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Dave’s blog

It’s Time to Take Video Calls Seriously

Friends, when we started to use video at the onset of COVID, I advised to be thoughtful about how we present ourselves.  We are now 8 months into COVID and video calls are no longer a novelty.  It’s time to take video calls seriously.  One company leader I spoke with said that it is now REQUIRED for pitch meetings that those participating have lights, a green screen, and decent microphone.  Over the top?  No, it’s not.  Here’s a screen capture from that drove me to write this post.  It time to CARE about what others see (laundry day!) and hear when we’re on video.

It’s time to step up to well lit, clear sounding calls that make a positive impression.

Is what I’m recommending complicated?  NO.  Extravagant?  Here’s the budget:

– Light ring for face lighting:  $35 to $200 (other lighting options, $100 to $200)

– Bluetooth headset with boom mic:  $35

– Green screen:  $100 to $200,  (with a thoughtful, uncluttered background, you can get by without that)

—————————————————–

TOTAL, to look and sound pretty good:  $70 to $425

Do it already.

Colorado’s COVID-born neighborhood entrepreneurs

It’s likely that Candice Ferguson (above) made great bread and jams before COVID and that Amanda Murphy was a fabulous cook before March 2020.  They have both have turned their skills, ingredients from their gardens, and extra time at home into micro businesses.  Using Facebook posts, in just a few weeks these women are producing at capacity.

What does that say about who we support and how we buy in Colorado?  What we’ve known – that we love buying authentic products from people we know and trust. During times of stress, we even more joyfully rush to buy from these micro businesses.  I know this isn’t just a Colorado thing.  Still, I love that it’s as strong here as anywhere.

Back to our roots.

I find this gratifying – and I find it a thought-provoking reminder that in the age of multi-billion dollar retailers like Whole Foods who strive to meet all our comfort product needs choose to buy from our neighbors.  This desire hasn’t changed since we lived in tribes – wait – we still do!  This is an amazing reminder of why big brands (and even our own businesses) work so hard to build communities of consumers.

P.S.  Watch for the Fetch markets of Colorado artisans (formerly Denver Flea, a podcast episode in 2018)

 

Colorado’s Unprofitable Reopenings are Encouraging

In my interview with Jamie Repenning, President of Colorado-based Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, I was struck by the fact that even as Colorado businesses reopen, constraints in the number of customers that can be in the shops at a time mean that businesses will reopen knowing that they’ll be losing money.  In fact, many were losing LESS while closed than they will reopened.

But, I haven’t heard loud complaining.  I think that says great things about Colorado business and Colorado entrepreneurs: that putting their staff to work serving customers is the priority.

That’s gratifying to me.  Sure, maybe your do-it-yourself haircut wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.  Still, it’s time to reward the commitment of our Colorado businesses by going back to them and leaving big tips.

Possession is 9/10th of the Law… if you want it.

My friend Tom has a wooden canoe he built over 20 years ago.  It hangs magnificently from his garage ceiling where it’s been for many years.  He also had a boat which, despite being meticulously crafted from mahogany, he sold for much less than I’d expected.  “No one wants this stuff anymore,” he said.

He’s right.  My sons and their friends only want things that they use regularly, and that they can easily store in their small homes.  Photos of great, great grandparents?  That’s nice, but no thanks.  Family heirloom furniture?  There’s nowhere to keep it.

It occurs to me that while I purchase things TO LAST, my sons purchase things expecting they will serve their purpose and then be replaced.  A phone, a surfboard, a truck, hiking boots.  Even most new clothing and furniture is designed to be trendy and temporary.

What does this mean to me? I actually think my sons are right.  I’m using this COVID time to get rid of stuff – stuff I never really needed and perhaps didn’t want.  I’ve been giving shipping heirlooms to my sisters.  They’ll keep them awhile before coming to terms that their kids don’t want them either.  My conclusion: the stories about how getting rid of stuff frees your mind?  It’s true!

Not Being a Jerk – Here’s the Feedback

I am easily frustrated by phone trees and “prove-it’s-not-your-own-fault” trouble shooting by cable companies, and others.

My sons criticized me when they heard me exhibiting frustration and being curt with a phone rep, and since then I’ve tried to be nice.  I tell myself, it’s not the rep’s fault that Comcast makes them prove I’m who I am before they will tell me if the internet is out.  My internet has been getting worse and I chatted to see if it could be resolved.  Here’s the end of my last chat exchange.

When the rep thanked me for “remaining so positive,” my heart went out to him – and it still does.  He must take so much grief, and I used to be one who dished it out.  And my internet problem?  I bought new equipment and it works great now.  I guess it wasn’t Comcast’s fault after all (the phone tree still has to go).

 

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