Any messages?

August 1, 2018

You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us. Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Two “Cluetrain Manifesto”  authors, Jan. 2015 Communication is content. Markets are conversations. Electronics are (nearly) ubiquitous. And Generations Y and …

Industry 5.0

July 1, 2018

It was probably a $200 billion mistake. After that, we made a rule: No more meetings in the bathroom. ~Michael Eisner, former CEO, Disney   Recently, my book club was discussing the merits of the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid, which portrays the adventures of a couple (and a world) escaping from a war-torn and …

Success: customer-centric innovation

June 1, 2018

If your business proposition is innovative, your ultimate goal has to be ‘The customer always thinks that WE are right.’ ~Richard Branson   Back in February 1997, before my editorial advent at IFAI, the Industrial Fabric Products Review cover was graced with a simple shot of a computer, in ominous dark purple and glowing green …

The Vikings, innovation and editorial coverage

March 1, 2018

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein Okay… I guess I have to report that The Curse of the Vikings is still intact (see February editorial). We upset New Orleans well enough that …

Will the Vikings ever win the Super Bowl?

February 1, 2018

Whether you’re a football fan or not, you’re probably aware that in a few weeks (as I write this), Minneapolis will be hosting Super Bowl LII, about four miles from my house (the newscasters don’t always mention that part). Last Sunday, the Vikings pulled off a stunning last-minute victory over New Orleans, sending a bunch …

Marketing to millennials

December 1, 2017

Take two ideas and put them together to make one new idea. After all, what is a Snuggie but a mutation of a blanket and a robe? ~Jim Kukral For years now, I’ve been endearing myself in meetings with manufacturers by asking questions like: “So when will there be an awning that is delivered by …

Manufacturing fuels innovation

November 1, 2017

And I know this happens because I took economics, and I’d explain it to ya, but I flunked that course. Not my fault. They taught it at 8 o’clock in the morning. And there is absolutely nothing you can learn out of one bloodshot eye.   ~Lewis Black When I was in college, I took a …

IFAI Expo 2017: Report from New Orleans

Despite the hurricanes and wildfires of late summer, IFAI Expo 2017 attracted many new first-time attendees to New Orleans in late September. And exhibitors reported that attendees were more likely than previous years to purchase their products, services and equipment. Aside from exhibitor-attendee interaction, the show floor was a hive of lively “campfire” educational sessions …

Disaster relief and rebuilding

October 1, 2017

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Floods. Fire. It’s only September 18 as I write this, and this month is already on the record books. And, according to today’s paper, the atmospheric parade just keeps on coming, Atlantic and Pacific: Maria. José. …

Community service

September 1, 2017

Vision is dandy, but sustainable company excellence comes from a huge stable of able managers. ~Tom Peters September is IFAI Expo month, and this year’s programs, events and exhibits are focused more than ever on making the workmanship surpass the materials—even the amazing materials on the show floor in New Orleans. It’s an education in …