Can I bing it? Can you just bing it? Bing it. I just Binged it. Just Bing it. Try Bing. Let me Bing it.

bing

As an avid Googler, I had to try another search engine while I was in China.  They have a Google.cn, but for some reason it didn’t work on my phone.  The first one that came to my mind was Bing.  It was almost a tie with Yahoo, but I’ve just never liked their interface.  If you’ve been to China, you’ll probably realize that many things are restricted on the internet, and it’s difficult to figure out which websites are working and which are not, which is why I switched.

Google has always seemed like the Apple of search engines.  Simplicity.  They don’t put ads, or news, or flashy images on their front page.  Occasionally they’ll make a new design for the Google letters, which is usually somewhat thought provoking.  I think it’s wonderful, but sometimes things get old.  Actually everything I can think of gets old, outdated, irrelevant, etc…  Facts of life.

Is Google not keeping up with the times?  Their power probably isn’t within the simple search (or not so simple, but in terms of technology, the coding probably isn’t that much different than Bing, Yahoo, or Dogpile) interface itself, but more of the information they collect.  After utilizing a multi-purpose search engine like Bing, I have to say I’ve enjoyed it.

First of all, they have an awards program for searches.  Basically if you do a certain amount of searches, you can apply for rewards.  I’m not sure if this is just a short term marketing thing or what, but hey, I’m someone who looks up everything from “how is soda made” to “Mao Zhe Dong Great Leap Forward,” on a daily basis.

Second, Bing has a really neat homepage in my opinion, with more functions.  You could argue that it’s a lot, bright and attractive, but many sites are doing this.  Twitter, Snapchat, WordPress, you name it. They probably have a thought provoking picture of a nice city, or group of people to show culture.  Google doesn’t have any, Yahoo still looks like it’s from the 90s or early 2000’s, and other search engines are just other search engines.  Whoever does the photography for Bing homepage is amazing.  Good luck keeping this up.  It probably cost more money to maintain attractive new images, while Google’s page is very low cost presumably.  Then again, maybe the costs actually bring in more loyal users.

In terms of functions, they have top news at the bottom of the homepage that you can scroll through, while there are also some random boxes and squares on the image that pique my curiosity, but I haven’t used yet.  It’s almost like a super modern search technology.

Third, Bing sounds pretty nice.  I have to admit, Google might have a slight name edge.  Google seems to flow better; “Googled it,” Bing sounds a little more harsh, but still light.  And by harsh I mean straight forward and to the point.  “Go Bing it” sounds more like a command, while asking someone to Google something sounds more lighthearted.

I guess it ultimately comes down to “are you an iphone/mac simplicity is key” type person, or are you an “android phone” type person who prefers more features and something customized?  But the real interesting question is… What is Google going to do (if anything)? And is Bing even going in the right direction?

My first short film production, and the most stressful 48 hours…

Arguing writers, multiple directors with their own visions, really distant filming locations (30-40 miles apart), friends involving friends, paperwork, costs, and etc… All part of making a movie for the 48 Hour Film Project; Bing it if you don’t know what that is.  Regardless it was an extremely eye opening experience into the business of movie production on a budget and a very narrow time schedule.  What started off as a weekend that was supposed to be pure excitement turned out to be one that should have been more expected.  A chaotic mesh of a bunch of newbie filmmakers trying to create something wonderful.

This project also taught me a few important lessons.

1) Involving money in something that’s supposed to be fun makes it no longer fun for the person most involved.

2) Don’t let 10 people from all completely different backgrounds who don’t know each other, try to collaboratively write a romance story in a narrow time span of less than 8 hours.  It will be extremely difficult.

3) People seem to be uncomfortable with the idea of romance, even women.  Or at least coming up with a mushy story.

4) Division of labor, division of labor, division of labor.  Now in filmmaking this is probably disputable, since you have actor/director/producer titles all the time, but I’m sure even they can agree that it was important to separate some duties a lot of times.  I realized even more about this after I partially managed a musical for a small theatre company.  Let the director direct, and just follow his vision.  Give input, but trying to change things can make things hectic for no reason.

5) There are people who really don’t mind putting in money to make things work if they’re involved.

6) It’s the most fun you never want to have again, or at least you’ll want to be more well prepared, or have someone else do all the hard stuff.

Always Hiring Sales Reps

David Cummings on Startups

Jason Lemkin has an awesome guest post on his blog by Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, titled The Second-Timers: Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight – “Never Stop Hiring Reps”. Nick’s learning #6 is that once the repeatable customer acquisition model is working, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups shouldn’t stop hiring sales reps.

At Pardot, we made this exact mistake. We’d ramp up sales rep hiring, hire a few reps (always hire reps in pairs, if possible), and then six months later we’d be ready to hire more reps. Only, now it’d take a couple months to ramp up hiring again, so it would be several more months before we had our newly desired number of sales reps. Instead, the better approach is to always be hiring sales reps, even if you have to say that the start date is a few months out.

Here are a few thoughts…

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The CEO’s of Dick’s and BJ’s must be good friends.

bjsdicks

There are plenty of businesses with some interesting names including those in the image, such as Badcock furniture.  Not sure how some of these get passed, and obviously it’s all perspective anyways.  How often then do these businesses actually create some publicity by using their names together?  It’s not often you see teamwork like the image above.

Sure you have some smart people who may open a grocery store right down the street from their restaurant, while also operating their own distribution business.  You rarely ever see great sign placement or locations like this.  Did the CEO’s just team together and say “hey man, business is slow, wouldn’t it be funny if we teamed up and made a sign called “BJ”s and Dick’s?” haha?  The marketing strategists must have had some drinks on this one.