Thursday, May 25, 2017

Top 10 Chrome Extensions 2017

Intricately Right now I'm using the free trial version but it's one of the best apps out there if you want to know what a company is paying in terms of IP services like Hosting and CDN. If it's something you think you'd be interested in you should totally use my link to sign up. It gives me a week or so of free premium service. I cannot say enough great things about this application, both the chrome extension and the native application. If you work in technical sales and you're trying to sell SaaS, CDN, DNS, Hosting, etc to clients, these are the guys you want on your team.

Datanyze is probably my second most used extension at work. One click and I can see all the technology a website is using. It's a lot easier than scrubbing the HTML of the site myself. It's not the most reliable system in the world but it gives me a heads up of what I'm looking at. It also frequently has a list (including emails) of some of the people who work there. Score one for the home team.

Hootlet has been a gift from the internet gods. I manage multiple social media accounts for a variety of organizations and without the ability to schedule posts in one centralized location I would probably lose my mind. The best thing about Hootlet is that I can schedule a post from any site, anytime. Rather than having to copy whatever media/information I want to share to a variety of social media sites, I can just click on my favorite little owl, and he does the hard work for me.

Ok guys, confession time, I'm using this one right now. Grammarly helps me stay on top of my grammar, punctuation, and spelling when posting online. This is how I manage not to sound like an idiot most of the time. It's certainly not perfect, but I mean, who is? You can also add it to Word to help you from your computer as well. I think it WAY outperforms native spellcheck. 

SimilarWeb links me to other websites/apps that share common factors with whatever I'm looking at. It's amazing for finding prospects or when I'm boycotting a certain site but still need a similar service.

Sidekick by HubSpot not only tells me when my emails are being read but also if someone clicks one of the links I send them. It also allows me to integrate my emails into SalesForce.

Honey, WikiBuy, Ebates and Amazon Assistant are all the personal shopping assistants I need when shopping online. I MAY have an online shopping problem, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be getting the best possible deals! These little guys tell me when something is cheaper elsewhere, and supply me with coupon codes when relevant, earn me cashback and allow me to save things to my Amazon shopping list. I can't recommend one over the others because they're all integral to my online shopping addiction. 

And a bonus...The Great Suspender

At work I tend to have... well let's not talk about how many tabs I have open at a time. This extension automatically suspends the tabs I'm not using so they don't use up CPU.

So what about you guys? What's your favorite chrome plug-in?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Free Market Examples: Delivery Services

To start, let's define Free Market since I'm not sure I've actually gone into that here.

Free market refers to an economy where the government imposes few or no restrictions and regulations on buyers and sellers. In a free market, participants determine what products are produced, how, when and where they are made, to whom they are offered, and at what price—all based on supply and demand.

In the US, the majority of blockage to a truly free market comes from the government. They forbid producers from polluting, pricing below cost, or being a monopoly. In addition, they often require minimum safety standards, the disclosure of ingredients, licensing of certain professionals, and protection of original ideas, to name just a few. They even control the money supply to minimize the negative effects of natural economic expansion and contraction.

Some of these things may SEEM like a good idea. We all want the market to thrive, but time and time again it has been proven that the market thrives best, when it is left alone. When there is competition, consumers will choose the best available option for their goods and services needs. Factors such as time, distance, ease of use, customer service etc all effect companies well being in a buyer's market. When the government interferes with the market, buyers lose control. Here in the United States, there is a lot of favoritism for government sponsored programs that are supported by taxpayer dollars that would NOT survive in a free market.

The best example I can think of is USPS. Now, I don't know how your local postman treats you where you live, but I've gotten mail at 5 different addresses over the last 3 years. I can say with certainty that amongst the big 3 delivery services: UPS, FedEx, and USPS that USPS by far has the least reliability and the worst customer service. When I ship something with FedEx or UPS, it gets where it's going within the time frame I am quoted or in rare cases where it does not, I get a partial or full refund.

At my last apartment (the last one I'll live in, at least for the next 30 years, thankfully) USPS failed to deliver 6 packages in the short 9 months we lived there. When we called to talk to them, they insinuated that it was OUR fault, for not being home to receive the package and therefore it had to be rerouted. However, none of those packages required a signature. They could have left them at our door.

FedEx and UPS are typically a great deal cheaper than USPS, they have better customer service, a higher overall rating by consumers, a lower failure rate and from my experience, much nicer employees. So why does the USPS still exist? If overwhelmingly, the buyers PREFER other companies that provide the same services one would assume that they would take over the market. So why isn't that happening? Why do USPS employees continue to exist to complain about their employer (rightly so) on the internet?

Because they are supported by the US government. Because even though they have operated at a deficit for YEARS we continue to finance them out of our tax dollars. So, not only is the IRS stealing money out of my paycheck, they are stealing it to support a company that I purposefully DONT shop at due to rude employees and overall incompetence.