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Showing posts from July, 2008

Water for Fuel?

My son sent this video clip to me some time ago. Even though I am an engineer, I do not why no one has picked up this opportunity to convert water into fuel? Maybe I am missing something here? Is it really expensive to convert an engine? Is it too volatile? Or is it just too simple to comprehend? In any case, I hope this guy gets his patents soon and starts bringing it to market. I sure as shoot will invest.


The First Idea May Not be the Best Idea

One thing I have found out is that your first idea about a product or service is usually not your best idea. As a general rule, be prepared to change your original idea in order to hit the moving target you planned on hitting. Some notables on this rule are Intel: It started out as a memory company, and its original numeric processor was made for factory automation, not the PC. Motorola: started out making radios receivers for automobiles. MCI: It started out as a radio network for truckers. Google: It started just looking up the number references to a particular thesis.

Part of the reason why this happens is because when you start your product or company, you are only guessing what your potential customer might want or need, or how they will use a product. When you first release your product or service, you are trying to solve a problem or fill a need that you think needs to be solved or filled. Your perception of that need might not be totally accurate, or the need might h…

Knowledge versus Know-how

Once, I was asked to help an existing company recruit some sales help by their VP of Sales and Marketing. They needed someone who could grow a new software product they were developing, and who had both a technical expertise and business savvy about them. We had narrowed down the field to two people. One guy was in his forties, and had a 15-year track record of substantial sales and marketing experience and success. He actually was an electrical engineer, who during his career had migrated into sales and marketing. He understood the product perfectly, and both the VP and I felt that he would be an excellent fit. He was driven, self-assured, personable, and hungry.
The other candidate had just graduated from a pretty prestigious MBA B-School program, but did not have any direct selling experience. He did know all the latest buzzwords and jargon, and was very knowledgeable on all the latest strategies in selling. I felt that while this guy was personable and knowledgeable, he did n…

What you don't Know you don't Know

I promised that I would try to give some practical advice on how to improve your business in simple to understand concepts and ideas. One of the most pressings issues for any company is how to increase sales profitably with the least amount of effort, or something I call 'Return on Effort.' Most people believe that the best way to grow a company is to either get your existing customers to purchase more or to get them to tell their friends and acquaintances to purchase from you. While repeat business is much easier the get than new business, and referrals can help you grow, you are at best looking at incremental gains. It is like fishing in the same pond trying to catch different fish. What most companies would like are macromental gains and in sales and profits. In order to get to the lofty goals, you are going to have to abandon some old held beliefs, and move far enough away from the safe harbor so as to no longer see the shore.
First, I have to diagram what I am talking abou…