CoolBalance - Squirrel POS Customizations

Squirrel POS customizations by CoolBalance Inc

Financial Education

Financial Education Well, it’s been a long time since I blogged. Just as an FYI, it’s been busy with all of my projects, Gift Card is about to explode and has such a huge upside it’s mind-boggling. Adrienne put on a very successful financial education seminar in Vancouver on April 22, 2007. I’ve been learning lots about doing business, legal structures and methods to minimize tax, investment vehicles normally only available to the wealthy, and how to keep that wealth.

7 May 2007

Gift cards entice shoppers to spend more according to UW researcher

Gift cards entice shoppers to spend more according to UW researcher I saw this article about the psychology of gift card spending today in my alumni newsletter (shameless plug here, U of W is an excellent university). Do visit “here to read the article.”: The main point is that people don’t view gift card cash as completely real, so even if they can get cash back, their natural tendency is to want to spend more than is on the card, topping up with their own money as it were.

2 Feb 2007

Building a large online retail business

Building a large online retail business Today I saw a job posting from “Abe Books”:, a Victoria, BC, Canada based company that is the world’s largest online book marketplace with more than 80,000,000 new,used,rare,out of print books from more than 13,500 independent booksellers in 53 countries. This sparked an insight for me. If I want to build a large marketplace for a specific niche, they way to do that would be to build an instore pos/management application for that niche and tie that instore system into an online e-commerce site for that specific store, as well as a centralized marketplace that would allow consumers access to all the retailers in that niche.

31 Oct 2006

Marketing What I Know!

Marketing What I Know! Today, reading an advert by Janet Swirtzer for her “How Experts Build Empires” series of programs for info-marketers, a number of things she had to say struck me as insightful. First, everyone knows and has done something that someone else would like to know and be able to do. Many of those things people will pay money for. So, I can build a product and business around that thing if I can find those people and give them the value they want.

31 Oct 2006

What I know - Payment Systems

What I know - Payment Systems Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I know best and realized that I’ve been working with payment systems (credit cards and prepaid cards) for more than 17 years now. So, I’ll be blogging on a variety of topics in this area. Everyone is familiar with Starbucks and their gift card (powered by ValueLink of First Data). It’s been an amazing success. In 2002, 7% of purchases were made with their prepaid card and more than 16 million prepaid cards have been activated.

29 Oct 2006

Refining Company Direction

Refining Company Direction It’s interesting how ideas converge and details clarify themselves. Things are coming together now on my strategy to build an addon infrastructure to facilitate extending the Squirrel POS System and then reselling those new application extensions. Talking to some resellers to get their feedback is still a task to do. The core architecture will be to base the new infrastructure on Jetty and build applications in Java.

10 Apr 2006

Squirrel Web Portal

Squirrel Web Portal Well, more product ideas today. Let’s build a business around providing web access to essential Squirrel functions and data for restaurant owners and managers and employees. So, what does this look like? A suite of small apps. All accessible via our website. Customers pay a monthly subscription fee for the services they want. First month could be a free trial. We get everyone’s email. Everything is accessed via a browser, probably using Javascript/Ajax to provide an interactive, desktop-like experience.

6 Apr 2006

Money Bar Interface

Money Bar Interface Well, I’m finding out how much fun it is to get a routing issue resolved. What’s wrong is that it seems impossible to ping or traceroute (or send data over port 4554) to This is a problem from my hosting account at as well as from home here in Vancouver (via and Peer1). HTTP traffic is okay, and evidently pinging works from some other sites.

4 Apr 2006

Squirrel Requisitions

Squirrel Requisitions It occurs to me that there is possibly a business opportunity in developing new requisition, check, receipt, and credit card voucher formats. If it were possible to produce a new format inexpensively, have them available on the web through a catalogue, and then retail them for an acceptable price, then I believe that restauranteurs would be open to paying for formats that more closely match what they like.

2 Apr 2006