Jon Sooy

Archive for the ‘innovation’ tag

HomeLink Mirror Mod – Adding Homelink to your Leased Vehicle

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What does an Inbound Marketer do on his day off? He makes a YouTube video documenting his latest act of geekery.

After leasing a 2014 Honda Civic, I discovered that the vehicle was not equipped with a programmable HomeLink transmitter. This is not my 2nd Homelink mod as I previously modified the center console in my 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman. See my website for that post.

Since this is a leased vehicle, I did not want to modify the car in any way that I could not undo. So, I purchased a used Gentex rear view mirror that has Homelink. Rather than hard wire the unit to the car, I decided to try and see if I could use a small 12 volt battery to power the unit.

Once complete, I programmed the remote and it works great!

Now once my lease is up, I can swap the HomeLink Mirror out for the original.

Programming HomeLink remote instructions are here: http://www.homelink.com/program

Music by: http://createdbybrett.com

Link to Mini Cooper Clubman HomeLink Mod: http://www.jonsooy.com/mini-cooper-homelink-universal-opener-mod/

Written by Jon Sooy

November 27th, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Home Projects

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Infographic: The Inbound Marketing Explosion

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Infographic: The Inbound Marketing Explosion (via Internet Marketing Blog)

Ever wonder why inbound marketing is exploding? According to a new inforgraphic from Hubspot and Google Plus, the cost of acquiring a lead through inbound marketing is less than half of outbound marketing acquisition costs. Not only that, but inbound marketing leads tend to be more abundant. Research…

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jon Sooy

July 23rd, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Open Source Deep Fried Turkey Video

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Here is another experiment with video editing software. I purchased Camtasia Studio to do some video recording and editing for work. It works fantastic for capturing actions on the computer screen and for editing most regular video types (example here). However, I quickly discovered that it doesn’t recognize .3gp files (a la my Android camera). I found that I needed to convert the files from my phone to .avi or .wmv to get them into Camtasia. Well, that’s a bummer. So, I decided to experiment with a different editor. Because my laptop is running Ubuntu Linux, I tried an open source alternative to Camtasia called Openshot Video Editor. Great choice! Although it does lack many of the features of Camtasia and some of the special effects are a bit clunky to maneuver, I found it to be quite user friendly and let’s face it, you can’t beat the price! Plus, it had no trouble dealing with .3gp files. This has proven to be a great time saver and for my general video editing needs, I will likely use Openshot as my primary platform.

My inaugural project was a deep fried Turkey video:


Special thanks to Brett Juilly for the great background music! (createdbybrett.com)

Written by Jon Sooy

December 28th, 2011 at 9:44 am

The Path Towards World Domination (Part 1)

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After nearly 44 years of careful consideration and study, I have compiled this brief manifesto for success. We all define success in different ways. I don’t care what motivates you, if you do all of these things your way, you will be a successful person. You will live long. You will prosper.

Be enthusiastic. Be a complete and total spaz. It’s infectious and more impressive to more people than confidence. Think Roberto Benigni’s chair jumping scene at the 71st Annual Oscars. See it here.

Be weird. If you haven’t read Seth Godin’s new book, I highly recommend it: We Are All Weird. We are in the middle of a social revolution that has been spawned by technology and historically unparalleled prosperity. Conformity is no longer a good plan for long term success. Your strength is in your individuality. Embrace your inner weird.

Hire weird people. Find people who innovate and give them the freedom to explore and express their ideas in a non-judgmental environment. Here’s a hint on how to find these people: Everyone is weird. The secret? Hire the right weird person for the job/position you have available and let them be weird.

Work out. According to Richard Branson, this one activity alone will net you 3-4 hours of productivity per day. I never said world domination would be easy.

Say ‘Thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry.’ The trick is to say it only when you really mean it. People can tell when you don’t. Coach your team to do the same.

Take shortcuts. But only take them if they do not compromise quality or service. Another good read here is Tim Ferriss’ book: The 4 Hour Work Week. Design systems and implement them but encourage and accept criticism for these systems from your staff. If they are innovators, they will likely come up with an even better system.

Fire people. Your company is a money making machine. Each employee is a part of that machine. Take the weird people you hired and install them in appropriate positions within your machine. If a part is broken or doesn’t fit, replace it. Sorry to sound cold, but if one of your weirdos is not a good fit, you are not doing yourself or your company any favors by keeping them around. In the end you are doing them a favor too.

Listen with your eyes. Study body language and facial expressions. You will learn more from non-verbal cues than you ever will from the spoken word.

to be continued….

Written by Jon Sooy

November 1st, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Go With The Flow

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A client who recently read a very powerful whitepaper written by Greg Collins and Cal Popken asked me to explain the term ‘Tributary Supply Chain.’

So, I shall paint a picture.

Imagine, if you will, a canoe on the shoulders of a mighty river. Picture this boat as it gently travels atop the fast running and bountiful waterway. It can’t help but trust its’ provider as it bounces playfully along on it’s journey. The river and the canoe are a great analogy for how we should picture our our customers, our business, and how the success of the latter relies heavily on a very long list of tributary products and services. As it applies to a restaurant, the customer enters your door and is counting on a safe and pleasant journey. They want to trust that the river that is to carry them through their experience is equipped to do so. Certainly any disruption can and will disturb the balance that we work so hard to maintain.

For example, if a river has a poor supply of water, the canoe will bump around violently because the water cannot protect it from pronounced boulders or other dangers.  A river’s tributary supply is critical to ensuring that the canoe comes out unscathed by hazards.

Your customers don’t begin their experience by travelling from your small wares provider through a warehouse, loading docks, delivery trucks but rather they start their journey at the widest part of the river. Their ride is wholly dependent on the waters from upstream. If tributary items such as small wares, uniforms, paper goods, pop materials, POS supplies, etc are not flowing efficiently into your river, then the canoe will experience bumps from your teams inability to deliver the promise of a safe journey.

Too many businesses rely on themselves to keep the river flowing. For many small businesses this is possible but as we grow and add more locations, it becomes very difficult to keep that river running smoothly by ourselves. Recognizing that the management of your tributary supply system is an essential part of your growth is critical. It’s is an important step towards a bold and healthy waterway.

Written by Jon Sooy

October 17th, 2011 at 10:38 am

Don’t Be Afraid of the Big, Bad QR Code

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I don’t see QR Codes fading into the realm of techno-gimmick anytime soon. A recent article in Print Solutions Magazine provides some compelling data that clearly suggests the opposite. The number of Americans who are only using mobile devices is dramatically increasing. From Print Solutions Magazine: “After all, one in five U.S. mobile phone owners uses the mobile Internet every day (“2011 Mobile Internet Attitudes Report,” Antenna Software). Not only this but according to On Device Research, 25 percent of U.S. mobile phone users are mobile only. In other words, they do not (or very rarely use) a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Internet.” (full article here on page 24) In other words; Americans are becoming very proficient at navigating our physical and electronic world with our mobile devices acting as our trusted sidekick.

In a few of my public speaking engagements on technology, I have used the example of scanning regular bar codes in retail stores with my cell phone to find out if I find and item for less money at another store. In fact, in a bizaar coincidence, eBay did an Internet commercial to this effect and the actor here (Casey Robertson) happens to be a personal friend:

As our mobile devices become more and more sophisticated, the possibilities are almost limitless with regard to our ability to access information. QR Codes are one of the first mobile innovations that begin to bridge the gap between a brand and our ability to access to more information about that brand. Additionally QR Codes fit very nicely into the concept of engagement marketing (as opposed to interruption marketing) in that we, as the consumer, choose what information to access.

Here is some more data to support the idea that QR Codes are here to stay (taken from Print Solutions, June 2011 issue, page 26):

QR Code Stats

I think QR Codes are like many other great innovations that are just starting to take root. There is skepticism, disbelief and confusion about how they work and how marketers might use them. But, remember what people said about Facebook and Twitter when they made their way into the mainstream. I heard comments like ‘It’s a fad’ or ‘it’s just another MySpace’ or ‘it’s for kids, not business.’ Don’t be left behind with QR Codes because even if they do evolve into a different form down the road, understanding their potential now will put you ahead of your competition.

Written by Jon Sooy

June 19th, 2011 at 8:10 pm

QR Codes for Dummies

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QR CodeHave you ever had a lot to say but not enough room to say it? QR Codes might just be what the doctor ordered. You’ve probably seen these odd looking square images pop up on posters, business cards, websites, billboards and even tattoos. QR stands for Quick Response and while it is just starting to take a foothold in the United States, the technology has been around for over a decade and is very popular in Asia. As more and more of us are migrating to smartphones, the use of QR Codes will undoubtedly be a powerful tool for marketing efforts and more.

What makes them special, as compared to a normal barcode, is the fact that they can relay much more information. A regular barcode contains 20 digits in a horizontal arrangement while a QR code can contain up to 7,000 digits, both horizontal and vertical. Simple to scan by using any smartphone with a scanner app, the user simply points his camera at the code and captures the image/data. Then the information within the code is read and pops up on the smartphone. It might be a link to a website, an image or text. Possibilities include but are not limited to: Text, Website URL, Telephone Number, SMS Message, Email Address, Email Message, Contact Details (VCARD), Event (VCALENDAR), Google Maps Location, Wifi Login (Android Only), Paypal Buy Now Link, Social Media, iTunes Link, YouTube Video and more. The possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.

To make a code, you can do it yourself! A few websites that will generate a QR Code are Kaywa or QRstuff. If you don’t have a scanner on your phone already, just search the app store on your smartphone device for ‘QR Code Scanner.’ For Marketers, I recommend that you use QR Codes on your brochures, business cards, billboards, menus, wearables, websites or anywhere you have the need to easily connect your audience with more information.

Jon Sooy
VP Sales and Marketing

Written by Jon Sooy

March 15th, 2011 at 12:03 pm