Different Businesses

Office Cary

Cary has numerous office parks….small….large and very large. The real surprises are the different and unique businesses that occupy these small office facilities.

American Futures

Holland, MI & The Big Three

The American Futures

James and Deborah Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly journalists have set out to rediscover America….reinvention and resilience


Their first stop was Holland, MI…..30 miles south of Muskegon. Holland is a Lake Michigan lakeshore town…..with some highly successful businesses. Holland also has a viable downtown with an unusal innovation….snow-free walkways…..underground steam conduits that melt the snow with the steam generated from the nearby power plant.

Holland is also associated with the top 3 manufacturers in the office furniture industry; Steelcase (Grand Rapids)….Haworth (Holland)….Herman Miller (Zealand).

In the early 80’s, I visited all three manufacturers on a consulting project….Haworth somewhat newer than Steelcase and Herman Miller. All three were well-managed businesses….with Herman Miller standing out because of its design influences and leadership by Max dePree.

The article by James Fallows adequately describes Holland.  A plus to the story is the idea of flying to the story locations in a small aircraft.






Nice Design

Coffee Packaging

Proper Coffee

Good design is as important as the functionality of the product….it draws attention and the perception of product performance.

A recent post at: www.designwoop.com

highlighted 15 creative designs for coffee packaging.

Design is important….it won’t make a poor product better….it will give a good product the perception and reality of quality.

Good Choice

New Appliance

In May, we purchased a new clothes dryer (Whirlpool) to replace one that was 44 years old (also a Whirlpool).

Old DehumidifierNext to give out was the dehumidifier….also very old. TOur dehumidifier was a Frigiking…. just like the photo except it was the basic model….no buttons on the control panel.

The challenge was to find a suitable replacement. There were numerous brands/models on-line and at the local home centers. Some brands not so highly rated….most of not all made off-shore.


IMG_1376The final choice was a Danby dehumidifier from Danby Co in Findlay, Ohio. While manufactured overseas….this unit is well made…..runs quietly….and is very efficient.

Overall a good choice and a good price buying it on-line.



Norton AFB, CA

Ballistic Sytems

Thor at Norton AFB

This was the main entrance to Norton AFB in 1963. The missile is a Thor Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile. SBAMA refers to the San Bernardino Air Materia Area which was responsible for the Thor missile.

Reporting to Norton for the first time and seeing the missile at the entrance was the first step in my four years at Ballistic Systems Division (BSD).

The three projects in the 4 years were the Mobile Midrange Ballistic Missile (MMRBM)….the Titan ICBM….and Advanced Ballistic Reentry Systems (ABRES). The primary contractor on the MMRBM was Hughes Aircraft ( an eye-opening learning experience). Titan was a 6 month study project. ABRES had almost every major aerospace contractor.

Norton as an air material base was somewhat different from an operational (SAC) base like March AFB in Riverside, CA. Being at Norton and passing through the gates was a great experience.


Note: Major Tom Barton (father-in-law) led the team installing the THOR at the base entrance. 


A Good Strategy


“Yes, acting like you are a professional might be even more important than actually being good at what you do. When given the option, do both.” -Seth Godin

Good advice from Seth and good advice to young adults.

It may be “old school”….yet being professional is a path to doing well. Trends can vary….from business casual to plain unprofessional. In our business it wasn’t business casual….too early for that. We dressed professional and acted professional. After all we were the “experts’ in our business.

Dress Professional….Act Professional….Speak Professional.

Popcorn Lid

A Clever Idea

Shake n Share

From MLive:


A simple plastic lid for theater popcorn! Why didn’t someone think of this before?

If anything, theaters would snap this up to minimize spillage and cleanup. And it enhances the popcorn product.

The key to the story: There are always better and different ways to create a products or services value. Even for somthing as simple as a tub of popcorn.