Jon Sooy

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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

Stevia Lemonade / Cocktail Mixer

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I know what you are thinking. Is this a recipe on Jon’s website? Yep. I am no culinary genius, but life gave us lemons in the form of a monster lemon tree. It produces more lemons than we could ever consume, so I learned how to make lemonade! However, this created a conflict with my personal quest to dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that I consume. Why am I trying to reduce the sugar and carbs? This doctor pretty much sums up my beliefs on the topic. So, back to the lemonade. My wife introduced me to Stevia; a natural herb that is a fantastic substitute for sugar. It is much more powerful than sugar so getting the right amount for lemonade was a bit of a challenge. Most ‘regular’ lemonade recipes use 1 to 2 cups of sugar! The recipe I have uses only 2.4 teaspoons of Stevia! This lemonade also makes a fantastic cocktail mixer!

Watch the video to see Chef Jon in action:


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 8 cups water
  • 2.5 teaspoons of liquid Stevia
  • optional: Vodka

Instructions: It’s simple… mix the above and drink!

Written by Jon Sooy

April 28th, 2012 at 7:15 am

Royally Geeked Out – Sooy Solar Air Space Heater

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These are the video chronicles of my experimental quest to heat a portion of our house using the sun. The idea came to me while driving down the highway: if I could capture heat from the sun in a collector, I could possibly send that heat into my house to help offset my heating bill. Like a lot of great ideas, I soon figured out that there are others already doing this! I found a great Yahoo Group called ‘Simply Solar’ and several web pages that had stories from guys like me trying to accomplish the same thing. One site worth noting is www.builditsolar.com. Thank you to all my new friends who helped me to accelerate this project with the personal accounts of their own projects.

In order to repay my debt to these solar pioneers, I have recorded my progress in 6 short videos. I hope these videos in turn will help others.

Video 1a and 1b: Introduction and basic over view of what I plan to do!

Video 2: Solar Heater Collector Construction

Video 3: About the Screen,Insulation

Video 4: Paint it Black and the Glazing

Video 5: It works!

I have some final tweaks to do but it works! Thanks again to my Yahoo Group and to builditsolar.com!

Shopping list for the electronics and some ducting (all Amazon… gotta love that Amazon Prime):
4″ Inline Blower – 235 CFM – 12 Volt – 1.3 lbs – 5 1/4″ (h) x 4 3/16″ (w) x 6″ (l)
Thermostat Switch – Circuit On At 100°F and Off At 85°F – Large Flange
Fantech RSK 4 Backdraft Damper 4″ Duct
Kintrex SPC0601 7 Amp 100 Watt 12 Volt Solar Power Charge Controller With Digital LED Display
Moeller Injection-Molded Marine Battery Box (One 27, 30 or 31-Series Battery, 13.44″ x 7.75″ x 10.5″)
Everything else was from local home improvement stores.

Written by Jon Sooy

February 11th, 2012 at 4:01 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

Going Postal With Outdoor Speakers

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I am working hard on documenting some of the solutions and ideas that I come up with. I recently purchased Camtasia (great application) to help me put together videos. This is the first! More to come.


Written by Jon Sooy

December 11th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

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

App Addicts

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App Addicts
Whether you’re an iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows Mobile user it has become clear that the ‘app’ is here to stay. What began as goofy gimmicks and games are now a tsunami of options and opportunities for mobile device addicts. As you navigate the marketplace, it is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what apps are best for your particular business. It is interesting to me that despite the search capabilities within my Android phone, most of my favorite apps have been recommended by friends. Fun apps like HeyTell, Words With Friends, and of course Angry Birds! But what about business and productivity in general? Here are my picks for the top five apps for business:

Tripit – Available on all major platforms, this great app helps you organize your travel plans. Flight, hotel and rental car information is all in one place. You can add maps, directions and even share you itineraries with others. Even for the occasional business traveler, this is a must have app. More features here on the Tripit website.

Expensify – Available on Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Palm. This app has an incredible number of features. Highlights are the ability to scan receipts and how easy it is to create an expense report. You can also import data from your credit card. For the full rundown of capabilities, visit the Expensify website.

Evernote – Available on virtually every mobile device (not to mention every operating system). Evernote will keep all of your notes synchronized across multiple devices. I am also a Livescribe user and all of my handwritten notes taken with my Livescribe pen are saved to my Evernote account. I don’t know how I ever lived without it! On the road and forgot that contract? If you saved it in Evernote: no problem! Evernote Website.

Dropbox – For all those files that are not in Evernote. The Dropbox application places a folder on your system and everything you put into this folder is synchronized across whatever devices you wish to include. It works on Android, Windows Mobile and the iPhone. Sort of like Evernote, you can easily access documents and files on the go! Basically, any important documents you have on your computer are now in your pocket. The program is free up to 2 gigabytes and above that there is a small per gig charge. Dropbox Website.

Astrid Task – This is an Android only app but there are similar apps for other platforms. I just found this great app a few weeks ago and it’s beauty is in it’s simplicity. The feature rich alternative available on most other devices is “Remember The Milk.” Astrid is a simple task manager/to do list app that can be used as a stand alone or you can set it to synchronize with your Google tasks (which of course can be linked to your Outlook tasks). I was always tied to my Outlook tasks, now I have my list of things to do with me at all times. Available in the Android Market.

Are you an App Addict? What are some of your favorite apps?

Jon Sooy
VP Sales and Marketing

Written by Jon Sooy

August 6th, 2011 at 8:10 am