finding lost bags… is this not the 21st century

Recently both my wife and I had our bags lost by British Airways on a flight back from Canada. They have asked us to send a list of contents to help identify the bags.

Surely if they can look at the contents then the bags have been broken open… so we are going to have to buy new bags anyway.

But this is the 21st century. Surely there is a better way?

Why not:

  • BA staff organize lost bags by day
  • Take photos of lost bags
  • create website where we the customers look at bags by day!

Most people know exactly what day their bags were lost. And what their bags look like (they could also photograph any identifying marks).

This solution would put the time consuming process of bag identification onto the customer. And not require the breaking open of bags. It is also relatively trivial to implement!

Even with 1000 bags a day this would not be tough to do.

Blogging Spain

The on-going scam in the Spanish BluRay/DVD marketplace

It never ceases to amaze me at the absolute ripoff policies of the studios when it comes to selling their discs in Spain. The latest – and one of the most shocking – is in the new release of the Lost TV Series. Now that the series is over of course there are some nice ‘complete’ box sets. Including, of course, a BluRay one.

But look at this:

This is the box set available from Amazon UK for £119. Not bad, considering it is 6 seasons!

Now look at this:

This is the same box set here in Spain. Yes, you are reading that right. €284 (from a suggested retail of €299). That is almost 3 times the cost!

The truly amazing thing is that some of the UK BluRay releases have Spanish on them… so there is not even the extra dubbing, subtitling to take into account. It is just pure greed.


Spain has the lowest per-capita income in western Europe – yet the highest cost of consumer goods. (I could do this same example using the Suzuki SX4 car, which is also more expensive here than in the UK). What is going on? Who sets these prices? Why does no one protest? Why does the government not comment on price fixing (maybe because they are too busy screwing even more money out of the Spanish!).

Blogging SmallBiz

How not to sell – Earth to Rich Schefren!

Recently I watched the incredibly long, 2-part, sales pitch from Rich Schefren over at Strategic Profits. Supposedly Rich is a ‘guru’s guru’ (when it comes to internet marketing I guess, not as in a spiritual guru).

So, I made it through the pitch and I have to say there were some things I found interesting. Perhaps even interesting enough for me to join Rich’s personalized training program and see what it could do to enhance’s sales and profits.

But I had some questions. Principally, had Rich (or his ‘team’) ever dealt with a non-English language focused business. 90% of our customers are Spanish (not surprising, being based in Spain!) and obviously our marketing had to be in Spanish and had to tackle a Spanish approach. Despite what you may have heard, marketing in a different language and country is not just a matter of translating your materials.

So it seemed a valid question.

Now, like almost all of these internet marketing people, getting ahold of them is almost impossible. They want you to buy their product, not waste their time with pre-sales questions. Rich’s company, Strategic Profits, has a support website where you can fill out tickets. So I did. Many days ago. I can log in and look at the ticket progress (none). There is no email address. No way to reach them!

In ‘traditional’ business we focus on getting the customer (and keeping them happy once you have them). I have noticed this trend in online marketing to ‘here’s what we have, like it and buy it or go away’. To them it seems to be all about the sizzle, building anticipation and urgency. That is why they are all in the internet marketing space, and what they sell are courses about internet marketing. It is an incestuous business, creating more people to market competing products.

Or at least that is how it looks from out here.

But the tools are not without merit. And I think that they can be applied to a ‘real’ business… But if you have no interest in answering questions in order to get my money, how interested will you be in answering questions once you’ve got it!

Blogging Music

In Remembrance of Lolly

Just over 5 years ago a dear friend and fellow musician Paul Lawton was killed in a horrific industrial accident.

Paul and I played together in ‘The Margraves’ and on some other sessions. Paul moved out to Vancouver in the late 90s and took up with some great musicians out there, including the multi Juno-nominated band ‘The Paperboys’.

An album is available on iTunes that contains songs of Lolly’s – some sung or intro’d by Lolly himself. The songs were found on a MiniDisc after Lolly’s death and were re-recorded.

If you want to show support for his family – or just want some great folksy/rootsy music then I highly recommend you check the album out!

Read more about Paul at:

Buy the album:

itunes canada:
itunes us:
itunes uk:
itunes spain:
Blogging SmallBiz

The value of things

One of my pet peeves is when I get emails from ‘Internet Marketing Gurus’ who claim that when I buy their course I will get all these ‘bonuses’ at greatly reduced prices.

Here are some recent ones:

Bonus #1: 1 Ticket To “GURU Traffic School”: VALUE: $2,500

Bonus #2: 1 Ticket To Any Live Event In 2010: VALUE: $5,000

You get the idea.


These courses are worth what people will pay for them. So – if you are giving them away for free, they are worth nothing. If you are selling something for $97 then it is worth, oh, I don’t know… $97? Not $2000 and we get 95% off.

And what is even more annoying that people doing this is people believing it! We have arrived at the point where pretty much we cannot believe anything that comes through our email – thanks in large part to idiots who make offers like this.

If you have read other articles by me you know I hate the whole ‘make a million online’ movement. It is – to be blunt – bullshit. Anyone who has done it could probably have made a million anywhere. They had a great business idea and spent thousands of hours perfecting it and their presentation. They did not buy a domain name, set up a wordpress blog, outsource to an article writer and collect a 7 figure sum.

I would challenge any of these gurus to prove

  1. they have in fact ever made the money they claim. A tax return would be nice proof!
  2. that any money can be made doing anything except selling the idea of easy money to desperate people
  3. that anyone who has bought their product went from zero to hero directly because of it

Anyway, rant over.

Welcome to my blog where I will never sell you anything… though if you live in Spain you might want to sign up for – the best way to rent movies in Spain!


Greed as a business model – LOTR on BluRay

In a couple of weeks Lord of the Rings finally makes an appearance on Blu-Ray (the delay caused in most part by legal wranglings).

Fans around the world are complaining that the editions being released are the theatrical editions – not the extended editions that we’ve been able to buy (or rent) for years. (God, has it really been 10 years since LOTR came out?!)

There really only seems to be one motivation behind this: greed.

Paramount knows that LOTR fans have been waiting and will buy whatever edition they put out. And then, in a couple of years, will buy again the extended editions on Blu-Ray. They did this on DVD with good profits, so why not do it again?

Here in Spain, to make matters worse, the LOTR BR Box will cost almost double what it costs in the UK and the USA. And they wonder why piracy is rife. Spain has the largest problem in the western world with movie piracy. And we have the highest average cost – as compared to average income – of DVDs. Hmm. Coincidence?

Do these people never learn? There is panic in the movie industry right now – companies are going out business left and right, people are losing jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars are not being recouped… it is mayhem.

We, as the consumer, of course have to foot the bill where-ever possible…but why?

Rant over.

Blogging Introduction

Coming Soon – just about there

Some of you have asked ‘where’s the content?’. Well, I am almost ready to start posting the weekly blogposts that cover part one – “Choosing a line of Business”.

I know some of you out there want to be in business but don’t know what to do. Over the course of a few posts I’ll delve into what I think are the keys (they’re not secrets!) to creating a business that lasts and will make money.

Speaking out against Hype

I am not a proponent of these ‘passive income’, ‘internet marketing’ ideas and websites. I think you can probably count on one (maybe both) hands the people that have really made money with these things. And do you want to know HOW they made money (shhh – here IS the big secret) they made money by selling their business ideas to other people. i.e. their business is selling you things to get you into business. So the only advice they can really offer is to sell on their ideas (affiliate marketing) or start your own internet business consultancy.

But at the end of the line someone, somewhere has to actually do work! Never forget that. If you can show me someone, apart from a lottery winner, who made a lot of money with no work I’d like to hear about it.

Anyway, rant over.

Nothing to buy

What I am trying to get across is that I am not here to sell you something. Truth is I literally don’t have anything to sell! No ebooks, no affiliates programs, etc etc (though if you live in Spain I strongly recommend signing up for – Spain’s leading mail order DVD rental company!)

I have a proven background in business – from the bottom up. I’ve been a grunt and now I am the CEO of a successful company. I hope that through that I can help you follow your dreams and start a company and make it a success.

Oh – and I am not in the USA! There is a lack of info out here on doing things outside of the world’s greatest temple to consumer culture.

So – stay tuned. Content starts soon!


What’s all this then?

Welcome to my new blog.

What I am going to try and do on here is stick to a basic theme of setting up and running  a small business. Both virtually (i.e. online) and the logistics and practicalities of running a real business.

My backdrop for doing this will primarily be the development and evolution of FilmAmora is Spain’s premier mail-order DVD rental website. (think Netflix if you live in America or LoveFilm if you live in Northern Europe). This is a new concept to Spain and I’ll go through the trials and tribulations I had in creating, developing and marketing the business.

Along the way I hope to have some guests (through postings or interviews) that will shed some light on the process.

As we are based in Spain some of the practical information may only apply to people who’s business is also here, but, I would think that certainly a lot of the same paperwork is needed in Europe and to a lesser degree elsewhere. But, as paperwork will not be the focus of this blog (god knows I have enough of that outside this blog!) then hopefully you’ll find the rest of the info applicable no matter where you are.

Welcome and I hope I can be of assistance.