The magical hour, Acquia launches Acquia Drupal and Acquia Network

Like many in the community my first exposure to Acquia came back in the first part of the year. It was an exciting time for the Drupal community and what we learned at Drupalcon in Boston suggested many great things to come. At the time I was running an independent Drupal development shop. The news that an organization like Acquia was going to come to the Drupal ecosystem was great news. Some had early concerns that Acquia might compete in the site development space. These fears turned out to be ill-founded and the entry of Acquia into the marketspace a great boon for small shops like ours. Now the future held the promise that we could continue to work on the development we were doing and help customers build great sites, while having a solid organization we could hand off day-to-day support on the back end.

From bizarre to absurd

I wrote recently about the terrible G-Technology customer service experience with my G-Drive Mini Triple. After getting it off my mind I figured it would be the last I'd write on the subject. However tonight I'm convinced that there must be a time-sync or time-warp on the thing to go along with the impressive heat sync.

Picking up where the story left off I'd since sent two separate email inquiries about the status of the case. One, two and then three days passed with nary a response. In fact I still haven't gotten a response. I did, however, get a new drive so consider the issue resolved. And then tonight the event leading me to believe there is a hole in the fabric of time around this drive. I received an email from the store that sold the drive telling me my drive shipped today. At least the FedEx number was correct and correctly showed the drive arrived over a month ago.

So I'm cautiously loading the drive with some data. Hopefully it's not gone for good this time.

Kickin' with the Kickstand

Went to my first meeting with Kickstand tonight. A great Boise area group of business owners and innovators. I only managed to meet a handful of the folks in the room but every one of them was quite interesting. The depth and breadth of work going on in Boise is simply fantastic.

Here are the websites of some of the folks I met:


It was a great time to talk to several folks about the power and elegance of Drupal as a tool for building websites. I know it's hard to believe that I would spend the evening talking about Drupal. Thanks to Tech Boise for the Kickstand suggestion.

How business should work

A brief note about how companies should do business. While on a call this afternoon my UPS shipment arrived. A couple of cable/remote releases for the Nikon were to be inside. Unfortunately when I opened the box only one of the two items were inside. Checking the manifest it showed both should have been there. "Oh great," I said dreading the afternoon of phone calls that was about to come. Would they send an inspector to the house for this ten-dollar item, I wondered? How many hours would it take. I punched the numbers in and dreaded what would become of my day. Here's what happened then:

Amazon call center: Can I get your email or order ID?
Me: Sure... and gave her my email address.
Amazon call center: How may I help you today?
Me: Well I just got my box that was to have two items but it has just one was in the box.
Amazon call center: I'm sorry about that which item was missing?
Me: It was the wireless remote the ML-L3. I even took the box apart to make sure.
Amazon call center: OK. I can do two things I can either refund the item or send you a replacement.
Me: I'd like a replacement.

Now at this point I'm pretty happy but still a little sad. I'd ordered the remote in time to have it for the fireworks this Friday and now knew that wasn't going to happen. Would I have to wait for a new one to be manufactured and then shipped via snail?

Round Table Pizza shows how not to do business

Round Table Pizza still has jobs listed in Boise. However for employees of the west-coast pizza chain the unemployment notice came in the form of a note posted on locked doors.

While I can understand businesses choosing to change directions and models this way of doing business deserves to have major repercussions for Round Table Pizza. Imagine for a moment if it were your rent check that was due on Monday and you found out on Thursday that you're out of a job. A couple of times a year we would frequent Round Table but not any longer. The unethical business practice of giving employees no notice that they are out of a job is just inexcusable. There are at times unfortunate situations where companies go dark overnight but those are associated with really and truly going out of business. This was apparently not related to a bankruptcy or dire situations. Rather it was a calculated well-planned move that was intentionally designed to catch employees off guard. How do I know this? Well things like this don't happen overnight. Sometime back, probably months back, they started looking at how to save some dough. They produced charts and looked at markets. Had meetings and analyzed the numbers. Between the time they closed stores on Wednesday night and the time employees came to work on Thursday they closed up shop.

The small firm conundrum

Small firms face particular challenges when it comes to deciding what business to take or leave. For example I recently received and offer to do some work for an amount that was much lower than prevailing rates. Of course a chunk of money can be enticing but doing the right thing is also important for small businesses.

In another instance a solo attorney I'm familiar with was faced with a similar conundrum. A large company with lots of cash came to this firm to clean up the web and remove references to the questionable activities of one of the company's beneficiaries. The character who they wanted to help had a record a yard long with endeavors including felony convictions for armed robbery and twisted tails of conning hard-earned money from honest people. On one hand if the proprietor of a small firm took a step back and looked at the situation as a third party that taking a to clean up the reputation of some one who has repeatedly abused the public trust is unethical. Worse yet doing so for a pile of money, no matter the size, means that one's ethics are for sale. However tempting some extra cash might be firms, especially small firms that depend on their reputations, are wise to steer clear of such compromises.


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