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Posted by on Nov 24, 2009 in Business Development | 0 comments

It’s OK to Dream Big

If you could imagine the best computer, what would it be? Or, what would the best car look like? While we need to strike a balance between what is possible and impossible (at this time), we need to understand that dreaming big gets us further to the “impossible.” Consider this video of the future computer: The computer looks like an innovation from the Beyond Year 2000 show on the Discover Channel. You might put it up there with the floating car and the augmented reality goggles. However, we need to go to such creative heights if we are ever to get even halfway there. The more we stretch, the further we can go. Think Star Trek: the first mobile phone, personal computer, memory disc and Blue Tooth headset were once impossible dreams on the sci-fi show. Now they are everyday realities. Instead of thinking what was possible, the creators of Star Trek just imagined — no holds barred. How would your product or service be different if there were...

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

Know Your Market, Know Your Niche

Coca Cola and Pepsi are the go-to sodas for the majority of people; it’s one or the other. That idea really upsets John Nese, the proprietor of Galcos Soda. He features hundreds of varieties of soda in his store. Everything from Romanian Rose to Q. Cumber soda. Though he might be a little nuts, he typifies an entrepreneur that owns a niche. No where in the country could you find a selection similar to that in Galcos Soda. Though there is not a mainstream demand for such an array of soda, John has develop a unique product in the market. He illustrates how to own your niche by: Knowing your market — Who knows the only soda in the dictionary? John does and it’s Moxie. Offering a unique product — Galcos Soda is the only store to sell Romanian Rose soda. Staying passionate — John is constantly looking for the next, fantastic “micro-soda.” It is a life-long pursuit. The Galcos Soda market will not explode into a national chain....

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Cut Costs or Customers?

We have seen cost-cutting measures go to the extreme in the past year. Either cut or die, essentially. In fact, 52% of HR departments have conducted layoffs in the past year. Though Netflix is not suffering as much as other companies, it’s exploring its own ways to cut costs. Lifehacker reported that Netflix is considering delaying its new releases to reduce the purchase costs or they are going continue with their current model — new releases when they come out. Essentially, Netflix is battling whether or not to maintain the model that has made it successful (featuring great, new releases along with its competitors) or giving customers a reason to go to the Blockbuster down the street. Unless Netflix intends to charge less for its lesser product, it gives customers a reason to change services. Why pay the same amount for a lesser product? The way Netflix could create a win-win situation is to offer a tiered plan based on movie release dates. Pay X to receive new releases...

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Posted by on Nov 15, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

Le-Tan: Adding Value to Book Publishing

By the end of 2009, book sales are expected to decline around 6.8% for adult hardcovers and 3.0%, according to the PW/IPR Book Sales Index, a new report from Publishers Weekly and the Institute for Publishing Research. With the successful launch of the Kindle and Sony’s e-reader, book publishing could face some tough times ahead. Though many people love curling up to read a paperback (myself included), many of the same people probably said they couldn’t imagine waking up without the morning newspaper. Give it another decade and e-readers will start really encroaching on the book publishing market. Today I stumbled across a new project from Olympia Le-Tan. She had stitched famous book titles on canvas. Many of the classics are covered… Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, Nineteen Eighty Four, For Whom the Bell Tolls. With her book jackets, Olympia illustrates how to add value to a struggling (or soon-to-be) market. Though only a fraction of book readers would even consider the handmade jackets (if they were sold...

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Starbucks and the Importance of Following Through

On my way to Philadelphia, as it was getting late, I stopped at a rest stop to pick up a Starbucks cappuccino. Of the past hundred of cappuccinos I’ve had, I’d say 20 fall in the 8-10 range on the quality scale. Of those 20, I’d say 18  come from Starbucks. The reason? I’ve never had a cappuccino from the café chain that didn’t fall in the 8-10 range. Likewise, I’ve stopped ordering cappuccinos from non-Starbucks cafes. With only two cappuccinos of other cafes able to deliver a premium quality cappuccino, I don’t test my luck anymore. All numbers aside, brands can learn something from a quality cappuccino. It’s called consistently delivering on your value proposition. At first, the founders of Starbucks failed in their attempt to make a successful café in America. Dominating the landscape was Maxwell House and other coffee suppliers. Having journeyed to European cafes, the Starbucks founders decided to bring quality to the American coffee market. Impressed with the European coffee and espresso machines, the...

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