Steve Kulp

Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

why bother?

In customer service, rants, travel, uncategorized, us airways on April 25, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Nothing gets my blood boiling more than the airline industry. They always choose to blame circumstances beyond their control for their service issues. Sure, the weather, air traffic congestion and security issues all bear heavily on their daily activities. That said, it’s hard to blame Osam bin Laden for the bag of pretzels they gave me on my Us Airways flight from Raleigh to New York today. As document above, the bag I received contained 7 total pretzels. I looked arond me, and that seemed to be “normal”.

Truth be told, I wasn’t even hungry, but I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who noticed their extreme frugality. I have to wonder…why did they bother at all? Have they even stoppped to think about the impression this gives customers? It seems to me that they are so busy pinching pennies that they have TOTALLY lost sight of their customers. It’s almost as though they are simply going through the motions like zombies.


company name etymologies

In advertising, corporate naming, design, etymology, names, uncategorized on April 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Came across this great Wikipedia entry that lists the origins of different corporate names. I prefer the names seem to have naturally evolved, rather than being created from scratch. My favorites…

Blaupunkt — Blaupunkt (“Blue dot”) was founded in 1923 under the name “Ideal”. Its core business was the manufacturing of headphones. If the headphones came through quality tests, the company would give the headphones a blue dot. The headphones quickly became known as the blue dots or blaue Punkte. The quality symbol would become a trademark and the trademark would become the company name in 1938.


Red Hat — while at college, company founder Marc Ewing was given the Cornell lacrosse team cap (with red and white stripes) by his grandfather. People would turn to him to solve their problems and he was referred to as that guy in the red hat. He lost the cap, later the manual of the beta version of Red Hat Linux had an appeal to readers (anyone finding it) to return his Red Hat.

Thanks to Jason Kottke for bringing this to my attention.


In awesome, movies, research, star wars, technology, user-generated content, wiki, wikipedia, wookieepedia on April 4, 2007 at 3:37 pm


A few months back, I was reading this great essay that attempts to reconcile the six Star Wars film under one cohesive logic (link via The essay left me with more than a few questions, so I decided to do a little research on my own. “Surely, there must me some sort of online Star Wars encyclopedia,” I thought. Boy, was I right.

Wookieepedia is a wiki dedicated to all things Star Wars. And when I say “all things” I mean “ALL THINGS”. Lando Calrissian’s complete biography…got it. What is a storm trooper’s armor made of? Got that too. Never seen a female wookiee? Here’s Chewbacca’s wife.

Sorry. My intention here wasn’t to drag you into complete geekdom.

Actually, I wanted to point out that in spite of all the negative press that Wikipedia sometimes gets, a site like Wookieepedia shows us what it’s really all about. It shows us that a few people can collect, in one place, all we know about a subject. (And, I assume, with some accuracy.) Think about it. The Star Wars universe consists of hundreds of comics and novels, several TV specials, video games and, oh, six feature films. Every detail from each one of these artifacts has been collected, collated and cross-referenced on one site. That’s quite a feat, and a tribute to the power of social networks and collective knowledge.

Of course, the real universe is infinitely larger and more complex than the one George Lucas has created. But I think you get my point.