Cyber Monday

My title here at Google is currently “Retail Vertical Specialist.” In short, I work with the large retail companies who advertise with us….
For retailers, the holiday season (that just officially started this past Friday) is the most important time of the year…. For some sub-industries (like toys), over 90% of their sales come from this 2 week period!

Because the holiday season is so important, the media world intensifies it’s coverage and analysis over these months …. They do things like blame low retail sales on high gas prices or the weather… They also feel compelled to come up with cute names for particular time periods. The most famous to date has been “Black Friday,” which is the Friday after Thanksgiving... It’s called Black Friday because this is usually the day that retailers go from “the red”(unprofitable) into “the black” (profitable). To lure shoppers on Black Friday, retailers have been known to offer incredible deals for a small window of time. This year – this tactic caused some pretty interesting commotions, such as people getting trampled on when doors opened or fights among customers for remaining merchandise….

Anyway within online retailing, today(11/28), the Monday after Thanksgiving was usually called “Blue Monday.” Blue – referring to the typical blue hyperlinks on websites ….

This year, however, someone has dubbed today as “Cyber-Monday” …. CYBER-MONDAY????? Doesn’t that sound like a 1989 Movie title, starting Keanu Reeves???

Everyone from Katie Couric to Barbara Walters is talking about “Cyber Monday” today… It's like a flash back to my college professor talking about "the information super highway" ....

I guess I shouldn’t complain …. The fact that the media finally acknowledges that customers are using the web (and Google) to shop for holiday gifts - should make my job easier.

Truth is that several CEOs still believe that the internet channel is too minor to ever focus on…. (Example – TJ Maxx and Marshalls recently shut-down their e-commerce completely) The interesting thing is that today isn’t even the biggest day to shop on the web. That will come in 2 weeks…..

Anyway – I am sure over the next few years – someone will come up with an even more lame name than “Cyber-Monday” … Until then, we seem to be stuck with it.

Merry Cyber Monday everybody….


The Move

As many of you know, I moved in with Amy last week. For the majority of people who ask me, "how is it," I can tell you it's been a week -- but it's great.

Surprisingly enough, what was actually "great" as well was the actual move .... NOW ... Before I discuss why, I can firmly declare the following 3 things:
1) I 100% do not have any desire to ever do it again.
2) The next time I move I will certainly be hiring movers and will be directing rather than doing physical labor.
3) Moving causes a lot of anxiety and, as a whole, sucks.

So - why was it great? Well, first of all, it was an experience. I firmly believe that both good and bad experiences create life lessons that in turn make better individuals. I had never rented a uhaul and moved out of (and into) a place before on my own. I'm glad I did it.

Secondly, I realized that my new building has an unbelievable staff of doormen and a super. When I was moving out of my place - there was only 1 of the 2 elevators working. This caused my super to give me grief about moving...(he really just wanted me to give him money for allowing me to move - but I didn't budge). When Amy and I were moving heavy objects, the super and his wife (the usual morning door-person) didn't even get up to open the door for us! When Amy and I got to my new place, we had an elevator waiting for us - and the doorman helped organize some of our stuff downstairs, which made it so much more efficient. Overall - the move made me realize what a better situation I was moving into.

And finally, I realized that my girlfriend is a straight-up trooper. A lot of woman would resist from the second any kind of discussion about moving without paid movers occurred, but Amy was always in favor. She was also the other half of physical labor AND drove the Uhaul van (on her own request even). I appreciate Amy for so much, but the move gave me another way to appreciate her.

[Side note: Uhaul has a shady re-fueling policy that I doubt you are aware of. Like most rental vehicle places, you have to replace the fuel you used, but in Uhaul's case - they start the van with 3/4 of a tank. Why is this? Well, I can only assume it's because most people are too lazy to realize how many miles per gallon they utilize and over-fill the van]

Anyway - Amy and I truly felt accomplished after the move. It went smoothly and it certainly was an experience.


2 Shout-outs

Quick props to 2 of my boys who had some accomplishments this week...

Chris Heller (and Brad Grossman) opened up their restaurant, 24 Prince, this week. Here is a clip from a recent review in New York Magazine:
"The owners of 24 Prince, opening this week, think they’ve nailed just what Nolita’s been missing: a loungy restaurant with homey d├ęcor and a comfort-food menu of meat loaf and mashed potatoes, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese (24 Prince St., nr. Mott St.; 212-226-8624)."
I'll give it my own review after this Saturday night ... But definitely give it a try if you're looking for a new spot to get your grub on... Congrats Chris!!

Props are also due for my boy Tuna Glantz ... We all know that Tuna (of former "Thursday Thoughts" fame) has a talent in writing ... What you may not know is that he recently got his BUSINESS opinion published by a very prominant internet advertising source recently. Check out Glantz' take on Ad Targeting here. You can also TRY and check out his not-so-serious-commentary here, but, don't hold your breathe ... he likes to keep his fans in suspense.... Congrats on the article, Tuna..



I don’t know if this has always been the case, but in the last 5 or so years, I feel like it’s become really trendy for Adults to embrace Halloween more than kids… It could be that I have merely lived in a kid-unfriendly city during that span … but I like sticking with the “trendy” theme …. Anyway - every year – I like to throw a pre-party on Halloween, followed by a night out of dancing and drinking. This year was no different. Pre-party followed by bottle service at a crowded club that played hip-hop…. Obviously over-priced entertainment, but it really is a once-a-year thing, so it’s fine…. This year – I noticed that most of the going-out public was dressed up, but there were a few people not dressed up ….

Who goes to a Halloween Party without dressing up? Halloweenies do – that’s who (I’m coining the term)!

Would a vegetarian go to an all-you-can-eat meat buffet? Do Jews go to Church? Do blind people drive cars?

I don’t think that everyone should embrace Halloween as much as I do … But I don’t think you should go to a Halloween party if you are not willing to dress up … Go to the movies, go out to dinner, go to a wedding (a popular one this year), stay home, whatever…..

If you are someone who feels compelled to go out, it doesn’t even have to be the best costume (I am not a costume-elitist) As long as you try (and saying “I dressed up like myself this Halloween” doesn’t count) that’s fine … Borrow your friends army fatigue pants, Basketball jersey, or pick-up Doctor’s scrubs….. Just make an effort…..

I believe that all 4 of my blog readers are loyal Halloween observers, but if you know people who are not, make sure they know that we now refer to them as a “Halloweenie” …