Monday, May 26, 2008

Dan Graham = Nad Maharg = Mahargdom

I've decided to start a purely personal blog. Dan Graham blog now live!

I think the Austin League will be a great organization, but until I have some time to devote to it, it will remain an idea. Until that time comes I recommend everyone read my new blog and as always, buy some real estate signs

Dan Graham

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Brainwave Recognition

There's an interesting new blog about brainwave recognition out there called I know it's interesting because I write it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Las Vegas anyone?

I was just wondering, how much the city of Las Vegas paid the annual ISA show to be in Las Vegas. I mean, just think of how much additional gambling money the internation craze of sign purchasing must bring.

Most people probably still don't realize just how reliant the Las Vegas economy is on signage. Without the annual conference and the reliance on signage, what would Las Vegas really be? Just a desert...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Speaking of Google...

It's getting closer to the trip to the Googleplex. In mid-April, we will be heading to San Francisco to meet with Google and to explore the mysteries of Googleplex. From free 24-hour cafeterias to cycling swimming pools to 3-D Globes showing searches, Google has spent a lot of money and a lot of time designing a place that is both attractive to potential employees and encouraging to existing employees.

It's probably true that most companies don't have the vast billions of dollars of profit each year to afford such things, but there is a lesson to be learned, or at least a question to be posed. How far do things like free food and activities go within in a company to promote morale, efficiency, intensity and of course, long work hours? Most people work 8 hours a day and then go home, but why go home when the food at work is free and the work out facilities are better than your local gym?

Extravagant ameneties are often regarded as a failed experiment of the dot-com bust, but one has to wonder what our offices would look like today if the investors hadn't pulled their money from the thousands of companies that went belly-up in the '90s. Perhaps they'd all have swimming pools, bean bag chairs and cafeterias.

It's hard to look at Google's success and especially their bottom line and say with certainty that they're not onto something with their employee generosity.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Google Money?

It appears the direction some software giants are trying to move in is that of the "Virtual PC." Imagine a time when your PC is no longer a tangible thing. Your PC, or personal computer, is just a collection of data (emails, documents, music, pictures) that is stored on some network of servers in a building 10,000 miles away. All you have to do is find any computer with a web browser, and you have access to your entire life.

Many techno-worriers believe that this is an evil, invasive model. And while it's true that if a company has the most intimate details of your life on their servers, they hold a great deal of power, and potential for misconduct. I, however, being a lover of all things technical, don't hold this same idea.

I believe that companies like Google, are trying to do a number of different things by virtualizing your PC, but fraud is not one of them. If you consider the potential benefits of Google having all of your information, most of them pretty standard business ideas. For example, if Google has all of your information, they have the most complete demographic profiling capabilities in probably the entire world. They can charge top dollar for people to advertise on their sites, because they know exactly what you, as a consumer, are looking for on a day to day basis. They also have unlimited control regarding where they push those ads on you.

Another point is that if Google turns your PC into an idea, rather than a box, they are taking the power away from the computer hardware, and traditional software companies of the world, and putting it into the hands of the online software companies, the world that Google rules. "Why do I need a brand new desktop PC with Windows Vista, when all of my stuff runs awesome on my 5 year old XP computer?"

I am all for it. I think it's great that when I see an ad in my Gmail account, it's going to be perfectly tailored to what I am looking for. I love the idea that I will able to have all the same productivity on my 5 year old laptop for free that I would on a brand new desktop, loaded with the $500 copy of MS Office.

My only question is, now that I have seen Google Mail, Docs, Spreadsheets, and Pics, where is Google Money? I could really use some free budgeting software right now . . .

. . . . BUY A SIGN! =)

Monday, March 05, 2007

It Takes Money to Make Money - The importance of a good credit score

There are many ways to make a good living in America. If you have nothing more than a high school education and a good credit score, you are in a better position than you may think. I have been doing a good bit of observing the world around me since I have been in business for myself, and I have seen a fair number of people in my little corner of the world who make an astounding living for themselves with nothing more than good credit, and some simple business sense.

With good credit, you become eligible for things like small business loans and lines of credit. You can give your gross annual income a pretty significant face-lift by using those lines to start a business, or lend to others at an adjusted interest rate, or even purchase a ratty home, and fix it up to resell.

America is the land of opportunity, true, but many of these opportunities will come and go if you are not responsible with your credit. Ye Olde Credit Folklore would have you believe that it takes 7 years to recover from the black marks of "In Collections." This does not seem to be the case. Even if your score is below 500, as long as you can settle the debt in a reasonable manner for the collection agency, your credit score will bounce back pretty quickly, and could be in the 700's in less than 2 years.

With your new and improved credit score, the only thing left to master is a pretty simple rule of business that any stockbrocker or real estate agent would tell you: Whatever it is, buy low, sell high. And if you need a sign, design one at BuildASign.comâ„¢

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Schneider Time

Tonight, is sponsoring a Bob Schneider concert downtown. A promoter called us up and asked if we'd like to sponsor the local event and we said we would, and the whole process reminded me of all the strange calls we get requesting trades, barters, in exchange for money or signs.

A lot of people are call trying to get a "good cause" discount or handout, but a lot of people feel as though they need to at least be offering SOMETHING.

One guy called up and wouldn't say why he was calling, only that it involved a great opportunity and that he had to speak to a manager or the CEO or someone like that. I took the phone call because it sounded strange from the description, and a little strangeness is oftentimes just what you need at the officeplace. The gentleman on the phone explained to me that he had a private island in the caribean with a resort that he wanted to "lend out" in exchange for about a $1,000 worth of signage.

I know the market for luxury private island resorts is a little flooded right now, but even that sounded a little too low.