General

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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|

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|

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|

Some Thoughts on Border Walls

View from El Paso toward Ciudad Juarez, Mexico In January Patti and I were near El Paso, Texas on a short birding trip and saw the Mexican border Wall close up. On our first day we followed the border and Wall southeast for about 35 miles along the Rio Grande River. What was interesting was that the Wall came to end about 30 miles south of El Paso (see picture below) where the pecan orchards flourished, the other geography harsh, and the spacing between houses on both sides of the border widened. Thoughts from Jesus. Among the people [...]

By |2018-02-02T10:44:16-05:00February 1st, 2018|Business, General|

Carving Out and Filling-up Jobs in Your Business

Have you ever noticed in football and baseball today there are several carved-out, specialty positions? For example, in baseball you have “closers,” like the Red Sox’s Greg Kimbrell. Closers are pitchers who only pitch the 9th inning when a team is leading by three or less runs. In football, for example, you have place kickers and punters. The players who fill these positions have very specific skills that help the team perform more successfully. And when they perform well, their teammates love them even though they don’t play very much. The same thing is happening in business. Many employers today [...]

By |2017-09-14T11:23:11-04:00September 14th, 2017|Business, General|

The Business of Staying Cool

Not long ago Johnny, one of our Board members from Florida, asked me, “Did you know the invention of air conditioning was the most important factor leading to Florida’s development?”  As logical as the premise was, I admitted it was news to me. And, of course, Johnny’s question piqued my curiosity. Air-Conditioning in the 1800s. In the 1830s Dr. John Gorrie from Florida, often referred to as the father of modern air-conditioning, used a system of suspended natural ice to cool the air and create a more comfortable recovery environment for his patients. He later invented a cooling system using [...]

By |2018-01-02T20:15:09-05:00August 31st, 2017|Business, General|

The Business of Thanksgiving and Black Friday

In this week when we give thanks for all our blessings it seems crazy to me so much attention is on expanding our bounties. But that is the reality. So this week I thought I would look at the business that is Thanksgiving Week. But first, let us not forget the first “Thanksgiving.” It happened in late September or early October 1621 when the Pilgrims harvested their first crops – corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas. They also shot many migrating ducks and geese. They harvested and boiled the then plentiful lobster. William Bradford organized a harvest celebration and invited [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:47-04:00November 22nd, 2016|General|

How to Waste Ad Dollars, Quickly

Photo by the Author Having lived in New Hampshire for 34 years I have met many Presidents and candidates and have experienced nine primaries and been exposed to thousands of television commercials. And, as a businessperson, I am envious of the quantity of advertising dollars the candidates spent this year. So this week I went out and explored two of my curiosities – first, who spent how much on television ads in the New Hampshire Primary and, second, what happens to any leftover money if a candidate pulls out. Television Ad Spending for NH Primary. According to an [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:50-04:00February 24th, 2016|Business, General|

Trump is Running for His Brand, Not for President

I usually stay out of commenting on politics. But since Donald Trump is really a businessman, who happens to be running for President, I cannot resist writing my opinion. I think Trump is using the media and his followers to advance his brand name and is not running out of respect for America. Unlike this political sign here in Exeter, when he says something controversial his brand is not damaged, it is strengthened. News channels like CNN and BBC broadcast his image internationally, free of charge. Many people agree with him and some buy or lease units in his properties. And [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:51-04:00November 12th, 2015|Business, General|