Free drinks too expensive for Starbucks to handle

I’m a Starbucks “Gold” customer. Evidently, I still don’t go frequently enough for them.

In a move I can only assume was inspired by Netflix, they sent me a nice email. The whole letter’s below, but here’s the bullet points:

Free drink on our birthday! Sent as a postcard that you have to bring in (inconvenient, but what they’ve always done). The new part: You have a week to redeem it. Like I even check my snail mail that frequently.

Free drink every 15 “stars” (visits) if you’re a Gold Card holder (see below for the complex rules that make that happen). Again, sent as an inconvenient postcard instead of just being automatic like every other loyalty program. Now you have 30 days to use that card, or it becomes trash. Hopefully you don’t go into a Starbucks with it and get the “Sorry, this expired, look at the date. Feel stupid? No drink for you!” treatment.

Coffee Bean has better drinks anyway. Think it’s time to start going there more.

I’m waiting for the next email, in which they’ll say they’re splitting their drinks and food into two separate stores, and renaming themselves “drinkster”.

Here’s their email (including the paragraph on how to keep your status, which rivals some airlines):

My Starbucks Rewards fans,

We’re fine-tuning a few program benefits and wanted to make sure you knew what was coming. There’s a bit more information here than usual, but when it comes to understanding your rewards, we figure more is more.

Starting November 1, 2011:

FREE DRINK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
Birthdays are special. And we’re still celebrating yours with a free drink on your birthday. Hooray! As long as you’re an active member (meaning you’ve used your Starbucks Card within the last 12 months), you’ll get a postcard for a free birthday drink. And about a week to use it, in case you need it to be a day-after-your-birthday drink. (Wink.) Check the “valid through” date and come on in for a treat.

FREE DRINK EVERY 15 STARS IN GOLD
The “Sweet 15” free drink is alive and well. The only change here is that you’ll now have 30 days to bring in that postcard and enjoy a drink on the house.

KEEP YOUR STARS, KEEP YOUR STATUS
If you’re a Green or Gold member, the date you achieved that level is your anniversary date. To keep your Stars and your status, you just need to earn 5 Stars for Green or 30 Stars for Gold over the next 12 months (by your anniversary date next year). If you don’t make it, your Stars will expire and you’ll drop down a level. But we’ll help-we’ll send you email reminders of your anniversary date and encouragement to earn those additional Stars to keep the benefits you love. (Be sure to opt in to email.)

TUNE UP!
Now might be a good time to visit your Account Profile, note your anniversary date, track your Stars, reload a card and opt in to receive emails for special offers and announcements.

Thanks for reading. See the full details here.

Wishing you a year full of Stars,
My Starbucks Rewards

Web 2.0 Business Plan

Mission
Utilize cross-media e-services to grow revolutionary communities.
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Point-by-point Plan

  • incubate open-source interfaces
  • target synergistic models
  • matrix front-end schemas
  • morph bricks-and-clicks web services
  • embrace one-to-one niches
  • (profit!)

Plan developed with the aid of this tool.

If I get a bunch of Google hits from BS keywords, I’m going to laugh.

iPhone 4: “Now with less cancer!”

[ad#Adsense]Apple obviously cannot state the true reason for the much-hyped signal-strength reduction “flaw”.

The truth is, it’s not a flaw at all, but a life-saving feature. The media seems to have forgotten the research stating that cell phone radiation causes cancer. The iPhone 4 features a new sensor that detects how tightly you’re gripping the phone/antenna. If your hand is covering a sufficient enough portion of the phone/antenna, or most noticeably bridging the break between the two antennas, the phone automatically decreases the signal strength to protect you. If you release your gorilla-grip on the phone and hold it with safe, minimal contact, or add a buffer between you and the antennas, the phone can continue at standard strength.

Obviously Apple cannot advertise this feature to the public, as tag lines such as “kills you slower than the Droid” and “Now with less cancer!” perform poorly in focus groups. As a result, Apple must deal with unfair bad publicity. But, in the end, it’s a strategic business move, because the iPhone 4 customers will live longer than Apple’s competitors’ customers, allowing them to buy more phones in the future.
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Google Pac Man page severly impacts office productivity

This morning, in honor of Pac Man’s 30th anniversary, Google’s “Doodle” logo changed to a Googleized version of Pac Man.

With 255 levels, 2 player mode (click “insert coin”), and a statement that the game will NOT be archived, offices across the world have seen a dramatic drop in productivity.

When asked about the game’s effect on his department, a manager at a well-known dot com company, who wished to remain anonymous, stated “What? No, wait a minute I just. Dammit! Why did you interrupt me? I was on level 15! Get out of my office!”.

Similar responses have been heard at all levels of management in many corporations around the world.
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In an exclusive interview with a VP at Google, we were told that the game was developed as part of Google’s ongoing plan for world domination:

“Using the IP address of the player and data such as the length of time playing the game, level achieved, etc, we can not only determine the immediate effect on office productivity to our competitors, but also gather information regarding the problem solving skills of their employees. Using the Google cookies already stored on the employee’s computer, we can make intelligent hiring decisions, stealing our competitor’s top talent.” *

So, there you have it. Innocent game? I think not.

* Nobody was interviewed at any company in the writing of this article. Were they too busy playing Pac Man to talk to us? Maybe.

GTD to “normal” translation

If you’re a GTDer, you’ve probably had some communication problems when talking to non-GTDers. (this usually manifests itself in the form of a comment about being a nerd, or about being overly organized). So, here’s a handy guide to translating GTD to “normal” (unproductive?) English:
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  • That project is on my someday/maybe list: I’ve been meaning to get to that, but have been too busy
  • There are too many projects/actions on my list, if I add the one you’re asking, I don’t know when it’ll get done: I’m really busy, but I’ll get to that when I can. (follow with reading project list if they ask what you’re so busy doing. That’ll usually make them go away)
  • I’m adding that to my inbox: Got it.
  • I cancelled that project because _____: I decided not to (or “couldn’t”) do that because _____.
  • I’ve assigned a due date of _____ to that project: I’ll have it done by _____
  • I’ve added an “all day” action to my calendar to call you on Thursday: I’ll call you Thursday

🙂