Dealing with strange customer behavior? Just ask them ‘why?’

If you take one thing away from this, I hope it’s a reminder to ask why. Particularly when customers do or say things you don’t understand. You might be surprised when you find out their true motivations.

Belle Beth Cooper, formerly of Buffer, has written a bit of insight that I’m letting churn in my head for a bit.

It does seem, at time, that customers sometimes can help you realize areas that could use improvement, or even just repair, if you take a bit of time to coax a bit more information about the problem they’re having. This is as simple as a needed clarification to a wiki article on how to carry out a common task, all the way to bringing light to an unseen system bug (since no software is ever bug free).

Very interesting is how taking a technique that seems well-suited to self-inspection (the linked-to summing up of ‘The Five Whys’) seems to also be adaptable to helping customers solve their problems as well. It seems to boil down to finding out what type of habit, when repeated, does not have the desired outcome, for a several cases.

Once that’s found, then the real work begins of finding the true cause of the issue, namely, “why” the non-working habit was done, and then dealing with that cause. As noted in both places, it’s possible for the reason to be different from what the surface issue suggests.

While I’m mulling this over, I’m hoping to see more good posts from Belle and the crew over at the Crew blog, so I subscribed to their newsletter.


An Entrepreneur’s Struggle to Understand “Need” and “Want”

Wherein, a serial entrepreneur explains his journey to try to better understand the difference between “need” and “want”.


Tucked away in a hallway at GDC was the Videogame History Museum.

I couldn’t be there, but, fortunately, IGN posted a set of photos. I bookmarked this months ago. Have a look.


Speaking of history, here’s a quick look at how manga and anime changed over the years, visually.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Anime,

Thanks for being such a fun form of entertainment, anime. It’s because of you that I can’t sometimes find some pretty unusual stories and even situations that would be highly unlikely to occur in real life. Even when you get a bit heavy on the fan-service, you still manage to have some grain of pretty unique situations. I also like your associated art forms, such as Manga and the cosplay that inevitably arises. Continue reading

Is there a period in your own personal life that you think of as the good old days? Tell us a story about those innocent and/or exciting times (or lack thereof).

Salad Days | The Daily Post

That question got me to thinking about some of my earliest gaming memories. Was it really better before online gaming came along? Some gamers lament that things were simpler then, especially since playing with friends meant everybody on the same couch in front of a TV. For me, it was not that simple, or even always that much fun.

My brothers and I were indeed lucky to game together during one of the most well-known time periods; the days of the Atari 2600. Our collection grew pretty sizeable over the years, due in small part to the fact that an uncle also had some games as well. But, I digress a bit. The experience of playing games is what I’m remembering. That was not terrible, but it was not as ideal as I would have liked. For one thing, I was the eldest of 3, and it was sometimes tricky to convince the other 2 to play with me, especially on competitive games, of which there were many, as I, due to a bit of an age gap, was usually better, and would often win (in games that had winning conditions, like sports titles). The loser would sometimes just plain quit playing, leaving me to play alone for a while.

I grew less and less willing to want to play video games with them, and didn’t really see that getting better over the years, even through the golden age of the NES and later systems. It really wasn’t until Xbox came along that it started to get a bit better. I think more gaming with the 3 of us able to play together helped, and online play made it possible to play even separated by distance. I still think it’s better now, even though I’m mostly solitary gaming again, but now, I have friends who I can connect with online sometimes, and sometimes those sessions are hugely fun. Even though I do play in a well-known MMO, I do not fall heavily on either the solo adventurer side or always grouped raider. I just flow as the situation demands it and I think that I’m better able to deal either way.

This is all to hopefully say, it wasn’t, for me, “the good old days,” but that doesn’t mean it was all bad, and it’s definitely not terrible now. I’m going to keep on gaming and having adventures.

“Where’s My Super Suit?”


That line from The Incredibles totally caught my eye in the WordPress Reader, so I stopped, and gave it a read. It then further drew me in since I’d heard some of the rumblings while I was wandering around the Anaheim Convention Center area during this most recent Blizzcon conference. There was a rumor circulating a bit that the just-announced new game in the works, Overwatch, was just the remnants of the scrapped Titan project. Now, since I had heard otherise, from a person who had friends on the Overwatch team, I felt the need to pipe up and comment. You can check out my comment at the linked article above, or you can jump to the comment, and the reply by the author by visiting this link.


There’s not been official word yet on what happened to Titan, and I believe it will be quite some time before there is. What, dear reader, do you think? Let me know by commenting or posting.


There’s somebody in my life that I feel could use more of my time. I say this, a bit selfishly, as I’d like to have a little more of her time as well. Life just doesn’t seem to want to make that easy, by throwing up some pretty serious hurdles, such as a 45 minute drive for a visit, or a work schedule (hers) that has big time commitment and difficulty with being in any way spontaneous. At this point, I’m seriously considering using vacation days just to hang out more often. If I’m going to, though, I want to plan some really fun stuff for us to do. Ideas are most appreciated here, and keep in mind that we’re both fairly geeky and don’t usually go for the traditional stuff.

Now, it’s your turn to think about things a bit. 🙂

…to Blizzcon! The first (and, sadly, only) time I went was waaaaay back in 2008.


Blizzcon badge and swag
Blizzcon ’08 badge and some of the swag


It was a lot of fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I was not yet a convention veteran, felt super awkward even trying to meet up with guildies (which didn’t work out) or even people who play WoW on my realm (found a few, and it was fun!). It was the first time I got a chance to see Video Games Live, live (it was awesome!!!) There’s actually a lot more going on there as we, such as pro-gaming tournaments, and art exhibits (Blizzard has some very talented artists) and panels for each game currently available, or in development. There’s quite a bit on the plate this year, so I’m lucky to have gotten a physical ticket this year (watched the stream all other years since).

Here’s a taste of what I’m looking forward to this time:

I’m probably still too shy to personally thank the game developers for all their work, so, perhaps one of them will see this post, but, if not, maybe I’ll be able to muster the courage to do so if I run into any in one of the halls (they tend to roam around when not busy). Blizzard’s games have long been some of my favorites, and I do hope that continues for a long time.

For now, I’m getting ready to pick up my badge. Hoping to run into old (and new) friends soon.