Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

Hi, I'm Blake.

I run this joint. Don’t know where to start? Let me show you around:

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal

PC Widgets

Stealing some of the thunder from Apple’s new OS (Tiger) that comes out this Friday, there is already a widget program for the PC. A widget is a mini application that runs on your desktop behind your open windows. I currently have the local temperature, calendar, search bar, local movie times, and my appointments running on my desktop. Other widgets include a real time stock ticker and live traffic cams. Very helpful indeed and much better than having to load a website for a little tid-bit of information.

Download the program now by clicking here.

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Problem Solving

Some of you may like to know: exactly how does Griffio go about solving our clients’ business challenges? Well, we’ve loosely documented but rigidly followed the below ideology. (It applies to all sorts of problems and not just how to make web-based business software.)

  1. Discover. Find out what the problem is. A lot of times, you can just ask, “What’s the problem?” or “How can I make your job easier?” Otherwise, conduct in-depth research, such as thorough exploration and investigation to expose the predicament.
  2. Design. After you understand where the problem is, you need to think it through. What ways can you solve the issue? What would work best? Continued research must take place to test your ideas during this phase. Contrary to popular problem solving formulas, this is where most of the testing should take place. An example would be how a certain web page will work or how my audience would react to this idea. Try to uncover any potential hang-ups the idea or process may have.
  3. Develop. Create or build the supporting materials. This step generally includes the use of technical tools such as a software editor, a hammer, or even written notes. Good craftsmanship must take place to ensure quality.
  4. Deliver. Once the system or idea is built or completed, deliver it, launch it, present it, or sell it. This is the part where you give and/or tell the “problemee” what you think will best improve their current state.
  5. Support. This is where you help implement you solution, be it an idea or website. Problem solving requires change, both logistical and behavioral. Good support facilitates that change. The audience should be free to ask questions or get training as to how to best use your idea.

Hopefully, this will help or add to how you approach problems. The idea is to use these steps or a derivative of them in solving just about anything. If you come up with any areas that this might not work (i.e. marriage) please let me know by filling out our quick and easy comment box.

People Meeting, Meeting People

Today I had the opportunity to meet with two potential clients in Salt Lake City. These meetings were “first contact” and are only second in enjoyment to “closing a sale” meetings. I really take pleasure in sitting down with people and seeing how our company can help improve their businesses. It’s a pleasure to discover their backgrounds; where they’re from, what they do, and what makes them tick. I think that’s why I like business so much. Lots of psychology invloved. Hopefully my Father’s PHD in Psychology along with his wise influence on me as a boy can help me in that respect.

Robert, my partner and close friend, have really enjoyed this past year since formally graduating. Although we started Griffio while still in school, this day marks a full year in which we have been working full time for ourselves. We’ve learned a lot about failure, success, and have met literally hundreds of individuals. Large ones, small ones, funny ones, boring ones, rude ones, kind ones, fast ones, slow ones, shady ones, and sincere ones. The work we do is a blast. But it wouldn’t be worth anything without the people that work strives to serve.

Even if you’re not in the business industry, take every opportunity you can to meet someone new. It doesn’t take much, but the positive effects will carry you a long way.

(Sorry for the sermon.)

Word Speed Anyone?

Boy, the Snow Family sure loves a good word fight. My diction problems aside, words sure do move a lot faster than they used to. Webster didn’t have “blog” on file in 2003, although the word had been in existence since the inception of the World Wide Web in ‘95. In 2004, the reference publisher had to quickly add it to their online dictionary because it was the most searched word of 2004 along with incumbent and insurgent.

Using the word “consultancy” in the about me section of this blog is kind of fancy smancy on my part, but it is in fact an established business term. Just Google or Amazon it and you will see. Just because Webster’s takes a little longer to catch on, doesn’t mean that the term isn’t a commonly accepted word in the English language. Wanna a faster dictionary/encyclopedia? Try Wikipedia.

Now if we can only get “Strateegery” into the dictionary…

Music that keeps it interesting

More on the entertainment side of things (I’ll get back to business postings soon enough) I’ve recently been enjoying a band called Royksopp. Their album Melody A.M. is quite the delight. Go check it out!

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Ending the suspense on this one…

Smooth Harold? Is it I? Who is Smooth Harold? Let me hastily post the short version of how the blog’s name came to fruition.

I was good friends with a Michael Komenda years back in Brazil. He is like a skinning living version of Chris Farley. Anyway, he had a band called Smooth Harold in high school. I asked him where he got the name from, and he said he once saw a kid wearing a green shirt that said “Smooth Harold” on the back. I liked the name and Komenda had stopped using it, so I took it for myself.

Commenting on the name, my good friend Josh sent me the following text message: “U little blogging son of a gun! I love [the name] – long live King Harold.”

Back at you Tubby! Or should I say, Art Vandelay?

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The Video Game Pianist

I just came across an excellent amateur pianist that has recorded very professional renditions of Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Sonic the hedgehog themes. All solos on the piano. This guy is very talented. Go on, take a trip down memory lane…

Download the album here.

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Want a great FREE magazine subscription?

You can sign up for a free subscription to CMO Magazine by clicking here. The magazine is filled with good marketing advice and has some of the thickest/nicest paper this side of the Mississippi. Just fill out the request form and you’ll be on your way.

I usually despise free internet offers, cause they tend to sell your information, therefore never making the offer free. This one is worth the pickup though.

Disruptive Technology or Disruptive Myth?

John C. Dvorak, a good but rather quirky writer at times, has a great article on why disruptive technology is just a bunch of business rubbish.

Disruptive technology is a term coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. He claims it to be an innovation that comes in cheaper, and is better than current technology. The disruptive technology then supposedly replaces the older technology. Only problem is, there is no real evidence supporting this idea.

Quote from Dvorak: “There is no such thing as a disruptive technology. There are inventions and new ideas, many of which fail while others succeed. That’s it. This concept [of disruptive technology] only services venture capitalists who need a new term for the PowerPoint show to sucker investors.”

Can we stop with the cliches and false ideas as to how to make more money in business? The equation is simple:

Consumer Need + Quality Product + Great Service = Happy Customer. That yields happy profits. (more oversimplied business equations coming soon!)

It’s funny how many businesses forget the first ingredient in the equation…

New Griffio Desktop

Okay, i’ll take it easy on the Griffio promotions, but in the meantime, download our new delicious desktop wallpaper for your enjoyment.

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Griffio: What’s in a name?

griffio-logoI get asked now and then how I came up with the name of my company, Griffio. Here’s the answer:

In the summer of 2003, Dave Andersen (my first partner) and I were trying to decide on a name for our new web company. We created a long list of prospective words. Some good. Some not. Some flat out silly.

Anyhoo, I was reading an article one day by an Italian author named Griffo. At that time, I was also mentoring with a gentleman from Experio (now known as Hitachi Consulting). I liked the “io” in Experio and the “g” in Griffo. So I experimented with the two words until Griffio came out. The name stuck. Armed with an art degree, my sister Lexia told me to emphasize the “g” in the logomark. That stuck, too.

So there you have it. That’s how Griffio came to be.

Baseball Begins…

Yeah, yeah, yeah, i know. Steriods this, steriods that. But despite the cheating of several star players, it is still a great game. Nothing beats eating chilly dawgs smoothered in brown mustard at Turner Field. Anyway, the point of this posting is the excitement I have for a close friend of mine from middle school, Matt Holiday.

He made it to the big leagues last year due to an injury of another player. He started hitting well (even some HR’s and a grand slam) and just like that, he’s now starting for the Colorado Rockies in left field. The wife and I watch him play every now and then on Fox Sports as I muddle under my breath, “shoulda been a baseball player…” But hey, I love my job and the people i work with, so no complaints.

PLAY BALL!!!

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Bloggers = Jounalists?

 

Okay, this might be somewhat of a dated topic, but should biased, opinionated web loggers enjoy the same protection as so called “non-biased, but they really are biased” journalists? Apple Computer seems to think not in wake of their recent litigation against bloggers who got the computer company ruffled when they took the steam out of their new ipods and imacs.

Let me know your thoughts on this one… Do bloggers deserved to be treated as new amateur journalists of the new era? As for me, it is yet to be determined. (Sara, this goes for you too!)

“PFG – pretty freakin good”