Thursday, August 28, 2008

Off-Topic Tip: Someone else’s iPod

Borrow someone else’s iPod for your next run or workout. It’s a great way to mix things up. You’ll find yourself picking up the pace to songs and genres that you might never have guessed would move you. And you can always hit skip if Cindi Lauper comes up. Or maybe not...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google Sent Me a Refrigerator

That's right. Google sent me a refrigerator. It is without a doubt the strangest corporate gift I've ever received. It came with a certificate indicating that my company has generated over one million leads on Google Adwords, and a nice letter acknowleging the milestone.

By one million "leads", of course, they mean one million paid clicks. I know how much each one of those clicks costs me on average, so my first thought was "Whoa! That is a LOT of money!" I already knew how much we're sending Google monthly, but the total over my company's short lifetime came with a bit of sticker shock.

My next thought was, "And all I get is a lousy mini-fridge?"

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate the gesture, but it's on par with what you'd expect to get when you buy a used car or open a checking account. I've been offered trips to China from companies with whom we spend less.

Then again, we couldn't do what we do without Google. So the other way to look at it is Google did give me a lousy mini-fridge... and my car, and my house, and jobs for my team - even the fancy little office I'm sitting in.

Not a bad return for buying a million clicks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Award Count Grows for L&M Guitar

"Learn & Master Guitar" has just received the AEGIS award for the Training/Education category! The AEGIS awards are one of the video industry's premier competitions for peer recognition of outstanding video productions.

"Learn & Master Guitar" has also previously been awarded two bronze Telly Awards. The Tellies are a bit more prestigious, but let's face it, the folks at AEGIS got it right. No way L&M Guitar was a bronze! :)

Congratulations to Steve Krenz, Nathan Adam and Jared McDaniel on their recognition for a work of true excellence. We now have entire teams doing what those three did almost entirely on their own. Many, many thanks to them for the countless hours invested when all this was little more than a dream!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Milestone for L&M Piano

It's been about eight months since we released Learn & Master Piano, and we just received a thank-you letter from our first student (that we know of) to complete the entire course.

I love when our customers take the time to write us thank-you letters. We get them all the time for Learn & Master Guitar, and we've been getting them for Piano as well, but this is the first from a Learn & Master Piano graduate. The original is two pages long and it came to Will Barrow, our instructor, the old-fashioned way: through the mail. I've edited it down to the highlights:

Dear Will,
I have just completed Session 28 of your piano course! You have opened my eyes and ears to piano vistas I could not have imagined.

I am 70 years old. I took piano lessons as a child but stopped playing when I went to college. My fingers itched to play, but I had not touched a piano in over 50 years. What to do???

Then I discovered you. And chords, and progressions. What a window on the world of piano music you provide! Classical music has always given me pleasure, but with you, I heard and appreciated for the first time the great styles of popular music: Blues, Ragtime, Stride, Country, Boogie Woogie...

All aspects of the course were professional and first rate. The curriculum design was brilliant! The way you introduced a topic, and led me to perfect a skill was terrific.

Wow! With the base you have provided, I have a lifetime of enjoyment ahead of me (my mother was still alive at 101).

Thank you again. You have immeasurably enhanced my life. Keep playing and teaching!

Sincerely yours,
Jack Laschenski

I love those last two paragraphs. Congratulations to all who worked so hard on this course. You have made a difference in one man's life, and many others. And congratulations to you, Mr. Laschenski. May you enjoy many more years of making great music!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lights. Camera. Action!

Yesterday we (Legacy Learning Systems) started filming our 4th course, Learn & Master Ballroom Dance. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since our first production. Our team has grown and our systems have been drastically refined. This is also our first production in our new 4,500 square foot studio. No more filming in cramped living rooms and music studios!

Our instructors, Jaimee Simon and Mark Short, are fantastic. Not only are they incredible dancers, but even more importantly, they really know their stuff when it comes to instruction. They are career instructors and it shows. Frankly, they’re making our job incredibly easy.

The goal is to have the project out in time for Christmas. Ambitious to be sure, but we’re feeling confident.