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The Ring

Ho ho ho, are you beginning to feel the mild pressure of x-mas shopping? Well, here’s my latest find, a sublime idea. MX Design is like not other jewelry business : their rings are hand-crafted in a full array of colours and shapes and they offer custom designs. No two are alike. You still have time because delivery from France only takes a few days, believe it or not and the rings are shipped in a sturdy case! Check out the video.

Rings Like No Other

Hé hé, si vous commencez à sentir la pression des jours qui filent entre vos mains et que vos achats de Noël ne sont pas encore finalisés, voici LA trouvaille! Et la livraison de France se fait en quelques jours donc ne tardez plus!

MX Design est une entreprise française qui se voue au design artisanal de ses bagues de toutes les couleurs et de toutes les formes, taillées sur demande. Chaque bague est unique et livrée dans un boîtier solide.

Rings Like No Other

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Shoe Shopper Experience (true story) and what we can learn from this

A few weeks ago, I was out to buy a pair of high-heeled booties. This, I don’t buy online because 1/there aren’t too many e-tailers in Canada and 2/this is one accessory I have to try before making up my mind. I enter this store that has opened its doors last year straight from France, a store that I’ve come to know and love while I was there.

Price tag: 199. I try it, fits me like a glove.  Then, I look under the sole to remind me of the price and I read…299. So this is when it gets interesting…

Why the price difference” I ask.

It’s in canadian dollars“, he says.

The price you initially saw was in euros, you see the euro sign?” he continues.

Then, I stupidly asked

Why do you do that?“.

And you won’t believe the response. It goes something like this:

I want clients [French expats] to compare the price and see that they are getting the best currency-conversion deal

(in other words, “I don’t have the time or the manpower to change the price tags on EVERY pair shipped from France”).

But hey I’m willing to give you 20% off.“, he adds.

Of course, me being a customer advocate for as long as I can remember, I couldn’t leave it like that (and since I was going to purchase them anyway)

Sir, if there’s one thing we consumers pay a lot of attention to is TRANSPARENCY. I’m sure you know better“.

To that, he replies and that’s when my face turned ocean-blue:

“The customer has to learn.”

True story.

If I had energy and time, I’d add:

“Your price tags must reflect the local currency on very single one of your items because one of these days, a customer is going to come up to you and say that the first price they saw is the one they will pay, not withstanding the tiny currency symbol, because by default, everything in Canada is sold in Canadian dollars.”

“Oh, and you must learn from your customers”.

What we can we (I) learn from this?

From a customer’s perspective? Nothing. Or perhaps hope that the retailer will try fixing this asap, at the eve of x-mas.

From a retailer’s perspective. Survey your customers before thinking that they may be thinking your way.

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First Find: The Hair Dryer

My first find is for you, Ladies. Having spent a few years in France, I discovered some great finds aside from wine and cheese. The Paramount TGR 3600.

Who says a hair dryer has to be cumbersome and dull? The light and compact Velecta Paramount TGR3600 available in 8 dazzling shades. Handcrafted in France, it’s sturdy, powerful, made to last and COLOURFUL. 

When I returned to Montreal, the first thing I did is go look for one. They’re only found in black. Had to have it so I had it shipped from France. For those of you who do regular brushings, I curl like a sheep and it’s just pure bliss when you can do your thing for 30 minutes or so without having the hairdryer pause on you or smoke make a grand entry!

Some additional features : feather-weight (only 350 g), extra long and thick cord, 2 nozzles, low-sound, all the pro features in one. Friend and CEO of Buyosphere, Tara Hunt, tested it and was amazed at the result. This is what she had to say :

“I’ve been needing a good hairdryer for a couple of years now, but the amount of choice out there is a bit daunting. Then Diana showed me this one…I mean LITERALLY showed it to me. She brought it over to my house and let me use it after wetting my hair. It’s fantastic. I also love the colors!”

I’ve since been crusading this find to social communities (facebook, mybuyosphere) and salons bringing it wherever I go. My hairstylist enjoys using it. I’d love to see them hit the shelves across Canada!

 My first find is for you, Ladies. Having spent a few years in France, I discovered some great finds aside from wine and cheese. The Paramount TGR 3600.

Who says a hair dryer has to be cumbersome and dull? The light and compact Velecta Paramount TGR3600 available in 8 dazzling shades. Handcrafted in France, it’s sturdy, powerful, made to last and COLOURFUL. My French hairdresser introduced me to the brand.

When I returned to Montreal, the first thing I did is go look for one. They’re only found in black. Had to have it so I had it shipped from France. For those of you who do regular brushings, I curl like a sheep and it’s just pure bliss when you can do your thing for 30 minutes or so without having the hairdryer pause on you or smoke make a grand entry!

Some additional features : feather-weight (only 350 g), extra long and thick cord, 2 nozzles, low-sound, all the pro features in one. Friend and CEO of Buyosphere, Tara Hunt, tested it and was amazed at the result. This is what she had to say :

“I’ve been needing a good hairdryer for a couple of years now, but the amount of choice out there is a bit daunting. Then Diana showed me this one…I mean LITERALLY showed it to me. She brought it over to my house and let me use it after wetting my hair. It’s fantastic. I also love the colors!”

I’ve since been crusading this find to social communities (facebook, mybuyosphere) and salons bringing it wherever I go. My hairstylist enjoys using it. I’d love to see them hit the shelves across Canada!

Soon my next find..A ring like no other. Stay tuned

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First Find

My first find is for you, Ladies. Having spent a few years in France, I discovered some great finds aside from wine and cheese. The Paramount TGR 3600.

Who says a hair dryer has to be cumbersome and dull? The light and compact Velecta Paramount TGR3600 available in 8 dazzling shades. Handcrafted in France, it’s sturdy, powerful, made to last and COLOURFUL. My French hairdresser introduced me to the brand. Continue reading

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How We Forget in a Jiffy

I have enormous respect for Malcolm Gladwell and having not read Isaacson’s biography, I will prevent myself from drawing hasty conclusions regarding his book review that was published in The New Yorker this morning.

I suppose [Steve] authorized the content of his biography yet, why is the media focussing on his shortcomings? Have we already forgotten his drive to perfection and delivering flawless products over and over again? Wether he was a tweaker is besides the point.He saw opportunities, turned them into ideas and the rest is history. Having read the entirety of this review, I was struck by the constant bashing of a man that is no longer here to respond. I’m hoping that the book conveys a more positive note.

For a nuanced analysis of the Man’s biography see Fox News “He was an innovator…we used to promote success and if they [Entrepreneurs] put in hard work they could benefit from whatever they made..”.

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Jobs :

The passing away of Steve Jobs has left a void for me, personally.I salute his love for making products with customers in mind, for taking technology out of its silo, for making it clear that tech is no longer for the privileged few, for being stubborn, rigorous and light-hearted all at once.

I looked back at his Stanford’s commencement speech in 2007 and remembered where he got his thirst for improving our lives through innovation. Having been brought up in a middle-class household (the story of his adoption is incredible), he had a strong sense of survival and the unwavering willingness to reach for a dream.I’m taking a short-cut here but I’m convinced that his street-savviness was key.Improving the world is how he sums it up.

I was not an Apple fan back in the 80′s.I had my first computer in 1983 with a DOS interface and that’s where my tech knowledge ended.I remember one of my summer jobs working with designers who were sworn to Apple where I would pick fights with the mouse.Lap tops were not common currency at the time. Then, I went on to other things and banned Apple from my life. In the late 90′s, I began seeing macbooks everywhere I went, airports, cafés and I remember thinking that the users didn’t “look” like mac users, me and my misconceptions.

Technology For the Average User

Working with R&D teams on web projects in Europe, my daily mission consisted in ensuring that the customer voice was heard and that it translated well into the products or services. In other words, I challenged and challenged: “is this feature in line with what customers expect/want/need?” “do you think the customer will want to fill in 8 forms in order to register?”, etc.. Some days were more difficult than others.Some wanted to develop the feature because it was so innovative technologically even if it did not make sense from the customer viewpoint at that given moment.How many times did I hear “It’s not made for the average user” or “the customer will eventually learn and grow to love it”? Progressively, we began engaging the customer into the development phase and that did wonders. Developers realized one important thing:customers and they do not always agree on what makes a product great.

Then came the iPhone. A moment in history. A proof of concept that simplicity, performance and innovation can come together to make a perfect product. I remember thinking : “hey, he [Steve] put himself in customer’s shoes, heck in my mother’s!”. His thinking was intuitive and that was missing in IT. As VCs and start-uppers were trying to find the next best thing, he was walking in my mother’s shoes.

Thank you Steve for making this possible and for crushing the belief that technology is made for technologists, and that technology made simple is absurd. Thank you for the mac-pc ads, thank you for that talk with B Gates, thank you for sometimes throwing a tantrum in front of inconsistency. I’m hoping the next generations will keep that drive, that your successor will do you proud. IMU.

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Quoting Seth: The worst kind of frightened person is one with power

The worst kind of frightened person is one with power

How would you define being frightened? Perhaps, the anxiety of failing in front of adversity or change. That anxiety takes comfort in status quo. Timing’s not right. The market’s not ready. Let’s wait ‘n see (what the other guy’s up to). Some are quite witty when it comes to argumenting status quo and the board buys it. “One mistake board members [...] make is that they reward the scared but hyper-confident CEO, instead of calling him on the carpet as he rages at change.” But for how long? In some parts of the world, a business error is shunned upon, out-of-the-box thinkers are criticized, high-risk ventures are rejected from the start. I don’t see room for progress there. Unless that’s exactly their purpose : to be a top-notch second best but make everyone think they came up with the idea FIRST. Yikes.