Facebook Marketplace experiences

My last post’s sobering view of ebay could be considered heavy reading so I’ll try and lighten the tone a little bit.  Today’s focus is on Facebook Marketplace and what it’s like as both a seller and as a buyer.  I’ve been using this platform to sell stuff (namely accumulated baby must-have items) for the past couple of years so I consider myself in a good place to comment.

 

What you quickly note when using Facebook Marketplace is that it’s a very rudimentary extension to the Facebook platform.  Very little is actually custom-built or bespoke for a buying experience.  How so?

  • When you set up a listing, it looks and feels like a Facebook status post.
  • When you contact a seller it begins a private message group, using the same functionality you use for instant messaging your friends.

Despite Facebook’s minimal investment in this they’ve thought it through a little and made it fairly quick and easy to sell something from your phone.  You open the app, choose market place, take a photo, put some text in, choose a group or groups to advertise it in and that’s it.  Granted the Android app has been a little buggy (it freezes after you submit the listing but the listing does actually go through behind the scenes).

There are no complexities around listings, nothing worth pointing out other than a feature to refresh your listing so it goes to the top of the group it’s advertised on (but bear in mind you can do this on a limited basis).

And no fees.  This is both a good and a bad thing.  I’ll get to this in the next section.

Who uses Facebook Marketplace?

You find all manner of different demographics, but strictly registered Facebook users.

The community is very diverse, and the only structure is that imposed by the Facebook Groups you submit your listing to, it is a bit of a free-for-all.  And remembering that there’s no fees, you then have people putting just about anything up there.

How can I tell a good buyer/seller from a bad one?

Simple. You can’t.   To keep peace of mind, you’re best placed just offering a collection-only model to your selling.  I’ve not had problems to date with legitimate buyers coming in and paying and collecting their item.  I’ve also been a buyer and snapped up a few things also.

However, I have noticed some negatives that stand apart.  Given you’re dealing with Joe Public, I’ve personally witnessed the following which appears more prevalent than the likes of ebay:

  • Time-wasters.  They’ll ask if an item is available and then not follow-up when you respond positively.
  • Unreliable types.  I’ve had prospective buyers arrange and then cancel pickup times on too many occasions to count.
  • Chancer bidders.  Asking for a 50% discount from the price you’re advertising at.
  • Aggressive language being used, as if you are on this earth to service the buyer in question.

There is a rating system, but it’s not sophisticated in any way.  When someone contacts you as a seller, you can rate them as a buyer.  And vice versa.  What this means is you can get and assign ratings to people that you may have had no dealings with other than a brief message.  Given my somewhat curt nature, if I notice someone fits into the aforementioned negative types I tend to shut down the conversation fairly abruptly.  To date I’ve just had negative reviews as they seem to be the only types motivated enough to leave feedback.  I just can’t bring myself to tell a satisfied buyer to not forget to leave me a positive rating – that would be lame.

Overall thoughts

Generally, it’s a good place to attempt to pass on your stuff and get something out of it.  It’s more hostile an environment than ebay, and you get a lot more bozos to deal with which is the downside.  Another downside is the significantly smaller market you can sell to, particularly since you’re likely to be offering a collection-only service.

There doesn’t appear to be any obvious way of getting Facebook intervention when things go wrong – you’re left to your own devices though.  This is a significant point to be aware of.

 

When things go wrong – Parcel2Go, Hermes, ebay

On this series of blog posts over the coming week I’m going to be talking about the support channels of the bigger online platforms and how well or badly they have done through my own personal experience. I’m covering the likes of ebay (this article), Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, airbnb and booking.com. The focus will be from the perspective of selling or buying services from the platform in question.

The spoiler

Here’s a spoiler for you: they mostly suck. I’ve had dealings with these online platforms for a very long time, in some cases over a decade.  A recurring theme appears to be a lack of investment in customer support  – it’s either deliberately limited or hard to get a hold of in the first place.

This article will be on ebay, touching Parcel2Go (a courier price aggregator) and finally Hermes (a courier company).

Here’s how the story goes

As a seller, I sold an old tablet on ebay for parts or not working. It was an Android tablet that kept restarting itself. The winning purchaser promptly provided payment for the tablet. The very next day I went to my usual go-to parcel company, Parcel2Go to get a good deal on a parcel delivery service. I chose Hermes since their drop-off was around the corner from my work and sent the parcel off.

What followed was a completely disproportionate and somewhat infurating response from the buyer. Read on..

You’ll never guess what happened next

Here’s the transcript:
Buyer Message 1: “Are u taking the piss there’ is a empty box been sent to me we’res the tablet I payed u for ?”
Buyer Message 2: “U need to refund my money back as this box u sent me is empty I know what your game is u are a thief”

My message response: Was the box completely empty?
Your accusations are very inappropriate at this stage.

Buyer Message 3: “U prick u did this on perpous low life bastard money hungry son of a bitch”

And on it went. So the buyer (according to him anyway), received a package that was opened and empty. And he presumed I would, wait for it, go through the hassle of sending him an empty parcel!?

What did I do?

By this stage I:

  • Raised case with Parcel2Go.  Note there is no support phone line or email address.  There is a webchat which is obscured, however on google investigations discovered it to be here: https://www.parcel2go.com/help-centre/livechat By the way, they take 7-14 working days to respond to these queries.
  • Raised a case with Hermes. Again no support phone line, or a web chat that works (the counter which tells you how long to wait for keeps on resetting itself).
  • Called out to ebay, in three different ways, the abuse I was receiving from this ebay member.
  • Registered this tablet as stolen with the CheckMEND database and obtained a criminal reference number for the theft with the police

While trying to resolve the matter, I was receiving a continual stream of abuse by the buyer in question! I reported the user’s abuse language with ebay in three different ways (through the feedback channel, through a webchat, and through a ‘case’) but clearly nothing occurred because there was no change.  He also left me negative feedback despite my continually chasing.  I asked ebay to step in and deal with him but got no response.

The buyer strikes back!

Before I heard back from the Parcel2Go or Hermes regarding the investigation, the user raised a case with ebay:

  • The case was opened on 22-Oct-18 12:36.
  • The case was promptly closed on 22-Oct-18 12:48

So it appears it took ebay a little less than 15 minutes and the resolution?  They determined the buyer was entitled to a full refund. So not only do I have to pay the buyer the amount I supposedly sold the tablet for, but I also have to incur the Paypal and seller fees too!  Objectively you could say I fulfilled all the expectations one could have as a seller, and yet I’m £100 out of pocket..

My conclusions

  • I can conclude ebay doesn’t make any effort in addressing rude and abusive behaviour.  I called it out three times and nothing appears to have happened, no actions or next steps were committed to.
  • If you’re selling on ebay, you’re best off buying postage from ebay directly – there is an option for you to do this.  Ensure there’s insurance for the full price of the winning bid.  If it’s a value higher than £20, then make sure you get packaging that is new and will be blatantly obvious if someone has tampered with it.  This also means the tracking is in the purchase history and you don’t have to do any chasing when things go wrong.  Another side note here is that ebay will rule in your favour, but that’s the topic of a later blog post.
  • Positive feedback doesn’t always reveal the true story.
  • Don’t use a parcel company or provider that has no quick method of speaking to a human.  This includes Parcel2Go  and Hermes1

Lastly, for reference, I have no reason to withhold this buyer’s ebay profile, it’s: moshabba75_2013. He appears to earn his living buying old tablets and supposedly refurbishing them.  If you’re on the lookout for buying a used tablet from this ebay user, bear in mind the kind of person you’re dealing with.  If you’re selling a used tablet, I’d block the user if you want piece of mind.

Next article?  I set my magnifying glass on Facebook Marketplace.

1Parcel2go still haven’t got back to me, 9 working days on. Hermes’ response to my request for them to open an investigation into a tampered package was a message 4 days later along the lines of ‘Your package appears to have been delivered. Let us know if we can help in any way’. When I repeated my request for an investigation into the tampered package delivered the response 3 days later on was ‘We will arrange a sweep of the depot to find your parcel’. Hooo boy..

YouTube gadgets are now over

In a previous work contract the team I was leading created a YouTube gadget for Nikon Europe.  It played into the whole Nikon tagline of ‘At the heart of the image’ and showcased real-life scenarios where people showed a guise of themselves through their Nikon camera.

For those who don’t know, a YouTube gadget is an application you can embed within a brand’s YouTube channel and create a bespoke experience rather than having to just work with YouTube’s look and feel.  It’s great in that you can then really push the YouTube boundaries and surpass user’s expectations of what’s available to see within YouTube.

Implementation-wise it’s fairly simple – you create and host a page on your server, i-frame it in, adhere to some fairly straightforward guidelines from Google (typically around pixel dimensions for various target platforms, also some security constraints), have it undergo a technical review from the YouTube team (you need to book this well in advance) and you’re in!

Sound great?  It was.  Unfortunately, I just read that YouTube/Google are now looking to phase out YouTube gadgets by the end of this year.

If you’re keen on doing something like this for your brand, your best option now is to create an offsite branded video hub.  You’ll want to use external video annotations and video description links to drive traffic to your video hub from the YouTube player.  This means anyone seeing your video will see your branded video hub link and the video playback will be tracked via YouTube’s analytics platform.  On the bright side, video hubs are now free from YouTube restrictions so you can have more flexibility like integration with other social networks, run promotions etc in all in the same place as your video content.

The ideal Sprint Retrospective

Everybody’s got their own version of the perfect Sprint Retrospective.  If you’re struggling to come up with something that works, here’s one that I do regularly.

  • Get a meeting room.  Ensure it’s just the scrum team there.
  • Get a board up and draw a few columns:
    • What we should do more of
    • What we should do less of
    • What we should stop doing
  • Give everyone a pack of post-its and pens.  Get them to (in their own time) fill out the post-its and apply them to the appropriate column.  Give them plenty of time to do this.
  • Go through each of the points and:
    • Get each person who raised the point to explain it.
    • Try and apply groupings to all the different points.
    • If there are actions, note them down.
  • Finally, give people 2-3 ticks and ask them to designate them to specific groupings.  Then just focus on the groupings that people are most excited by.

I find this works for most sprint retros.  I often break it up however to keep things interesting.  Variations include:

  • Individually speaking to Product Owners and collating their feedback.  Then introducing that in a separate session with the team so they can see another perspective of their performance.
  • Individually speaking to members of the team and doing a similar session to the above.

Web services useful tip

A useful tip that may help you if you’re in my line of work (i.e. running tech projects).

So you’re project managing a mobile app or web build and your app/site needs to connect with a web service to consume data/work with their api.  The vendor who’s supplied these services swears blind that they’re working and all is good.  Your developers are saying that the web services are buggy and not working.  Who’s saying the truth?

A good tester I’ve worked with in the past, Chaz Button pointed me in the direction of Hurl.it.  If I believed in God I would consider it a God send!  It’s a useful tool where you simply fill in the details of the web service call (saving you having to write some kind of wrapper yourself in code) and voila!  Your answer is there in black and white as to whether the web service works (which means your developers are wrong) or not (which means the 3rd party needs to fix it).

HURL_Example

UK Recruiters – the state of play

People I work with generally have a crap experience with recruiters in the UK.  The sad fact is 90% of the recruiters I’ve come across in my 13+ years of working experience aren’t actually worth their job title.  If you can spare 5 minutes of your day to hear my rant then behold the golden list:

Numbers game.  Oh look, here’s another recruiter getting in touch that’s got no roles but wants to harvest my CV and own me so they can present me to the next company they come across.  No thanks.  And please don’t invite me for coffee and a chat if you don’t have any roles.  I’d rather spend my lunch break eating my lunch.

Referrals.  When sending me an irrelevant job description, they ask if I know anyone who’d be appropriate for the role.  In exchange for my doing their job for them/providing them with a significant revenue stream (last I heard it’s around 12% of a person’s salary/day rate), they offer me some shitty £20 voucher for the lead.  No thanks.  Or let’s get really bleeding edge and set up an email distro list or LinkedIn Group or Twitter feed telling you of jobs out there! Thanks, but once I’m in a job I like to focus on that job.

– Buzz words.  Often I’ll get a recruiter who’s just scanned my CV, found a couple of buzzwords they were looking for and presto! I get contacted.  It didn’t occur to said recruiter that this role may be inappropriate i.e. I don’t want to be an intern again/I don’t want a commute to Buckinghamshire everyday/I may lead Android projects but I’m no developer etc

Using you for someone else’s gain.  So you’ll attended an interview or two.  More often than not the recruiter will ask you what questions were asked.  Why?  So they can drip feed this info to the next person they send through for a potential interview, to make them better prepared albeit at your expense.  Oh, so perhaps that’s ok because you could be that next person?  I’d rather everybody went into an interview on the same footing thanks.

Follow-up.  Twice this past week I get engaged by a recruiter telling me of some job which is perfectly suited for me.  I respond back.  I hear nothing.  Why bother me in the first place?  It happens too regularly.  If I did this in my line of work it would be considered ‘unreliable’ or ‘incompetent’.

– Feedback.  I go to 2 interviews in the same company and I’m assuming the job’s in the bag, until a week’s gone by, I haven’t heard back so I rightly assume otherwise.  Even if the job doesn’t play out, I’d like the courtesy of being told about it and some feedback would be very professional and appreciated. As Bruce Dickinson sings, “I’m not a number”.  If Iron Maiden said it, it must be true.

– The database from hell.   I’m being approached by recruiters about .net development roles in 2015 even though my last stint as a developer was in 2007.  That was 8 years ago!  8 years!  So they tell me their database is out of date and if I could send them my new details.  To that I ask them to remove me from their database altogether.  A week goes by and I still get messages from them (granted they’re in my spam folder).  The worst culprit was a certain consultant at Evolution Jobs who would SMS me (!!) about .net developer jobs.  I received these text messages for over a year despite my calling and emailing them to remove me from their database.  I even raised it with the Information Commissioner.  Eventually (and it did take another 6 months) I had my details removed (or so I’m told, however I wouldn’t be surprised if my data is still in there but with the SMS communications marked as ‘opt out’ only).

Tainting jobsites.  I’ve stopped using monster.co.uk and cwjobs.co.uk for a few years now.  Why?  Because everytime I upload my CV my phone doesn’t stop ringing with recruiters that have no roles but want to represent me.  It’s literally like a tap that won’t stop leaking.  Thanks but no thanks.  I don’t want to speak with you unless you have a role.  I’d rather spend my free time between roles working the garden or on the PS3 thanks.  I’m also feeling these sites had their day. They were innovative back in the web 2.0 days. Not anymore now that LinkedIn has taken over that space.

Yes, I can hear already the commotion of ‘you can’t paint everyone with the same brush’/’you’re stereotyping’/’we’re not all like that’.  It’s true,  the few recruiters that I do trust and work with very regularly (I can actually count them on one hand) exhibit the following traits:

  • They return my calls.  I don’t call that often so when I do I appreciate a response.
  • They ask me about what I’d like my next role to be.  Just because I’ve been a Project Manager for almost 10 years that doesn’t mean I want to do just any PM role that comes along.
  • They don’t send me a weekly email telling me what the new roles they have going are.
  • They don’t call themselves ‘headhunters’.  That’s so 90s.  I wish people would stop calling themselves that.
  • They give me feedback throughout the recruitment process.  No hand-holding, just helpful status updates.
  • The first time they contacted me over Linked In they actually bothered to write a friendly introduction, instead of the Linked In default message.

Lastly, I should mention we now have company startups on the scene that effectively automate/make redundant the middle-man roles/attributes that recruiters serve.  Examples include flagd and Yuno Juno. Not entirely sure how successful they’ll be but the industry is ripe for improvement and innovation which can only be a good thing.

Tough Mudder preparation

In yet another non-work related activity: A couple of weekends ago I took a client of mine, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend to participate in a Tough Mudder obstacle challenge. It was my 4th or 5th (I’m losing count) and it was great fun! To all future Tough Mudders, or anybody who wants to read about Tough Mudder preparation see below.

Footwear:

  • Tie your laces in triple knots – they’ll come undone otherwise, guaranteed. Don’t tape your laces down like some crazy types do (that’s just silly).
  • If you get new shoes, break them in before the race (unless you have a penchant for blisters).

Training:

  • Do lots of running. If you can run more than 5k without breaking a sweat this is good.
  • Make sure you can do a respectable number of proper pull-ups and burpees also.
  • On the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race sites you can get some great training challenges and you should definitely consult those.
  • For added brownie points you should work particularly on your grip strength. You’ll be literally ‘hanging around’ on many of the obstacles so grip strength is always a good thing.

Gloves:

  • Normal gym gloves won’t cut it – they’ll get wet and slippery, proving useless when you need them most. A good investment is Calisthenics gloves http://www.fitstream.com/fitness-equipment/calisthenics-gloves-m-pg18?id=167. They’re a worthwhile investment and will keep your hands warm (and your hands will get cold very quickly).

Clothing:

  • I tend to prefer Nike Combat gear. The sweat gets expelled from the fabric fairly effectively. Any clothing with sweat wicking will do however.
  • If you’ve got spectators with you, you’ll probably want something bright so they can see you in the crowd.
  • Make sure to bring a dry change of clothes to go into after the event, including a new set of footwear. Rubber boots are a good choice since it will likely be muddy everywhere.

After the event:

  • Take advantage of the cold shower facilities and use the hose jet facilities to wash down your clothes and shoes – you’ll spend forever at home otherwise. You’ll also want to wash down the majority of the dirt on your clothes because you want to wash your fancy sweat wicking sports in a low temperature (high temperature washes will ruin the sweat wicking properties).
  • Bring toilet roll. The events I’ve been to have had well-stocked loo roll but you don’t want to be stuck unprepared.

Happy runnings!

DSC_0893

January Sabbatical – DIY – Tiling a hallway floor

This past January I decided to take some time off to get away from the world of software stacks, marketing campaigns, challenging clients and fast-paced agencies. I was originally planning on honing my skills at Street Fighter 4 but things changed when I dabbled in a B&Q DIY course. Then attending another one. And another one. Until I took all of them. I then embarked on a DIY project at home to take in some of the things I learned. My project involved tiling the hallway floor of my Sutton home.

 

Before: After:
My Hallway - Before Tiling Hallway - After tiling

 

Here’s what I learned:

Existing flooring:

  • If you’ve got concrete flooring its going to be more straightforward – it will likely be level.
  • If you have timber flooring, make sure you rip out any stray nails and replace them with screws. Nails tend to get raised over time because of natural movement so you really do want to replace as many nails as possible with screws.  Always drill pilot holes and you really do want to get an electric screwdriver – life is far too short.
  • This guide will tell you what the different types of nails you’ll be pulling out are.
  • Carpet tacks and any other weirdness should be removed. Inspect every floorboard to make sure you don’t have any creaks/squeak, abnormalities like raised floorboards etc. If you find any, correct them.

Underlay:

  • You’ll need to put underly above the floorboards and below the tiles. Typically you’d use plywood. The thicker the better – most tradesmen advise at at least 12mm to be on the safe side. I ended up with a product called No More Ply – a cement based substrate which acts like ply and is touted as more durable. Make sure to prime whatever you use and potentially even use PVA.
  • For cutting ply or No More Ply you’re best off using a jigsaw. Ply is fine to use wood blades. For ‘No More Ply’ you’re definitely going to need Tungsten Carbide blades which are specifically marked for ’tile cutting’.

Key Tile location:

  • There are various formulas for calculating where the key tile should be. You basically want to be sure that:
    • it looks right, given the typical perspective a person takes when entering the room.
    • You don’t end up having to cut too many tiles into tiny pieces because that can be a pain in the backside.
  • Look up ‘finding the key tile’ online to find guidance on this.

Adhesive:

  • If your base layer is wooden floorboards you’re going to need a flexible adhesive. Mixing can be done by hand, but seriously if you want to make your life a hell easier you want to buy yourself a mixing drill. And while you’re at it, get yourself a cheap bucket because unless you’re fairly meticulous about cleaning up and wasting a ton of water the bucket will be a write-off.
  • The consistency of the adhesive after a good mixing should be peanut-butter like. Not runny, you should be able to pick up a scoop of the mixed adhesive and it shouldn’t dribble off the trowel.
  • If you’re a newbie, mix only a small amount, and apply that small amount laying only a few tiles.
  • You’ll want to work the room in such a way that when you lay tiles you don’t have to work on them in order to get out of the room.
  • If your floor is a little wonky, you’ll want to pack in more adhesive underneath some tiles to level it a bit – make sure to use a spirit level for assistance. You could even try using a leveling compound but I didn’t do that).
  • I used a fast setting adhesive (3 hours) but in hindsight I would definitely use a longer setting one for this first project as you’ll definitely make mistakes and it gives you time to rectify things.

Cutting tiles

  • I tried cutting 0.8mm ceramic floor tiles with a jigsaw equipped with tile blades (Tungsten Carbide) and it was as effective as attempting to cut through rock with a butter knife.
  • I tried one of those tile cutters that you use to score the tile and then split apart – that was found to be inaccurate at best, and ruined tiles at worst.
  • Do yourself a favour and buy a cheap diamond blade wet saw. Either that or rent out a larger industrial strength one. You won’t be able to complete the job without one.

Grouting:

  • Grouting is a fairly straightforward affair. Mix only a small amount, and lay that out. make sure you use a grout finisher or some sort of ball tip so that you can create that nice grooved effect on the tile.
  • If you’re mixing a small amount you can get away with using a quick setting grout. Just remember that you shouldn’t use the floor for at least a couple of days after you’re done (refer to your grouting product instructions for this).

Generally:

  • If you live near a B&Q, check out their DIY courses (they call them ‘You Can Do It’ classes). You get to play with all kinds of power tools, trash materials that don’t belong to you and meet all kinds of interesting people.
  • Check out YouTube – there really is a wealth of info that’s worth reviewing to see how other people do it.

Don’t buy new, repair/customize.

As an avid gamer, particularly of the Street Fighter franchise, I’ve been playing Ultra Street Fighter 4 on my Playstation 3 using a Mad Catz joystick.

This joystick is a pretty basic, entry-level affair.  It’s light (you really do want a heavier stick if you’re playing on your lap) and the stick and controls are of a fairly cheap quality.  The markup on these things for Mad Catz is fairly ridiculous!

After a few years of thrashing about, the buttons and stick finally gave in.  After doing some fairly quick research online I discovered that most joysticks these days are created using standard sized buttons and sticks.  Further research has uncovered a wealth of easily available info for creating your joystick from the ground up only buying parts here and there.  A good example can be found at slagcoin.

The maker revolution, the new movement whereby anybody can create what their after, provided their happy to spend a little time and get their hands dirty truly is in effect.  There are plenty of hobbyists out there that are willing to help those just starting; the satisfaction gleaned from creating or modifying your own stuff cannot be understated.

For those particularly interested in my Mad Catz tinkering, here’s my notes on how to modify the Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 Arcade Fightstick:

  • Seimitsu or Sanwa are the manufacturers to look for when replacing joystick parts.  They have a great build quality, are world-renowned and their parts are used for arcade machines where they truly get tested.
  • The best stick to replace the Mad Catz original is the Sanwa Joystick JLF-TP-8YT.  Most other Sanwa sticks have their power plug connector in a less ideal location as they will cover the space where the buttons are. Make sure to get a cable with the Sanwa joystick so you can replace the setup properly.  If you don’t, and your existing cable is faulty you’ll have to create a new one which will involve soldering.  I had to do this, but again you can find some great info at shoryoken.
  • Typical button replacement options would be the Sanwa OBSN-30s.  You’re basically looking for any button that has the 30mm sizing dimensions.  The threaded Sanwa OBSN-30’s (screw-ons), Seimitsu PS-14-KN 30mm Pushbutton (pretty clear ones), Seimitsu PS-14-GN 30mm Pushbutton (solid colors) all work just fine with the exception of the button that goes in the “x” position (Light Kick) will need to have the “lugnut” around it sanded or grinded down a few millimeters.  I found this useful info over at icrontic.

Happy modding!

 

Book Review: The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

I’m currently working for an advertising agency in Brick Lane.  They’ve got a great stack of books lying about (the product of a rarely mentioned book-swapping culture) so I decided to pick up a book with a fancy cover for my latest read: The Mesh by Lisa Gansky.

mesh_book_pic-d3b5849d4fa37155bce9f24be8c8bd75

The basic premise behind the book is there’s a new business movement  around “sharing”.  We’ve got to the point where materialism only gets us so far; when we acquire things cost of ownership is high and we don’t necessarily take our full advantage of them, they then depreciate rapidly.  Enter the concept of sharing – you use something for as long as you need when you need it and pay only for that use.

That’s the concept right there.  I like it.  Pretty straightforward and very logical.

There are plenty of good examples cited (such as car sharing) and the author puts together a list of business which encapsulate this approach.

Reading the book I couldn’t help thinking that the points could easily be covered within a blog article, or a sequence of blog articles rather than a full-on hardcover book.  Also, the premise seems to be peddled as if it’s some kind of revolutionary concept when really it’s been around for years.  The idea of labelling it as ‘meshing’ or business being ‘mesh businesses’ sounds a little cheesy.

The most value I found from the book is the author’s recounting of the recent history of web commerce.  She writes of how the first wave of internet companies focused on sharing information between parties i.e. selling an email service.  The next wave involved companies figuring out ways of making money by selling specific information to 3rd parties.  An example given is Google selling a search terms i.e. the term ‘deadbolt’ being sold to an online hardware store that offers locks.  The wave after that involved social networking empowering customers to become more active in shaping products and services.  Businesses not pushing stocks of inventory but rather offering goods and services in the time, place and manner that they want.

One thing I particularly liked was the author’s condemnation of the throwaway culture, by specifying that Mesh design is Durable (products that last longer), Flexible (Products that can cover more than just one function), Reparable (standardized parts and transparent design), Sustainable (Reusing materials and reduces waste).

The biggest benefit of reading the book was the effect it had on me; it created an impetus for thinking more creatively about my own business venture that’s getting off the ground.  Probably not so much the book content but the passion the author instilled in me.

You can read more about the book from the author directly here:  http://lisagansky.com/writes