Welcome to Curious Business
Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
Friday, April 08, 2011
Smart Phones for Dumb People
Anne dragged me kicking and screaming into the 21st century this week -- or at least its showroom. Verizon Wireless stores sell the 21st century in the form of pocket computers that can access the Internet, take photographs and movies, play music, show TV programs, play lame little games, and (incidentally) make telephone calls. For as little as $50 (or $150 with a “protection plan”) plus another $50 in must-have accessories plus another $29 per month for at least two years, I too could live in the 21st century.
I’m pretty sure I won’t like it there. It’s expensive, complicated, conservative, grim, and joyless. Everybody has tattoos.
But the future does at least have dazzling entertainment gadgets and I really do need a new telephone. Getting an ordinary “dumb” phone would shame my supposedly high-tech business. I need to learn about mobile computing whether I care about it or not. So now I’m weighing the advantages and disadvantages of various Android phones. I’m likely to settle on either the HTC Incredible or the Droid X.
Quarterly tax deposits just drained almost $1,000 that I had already spent on inventory because I plumb forgot that my payroll taxes were due. At the moment I’ve got $1,800 on hand to cover $3,800 in obligations. That puts the brakes on 11 reorders that I need immediately and postpones the telephone decision.
If customers obligingly cough up the expected $2,000 in the next two weeks I’ll be time traveling into the future before the month is out.
Minor milestone: It took nearly five years to make my first 5,000 sales at the end of April 2010. At that time I set a goal of reaching 10,000 before 2012 ends. This week I passed number 6,666. And yes, I filled every one of those boxes myself.
It’s still unclear at this writing if the Republicans are going to shut down the federal government tonight. If they don’t back down from their extremist demands by midnight (and if the spineless Democrats don’t roll over as usual), 800,000 federal workers will be lose their paychecks for an unknown time. If the teabaggers get all of their fantasy cuts, 125,000 civil servants will lose their jobs permanently. Either outcome is bad for business.