Category Archives: job

Best Practices In Negotiation: Barter!

By Dr. Gary S. Goodman

When most of us think about negotiating, we’re presuming that money will be involved in the transaction.

For instance, if you want to buy a house, you’ll fork over some cash, and not get away with asking, “Would you accept one red paperclip for it?”

Yet, this is exactly what a fellow did, not in one step but a sequence. He bartered a single, red paperclip for a house!

Kyle MacDonald is a Canadian blogger who pulled this off, and you can read all about his exploits at Wikipedia by searching “one red paperclip” or his name.

It’s a fascinating story, but my purpose here is to use it to illustrate a much larger principle. Bartering is a Best Practice In Negotiation, one that is not used often enough.

Who barters, and why?

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Manufacturing is not going away in Ohio — here’s why.

There is a lack of skilled workers over the next 3 to 10 years. According to a recent study, North-East Ohio will lose 60,000 manufacturing workers over the next 10 years.

Ohio manufacturing is responsible for more than one fourth of Ohio’s Gross State Product!

For the State of Ohio, manufacturing’s average wages are exceeded only by mining. (Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information)

Ohio ranks third nationwide in manufacturing output.

Manufacturing leads other Ohio industries in Contribution to Gross State Product.

 

Started in 2002 with less than 20 companies, the AWT has now grown to over 95 companies all working together to create a farm system for skilled workers.

Over the past year, the AWT has focused its efforts on the college education of future employees. Working with Lakeland Community College and Auburn Career Center, an associate of applied science in manufacturing has been developed as well as an educational and career pathway. This degree is also aligned with the National Association of Manufacturers Credentialing System.

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The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

By Andrew Spriegel
January 16, 2011

Nothing is as easy or as simple as it seems.  How times have you heard someone say “A guy made millions selling pet rocks.”

Marketing, Marketing and More Marketing

In inventing, retail and service businesses, success or failure often depends on marketing.

Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising professional was in a bar in 1975 with his friends who were complaining about their pets.   Dahl, as a joke told his friends that he considered dogs, cats, birds, and fish messy, not well-behaved and they cost too much money,  he had a pet rock.  His “pet” was clean, well-mannered, easy to care for, required no expensive foods required no feeding, bathing, walking, grooming, was well-behaved, had an even temperament, would not grow elderly or pass away or become sick.  They were the perfect pets, and Gary joked about it with his friends.  However, he soon took the idea seriously, and went home and started to write an instruction manual for a pet rock.  The manual was full of jokes and gags that referred to the inanimate rock as a pet.

Dahl quit his job to launch Rock Bottom Productions, the company that sold the pet rocks for $3.95 per “pet”.   Marketing, packaging and shipping the pet rock like live pets, in cardboard, pet carrier boxes, with straw for the rock to rest on and breathing holes.  Large volume sales only lasted about six months, however sales made Dahl a millionaire.

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How did you become a Journalist?

How did you become a Journalist?

Interview with Ed Waters Jr. from the FrederickNewsPost.com
by Andrew R. Spriegel

I read a great story the other day by Ed Waters Jr. about a company that uses border collies to chase geese away from ponds and grassy areas without harming them.

Dog, Dog … Goose
Unwanted fowl are no match for Geese Police
Originally published June 14, 2010

By Ed Waters Jr.
News-Post Staff

E-mail him at ewaters@newspost.com or call him at 240-215-8607.

Click here to read the story.

However, after reading the story  I was interested in how Ed Waters Jr. became a journalist.  Here is the interview that followed:

Andrew R. Spriegel: When did you start working for the Frederick News Post?

Ed Waters Jr: I’ve worked at the Frederick News-Post since 1965, started the night after I graduated from Frederick High School.  I worked as a pressman in hot type for about 13 months, was drafted into service and was in the Marines (July 1966-July 1968) including a tour of duty in Vietnam. I returned and worked as a pressman (the company had moved and installed a cold type system), then worked in other production jobs — plate making, typesetting, composing.  I traveled a lot, did photography as a hobby  and started writing travel and feature articles and taking photos of light news such as weekend festivals, etc.

Andrew R. Spriegel: You mentioned that you went to school part time while working at the paper?

Ed Waters Jr: When Hood College, in Frederick, opened up to male day students (now it is fully co-ed), I began studying in the spring of 1973.  I went part time, took eight years to get a B.A. in communications (journalism, English, art).  I had taken two internships at the paper (worked my nights off from the production department in the newsroom at no extra pay) and in January 1976 joined the newsroom full time. I was still attending Hood College, during the day, working at night and around classes covering the county government for a year, then Frederick City government for about five years.

Andrew R. Spriegel: What else do you do at the paper?

Ed Waters Jr: Along with the city coverage, I also began covering business, real estate and automotive news, which I still do today.  At the time, editors did all of the work from writing, photos, layout, graphics, etc.  Now that is done by copy editors and page designers.  I didn’t plan to be a journalist, just looking for a job out of high school.  I still see myself as an employee of the paper, after 45 years, part of the entire operation and not just a reporter or editor.

Andrew R. Spriegel: Do you enjoy your job?

Ed Waters Jr: I enjoy the job, it is an education each day to meet people, see what is going on locally and around the world. I’ve met a president (Clinton), interviewed other well-known people, traveled and got to to know some great people in the community I probably would not have known if I was in another job.

Andrew R. Spriegel: What are your hobbies?

Ed Waters Jr: I don’t do much photography any more, but enjoy working around my house, reading (histories, mysteries), exercising (walking, yoga with 5-lb weights) and church (I speak each Sunday for a half-hour service at an assisted living center prior to the regular service at the church which is nearby).

Andrew R. Spriegel: Keep up the great work.

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What is Franchising?

What is Franchising?
Kelcey Lehrich
12/6/2010

Franchising is an industry where a franchisor licenses a complete business model to a franchisee.  Franchising is a growth model for small businesses that allow the owners of the business model to expand while using outside capital and retaining control over the business model.

A franchise relationship is defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as having three main properties.  If these three properties are present then the FTC will rule the business relationship as a franchise regardless of the name of the contract the parties signed.  There is a common mistake called “the accidental franchise” where these three elements are created within a licensing or distribution agreement.  An accidental franchise can create large financial and legal issues for the accidental franchisor if the accidental franchisee takes the accidental franchisor to court.  If you’re building a business model you’d like to replicate and it includes the three elements below it is likely a franchise and should be documented as such.  Franchise opportunities have their own set of FTC rules to follow and some very solid case law to protect all of the parties involved.

  1. Trade Name – Every franchise agreement gives the franchisee the right to use the franchisor’s name brand.  Typically this name brand should be trademarked but a trademark is not necessary to satisfy this part of the franchise definition.  Any one offering a business opportunity where they grant a trade name to the business opportunity buyer meets this part of the franchise definition – regardless of how well known the trade name is or isn’t.
  2. Business Systems – A key element of the franchise relationship is the presence of a business system.  The business system is typically outlined in an operations manual and contains trade secrets for systems, processes, procedures, recipes, techniques, and marketing methods.
  3. Fees of $500 – Upfront and/or ongoing fees of $500 or more in the first six months is the final part of the franchise definition.  This figure should explain why so many MLM opportunities have entry costs just below $500.

Franchising your business means entering an entirely new line of business.  Your customer is no longer the public; it is now your franchisees.  If you want the three elements described above franchising is likely the only way to legally replicate your business on a large scale.

About the Author:

Kelcey Lehrich is a franchise consultant and business intermediary.  Kelcey’s work in franchising includes franchisor development, sell-side franchise sales, and buy-side franchise consulting.  Kelcey is part of FranchiseInc!, a national franchise consulting firm.  Kelcey also work as a business intermediary with Confidential Business Sale, a regional business brokerage firm with offices in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.  Lastly, Kelcey is also an Area Director for AmSpirit Business Connections, a national business networking organization that assists sales representatives, entrepreneurs, and business owners succeed by creating a forum where they can exchange qualified referrals with other professionals.

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Can You Be Your Own Boss?

Robin Ryan, Author of ’60 Seconds and You’re Hired’

Many of us fantasize about owning our own companies.  Nearly one million new businesses are launched each year, but more than 85 percent will close within five years. There are some key indicators of who will be most effective as owners.  Take this quiz to help you determine if you have the burning desire, discipline and resources to become your own boss.

Are you a self-starter?
It will be up to you, not someone else, to develop the business, organize the projects, manage your time and follow through on details.

Can you handle the uncertain financial risk?
Businesses all have cycles, the ebbs and flows in profitability.  Once it’s started you’ll have overhead and operational expenses that must be met before you get paid.

Do you have good business skills?
You must attract customers.  New and repeat customers are the lifeblood of your business. You must possess or learn these skills — accounting, business planning, operations, sales, marketing and customer service — to survive and succeed.

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Invention Success Rates | Odds of Inventor Success

Invention Success Rates | Odds of Inventor Success
  
What percent of inventor ideas are successful? What percent of patents make money? What percent of inventions are commercialized?
“I’m a risk taker. I get up in the morning knowing that I’m either going to have a spectacular win or loss that is going to be exciting. I prefer theformer but either is more appealing than the warm death of mediocrity.  ”Dean Kamen, Inventor of the Segway human transporter 50% – 1 out of 2.  Earthquake odds. Chances of a major earthquake striking the San Francisco Bay area within the next 30 years [1989 + 30 years = 2019].  “Last week’s shattering earthquake may one day be remembered as a dress rehearsal for the Big One — a cosmic temblor that, according to seismologists, has a 50 percent chance of striking the Bay Area within the next 30 years.”  (Newsweek, October 30, 1989, p. 28) He who doesn’t take risks, doesn’t drink champagne.”
An old Russian proverb

“I could be living in the French Riviera.  But I like hanging out with my friends.”
T. Dosho Shifferaw, Inventor of the Bowflex

“In truth, odds are stacked astronomically against inventors, and no marketing outfit can change them.”
Richard Maulsby
Director of the Office of Public Affairs,
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office


90% of an invention’s success is marketing it and getting it out.  “[T]he idea is about 10 percent of this exercise; 90 percent of it is the marketing of it, getting it together, getting it out.” (Richard C. Levy, inventor of Furby quoted in Liane Hansen, All Things Considered (NPR), “Profile: Independent toy inventor Richard C. Levy,” June 18, 2002)


99.9% fail – 1 out of 5000 inventions have successful product launches.  “[E]xperts estimate that 1 out of 5,000 inventions have gone on to successful product launches.”  Invention success rate.  Percent of inventions that fail. (Williams-Harold, Bevolyn, “You’ve got it made! (developing invention ideas),” Black Enterprise, June 1, 1999)

99.9% fail.  Only 2 products are launched out of every 3,000 ideas.  “Out of 3,000 ideas, for instance, only about two products are ever actually launched — and only one of those succeeds, says Greg Stevens, president of WinOvations, a new product research and consulting firm in Midland, Mich.” What percent of inventions become commercially successful? (Jeannie Mandelker, Reporter Associate: Anne Ashby Gilbert, Marketing, Your Company, pp. 54+, October 1, 1997)

99.8% fail.  Only 3,000 patents out of 1.5 million patents are commercially viable. “In truth, odds are stacked astronomically against inventors, and no marketing outfit can change them. ‘There are around 1.5 million patents in effect and in force in this country, and of those, maybe 3,000 are commercially viable,’ [Richard Maulsby, director of the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office], says. ‘It’s a very small percentage of patents that actually turn into products that make money for people. On top of all that, to get ripped off for tens of thousands of dollars adds insult to injury.”  What percent of patents make money?  How many patents become products?  Percent of patents commercialized.  Percent of patents that get approved.  (Richard Maulsby, director of public affairs for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, quoted in Karen E. Klein, Smart Answers, “Avoiding the Inventor’s Lament,” Business Week, November 10, 2005)  


Why is there such a high inventor failure rateWhy do most inventors fail to get their product to market?

 


99% fail. 1 out of 100 ideas make it.  The reality is that “for every successful business, you have probably 100 ideas or more.  The one out of a 100 that makes it to market, their success rate isn’t that great either.”  What is the probability of becoming a successful inventor?  (Robert D. MacDonald, Entrepreneur Consultant, Lake Oswego, Oregon, “Oregon Ranks No. 8 In Nation In Inventors,” The Columbian, January 9, 1998)

98% fail.  Only 2% earn significant dollars.  What percentage of patents succeed?  “According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, approximately 2 percent of patents earn significant dollars for their inventors.”  Patent success rates.  Patent odds of success. What percentage of inventors make it? (Susan Glairon, “Boulder, Colo., Inventors Find Joy in Journey from Idea to Product,” Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, April 17, 2000)

97% to 98% fail – “[O]nly 2 to 3 percent of registered patents ever make it to the market.”  Percentage of patented inventions that make it in the marketplace  Chances of invention making money.   (Stuart West, intellectual property lawyer based in Walnut Creek, California quoted in Marton Dunai, “More inventors try to market products,” Oakland Tribune, September 5, 2006)

95% to 97% fail – Only 3 to 5 out of 100 inventions succeed.  “It is universally accepted that out of every 100 inventions, only three to five will succeed commercially.”  Percentage of inventions that succeed.  Patent commercialization success rate.  (Yeang Soo Ching, “Reaping rewards from inventions,” New Straits Times, December 24, 2000) 

95% fail.  Less than 5% of patents are commercialized.  “And less than 5 percent of the patents received by small inventors culminate in a commercial product.”  Percent of patents commercialized.  Odds of success for independent inventors.  Statistics of odds of independent inventor patents being commercialized.  (Sougata Mukherjee, South Florida Business Journal, June 8, 1998)

1 out of every 20 or 25 ideas becomes successful.  “Only one of every 20 or 25 ideas ever becomes a successful product — and of every ten or 15 new products, only one becomes a hit.”  (Thomas Kuczmarski, Kuczmarski & Associates, Chicago consultant specializing in innovation,  Fortune, 12-2-91 pp. 56)

95% fail – Only 5% earn money.  “It’s been reported, without confirmation, that worldwide, only 5% [five percent] of all patented inventions ever earn any money for their inventors.” (Business Daily, Philippines, November 27, 1998)

95% fail – Only 5% of independent inventor patents are produced in the marketplace.  “Independent inventors …are responsible for 15 percent of all U.S. patents. Fewer than 5 percent of those patents are ever produced in the marketplace.”  Percentage of independent inventor inventions that make it in the marketplace.  (Tim Lemke, “Invention + market savvy = successful product”, The Washington Times, April 16, 2001)

95% of all new products fail.  “But the market can’t absorb that many new ideas, and an estimated 95% of all new products fail. In part, this reflects the way many new products come about.  Individual inventors often work outside corporate structures, have limited product-development funds and are unfamiliar with industry standards and practices.” Success rates for independent inventors. (Caryne Brown, “Making money making toys: how black inventors are bringing innovative ideas to the toy market”, Black Enterprise, November 1, 1993)

6% probability of commercial success for independent inventors.  “The probability of commercial success for inventions developed by independent inventors was determined to be exceptionally low: 6.5% ([+ or -] 0.7%).” Probability of a successful invention.  How many inventors succeed?  (Thomas Astebro, “Basic statistics on the success rate and profits for independent inventors”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, December 22, 1998)


90% fail.  Only 10% of those who make prototypes end-up making money.  Brian Miller, PRe Plastics’ director of operations, saiabout 10 percent of inventors who come to him leave with a mold, and about 10 percent of those people make money.  ‘They have to survive the cost of the mold. Very few inventors who come through the door get the mold done, let alone find success.’”  Success rate of inventions and prototypes.  (Brian Miller of PRe Plastics quoted in Thuy-Doan Le, “Entrepreneurial spirit starts to pay off for Sacramento, Calif.-area inventor,” The Sacramento Bee, December 12, 2004)

80% fail.  1 out of 5 succeed.  “Typically, small manufacturers experience about five failures for every one success.” (By Courtney Price, “Outsourcing helps inventor bring product to market, Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 2, 1997)

76% fail.  Percent of cases lost by patentees in doctrine of equivalents cases.  “By far the most dramatic finding of our study is that patentees rarely win doctrine of equivalents cases. Overall, patentees won only 24% of the doctrine of equivalents cases decided in the last eight years. Compared to the overall patentee win rates on other issues — 54% on validity alone in cases at various stages of litigation, (51) and 58% overall in cases that make it to trial (52) — and the baseline assumption in the economics literature that plaintiffs should win about 50% of the time, (53) this is a remarkably small win rate for patentees.” (John R. Allison and Mark A. Lemley, “The (unnoticed) demise of the doctrine of equivalents,” Stanford Law Review, February 1, 2007)  Peruse more books by John R. Allison and Mark A. Lemley.

75.6% fail.  Patentees lose 75.6% of the time against accused infringers.  “An empirical study of the results of patent litigation at the appellate level during the period 2002-2004. Dispositive case results, i.e., those not involving a remand on the merits, are compiled. Patent owners won 24.43% of the cases and accused infringers the remainder. The cases were further analyzed to determine the characteristics of winning and losing parties, including nationality, financial strength, location of principal offices, and several other factors.”   (Paul M. Janicke, University of Houston Law Center and Lilan Ren, University of Houston, “Who Wins Patent Infringement Cases?,” American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 34, p. 1, 2006)  Find other publications by patent attorney and law professor Paul M. Janicke.

70% fail – 7 out of 10 new products fail.  “Nearly seven out of 10 new products fail either because no market really existed in the first place.”  (Gary Miller, president and founder of Aragon Consulting Group, St. Louis, Missouri, “’New Coke’ And Other Disasters Can Be Avoided”, Viewpoint, September 22, 1997)

59% fail – 41%. percent of U.S. patent applications were approved in 2006. “Patents themselves don’t come easily. In 2006, the patent office received 443,652 patent applications, but only 183,187 were issued that year.”  183,187/443,652 = 41%.  (Joyce Smith, Business Columnist, “Seeing your invention through: Entrepreneur week helps highlight some success stories of those who dream big,” Kansas City Star, February 27, 2007)

50% to 89% fail – Between 11% and 50% of entrepreneurs succeed in starting a firm.  “Wholly reliable statistics are not available on the likelihood that inventions developed by individuals succeed in reaching the marketplace. Data are limited to those that reveal how many nascent entrepreneurs actually succeed in launching a firm. Reynolds and White (1992) first reported that somewhere between 11% and 50% of all nascent entrepreneurs succeed in starting a new firm. In a later study, White and Reynolds (1994) estimate that between 30% and 50% of all entrepreneurs succeed. Katz (1989), on the other hand, reports that 15% of all nascent entrepreneurs in the U.S. enter self-employment.” (Thomas Astebro, “Basic statistics on the success rate and profits for independent inventors”, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, December 22, 1998)

50% to 80% fail – Failure rate is 50% to 80%.  “Conservative estimates put new product failure rates between 50 to 80 percent, according to the United States Small Business Administration, which cites another discouraging statistic. For every 100 ideas offered by innovators, only five will ever be produced, and only one has even a chance to make money.”  Patent success ratio. Invention failure rate.  (Barbara Bradley, Scripps Howard News Service, San Jose Mercury News, Sunday, February 18, 1990, p. 1PC)

 

99% fail. Only 1 out of 100 patented products make money.  “Even an inventor whose product is unusual enough to receive a patent faces daunting odds. Only an estimated one out of every 100 patented products makes money.” Percentage of patents that make money. Percentage of inventions that make it to market.  (Mimi Whitefield, Herald Business Writer, Miami Herald, February 5, 1996, p. 22BM)

46% fail – Only 54% of patent applications are approved.  “Only 54 percent of patent applications receive approval, according to the patent office.”  Odds of patent approval.  (Julia Feldmeier – Washington Post Staff Writer,, “Any Bright Ideas?; How Local Inventors Try to Capitalize on That ‘Aha!’ Moment,” The Washington Post, March 4, 2007)

40% fail – 60% of patent applications are approved.  About 60 percent of applications are approved. Patent approval odds.  (U.S. Patent Office spokeswoman Brigid Quinn quoted in Thuy-Doan Le, “Entrepreneurial spirit starts to pay off for Sacramento, Calif.-area inventor,” The Sacramento Bee, December 12, 2004)

25% win rate.  Patent owner long-term contested win rate.  “The long-term contested win rate for patent owners varies around 25 percent.” (LegalMetric press release, “LegalMetric Data Of KSR Effect On Patent Owner Win Rates,” eWorldwire, September 12, 2007)

20% – 1 in 5 error rate.  Loan error odds. Estimated odds that an American’s consumer credit reports have loan errors.  “Odds are 1 in 5 that your credit report has errors damaging enought to keep you from getting a loan.  And, says Consumers Union, odds are even greater — almost 50-50 — that your report has an error of some kind.  Lenders rely on credit reports, which show consumers’ records at repaying debts.  Three private companies — TRW, Equifax and Trans Union — compile most of the USA’s consumer credit data.”  (USA Today, April 30, 1991, p. 1A)

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