Blog Archives

Curb Your Sales Pitch

When someone (or some company) gets it, as in really gets it, that’s worthy of a spotlight.

Apple is the tech company that doesn’t act like a tech company. And, because of that approach, Apple became the leading personal technology firm in the world. Maybe they took a page from Jason Alexander’s book pamphlet Acting Without Acting.

When you’re browsing in a store without any specific focus, do you find it helpful or less than helpful when the salesperson approaches/sprints to you with their commission-based agenda? Most people, I would imagine, would respond with annoying less than helpful. As consumers, we’re well aware that the employee is the store’s personalized informational resource. But, like most situations in life, we’ll ask for help when we need help.

Turns out, Apple executive Angela Ahrendts feels the same way. Ms. Ahrendts recently sat down for an interview with Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning.

Apple’s mentality of selling without selling is certainly a multi-faceted, top consumer strategy in the digital era. And this modus operandi should be applied to more than just selling tech products or acting. If you act like a salesperson, you’ll be treated like a salesperson. But if you act differently than people expect, then you’ll be treated differently than people expected.

Imagine the possibilities.

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Electrically Engineering a T into a 3

gallery-1459487318-model-3-unveil

(Tesla Model 3)

Tesla Motors is the conservative argument for positively responding to climate change/global warming/global cooling/environmental issues.

Tesla announced Thursday that it has received 325,000 preorders for its recently unveiled Model 3. If it sells every car that’s been reserved, the company says it will earn enough revenue to make this the “biggest one-week launch of any product ever.”
–Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

One single car using gas or one single power plant is not the problem, but it’s the cumulative effect of millions of drivers or hundreds of power plants that has a meaningful impact on the release of carbon emissions into the air. Therefore, with cars, the goal is to present the marketplace with affordable, high-quality options.

Enter Elon Musk and his burgeoning company, Tesla Motors, that’s appropriately named after famed inventor Nikola Tesla.

This tech-driven company (see what I did there) is clearly being rewarded by anxiously excited followers for its ingenuity, hard-work, determination and recognition of a demand that’s marketed to a large portion of the American people to consider and even reserve for purchase next year.

Innovation is and has always been the right path towards a bright future that empowers the individual and then, as a result, empowers the collective. One electric car will not make a difference, but millions of electric cars on the road will change the carbon emissions equation. The power of individualism, innovation and opportunity must be taught and encouraged to this generation and future generations because of the incentives and the how inventiveness has benefited societies throughout history.

The iPhone was not dreamed up because of a tech regulation. Neither was the transportation revolution known as Henry Ford’s Model T, which was the first affordable automobile designed, built and produced for the American people roughly 100 years ago.

The close rhyming between 3 and T was a nice touch, Mr. Musk.

Conversely, what sense does it make to penalize consumers/the public with environmentally strangling regulations (especially without a Kung Fu grip on Mother Nature) and policies that punish people and companies? Photo-ops at these high-profile gatherings, where the focus is to cast blame and then reward a relatively select few participants with control and influence over the many, doesn’t project a hopeful future, especially when the measures taken amount to a gesture instead of a silver bullet.

Fiscal pain and high-minded barriers will not solve substantial problems. By high-minded, that refers to opponents of industries some deem unacceptable (like coal), but who have no better or ready alternatives for those workers who need to feed and provide for themselves and/or their families. Nobody likes pollution and some regulations are good and necessary, but, like government, figuring out policies to keep the regulatory code as small as possible is best.

There’s a paramount difference between idealism rooted in reality (conservatism) and idealism floating around in fantasy (liberalism).

Regardless of the extent that people across the political spectrum believe in global warming or global cooling (100%, 50%, 25%, 7.4%), the most important issues going forward are agreeing on a common goal and determining the most intelligent and economical approach.

We should strive for a carbon emissions-free future, achieved through empowering the engine of innovation.

In many cases,

  • Innovation = Revolutions by and for the people
  • Regulation = Power, control and influence over the people by and for a select few

$27,500 for the Tesla Model 3 (with $7,500 tax credit).

This inviting price point will attract car buyers in the 5-Star safety rated, 5-seat sedan in the $25K-$35K market, which will directly challenge car models from household names Toyota and Honda and even Lexus, Mercedes and Audi. If the Model 3 is successful and proves to have a reliable re-charging infrastructure and if (the recommended) nightly charging pattern for the 215-mile battery range like your smartphone results in a future worth the investment, then the conversation to join the names Elon Musk and Henry Ford in the same sentence in history books will begin.

People, once again, have an opportunity to change the world by buying a car.

Tesla Motors is a prime example of dreaming big, showcasing the power of the individual, American ingenuity and supplying a demand that could very well revolutionize cars, the transportation grid and solving a problem with carbon emissions in the environment with a positive, captivating solution that’s generating a magnetic appeal to its products and brand.

The Model 3’s engine may be nearly silent, but it still sounds like a revolution…

And You Thought Kinkos Was Good

The possibilities and questions are endless at this point.

3-D printing is progressing at such fast rate that it may become just another part of our daily lives within a decade. A heavy proposition for sure. What does it mean? It’s a perplexing dilemma. On the one hand, when LEGO forgets to put a single piece into a box set of Black Beard’s pirate ship from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” it would have been much more efficient to have had a machine at home that could have printed the missing gray piece in a matter of minutes for my nephew as opposed to calling the LEGO Store and getting it shipped from Denmark.

True story.

On the other hand, purchasing a machine that prints 3-D objects will undoubtedly reduce commerce in stores (offline and online), consequently hurting businesses that are run by our neighbors, friends and people who are just trying to make a good living. Society will become much more introverted, which is a dynamic that has positives like convenience, but is (currently) outweighed by negatives, such as the decreasing inclination to go outside to a video rental store.

What will be the landmark case be surrounding patents? How will businesses adjust to this evolution of people being able to make and/or copy-and-paste a wide-array of things themselves that are normally sold in stores? What will the quality of the printed objects be? What positive effects on society will it have? What negative effects on society will it have?

3-D printing is evolving into pivotal issues of need versus want and quality versus convenience (just two examples).

At least we don’t need special glasses to see all this coming at us…

How to Make an Apple Shine

The logo of the global technological giant Apple clearly has a bite taken out of it. Clear as day. This has been the case for decades. It is unequivocally one of the most famous icons around the world. Unfortunately, the slowly evolving reality being formed is what the bite now represents. Instead of being synonymous with a leader, innovator and dream factory of ideas, the famous design with the bite is seen as its competitors taking a bite out of them as their healthy snack for the day.

apple_logo_best-100029852-large(Macworld.com)

How does the apple get returned to the right hands? Or, more importantly, whose hands should be holding it?

Steve Jobs was a technological genius, but he was also a promotional wizard. The vacancy of both following his death in 2011 has clearly affected Apple in a variety of ways. Despite the phenomenal devices he and his business partners have created, the bright light and magic of the company that was founded in his parent’s garage in the ’70s has dimmed to a glow.

Once products are built and sold in the marketplace with sensational popularity, the success of such a company is usually directly linked to its leader and his or her personality. Jobs symbolized a vast intelligence, great mystery, anticipation, trust, wonderment and, above all, revolutionary consumer products.

He was a spectacular performer and leader.

Two years since his death, Apple has yet to figure out how to, as the “Jobs” trailer states, “…make Apple cool again.” This is the ultimate riddle to solve. How do the company leaders and employees make Apple universally and definitively cool again?

Despite the fact the iPod, iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro and so forth remain terrific products, the aura is gradually fading. The vibe is increasingly one of admiring this company in the rear view mirror…in memory of Steve Jobs instead of in celebration of Steve Jobs.

Apple is becoming a massive company as opposed to a visionary leader.

And rebuilding the latter is what, or rather who it needs right now behind-the-scenes inventing and in the public eye selling. It needs somebody who lives and breathes the brand. It needs somebody who will staunchly defend and promote the brand. It needs somebody who will dare to think outside the box into new dimensions.

The true replacement needs to be revolutionary.

Their current CEO is Tim Cook. Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve seemed to have had good fortune when being led by guys named Steve.

Of course, I’ve also seen women handle an apple with care while also using it as a key ingredient to make some truly amazing treats…