Saturday, October 30, 2010

Raleigh Bicycles

I have a 1977 Raleigh Grand Prix. It's a great bike. Raleighs were a little outdated, but they ran well and could be ridden for miles. They were made in Nottingham.

The last real Raleigh was made in 2002. The US stopped getting them long before that.

There is still a full product line that carries the name. They sell quite a range, but not one of them is a Raleigh.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Before deregulation, flying was a big deal. It was something to brag about. People who flew were the envy of everyone else. Those who flew a lot were part of the jet set.

Now, telling people you're flying brings sympathy. Too bad. Maybe you won't have to go next time.

The problem is cramped seats. Every dimension has shrunk over time. Seat pitch measures the distance from one fixed point on a seat to the same fixed point on the seat behind it. Over time, it has gone from about 36 inches to 30. That's a rough average.

Measure the seat pitch in your car. No matter how small it is, the seat pitch for your commuter car is longer than it is for airlines that carry people on long trips.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coca-Cola and Pepsi

I never liked either one. Long ago, I took the Pepsi Challenge and picked Coke. The big winner, however, which was not mentioned in any commercial, was, "No preference."

The cola wars disprove the orthodoxy taught in economics classes. That is, competition does not breed product improvement. In fact, both have gotten worse over time, as they shifted from sugar to corn syrup.

About 10 years ago, I finally found out what all the fuss was about. All natural colas came out, made by other companies. I tried one and liked it. I thought, "Oh. That's what they're imitating."

Saturday, October 9, 2010


VW's biggest problem is that most of what they sell is a global product at a German price.

Their marketing, consequently, never works. They should either have massive price cuts or do something to increase quality.

National products have identity. One of their greatest was the Mexican Bug. It was made there long enough that Mexico, not Germany, was home. I drove one in the mid-90s, and it was fantastic.

Most of their products, however, are international collections of parts. This is happening more and more in the automotive business. It's hard to imagine how quality could be tracked if factory owners and workers have no idea where their products might go and only vague ideas of how they would fit.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Apple products are usually good. This post is about their names.

For some years now, everything has been the iThis or the iThat. What's with all the narcissism?

Why is their core target market still the Me Generation?