What Can Happen When You Take One Step Back

WMUR TV - Dean Kamen Advice to Graduates Last night I watched a wonderful program on WMUR Television called Celebrating New Hampshire’s Class of 2020. One of the inspirational speakers was Dean Kamen, a New Hampshire inventor who created the Segway. Kamen is known to many New Hampshire high school students because he is the creative force behind FIRST, a fun robotics and science program for high school students. Kamen opened his talk standing next to a clock he specially designed as a trophy to the winning FIRST Team. The clock is not an ordinary clock. He has [...]

By |2020-06-11T19:13:02-04:00June 11th, 2020|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

The Funny Success of Zoom

Photo by Gabriel Benois Every day in April 2020 over 300 million of us are using Zoom to communicate with others in our lives. And, when you think about it, almost every day something funny happens on Zoom. I’ll share a few of my favorites in a minute, but, first, let’s look at the history of Zoom. Zoom Founded by Eric Yuan. In 1987 Eric Yuan was a college student in China. He first toyed with the idea for internet video while on 10-hour train rides between college and his home, where his girlfriend lived. Eric Yuan [...]

By |2020-04-24T17:10:26-04:00April 23rd, 2020|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation, Uncategorized|

Three Positive Thoughts on This Birthday

Photo by Jamie Street Like all of you, I have been a little distracted over these last weeks. Since today is my birthday (And, no, I'm not begging for well-wishes, although it might look that way!) I thought I would share three positive and fun thoughts. Most importantly I am grateful my family is healthy and that my wife, Patti, has been such a wonderful support over these weeks. And here are three other positive thoughts. First Positive Thought – Appreciating My Friends. Some of you have heard or read this story before, but these days it seems [...]

By |2020-04-09T13:06:57-04:00April 9th, 2020|Business, General|

Millennials Love Spending Money on Pets  

When I saw our dog, Nico, looking at me helplessly before a recent cold spell, I knew what he was thinking - “Give me a break! Can’t you buy better things with your money, like toys?” I told him, “I agree, Nico, why do we spend so much on stupid stuff for our pets?” While I think there are some interesting psychological reasons for what we do, I was equally curious about the pet market itself, which continues to be one of the strongest growth retail segments in the United States. Here are some fun and interesting things I learned [...]

By |2020-03-05T13:36:21-05:00December 20th, 2019|Business, General|

Fred, Use Your Credit Card

I have a confession to make. Last weekend I was finally relaxing on Saturday and was looking at my cable-tv guide for something to watch for a few minutes and stumbled on a very old Flintstones cartoon. I loved the Flintstones as a kid and watched it faithfully on Friday nights in the early 1960s when I was 7 or 8 years old, even when we lived in Hawaii. I don’t think I’ve watched any part of an episode since then. So, yes, I tuned-in for a few minutes on Saturday. In this episode, which I confirmed was from 1961, [...]

By |2020-03-05T14:35:59-05:00December 6th, 2019|Business|

A Penny for Your Song, Not

If a song by your favorite singer has been streamed or played a million times, did they get lots of money? I wondered that myself and I’ll share what I learned in a moment. As a marketing major in college many years ago I still remember a question our professor asked while opening the first class of a logistics or “physical distribution management” course. The verbal sequence went something like this. Professor: What is the most valuable function in business? Student 1: Manufacturing Professor: Nope Student 2: Finance Professor: Nope Student 3: Advertising Professor: Nope Me: Given this course we [...]

By |2019-11-21T14:53:56-05:00November 21st, 2019|Business, General|

Walt Disney Never Saw Obstacles Only Opportunities

I think it is a good time to celebrate entrepreneurs because without them the world would be a far darker and undeveloped place. Since this month The Walt Disney Company will celebrate both Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday and Disney World’s 55th anniversary, I thought it would be a perfect time to revisit the life of Walt Disney, arguably the world’s most creative entrepreneur. Mickey Mouse continues to be one of the top one or two best known characters in the world and is the image most closely connected to Disney. What many people don’t know is that Disney is the [...]

By |2018-11-08T11:35:37-05:00November 8th, 2018|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

The Amazing Banana King Entrepreneur

I love bananas and plantains, which are very similar to bananas and commonly found in the Caribbean. Until a recent trip to Trinidad, however, I had never given the banana industry second thought. On this trip, however, I listened to a terrific audiobook called The Fish that Ate the Whale and my hunger to learn more about the banana industry grew. The Banana King. The Fish that Ate the Whale - The Life and Times of America’s Banana King was written by Richard Cohen. It is a biography of banana entrepreneur, Samuel Zemurray, who was born in the Russian Empire [...]

By |2018-04-05T15:09:36-04:00April 5th, 2018|Business, Entrepreneurship / Innovation|

Five Amazing and Crazy Braindrops from March 2018

So many topics, so little time. Over the past few weeks I have encountered many interesting topics that might intrigue you – here are five. Africa is Much Larger Than I Thought. Because my family traveled so much when I was a little guy, I have always had an interest in geography. But recently I learned something new about Africa that still amazes me even as I write this. A few weeks ago we were in the Cayman Islands and visited our daughter Alie’s friends, Bridget and Richard. While they live in the Cayman Islands, they had just returned from [...]

By |2018-03-22T11:21:23-04:00March 22nd, 2018|Business, General|

To Catch a Thief

I must admit, I used to be quite naïve. While I was fascinated with newspaper stories and movies of how crooks stole money, those stories always felt like fiction because they happened to someone else. After all, I thought, I only work with law-abiding citizens with solid sets of ethical principles – no one I know would ever steal money or product from their employer. Right? Wrong. Along came our very own John Robie – an unethical colleague who saw no problem in stealing from us. I’ll tell you more about our Robie case in a few moments. (By the [...]

By |2018-03-06T13:39:26-05:00March 6th, 2018|Business, General|