data.mint.com

I just lost a good chunk of my morning to Mint Data, the newly revealed spending database from Mint. Peering into consumer habits is fascinating, but to my retail mind, the store comparisons are the best part.
Of course, Mint’s data is heavily skewed by its demographic. None of the lunching ladies and hedge-fund millionaires are using Mint, so we’re not seeing four-figure steakhouse spends or Madison Avenue purchases in the database.
Still, it’s great fun to compare things like this:

Barneys New York average purchase: $401.11
Saks: $293.76
Bergdorf Goodman: $369.45
Prada: $639.87

If you need me, I’m over here, swimiming in data.

Any color, so long as it’s black

HP Slate photo gallery.
The real question to me is, how come Apple’s pursuers not only rip off the interfaces and concepts but also blatantly copy the exteriors? Black bezel, chrome rim–is there no other way for a tablet device to look than exactly like an iPad, albeit with a back panel full of Citgo logos?
Every touch phone in the market rips off the iPhone’s visuals, too. It’s not like Apple’s products are always handsome, either. I actually think the iPhone 3G and 3GS weren’t all that attractive. But the competitive market seems to think the only way to keep up with Apple products is to look like them. Even Microsoft’s Zune ripped off the iPod’s single round button for navigation.
Here’s a hint, product teams: these tactics may get you some sales, especially if you’re filling a market need, like offering buckets of iPhone-looking devices on Verizon’s as-yet iPhone-less network. But they won’t get you industry recognition. Or long-term market growth. Or the respect of discerning, taste-making consumers, who generally know the difference.

links for 2010-10-06

  • I have a client who is double- and triple-booked in meetings all day and simply decides each hour what to attend. This is not a situation that harbors successes. Nor is my recent tendency at work to tentatively accept every meeting thrown my way, which serves a similar purpose but screws up other people's scheduling. Now that I'm running Canopy, I actually am putting hands-on work into my calendar, although, as Mike notes, it's easy to bump, which has me working from 9 to midnight a lot lately. I'd love to have his conceptual calendar to see how it works. In the meantime, I'd be happy to have a clone.