Poppy Day

Armistice Day/Veterans Day

November 11 was Armistice Day. This year was the 70th anniversary since the signing of the Armistice ending the First World War….The 11th month – 11th day- 11th hour.

Growing up, lapel poppies were used to recognize Nov 11. 

November 11 is also Veterans Day in the U.S.

What is the significance in these two days? Anne’s grandfather was a doughboy in World War 1….stationed in England. It’s unclear whether he made it to the front lines.  The poppy is symbolic of these two days in our history.

Why poppies? Poppy flowers began to grow on the Flanders Field American Memorial in the town of Waregem, Belgium.


Assembly Required


Two examples of a different way to market furniture:


It remains to be seen if these business models are sustainable.

The market is the deciding factor….Price>Quality>Value.

Note: Extensive Terms & Conditions for both companies.




Made in Detroit

Another furniture business….yet different:  https://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/how-this-furniture-company-went-from-a-kickstarter-campaign-to-a-58-million-startup.html

“Floyd’s story is a good example of how combining old skills (e.g., streamlined supply chain management) with new tools (e.g., social media) can give a company real momentum. But it’s also a huge lesson in how design is better off as a two-way process.”

The real test will be if this business model is sustainable and if customers are willing to pay $1490 for this sofa.



Toyota & Deer

Recently I encountered a deer and it was not pleasant for my Toyota (see photo). The deer apparently survived.

USAA has been our insurance provider for 55 years. The claim process was very easy. Visit the web site, fill out the appropriate information and file the claim . Fifteen minutes after filing the claim….a call from Gerber Collision to schedule an appraisal appointment.

Appraisal appointment at 0900….damage inspected….and repairs scheduled.

USAA and Gerber Collision have perfected the claim and repair process. To date the system has performed seamlessly. The repairs take place next week….time for execution.

The trust factor in USAA is that the collision repair providers are held to high standards.

News Roundup

October 2018

+ Where are they now from October 2013

+ Preowned Rolex watches:   https://www.businessinsider.com/bobs-watches-rolex-authentic-vintage-used-2018-9

+ Worlds first flat wine bottle:  https://www.foodandwine.com/news/garcon-flat-wine-bottle-dow-design-award

+ If you’re working to sell your average stuff to average people (and working overtime to make it cheaper or faster), consider an alternative: serving the most dedicated people with something remarkable. – Seth Godin

+ Harvard Case Studies:  https://qz.com/work/1385066/the-problem-with-harvard-business-school-case-studies/

+ From Inc. – Tom Peters:  https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/the-author-of-whats-been-called-the-greatest-business-book-of-all-time-says-leadership-hasnt-changed-in-50-years-heres-why.html

+ USAA customer experience:   https://www.forbes.com/sites/micahsolomon/2018/09/30/how-to-build-a-culture-of-customer-experience-innovation-the-usaa-way/#6668e9712378

+ SmartFlower solar panels:  http://smartflowersolar.com/

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:  https://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2018/10/advanced_lighting_manufacturer.html#incart_river_index

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.