Coffee House Creativity

Sometimes stories come along that just land in the wheelhouse.  This article would be one of them – Study of the Day: Why Crowded Coffee Shops Fire Up Your Creativity.

Hello.  I don’t need a study to tell me this fact.  In case you didn’t know:

Compared to a relatively quiet environment (50 decibels), a moderate level of ambient noise (70 dB) enhanced subjects’ performance on the creativity tasks, while a high level of noise (85 dB) hurt it. Modest background noise, the scientists explain, creates enough of a distraction to encourage people to think more imaginatively.

Which leads to this assertion:

The next time you’re stumped on a creative challenge, head to a bustling coffee shop, not the library. As the researchers write in their paper, “Instead of burying oneself in a quiet room trying to figure out a solution, walking out of one’s comfort zone and getting into a relatively noisy environment may trigger the brain to think abstractly, and thus generate creative ideas.”

Now add a large dose of highly-caffeinated black liquid and you have a perfect working environment.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Here at Select Metrix we have much for which to be thankful.  The news of the recessionary economy and the unstable world can be overwhelming in today’s media.  But this drumbeat can be distracting – from your good health, your warm home, your loving family.

My hope for you is safe travel to a joyous home filled with family, friends and mirth.

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving from all of us at Select Metrix!

Happy Independence Day 2010

Ok, so I am a day late, but what a great day it was.  Parades, cookout, fireworks all with friends and family.  I think if you want to get a real slice of Americana, come celebrate the Fourth with us.

I hope you are able to enjoy a day off on this Monday.  Here is something I found interesting from the JustSell newsletter:

Thomas Jefferson & John Adams — the only two signers of the Declaration of Independence who became president — both died on the same day… July 4th, 1826 — the 50th celebration of Independence Day.

Happy Canada Day

I almost forgot this, eh?  I was recently in Winnipeg for a week and have only good things to say about our neighbors to the north.  I ate some Tim Horton’s, drank Molson and watched a lot of hockey – a perfect week for a guy from Minnesota.

We have many customers in Canada and I just wanted to give a shout out to them this fine day.

Merry Christmas

This video is making its way around the net and I found it quite funny.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Select Metrix and The Hire Sense.

It Could Be Worse

This Forbes story is probably more therapeutic than anything else – the gist of it is that celebrities make colossal business mistakes.  One thing I have always wondered about, where is the anger towards celebrity pay?  I hear of the anger regarding CEO compensation, but never so much as a whisper of discontent regarding celebrity compensation.

At any rate, I had completely forgotten about this stunning blunder:

The award for biggest entrepreneurial swing-and-miss might go to actress Kim Basinger. Smoldering in films such as 9 1/2 Weeks, Batman, L.A. Confidential and I Dreamed Of Africa, Basinger bombed on a grand scale in 1990 when she sunk $20 million into buying the entire town of Braselton, Ga.

Basinger’s vision: to turn the small town of 500 residents, 50 miles northeast of Atlanta, into a tourist attraction, with a movie studio and a film festival. In one fell swoop, the blonde bombshell became landlady of Braselton’s bank, post office, supermarket, a number of retail stores, historic structures, more than two dozen homes and an industrial park–nearly 1,800 acres in all.

Three years later Basinger filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing an $8.1 million lawsuit to Main Line Pictures for backing out of a verbal agreement to star in the film dud Boxing Helena. As for Braselton, she ended up selling it–for a mere $1 million.

StarTribune Circling The Drain

My apologies to Bob Dylan, but the chapter 11 bankruptcy of one of our local papers, the StarTribune, has been a slow train coming.  Clearly this is one of the worst dailies in the entire US.  Mismanaged, cash-strapped and unbelievably biased, this newspaper has been on the edge of inevitability for 2 years.  Yesterday they finally filed.

I am certain they will cut costs and restructure their debt before coming out of bankruptcy, but in the end I don’t think it will matter.  The game has changed; day-old news printed on paper is a thing of the past.  The world is steadily moving towards instant, on-demand.

Clearly reporting will continue…it needs to, but I think the only sustainable media for newspapers is online.  Develop the website, draw in the visitors and charge advertisers for those pages.

Giving Thanks

It is already looking like Thanksgiving here at Select Metrix so it seems like an appropriate time to say thank you to all of our customers, our associates, our friends and our readers.  Many of you span more than one of those categories.  Thank you for your support through this year of change.

May all of you have a happy, safe and blessed Thanksgiving!

iPhone Competition

If you are technical geek of sorts you already know about T-Mobile’s G1 and the Blackberry Thunder as a few of the first phones to try to compete with the iPhone 3G.  According to a post on US News & World Report, Blackberry is introducing a new competitor, called the Storm that will offer 2 virtual keyboards.  The Storm will be available exclusively to Verizon customers and features a unique clickable screen.  They do not have an actual release date yet, just stating that it will be available sometime later this fall.