Tag Archives: business

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 http://www.WonderValv.com 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.

youtube=http://www.WonderValv.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A

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Do you think he would be a good boss or business owner?

Do you think he would be a good boss or business owner?
by Andrew R. Spriegel

I was at International Pizza Expo 2011 (organized by National Association of Pizzeria Operators) at the Las Vegas Convention. I walked the various isles and went up to a great booth and saw a Chef, in a great looking Chef’s “uniform”.  I assumed he was the owner and asked “if he owned the business”?  What he said actually shocked me.  He said ” do you think if I was the boss I would be wearing this clown suit”?  We both had a good laugh, but his comment bothered me.  In my experience, the great bosses (with the successful businesses) are those “bosses” that will do anything to make the business successful, they will scrub the toilets, they will take out the trash, they will do whatever it takes to grow the business.  They will wear the “clown’s suit” and do what is necessary to brand and grow the business.

As I walked away from the booth and thought “Would he be a successful business owner?”,  in my mind, probably not.  If you are not willing to wear the uniform, you are not the type to scrub the toilets, and you are probably are not dedicated to do whatever it takes to be successful in a business.

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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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Innovators and Genius in Ohio

Dale Adams, an Automotive Genius with a facility completely renovated in an 1928 art deco factory building in Kent, Ohio

Bio written by Josie Adams

Some people must be born with cars in their blood and a magnetic attraction to all things mechanical. Dale Adams, the founder and president of Dale Adams Enterprises is undoubtedly one of these people!

His journey towards the turning point in life – driving age – was probably an early indicator; he started wiring and re-wiring electric train layouts at the age of four, and by 14 had built his own hydroplane from plans published by Popular Mechanics magazine. But his interest in skimming the ponds of Andover, Massachusetts soon gave way to the New England influence of British sports cars, and soon after a family move to northern Ohio, the boat was sold to provide the down payment on a used 1964 MGB.

To pay for the car, he got an after school job at a local used car lot, where he suffered the indignities of rubbing out the good of his boss’ “car-of-the-week” so the boss could gaze out over the shine as he drove, and spray painting carpets to “renew” them. But the pleasure of driving the car on the hilly, tree-lined roads of the Western Reserve more than made up for the demands of the short-lived job. And instead of being discouraged by the inevitable mechanical problems of a used British car, he was lost for hours in the garage, pulling the engine and attending to his latest repair & improvement projects.

This relatively short period of life was to have a profound influence on his future, whetting his appetite for all sorts of automotive knowledge and experience, and becoming a driving desire to involve himself with the cars and machines from the 1900’s up to about the beginning of WWII – cars which many believe are the epitome of automotive style and elegance.

In 1971, soon after the MGB turned into an engagement ring, the acquired his next project – a Jaguar XK120. Living in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the time, Dale was lucky enough to meet his mentor, Glenn Pray, owner of the Auburn Cord Dusenburg Co., known for manufacturing modern replicas of the famous Auburn Speedsters. During the days he worked for Pray building the replicas, and spent much of his after work time learning the almost lost arts of metal shaping and finishing and using lead to make repairs. At the young age of 23 he completed a hand-built Auburn dual cowl phaeton for Pray, which was the prototype for a new line of replica cars.

He also spent every spare minute with car enthusiast friends and acquaintances, looking over their shoulders trying to learn and absorb everything possible about cars and how they were built, maintained and restored. He also bought, for $600, the remains of a 1966 Jaguar E-Type roadster that had been rolled. Working in his garage, between part time repair jobs taken on to provide the funds, he completely restored the Jag, and won the Jaguar Club’s National 1st prize, and several other 1st prize awards at local events.

Armed with these, and a rapidly growing reputation, Dale decided to strike out on his own, and at the age of 24, moved his family back to Ohio to start his own restoration business in a converted chicken coop on property he and his wife Josie bought in Northfield Center. Although he first cars he restored were 1950’s Jaguars, his real love is focused on the cars of the ‘20s and ‘30s, the beautiful and expensive cars that are known to collectors and enthusiasts as “The Classics”.

Sharing his enthusiasm for these cars led to friendships and restoration jobs with leading collectors of the area, including Packards, Rolls-Royces, Nashes and Peugeots, a classic Cadillac for the late Len Immke (co-founder of Wendy’s restaurants), and many others.

After several additions and remodelings, the location in the Northfield chicken coop was outgrown, and the business moved to a modern facility in an industrial park in Twinsburg. Needing more space after six years there, Dale and his wife Josie, who shares his interest in cars and architecture, purchased and completely renovated a 1928 art deco factory building in Kent, Ohio, and moved the business into it in February of 1995.

Adams, who says he “Loves the challenges and rewards of doing a complete, full restoration”, prides himself on having one of the most completely equipped auto restoration facilities in the world. Partial jobs and maintenance operations are only done as a courtesy for established clients. “We have a complete metal fabricating facility”, says Adams, “an extensive wood and pattern shop, a fully equipped body and paint facility, upholstery and trimming capabilities and a complete machine shop equipped with precision tools and CNC equipment that is used extensively to replace lost or ruined parts. About the only things we can’t do in-house are castings, plating and engine boring, which we sub-contract to various specialists.”

Not content to rest on their restoration laurels, Adams and his wife have also founded other auto-related businesses which they operate from the Kent facility, including a manufacturing operation which produces precision machined components which are used by some of the leading auto parts manufacturers to re-manufacture modern automobile rack & pinion steering systems. Adams not only developed the methodology for making these parts, he designed and built many of the machines used to do it!

Since he’s spent a lifetime working with cars and tools, it is perhaps no surprise that he undertook yet another venture, to re-design and manufacture a better version of the lowly mechanics creeper. Called “The Bone”, this product has been featured in a host of national trade and consumer magazines, on National television, and is currently marketed on a worldwide basis.

Dale’s most recent project is a 20,000 square foot mansion situated on a 72 acre farm in Ravenna, Ohio, which he plans on turning into his new home after renovation.

Automobiles they have restored in the past, as well as current and upcoming projects.

 

1928 Nash Ambassador

 

1931 Pierce Arrow

 

See www.daleadamsenterprises.com for the Dale Adams Website

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Using “Constant Contact” to Market Abstract Art

Using “Constant Contact” to Market Abstract Art
By Lynne Taetzsch

(Andrew Spriegel) – I asked Lynne to write this article because not only does she create amazing art but she also does a great job at marketing her work.  Her artwork and art books are collected worldwide.  “Constant Contact” is a paid service provider that helps their customers build stronger customer relationships with professional-looking email newsletters.  Lynne uses “Constant Contact” to promote her business.

(Lynne Taetzsch) When I first started accumulating the email addresses of art lovers interested in my abstract paintings, I kept it as a “group” in my email address book.  But of course, as the list grew, there was no way to send a group email without my message being blocked from many mailboxes.  Plus, as I changed computers and software, it was hard to manage that list.

(Andrew Spriegel – I am one of Lynne’s fans and I have the painting below in my law firm.  The photos are great but the don’t give a true perspective of  the amazing textures and vibrancy of the colors in her works)

(Lynne Taetzsch) Constant Contact came to the rescue.  It offers safe emailing to any size group of business prospects.  People who receive Constant Contact email trust their brand and know they can easily opt out of getting any more emails from me if they so choose.

Constant Contact allows me to maintain my email lists on their site, dividing them into any number of specialized groups.  I have one for “art lovers” for example, for those who have expressed an interest in my art; and another for “art collectors,” those who have purchased my art.  I also have a list for “designers & galleries” in case I want to send a special message to the trade.

Once my lists are up to date on Constant Contact, I can easily send a group email, selecting from any number of pre-designed formats including a newsletter or plain business letter.  I can also insert images of my art and links to any number of pages on my website.  Once I’m completely satisfied with the project, I can then select the email groups I want to receive the message and schedule the date and time to send it.

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio: Andrew R. Thomas PhD

Interview with New York Times Best Selling Author Andrew R. Thomas PhD
by Andrew R. Spriegel
January 24, 2010

Where did you receive your PhD?

University of Bucharest, Academy of Economic Studies, in International Business. A substantial portion of the funding was provided by the U.S. State Department under a Fulbright Scholarship.

How did you become an author?

After I left the transportation business, I wrote my first book on global business strategy. I enjoyed the process – as well as having authored – so I wrote another one; and then another, and another…

How many books have you published?

Authored, co-authored, or edited 15.

What awards have you won?

The Berry-AMA Prize for the best book in marketing for 2010 (The Distribution Trap).

In 2008, my book Direct Marketing in Action was a finalist for this same award.

In 2003, The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs: People, Processes, and Global Trends selected as Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Recommended Book on Entrepreneurship.

In 2002, Global Manifest Destiny: Growing Your Business in a Borderless Economy selected as Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge Recommended Book on Global Marketing.

I am most proud that in 2006, I was selected as the Phi Eta Sigma Student’s Choice Award for Favorite Faculty Member at the University of Akron.

What is the American Marketing Association’s Berry Award?

The Berry-AMA Book Prize for the Best Book in Marketing recognizes books whose innovative ideas have had significant impact on marketing and related fields.  Created by distinguished author and professor Leonard L. Berry and his wife Nancy F. Berry through generous contributions to the American Marketing Association Foundation (AMAF), the prize was awarded for the first time in Fall 2002.

Please tell me about your new book “The Distribution Trap”?

The premise is simple: too many inventions today are left in the hands of others to determine their value in the marketplace. This flawed business approach has enabled Mega distributors to rise up in every sector and control those same sectors. This has lead many innovative products and services to become commodities almost overnight.

What does it mean “marketers of innovations should control the channel themselves”?

To create something requires a huge investment in time, money, thought, sweat, and tears. It flies in the face of reason that once the invention is created, control over the sales and distribution of that invention is given over to a third party, which has no stake and very little real interest in whether it succeeds or fails. It is not logical. But it is what the management “gurus”, business professors, and other thought leaders have told inventors they must do to be successful.

I understand you are quite the world traveler.

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled and conducted business in more than 120 countries on all 7 continents.

How much do you use social networking?

Not much. I do have a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account, although I check them every few days. I prefer a personal visit or a phone call.

If you had to live your life over what would you do differently?

I have never had that question asked to me before. And, I’ve never thought about it, until now. I am totally cool with my life and everything that’s happened to me.

The success rate for inventions is estimated to be less than one half of one percent; I attribute that a high percentage of failures can be attributed to poor marketing.  Would you agree?

I would. From my experience, the way an invention is marketed and sold is so often much more important than the quality of the invention itself.

 

Andrew R. Thomas PhD

Title: Assistant Professor of Marketing and International Business
Department: Department of Marketing
Office: CBA 321
Phone: (330)972-7119
Fax: 330-972-5798
Email: art@uakron.edu
Website: http://www.AirRage.org

The Berry-AMA Book Prize recognizes books whose innovative ideas have had significant impact on marketing and related fields.

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Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?

Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?
by Andrew Spriegel
January 12, 2011

Many of the advances made in firefighting and EMS equipment and training have been made by firefighters and paramedics.  So if you are one of the numerous firefighter/EMS inventors, who do you go to write a patent to protect your idea?  Paul Filon, full-time lieutenant and paramedic in the Strongsville Fire Department and a licensed and registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Paul works at Spriegel & Associates, LLC (Patent & Trademark Attorneys) in Hudson, Ohio, http://www.Smart2Patent.com.

In addition to working as an EMT/paramedic for 22 years and a firefighter for 16 years, Mr. Filon is also chemistry specialist and Haz-Mat technician for the regional Haz-Mat and bomb teams.  He is experienced in several technical rescue disciplines and teaches a variety of firefighter and EMS classes.

Spriegel & Associates, LLC is gaining a reputation as working with firefighters, Captain Phil McLean is one of their clients and one of those inventor/firefighter types that owns Sensible Products Inc. (www.senpro.net), in Richfield, Ohio.  Phil and his business partner, retired Fire Chief, Russ English are quality manufacturers of unique holders and bracketry for fittings, adapters, brass goods and tools mounted on fire trucks.  Here is what Phil has to say about working with Paul:

I have worked with Paul Filon on several occasions related to product development. With his Fire Service background and knowledge of Emergency Services it made the development and patent process easy for me and my company as we were developing a new product in the business. He is an energetic worker and has a passion for all the work and all of his professions.  His multi-professional experience was and continues to be an asset to our project.

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