About Tracy Hazzard

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So far Tracy Hazzard has created 133 blog entries.

Prep Your Product Launch To Survive & Thrive

2017-07-07T19:51:26+00:00August 7th, 2017|INC Articles|

You cannot forget these critical components when preparing your new product strategy. Okay, so you're new product has hit the market. You've survived rounds of funding, startup setbacks, your team is solid, and now you're ready to implement your growth strategy. Wait, you are ready to implement your growth strategy right? Let's talk about this. There are two critical components of any new product strategy that you cannot survive without and these components should be worked out and a clear part of your strategy long before you get to market. This strategy is the groundwork for your success. It's not like you get to market and then BOOM! You're selling 20 million of each of your SKU's. You have to have a plan in place that allows you to engage your market and scale up as you go. This First Critical Component Is Engagement Planning and setting strategies for market engagement can make [...]

Reinventing High Touch Amid High Tech

2017-07-07T19:54:02+00:00August 4th, 2017|INC Articles|

What a USA made custom suit company can teach you about business, failure, and essential human interaction. Imagine you are looking for the perfect fitting garment to wear to a wedding. So you head to your local department store and find the perfect pair of dress pants, without the help of anyone really, because the staff are all under 20, sales clerks, and could care less about your pants. In fact, the only way you might get their attention is if you weren't wearing any at all. Now you need to get your pants hemmed... but where? Are you going to stick around and let the sales clerk inaccurately measure you? They don't even know where your pants should fall, nor do they care. And machines don't really care either. Do they? Custom Fashion Is Here To Stay The new Alexa/Echo camera has recently been announced by Amazon and instead of making [...]

Made In America Is More Than Guts & Glory

2017-07-07T19:46:50+00:00August 3rd, 2017|INC Articles|

Learn from this Made in America, multi-generational family business about sustainability, freedom, and survival. American Hat Makers, Head'n Home, have a business model I love, and values second to none. Their story is inspiring and energetic, and they've made a lot of right moves to place their business in a place of sustainability and I had to share all of this goodness with you. I had an opportunity to talk with Garth Watrous, a 2nd generation business owner, took an interest, at a very young age, in the business his father built, and the passion in his voice is proof that he isn't just a lucky inheritor. He plays an integral role and is deeply invested in Head N' Home, and if you've seen their hats, you'll know why. Multi-Generational Businesses Garth's dad, who started this business in the 70's with a few leather tools, and a passion to create, started it all from [...]

Nitty-Gritty Secrets to Being an Amazon Millionaire

2017-08-02T19:04:39+00:00July 27th, 2017|INC Articles|

Get the most out of private label selling on Amazon by understanding your options and the benefit to your brand. Private label selling seems to be expanding faster than the popularity of fidget spinners. So I wasn't surprised to hear from James Thomson, Co-Founder of PROSPER Show and the former head of Amazonservices.com, that this year the conference sold out of tickets. With 1400 attendees and 90% year over-year-growth, I had to dig into the nitty-gritty details of the show so I could share all of them with you. Get Rich Quick When I work with clients on product design, I make it a point early on to let each client know that going the route of private label selling on Amazon is not a 3-month plan with a billion dollar buyout exit. It's okay to dream about that six-figure income but you're going to have to put in a LOT of work before that ever [...]

Learning to Deal With Stress Just Got Easier

2017-07-24T18:43:02+00:00July 20th, 2017|INC Articles|

Stress is a fact of life, but how you deal with it is up to you, so I called in an expert to show you the way. I just wrapped up an amazing call with Dr. Laurel Geise, Founder and CEO of The Geise Group, on a mission to help companies implement Mindfulness at Work Programs. She and I really got down to the nitty gritty details about why mindfulness is making a comeback in a huge way and why this is the solution to dealing with stress. Stress Is A Big Problem Stress can form in layers, whether it's entrepreneurial or business related, personal, situational, or just transferred from others you spend time around, and it seems that we are dealing with more and more. It's important that you understand what your stress looks/sounds/feels like, and even more important that you know how to deal with it. Why? Because stress [...]

If You Want to Make 23% More Money, Then Get Consistent

2017-07-07T19:40:02+00:00July 20th, 2017|INC Articles|

From the experts, everything you need to know on branding consistently for higher visibility and more revenue. How much is brand consistency worth? This might not be a question you find yourself asking often. Even though we spend a tremendous amount of time discussing branding, plenty of companies go forth into that dark night...uhh... move forward with their branding plans, without ever measuring the growth benefits or possible setbacks. Luckily, for all of us, Lucidpress, in partnership withDemand Metric, surveyed over 200 organizations to better understand the impact and value of brand consistency. Citing the study which says, "Less than 10 percent report that their brand presentation is very consistent, but almost 90 percent agree that it is important to present their brands consistently in all the places people might encounter them," we can see how true it is that plenty of companies are not clear on branding. For a company like [...]

Secrets to Out-Innovating Your Competition

2017-07-07T19:33:26+00:00July 15th, 2017|INC Articles|

Ways to leave the competition in the dust and head into rare me-only innovation territory. I always imagined, when I first started my own business, that I would be the 'cool' one, constantly innovating and doing new stuff. I realized a few things after actually owning my first business for a few years; 1) in order to do this there must be a system in placeand 2) it isn't easy. I was really onto something, even though I had no idea then what it really meant to be in a state of constant innovation. What I've learned from 20+years of innovating (for myself and for others) is that while it is so incredibly important to be the one out in front, the competition is very stiff. A recent study by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor projects that 39% of the products entering our marketplace are considered new and innovative. That number is huge, but don't panic [...]

Global E-Commerce Trends, From Start Up to Inc. 500

2017-07-07T19:28:46+00:00July 13th, 2017|INC Articles|

How you can survive and thrive in the changing e-commerce market. Jon Reily holds the coveted position of VP of Commerce Strategy for Razorfish, a digital marketing agency in business for over two decades now. They help businesses deal with the changing landscape of modern sales. Jon himself is a former Amazonian and has amazing insight into the global eCommerce trends spanning startup to Fortune 100, trends you need to know about if you want to survive the changing landscape. Following The Path of Consumers For me, understanding the consumer's path is illuminating. There are too many brands, stores, and companies trying too hard to combat shopper behavior, and manipulate it or reroute it, but that is an old school approach that is on it's way out. What we are seeing now is that the most successful companies are putting the customer first and building a mission of giving them what they want [...]

The Risky Business Of A Cocktail Trend Setter

2017-07-07T19:26:13+00:00July 8th, 2017|INC Articles|

Pickle Juice, Justin Timberlake, and Amanda Frietag could save you from a common start-up fail: Trend-Setting. We talk a lot about innovation because, it's so important, and that momentum really is acutally what keeps your business alive. A relatable theme to innovation is trendsetting, and to take that one step further: trend starting. A trend starter is at the front of the line, stepping over it, before others recognize that there's a line at all. This unknown territory is risky because not only are these trend starters tasked with all of the startup elements necessary for success, they've now got to create pathways and educate the market; both incredibly expensive. Early entrance is difficult, expensive, time-consuming, and when the inevitable competition comes along, you're going broke, and they've only just begun. That Doesn't Mean You Should Give Up There are ways trend starters can make the market work for them, so if this [...]

Need Launch Money? Here’s How to Seed Your Disruptive Idea

2017-07-07T19:20:57+00:00July 5th, 2017|INC Articles|

Everything you need to know about getting seed money and what qualifies your startup. Money might not actually make the world go 'round, but it certainly does help startups looking to break into their market with support from investors. Last year we didn't even talk much about seed money, but this type of funding is making a serious comeback, and I love that. I talked to funding expert and Investment Director at JEL Capital, Noah Stone, about why they are seeding again and what it takes to qualify. Why Is Seed Money Making A Comeback? Noah pointed out that, at JEL Capital, they are seeding companies again because this type of investment offers higher returns, with a lower cash outlay. JEL Capital, a private equity company based out of DC, considers themselves the go-to company for seed funding, which is not a title they take lightly. So I wanted to find out, from [...]

It’s Not Delivery… It’s 3D Printed Pizza

2017-07-07T19:19:18+00:00June 30th, 2017|INC Articles|

The food revolution is real; it's here, and it's taking a slice out of traditional pizza. Individualized, completely customizable food has been on the rise ever since Chipotle brought us the realization that we could have exactly what we wanted, every time. A lot of food joints have followed their lead and the designed food choices are almost endless, with places like Noodles & Co., BiBiBop, and Piada showing up everywhere. Meet The Most Awesome One-Uppers, Ever. If plain old topping options aren't enough for you, say hello to the team at BeeHex. They design and build commercial 3D food printers and fresh-food producing robots. Yea, you read that right. Their food printers can print you the pizza of your dreams (and matched to your diet), and quickly. So it's no surprise that they just wrapped up their seed round and brought in $1,000,000 to keep their food revolution alive. It's not just [...]

Your Message Comes First, Everything Else Follows

2017-07-07T19:16:12+00:00June 23rd, 2017|INC Articles|

Expert advice on message-first branding to rise above the noise of a billion websites. Want to become the "go to" creative brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights? Then you need to go way beyond logos, graphics and sites like Marisa Murgatroyd, founder of Live Your Message. She helps entrepreneurs create a business brand that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their "inner superhero", so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives. But First, You Need A Tribe The problem most entrepreneurs run into, when trying to locate said tribe has everything to do with inaccurate, inconsistent, or inauthentic messaging. Your tribe is emotional. They want to be spoken to in a way that resonates deep, to wonder how you knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. They want to trust [...]

Advice for Nonprofits Seeking Seed Funding

2017-07-07T19:12:08+00:00June 22nd, 2017|INC Articles|

How to get your nonprofit off the ground and funded, and the most common pitfalls to avoid. After receiving my exclusive invitation for the kickoff party and beneficiary announcements for the 2018 City Gala, I realized that I wrote about Red Carpet celebrity tips from John Travolta and lessons from the Women's Empowerment panel, but I hadn't yet written about the most important thing. The amazing amount of effort and creativity the City Gala team uses to help seed deserving non-profits. When best-selling author and City Summit moderator Greg Reid presented spot-on questions to people who have found ultimate success in so many ways, the result is opportunity after opportunity for learning from the best. Opportunities for non-profits, social good and for-profits as well. His goal was to highlight proof that "bringing together the highest level of entertainment and business leaders in the common agenda of social consciousness, achievement, and a dedication to giving forward to [...]

How Great Design Can Keep People Honest

2017-07-07T19:05:44+00:00June 19th, 2017|INC Articles|

How a dating app focused on STD transparency plans to gain trust and early adopters. If I were to ask you, right in this moment, to imagine a time you were lied to or deceived, I would be willing to bet money that you have just easily recalled several occasions vividly. The feeling of being deceived cuts deep and oftentimes, we hold onto these emotions, we remember this pain, out of fear and avoidance, so in the future we don't ever have to feel this way again. Of course that isn't how it works, but collectively, most of us do this anyway as a means of protection. We can't let those feelings go out of fear that if we forget them, they may catch us off guard again. Why Are We Talking About Deception? We are talking about deception because we live in a society where lying is commonplace and we don't [...]

Follow These Tips If You Want Investors to Say Yes

2017-07-07T19:01:05+00:00June 19th, 2017|INC Articles|

Everything you need to know to get that yes from potential investors and get fully funded. I recently completed a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting funded. You can check that out here, and the more I wrote, the more I realized the breadth and depth of this topic and how much wasn't being talked about. In Part Three I talked specifically about how to speak the language of investors, not inventors, and how important learning that investment language truly is to getting funded. But There's More To This Than Just The Language Throughout that series, I talked about getting your pitch right, and being coachable, but it's actually even more than that. Entrepreneurs have their work cut out for them if they wish to intrigue investors and get that 'yes' they are looking for, and I don't think a lot of entrepreneurs go into potential funding situations aware of this. So [...]

Comic Books Have Never Been This Cool Before

2017-07-07T18:57:13+00:00June 16th, 2017|INC Articles|

A new business model that's killer plus virtual reality will, undoubtedly, spell success. Remember when you were a child, flipping through comic book pages, imagining the characters coming to life, bringing you along as you helped them defeat the ever-immoral antagonist? This childhood dream is now becoming reality, virtual reality. You CAN bring the story to life, build into the world, and even exist within it. Welcome To VR Comics, Whole New Worlds At Your Fingertips This amazing VR technology is opening up new worlds that are being fully explored and expanded on all sides by companies like The Spiraloid Workshop Company. They are creating cross-media universes that start as VR Comics with real-time production tools, that are being built as a virtual studio backlot. They then share all of that with content partners and their community of fans and creators with the goal of creative genius lending to expansion. The company's founders [...]

R&B To ROI: Meet The Man Helping Celebrities Go Viral

2017-07-07T18:53:32+00:00May 27th, 2017|INC Articles|

How this hip-hop star is turning followers into funds for famous clients. The internet, ahh, the internet. An exceptional platform offering opportunities for connecting with and reaching millions of people the moment you tap that 'Enter' key. 20-years ago, this would have seem more far fetched than a flying car... or at the risk of dating myself, a digital dancing baby. Today, this is our reality and the phrase 'going viral' can mainly be attributed to the things that take over the internet with the veracity of a wildfire on a dry, windy day. You'll know you've made it when you've finally gone viral. Right? Is Going Viral 'IT' And Is There A Secret Recipe? That's what I set out to ask Spectacular Blue Smith - CEO/Founder of Adwizar. His social media management company goes beyond "ghost-posting" to turn a social following into a "productive mass following" - one that generates income. [...]

Building Fans By Connecting Brands to Brains

2017-07-07T18:50:28+00:00May 21st, 2017|INC Articles|

Neuro-Branding: influence perception to attract the tribe you want. The human brain is a fascinating and full subject matter. The reason we love to learn about the brain is because we all desire to know more about who we are and why we do the things we do. By dissecting others, we are in turn dissecting ourselves, learning what makes the clock tick and our world spin. It's All In Your Head Do you control perception? That is the question Erin Saxton and Chad LeFevre of NeuroBeare answering with the end goal of connecting brains to brands in the most meaningful way possible. According to Erin and Chad, the average person is exposed to 4,000+ brand messages each day. All of that noise makes it incredibly difficult for companies to be heard. That is especially true when companies choose to emulate their competition rather than do their due diligence and get their [...]

Get A COO or CMO If You Want To Launch Big

2017-07-07T18:48:30+00:00May 20th, 2017|INC Articles|

If you want to get your product to market, get a COO or CMO as soon as possible. I talk quite a bit about how the business world is constantly shifting, so before we dive into why you need a COO or a CMO, let's loosely define what each title means. COO: oversees an organization's ongoing operations and procedures. CMO: oversees an organization's marketing and advertising initiatives. While they are not totally interchangeable, one way we could sum up both job descriptions is by saying: Both the CMO and COO oversee the details and make sure things get done right. When it comes to launching a new product and trying to get it to market, there are a lot of details, and it's easy for those details to fall through the cracks. Which is why you need backup with serious skills. Automation Is On The Rise, Along With Entrepreneurs & Inventors Charlene Consolacion, co-founder [...]

Avoid Start-Up Flops By Beta-Testing The Right Way

2017-07-07T18:45:01+00:00May 6th, 2017|INC Articles|

How to beta test with the right user and why you can't afford to do it wrong or only internally. Welcome to beta testing, the moment you get to (finally) find out if your potential user is going to fall in love with your creation. While it sounds so old school, the right type of beta testing can be an invaluable tool for so many reasons. At the end of the day you've got to have a positive user experience (with the right users) because the expectations are high and the competition is stiff. Where Should You Start? In order for you to run proper rounds of beta testing, you have to have one very important thing: an ultimate consumer profile based on accurate market research. Who is is your buyer? What do they want from you? How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they vacation? [...]

5 Steps to Keeping Your Product a Bestseller

2017-07-07T18:42:43+00:00May 4th, 2017|INC Articles|

Why bestsellers come from a willingness to redesign again & again and stay innovative. There are 27-million entrepreneurs starting or running a new business in the United States, according to a recent study by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. From those 27-million trailblazers, GEM also projects that there are 39% with an innovation intensity. In other words, 39% of the products coming to market, are considered new and innovative. There Has To Be A Process With all of this creation and innovation, we really need to understand how companies can create products that are innovative yet accepted in a crowded, established market... or how the process of continually redesigning to maintain a bestseller actually works. It might not be rocket science, but it's pretty close. There are a lot of details to consider, and they matter. For that reason, I've broken down the necessary steps of the process for designing or redesigning a product to stay a [...]

Every Company Needs a Kid on Board

2017-07-07T18:39:58+00:00April 23rd, 2017|INC Articles|

Your next advisor should be 4 feet tall and full of imagination. Meeting Makenna Riley on the red carpet at the City Gala event blew me away. I knew I had to share her perspective with you on why you need a kid advisor to propel you and your business into new and creative growth. Makenna is the daughter of inventor and award-winning TV host, Forbes Riley, so it's no surprise that she is blazing trails fast and early. Being a kid allows Makenna a fresh perspective and makes her privy to kid information you and I just don't have. Of course we gain as we grow into adulthood, but there are things we give up as well. So I want to talk about that first. Logic Faces Off With Imagination Adulthood brings us into a world of freedom. To gain that freedom, we accept tremendous responsibility; to our work, to our families, to our communities, and the world around us. When [...]

How to Make Millions Selling One Simple Thing

2017-07-07T18:37:52+00:00April 15th, 2017|INC Articles|

Coffee is not all beans and brew. The secret to sales success came right from demand for a single cup. Entrepreneurs are a special breed. The risk is tremendous, but the reward is whatever you can imagine... that is, if you can make it. A lot of businesses don't, and I think one of those reasons is that there is a lot of gray area. That's why I love this column. It's a way for me to share actual business lessons that I've lived through, to connect with entrepreneurs who are in it to win it. There are so many things you just don't know, until you know it because you've learned the hard way. But we don't all have to learn the hard way, and that's why sharing is where it's at. Sticking with our recent articles on Amazon private label selling and market traction, I thought I would talk with an [...]

Power Tool Secrets of Million-Dollar Amazon Sellers

2017-07-07T18:35:31+00:00April 15th, 2017|INC Articles|

The cognitive systems brand-building private-label sellers use to accelerate growth and save time. In the world of online sales, the seller has their work cut-out for them. If you can get it right, the sky truly is the limit. But that begs the question; how exactly do you get it right? Especially when there are so many ways for sellers to get it wrong. You know I went where the answers are, just in time for the premier private-label seller conference and trade show, the Prosper Show, and on this particular topic, the answers sit with two very advanced companies providing seller tools for the modern, somewhat complicated, multi-channel market. Both Skubana and Channel Ape can do more with the data, the listings, the channels already there, and putting them to work for you through platforms designed to integrate and optimize everything, because anyone who sells anything through more than one channel understands the exponential struggle. Let's Talk [...]

Listen Up, Ladies: Here’s How You Can Get Funded Too

2017-07-07T18:31:40+00:00April 9th, 2017|INC Articles|

The last in a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually getting funded. We've covered so much ground in this series, on everything from equity crowdfunding to raising capital, to speaking the language of investors, and now I want to talk very specifically about how women can get funded. While it would be nice to assume it is the same across the board, you don't have to look very far to realize... it isn't. Women founders and CEO's face hurdles that men, in their same positions, simply don't face. If that's difficult to read, let me serve it up in numbers instead. According to PitchBook, in 2016 companies with only female founders accounted for only 3% of funds raised. Seems a bit (a lot) low to me. For that reason, I went to women who are either in the process right now, women who gave up the process and are just bootstrapping their way [...]

How to Speak Investor Not Inventor and Get Funded

2017-07-07T18:28:37+00:00April 6th, 2017|INC Articles|

Part three of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. Whew! We made it through part one, the serious details of getting funded; part two the options for capital raising you should consider, and what each one could mean for your business. But you aren't quite done yet, as if the work of an entrepreneur is ever done anyway. Now we can move on to the topic of learning the language. While this may not be as detail intensive, it is every bit as important as the first half of this series. Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk Financial and business literacy is incredibly important... more important than how well you can show off the features of your invention. Yes, really. I know your invention, your baby, is the center of everything you are doing and it is the sole purpose for this path. But this path goes nowhere if [...]

Your Options for Raising Capital & Knowing Which to Choose

2017-07-07T18:26:27+00:00April 3rd, 2017|INC Articles|

Part two of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. In part one of this series, we talked about a fairly new type of up-and-coming crowdfunding where a business owner offers an investor equity in exchange for funding - Equity Crowdfunding. The most popular type of crowdfunding we usually hear about is very different than equity crowdfunding. So let's dig right in and break those down first: Rewards-based Crowdfunding: Individuals donate/invest money in exchange for perks, products, tickets, or other gifts (not money). Examples: Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Equity-based Crowdfunding: Investors receive equity ownership in the company they invest in. Examples: Dreamfunded or Sprowtt. While crowdfunding, both types, can be great potential options for a business seeking capital, these aren't the only options available. In 2012, the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act was signed into law, in simple terms, to help more companies attract more investors than ever before. Written into this JOBS Act are a few [...]

What Is Equity Crowdfunding & Is It Right For You?

2017-07-07T18:24:21+00:00April 1st, 2017|INC Articles|

Part one of a 4-part series on the nitty-gritty details of actually (really) getting crowdfunded. It's no secret that getting funded can be a long and difficult process. Access to capital relies on so many specific details, and at the end of the day, the more you know, the easier it is to find money. Join me as I take you through a four week 4-part series on 1) actually (really) getting funded, 2) the different types of capital available, how to know which option is the best one for you, 3) the language you need to have to speak investor, not inventor, and 4) how to overcome the particular challenges women and minorities face. Let's Kick-Off Part One With Equity Crowdfunding In May of last year, the SEC Equity Crowdfunding rules went into effect with 8 platforms initially filing for registration to become Equity Crowdfunding portals. Dreamfunded is one of those firms and I tapped into [...]

Celebrity Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

2017-07-07T18:22:16+00:00March 23rd, 2017|INC Articles|

From the post-Grammy red carpet, how to make it big by following John Travolta's footsteps. At the City Gala this year, not only did I have the amazing opportunity of speaking about empowerment as part of an entrepreneurs panel, I also hit the red carpet to interview the celebrity crowd. Along with Alan Taylor of Inc Radio (Alan spoke on Leadership!) we interviewed the A-listers on the red carpet to find out what tips they had for you, the creative entrepreneur. For those of you not yet in the know, City Gala and City Summit are a part of Producer, Ryan Long's mission to "advance community through humanitarian events." The City Gala event educates entrepreneurs and simultaneously seeds start-up non-profits like the International Arts & Philanthropy, Breed Life and Passion 4 Kids. Pretty amazing, right? From Summer Nights to Taking Flight As a pilot, John Travolta knows a thing or two about checking lists to stay alive. Maybe in your everyday life it [...]

The Real Secret to Constant Innovation Momentum for Your Business

2017-07-07T18:20:07+00:00March 22nd, 2017|INC Articles|

Building an innovation team can save your business, but only if you invest out and in-house as well. There is no putting your head down while swimming in the constant changing tides of business innovation. That moment you put your head down to zero in on growing what you've already built, is the moment you get left behind. As you tread water and look around, you'll realize everything has changed... without you, and you are sitting in a position of either being or drowning and becoming obsolete. To avoid being left behind by innovation, you have two options. The first option is to build an in-house innovation team and the second option is to bring in outside help when you are in need of direction. I am going to break down the options and explain why you actually need both. First, Let's Talk About Internal Innovation Teams It's not a new [...]

If Your Brand Isn’t Changing, You’re Doing It Wrong

2017-07-07T18:17:58+00:00March 15th, 2017|INC Articles|

How your small business can/should disrupt, innovate, and succeed through constant transformation. Business definition of transformation in an organizational context as "a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness." In this uber-competitive and fast paced business world we have created, the expectations are higher than ever for innovative companies that move with the needs of the consumer. Your business is no different, and must stay with the trend of transformation... or die. To prove this point, and a few others, I talked with Richard Hartell, Global President of Publicis Media Business Transformation, a practice responsible for research you need to know about. Why Constant Brand Transformation Is the New Normal Based on the definition of transformation I shared above, it only makes sense that you would want your business constantly shifting towards higher levels of effectiveness. But it [...]

How to Tell If a Business Idea Is Truly Different From the Rest

2017-07-07T18:15:38+00:00March 13th, 2017|INC Articles|

If you really want to know, you need market proof. Here's how to get it without investing a small fortune. When you commit your career to a field for as long as I have, you learn a few nitty-gritty tricks when it comes to getting off the ground without a money tree. I've been working for 25-years in product design and development and one very valuable tidbit I've learned is this: there are a lot of ways to get market proof and if you want to get serious, you have to have it. First, Let's Talk About Amazon The most significant route that we use with our clients is Amazon. There's nothing better than a quick hit on Amazon to know whether or not somebody wants to buy what you are selling. We do this in a really unusual way that I think a lot of people underestimate. Sometimes, you have something [...]

LA Innovation: Bigger, Better, & Cleaner Than Ever

2017-07-07T18:14:18+00:00March 11th, 2017|INC Articles|

How one incubator is securing the future for California's clean ideals and disruptive technology too. When I say California and clean tech, you probably say Silicon Valley. Most others would probably say the same because, historically, LA has lagged behind the valley and others in becoming an Industry of Innovation. That is, until now. The LA CleanTech Incubator(LACI), is a cooperation between industry and city to get rid of the lag and catapult Los Angeles to the forefront of clean and disruptive tech. Why Does LA Matter? With California as the 6th largest economy in the world and LA as the 2nd largest city in California, these kinds of long term local investment ventures mean that no matter what direction a new national agenda goes, LA has set roots in Green Energy jobs, investments, and growth. It's a life insurance policy for the future industries of these massive economies, and much needed [...]

Trading the Cold Call for the Power Call

2017-07-07T18:12:23+00:00March 10th, 2017|INC Articles|

How making two power calls a day can grow your firm just like this leading app developer did. The lines of communication have never been more open. There are more ways, than ever before, for us to talk to one another. We know this to be true, so why, in business, does it seem harder than ever to get through to people? It could be that, perhaps, we are doing it wrong. It used to be that cold calling was the way into people's homes, offices, and eventual hearts checkbooks. What I am learning in my own business, and have confirmed with Rahul Varshneya, owner of Arkenea, the leading App Product Development firm helping non-tech founders build better apps, mobile, and e-commerce websites, is that the process for communicating may have changed, but the power of an actual free phone call is worth the time. You Have to Engage Your Potential [...]

Why Licensing of Products and Patents Is So Hard

2017-07-07T18:07:39+00:00February 24th, 2017|INC Articles|

An honest look at what inventors can really expect when attempting to licensing a product idea. I cannot tell you how many designers and inventors I have talked to over the years have an unrealistic view of the potential licensing process. They think, "I have a great idea. Why wouldn't X Company want to buy my idea, make it and pay me royalty?" But, over the past decade, our marketplace has changed and the licensing process and market cycles have changed with it. For example, prior to the recession, the life cycle of a product was generally 3-5 years. After the recession companies began to feel pressure to switch products every 6-12 months. Now, with the growth of the internet and other tools, the development cycle is also shorter and drastically different. These things matter when it comes to the level of difficulty attached to obtaining a licensing agreement and [...]

7 Sins Of 3D Printing/Lean Manufacturing

2017-02-22T17:26:37+00:00February 22nd, 2017|3D Start Point|

  Tom and Tracy share their list of the seven deadly sins in 3D printing that are keeping it from becoming lean manufacturing. There are supposed to be eight things that you should remove from a company to make it a true lean manufacturing model, and 3D printing actually solves a lot of those eight things. But there are also seven things being done in 3D printing that are holding it back. Listen to the podcast here: 7 Sins Of 3D Printing/Lean Manufacturing   Today, we are going to share with you our list, our actual seven sins of 3D

Clear 3D Printing – New Possibilities

2017-02-22T08:27:01+00:00February 22nd, 2017|3D Start Point|

  In Today’s episode, Tom and Tracy discuss the new possibilities that clear 3D printing could offer. They saw a Twitter post by Daniel Norée that featured a clear 3D printed model. Tom and Tracy talk about the possible uses of clear 3D printing if it really can be done now, like in light designs, glasses and lenses, toys, awards and collectibles, and even containers. Listen to the podcast here: Clear 3D Printing – New Possibilities   Hey, everyone. This is Tracy and Tom on the WTFFF 3D Printing podcast. We’re putting 3D printing in the clear. We saw this

AstroPrint 3D Printing Apps Promote Ease of Use

2017-02-20T20:27:52+00:00February 20th, 2017|3D Start Point|

We decided to follow up with someone we met at SoCal MakerCon. Back then we didn’t have enough time to get in depth about what they do; the company is Astroprint. In the SoCal MakerCon interview with him I said that their company is just apps and software, so it didn’t quite excite me. But now that we have learned more about it, I have learned that Astroprint 3D Printing Apps Promote Ease of Use, and I actually think it really is exciting. Drew Taylor is one of the founders of Astroprint, and we had a really good interview

5 Ways to Command Attention for Your App

2017-07-07T18:06:01+00:00February 20th, 2017|INC Articles|

In this age of app overload, you need advice from experts on what you can do to get noticed. According to Statista, as of January 2017, 2.2 million mobile apps were available to download for various iOS devices. Smartphones opened a new world for apps with the average smartphone user getting lost in their favorite apps for around 40-hours per month. That's not even the most surprising part. Even more than the amount of apps available is who owns those apps that gain the most notoriety. If you're developing an app, keep in mind that you will be competing with tech and social giants currently dominating the space like Facebook or Google. And here's another interesting tidbit for you: while the amount of time users spend with their apps continues to increase, the actual number of apps they are using has stayed the same for the past 3 years. What Does [...]

The Brain Science Behind Designing the Right Customer Experience

2017-07-07T18:03:36+00:00February 19th, 2017|INC Articles|

Psychological control, developing trust, and the neuroscience behind what makes the sale. Hopefully last year has taught you a lot about how to do business, or in the case of the Mylan EpiPen, a lot about how not to do business. So I want to talk about that, as well as how we can all do better in 2017 by understanding what it means to transfer dominance to our clients and also how to earn their trust. First Let's Talk About the Epipen Disaster When customers, who were truly in need of a real solution, gained the EpiPen, they felt in control. They were thrilled, willing to pay the asking price, and were experiencing a rush of positive emotions associated with that gain. To make a somewhat long story short, when Mylan raised the price of the EpiPen, they went from a company quelling fear to a company instilling fear. [...]

Diversify Your 3D Print Freelance Work – But Not Too Much!

2017-02-20T20:27:56+00:00February 17th, 2017|3D Start Point|

  It is back to Business Monday and we will be talking about 3D print freelance work. There are two schools of thought on freelance work. One is that you diversify. You should take as many gigs as possible, if you want to call it that way. What kind of gigs are we talking about? Like contract 3D printing if you have a 3D printer. It could be that. It could be design work or whatever it is. I have been talking to a lot of freelance association and other things lately for the Inc. articles. It is interesting and eye

Brand Is Out And Social Community Building Is In

2017-07-07T17:57:59+00:00February 17th, 2017|INC Articles|

If 2016 was the year of the brand, 2017 will be the year of community as we seek more/better ways to authentically connect with our clients. I feel like the word I heard most in 2016 was brand. Everything was brand-centric and every brand was focused on branding their brand just right. I even got in on the branding fun, covering it on more than one occasion. The reason everyone was so focused on designing their brand was, and still is, because we've realized that in order for people to buy, they have to first connect. The brand is the story that garners that initial connection which is necessary for the buy. Once this realization hit the market in such a clear-cut way, everyone took notice and followed suit. That is, until a man by the name of Arthur Tubman introduced quite an opposite approach. What Is The Process Of Building A Community? Arthur's job in [...]

End User 3D Printing

2017-05-23T15:29:04+00:00February 16th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today we are bringing you a follow-up interview that was mentioned in our episode with Brandon Davis where we talked about his mission with the new Blue Dragon and end user 3D printing, of FFF 3D printing. I think this is really interesting that we’re focusing on people who are really choosing FFF printers for end use production. This has happened multiple times now. I really liked doing that because I think that 3D printing, the obvious use of it has been prototyping, rapid prototyping. There are a lot of companies focused on just specifically that. While there’s certainly nothing

Planktomania – 3D Print Plankton

2017-02-15T11:26:07+00:00February 15th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today, we’re going to talk about 3D print plankton by Planktomania. Their website is a great resource for teachers and students out there. This just shows how 3D printing creates endless possibilities specifically in for education. Something micro can now be printed and held and experienced, taking the learning process to a whole new level. Listen to the podcast here: Planktomania – 3D Print Plankton Hi, this is Tracy and Tom on the WTFFF 3D Printing Podcast. We are going to talk about plankton today. Bet you didn’t see that coming. We’re going to talk about 3D

3D Prints for Your Pet

2017-02-14T04:28:41+00:00February 14th, 2017|3D Start Point|

3D Prints for Your Pet The CAD file libraries are full of 3D prints to show off your love of your pet, but there aren’t quite as many 3D prints for your pet. What’s out there is nice, but doesn’t exactly show off beautifully designed items with a more unique twist compared to what you could purchase off the shelf. These files are great starting points to be inspired for your own weekend 3D print project to design 3D prints for you pet. One of the first things you need and should do when you get a new pet

Building Bytes 3D Printed Bricks

2017-05-23T15:29:04+00:00February 13th, 2017|3D Start Point|

  I love this day. Me, too. We are finding more and more fun things to highlight and show the potential of what other people are doing in terms of design. I have to say, before we push this one out today, I have been getting some really great people sending me their design inspiration in a non-pushy way, which I really appreciate. People send me a conversation to have about what inspired them. It’s not like, “Cover my idea!” It’s so nice. I want to cover them because they are inspiring me by what they are saying about

These 2 Startup Killers Are Both Rooted in Lack of Diversity

2017-07-07T17:59:57+00:00February 12th, 2017|INC Articles|

In both people and product, a lack of diversity spells disaster for your funding and success. I feel like we've reached a point with the word diversity, where we kind of skip over it. We've heard the word so many times we may not even be attaching meaning to it, when there is plenty of meaning begging to be addressed. In fact, there are two major ways diversity, or a lack thereof, can kill your start-up and its funding dead in its tracks. Let's Get Rid of the Buzzword Affect We can do this by loosely defining what diversity means in business. When I use the word, it isn't only to point out gender, race, or sexual orientation. Diversity can refer to perspective, background, life experiences, generation, and so on. The reason it is so important to consider this is because this isn't some hippie-love-and-peace idea, this is our reality. We [...]