Happy birthday Blog! (reflections on my first year blogging)

My blog, Matt Benson’s Musings, recently passed its one year anniversary (April 17). Hooray!

This made me think that it would be a good time to reflect: Why do I blog? How has my blog developed over the last year? In this post I address these questions.

I wrote most of this post around the time of the anniversary of my blog (and a bit more, which I’ve subsequently cropped and which might be part of a future post) – a discussion during a dinner party last night prompted me to finish this post and ‘publish’ it.

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The importance of trade-offs and compromises

I recently entered into a competition to win a signed business book via the ‘Online MBA‘ (nine different books were included, including Seth Godin’s “Linchpin” and Daniel Pink’s “Drive“). Most of the entry requirements were limited to administrative contact details, with the competition seemingly hanging on one key question: “What is the most important thing you have learned about business?” (* see also my footnote regarding the competition)

Of course, there is no ‘right’ answer to this question; indeed, there are almost certainly many, many very good answers.

Below I set out what I submitted as my thoughts on this:

Essentially everything comes down to trade-offs and compromise, both on a personal level and on enterprise level. How you recognize, and then manage those trade-offs and compromises will determine your success in each of the areas of your life that are important to you. The first step to success is therefore to learn to recognize the trade-offs and compromises.

This is the answer that first came to my head, and while I think the matter of ‘trade-offs and compromises‘ is very important, one could point to other matters which might be equally important, or more so. In any case, I think there is some value in considering this topic further, and so have decided to use this post to further develop my thoughts on the brief submission above.

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‘Location’ is where it’s at – my take on location-based services.

In the retail trade they’ve long said that it’s about location, location, location. The advent of GPS, and the incorporation of GPS into affordable, handheld units (starting with car navigation units, and more recently smartphones) has meant that location tracking is now possible for individuals.

It has recently also become possible to share, or publicly broadcasting this data, via Twitter, Facebook, or other internet based platforms, with friends, or indeed, the whole world. It is of course a fair question to ask why one would want to do this.

I’ve recently started to try out Foursquare, one of the most popular location-based services, in an attempt to better understand what it’s all about. In doing so, I’ve also come up with a few thoughts about the potential for such services, beyond what seems to be being done so far.

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Thoughts on the apparent differences in iPad pricing in different markets

Steve Jobs announced the iPad in January as being “a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.  Starting at $499.”

Whatever your views are on the product, whether it is magical or revolutionary, it was quite easy for anyone, anywhere in the world to see that prices (to US customers) started at $499. Fact. Sort of.

Prices were announced just recently for the launch of the iPad in a further nine countries, including some in Europe, and there has subsequently been a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere about whether non-US customers are being abused, or taken advantage of, that an ‘unfair’ premium might be being charged to non-US customers.

While this is not impossible, there are some differences between the prices, and other matters for consideration, which I set out in this post, that need to be taken account of.

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