Posts by Simon Pound

  • Hard News: Neither fish nor fowl,

    I'm with you Russell. I'm on the pavement in an instant whenever worried. I'm too chicken to ride in town off cycleways. Too many near-misses when I rode a lot as a teenager. I'm worried I've already used all my cycling luck.

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Hard News: Where do you get yours? (Food…, in reply to bronwyn,

    May I second the Bulk Food Savings - amazing selection and prices. Also, Mt Eden Fisheries on Dominion Rd opposite the Glengarry's, just around the corner is a stealth good fish store. It looks like it might be pretty average, but is always super fresh -I worked at a fish and chip shop for years and got to know a little what a really good fresh fillet looked like. One day I walked past and the window got me. Been going for years now and there are a bunch of disciples that all swear by it.
    If buying veges I like to shoot out on the Northwestern to the fruit shop beside Blossoms cafe on the corner of the riverhead coatesville highway. The ten minutes from the Chev with the new motorway means that in a perverse way it is handier to me now than Parklands. They've got the good milk, like at Green Bay too. Thanks for all the great suggestions!

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Speaker: KidsCan comes back,

    Hi Rick

    Thanks for responding Rick - -lots of words there and carefully selected examples - -but there are some basic questions unanswered - -The Howlett trust money go-round is fascinating and unaddressed- and by running Ltd Liability companies I can't understand how that makes it more transparent.
    Surely if we could see the financials of how they operated we would know more than we do if you don't provide them and say that they are incorporated into the overall picture. This tells us less, not more.

    The total salary renumeration for the people running it is very important - no matter how many times you guys say it isn't. People want to have confidence that this isn't a rort or put together to help the people in charge more then anyone else. People can't make decisions about this without the numbers.

    Do charity balls really operate on the assumption that only a minute proportion of the ticket cost goes to the charity?

    And if you could just tell us what the raincoats cost, for example, we could work out how much of the $35 donation you ask for per raincoat actually goes to the raincoat cost.

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Hard News: Where your money goes,

    Hi Rick

    Thank you for the opportunity to ask questions.

    I would like to know:

    1 - How much does each raincoat cost to buy from Adidas?

    2 - Is a reduction given in the price for the raincoats and is this counted as a donation from Adidas?

    3 - What proportion of the near 2 million raised by Telethon will go on actual service delivery - can you give us a guaranteed figure?

    4 - Are you comfortable with the current proportion of overheads vs delivery of services?

    Thanks for engaging in this manner


    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Speaker: A Very Simple Stroke,

    Remarkable story and remarkable writing. Thank you for sharing this.

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Hard News: Veitch,

    the 'your views' are fascinating - and as terrifying as ever

    As far as I can see there are two ways Veitch could have handled this - he could have come out and said:
    "A terrible thing happened and I am sorry. I pleaded guilty because, although I didn't mean for it to happen, a terrible thing did happen and I do regret it."

    Or - he could come out, like he has, and said that
    he was forced into it by her actions and it was so hard on him, and he is going to sue the media and he had heaps of evidence on her and he wishes he could tell his side of the story and he is so angry and had such a hard time oh and "I had to put my fingers in my ears." ...

    To me - one of these approaches is the one that a man who realised it isn't ok to break a woman's back would take, and the other, well the other is not how any man I would respect would act.

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Speaker: Surviving Small II: Changing Process,

    @ Simon

    Thank you for polite and intelligent points.
    I should have also mentioned that that my point of view did not in any way diminish the point you made about the possible benefit of a story of how Mr. Drury factors PR into the equation - -I would also be very interested to read something on that and you are right there are few businesses who have that option but it is done well. You have to use everything that you have to hand to make business succeed.


    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    I would still be interested to know what you think about providing business help as part of the service - I think that legal and best-practice advice or guidelines or links to information could be an easily incorporated service that would make this a true internet product - as opposed to internet based bookkeeping.

    As to marketing -- the approach you outline of piggybacking makes great sense and is in essence what I was suggesting with an approach of say targeting Master Builders through the professional organisation by tailoring a demonstration of the product and its benefits to that particular sector and then if such an approach is successful targeting other business types and sectors... in that way you would piggyback on the organisation's existing network.

    I think that perhaps people need to see a case similar to their own working - then they might make the jump to that new-fangled interweb.

    I agree fully with the absence of tv and radio spots. A waste of money unless there is a specific objective for simple awareness raising. A campaign that says:
    Telecom use Xero, and so does Joe's Plumbers. Why aren't you?

    Would be good to position the brand as a credible player - -but if you want it to get a big take-up of the product you would need to attempt to leverage people's dread of accounting - -so you would need to tailor the product a bit to be an accountancy explanation as well if a user so chose and then sell it as:
    Xero. Accounting Made Easy.

    Because right now, accounting is hard for everyone - -and the stay on top approach Xero allows you really does make it easier - -but with a bit of tooling around - maybe including a 'what do you want to do' type wizard or something - it could be a demystifying hand-holding helper as opposed to tool.....

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Speaker: Surviving Small II: Changing Process,

    Hi Simon, may I respectfully put a different point of view - -

    I think perhaps Drury's profile comes from his business success - not the other way around.

    His track record - selling a company for a reported $65 million - -is what makes people listen rather than marketing.

    If anything I would say the marketing of Xero has been minimal - -most people have no idea it exists.
    This is an area that Xero really needs to improve I think - amongst internet-savvy people and accounting professionals it may be well-known but amongst the thousands of small businesses - plumbers, chippies, fish and chippies - -that need to pick it up for it to succeed I'd say it has a tiny profile.
    Also the fact it is all online may make less internet savvy people feel it is mysterious and or difficult. If it was marketed as being simple, clear, easy accessible this may help.
    The trial period currently offered isn't a bad idea but you need to import so much data to make it worthwhile that the time involved makes the free trial quite expensive.

    Case studies may be more useful like the video tutorials that are currently there but with assumptions you can play with - -so for example you could have a profile and dashboard showing how it might work for:
    A retail food business
    A retail business
    A service contractor like a plumber
    A distributor
    etc etc

    If a targeted marketing campaign tried to get 10% of, say, Master Builders to use Xero that could be a goal that if successful could be rolled out into targeted campaigns to get other trades carried out through the organising bodies....

    This divide, target and demonstrate benefit approach is probably quite good for gaining users in a sector by sector manner....

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Speaker: Surviving Small II: Changing Process,

    I use Xero and find it good - -but if you are not particularly accountancy-minded it is very helpful to have an accountant that is set-up for xero.

    I use Lock and Partners and they make the process easy for me - -but it would actually help me if the system had a basic primer on the tax and regulatory requirements for small business so instead of just being a bookkeeping tool it could act as a guide to business - offering strategy, case-studies - recommended levels of expenditure - legal maximums - definitions of terms. This seems to be what an internet based model could offer over a cd-rom based MYOB for example. Even if it was just directing people to the appropriate sites where you could find this out.

    I understand it could never replace accountant advice - but putting up simple interpretations and best-practice opinions would make it very helpful indeed.

    (disclosure - I own a tiny portion of xero shares - valued at an amount less than my overdraft - -but it is probably best to state that in this funny gray area of 'advertorial discussion' - - - -

    I bought them because I figured if Rod Drury - internet entrepreneur extraordinaire was backing Xero with not just capital but also by being a full time CEO - then it might go gangbusters..... I'm still waiting ;) ....)

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

  • Hard News: Emma Hart is a werewolf,

    @ I/S

    Yes, there has to be some kind of protest that has wide-reaching effects to bring the attention of the wider-world who simply don't know or care as yet, but should.

    Your idea of turning internet access off for a day also has the added value of being somewhat more grown up and legal than the DoS jest...

    MFAK • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report

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