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Yahoo! Has Lost Its Way

You may ask – was Yahoo! ever all that great to begin with? I don’t know. We used them for domain name registration services for a couple of years. Mostly because it was easy and I didn’t know any better. We were paying more than the average price that existed in my awareness set, but I was satisfied with service.
Shortly after the last renewal of Tammy’s site, Yahoo! sent me an email saying they were lowering the price of their domain registration to $9.95 a year. This was good – I had become aware of the $7.95 registrations at GoDaddy.com and was preparing to move our sites in the coming year. But, I’d be willing to shell out the extra $4 a year ($2 per site) to not have to deal with it.
However – my site came up for renewal in February. When I logged in to see an invoice, their system would not display one. It only showed my past payments. When I clicked the FAQ link (like the email reminder they sent me advised), the only price that I found was $9.95. Great. I was later billed a much greater amount.
When I called Yahoo! (on my own nickel – no 800#), I was advised that I had email accounts along with my service and that service had been priced at the same level as my old service. Upon protest, the customer service rep said there was nothing she could do – they could set it up so that next year I would be at that new level. She said that I had no chargeback rights based on the contract – however, based on finding the $9.95 price on the FAQ that the email instructed me to view, I feel like I would have a pretty easy victory.
Needless to say, we have moved Tammy’s registration over to GoDaddy and cancelled the service with Yahoo (a very important step to remember to do). Mine will follow sometime before next February. If you consistently screw your customers during the few touches you have with them, they will screw you by leaving. Funny how competition works.
As for GoDaddy – I’m pleased so far. A few days after initiating the transfer, someone from their support group called me to see if I had any questions or any problems. They have an 800#, too.

Paging Mr Miyagi…

The GT Men’s basketball team needs your healing powers in the locker room. It’s half time. Please report immediately.

Running

Check out NikeRunning. They have a free, online training app that lets you track your routes, personal mileage, shoe mileage, etc. They also have different training programs that allow you to train for 5k, 10k, halfs, and marathons. The training program will let you specify what level you’re currently at, and will schedule runs that get you to the level you want to be at. You then fill in the calendar with your actual results and track your progress.
Definitely a cool app. I felt halfway guilty plugging in my New Balance shoes. Now if they could just make it accept files out of my Garmin Forerunner, all would be terrific.
Forerunner update – they came out with the 301 model. The cheapest I’ve seen it for is $285 on Amazon.com. That’s over $150 more than I paid for my 201 model, and I don’t see any benefit other than the heart rate monitor. What gives?

MBA or Book of the Week?

The debate is on over at 800CEORead.com over whether you need an MBA or just to read a few hundred books. My take on this is clear – you need both. A common argument is that experience trumps all. However, your past experiences can hinder your judgment as much as it can help it. The academic knowledge you gain will give you frameworks to parse your experience and apply all of your knowledge and talent to a particular situation. Do you need an MBA – of course not. But it certainly doesn’t hurt. After you earn it, you need to keep reading and learning.
Those who say “I have an MBA and I wouldn’t do it again” are probably experiencing ‘Hindsight Bias’ – a phenomenon whereby after learning something, it seems to become common knowledge and you can’t believe you wasted time/energy/money on something so obvious.
With that said, I give you my book of the week – Leadership – by Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani talks not only about principles that have driven his leadership style, but also about how they have transformed and been implemented over the years. He accomplishes this through a down to earth, storytelling voice.
A further note of caution – I think there are too many people around letting these types of books run their lives. This is what worked for Giulani. Another style worked for Jack Welch. Yet another style worked for Lee Iacocca. While there are similiarities, there is no cookie-cutter approach.
Do not go to work thinking you are going to be Jack Welch. Only Jack Welch is Jack Welch. You have to have the right style, at the right time, for the right situation.

What an Irrational Day

So yesterday was March 14th. For those of you who represent dates in the format Month-Day-Year, it was 3.14 – PI day. According to the Wall Street Journal, schools across the country celebrated.
I don’t recall it ever being a big deal when I was in school. I had geometry, trig, and calculus in high school with March 14th being a regular school day like any other. Some schools yesterday had pie eating contests, tried to determine the circumference of moon pies, and even held contests to see which student knew the most numbers to the right of the decimal place. One female student went 205 places to the right from memory. She says she’d memorized out 370 positions. Truly useless knowledge.

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