Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
According to the company's Wikipedia entry, at the height of it's popularity in 2004, Blockbuster Video employed 84,300 people worldwide, including about 58,500 in the United States and about 25,800 in other countries, and had 9,094 stores in total, with more than 4,500 of these in the US. They were a giant in the home video rental industry.
Fast forward to today in 2018, they now only have one retail store in the United States. That's right... only one.
How could BlockBuster Video's huge fall from grace have happened in only 14 short years? How can a company this large, with this many resources have fallen in such a huge and epic way?
Well, I think I know the basic answer. The one that should be painfully obvious to most true entrepreneurs. Yes, I'm sure there are complexities to the answer that we won't get into here, but it really boils down to one major issue. The company was made obsolete by a few new players in the home video market.
The two most notable thorns in BlockBuster Video's side were 1.) Netflix and 2.) Redbox. These two companies had business models where their customers did not have to go into a physical retail store in order to watch and consume home videos.
Netflix gave the consumer the opportunity to easily go online and order videos to be delivered to their home by US mail on DVD or they could stream the rented movies through the internet. In the case of Redbox, the company employed a fleet of rental kiosks at local grocery stores, pharmacies, and other convenient retail locations. These two companies totally got rid of the need to physically go into a retail store and browse the selection of movies. The consumers loved these new business models. The consumers clearly wanted more convenience and more options when renting movies.
The tragic flaw of the leaders in BlockBuster Video was that they did not constantly keep their eyes open for what would come in the future. They did not adequately analyze the competition from the two new players in their industry. They also didn't keep up with the wants, needs and desires of their customers.
As business owners, you MUST and I repeat... MUST stay on the lookout for changes in your industry. You MUST know what your customers want and expect. No matter how large you are as a company, you CAN fail. You cannot afford to get "caught slippin" when it comes to satisfying the needs of your customers and staying on top of industry trends. If you don't ,you just may find yourself in the same shoes as BlockBuster Video... a Wikipedia entry of what used to be.
Lead Designer / CEO
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company
Blog Post - Stephen Wicks
So, I was perusing the internet this morning and saw a news story about how a Waffle House restaurant in Travelers Rest, SC. closed down due to snowy conditions. Some of you may not know why that's significant while others may know exactly why that's important. It turns out that there is such a thing called the "Waffle House Index." The federal emergency management authorities determine how bad a storm is based on if a Waffle House location will be opened or closed.
Waffle House, which has over 1500 locations across the Southeastern United States, is so consistent with being opened 24 hours a day / 365 days per year that the feds actually use their closings in their assessments. Wow! How incredible is that!???
Waffle House has built such a reputation as being "always open" that people have come to think of them when you ask "Where's a place open that we can go to?" It doesn't matter what time of day it is or if it's a holiday or not... they will be open.
That level of consistency should be a business goal that we all share as entrepreneurs. Waffle House has a loyal customer base because they have a non written contract with their customers. Not only are they a restaurant, but they have become a consistent and steadfast institution in the communities that they serve.
It's my goal to develop that level of trust with my customers here at Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company. We have not always been that or even had that aspiration as a focus, but we do now. Our company wants to have a similar "unwritten contract" with our customers. We want them to know that we will always be committed to being consistent with a high level of customer service, professionalism, and skill.
I've learned a lot from the "Waffle House Index." Do you also think that what Waffle House has accompished is a great example for us all? Let me know in the comments.
As the great John Noird, would say.. "Go be great!"
Lead Designer / CEO
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company
We had a great time attending the Facebook Community Boost event in Atlanta on Monday September 24, 2018. The event was put on by Facebook to showcase the many ways that businesses can use Facebook and Instagram in growing their business.
We were delighted to see several of our friends and acquaintances from the Atlanta area in attendance.
Are we going to use some of the new techniques we learned at the conference to further our reach and our clients' reach in social media? You bet!
Here are a few images from the day.
We are settling into our new office space inside of the AEI Startup Factory in Stonecrest, GA. We are excited to be apart of this initiative to develop and nurture entrepreneurs in the east Atlanta metro areas of Lithonia and Stonecrest.
We are also in talks to provide web design classes to entrepreneurs as well as digital marketing partnerships, workshops, and business networking events.
It's a great time for early stage business owners in the area to get access to some top notched professionals, learn, and gain access to the information that can allow them to prosper.
We're also looking for entrepreneurs who would like to start an internet business but don't know how to get started. If you or someone you know needs our help, give us a shout at email@example.com
I've been working on a client website for quite awhile and it's now close to it's official launch. You won't want to miss out on being one of the first members to join. It's a dating website for . sports enthusiasts. We have a lot of great contests and promotions planned. I'm super excited!
We will be providing all of the technology behind this incredible lifestyle brand. Get ready!
Learn more at www.scorebiggerdating.com
Blog Post: Stephen Wicks
This week we're working on a website for a home owner's association. It's going to be pretty cool. We're using a custom CMS so that the administrators can go in and make small changes when they want. We are also setting up the following features:
This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining a team of hackers in the Hack Big For Small Business Hackathon. The event was sponsored by Visa and US Bank. We were challenged with creating a website or app that used the extensive data available using the API's of Visa, US Bank, and Elavon.
I joined the team of Lola Ojabowale. The other registered 4 members on our team were: Khalif Cooper , Nathan Daniels, and Nelson Quinones.
It was an amazing event. We had a chance to meet and network with many professional designers, developers, and business leaders in the Atlanta area. Their were also executives that traveled to Atlanta to participate.
Our team did not take home the big prize but we made new friendships and we had a great time using the creative process to come up with a web application we titled "cashflo."
Here are some images from the event.
This was my first hackathon but it won't be my last. I will be seeking them out as it is a great way to learn new skills, meet new people, and work on cool projects for companies and organizations.
Until next time,
Okay. It's October 2017. Many people have now realized that the majority of the internet traffic today is being done on mobile devices. Statistics show that over 8 in 10 internet users will use a smartphone to access the web regularly in 2017 – eMarketer (2017)
Despite these statistics, there are a huge amount of websites out there that are NOT optimized for mobile. This fact will have a negative impact on those business people who don't keep up with changes in web technology.
I am currently working on a few websites, where I am upgrading their designs to fit the "mobile first" strategy that is prevalent today. It's very important that internet users are able to browse your website easily on a mobile phone.
What does that mean? Well, for instance they should not have to scroll left or right to view the content on their screen. They should also not have to make the font larger so that they can read what's on the page.
Believe it or not, there are still many websites who have not made these upgrades in design. Not only will they lose customers because they'll get frustrated viewing their content, but Google has also instituted an algorithm that penalizes websites that are not mobile friendly.
So how can you tell if your website is mobile friendly? The easiest way is to pull it up on your mobile phone. How does it look? Can you "easily" read what's on the screen? The statistics say that people do NOT stay on your website if it's hard to read or if it loads slow. You may also check by visiting a special page that Google has set up to let you know if your website is mobile friendly. https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
The internet can bring you huge success but you have to know the rules of the game. Don't get left behind. Even though your website may only be a few years old, it may still be outdated. The world changes at a faster rate these days. You either lead, keep up, or get left behind.
Feel free to reach out to us for a fee consultation regarding your website today.
At the Iron Yard in Atlanta, the Java class was taught how to create MVC web applications. Last night I practiced creating a Java web application using Spring framework and Maven.
Spring makes it a lot easier to write code for creating a database online and then interacting with that data via a client side browser.
Pivotal Labs who developed the Spring framework has a location right here in Atlanta and I plan on attending some of their events soon.
As a developer, we must stay on top of all the changes in the coding landscape because change is happening constantly. I'll post the final product to Github when I'm finished.
Many people try to create their own websites or include their own code snippets into certain web based projects. It is great that people feel comfortable with writing their own code. However, there are some things that laypersons may miss when generating the code for their projects. One of those oversights may be the <!Doctype> tag.
The <!Doctype> tag is an important part of any html document. It is the first tag that you will see from a professionally designed web page. It is true that a html page will load without the tag, but if it does, it will be loaded in the "quirks mode." The quirks mode html page load means that the browser will know that html is present, but doesn't know exactly which type of html to expect.
Web browsers have come a long way in terms of being able to have a standard way to interpret html and css. At one point, different browsers would display html in unexpected and unpredictable ways. For example, a Windows 95 browser may display a page slightly differently than an Apple Mac computer. This would make it very difficult for web designers to have a consistent look across many different machines and browser versions.
Lately, browser developers have agreed to conform to certain widely accepted standards making it much easier to predict how a page will look on an internet capable device.
Consider this code: <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
The code above is much more descriptive than <!DOCTYPE html>.
In the first code example above, a browser will have more information so that it knows exactly how to properly render the web page.
For some projects, this is a minor issue, but for professional projects, you may want to make sure that your web page will display in a way that gives you the best chance of accomplishing your business objectives. If your page looks weird and unprofessional on your viewers device, they may decide that your website is not a safe place to do business. That is NOT what you want to happen.
Many new tools exist in the marketplace where the tool will generate html for you. That may be fine for some circumstances but if you're trying to build a business that will scale, I suggest you leave the web development to a professional who knows and understand the code that's being automatically generated.
There is simply no substitute for a web developer who can write custom code for your web project.
However you decide to proceed with your project, good luck to you in your endeavors and if you decide you are ready for a professionally designed website from designers who know how to write custom code, don't hesitate to learn more about us today.
Lead Designer / Software Developer
Stephen Wicks Internet Development Company