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Selling Artificial Intelligence

Why License Plate Recognition is not A.I. I got a fine yesterday. No, sorry, not a parking fine, it's a bill from Wilson Parking Enforcement Services (the "Border Force" for shopping car parks). The bill is for liquidated damages. In other words, the shopping centre could have had another car, people and fresh buyers using the same bay.
Oh it was all very clever, really. But it's not A.I. Wilson Parking has automated its Parking Enforcement Service. Without people being involved, I was auto-fined. To be fair, a person did leave the infringement notice under my wiper. I'm sure one day that will be a long-armed robot. Today? A human with a thankless job. A perfect fit for A.I. Let machines do all the work, so that people have time to think. [IBM's Pollyanna Principle (1977)] Let's get one thing straightLicense plate recognition technology is not A.I. License Plate recognition (Optical Character Recognition) has been around since 1978 - we've had i…
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If they don't want it, don't sell it to them

Take note hard-sellers I get a lot of people coming up to my pop-up roof restoration table asking, "How much for a roof restoration?" I explain why I can't answer that question. I don't have the skills.Only the boss can do quotes.We have to see the state of your roof first. How big is the roof? What kind of tiles do you have? Is it Colorbond? Do you want tucking and pointing or do you want the whole gamut of latest technology cleaning, painting and roof protection up there? "It's why I have to send the guys around to give you a quote." At this point, about 50% of the people leave. They don't want "guys coming around" is the only reason why. Many times more people ask me where the toilets are. That's easy. "Over there" I point. Some of this bugs me. I know a lot of sales people who take it personally when they don't get a sale. Boo hoo . . . Wha-? I spent a whole day in Bali (back in 2000) with a guy trying like blaze…

We're All Selling Something

Generating Leads. How hard is a soft-sell? I'm working part time for a mob. On commission. Six days per week. For those of who know me you're probably wondering - but why? I spend so much time promoting Content Marketing, why would I actually go sit in a shop and wait for people to approach me? It would be a thousand times worse if I had to push flyers into people's hands. But it's nothing like that. I literally just sit here, at a table, hiding behind flyers and leaflets. What I'm actually doing is working on client websites and doing SEO. I do nothing at all to promote the product I'm selling. YOU come to ME. It's a slow sales revolution. Everybody's tired of the intrusive fast sell. Surrounding me are flyers, leaflets and promotional material advertising the services of Climate Roof Restorations. Technical information about tiles, roof cavity heat and sun reflectivity surround me. Sometimes I forget to look up. That actually works best. Am I going…

Soft-selling at the Mall

How we perceive the world.

Today I'm a living poster. A mascot for capitalism. I am - the passive sell.

For 7 hours I sit at a desk in the middle of an air-conditioned shopping mall. 6 days per week. An array of pamphlets. A nervous smile. It's 2:30 in the afternoon and I've barely exchanged glances with anyone, let alone produced a lead.

I'm helping a mob called Climate Roof Restorations (www.climateroofrestorations.com.au). The idea is simple. I sit here, in the middle of this fairly obscure suburban shopping mall in the Northern Suburbs of Perth (I didn't know there was a North)  doing whatever it is I want to do - on my iPad (that's mostly doing SEO and setting up websites for clients). Should anyone come up to me, I am to engage them in conversation, takes notes and email the lead to HQ.

It costs $800+ to hire this spot for a week. A bit under $800 for me, plus a commission of $XXX for each successful lead. After paying about $700 per month last year for a…

Mum's Neighbour died.

I just heard that Mum's neighbour, Margaret, has finally died this morning at 8:30am. She was 85 years old. Her husband John died (also from a heart attack) back in 2007 - several months before my own Father. 
Both Margaret and John died from a heart attack. I only say this because a curious thing happens when someone dies. We are instantly reminded about our own mortality. My knee-jerk reaction, even before consoling the family is, "How did she die?" or, if feeling a little more empathetic, "I hope she died peacefully." The short of it is that we really want to know what happened. How did the person die? It's almost instinctual and while most people don't ask the direct question, I personally feel the need to know. Why so? I'm not sure. I also want to know how a person "lost their leg" or "caught a disease". It's a stupid, selfish thought, but we all ask it. Internally if not overtly like myself. Not asking would be inauthent…

Malvern Avenue Junior School 1975

Digital footprints in the playground of my mindI had a birthday breakfast yesterday with Mum and a few friends. I met my friends in various places here in Western Australia. High School, University, during my poor years as an Australian Filmmaker. I love my Mum - and my friends. Most of my mates are mostly 45+ males and we have a lot in common. I live with my best friend - also my fiancee. But my 47th birthday breakfast made me think back - to the much more exciting, early birthdays.Neurons Outlive Our BodiesI was pretty sure we fake most of our childhood memories by looking at family photo-albums rather than the actual re-firing of old neurons, but this article begs to differ. And to me makes sense.Long live the neuronAccoring to the article, both neurons and olfactory smelling cells are the only cells in our bodies that live as long as we do. In fact, if we were to migrate our neurons into longer-living bodies, they would easily outlive us (all this science suggests to me that we ha…

The Drug That Killed River Phoenix

This article was going to be about a new drug I'm on called Duomine, but as I knew very little about River Phoenix (aka the vegan Jimmy Dean) I thought I'd swat up on what's really going on behind that brain-worm ditty. I'll talk about Duomine another time.The song line I'm on the drug that killed River Phoenix is from Aussie alternative band TISM's tasteless 1995 single (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River - and it's a bit cheap, frankly. The single's cover shows a mock-up of River's tombstone and was released shortly after his death. TISM were well-known for criticisin Imperial Hollywood and US pop culture, but they were masters when it came to borrowed interest marketing. More about these guys later.River Bottom's Awkward LifeIn 1944, River's mother Arlyn was born to a Jewish family living in the Bronx. When she finished school, she married a computer programmer but quickly grew bored of her secretarial life. In 1968, at 24, Arlyn dr…