An Infinity’s Night Before Shipment

by Admin 20. December 2011 14:17

Twas the night before shipment, when all through the warehouse,

Not a touch screen was working, not even a spark.

The employees all tangled their hands in their hair,

In hopes that a solution would pop out of thin air.


The reporters were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of I.T.’s danced with I.E.’s in their heads.

And Jason in his goggles, and I with my laptop,

Had just resigned ourselves to another late night.


When out around back there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But an a-Si TFT active matrix LCD wizard (with a six pack of beer).


With a tiny screwdriver, and a flick of his wrist,

The screens came alive with an elegant twist.

More colorful than a sailor his curses they flew,

As he muttered, and mumbled each option by name.


Now Bluetooth! Now import! New job, start Realtime!

On audio!  On dictionary! On on-screen translation!

His eyes soon glazed over, fingers nimble and clean,

To make sure those touch screens stayed smudge free and pristine.


He shouted, “Ah ha! It’s this little white cable!

You needed the red one to get the job done!”

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Switching red and white cables, and with one final jerk,

The screens danced to life, their backlights how merry!

With gleaming bright cases like jewels in the snow.


His eyes how they twinkled in their flickering light.

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself, 

Wave that one silly cable that stopped up the show.

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!


--Wait, chimney?  Uhhh...ok.


He hopped in his audi, Britney Spears through his speakers,

And away down my street did his tires peel out.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Don’t mess it up again, you idiots! Now have a good-night!”


 

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Infinity Writers

I’ll take the half-caf, double whip, low foam, 3 pump, no sugar mocha please!

by Admin 8. December 2011 15:36

Coffee just wouldn’t be the same without choices, would it?  My barista hardly blinks an eye when I walk in and request my large, iced, Grande, extra hot caramel macchiato with three ice cubes.  Why?  Because if those three ice cubes in my extra hot, confused size coffee make me smile, then darn it, they’re happy to oblige.  They never try to sell me on the specialty mocha or hand me a drip coffee with cream and two sugars because it’s the only thing they stock.  They make that drink exactly how I ask every time, without fail.  Perhaps while shaking their heads and questioning my sanity, but that’s beside the point.

Wouldn’t it be great if everything worked that way?  Ahhh…imagine the possibilities.  What if you could walk into your favorite clothing store, pick up a pair of jeans, and say “These are great.  But can you tailor them to make me look 10 years younger?” and have the answer be yes?  Or, what if you could, oh, I don’t know, call up a company who builds court reporting machines, and say “Can you make me a sunset orange writer with half black, half white keys, wide S, a big ‘ol screen, and throw in a cute pink wheelie case?“ and have the company reply, “Sure, anything you want.”  Wouldn’t that be just wonderful?

Huh. Wonder if there is anyone out there who would actually do that.  Oh come on, no eye rolling.  You know this had to be going somewhere, right?  Smart bunch, you court reporter types.

So this is where I start blathering about how we offer choices, and how we would never force you to drink that awful drip coffee, blah, blah, blah de blah.

Nah.  I’m not in the mood for it today.  Besides, you already know it (see smart comment above).  What you may not know is why we offer so many choices.  Doesn’t it just muddy up the waters?  Make things more complicated than they need to be?  I mean, seriously, we survived this long in our careers shuffling through different perturbations of the same machine and we turned out just fine.  Right?  Right?

Riiiight.  You folks pay dearly for holding the title “Guardians of the Record.”  Eye, back, neck, and wrist strain.  The second highest rate of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.   Repetitive stress injuries (not to mention just plain old stress). 

So…is that why we do it?  Because we feel bad for you?  Again, nah.  Though we do kinda feel bad for you.

Let me lay it out.

Goal:

·         Build a writer that fits you like a tailored suit, not that off the rack crap that never hangs right

·         Offer you all the choices to make it possible to build said writer, while making it impossible to screw it up

·         Make you happy

 

No mystery, it’s all pretty simple.  So simple, in fact, that it’s a wonder someone hasn’t tried it before.

 

Okay, now that we’ve got the “why” down, let’s move on to the “how.”  We like to think of ourselves as facilitators.  No, not enablers, facilitators.  Totally different.  A facilitator helps you make the right choices for you, pointing out along the way things you may not see or think about.  We don’t just ask what color do you want? Do you want wide keys, a tripod?  How ‘bout a microphone?  We take the time to find out what kind of work you do, your most common writing mistakes, what machine’s you’ve liked in the past and why, whether you experience physical discomfort or pain, so that by the time your writer arrives on your doorstop and makes it through the initial set-up phase it’s well on its way towards feeling like an old friend.

 

Okay, wait, go back. You said your goal is to make it “impossible to screw up.”  How the heck are you supposed to guarantee that?

 

Well, we can’t really guarantee we won’t screw up.  And “screwing up” is relative anyway.  But, say you get your writer and decide you totally hate the key configuration or that wacky split number bar. Easy.  Send it back and we’ll change what you don’t like.  No cost.  And we’ll split shipping.  You pay to send it to us, we’ll pay to send it back. In fact, within the first 90 days you can send your writer back twice and we’ll tweak, adjust, change whatever you ask…just in case you decide you really were too hard on that wacky split number bar.  The third time’s on you though.  But come on, that’s only fair.

 

Now, what if it’s something more than just the keys you want to change, like, say…from a traditional machine to the ergo, or maybe that baby puke green case you insisted upon that sounded so great when you ordered?  Not a big deal.  Not free, but certainly less than buying a whole new machine.  95+ percent less in fact, depending on what you want to do and what machine you want to do it to, though I would steer you away from jumping back and forth between colors.  We can only change out that baby puke green case so many times before it becomes downright silly.

 

So bottom line, build the machine you like.  Three ice cubes and all.

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Infinity Writers | Infinity Writers

Seven Years

by Admin 29. November 2011 05:06

Seven years…what can you do in seven years?  Well, let’s see.  You can age a nice bottle of wine, have a Seven Years’ war that really lasts closer to nine, progress through grade school at a painfully slow rate…or…you could do nothing.

Nothing?  you ask.  Yes, you heard me.  Nothing.  You know, hangin’ out, watching hours upon hours of reality TV, staying up until 3 a.m. playing angry birds … actually, scratch the reality TV.  But you get what I’m saying.

Sometimes nothing sounds awfully appealing, it’s just…well, nothing’s not really my style.  See, when you’re a business owner—a small business owner at that—doing nothing is akin to rolling over and exposing your throat to a rabid dog.  With as many as 50% of new businesses falling off the map in the first year and 90-95% shutting their doors in the first four, you’ve got to have your head in the game if you don’t want “Selling $4 cups of coffee” to be the next entry on your resume.  Businesses don’t run themselves and money doesn’t grow on trees and all that.

No one sets out to fail.  There’s no “7 Habits of Miserably Ineffective Failures” or “How to Score Enemies and Make People Hate You” books in the self-help section of Amazon, but sometimes things just don’t work out how you expect. 

Fortunately, it goes both ways.

When Jason and I bought this business nearly eight years ago I thought “Cool.   This will be something fun we can do together in our free time.”  Don’t laugh.  Oh what the hell, go ahead and laugh.  It was a ridiculous notion and something I’d like to force into the back of my memory right alongside the teal eyeliner and acid washed jeans I so adored in junior high.

I scarcely imagined he would orchestrate six product redesigns (three of them major), work 7 days a week starting at 5 a.m. until 9 or 11 p.m., and be out of town so many weekends that waking up next to him on a Saturday felt like an early Christmas.  Even more startling, I never could have predicted how important—how ingrained—that little clump of plastic and metal would become in our lives.

Big companies are lucky.  They can float those people who yawn during sales lectures, take off early to miss traffic, and roll their eyes reciting the companies mission statement.  Those people who want to fly under the radar and work just enough to pay their mortgage and take a trip to Disney World once a year.

Small companies?  Well, they face a different challenge.  You either live, breath, eat, and sleep the vision, or you shut the doors.  You employ people who add value, or eat ramen and go without shoes to pay their salary.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration…shoes are kind of a necessity.

The moral of this story is…well, I guess there is no moral, but I do have a point.  My point, bold as it may be, is that we didn’t get to where we are today by slogging through life with a ho-hum attitude expecting a money pony to come prancing along carrying God’s gift to writers in its mouth.  We got here because we do have a clear vision of who we are, where we’re going, and how we want to get there.  And most importantly, we care.  Truly. 

Seven years…what can you do in seven years?  Well, you can read all about what we’ve already done here, on our About Us page.  As for the next seven? I don’t want to spoil the fun and give it away, but we look forward to dragging you along (kicking and screaming if we must) for the ride.

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Infinity Writers

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