Waterman Pen – Paris


My new Waterman (Paris) fountain pen is a quality product….at least from my perspective. From the presentation box to the label….it projects quality.

There are more expensive fountain pens….yet the Waterman pen meets my expectations. It writes nicely (old school of course)….is well made…..looks good….and is reasonably priced What more can one ask from a product?

Business Model



The Internet has created entirely different business models. One in particular….providing funding for people that sail around the world. 

This model is one that sailing cruisers create videos of their travels….post them on YouTube….than ask subscribers/followers to contribute to their endeavors….so they can make more videos….thus funding their travels.

There are some people who are very successful at monetizing their journeys. Like anything else…..the end result has to be a quality product. The YouTube video has to be creative….entertaining….imaginative. 

The bottom line for this type of business model…..like all others is a well executed video (product)….consistency and knowing the customers (subscribers).


Putting the team first isn’t easy.


From Lessons in Leadership : http://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/lessons-in-leadership-the-best-and-worst-business-stories-of-2016.html

“Professional basketball player Klay Thompson recently broke an NBA record by scoring 60 points in less than 30 minutes. The thing is, Thompson could have broken even more records.”

“Except that his boss, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, benched him for the entire fourth quarter. What was Kerr’s reasoning?”

“Golden State’s coach preaches a team-first mentality for the Warriors, a philosophy that reduces emphasis on individual achievements in favor of the team. This ideology serves him well for a number of reasons, but none more than this: Kerr realizes that the team can achieve much more as a whole versus the sum of its parts.”

Teams always work better than committees. Teams have a common goal. Team members don’t want to let other team members down. Working with several organizations several years ago….that was a difficult concept for many folks. Some have never changed!


Wells Fargo


News Observer/Business: New checking accounts down 41% at Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo saw a further decline in business as the San Francisco bank continues to suffer in the wake of its fake accounts scandal.

“We still have a lot to do to rebuild trust” – said the head of retail banking. It will take some time for Wells Fargo to regain that trust….and the key element is whether there is a culture change at the bank. The culture change may in fact take longer.

Our business name identified us….we had to maintain trust….our name was always front and center.


90 Second Oil Change


Changing oil in a vehicle is a necessity….yet also can be cumbersome.

Castrol’s NEXCEL system is a sealed oil cell that contains both the engine oil and the oil filter so it can easily be removed and replaced in about 90 seconds versus 20+ minutes for a conventional oil change.

While the NEXCEL system would have to integrated into future automobile design….it would seem to be the idea oil change system for commercial and heavy equipment vehicles.

The NEXCEL system was the 2016 winner in The Automotive & Transportation Category for the NASA Tech Briefs Design Contest….certainly an innovative product.


Rolling On



Some brands reach their life cycle end….others keep rolling on. The Volvo almost reached its end….however its continued relevance gave it new life.

From Automobile magazine:

“Ford Motor Co. incinerated many billions on behalf of Volvo between 1999 and 2010.”

“These relatively benevolent stewards remind us that the greatest gifts an automotive capitalist might hope to leave behind for the world is the one that occurs when they rescue a brand of enduring quality and authenticity from being extinguished. A brand is a terrible thing to waste and an expensive one, especially in the automotive realm, where an ardent and dedicated following takes a lifetime and costs billions of dollars.”

“All it was going to take for Volvo to stand on its own was good management and several billion dollars more.”

The key point for Volvo or any successful company….protect the brand. In business, name and brand stand for everything. 


Changing Market


Gillette and Schick have been the prominent shaving products brand. Now that has changed and the Gillette and Schick market has been significantly disrupted.

Two online businesses…..Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club –



are the front-runners in this market disruption.

The Gillette/Schick business model was to sell the razors inexpensively and charge quite a bit more for replacement blades. This was successful until the online business disrupted the old model.

The Dollar Shave Club: “A great shave delivered. Try any razor for just $1. Includes a weighty handle, 4 cartridges and free shipping”. – Be better and be different certainly changes the shaving market.

Phone Around



Thanksgiving-New Year’s/ABPA50: Acknowledging By Phoning Around. C-A-L-L 50 people before 1/1/17, thank them for 2016 support, best wishes 2017. –  Tom Peters

Excellent advice by Tom Peters. And of course sending an email is not phoning around.

In hindsight….this is something we should have done more of during our family business years. 


Chrysler Success


From Automobile Magazine:

“That Jeep is now the most valuable and profitable brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is nothing short of astonishing as is Jeep’s story over the last three quarters of a century.”

Like many people….we had numerous vehicles over the years. My most favorite was our CJ-5. In fact we had three Jeeps…..Two CJ-5s (a green and a black) and a Jeep Cherokee. Our first CJ was built by American Motors with a V-6 engine that was virtually unstoppable. Plowing snow was no problem! 

Our Jeeps were rugged vehicles….nothing fancy. A good product and successful brand. I miss our Jeeps….I don’t miss the snow.

Perfect Design

1936 Lancia

1936 Lancia Astura Pinin Farina Cabriolet (photo: Richard Owen)

Good design is generally the sign of a great product. That is the case of the 1936 Lancia Astrura Pininfarina Cabriolet…..an Italian automobile.

No matter how small….business card…..letterhead….a good design projects a businesses/organizations brand.

The Lancia Cabriolet was an elegant design in 1936 and still is 80 years later.