SomePeopleThink Reed Hastings Can’t Do Anything Right

SomePeopleThink its poor form to shit on the guy whose already down. I’d like to think I am better than that… but I’m not. I will keep this rant against Netflix CEO Reed Hastings short though, and avoid my angry ranting tendency…. Sort of.

Netflix used to be awesome. Although I still currently am a subscribed customer (for now) I literally feel like Netflix has become a bag of punch lines I make during small talk with strangers.

I reiterate, Netflix used to be awesome.

Then everything went terribly wrong. It’s like Netflix Execs sat around a table and decided to see how many things they could do to piss customers off while raising it’s stock price. Here’s what I mean…

Winter 2010: During my rampant LOST addiction and series marathon, the quality of my instant stream is the equivalent of free Internet porn. The remedy? A slew of emails asking ‘How was the quality of you viewing experience?’ Which really means, we know your quality sucks, and we aren’t going to do much about it, but this email shows we kind of care, but again, we definitely aren’t going to do much of anything to fix it (this will become a theme)

The last 2 years: Netflix boasts hundreds of instantly available movies via streaming, 97% of which are totally unwatchable, 2% are watchable with the aid of several grams of weed, with the remaining 1% containing something I am mildly interested in seeing, but most likely have already seen. Case and point: my fiancé and I once used to bicker about which movie to watch. Now we argue about whether or not the one any movie is worth 2 hour of time and then ultimately decide 2 consecutive hours of House Hunters International laden with commercials is still an upgrade.

July 2011: Reed Hastings sends a terse  email announcing it is jacking up prices with little explanation. Bastard.

August 2011: Netflix stock prices plunges

September 19th, 2011: Reed Hastings realizes that people hate him because of the price upgrade. So he sends a mopey email, which I have taken the liberty to paraphrase below:

Dear Customer,

Look I am super sorry I raised prices. I feel pretty bad bad, but charging more makes a lot of sense. Here’s why: because we have researched and found that our DVD via mail business and instant stream business are two VERY DIFFERENT business… even though I will provide no validation of explanation of this statement. To make this more apparent though, I will now actually just create two totally separate business’ that you now have to manage in two separate places – because separating something that was once convenient from one place into two totally different places  will make this way less confusing and cumbersome for you. I will even give this new company where you can manage DVD’s a brand new super vague name (Qwikster) that could be the name of literally any business in the world – from a 711 knockoff to a Cash-for-Checks establishment. DON’T WORRY THOUGH – the envelopes will still be RED because I figured changing the color would devastate you guys more than anything else. Again, don’t worry, the envelopes ARE STILL RED! Again, I realize I’ve probably pissed you all off and I feel really bad, but I am only like 70% sure of what I did wrong, and since I can’t identify the problem, I can’t possibly fix it – but I am making an effort…  look I even wrote this personal email to you.  Oh also, great super sweet news, we now offer VIDEOGAMES! Isn’t that awesome all of you prepubescent 13 year olds?!? So many videogames! Now you never have to make friends! Oh also, about the price raising thing,… its still not cheaper, but now you have two separate things on your bill which is probably easier for you.  That’s about all. Thanks!

Your pal,

REED HASTINGS (this guys name is also something that pisses me off but I realize that is probably unfair)

September 19th, 2011 a little later: Reed realizes that he forgeot to check if the Twitter handle for Qwikster was already taken. It is….by a weed smoking degenerate. See for yourself:

quik2quik3

quik4

This is the only appropriate response I can think off

At least a new company name can’t possibly be a downgrade from Qwikster…

SomePeopleThink  Netflix officially sucks now. I have attached this cartoon I stole from the oatmeal.com in case you are still vague on exactly what happened. The bottom line is that Netflix is like 2 years away from becoming a Harvard case study on how to ruin a great business model with the worst customer service in the world. SomePeopleThink Reed Hastings needs to get this fixed fast before I just DVR my way out of Netflix forever.

SomePeopleThink Jobs Matter, Unemployment Rate Doesn’t

SomePeopleThink this sohpisticated topic is out of place on a blog that also posted a video of a baby dancing to Kid Cudi. Generally speaking, thats correct. But we aren’t idiots, and after reading this on CNN last week, I figured I’d spread some real world knowledge. I also happen to enjoy economics, so admittedly, this is probably far more interesting to me than to others. Worst case scenario, you can baffle that overly political zealot  who constantly  invades your personal space at work. SomePeopleThink this is an interesting perspective on how commonly used stats in the media can be construed to fit that story-line de jour. It’s also a good sign for the American economy. Oh, and to be clear, there is no original thought here, nor political undertone. I am literally just copying and pasting off CNN. (I am pretty sure that qualifies for an APA in-text citation, right?) Enjoy:

CNN – Ignore the unemployment rate, and ignore anything you read that highlights the fact that it increased from 8.8% in March to 9% in April.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s an irrelevant number.  There are so many long-term unemployed in this country, that the unemployment rate would actually be much higher if all of them were counted – more like 16% or 17%.

In fact, this uptick to 9% actually suggests more people are returning to the work force, because people who have given up looking for work are not counted in the official unemployment rate. 113,000 people who weren’t counted as unemployed in March jumped back into the labor force in April.

The only number that matters is the number of jobs created – 244K in April; a LOT more than even the most optimistic economists were predicting, and within striking distance of the number (300k) of the jobs the economy needs to be creating per month to get back down to the 5% unemployment rate we had before the recession.

We also saw the jobs-created numbers for February and March revised higher. April’s gains aren’t some kind of blip– they are spread across a broad range of industries: retail, business and professional services, health care, manufacturing. The only major sector that saw job declines was the government, and that’s a trend we’ve been seeing for a while as states and local governments cut workers amid budget struggles.

Bottom line: April’s jobs report is a good, solid one. The job gains still may not be enough to lower the unemployment rate, especially as we see more people try to find jobs. But it shows the economy is moving in the right direction, and hiring is picking up steam.

SomePeopleThink NBC Dropped the Ball…. and I’m not talking New Years Eve

SomePeopleThink awaking to the chirp of an incoming text message before 9 on Sunday morning can only mean bad news. I just didn’t realize the gravity of the situation.

You have got to be kidding me. There is one show that I actually make an effort to avoid missing each and every week – Perfect Couples. Sometimes I even bear through the commercials.

In a morning haze, I vaulted out of my bed, twisting and turning Black Swan style out of my sheets’ anaconda-like grip.  Racing to my computer, ‘prefcet cupples cancelled’ was the best I could do sans glasses or coffee. Google responded with what I knew was inevitably true. God. damn. it. Here are my five furious reaction to this story:

1) This show was brilliant (ugh, the past tense so soon…), like the second-coming of Friends, except with wittier dialogue, no obnoxious laugh track, and endings that always wrapped up happily but not in that yuppy, Full-House-esque way that nauseates most (see: Modern Family).  The characters weren’t one dimensional by any means, that besides occasional dabbles, weren’t an exaggerated stereotype. (Phoebe the weird chick and Joey the lovable idiot)… these characters had so much fleshing out left, that even mediocre storylines could easily be floated by this crew. And at risk of sounding sexist, the truth was that the 3 male leads in this show weren’t the 3 funniest characters (sorry Rachel… you may be the fondest in my heart, but everyone knows Joey, Chandler and Ross were the moneymakers). This show was spot on, it will be missed sorely.

2) NBC, in what somepeoplethink was a spectacular decision, stacked 5 of the funniest shows on television (maybe the top 5) in a row to dominate the Thursday night viewership (barring those who still can’t get over the novelty  of  the 27th rendition of American Idol…) Sheer brilliance.. Instead of sprinkling hit comedies throughout  the week and convincing viewers to tune in every night (not happening), they just put their eggs in one basket and provide me no reason to change the channel. It’s like NBC accrued the Phillies rotation of TV mainstream comedies and then traded Roy Halladay to tryout some AAA schlep…

3) Speaking of pitching rotations, the lineup ‘closes’ with a 6th show-  Outsourced. Which works nicely as a Brad Lidge comparison (hooray for dorky sports humor!) This show is awful in every sense of the word. Possibly racist, but certainly shallow, never surpassing  the lowest common denomination of humor. Every joke relies on the cultural rift between America and India, because America needs help being more ignorant. How the hell was this show not axed instead?

4) The show that’s replacing Perfect Couples is the Paul Reiser Show. You dont know who he is? Shocking! This replacement show chronicles the ‘road-back-to-normalcy’ of a once successful Sitcom star from the mid 90’s, who now wants back in the game. Enticing, huh? Despite the fact that we can watch this happen in real life with the stars of CougarTown and Mr. Sunshine (I really did like Friends, I swear), we clearly need a watered down, mainstream  version of  Curb Your Enthusiasm.

5) SomePeopleThink  the character Rex was quickly making a case for Best Character on TV alongside Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Dwight Shrute (if you don’t who he is then just nevermind…) His introduction of the ‘table-jump’ as a barometer on manliness was legendary, and Rex will be forever remembered despite this shows untimely ending. I am willing publicly wager anyone that he (Hayes MacArthur is the actor)  will appear in another show, playing a very similar character. Really NBC,  this was a terrible decision ( I am being polite since learning my mother reads this). If you could somehow muster up the courage to admit you were wrong, and re-air this show again next fall, the TV viewing world (the same people who coincidentally happen to be your customers) may forgive you….

SomePeopleThink Life Must be Lived Forwards But Can Only Be Understood Backwards

SomePeopleThink I am over thinking this. I probably am. I admit it. What you are about to read is a narrative, and therefore, you almost immediately don’t care. Thats fine.  I am asking for your input… pleading, even.  The reason I’m about to get all ‘Dear Diary’ on you is because I genuinely don’t know how to interpret the course of events that took place today, and I figured that putting it out to the masses may provide some resolution. Let me be clear, I am not highly emotional or saddened by what happened to me today, mostly bewildered. Enough build up. If you’re still here, thank you. Here are the 5 events that unfolded today, and some background as to why they are significant:

1) 7:15 –  I left for work somewhat later than normal, no biggy, but immediately I halted upon noticing how eerily gloomy it was outside. This would not normally stick out to me had I been back East, but I live in Phoenix now. In 6 months of living here, every day has been the best day (weatherwise) I have ever witnessed in my life. 75 degrees and sunny isn’t the norm – it’s the rule; I rarely see a cloudy day, or even clouds for that matter, but when I do, it is certainly striking. Today was a first though. It wasn’t just cloudy, it was gloomy. Pure gloom. This was a picture I took exiting my apartment complex, with the intent to send it to my fiancee to share the peculiar weather.(I forgot by the time I got to work… but you can understand my instant apprehension…).

2) 7:25 –  One of my quirks is that I tend to harp on the first song (or artist even) I listen to in the morning, knowing it could dictate the rest of my day. As if my life were a movie, I try to select the perfect soundtrack. Days I wake up feeling energetic – I select a tune that sets the pace. Days where morning grog lingers longer than expected – perphaps something more gradual and welcoming into the day’s events.  Today, I woke up with not distinct emotion, but rather an idea for a dedication during my wedding- a Ra Ra Riot song (obviously).  The song is slow and heavy. It’s heart wrenching, emotional, beautiful, and perfect for the dedication….but certainly not today’s ‘mood-setter’. Instead, I decide to randomly shuffle Ra Ra Riot, knowing whatever song fate dealt, would be awesome.  The song dealt to me is entitled, “Dying is Fine”…

3) 9:45 – Nothing is out of the ordinary. I receive an invitation via Microsoft Office ‘Meeting Notice’: 3 of the finance guys want to grab lunch this friday. We all wagered a lunch on our March Madness brackets wherein the winner gets to choose the spot, and everyone else pays his tab. The winner (not me) selected a restaurant approximately 30 minutes away called the Heart Attack Grill, a novelty-themed joint which prides itself on its ultra-unhealthy fare. The fries are fried in pure lard, and if you are over 350 lbs, you eat for free (sadly, not an exaggeration). Although displeased with the blatantly kitschy and needlessly unhealthy selection, a bet is a bet.


4) 11:00ish – My coffee kicks in. It’s time for the typical mid-morning movement. You know what I meanthe one that older iPhone-less men typically grab newspapers for… I, on the other hand, am in the midst of a book (kindle edition) called The Epicures Lament, a story of a mid-aged pessimist who is happy in his hermit lifestyle, and assured he will be even happier when his self-perpetuating death arrives. However, the story line matters much less than the  actual page I was reading – the exact page I was on when someone bolted into the bathroom screaming I had to evacuate – an alarm (not audible in the bathroom) had sounded.  It was clearly not a drill. I quickly finished my business and walked out of the bathroom into an office overrun by chaos: people running in the building, people running out of the building, gasping, and most oddly, men who were not phased or aware  at all. The unusual alarm was a difibrillator siren, activated upon the device’s removal.  This was the cryptic, suicide-note-esque  page I was reading on my phone when I was disturbed… I know it because it was the end of a chapter

5) 11:15ish – John, a co-worker of mine, dies in the parking lot of my work. He suffered a heart attack. I did not know him well, or barely even at all. The extent of our relationship was nothing more than casual formalities passing through the UTC hallways. Therefore, I am not deeply affected by his loss, just saddened knowing the trauma his family will face in the coming days…

Hopefully, you can see why my head has been stuck on the rewind button all day. It was like I awoke to a scripted series of signs for an eventual impending death. I also am perfectly aware that without the 5th event, I would most likely have never connected the previous 4 as an entity at all… or remembered them. It certainly, and likely, is pure conincidence. It probably is. It is… I mean, the weather has called for storms all week, and “Dying is Fine” is only 1 of  27 Ra Ra Riot songs on my iPod, so it was as likely as any other, right? The Heart Attack Grill is a logical lunch selection from a guy who runs 6 miles a day, despite its half an hour distance, and reading the words, “as I contemplate my death…” as death literally unfolds a few dozen feet outside from me isn’t unlikely. Not exactly a profound theme in a novel about an ‘afterlife-anxious’ cynic, after all… and hell, my coworker was severely overweight… and none of these things had anything to do with one another… right??? I am probabaly reading into this far too closely – letting my emotions do the thinking. I don’t know if today means anything. It doesn’t. What’s the date even? The sheer ‘chance’ off all these events, or signs – or whatever they were – occurring this morning has left me in an utter daze. Just your typical ‘cryptic events that seemingly unfold with sequential and increasing relevance… ‘ Fine, I admit it – I’m stuck on the haunting notion about the fragility of life (Not that a 5’5, 300 lb guy is fragile). I’m hung up on one’s ability (or lack thereof) to affect it, and the notion that every day is full of signs that we unknowingly ignore… never able to explore any potential hidden meaning. SomePeopleThink they have no idea what to think…

Some People Think This Legitimizes Potheads As a Real Market

According to a study by TIME Magazine (yea, I can do syndicated research too), 42% of people in America have smoked pot before, and according to another one of my  highly respected sources, answerbag.com, between 15-20% of Americans smoke regularly. This means that, conservatively guessing, 52,191,113 people may have the munchies right now. That is a serious target market (that’s not even including the entire ‘Baby-Sitter/Parents Night Out’ market…or better yet, the ‘Pot Smoking Babysitters’ market…). DiGiorno Pizza has announced a new product that combines a childhood classic, ‘break-n-bake’ frozen cookies, with another childhood afterschool all-star, frozen pizza.

I am really not even trying to be a smartass, but this is brilliant. I mean, how much simpler can they make it for sweet and salty snack seekers? (Especially those whose mind has been relegated to an 11 year old…) Not much. Not to mention, they nailed the pot smoking community’s respective favorite and second favorite treats for hunger pains (I wish I had a real statistic to support that). I’d also like to nod to the fact that they have a boneless buffalo tenders variety as well… well played DiGiorno…well played. In all seriousness,  DiGiorno demonstrates they know how to distinguish themselves in what is a pretty exhaused frozen pizza market – an already tough gig seeing as how cheap delivery pizza is (Any takers for ‘2’ as an over/under on number of years until Dominoes  just straight pays people to eat their pizza?). To me, this is a much smarter move than launching an unoriginal product, such as a wholesome new line of “Healthy DiGiorno” – played out territory that Amy’s has already conquered. DiGiorno is demonstrating what so many companies forget to realize – you don’t need to sell products to people, but instead, products to a lifestyle.  Some People Think DiGiorno is in touch with their consumers.

Some People Think This is Google on Acid

Some People Think Spezify.com is like Google’s artsy, right-brained, RISD grad student cousin. I won’t digress into what I think the possibilities of this will be for the future of search engines, or the possibility of this as a sustainable business venture. There isn’t much to Spezify – it is simply just a search engine. I will keep it brief  and leave you with 5 of my initial reactions:

Spezify.com

1) It’s clearly not as effective as Google or Bing, especially when it comes to ‘information seeking’ answers. Like, if I wanted to know what jobs were available in the Tulsa area – this isn’t the way to go. But…

2) It is interesting and certainly informative for seeking the ‘pulse’ of a topic. For example, today I entered in Spezify “Cutler’s Injury” – a day after the starting QB left the NFC championship game with a knee injury. It does provide a quick look at what people are saying, and links to concrete information about the topic, as well as a unique composition of tweets, Facebook posts, and a mix of articles –  from highly regarded sources to obscure blogs. In my eyes, this is an upgrade from Google’s constraint of returning the most relevant information based on search terms (since the general public opinion was what I was more curious about in this case).

3) As an add-on to #2, it works notably well for intricacies of language that Google can misinterpret. For example, a phrase that I really like is “tick tick boom”, used in the context to describe something amazing or exciting, or  sometimes used in the context of anger, as well. (Anyone who knows me will vouch that I have been trying to promote the positive connotation of this phrase for years, like, “This Chipotle burrito is the tick tick boom.”… That’s neither here nor there though). In Spezify, I find my search results to be much more meaningful in terms of what I am actually looking for, whereas for Google, the entire first page references The Hives’ Tick Tick Boom… (I just wanna see if my phrase has taken off yet…)

4) While not everything that appears on my Spezify search is relevant, this is a fun way to ‘reverse manage’ social media. There are plenty of companies offering services to help manage all of your social media platforms; but how about a platform that uniquely searches a variety of social media dialogue? I predict an eventual splitting of the internet – one half squarely for informaition and answers (Wikipedia, Quora, Google Maps) and another where people engage in conversations; this may be a precursor to a search engine that only explores the latter.

5) This will probably never compete with Google, but it does provoke thought about how different humans recieve information. It’s no secret that we all learn differently, so why would everyone ‘search and receive’ information the same way. I would confidently guess that a stringent list with blue hyperlinks may not be the best way for people to search the web considering how unique each person’s mind is. It almost seems like Google’s interface is skewed towards ‘left-brain’ thinkers who methodically sort through information. Spezify’s interface, especially in the way it populates,  seems more similar to the way creative thought occurs.

Some People Think differently… shouldn’t search algorithms think differently as well?

Some People Believe in Friday Miracles

Some People Love Fridays. Scratch that. Everyone loves Friday. Everyone knows that allt o familiar feeling when you leave work. As you burst open through the pearly gates, you embrace the fresh air, the smell of freedom, the peace of mind of forgetting about work until Monday. and the sounds off you car engine peeling out of the parking lot like you’re a making a prison break. It’s like a moral orgasm.. But today, my Friday was taken to a whole new level – I legit felt like I was in a movie. When  I fill out my dear diary later it will go something like this….

3:25 – Some 60 year-old military customer part-timing in our plant passes me at the water cooler and makes some comment about my new shoes which I have been super excited to wear all week on casual Friday. They are a bit hipster – I admit, but I like that. I think he’s complimenting me at first. Reply ‘Thanks, just got em’. Realize he’s being sarcastic. He walks away. Sorry, sir, I don’t wear Lee Dungaree Carpenters jeans, bright white Reeboks and a fishing vest to work with those glasses that auto-tint, sir. Douchebag.
Happiness Score: -5/10

3:30 – Embarrassed. Angry. Bored. Decide that old bastard just delayed his precious report  until Monday. Not like he’s gonna really use it anyways, true busy work….

now I don’t have any work to occupy my last hour and a half. And for those of you who are cubicle slaves like me – you know the last hour or so on a Friday is usually longer than the first 8 combined. It’s when crazy mode kicks in – like that 36th hour without sleep insanity….
Happiness Score: -7/10

3:35 – Decide to look up movie times for Black Swan. Had planned on seeing this flick all week – I dig that artsy emo stuff. Not playing ANYWHERE in Phoenix Metro Area (really Phoenix?). Shit. No plans for Friday night now. Tweet about it. Realize my phone is now at 20% battery cause I had been tweeting too much about my love for Ke$ha all day (true story, relevant later). Def don’t wanna be that guy whose car breaks down on the commute home and has no cell cause he was tweeting about Ke$ha all day. FML. Can’t even dick around on my phone anymore.
Happiness Score -9/10

3:42 – Hour or possibly more left of work. Not much to do. No night plans. Sadness. Rock Bottom.
Happiness Score: -10/10

….God looks down upon me and pities my patheticness…

3:55 – Guy from finance invites me to come out tonight with some friends. (kinda fruity I know, but I live in a city where I don’t know anyone so this is way better than watching Office re-runs all night…)
Happiness Score: – 5/10

4:00 – Fake fire drill alarm goes off. Boss swings by, tells me that I might as well take off early. Tells me he isn’t gonna come in on company furlough day Monday and I can work from home. FUCK YES!!!!
Happiness Score: 7/10

4:02 – On way out door, super cute girl I’ve never seen before, checks me out, does that little wiggly finger wave and tells me to have a nice weekend in a flirtatious way. (yea I am engaged – love you sweetie– but this still boosts my ego for like a second)
Happiness Score 8/10

4:03 – Get in car. Riding a real big high ride now. Swagga in my step. Ignition on. Radio is mid-song blasting Black Eyed Peas Time of my Life Dirty Bit on cue at the cool techno part – like my life was a movie or something. Peel the hell outta that joint. WEEEEEKENDDDDD
Happiness Score: 10/10

4:05 – Like a G6 comes on. A bit played out at this point but still the perfect song to get me siked for the weekend activities (so many activities!)
Happiness Score: 10/10

4:10 – Highway sign that tells me how long to 101 junction (indicator of how long commute home will be) is unprecedented low 12 minutes. There is a god and I am rededicating my faith to the lord Jesus Buddha Ala Christ.
Happiness Score: 50/10

4:15 – Thinking about this blog post, I miss my service road exit and am forced to take high risk/high reward alternate highway home which usually is slammed Friday afternoons. Amazing Friday Departure may have just turned into 2 hour ride home. FML.
Happiness Score: 5/10

4:23 – Not a single soul on the 101. My car must’ve been filled with redbull cause it grew wings. My life is a god damn movie.

4:24 – Ke$ha on the radio. God heard my tweets. BOOOOOOOM!!! Morale happiness explosion.
Happiness Score 5,462,820/10

4:30 – Roll in to my apartment. Bruno Mars is on all three radio stations simultaneously. Buzzkill…..

Whatever…..weekEARNed!!!!

Happiness Score: 5,462,819/10

Some People Think This Will Change the Way We Eat Ice Cream

It is my great pleasure to introduce you all to the next evolution of alcoholic beverages, Canisters of Cream – a 30-proof whipped cream that comes in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, raspberry, orange and cherry. According to the Boston Herald, these canisters of alcohol-infused whipped cream, are now arriving on liquor-store shelves across [Massachusetts].

What does this all mean for our near-future party endeavors? I have no idea, but here are my knee jerk reactions:

1. Getting hammered while eating ice cream is going to be sweet. Put this shit on top of a chocolate sunday and your ready to party. But this definitely has to come in moderation. Trust me, this has to come in moderation.

2. ummmmmm yeaaaa

Also see: Katy Perry's California Girls music video

3. Is there anyway we can infuse alcohol with salsa? MUY PICANTE!

4. Are all those flavors really necessary? Regular whipped cream tastes pretty damn good to me.

5. Is this ethically wrong? Is this going to push kids to drink? Does this cross the line? Nahhhh its straight.

6. Reddi-Wip is for pussies.

7. Damn I wish I was still in college. One can only imagine what it would be like to be a college freshman with Four Loko and Canisters of Cream. Then again, that sounds like a death wish for 90% of the freshman kids I knew.

8. What is this alcohol-infuse business? Can we infuse alcohol into anything?

9. What happens if you snort this stuff? Please somebody, give it a try and let me know how it goes.

10. John Daly is moving to Massachusetts tomorrow. Why? Cause he’s the fucking man, thats why.

11. How do Amish people feel about this? Do they read blogs? Is there an Amish guy on twitter? Is it ok to follow him? Or do I have to first grow a beard and then beat my wife?

12. I can’t wait until I try this stuff.

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