Posts tagged “utility”

You say hello, they say goodbye

mflogo

More news about technology eating its predecessors:

Moviefone is shutting down its phone-in ticketing business to focus on its app, according to Jeff Berman, president of BermanBraun, which runs the declining movie ticket service. “The call-in service has been in pretty steady decline… Our customers are much more interested in our award-winning app, and we need to invest our resources in the future, part of which involves a major reimagining of Moviefone.” This weekend, callers were informed that the service would soon go silent. Once a dominant force in the world of movie ticketing and listings, the service is best known for the voice of “Mr. Moviefone,” provided by founder Russ Leatherman, that greeted callers.

It’s part of the human condition to see things go by the wayside. In many cases what is lost is replaced by something that is better. A dial-in voice-based movie-listing service is hardly the best solution available to us, and the usage numbers for Moviefone show that. So it’s disappearance makes sense in terms of utility (and business). But with many of these disappearances, what we might mourn is the cultural loss (yes, Moviefone was an element on Seinfeld), recalling the affection we have for the familiarity, even considering it as tradition. Sometimes this collective sense of loss is enough to produce an outpouring that convinces a company that there’s a good-will business case around preservation. While I don’t expect that here, these occurrences are common and are interesting to look it through the lenses of function, business and meaning.

Full story

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • American Made Utility Kilts for Everyday Wear – Their FAQ is clever/amusing, too.
    It is often suggested that Utilikilts* are not “real kilts.” This is 100% TRUE! “Real Kilts” are defined as: “A knee-length skirt with deep pleats, usually of a tartan wool, worn as part of the dress for men in the Scottish Highlands.” Utilikilts*, on the other hand, are manskirts (as are Scottish traditional kilts, and, for that matter, any M.U.G (Men’s Unbifurcated Garment). That being said, Utilikilts* are not Real Kilts, as in “I don’t need a Utilikilt*, I have a real kilt at home” And so the conversation begins; “Then why aren’t you wearing your real kilt on a gorgeous day like today?”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Henry: High earner, not rich yet – [Blogging this purely for the acronym]
    "HENRYs, an acronym we'll use to describe people whose financial situation can be summed up by the phrase "high earners, not rich yet." (I coined the term for a Fortune story in 2003 on the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, the bane of the HENRYs.) Put simply, the HENRYs are the bulwark of the professional and entrepreneurial class that drives the economy. Look in the mirror, Fortune reader, and you'll probably see a HENRY."
  • INFLUENCE AT WORK – Proven Science for Business Success – Robert Cialdini's business site for his work on persuasion
  • Robert Cialdini designs program where utility customers get smileys or frownies on their bill in comparison with neighbors – Last April, it began sending out statements to 35,000 randomly selected customers, rating them on their energy use compared with that of neighbors in 100 homes of similar size that used the same heating fuel. The customers were also compared with the 20 neighbors who were especially efficient in saving energy.
  • Coca-Cola Deleting ‘Classic’ From Coke Label – The Coca-Cola Company is dropping the “Classic” from its red labels in some Southeast regions, and the word will be gone from all of its packaging by the summer, the company said Friday. The font size of the “Classic” has been shrinking in the last decade, and the company removed it from labels in Canada in 2007.

    The language on the side of the label where it now says “Coke original formula” will change to say “Coke Classic original formula.” “Every place else in the world it is called Coca-Cola, except for in North America."

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Ziba's Sohrab Vossoughi on the multitude of sins the consumer electronics companies are guilty of – "Consumer electronics companies need to clearly communicate what their products are about and who they are for." I agree with Sohrab; we find ourselves recommending this very strongly to almost all of our clients. But why are people still writing about this after more than 10 years of usability in the mainstream? I mean this isn't news, except for the fact that it still is true.

Series

About Steve