Category Archives: FreshThinking

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

Innovation center would connect investors, entrepreneurs

Posted on

Magdalene Perez, Staff Writer
Published: 09:33 p.m., Monday, January 10, 2011

STAMFORD — A group of city officials and Fairfield County movers and shakers used a visit from freshly minted U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal Monday as an opportunity to pitch a new business “hub” they envision based in Old Town Hall.

Blumenthal toured the newly renovated space and listened as Kevin Segalla, president of Connecticut Film Center, and Patricia Meagher, of Dakota Ventures, described their idea for the building’s perfect tenant: The Stamford Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship. The innovation center, still in the planning stages and never publicized to date, would serve as a space where startup company tenants could connect with angel investors while thriving off a community environment, they said.

Meagher, a venture partner with Dakota Ventures, would serve as the center’s president, with Segalla as chairman and Bill Gordon, an investor and president of the biotech company Tetragenetics, as vice chairman.

The idea came to fruition in conjunction with the Stamford Urban Redevelopment Commission and the city’s economic development department, whose representatives also attended the meeting.

Meagher said Stamford is an ideal place for such a center, which would attempt to act as an “incubator” for new businesses, mimicking the foment of business startup hot spots such as Silicon Valley and New York. As an example, Meagher cited Astia, a business community committed to accelerating the funding and growth of women-led companies. Of those companies that work with Astia, 60 percent get startup funding within a year, Meagher said.

“We have Greenwich, we have New Haven. Stamford is what’s missing,” Meagher said. “It’s all about surrounding these entrepreneurs with a community and an ecosystem.”

The meeting was an appropriate kick-off for Blumenthal as he launched a two-week listening tour of the state with the stated purpose to solicit ideas from small business owners, community leaders and other residents about creating jobs and rebuilding the economy. Blumenthal announced the tour less than a week after taking the oath of office Wednesday. After Monday’s visit to Stamford, he plans to make stops in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Danbury among other locations.

Blumenthal said he was enthusiastic about the Stamford Innovation Center idea.

The meeting took place in an airy front room in the former public facility, under a mural of the colonial-era Sen. Abraham Davenport speaking under candlelight during the “dark day in Connecticut” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy referred to in his inauguration speech last week.

“I’ve known this building for a long time, for several decades, at least from the time that it was a government and public hub,” Blumenthal said. “This new use is very exciting as a place for entrepreneurs to take root and grow and take flight eventually. This kind of incubator and hub is very of the moment. It’s not only necessary because it’s very essential as a place where jobs can be created, but also as a place for entrepreneurs to grow.”

The center’s planners said the missing element is a last “bit” of funding to push Old Town Hall’s long-term renovation project to completion. After millions of dollars of investment from the city and other sources, the building has been restored, but about “ten percent” of the work to make the innovation center a reality remains: elements such as data lines, air conditioning and electrical work, Meagher said.

“The reality is we live in an area with more investment dollars perhaps than any other place in the world, and yet they are not investing here in Connecticut,” Segalla said. “It’s only natural that we create the vehicle for investment here in Connecticut.”

Staff Writer Magdalene Perez can be reached at or 203-964-2240.

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Staff Writer at The Advocate
Staff Writer at The Hartford Courant
Reporter at amNewYork
Assistant Editor at Artinfo.comMove to Trash
Columbia University – Graduate School of Journalism
New York University

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Filed under business, Economy, FreshThinking, Intellectual Property, intellectual property rights, Invention, Journalism, Journalist

Peas of Mind Veggie Wedgies in High Demand among Moms

Peas of Mind Veggie Wedgies in High Demand among Moms
The Perfect Food Option for Growing Kids

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – It’s been more than four years since San Francisco based company Peas of Mind hit Bay Area grocery shelves and, today, demand for their newest product line has fueled interest in the company to an all-time high. Peas of Mind recently launched Veggie Wedgies, baked crispy french fries made from real vegetables, to accompany their original product line of wholesome frozen meals called Puffets.

“Parents are increasingly vigilant about what their children eat, especially in cities where organic and natural foods are readily available. At the same time, there seems to be less time than ever to cook,” said Jill Litw, owner of Peas of Mind. “Our mission is to provide a solution for health-conscious parents who want to feed their kids delicious, nourishing and affordable foods, but who lack the time, energy or expertise to create them from scratch.”

Veggie Wedgies are baked, crispy french fries made from REAL vegetables! There are four unique flavors in the line which include Baked Broccoli, Baked Carrot, Baked Cauliflower and Baked Apple. All flavors are vegan, fat free and completely allergen free, making them a great snack or side dish for the whole family. Furthermore, Peas of Mind was named R&D Team of The Year for the innovation used to develop Veggie Wedgies!

Soundbites for Veggie Wedgies:

• Unlike regular french fries which are filled with oil and sodium, Veggie Wedgie are baked full of vitamins and nutrients!

• 1 serving of Veggie Wedgies (14 fries) contains over a serving of fruits or vegetables (per the USDA guidelines).

• 1 serving of Veggie Wedgies (14 fries) contains more than 1/2 the recommended daily intake of fruit or vegetable for growing kids (per the American Heart Association guidelines).

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Filed under Brand, Branding, Bucks, business, Children, FreshThinking, Health, Innovation,

Innovators and Genius in Ohio – Daniel Moneypenny

Innovators and Genius in Ohio – Daniel Moneypenny
Daniel Moneypenny
by Andrew R. Spriegel
January 14, 2011

Daniel Moneypenny has transformed the English language into a revenue proposition, and he has done so on behalf of some of the world’s most powerful corporations. Daniel is a master of positioning statements, tagline, corporate & product naming, ad campaign development, along with his full spectrum ideation services for Fortune 50 & 100 clients.

Daniel is President and Chief Creative Officer of his branding/ideation firm, Emaginit that he founded over 25 years ago. Countless clients worldwide rely on emaginit for Moneypenny’s unique branding, potent phraseologies, and marketing stratagems. On any given day, he can create 100-200 branding entities for a specific client. These C-Suite clients have provided hundreds of written testaments to the effectiveness of his unconventional approach – from Dow AgroSciences and Pepsi to Time Warner.

Daniel has traveled far and wide developing branding & ideation elements. Exxon says he’s “extraordinarily gifted in turning a phrase into a great advantage.” Citicorp calls him a “man of ambition and integrity.” Procter & Gamble calls him the “Swiss Army Knife” of creative consultants.” Daniel cuts through immense information clutter to reach targeted audiences with a keen ability to connect viable words/phrases to products and new companies. In an over-communicated marketplace, his has an extraordinary skill, one that virtually ensures market share. He led Diebold’s ATM hardware and software branding launches across 26 countries. In addition to spearheading Amway’s branding efforts by developing 47 consecutive successful branding assignments throughout Europe, Japan and domestically. Emaginit continues to build its vast database, that currently holds in excess of 1,000,000 branding entities. He believes that intellectual property will become the new currency. So much so, emaginit is launching its own IP division to insure conception to consumption continuity.

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Filed under Advanced Marketing Group, Andrew R. Spriegel, Blogging, Brand, Branding, Bucks, business, Cleveland, Daniel Moneypenny, Emotional Marketing Value, FreshThinking, Genius in Ohio, Innovators and Genius in Ohio, Innovators and Genius in the Cities, Intellectual Property, intellectual property rights, Market, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Millions, Sales and Marketing, Success, Trademark, Wealth, You

Tips for survival…by Architect Mark Stephens

Great Article by ‘Mark Stephens RIBA MRIAI at

Following my Tweet ‘I refuse to participate in any recession’ I thought I’d give a few tips that may help other architects and designery types claw their way out of the ‘black hole of doom’:

Doing the best you possibly can do and forget about the money

The first thing you need to do is to provide the best service you possibly can – if you don’t your client will go elsewhere.

Bend over backwards to help your client – if you don’t somebody else will.

Don’t constantly think about money. It’s a bit like girlfriends (and boyfriends); you’ll never get one when you’re desperate, relax, don’t think about the money and the jobs will come in – nobody wants someone desperate and constantly looking for money.

Now think about the money !

Batten down the hatches

Work is going to be harder to get – but it is out there! The trick is not spending thousands on trying to get the smaller number of projects that are available. The three expenditures that will cripple your business are:

a. Staff

Pare down and don’t be afraid of letting staff go. I realise that it’s very difficult emotionally to let people go but the alternative is for the business to fail and nobody has got a job. Always remember that you can always rehire when things have picked up.

b. Overheads

The biggest fixed overhead will be your premises. See if you can rent somewhere cheaper or try to renegotiate your rent, or do as I did (even before the recession kicked in) work from home. I bet you’d be surprised how many businesses could effectively work from a home office; you could even set up a showroom in one of the rooms !

You also need to cut back your expenditure on the nice items you once bought pre-recession; do you really need that new laptop (or iPad Mark!), what about that new camera you promised yourself ? Or how about that new car you used to get every year. Things are tough and cut backs will need to be made.; think first about whether the expense is essential, make do with what you have and wait a little longer ?

c. Marketing

In a recession, everybody wants a bit of your money with the promise that it’s essential for your business if you want to survive. FALSE – you need to think very smart about how you spend the money you have. There are a million different ways of spending money on marketing and PR and an equal number of ways of throwing that money away. I’m not saying that you should hide your head in the sand; just be smart about how you spend your money; the days of throwing it away are over.

A bit more on marketing:

You now need to think like a Guerilla when it comes to marketing your business. Think about the money you have and the imaginative, clever and cost-effective ways of getting your name out there without a big-spend. There are million ways of doing this, you just need to think smart and put your marketing hat on.

I’m sorry if all of this financial stuff is getting a bit boring but nows the time to apply your creativity in finding the work that’s out there.

Another boring bit:

In order to survive therefore you need to have a good track on finances. I am lucky to be married to an accountant and each week we have financial meetings to discuss where the business is going, new and old clients, how much money is being spent, where is the money going etc.. (who says romance is dead !). But in order to survive you need to know EXACTLY what you are spending and where it’s going.

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Filed under Blogging, Brand, Branding, business, Economy, Financial Planning, FreshThinking, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, overhead, Survival

20 Essential Blog Directories to Submit your Blog to

by Loren Baker

Search Engine Journal | @lorenbaker

Loren Baker is the Editor in Chief of Search Engine Journal and a Managing Partner at Search & Social. Involved in SEO for more than a decade, Loren launched SEJ in 2003 with the goal to share search marketing information and reporting on happenings in search.

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Gaining exposure for your blog is critical to building a following, readership, and revenue. Besides the basic SEO steps of adding compelling and keyword friendly titles, URL structure and descriptions (along with the basic WordPress SEO plugins) basic link building for blogs begins with listing them in blog directories.

Personally, I love launching a new blog, or adding one to an existing site, and watching the high valued links roll in. And as we know, BLOG = Better Listings On Google.

There are many paths to consider when building links to your site or blog such as link baiting or blogroll link swapping, but few are as easy to implement and cost effective as submitting to blog directories – and good link juice is essential to a healthy growing blog.

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Let us take a look at 20 popular directories worthy of your consideration.

1. Best of the Web Blog Search La Crem de la Crem, Best of the Web’s Blog Directory is very selective and only lists aged and valuable blogs. A link from here is majestic and well deserved.

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Filed under Andrew R. Spriegel, Andrew Spriegel, Brand, Branding, Bucks, business, Free, Freedom, FreshThinking

The best invoice terms to get you paid faster

Here is a post about invoices that I really liked…Andrew Spriegel


Recently, we looked at our data to see if we could extract some insights that might really help FreshBooks customers get paid faster. Our question: how does the wording of the “terms” section of an invoice impact the number of days it takes you to get paid and the percent of invoices you actually collect on.

In the graph above we’ve mapped two key things gleaned from the data of our paying FreshBooks users. In the bar graph, we’ve looked at how long it takes to get paid based on various wordings used in the Terms field on an invoice (e.g. “Please pay within 21 days” or “Payment terms: net 30. Interest accrued at 1.5% per month thereafter”). On this chart of days to pay vs. terms used, the shorter the bar, the better.

The second thing we’ve charted is the percentage of invoices actually paid vs.terms used (the data points in the top section of the graph). On this scale, higher is better. Another way of thinking about this is: the wider the gap between the bar and the data point above it, the better the wording (in general, although there are a handful of exceptions).

Be Polite

The first thing we noticed in the data is that being polite really matters! A simple “please pay your invoice within” or “thank you for your business” can increase the percentage of invoices that are paid by more than 5 per cent! That could easily equate to thousands of dollars per year. Not only that, but politeness clearly gets you paid faster.

21 Days to Pay

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