Survey Markers

Berntsen International

From jsonline:

There may not be too many survey marker manufacturers in the US….Berntsen International may be the most prominent. Especially when one if its major customers says this:

“It’s well-recognized that Berntsen is, if you like to use the phrase, the big dog,” said Dave Doyle, the federal government’s former chief geodetic surveyor…. “They really are the leaders in survey marks.”

“Conventional markers will continue to be needed, but the market for them won’t be high-growth.”

“Berntsen, is now experimenting with plastics and composites that can serve as boundary markers but also be embedded with sensors.”

“We want to change with the times,” Rushing said. “Not get left behind.”

A unique business….that can innovate….should be successful for another 46 years.

Smart Vision Lights

LED > Industrial Applications

There are always unique businesses that fly under the radar. Smart Vision Lights (SVL) might be one of them. It seems they are now ready to become more visible.

From mlive:

Moving to a new facility….three times the original is a big leap for SVL.

When our business expanded….it was the incentive to be better and different. Growing companies have that built into their reason for existence. If not, they eventually will become ineffective.


Chapter 11

It should not be a surprise that Sears has filed for bankruptcy….after all it was not really a good retailer – 

“The problem in Sears’ case is that it is a poor retailer,” Saunders wrote in an analyst note last week. “Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop keeping standards. Under benign conditions, this would be problematic enough but in today’s hyper-competitive retail environment it is a recipe for failure on a grand scale.”

And from Forbes – Four Strategic mistakes:

The financial engineering that took place finally ran its course….Sears is no longer a viable business….it’s extinct.

Leadership of Fear

Air Force Col.


The toxic leadership of this colonel has happened before and unfortunately will happen again. The fundamental question is why was this person given a wing command.

I would suspect that being an Air Force Academy graduate and 4000 flight hours are a factor. However the real measure is past performance. Has this type of leadership happened before and was dismissed?

There has to be somewhere along the way that a superior officer was made aware of these toxic characteristics and may have overlooked them as being overly ambitious.

18th Air Force leadership made the right decision: “The investigation also found he had “failed to establish and maintain a healthy command climate,” and 18th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck removed him after losing trust and confidence in his ability to command.”

However, they also have to ask themselves why was this colonel promoted to this position in the first place.

75 Years

Lorin Industries

From mlive:

Muskegon’s Lorin Industries, a world leader in the production of coil-anodized aluminum, is celebrating 75 years in business. 

Not many companies make it to 75….especially in a changing manufacturing environment.

While not large (around 100 employees) Lorin is a solid company. If it wasn’t….Lorin would not be celebrating its 75 years in business.

Free Popsicle

Attention to Detail

A free popsicle anytime at Magic Castle Hotel:

“Visitors at the hotel’s pool can pick up a red phone on a poolside wall to hear, “Hello, Popsicle Hotline.” They request an ice-pop in their favorite flavor, and a few minutes later, an employee wearing white gloves delivers it on a silver platter, no charge. It’s a small defining moment that doesn’t cost much to produce, but has paid off for the Magic Castle Hotel.”

“You only have to excel at a few things that are going to be memorable. Those defining moments can become powerful signature moments.”

Sometimes a free popsicle” is even better than a good deal. Certainly buyers like a favorable price….yet the free popsicle can have a longer….lasting impression.

Tom, a financial advisor, always sends birthday cards. Included in the card is his “popsicle” – a stick of gum. Nothing extraordinary….yet for some reason….it’s reassuring to get that stick of gum.

Any good business ought to have some form of a “free popsicle.

News Roundup

September 2018

+ Where are they now from Sept. 2013:

  • Chef and the Farmer: TV series ends after 5 years
  • Handsome Coffee; @014 Blue Bottle Coffee buys Handsome
  • Council Tool:

+ Apple becomes 1st trillion dollar company 8.2.18

+ Selling Bananas:

+ Effective leadership is a “people business.” Always has been. Always will be. (And darn few got it or get it or will get it.) – Tom Peters

+ Amazon + Opportunity:

+ Red Ocean Strategy:

+ 140 outstanding leadership quotes:

+ More than “just business”: