Warby Parker

Warby Parker

Eye glasses can be expensive. In February 2008, four MBA candidates at the Wharton School of business wondered: Why weren’t quality glasses and frames sold online? While there is eyewear that is sold on-line….primarily from overseas….and relatively inexpensive….it does not compare to Warby Parker. 

The solution for Warbly Parker wasn’t low cost….it was in selling a product on-line that previously had only been sold in retail stores….and selling a very good product.

The price for frame and lens….$95.  Progressive lens glasses….$345 ($295 in article).



Wendy Liebmann of WSL Strategic Retail, a New York City-based industry analyst and consultant, says a key to success is that the firm has not been just a low-price competitor. “They discovered a problem, and they found a solution that wasn’t the typical solution,” Liebmann says, alluding to the company’s emphasis on style and customer service.


Free Enterprise


Free Enterprise

“Free markets encourage organizations to take leaps, to improve products, to obsess about delighting customers. One reason that this happens is that competition is always nipping at your heels… if you don’t get better, your clients will find someone who does.” – Seth Godin

The key statement being: “if you don’t get better”. The free enterprise systems lets anyone try anything. It encourages risk and grants rewards. That is what makes the US economy the strongest in the world….though the US is not the largest country by population.

Certainly regulation is necessary for those industries/businesses that at times may be “too big to fail” (e.g. the financial industry!). Like most anything else, there is always the balance between regulation and capitalism.

My first encounter (other than mowing lawns) with free enterprise ideas was Prof. Waterman’s popular class on the free enterprise economy. I may still have the textbook.


Memorial Day

May 25, 2015

Memorail Day Detroit 1927

Memorial day 2015 is not another day for a sale….though many businesses think that’s what it is for.

It is a day that memorializes those men and women who responded to the nations call for military service. The world has always had individuals and nations who create situations that call for a military response. That need will always exist if nations want to exercise power over one another. Fortunately, the United States of America will respond when necessary.

We will always remember:

Maj. Thomas Barton, USAF

Capt. ” Ben” Ringsdorph, USAF

Capt. Paul Mathews, USA

Lt. Mark Leonard, USMC

Sgt. John Sjogren, USA

* Photo: Detroit, MI 1927

Business Skills

The SOFT Stuff


From USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/05/03/cheat-sheet-skills-college-grads-job/26574631/

“Employers are troubled by graduates’ lack of soft skills. Many report that college grads are lacking in people skills and have trouble solving problems and thinking creatively.

The USA article lists five “soft” skills that are just as important as doing a complicated financial analysis or creating an elaborate spreadsheet.

  • People skills – the ability to interact with others
  • Problem solving skills – solving real world problems
  • Verbal communications – speaking clearly and succinctly
  • Leadership – developing leadership and team skills
  • Written communications – writing with clarity

At The Michigan  Business School some of these skills were only learned by instinct and experience. There weren’t any specific courses that I can recall.

Time to look at the current BBA and MBA programs to see if times have changed. Are “soft skills” part of the curriculum in 2015?


Consistent Excellence

Complacent 2

On a recent visit to a national casual dining restaurant , I wondered if complacency had set in or….maybe it’s just time to try another restaurant.

The items ordered were fine….not overwhelming….the facility showing some wear. What had been a nice outing in the past now seemed ordinary. Maybe a little more care in preparation….maybe some new menu items….or maybe better ingredients.

Often businesses/organizations though successful become complacent….they become complacent – the minute they think they are not. Good managers always look at the business with fresh eyes.

Smart App

Tile It


Smart phones are now smart!


There is a use for smart phones….the clever little Tile App!

We often misplace keys….bags etc. At about $25, the little tile attaches to those items and the tile casts a Bluetooth signal up to 100 feet to a smart phone and instanty helps locate that lost item. 

Since every phone with Tile helps find a lost item, the search range is potentially limitless. 

A very smart use of technology.




Stores, and even accounting offices, [are] judged as much or more on appearance as on ‘substance.’ In fact the appearance is a non-trivial part of the overall assessment of the ‘substance.’ -Tom Peters

First impressions are important….as I have written previously….that was the very first task of each day….to get our facility spic and span for the customer (and for us).

Appearance is important for individuals in interacting with each other. Perhaps….it is a change in times…it seems like personal appearance is not as important as in the past.

Whether business or personal….appearance is non-trivial.