Maybe Because They Want To?

A recent Re/code piece tries to explore the motives behind Amazon’s physical bookstores. The author tries to make several assertions that the Amazon spokesperson refutes as the primary motive. Maybe, just maybe, Amazon is doing this simply because they can?

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What Is Apple’s Vision?

Apple is wandering in the wilderness, lost and without direction. If you don’t believe me, just look at any of the product announcements they’ve made in the past few years. The lack of focus and clarity, and the 1970’s variety show feel, are a clear indicator they don’t know what they are or what they want. That former employees are speaking up only reinforces this. They’re even becoming a punchline.

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Who Is Your Customer?

The last few months have seen a bit of an uproar around Airmiles, a rewards program that is used by several retailers to try to retain customer loyalty. The company had decided to start expiring the points/miles collected, effecting giving them an “expiration date”. They backed off, but not after some considerable damage to their image, and new legislation in one province banning the practice. Basically, Airmiles may have overlooked who all their customers are.

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Why Do I Have An Office?

As some people may know, I have rented an office in space operating by Regus, a company that specialized in renting individual offices and short-term office space. So why would I do this, particularly since the trend for many start-ups is for people to work from home? Some of it is about habit, and some of it is about productivity.

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My Grandfather’s Book

Updated: Added link to print book on Amazon and a second CTV interview clip.

This is a shameless plug: my grandfather, Jack Hilton F/Lt (retired) CD, recently published a book about his experiences during World War II.

He was a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force, starting as an instructor on multiengine planes, and later being assigned to fighters. He flew the Hurricane, the P40 Warhawk (known as the Kittyhawk in the RCAF and RAF) and finally the Typhoon. The Typhoon was used as a high-speed low-level ground support plane, using 4 20mm cannons and either a bomb (up to 1,000lbs) or rockets) to take out targets on the ground. During his time during the war, he flew 100 missions, including providing air support for D-Day (Operation Overlord), Operation Market Garden and The Battle of The Bulge.

Jack was recently made a Knight in the French Legion of Honour for his service during D-Day and the liberation of France. The French have been adding a large number of veterans to the Legion of Honour for their service during the war. This comes in addition to his recognition from Holland for their liberation, as well as his Pacific Star, 1939-1945 Star, Aircrew Star (with France and Germany Clasps), Canadian Volunteer Services Medal (and clasp), War Medal 1939-1945 and Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).

Two interviews with CTV News are on-line here and here (heads up, both are autoplay). His book can be found in digital form at Amazon (the link to the Canadian store is here), as well as Chapters, Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble. A print version is also available from Chapters (in Canada here) and Amazon (Canadian link here) on-line , and print versions are expected in other stores in the near future.

Jack is also hosting a book signing on November 21, from 1-3pm. It is at the Hamlets of Cedarwood Station, 304 – 1 Ave NW, Airdrie, Alberta.

Have You Noticed Two Trends In Apple Announcements?

Apple’s event today highlighted a pair of trends I’ve notice since Steve’s passing. One I think is good. The other I’m not so sure about.

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Is It Hard For Non-Developers To Hire Developers?

A post on AlleyWatch proposes a way for a non-technical person to qualify and hire a developer. It presents, among other things, a list of 10 interview questions to ask prospective candidates. The problem, though, is that the author makes some fundamental mistakes in my mind, and is trying to avoid hiring multiple people for multiple jobs.

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