March 22nd, 2005

Annoying things about Thunderbird's junk filter

Before I went on my travels, my mail reader on my desktop at home was pretty good at correctly determining whether or not something is Junk. For some reason by the time I came back it either forgot something or all spamming techniques had suddenly changed over night. Or in other words, it was hardly ever calling anything spam. So the way to fix this seems to be to re-train it on spam in your collection, so I opened up a folder with a few hundred spam emails and hit ^a and then mark/as junk to flag it all as junk. For some reason, Thunderbird then proceeds to ignore the fact that you just told it everything in that folder is junk and goes and marks a bunch of it 'not junk'. Lather, rinse, repeat. It would be nice if it actually believed me the first time when I clearly told it the mail was junk. We'll see if it gets the idea now.

Watching paint dry

Yesterday my business partner and I went to go spy on our target competitor to count how many customers they have in a day. This involved getting there before 10:00am (the line forms an hour before opening time at 11:00am) and staying until they closed the line around 8:30pm. We took turns counting with a little hand counter which made things easier, but still dreadfully boring business. We noticed that there was also another spy hanging about and my business partner went up to chat and found out he is another potential competitor checking things out. We found out some good information though that should help with capacity planning and fleshing out the business plan, and also have a good idea how much they gross per month.

There's a few other scattered competitors popping up here and there, and some other stores trying to compete. We've been checking them out as well, to see what else we are up against. So far in both our opinions and those of other people we've asked for feedback from, all the new competitors really really suck. The good news is that we can compete against pretty easily. The bad news is that the consumer will start to associate the product with all the bad copycats. For the latter, we'll have to do something like give out lots of samples and generate word of mouth to counter the poor quality of other copycats.