Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pyramids made of artificial stone?

Interesting story about geopolymers at

Professor Davidovits was awarded the French Ordre National du Mérite, and is President of the Geopolymer Institute. His most remarkable claim is that the pyramids were built using re-agglomerated stone, a sort of geopolymer limestone concrete, rather than blocks of natural stone. This would explain many of the mysteries of pyramid construction. Handling barrels of liquid concrete and casting in place would be much easier than moving giant blocks of stone. Remarkably, recent X-ray and microscopic study of samples has supported the theory that the pyramids are made of artificial stone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Think & Grow Rich!

Would you like a nearly-free* copy of the book that changed Bob Proctor's life?

Bob Proctor, you may recall, is one of the teachers featured in "The Secret" DVD. I've had the privilege of hearing him in person -- and getting a hug from him too!

Bob's been carrying around the same copy of "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill since 1963. He quotes from it frequently in his personal achievement seminars. It helped him go from being a fire-fighter making $4000/year (and $6000 in debt) to making more than $1,000,000 two years later as an entrepreneur!

My friends Vic and Lisa Johnson are doing this crazy marketing test where they're giving away a hard copy of Napoleon Hill's "Think & Grow Rich."

I'm helping them with their big giveaway and wanted to make sure you got your copy before they take this offer down.

Get the details here: or follow the link in the ad on the right.

Feel free to pass this on to friends. They can get one too if they act right away.

This is one of my favorite books. I know you'll love it!

*Well, the book is free, you just pay a nominal shipping & handling charge.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Expectations Gap

Over at Pajamas Media, Michael S. Malone comments on T-Mobile losing all their customer's Sidekick data October 1st:

The vehemence and paranoia of some of these rumors only underscored what was the single unassailable truth about this episode: that the Sidekick’s one million users had a deep emotional (and often financial) investment in the device . . .and that loyalty had been betrayed.

[...] we have a dangerous gap between consumers’ expectations and what the supplier believes it is obliged to deliver. In this case, Sidekick users expected the data they put on their devices to send to some safe place in the computing cloud where it would always be protected as part of the contract with Microsoft and T-Mobile. Apparently, those two companies thought differently; that their job was to provide the highest quality product and service possible, and to make a good effort to keep customer data secure – and effort that, it seems, did not include creating redundancies and back-up files.

For new products and services, customer expectations are often driven by marketing hype, not the fine print in the contracts. This happens in defense contracting too, when program managers (both government and contractor) tout the benefits to the sponsors, Congress, and the warfighters while glossing over the limitations or technical challenges in the way.

Customers, of course, can always make assumptions about how a product should operate that were never imagined by the marketers or engineers in their wildest dreams. But the Sidekick episode would seem to be a case where the T-Mobile and Microsoft professionals should have been able to put themselves in their customer's shoes.

Systems engineers and their testing brethren need to work with the marketers throughout the development project to understand the end-users' expectations about the product's capabilities. And then work to ensure those expectations will be met -- or the marketing approach modified.

Customer trust and loyalty, once lost, is very hard to regain. Windows 7, anyone?