Category Archives: Blogging

Collaboration May Be The Answer You Are Looking For To Be Successful With A Product

Collaboration May Be The Answer You Are Looking For To Be Successful With A Product
By Andrew R. Spriegel

Here is a product that we have just started to commercialize successfully after 7 years of sitting on the shelf because it was 2 complicated. It is a drip-less baster that required tooling, $50,000+

We had received several licensing deals on the baster from numerous companies but all of the companies were offering pennies on the dollar, so we turned them down.

I was introduced to a marketing professional this year and we spoke about the products I have at various stages of development. When he looked at the baster he said “you don’t have to license the baster, you only have to license the valve!”

This is why collaboration is critical. We gave the marketer a percentage of sales and went from a position of weakness with the baster to a position of strength with just the valve.

At the Chicago Home and Housewares show this year we offered companies a non-exclusive license to make and use the valve for a royalty on each valve sold. Of all the companies we approached only one wasn’t interested. We showed the companies this video and they realized without the valve their baster would leak and the basters with the valve wouldn’t…If we hadn’t brought someone else on the baster would still be on the shelf gathering dust.



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Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

by Seth Godin

Reprinted with permission

Amanda Hocking is making a million dollars a year publishing her own work to the Kindle.  No publisher.

Rebecca Black has reached more than 15,000,000 listeners, like it or not, without a record label.

Are we better off without gatekeepers?  Well, it was gatekeepers that brought us the unforgettable lyrics of Terry Jacks in 1974, and it’s gatekeepers that are spending a fortune bringing out pop songs and books that don’t sell.

I’m not sure that this is even the right question. Whether or not we’re better off, the fact is that the gatekeepers–the pickers–are reeling, losing power and fading away. What are you going to do about it?

It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.”  Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work.

If you’re hoping that the HR people you sent your resume to are about to pick you, it’s going to be a long wait.  Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.

No one is going to pick you.  Pick yourself.


Filed under Believe in Yourself, Blogging, Branding, Freedom, FreshThinking, Re-Invent Yourself, Reinventing Yourelf, Seth Godin

Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content

Seth Godin: 30%, the long tail and a future of serialized content
February 25, 2011

Republished with permission of Seth Godin

The 1960s and 70s were the golden age of magazines. Why?

  • Lots of people wanted to read them
  • The newsstand could only hold a few of them (barrier to entry permits some to win)
  • The winners had no trouble selling ads because they had motivated readers, in quantity
  • The cost of making one more edition of the magazine was relatively low

Enter tablets. To some, it feels like the dawn of a new golden age. People page through apps like Wired and gasp at the pretty pictures and cool features. Surely, we’re going to recreate that moment.

Here’s the problem, and here’s how Apple is making it much worse:

The newsstand is infinite. That means that far more titles will have far fewer subscribers. There are more than 60,000 apps on the newsstand. Hard to be in the short head when the long tail is so long…

plus, the cost of each issue is far higher, because it costs a lot more to pay a videographer, a video editor, a programmer, etc. than it does to pay John Updike to write 4,000 words…

plus, advertisers are harder to come by, because the number of readers is always going to be lower than it was back then, and the ads are easier to skip.

Of course, the good news is that the publisher doesn’t have to pay for paper, so the profit on each subscriber ought to be way higher. Except…

Except Apple has announced that they want to tax each subscription made via the iPad at 30%. Yes, it’s a tax, because what it does is dramatically decrease the incremental revenue from each subscriber. An intelligent publisher only has two choices: raise the price (punishing the reader and further cutting down readership) or make it free and hope for mass (see my point above about the infinite newsstand). When you make it free, it’s all about the ads, and if you don’t reach tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers, you’ll fail.

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Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?

Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?
by Andrew R. Spriegel
February 23, 2011

ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC is finally ready to sign the non-exclusive licensing agreements and make money on our product!

The product is a dripless baster.  Here is the initial prototype:


Baster Valve

Baster Valve Inserted into the Tube

I don’t know why it took me seven years to figure out how to market my business partner’s and my invention.  My business partner is Howard Loewenthal, a principal engineer at Invacare Corporation. We developed a dripless baster that we have attempted to market and sell for years.

Here is a video of a typical baster in operation:

Here is a video of the ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC dripless baster

We tried over and over to sell the baster with the check valve, we were in a position of weakness.  Last year we received a licensing offer from Merry Chance, a Chinese Company, that was below our expectations. In spite of our desire to so settle a deal, we turned down the offer and it dawned on me!!!

We don’t have to sell the baster!!….We just have to sell the valve!!!

INSTANTLY WE WENT FROM A POSITION OF WEAKNESS TO A POSITION OF STRENGTH!  Either you license out valve and have a dripless baster or pass and sell a baster that LEAKS!

Introducing the:

In comes Van Washburn from FIT-Brands to handle the marketing and a new video:

Off to the Housewares Show in Chicago next month, we will keep you posted on the outcome!

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How to Promote Innovative Behavior

How to Promote Innovative Behavior
By John Gabrick

For far too long, innovation management has been the poor stepchild of business processes. Relegated to a simple ‘idea submission form’ or similar, ideas have been collected and then thrown into the pot to see what would happen.

With the advent of Web 2.0, innovation management became more social, with many vendors providing innovation communities to “sort through” the best ideas and let the crowd determine the best. While this new philosophy is better than the first, it too, yielded few results. First, getting your ideas from the “crowd” typically does not work as advertised. There are far too many issues involved with sharing your ideas in a public forum, and anything of real value will probably not be discussed. While you may get improvements to your products, you have to deal with volumes of junk, with the realization that you’ll spend a great deal of time finding the gems. Proponents of the “open” social methodologies are hard-pressed to provide any examples of true innovation that came from these methods.

Consider the results of American Idol, the ultimate crowdsourcing experiment. Each week, one or more contestants are eliminated based on the opinion of the audience. However, according to a recent article in USA Today, while the crowd has picked winners that have been successful, they have more often than not picked less than spectacular winners. And, note that the original group of participants, numbering nearly 70,000 for each season, is initially picked by “qualified” judges, further underscoring the fact that you cannot rely on the crowd even to pick the initial list of participants with only several hundred actually being selected to perform on television-or about 0.2%. As a final comment, realize that industry executives (and otherwise small numbers of people) have been picking hit songs and artists for decades-all without the help of the crowd. So, how do you utilize innovation management and social networking to your advantage? By tightly controlling it with a closed process. Seems counterintuitive, but it works. I’ll give you several steps to consider:

  1. Define a specific question that you want answered. Instead of looking for general ideas, you should seek to narrow your innovative efforts. If I walked into a room with 100 people and simply asked them for good ideas, I’d get a range of answers from changing the way I dress (probably a good one), to how to cure cancer. While many might be good, I’d be hard pressed to weed through all of the answers and then appropriately review each one.
  2. Target a specific audience. By targeting, you need to achieve two things. First, you need to go after a group that will have at least some understanding of the question that you want answered-I’m not suggesting that only engineers can answer engineering problems, however, if you are asking people with no environmental or domain expertise, then you’re going to be disappointed. Second, you need to have some measure of control over this group. This means that the audience has to have some incentive to provide you with good ideas, whether it is promotions, recognition, or something else. If you are going after a purely external group of people, then you’re going to have to look more toward the “something else”, because you can’t offer promotions, rewards, or recognition-the most highly regarded aspects of innovation from an internal group.
  3. Get experts to help you. Once you’ve defined your question and begin to get possible solutions, you are going to need experts to help you evaluate them. How else would you be able to credibility analyze the suggestions? And credibility is a big part of the equation. Submitters like to feel that their contributions are fairly and accurately judged. You don’t want the baseball commissioner umpiring a game. Umpires have the experience and judgment (except when it’s your team) to make calls. Can you imagine the problems if you had one of the fans acting as the umpire-which happens in elementary school to everyone’s demise-umpiring a game. The players, coaches, and spectators would be crying foul. It’s no different in innovation.
  4. Leadership. An intangible by critical element of innovation, you won’t have success without it. It ties directly with item #2, ‘Target a specific audience,’ because as mentioned, there needs to be some element of control. Think about the captain of a Navy boat. He (or she) has the authority and respect to make things happen, but also has the ability to provide rewards and promotions. So, on one hand, they can encourage participation in innovation and on the other hand, provide the recognition that comes with success. How do you provide leadership? Well, you could probably write a whole book on that subject, but in essence in boils down to: Does this person really believe that innovation is important, and are they demonstrating the importance with not only words, but also actions.

Can you get innovation without following these steps? Sure, even a broken clock is right twice a day. The problem with not using these steps is that your innovation process will be unpredictable and unreliable, and you’ll have a hard time justifying it. Today, more than ever, it’s critical to have a constant supply of new initiatives to remain competitive. That constant supply is only going to come by following a repeatable process.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved

With over 25 years experience in a variety of industries, Mr. Gabrick is an industry-seasoned professional in innovation business processes. This experience provided an education of unprecedented depths, first-hand exposure to the relevant issues, and ultimately served to fuel his passion to drive positive change related to innovation management, both at the corporate and employee levels. He has been dedicated exclusively to helping organizations to understand, design, and implement innovation processes across the enterprise. For information on his book about innovation, go to

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In and out

In and out
by Seth Godin

Reprinted with Permission

That’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make today.

How much time and effort should be spent on intake, on inbound messages, on absorbing data…

and how much time and effort should be invested in output, in creating something new.

There used to be a significant limit on available intake. Once you read all the books in the college library on your topic, it was time to start writing.

Now that the availability of opinions, expertise and email is infinite, I think the last part of that sentence is the most important:

Time to start writing.

Or whatever it is you’re not doing, merely planning on doing.


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Workplace Violence Rates Nearly Triple in Past Ten Years

by Tim Dimoff, President, Speaker, Author

Reprinted with Permission

“Perhaps one of the most tragic aspects of workplace violence is its dramatic rise. While the overall rates for workplace violence have dropped significantly in the past ten years, homicides from customers and clients have steadily grown from 25 in 1997 to 74 workplace murders in 2007. Figures provided by the Office of Safety and Health Statistics at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, show unexpected trends of workplace violence based on the type of perpetrator.”

SACS Locates Experts Who Identify Four Recent Trends in Workplace Violence!

Security experts have identified four trends that contribute to workplace violence:

  • Spillover from violence at home
  • Improper handling of stressful events
  • Inefficient employee protection programs
  • Lack of appropriate security technology

In most cases, an employee might not feel comfortable talking with a boss about an abusive situation at home, so employers should offer sexual harassment and violence prevention programs. Some offices have good sexual harassment policies in place but do little to address yelling, shouting, or bullying behavior. Instead, the new trend for employers is to implement workplace policies that encourage physical, mental, and emotional well-being BEFORE problems arise.

Finally, protective technologies such as surveillance cameras, access checkpoints, and two-way panic buttons can go a long way toward helping employees. Someone who might hesitate to hit a 9-1-1 panic button but would use a two-way panic button with a “send assistance” option could help an employee out of a tense situation.

For Information on how SACS Consulting can help you with these issues and many more, call 330-255-1101 for information and free assessments.
SACS Consulting and Investigative Services, Inc.

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