do_sqlite3 conflict

Nov 21, 2008

Today I upgraded my gems and all of a sudden all my sqlite3 db’s failed.

All the tasks using rake db:**** rake aborted! no such file to load -- sqlite3 This all includes all script/server and passenger uses of the sqlite db.

The gem datamapper do_sqlite3 somehow interfers with the sqlite3-ruby gem. Simple answer gem uninstall do_sqlite3 -v=0.9.7. I uninstalled versions 0.9.7, as there is not a problem with the previous version 0.9.6.


This has been fixed as of 0.9.9 – Thank you

Posted by Thomas Cowell

Tags: rails

How do you look? Building Trust: Part 1

Nov 07, 2008

Fundamentally this is an issue of trust, I want to look at how trust is important to brand. Lets start with an example of how trust can be eroded. Then moving onto how to image is important to trust.

I have had the bad fortune of working with some intentionally dishonest people, they tend to paint everything to benefit them. Only doing that which improves only their position and gets them the greatest gains, power or position. What does that mean for me as a consultant? When I started having problems with receiving paying and was being asked to misrepresent aspects of the company, I faced a dilemma. Do I walk and cut my losses or do I play along and make a fair bit of easy money? I walked, even though it looked good, I couldn’t see it ending well in the long term. Why? Trust. Simply, I could not trust what they said to me because I had watched them misrepresent themselves to others and simply saw these circumstances as a further reason to be extremely cautious. There misrepresentation was not the enthusiastic promises of a marketing or sales person, but blatant misrepresentation of the abilities and skills.

What is so hard about Trust, well not to be obvious it is the certainty with which we are willing to rely on another party to fulfil their promises. It is have I established a level of credibility with another party where they know I will be able to uphold those agreements. Trust also plays out when something doesn’t go according to plan demonstrating itself in the means by which something is worked through without resorting to school yard tactics? Even with extremely trustworthy people things can and will occasionally go wrong due to external circumstances, but when it does the process of resolution is much easier and the investigation of the problem tends to be amicable.

Working in London presents its difficulties and I recognise how hard it can be at times to build trust. The wolves are always biting at your heals, someone is always trying to “have it on” and you are fighting to keep yourself above water. There are no quick-fixes, no easy solutions, just simple perseverance. Trust demonstrates itself in loyalty and this is something that needs to be continuously cultivated. A reputation can be much more easily torn down than built. People want to deal with businesses of a good reputation and trustworthiness, but if you can’t deliver on your promises, the problem lies within the integrity of processes and promises of the business. In the next article I will look at some customer facing tools to help improve your ability to deliver on your promises, in this article I want to look at how to improve the appearance of trust.

Firstly, I want to dispel a myth that trustworthy businesses don’t need to be concerned with their image. This is a great shame, because there some are incredible companies that sell themselves short because they don’t care about their appearance. Many times I have had recommendations about a company, but because their presentation is not clean and well organised it means that I have difficulty believing that they are organised and able to deliver on the promises. This is very subtle and unfortunately means they won’t get the follow through and the opportunity to demonstrate how fantastic they are.

Great companies can be kept from growing or moving into markets, because of presentation. Here are some helpful questions I hope will flush out the issue:

  1. Does all my marketing material, stationary, emails and website look tidy and organised?
  2. Is my presentation suitable for my desired market? (i.e. A game shop will have a different style to maternity shop)
  3. Can I explain what my organisation is about in 30 seconds?
  4. Is my website easy to navigate and is it easy to find the right information? (Also referred to as accessibility or the mom test! Not to be discriminatory, any non-technical person will suffice.)

How do you know whether you meet this criteria, ask people you know who can give you honest feedback! We can also offer you assistance and we will be more than willing to discuss any queries you may have? Please feel free to contact us.

After a company has improved their image and presentation what does their marketing position look like? It should in the long term see an improvement in sales when done in conjunction with a good marketing strategy. As I don’t wish to confuse the two, image or brand is the materials used in presenting the company in an easy to understand manner, whereas marketing is about the process and activities surrounding the buying and selling. The difference between these two can at times be hard to distinguish, but for the sake of this article we are focusing on the presentation.

A clear, clean and concise presentation and image provides your potential customers with the information they need to make decisions about whether they are willing to build trust with you and your company. People want to know what I services or products I am offering. They want it the important information to be accessible. Which is where ultimately the decision to contact you is made? A common mistake is give too much information about how great your company is, but not give information about the products and services you offer in a clear easy to digest 30 second scan of your website. A friend in corporate banking who doesn’t have much time to review information, commented to me, if you grab his attention with a clear simply defined product, he will read further to find out more. It is a matter of “signal vs. noise”, are you making noise or delivering a clear message about yourself and your company?

Again this is not about strategy and how or how not to make a bunch of noise for the sake of getting people interested in your company, but the materials people are met with when they are being introduced to you. This is where the making of noise and getting attention really pays off, this is where you get the good conversion rates from people passing by to people becoming customers and potentially loyal clients.

As touched on in earlier on some of the next articles I am going to look at tools and techniques in the following articles of the same title.

Posted by Thomas Cowell

Tags: branding