed by Apple security to keep employees from talking about company secrets
posted on Feb 25 2012

…BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, located just outside the company’s Cupertino Campus.

It’s such a popular destination that employees even call it Infinite Loop 7, a reference to an Apple building that doesn’t actually exist.

And the restaurant is not without its share of Apple mythos, either — the company supposedly plants plainclothes security workers inside in order to identify people who might be talking too much about goings-on at the company. People have supposedly been fired for their discussions at the restaurant.

[via BI]

Pinterest, Path, and the Phillies all have the same logo (h/t @mulegirl, @mylawyergabe)
posted on Feb 17 2012

“Same” may be an overstatement, but to call them “eerily similar” wouldn’t be a stretch.

Kudos to ‘Running From The Law‘ for pointing this out… something that is quite obvious and my brain has been all “where have I seen that logo before?” lately.

Sad, but true. @NickBilton tells us what we assumed, but wouldn’t allow ourselves to let soak in.
posted on Feb 13 2012

Writing on the issues surrounding Path’s unauthorized obtaining of your contacts via your iPhone, and Path CEO David Morin’s response to the matter.

At Mr. Morin’s last job at Facebook, his boss Mark Zuckerberg apologized publicly more than 10 times for privacy breaches.

It seems the management philosophy of “ask for forgiveness, not permission” is becoming the “industry best practice.” And based on the response to Mr. Morin, tech executives are even lauded for it.

MOO describing their amazingly awesome new style of business cards will make you want to buy their amazingly awesome new style of business cards
posted on Jan 31 2012

The book I have recommended for the last 2 years, and will continue to recommend
posted on Jan 9 2012

Rework is a business book that explains who your employees and your bosses age 20-35 do what they do, and/or how you should more effectively run your business, work day, and life.

If you were curious how seriously @verge would be taken at CES this year, their setup should answer that question.
posted on Jan 6 2012

My Lawd. That’s an awesome trailer.

[Not trolling here, serious question: Have Gizmodo or Engadget or others ever brought a setup like this to CES?]

Birmingham has one of the most amazing motor companies creating works in downtown. If you know nothing or little about it, read this. (@confedmotors)
posted on Jan 3 2012

That “motorcycle” pictured above? It’s made in Birmingham.

Inside a former flower shop, this team creates kinetic art, metal sculptures of museum quality that are also capable of moving more than 160 miles an hour. Critics have called the fruits of their labor “stunning,” “startling,” “sexy,” “unapologetic” and “astounding.”

The Wall Street Journal actually called their new product “perfect.”

I’ve been to Chick-fil-A 110 times in the last 12 months.
posted on Dec 22 2011

When Chelsea and moved back to the South last year we arrived in Jasper, Alabama on December 17. From December 17, 2010 to December 17, 2011 I consumed Chick-fil-A 110 times. I know this because I’ve used Foursquare to track my activities for the last 2+ years.

I love Foursquare because at the heart of my discombobulated life and ADHD-ish attention span, I am a number geek and map geek. I like to track my activities, and Foursqaure does a good job of that, despite the occasional this.

Foursquare doesn’t yet provide what I would term “substantial analytics” tools to help me break down my activity into something more meaningful like the number of locations visited, the most frequented locations, or breakfast vs. lunch vs. dinner vs. snack binging… but 110 is n indicator nonetheless.

Why the obsession? I wouldn’t call it so much an obsession and I would call it the lack of food and service quality across the board at other fast food chains and restaurants, and how Chick-fil-A has them beat by light years. I love the products Chick-fil-A makes, and how each one (aside from the coffee) is pretty much near perfect. I love the way they treat their employees, and how that translates into how their employees treat me. I love how fast and easy it is to buy something from Chick-fil-A. But at the end of the day Chick-fil-A is simply a great place to eat and always a pleasant, enjoyable experience.

Before I moved to Seattle in August 2006 I faced the stark reality that the business I love the mostest was nowhere near Seattle. By “nowhere near” I mean 763 miles. When one opened about 2 hours north in the Western Washington University student union, I ensured that a weekend trip revolve around food… but the Chick-fil-A was closed the first time… but open the second… and the third, etc. I spent many days trolling them on Twitter to open a Seattle location, and sometimes they responded.

They’ve yet to expand in to Seattle, but I hope they do because every time we drove north to Western Washington University we would always bump into other Seattleites equipped with coolers and dry ice, prepared to haul back weeks of sandwiches to quell their cravings. I’m not joking. That type of behavior makes my 110 visits pale in comparison.

“Dear World, Netflix is an awesome company”
posted on Oct 10 2011

This image (via reddit) puts it in a little better perspective… though Netflix still has a way to go before regaining customer trust due to their recent pricing and Qwikster snafus.

How has no one at @LinkedIn fixed this bug yet?
posted on Sep 28 2011

I love LinkedIn. Love it. Having been in business development roles for for years it’s one of my first stops in the morning and I probably visit the site 20+ times a day.

However, someone over there needs to get their act together.

Background: I’m headed to the first Seattle Interactive Conference (aka: SIC) in November. We’re (we = Doozer) in the midst of launching our new online tool Mittix, and this conference is important for a slew of networking reason.

So I head to the events page for SIC and see that I have 2 connections attending. Two out of ~80? Meh… at lest I’ll have 2 friends there.

I then select the drop-down menu to see that I am one of those connections. The other being a former coworker at ChemPoint who has since launched his own venture.

How the heck and I connected to myself?

This bug has been present on LinkedIn for quite some time and it’s annoying as any bug in the social media tools I use. If LinkedIn can get Obama to visit their Palo Alto campus for a townhall, they should be able to fix an obvious bug.

So, my question is quite ironic: Who has a LinkedIn connection at LinkedIn to whom I can petition the removal of this bug?

Yes, one can refer to it as a “feature gap” or what have you, but it’s obvious that a feature isn’t performing in the manner it should; that’s a bug and I want to report it because I’ve had too much coffee and feeling a little judgmental.

Contact me if you have a LinkedIn contact.

PS – If we’re not connected already, holler.

Do yourself a favor and watch this interview with @Jack and @KevinRose
posted on Sep 23 2011

Nothing just happens.

Jack Dorsey invented Twitter, founded and co-created Square, and co-created my favorite early podcasting site Odeo. In short, he’s full of ideas and, from the look of it, incredibly humble.

Here’s an interview from early 2011 where Jack talks with Kevin Rose, Digg founder.

More great interviews at Foundation.

Nobody ‘Like’ this guy’s speech? No?
posted on Jul 6 2011

A screenshot a took during Mark Zuckerberg’s July 6 announcement from Facebook HQ in Palo Alto.

There is one individual making eye contact with the creator and curator of one of the most influential website of the last 10. See red arrow… that’s the only lady not glued to her MacBook keys, reporting to the twitter and blog-reading masses.

Oh… and one girl on the left who had just taken a picture of Markie Z and was, I assume, uploading it to Facebook.

Phil Knight’s reaction when first seeing the proposed Nike logo
posted on Jun 16 2011

“Well, I don’t love it,” Phil Knight said at the time, “but maybe it will grow on me.”

Aside from the McDonalds arches, the script of Coca-Cola, and the Christian cross, I cannot think of a more timeless and recognizable symbol in the world than the Nike swoosh.

Read the full article over at OregonLive.com.

It’s been 3 months and 18 days, and I still cannot decide what app I’ll build this year.
posted on Apr 18 2011

I harp with people all the time to “just make a decision”. Taking calculated risks is fun, but they have to be calculated. In my brief 30 years my calculated risks surrounded attending a university where I knew no one, solo backpacking through Europe, and moving to the Pacific Northwest with only a room found on Craigslist and no job.

Some risks proved fruitful, some not. Though despite the outcome I wouldn’t change a thing because even through “failure” a ‘Plan B’ and sometimes ‘Plan C’ and ‘Plan D’ were in place prior to action.

With all that said I’m about to kick my own rear into gear, calculating a next step if I aim to meet one of my 2011 personal goals. One of my goals this year, no matter if it flies or flops, is to launch a mobile app compatible with iOS and Android.

One could easily argue that going it alone is quite silly. Therefore, if you’ve got the idea, then I’ve got the resources. We can even draw up an agreement to prevent one another from going all “Winklevi” on each other.

Hit me up.

In business, your role is to constantly reinvent the wheel
posted on Apr 11 2011

Note that it’s not “You break it, you buy it.” That phrase has been repeated so many times, and with such implied anger toward the customer, that it falls on deaf ears.

Take a note from the Christmas Round The Corner store in Fairhope, Alabama and 1) change a cliché message, and 2) stop wagging your finger at a customer during their first interaction with your company.