The Best 404 Error Page, Ever

What can I say, I am a nerd. I click where I am not supposed to. I spend all day looking at websites every websites html and CSS. In my time off I code things for fun (yes it has put strains on my love life). It makes reading an article take an extra 10 minutes. I would not suggest it…

How did they do that here?

Why did they do that there?

Why am I not doing that in my stuff?….

Luckily for me the other day I broke MailChimp. Not really really break it. Just broken enough so that I got a well deserved laugh.

mailchimp 404 error page

I have built plenty of 404 error pages. I even spend some time looking them up to be more creative with my mine. Life is about pushing the limits of creativity in all aspects of your work, but I digress.

If you are bored and want more 404 error pages I suggest you read 33 brilliantly designed 404 error pages. That article did nothing less than inspire me.

What is so brilliant about the MailChimp graphic highlighted above you ask?

Well do not you fret, I have all the answers.

To begin with, it focuses on the current branding of the company. Who uses MailChimp and does not love that little monkey? Mixing him or her (we are not sexist here) with a well known historical figure Sherlock Holmes you now have thoroughly connected with your audience. The branding team has evoked a well known historical figure and the light bulb has popped on above your head.

If you just observe the image you would be confused. A monkey blowing bubbles = no bueno (no good). By adding the clever language below the image. Boom! The creative humor of Sherlock Holmes is evoked.

The smartest aspect of this piece is the theme. The idea that you are searching for something that is missing. It makes perfect sense. You are clicking away and bam! The page you clicked on is missing.

MailChimp’s word play is just brilliant and eases the pain of not ending up where you wished to be.

The thing you should take away from this, that brilliant idea that will change your life — details are everything. Dot your t’s and cross your i’s. Wait, wait, I may have that wrong…

Anyways, it is those little details your customers remember. No matter what business you are in, it may be a smile, a “how are you today”, a hand written thank you note and the list goes on. The devil is in the details and the details are in all your future successes.

You Still Don’t Provide WIFI?

The world of technology has changed dramatically since, well, yesterday. Expansion in the world of computers is exponential.

Exponential — increasingly rapid.

What does this mean for business owners?

It has a vast array of repercussions. The one I want to focus on currently is wireless internet. There was a time when only a select few “joints” around town provided internet. Those days are long gone.

Todays consumer have certain expectations. This goes above and beyond wireless. Hopefully you are an expert in your field of business and already know what the customer demands. When it comes to the infrastructure you provide, you must provide just that – infrastructure. A solid building is no longer sufficient and other permanent amenities are require.

What are the customers expectations today? Good service, quality product and wireless internet. That has been the norm in most hotels and resorts for the last few year. It has morphed from a paid amenity to a free service that is a must.

The coffee shops were some of the first to join the club. Starbucks (and other purveyors of the coffee bean) have been providing quality internet to the public since I can remember. The businesses that have provided this wireless are still around providing it for a reason. In layman’s terms they saw what their customers wanted and acted upon it, providing them the much coveted wireless internet. We are currently seeing a shift towards providing wireless internet in all aspects of hospitality and service industries.

That is right.

Next time you are out at a lovely dinner it will not be your wife asking you to put your phone down and engage with her, but rather: “Honey what’s the wireless passcode?”

Next time you are getting your car serviced.

Next time you are getting your nails done.

Next time you are buying, well anything.

You as a customer will expect a wireless passcode.

You as a business owner best provide that service.

Wireless internet is now a first world expectation. So as a business owner you better hop on the bandwagon before it is too late.

My office (landlord, grocery store, etc.) provides guest wireless, why doesn’t yours?

Brewery Trends Is Live

I will let you in on a little secret. First, you must promise not to tell anyone.

Shhh. No one…..

I love building great businesses.

Brewery Trends is officially online and in the next few paragraphs I will enlighten you about our mission and where we are going. Hopefully you will join us for the ride.

Building great businesses in the 21st century has many different aspects. I find that more often than not new companies (and sometimes established) overlook important aspects of their business. Perhaps it is user interaction, web presence, marketing materials or that horrific logo. The list goes on.

Brewery Trends has come about by seeing a lapse in the fundamentals of the microbrewery space. These men and women throughout the world are brewing amazing beer. When I saw amazing I mean AMAZING!!! Yes, all caps with exclamation points. They are using unique and fresh ingredients. Putting years into educating themselves and making the best products.

But their online presence and marketing just does not match their passion for their products.

That is where Brewery Trends comes in. We fill the void. We focus on all the other things. The parts that are just as important to the business as the product itself and are often overlooked. We do what we do best so these great microbreweries around the world can continue to focus on making amazing beer.

So let me and my team continue to build businesses. Let us shape the online presence of your brewery today and…

Change the beer industry one website at a time.

 

Follow us on twitter @BreweryTrends or connect with us at brewerytrends.com.

What The Web Symbolizes

Years ago. Before my time. Before I was even discussed. Business functioned a different way. The barrier to entry was vast. The knowledge required was insurmountable. Today is a different day.

Let me try again. Today is a different day.

Hopefully you got it this time.

Today our generations starts billion dollar corporations overnight. That is right: corporations. Those things with boards, shareholders and free coffee! Companies that employ hundreds, if not thousands. These simple ideas have changed the way we consume content, interact with people and function on a day to day basis. Things have changed.

The game has changed.

Opportunities abound. More so than ever before. They are no longer hidden behind years of climbing the corporate ladder. Everything needed to be successful is truly right in front of you. Access to capital is literally an email away. Perhaps you lack the network or necessary email addresses? Than it is simply a crowd-funding site away.

The internet lends you access to everything you need.

The thought process to run a multi-billion dollar corporation is no longer hidden in the minds of investment bankers and consultants. That information is readily available in multiple formats from many different sources. My favorite quick, motivational read is Mark Cubans How to Win at the Sport of Business (if you have not read it — it will change your life). It literally walks you through how to be a winner. That’s right, no formal training necessary.

The world has changed. The answers are right at your finger tips. Even the great Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet believes in the power of the Internet. Here is what he had to say about its teaching power a few years back on CNBC:

His one luxury is a time-saving private jet, “the only thing that I do that costs a lot of money.” Even though he loves the plane, he would pay even more to give up his jet but keep the Internet. “I would gladly pay half my net worth just to have that kind of information available to me. They haven’t figured out how to charge me what it’s worth. That’s one of the problems they’ve got.”
If that quote does not help you realize the tools and opportunities at your fingertips; nothing will. The Internet of things allows all your dreams to materialize. Obviously success does not appear out of thin air. Hard work and dedication are required. But hell, the world of the web gives you all the instructions on how to concentrate and focus on succeeding.

Warren also hints at another great point. The business opportunities that our before us. The web symbolizes opportunities. Just look at Uber’s valuation. You may not agree, but to go from nothing to something of that stature is quite incredible. Not sure it has been done before (well I did study business history for a semester so in fact it has not been done).

The Internet means everything to our generation. Not because we despise face to face interaction. Not because it is some passing fad. Not because we lack the skills or desires to enjoy the outdoors. We love the web because all it symbolizes. It means opportunity, knowledge, connectivity and so much more. For many it means a way of life free of answering to anyone but oneself.

The beauty of the Internet is that it means something to everyone, but to everyone — a different something.

First Day

There is someone that is starting in your industry today. Tonight. Tomorrow. They have been waiting for this moment for months, years, perhaps decades.

Are you ready for them?

Sometimes we forget that we are privileged to sit where we are. As individuals sometime we lack the judgement to realize that we are one of many. We lose sight of the struggle. Getting complacent we believe we deserve to be where we are. While those in our field are looking to take our seat at the table.

Take Shark Tank for example, one of my favorite shows, they have a new episode every week with another entrepreneur with a brilliant idea. The fight for capital is real. The fight for success is never ending. If you are not watching where you are going someone will build a bridge over the river and win the marathon.

Jay Z put it best in “My First Song:”

Puff told me like
The key to this joint
The key to staying on top of things
Is treat everything like it’s your first project, nomsayin’
Like it’s your first day like back when you was an intern
Like, that’s how you try to treat things like, just stay hungry

Remember that passion you had on day one? That first time you walked onto the college campus? Day one when you started your internship? The first time you walked into the corporate office? The first time you saw the NYC skyline on your way to work? That first customer you signed up at your startup?

I remember, I was not hungry for success, I was starving (still am actually).

While in the moment we tend to forget that success not magically appear. We are tricked into thinking that if we play it safe, work hard and stay committed the plaques are tossed out. Tossed out like turkeys on easter. The reality hits harder, someone is plotting to take your spot. You are busy playing chess and the intern telling his broker to buy the chess board and all its pieces.

The 2 am nights and 6 am mornings. Sometimes our memory fails us of our previous struggle. We get comfortable. We forget. And that is how we fail.

Do not forget.

Someone is starting in your field tomorrow. They want that deal. They want that account. They want that promotion. They want to beat you at your own game.

Wake up early tomorrow and treat it like it is your first day.