August 2017

Prep Your Product Launch To Survive & Thrive

2017-07-07T19:51:26+00:00 August 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+00:00 August 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+00:00 August 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 [...]

July 2017

Nitty-Gritty Secrets to Being an Amazon Millionaire

2017-08-02T19:04:39+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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+00:00 July 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 [...]

June 2017

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

2017-07-07T19:19:18+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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+00:00 June 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 [...]

May 2017

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

2017-07-07T18:53:32+00:00 May 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+00:00 May 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+00:00 May 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+00:00 May 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+00:00 May 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 [...]

April 2017

Every Company Needs a Kid on Board

2017-07-07T18:39:58+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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+00:00 April 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 [...]

March 2017

Celebrity Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs

2017-07-07T18:22:16+00:00 March 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 March 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+00:00 March 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 [...]

February 2017

Why Licensing of Products and Patents Is So Hard

2017-07-07T18:07:39+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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+00:00 February 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 [...]

The One Hire Holding Back Your Consumer Success

2017-07-07T01:05:47+00:00 February 10th, 2017|INC Articles|

CES lesson: Cool tech is not enough. Get a consumer-centric designer in your business today. You can't get more tech-excited than attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas each year. But this year, one thing is glaringly clear - cool tech is not enough.Businesses and products are getting lost in their own technology and what is being shown here at CES looks and tastes like flavors of the same technology or marketing spin. Innovative or not, unless you move your business and products quickly to a consumer-centric model and retro-think your way back to the technology of features, you are wasting valuable money and time on your way to sales success. If a consumer doesn't value your features, why are you including it? If they haven't yet chosen to become your consumer, why are you stalking them? Stop Stalking and Start Conversing During a talk at Pixels, part of the Publicis [...]

Women in 3D Printing # 3DTalk Meetup

2017-02-09T20:25:53+00:00 February 8th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today, Tom is going to ask Tracy questions about the # 3DTalk meetup,  that she attended virtually. Tracy will talk about the things that she learned and realized in this meetup, like the role of tech in jobs, how everything comes back to art and design and how companies in the industry need to have a little more end user empathy focus. Listen to the podcast here: # 3DTalk Meetup Hi, everyone. This is Tom and Tracy on the WTFFF 3D Printing Podcast. Today, we’ve got a little bit of a different format where I’m actually going to be asking Tracy some

Women in 3D Printing Meetup

2017-02-08T08:25:52+00:00 February 8th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today, Tom is going to ask Tracy questions about the Women in 3D Printing meetup that she attended virtually. Tracy will talk about the things that she learned and realized in this meetup, like the role of tech in jobs, how everything comes back to art and design and how companies in the industry need to have a little more end user empathy focus. Listen to the podcast here: Women in 3D Printing Meetup Hi, everyone. This is Tom and Tracy on the WTFFF 3D Printing Podcast. Today, we’ve got a little bit of a different format where I’m actually going

MorphiApp CAD Software Review

2017-05-23T15:29:04+00:00 February 8th, 2017|3D Start Point|

MorphiApp is a tablet-based CAD software that I think is a great starting point for kids or even adults who are just getting into 3D printing and CAD softwares. It has a free version and a paid version. It is only for Apple or iOS based devices for now though. But is impressive in it’s capabilities, and you can do a lot with it, even in the free version. Listen to the podcast here: MorphiApp CAD Software Review Hey, everyone. This is Tom on the WTFFF 3D Printing podcast. Today, we’ve got another in our series of CAD software

Applied 3D Printing, with Brandon Davis

2017-02-09T07:27:35+00:00 February 8th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today, we’re going to talk about what I think is the mantra so far for the year, applied 3D printing, applications of 3D printing, applied technology. I feel like we’re at that stage in 3D printing where that has to be happening. The use studies, cases that are working. We’re shifting out of it being theoretical into being applied. I think especially with what we saw at CES this year with Titan Robotics. To me, what they have been researching and doing with Autodesk over the last year or so with Project Dasher is a great example of that,

Simplify3D Slicing Software Review

2017-02-07T08:25:57+00:00 February 7th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Simplify3D, from my experience and in my opinion, is the best slicing software that I’ve come across so far. It’s not free, but it is well worth it’s price. Simplify3D, not only does it have more capabilities than any other slicing software I’ve used, but it really is a very comprehensive program and it has a well done user interface. Listen to the podcast here: Simplify3D Slicing Software Review Hey, everyone. This is Tom on the WTFFF 3D Printing Podcast. Today, I’m going to continue another review on our series of reviews of slicing software. We’ve done a couple

Scan The World Initiative, with Jonathan Beck

2017-02-02T11:29:56+00:00 February 2nd, 2017|3D Start Point|

Today, we’re going to take a deeper dive into scanning, and in particular 3D scanning art, and on an initiative that is really trying to scan the whole world in reality. It’s pretty ambitious. We’ve got Jon Beck on the show. He’s Project Manager at MyMiniFactory for the Scan The World project. It is very cool. It is the idea that they’re going to scan sculptures around the world in hopes of 3D print art preservation and 3D scanned art preservation of course. Also, to really make these 3D scans available to people around the world to be able

Gold Liquid 3D Printer

2017-02-01T16:27:52+00:00 February 1st, 2017|3D Start Point|

Liquid gold or gold 3D printing can forever change the industry of jewelry design. But are all jewelry designers going to need to go learn CAD? Or will that limit their artistic skills and creative process? Also, you’ve got to have the right printer for these types of designs or you’re not going to get the feedback you need. One solution is to align yourself with someone who can do the more technical side of things for you as you focus on the design side. Listen to the podcast here: Gold Liquid 3D Printer Hey, everyone. This is Tom and Tracy on the WTFFF

January 2017

3D Print Get Rich Quick Guide : Yeah Right!

2017-01-31T11:26:05+00:00 January 31st, 2017|3D Start Point|

We get a little bit critical today of a book called 3D Printing Business: How to Get Rich from Home with 3D Printing.  We found this book on Amazon and even though it was only $4, we think it is totally not worth it! But it’s not just the book, it’s the whole concept of ‘3D Print Get Rich Quick’ that we think really hurt the 3D printing industry. 3D printing is not a get rich from home overnight type of thing. It’s just not that. Listen to the podcast here: 3D Print Get Rich Quick Guide : Yeah Right!

3D Start Point Pick – Best 3D Printer for The Tech Un-Savvy

2017-01-30T16:25:55+00:00 January 30th, 2017|3D Start Point|

We’ve always said there is no one best 3D printer for everyone, but there are some 3D printers that are the best for many. In all honesty though, it does boil down to your WHAT – what you want to make with your 3D printer. However, there are some printers that are better for certain types of people, and we’ve identified what the best 3D printer for the tech un-savvy is – the XYZ daVinci Jr. 3D Start Point Pick – Best 3D Printer for The Tech Un-Savvy The XYZ daVinci Jr makes our pick for the best 3D

3D Print Teaching Startpoint with Drew Lentz of MakerBot

2017-02-01T00:27:43+00:00 January 30th, 2017|3D Start Point|

We have an education beast interviewing with us today with someone who is really in the trenches of 3D print teaching. Anyone of our listeners that’s a teacher, educator, head of the PTA, or anyone who is considering getting 3D printing into schools this is the one for you. We have Drew Lentz on the podcast today. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering but he is also involved in product design and was a middle school science teacher. Now for the last two years he has been an employee at MakerBot and is now the manager of the

Ringing in 2017 with a Proposal Means Shopping for the Right Ring

2017-07-07T01:02:28+00:00 January 28th, 2017|INC Articles|

Four engagement ring trends you must know if you are going to 'put a ring on it' in 2017. If you haven't checked your Facebook feed in the last hour, you might have missed the most recent engagement announcement. Two of my millennial-aged cousins got engaged in the past month. Proposals are in the air from November through February with nearly 6 million online searches for engagement rings taking place in the first two weeks of December alone. But seasonal spikes are not all that unusual according to brick-and-mortar luxury jeweler, Bernie Robbins, luxury on-line jewelry curator, Nikki Lawrence Co-Founder of Gleem & Co., and Ring Cam CEO, Sam Tzou. All are experiencing a seasonal swing - a 200-300% jump in sales during the holiday months. What is unusual is that there is a significant increase in engagement ring sales this year over last, of up to 25% outperforming most of the jewelry industry. [...]

Feetz Custom 3D Printed Shoes, with Lucy Beard

2017-01-26T11:26:47+00:00 January 26th, 2017|3D Start Point|

  Today, we are super excited to interview Lucy Beard about Feetz Custom 3D Printed Shoes. We had the opportunity to hear Lucy speak in San Diego at the Inside 3D Printing conference last December. We were really impressed, and went up to her after her talk to ask if she would be a guest on the show. She was more than happy to do it. She was also requested by Eduardo Martini via Facebook, who saw the online promo video for their shoes and suggested her as a guest. We’ve been looking for female CEOs in the 3D printing world. She

Cura Slicing Software Review

2017-02-22T17:26:42+00:00 January 24th, 2017|3D Start Point|

Cura is a free slicing software that is created by Ultimaker. Cura has a lot of features, and these are definitely for the advanced user. If you’re serious about doing your own slicing and want to do advanced things that go beyond predefined basic slicing settings, then the Cura slicing software is definitely a good slicer to try out. Listen to the podcast here: Cura Slicing Software Review   Hey there, everyone. This is Tom on the WTFFF 3D Printing podcast. Today, I’m going to be doing a review of the slicing software called Cura. This is going

How to Fund Your New Product Launch in 2017

2017-07-07T00:59:09+00:00 January 16th, 2017|INC Articles|

Need seed money for market proof? Here's where you can find it. Product based businesses often operate, even long-term, in a stop and go fashion, which makes lines of credit or access to cash very important, whether you're in your 1st year or your 10th year. This is a tough lesson some businesses learn too late in the game, and it ends up hurting them in major ways. I will never forget hearing from the founder of UGG Boots, Brian Smith, about how this was the main reason he ended up selling off his business. The cash flow/lending portion of the business became exhausting and after more than a decade of dealing with it, he finally had enough. I'm sharing this with you to show that this isn't something that always gets easier with time. With a product-based business, it seems you cannot totally avoid this, but you can use this [...]

Why Pantone’s Color of 2017 Matters to Your Business

2017-07-07T00:50:49+00:00 January 9th, 2017|INC Articles|

Color trends can make or break your business, but it's more than just picking a color. As we prepare to move into a New Year there will be plenty of preparation done by businesses looking to scale and level up in 2017. With these preparations, there should be room left to look at office design, color palette choices, and what your 'look' will feel like in 2017. Architecture, design, planning and consulting firm​, Gensler's Senior Associate, Nestor Santa-Cruz discussed his 2017 color trends thought and I was thrilled to get his experienced insight. Going Date-Less In 2017 One of my favorite pieces of information from the conversation between Nestor and myself was the term 'date-less' and what that means when applied to design. This is core to what I practice everyday in time-less product design. Date-less is the idea that space or product design needs to have a long lasting effect, both [...]

STEAM & Girls Don’t Usually Go Together, Until Now

2017-07-07T00:43:44+00:00 January 8th, 2017|INC Articles|

How one company is closing the gender gap and creating a way to engage women in STEAM and 3D printing. In the world of 3D modeling and 3D printing, women aren't just a minority... they're difficult to find at all. In the design world, it is easy to recognize this on a daily basis, and given the work and resulting products, it is even easier to see the true effect gender discrepancies are having on this field. Suz Somersall, female founder of KiraKira.com is working to close the gender gap once and for all. For Suz, it all started, a little bit at a time, during her time at RISD learning metal-smithing, industrial design, and 3D modeling. "3D modeling tools were really exciting for me because I figured out, pretty early on, that I could basically create anything I wanted to with these tools." Where Have All The Girls Gone? When Suz had the opportunity to participate [...]

Secret to Conversion: Learning the Language of Success

2017-07-07T00:31:12+00:00 January 6th, 2017|INC Articles|

Expand your foundation team and change your business narrative to produce massive results now. At this point in business, we've all heard of at least one business coach, or possibly even worked with one, who had a million ideas about what you need to do right now to be successful. And I can almost guarantee that not any single one of them is packing the same punch as Bill Stierle, and they definitely are not taking the same approach. Bill is a consultant who works with companies that have hit a plateau. They want to get to 'the next level' but they have no idea what the next step is. Even more importantly, they probably have no idea what that next level is either. The Reverse-Engineered Sales Business Model What Bill knows, and loves teaching, is that most businesses are approaching their 'next level' growth backwards. Rather than saying, "Okay, we want growth" why [...]

James Bond’s Gadget Designer Raises $58 Million on Future Vision of AR Glasses

2017-07-07T00:34:08+00:00 January 1st, 2017|INC Articles|

Can Osterhout Design Group really design cool mobile augmented reality and virtual reality smartglasses that actually sell? Augmented reality is projected to be a $150 billion industry by 2020 and investors are spending like this is an actual reality not a projected one. Osterhout Design Group (ODG)about raised $58 million in Series A from Vanfund Urban Investment & Development, Shenzhen O-Film Tech, and other investors, including strategic partner 21st Century Fox. There has been a lot of rapid movement this year with media companies investing in VR, AR and 360° video being seen in software, content development and hardware. Notably, Facebook and Oculus Rift VR; Huffington Post and RYOT; HBO and Otoy; Microsoft and Hololens; along with Conde Nast, Vice Media, Discovery Communications and USA Today among many others. But without great smartglasses that enhance instead of detract from the AR/VR experiences, the market won't shift from early adopters to mass market. [...]

December 2016

How to See Into Your Brand’s Future Now

2017-07-07T00:18:56+00:00 December 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Why taking a risk on future technology innovations can make your brand relevant to generations today. Beyond the cool experiences you see in disruptive technology like virtual reality, the truly unique brand proposition is that it is so immersive and non-interruptive. But inserting your brand into it in very inauthentic way could be detrimental to your brand promise itself. If you do it wrong, you're screwed. Today brands are passively interacting with their consumers and it's not enough to build loyal fans. In a Virtual Reality world, consumers will have the opportunity to make a stronger connection with that brand, self-selecting to interact with it and then personally identifying with the brand. Ask 'Why this technology?' More important than running out and buying into the latest future tech trend, is should you invest the time building new technology skills and expertise for your business or brand? Will it convert? Will it add value [...]

Main Street America Revitalized, One Small Town at a Time

2017-07-07T00:13:00+00:00 December 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

Just in time for Small Business Saturday: how to support small businesses in a really big way. In honor of this year's Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to helping small businesses thrive during the busiest holiday shopping season of the year, I wanted to point out that grassroots efforts to boost local businesses and small towns are happening across America. Maybe even in a small town near you. If you run into the problem Todd Thompson did, shopping in your hometown local stores might be difficult, especially if they've gone out of business or vacated the area. Todd is from a small town called Pekin, Illinois, where the vacancies and lack of small businesses, like in many other small towns, became the norm. So much so, that when Todd would tell people where he was from, out of embarrassment, he eventually started leaving Pekin out of it, and just started [...]

Hot Holiday Gifts Without Fighting Black Friday Crowds

2017-07-07T00:01:04+00:00 December 23rd, 2016|INC Articles|

2016 is the year of the subscription box gift, so here are tips and hot ideas to pick the right gift for everyone on your list. In 2010, Birchbox started it all when they launched a monthly subscription box with the hopes of filling some unmet needs in the beauty market. Fast-forward to now, where subscription boxes have become a way of life for thousands of subscribers, and the beauty industry was just the tip of the iceberg. Subscription boxes have created a fun, new way to distribute products that creates an experience for consumers from the moment their box arrives. The most popular models feature an array of sample-sized products curated specifically towards the lifestyle of the subscriber. Until now. Meet: Singles Swag. The subscription box service geared toward young single women that is full of full-sized products, and even books. The Subscription Box All Grown Up Jonathan Beskin, the single dad (yes, [...]

Is Virtual Reality a Fad or the Future of Escapism?

2017-08-02T19:40:13+00:00 December 21st, 2016|INC Articles|

Is Virtual Reality a Fad or the Future of Escapism? Why neuroscientists and other experts agree that mixed reality is evolving, not disruptive. I consider myself a "tech skeptic" - one who really needs to see that technology fits or facilitates an inborn desire to do something and has the potential to convert for brands or developers. Without both, innovation is short-lived - a fad that stays in the early adopter world and never tips mainstream. So when I came back to my office after attending the FutureX Live event orchestrated by innovative brand-builder Moxie, beyond excited about the future of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, my partner thought I drank too much of the Moxie Kool-Aid. But right now, I am fairly sure you could use a little escape from reality too and are able to see the potential like have. Inventors and technologists have been obsessed with coming up with [...]

Why Herman Miller Redesigned Its Bestselling Aeron Chair

2017-07-06T23:50:23+00:00 December 10th, 2016|INC Articles|

Should you redesign a bestselling classic? Herman Miller's iconic Aeron chair offers a helpful case study. We've all heard that old saying 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it.' But that's not what the maker of the bestselling office chair of all time said. Let's go back to 1994, the year a global design manufacturer by the name of Herman Miller presented the first generation Aeron Chair. The chairs designers Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf created an instant icon for office workers around the world. Yes, really, around the world. The first-gen chair saw over 7-million sold in 134 countries. And with such great success, you might be wondering what in the world would be cause for a redesign on such an iconic classic. Because I worked on the original version, I was very curious to know also, so I sat down with Tom Niergarth, VP of Platform Design at Herman Miller, to find out. [...]

Shifting Your Office Into a More Zen Space

2017-07-06T23:45:07+00:00 December 7th, 2016|INC Articles|

How to get your business into the right place, the right time, the right direction, and right thinking. I love writing about office design because my creative side gets lost in the details of choosing every right pattern, placement, and object to make a space really work. When it comes to design, there is so much more to every last element than what meets the eye. Pamela Edwards and Michael White-Ryan have built their business, Language of Space, around these very ideas, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to share their ideas with you. Pamela and Michael built their business around the ancient art and design philosophies of Feng Shui. Feng Shui, you might say? Hello, Tracy, and welcome to the 21st century. To which I will respond, yes, welcome to the future of Feng Shui, all grown up and more important than ever before. Maybe when Feng Shui initially hit the [...]

November 2016

Business Skills That Save Your Creativity & Your Bank Account

2017-08-02T19:19:59+00:00 November 28th, 2016|INC Articles|

Business Skills That Save Your Creativity & Your Bank Account To sustain the creative process, you need balance, in artistry, and in business. The American dream is shifting. What was once a benefits package and early retirement has now become gigging and freedom. Creative types around the world rejoiced when the internet opened up a $715 billion dollar marketplace of freelance work ripe and ready for the picking. So freelance they did, business they did not. And here we are, several years in, with quite a few lessons under our artist aprons, of business savvy, balance, and what it really takes to survive as a non-starving artist. Why Balance Is So Important Think about it this way: on one side is your amazing artistic ability, your design skills, and your creative crux... and on the other, your business savvy. In order to use your artistic abilities to make an actual living, there's [...]

3 Reasons You Should Be Charging More

2017-08-02T19:13:08+00:00 November 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

3 Reasons You Should Be Charging More How your rates decide the value clients place on your products and services. Have you ever noticed there are some businesses that are always "liquidating" or having their final "going out of business" sale? It's because over the past decade we have become obsessed with getting a good deal, being savvy shoppers, and getting more bang for our buck. This trend has put us in a perpetual cycle of Sale! Sale! Sale! Now, data and buyer trends allows us a great amount of insight into what motivates clients to buy and the amount of value they place on each purchase. In the world of business, being the best deal is not always the winning path. Your client directly relates the amount they pay for your services to the amount of value you can bring to the table. What Is Your Knowledge and Experience Worth? When you are [...]

How to Mature Your Business Skills and Your Business

2017-07-06T17:41:41+00:00 November 21st, 2016|INC Articles|

3 simple keys to unlock your potential and mature into a thriving business that runs itself. Something we can all agree on, when looking at the world of business, is that most entrepreneurs never actually evolve out of start-up mode. A lot of the time, in a start-up (especially with a creative type at the helm) there is a false belief that every aspect of the business must rely on you, must be controlled by you, and must be run by you. Otherwise the business will not be able to function. This limiting belief will prevent your business from growing to its full potential, and is one of the main reasons why a lot of start-ups never leave that initial mode of continuously starting-up. Strategy Isn't Just A Business Buzz-Word In order to change this truth for your business, you have to put in place strategies that are proven, to build [...]

3 Branding Errors You Don’t Want to Make

2017-07-06T17:05:43+00:00 November 20th, 2016|INC Articles|

How to avoid branding disaster; advice from a direct response expert on navigating an image-based world. The world of branding is changing. Just by way of technology and platforms alone, our pathways and possibilities to clients have increased dramatically, and with that has come more opportunity than ever before, to connect personally with potential or repeat clients. These pathways help companies to create a seemingly transparent branded image, with consistent and genuine messaging that hits home for these clients. Unless you're doing it wrong. Then, these pathways create plenty of opportunity for confused and inconsistent branding (which happens A LOT) and for companies to find themselves in a make-or-break situation because they aren't getting the right message through to the right people in the right way. There is so much noise on the internet when it comes to branding and marketing, but in order to start to sort out what [...]

The Productivity Strategy That Really Gives You Extra Time in Your Day

2017-07-06T17:01:35+00:00 November 14th, 2016|INC Articles|

Wouldn't it be amazing to manage your time so well, you'll have some leftover? Change your mindset first. Life, along with all of its wonderful distractions can be overwhelming and will eventually lead a lot of people, at one point or another, down a path that is lacking clarity, purpose, and energy. Laymen's Terms: When you get off track, you don't manage your time well, and as a result, your life lacks cohesion, purpose, and balance. There is one driving factor that will decide whether or not you avoid this type of cyclical dead zone. What I am talking about is time. The very thing that is said to stop for no one yet also stand still. The grand illusion and absolute. When you take a look at how time can be described, it seems to me there is some confusion about time. But more importantly, some confusion about how we spend [...]

Checkmate: How Top Leaders Beat the Competition

2017-07-06T16:55:04+00:00 November 10th, 2016|INC Articles|

How Chess can help your business make one smart move at a time instead of just looking for the big bold wins. A centuries old game is taking the business world by storm in a very new way, and I wanted to know more about the whole thing. So I tracked down the expert, bestselling author Jim Egerton, to learn more. Jim's book, Business On The Board: How the World's Greatest Game Can Build Better Leaders is teaching the front-runners necessary business and life skills through a game-based approach, applying the theories of chess to real-life. Top leaders like Paypal's, Daniel Schulman and billionaire Richard Branson are avid Chess players. We can not only learn winning lessons from the Grandmasters, but also from famous opponents too. Bill Gates even played an infamous game against Chess Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. Spoiler alert: although Gates lost, every move has been analyzed to show telling insights into his weak [...]

October 2016

Put the IQ Power of Scorpion in Your Start-Up

2017-07-06T16:49:00+00:00 October 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Wish you could put the real Scorpion team to work on your biggest challenge for only $150 an hour? Wish granted. Let's go back in time a little bit... There was a lot going on in 1988, especially with NASA. This is the year they decided to resume their space shuttle program, only two and a half years after the Challenger disaster took the lives of seven NASA employees. As NASA set out to, once again, change the course of history, their forward momentum didn't go unnoticed. Walter O'Brien was just 13-years old at the time, and he was fascinated with the space shuttle program. So he did what any intrigued 13-year old boy would do. He hacked into NASA's databases, stole a copy of the shuttle blueprint, printed it out, and hung it on his bedroom wall. Imagine his surprise when all those black cars showed up outside his [...]

Finally: An Office Space That Works For You

2017-07-06T16:43:41+00:00 October 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

Here are three alternatives to the cubicle: which one fits your business culture and work personality? We talk about innovation and office space design A LOT. With good reason too. The most recent studies on productivity, and maximizing your bottom line, are showing us that your office space plays a key role in both. The 1960's saw the absolute rise of the cubicle and office chairs, thanks to Herman Miller and companies began cramming as many people as they could into whatever space they could afford... and everyone learned a few very valuable lessons: Unmotivated employees are expensive. Distractions are also expensive. Getting your office design wrong... is very expensive. With all of this valuable information, and new office design options optimal for productivity, I thought I would spend some time sorting out the criteria for the top 3 alternative office designs to help you decide if any of these options are the right [...]

This Software Is Going to Change the Way You See Photographs

2017-07-06T16:34:35+00:00 October 14th, 2016|INC Articles|

Meet Plotagraph: The animated photography tool that will turn your Instagram marketing upside down. Getting your photo noticed in a sea of social media photos, is much like finding the needle in the haystack. There's only so much you can do with the photo itself, to grab a viewers' attention, and most of it may have already been done. We live in a media driven world. There is never a shortage of videos, photographs, and looping clips to keep us entertained and occupied. The average consumer sees thousands of images a day, which makes for some pretty stiff competition, if you're sharing photos as a way to drive business. Then, there's always the option of video, and the perks of offering clips instead, except 80 percent of social media users are watching without audio, as they scroll right through and miss the message you worked so hard to convey. The [...]

3 Hidden Dangers of Cooperative Networking

2017-07-06T16:29:36+00:00 October 8th, 2016|INC Articles|

Tips from a networking group insider that can keep you accelerating to business success. In the 90's we had lunch and learn networking, always trying to be productive. The 2000's brought tightening budgets but a growth in personal crisis groups in the advent of 9/11. But this decade, cooperative networking has emerged as the must-have growth necessity of every entrepreneur. But has it really changed much over the past three decades or is it just the same message rebranded? After a year and a half witnessing these groups at work from the inside as a speaker, mastermind leader and faculty member, as well as from the outside, I have seen a few dangerous patterns emerge. So, whether you are auditing a free local meet-up, joining a mastermind, or attending a full conference, you need to be cognizant of how these organizations work. Be aware of these hidden dangers in cooperative networking before [...]

How to Keep Innovating at the Speed of Disruptive Technology

2017-07-07T17:38:20+00:00 October 6th, 2016|INC Articles|

Getting beyond the buzz of disruptive technology into reality requires an innovative business approach. The most popular buzzword in the world of business and technology right now is: innovation. The companies that are looking outward and upward, are trying to guess the future, and get ahead of the trends by using innovation, and disruptive technologies. Our business economy is racing forward at hyper-speed, and the fast pace often sees companies left behind, simply because they couldn't change fast enough. There is also a huge percentage of the business world who are not being left behind, but they are just barely staying ahead of the curve... and then, there are the elite few who are seeing the curve from a few miles back, and transforming to meet it head on. Those elite few are taking innovation to a whole new level, by creating specific environments, or companies, based solely on this idea [...]

How to Overcome Fear and Do the Impossible

2017-07-07T17:36:31+00:00 October 1st, 2016|INC Articles|

It's about learning to starve your fears to feed your vision.   Lately the innovative entrepreneurs I have been meeting and talking to at networking events are full of stories of roadblocks, challenges and excuses for why they are not living their dream and moving forward. I'm not alone hearing this. Author and The Unshackled Owner Mentor, Aaron Young has been hearing the same thing. In a recent Livestream video on "What's Holding You Back?" Aaron asked, "You have a dream or an idea of something you want to do...get your product out to market. So, the question is what's the problem, what's the struggle?" Innovators should have an advantage because vision and hard work can more easily come together to be the recipe for success. To try to get to the essence of the inventor-specific barriers and issues, I conducted a survey on What's Holding You Back from Invention Success? at a local [...]

September 2016

How Office Design Can Boost Profits

2017-07-06T05:10:59+00:00 September 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Design a super cool office increases productivity, employee satisfaction, and your bottom line. As an entrepreneur, there are so many aspects to the success of your company that you must consider if you want to compete with the top performers. At the end of the day, when all the emails are sent, the meetings are closed, the bids are in, and the lights are out, you probably aren't thinking about which color paint might look best in your new digs. But you should. The success of your company and the productivity of your employees are directly tied to the design of your workspace. So I sat down with Kenneth Baker, of Gensler, a design firm that really gets the connection, to find out the nitty-gritty details on what office design has to do with the bottom line. It All Starts With a Strategy Design as a standalone, is not the only contributor [...]

10 Best Podcasts for Designers and Innovators

2017-07-06T04:32:56+00:00 September 29th, 2016|INC Articles|

When great minds in design & innovation are willing to share their wisdom and knowledge, listen up! Podcasts are a great option for staying on top of what's trending (or not so much!), new design perspectives, and to get inside the crazy-interesting minds of admired innovators and designers. Podcasts allow you to make the most of idle time by listening while commuting, traveling, carpooling, or even cooking dinner. There are a lot of podcasts out there, and choosing the best one to commit your time to can be a daunting task. So, I put together a list of my top 10 can't-miss podcasts on innovation and design, plus one that is not specifically innovation-related but gets your mind turning. You can thank me later. New and notable innovation podcast picks: 1. Passive Income for Designers - Dustin Lee This is a powerful idea that designers need multiple income streams, especially one that does [...]

How to Craft a Compelling Pitch (That Isn’t Over the Top)

2017-07-06T04:37:58+00:00 September 11th, 2016|INC Articles|

How to get your financial models, realistic goals, and believable projections right. It seems that the work of an entrepreneur is never done. You've got your idea (the next big thing since sliced bread, of course) and you've put in the hours. You've pulled all-nighters, you've traveled around the clock, and you've talked and talked and shared and talked some more. You've sent uncountable emails and now you are finally ready... to meet with your investors. This is where it really gets tricky because there is a lot of outdated advice out there, and there are a lot of entrepreneurs who fumble their way through pitches because they weren't sure what to prepare or what to expect. Ahh the pitch... it's nerve-wrecking, intimidating, and has the potential to make or break the future of your 'next best thing.' It's Good to Know the Experts Self-proclaimed financial geek, John Shumate, founder and CEO of Venture [...]

Guns: The Dark Side of 3-D Printing Arrives in Reno

2017-07-06T04:10:37+00:00 September 10th, 2016|INC Articles|

Concerns over criminal use of 3-D printing spawns legislative action in California and hits home for the TSA. Up until now, it has been rare to find a 3D printed gun being used outside of fringe activists. But recently concerns over 3D printed guns has hit both the Reno, Nevada TSA and the California legislation. While this dark side of 3D printing has been a passing concern, it is hitting close to home and raising concern from law enforcement, legislation, and 3D print experts like author and intellectual property attorney, John Hornick, partner at Washington, DC based Finnegan IP law firm. "There are starting to be a lot of reasons law enforcement is taking a closer look at 3D printing," Hornick says. TSA 3D Printed Gun Find Surprising or not, the Transportation Safety Administration reported on their blog that they found 68 firearms in carry-on luggage this week - one of them was 3D printed. "While it [...]

3 Things Freelancers Need to Do Now to Get Gigs

2017-07-06T05:04:08+00:00 September 4th, 2016|INC Articles|

Gig-economy freelancing realities: What the numbers show and how you can connect and compete. If anyone has ever tried to tell you freelancing is easy, it's because they've never freelanced. When technology took off, it dragged many creative types along for the wild ride holding on for dear life. When the prospect of leaving regular day jobs for the freedom and excitement of "gigging" became a real possibility, a lot of people jumped ship, leaving their conventional jobs behind. It was a glorious time of gigs as far as the eye could see. You want to write copy for a perfume company looking to expand its audience? That job is out there. You want to create blog posts anonymously for the design company you've been drooling over for the past year? Go for it! And then something happened. All at once it seemed like everyone realized the opportunity and the market became [...]

August 2016

Grill the Expert: 10 Crucial Questions to Ask

2017-07-06T04:57:40+00:00 August 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

How to accelerate your business with the right resource at the right time Whenever I talk about hiring experts, I always think of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich story about a man who was '3 Feet From Gold.' After an initial find of gold ore, the man covered it up, returned home, raised money, bought equipment and went back to dig. He found some more but then the gold stopped. He kept on digging but eventually gave up in frustration and sold everything to a junk man. The junk man consulted a mining expert and found out that gold runs in a vein. They simply turned three feet and dug up millions. Perseverance to not give up would not have been the point of this story if the miner had just reached out for an expert. Your mindset can be blocking your from seeing the need for an expert. Once you get over the [...]

Why Perseverance Isn’t Enough to Bring Your Invention to Market

2017-07-07T17:20:25+00:00 August 29th, 2016|INC Articles|

Three ways to shift your thinking and take the actions needed to profit from your ideas. Pushing past naysayers and those who don't see your vision absolutely requires a thick skin and perseverance for any inventor. However, giving up too soon is not likely to be the biggest problem blocking your success getting your innovation to market. You are. Here are three mindsets that might make you a successful inventor but be blocking you from seeing the actions or resources needed to take you to success: Perfectionism Of the hundreds of products and inventions I have reviewed or been asked to advise on over the last few years, an overwhelming percentage of them had patents that had already issued. The majority had been worked on for at least a year or more. Maybe to you that might be unsurprising, but less than 10% had ever tried to sell a single unit [...]

Design Economy Tools That Empower Creative Freelancers

2017-07-07T17:17:37+00:00 August 28th, 2016|INC Articles|

How a home crafting marketplace helps freelancers compete with the big agencies. We have watched trends in the workplace come and go with each generation, but for some of the trends, their staying power leaves such a mark it is sure to influence the tapestry of everything that will follow. The trend I am talking about, specifically, is freelancing. We are watching priorities change with each generation entering the workforce. Professionals are no longer forced into a cubicle box with a 9 to 5 schedule and a week of vacation. There are platforms popping up around the world for creative entrepreneurs, for professionals, for designers - to become freelancers almost overnight. Marketplace connector sites, like Spoonflower, allow home crafters to turn designs into commerce and allow professional designers to freelance more, shifting the design economy to be more accessible for freelancers at all levels. Freelancing Requires Low Barrier to Entry Technology I started my career in [...]

Making Government Great Requires Innovation

2017-07-06T04:44:10+00:00 August 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

How Uncle Sam is quickly becoming Aunt Alexa and what that means for you. Imagine using your Apple watch to explore boat launches and water trails at state parks - (this is happening in Maryland). Or using an innovative technology product like Amazon Echo to quiz you for an upcoming driving test - (currently available in Utah). Or having your cell phone remind you and help you renew your driver's license - (thousands are using this in Arkansas). No lines. No paperwork. No bureaucracy. Which sounds slightly unbelievable given that we are discussing the government, but what we are looking at is the future role our government will play in our daily lives. The company at the heart of this innovation is NIC. With a slogan that reads "making good government great" NIC describes their purpose as making government more accessible and more efficient for all. NIC has spent the last 20+ years working [...]

5 Secrets From A Body Language Expert To Perfect Your Pitch

2017-07-06T04:19:16+00:00 August 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

A body language expert explains how to perfect your product presentation. Communication is the human connection. You are in a constant state of communicating with those around you, basically every waking moment. It is an ebb and flow of information, thoughts, emotions, and reactions being passed back and forth as you move throughout your day. When it comes to business and selling your product, this is no different. As the inventor, the creator, the designer... you must take on the job of learning how to present your products in a way that grabs the curiosity of others and makes them want to know more. The Perfect Pitch What I'm talking about here is the almighty, important perfect pitch. Before a product ever actually becomes, well- a product, it goes through several phases of development and growth. Once you've reached the part of the process where you are ready to let the [...]

Secret Formula to Designing Products That Sell

2017-07-06T04:14:53+00:00 August 26th, 2016|INC Articles|

If necessity is the mother of invention, then you need to follow the formula to find the need gap. Do you ever wonder why some products, brands, or designs seem to blow up overnight, while others fall flat instantly? My experience in bringing products to market (A LOT of products) has taught me quite a bit about what it takes to design products that will succeed in our ever-changing, and fast-paced marketplace. There is a slight method to the madness when it comes to knowing which product to create, why, and how to make that product work for those who need it most. Where there is a need, there is a gap waiting to be filled, and this is how you should begin your process of designing something the masses will actually buy. Innovating In the Gap I'm not the only one who has figured out the 'secret formula'. Lee Richter, [...]

July 2016

Three Keys to Branding Your Start-Up as an Innovation Leader

2017-07-07T17:13:00+00:00 July 30th, 2016|INC Articles|

Building perception for innovation can be the difference between growth and funding of your ideas. Calling your business innovative is getting to be common practice for almost every start-up. Who doesn't want to be perceived as new and noteworthy? But being seen as innovative and actually being innovative are two radically different things. Actually being defined as innovative - introducing new ideas or original and creative thinking - may come easier to you and your start-up than increasing perception and brand promise of innovation. That requires a much more consistent level of branding work. In a world of social proof trumping actuality here are three proven effective ways to brand your start-up as an innovative from branding and marketing expert, Karen Leland, author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand. Consistency Being consistent with publishing content on the leading innovative trends in your industry or niche is important. Your [...]

5 Warning Signs You’re About to Fail

2017-07-07T17:08:48+00:00 July 27th, 2016|INC Articles|

When to stop your start-up or break-up with your business. In the business world, the norm is to start-up loud and then shut-down quietly. Except when it comes to Laura Beck, the founder of Stripedshirt.com. Her so-called Indie-No-Go, Kickstopper campaign is teaching us a few things about failing, the right and wrong way, and why sometimes, breaking up with your business is the only option. Just about every business blog, article, and website you see out there tells you the same thing: when it comes to business, you have to be willing to stick with your start-up, through the good, the bad, and the garage full of unsold t-shirts. Without arguing that perseverance isn't a key part of success, some businesses aren't meant to succeed, and knowing when to quit could save you an immense amount of time and money. It's So Hard to Say Goodbye After five years of barely [...]

How Startups Really Get Funded

2017-07-07T17:06:11+00:00 July 22nd, 2016|INC Articles|

Extended seed stages for funding are forcing founders to prove that the "dogs will eat the dog food." Welcome to the age of applied technology. This shift from developed technology is teaching us more than we ever could have imagined and even more than that, it is changing the way start-ups...well... start up. Andrew Goldner, Founder and Managing Director of GrowthX, a seed-stage MicroVC fund and leading market development accelerator, believes that this shift is key to getting to the bottom of what it takes to get successfully funded in this new marketplace. Technology Has Become Cheaper and Easier Realizing your talent, what you can bring to the table, and how you intend to do that is no longer enough to get funding. "The actual availability of talent is so much more plentiful than it has been historically, that to differentiate yourself, you are expected to have gotten much further with much less," [...]

Defying the Rules of Branding One Big Ass Fan at a Time

2017-07-06T16:37:51+00:00 July 16th, 2016|INC Articles|

How listening to their tribe helped this company triple annual profits. The internet is flooded with advice from branding experts all over the world. Each tip and rule of branding is meant to drive you closer to your customer while maintaining a business that is geared toward maximum profitability. But what if the best way to get closer to your customer... was to simply listen to what they were saying? This is what the founder of Big Ass Fans (previously HVLS - High Volume Low Speed - Fan Company) did and they haven't looked back since. Learning to Listen "We would answer the phones with HVLS Fan Company, how can I help you? And on the other end the people would say. "Hey, aren't you the guys who make those big ass fans?" and after a little less than a year, we went ahead and changed the name." In a culture that favors business [...]

5 Design Personalities You Need to Level Your Team

2017-07-07T16:59:59+00:00 July 15th, 2016|INC Articles|

Why you need a Pharrell Williams, Martha Stewart, Madonna, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs on your team. Every person you encounter throughout your day, every personality type, has blinders, shadow behaviors, gaps in their capabilities. Call it what you will, these exist in everyone. The design world is not exempt and I sat down with Paul Martens, founder of CORA and author of The Motivated Life, to discuss this and more. In 'The Motivated Life', Martens talks about a five-type system of design personalities with which designers can recognize their areas of expertise as well as their personality gaps. This thoughtful design theory shows us where our strengths are and also helps to point out weaknesses. 5 Core Types of Design Personalities Type One: Direction, designed to market oneself Type Two: Beauty, designed to please Type Three: Innovation, designed for popularity Type Four:  Entertainment, designed to entertain Type Five: Efficiency, designed for clarity If you are thinking you might [...]