Author Archives: Admin

Good Managers

Good managers are magnets of talent. Bad managers are repellents of it.

Oleg Vishnepolsky

Oleg Vishnepolsky

11 Signs Your Job Doesn’t Deserve You:

1) Your boss is micro-managing you and your decisions

2) They do not give you credit for your work

3) Your boss does not give you enough feedback and guidance

4) Your boss has little interest in what you are doing, or worse avoids you

5) You are underpaid

6) You are not learning anything new

7) Your boss is not aware of what you are capable of

8) Your health is suffering because of stress

9) You can not remember when was the last time your boss thanked you

10) You dedication, hard work, loyalty are not appreciated

11) The real deal-breaker is when your boss lacks integrity: Integrity is by far the most important asset of a leader.

Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated.

Go where you can make a difference.

Go where your loyalty and hard work will be appreciated.

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How To Survive In A Copycat World

Stephen M Key, CONTRIBUTOR

In person, you’re less likely to purchase a Chinese counterfeit.

If you invent a great idea for a new product, others will copy you. It’s just a matter of when. That’s guaranteed. Whether your company is small or one of the largest in the world does not matter. Copycats are the norm now.

Run a successful Kickstarter campaign? Factories in China may beat you to market before you’ve shipped a single unit. Selling on Amazon.com? Prepare to do battle with Chinese counterfeiters who steal your original photos, descriptions and even reviews.

Congratulations on your success! Copycats do not imitate products that aren’t selling.

So… how can you compete?

Will having a patent or several patents help you? Not really. Due to changes in our patent laws, it has become enormously expensive to defend one’s intellectual property in the United States.

First, take a deep breath. There are other strategies to pursue. Not only can you survive, you can succeed. But you’re going to have to be unemotional and think differently.

Early on in my career, I was under the impression that it was possible to own a creative work through patents, copyrights and trademarks. And in fact, the only right referred to explicitly in the U.S. Constitution is to our inventiveness. But it’s more than that. There’s a moral component. There’s right and wrong. We want everyone to play fairly.

They don’t. Starting a business is not easy, that’s for sure. But I always felt that with the protection of patents, I could keep the competition at bay. That patents leveled the playing field, in other words.

That’s not reality, I’ve since learned.

I know now it’s only perceived ownership that counts. After three long years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, the infringement suit I filed in federal court came down to just two words. That’s it. When I look back, I see that I let my emotions get the best of me. With a clearer head, I could have handled the situation differently. But I felt like I had no choice. I had to fight if I wanted to license my packaging innovation to other companies in the future.

The world has changed. We read about creative people who are fighting for their rights in the news all the time, including high-end fashion designers, savvy marketers and garage inventors.

Now I think of it this way. Imagine there’s this warm apple pie that you have to share with others. You’re so excited to finally eat this pie. You were lead to believe it was all yours. You’ve worked hard for this pie and now you’re hungry! With all the work you’ve done, you are literally starving. It’s taken years and cost a fortune. You’re ready to devour it. But you can’t have it all. You might get 75% of the pie. But you may only get a sliver. And that’s why you feel violated. Where’s the justice? This was your idea.

You get angry. You want to cry. You consult your attorney, who gives you the odds.

And eventually you become very tired of this seemingly impossible situation.Let me be frank. It’s true that the deck is stacked against you. When you’re starting out and small it’s always stacked against you, but it’s even worse today.

You can still fight. You need to leverage your size to work for you and focus on outthinking your competition. Sure, they have more money. And there are more of them. But you’re creative.

What is your strength and what are their weaknesses? It’s not about protection anymore: It’s about selling. And you have a great story to tell. Stories sell. You can tell your story. They can’t! Which is why you must open up so widely and so exhaustively, your customers identify with you, your struggle and your success.

Everyone loves an underdog — and hates cheaters. Here are seven ways to deal with knockoffs that don’t involve litigation.

1. Use the tools provided to us by the USPTO. Trademarks, copyrights and patents are still important. They won’t scare everyone off, but they will deter some. Having a patented product can be beneficial in other ways.

2. Win in the court of social media. Your ability to connect with consumers is unprecedented on every level. If you aren’t shouting your story from the proverbial rooftop, you are making a mistake. This power is uniquely yours. Large companies are impersonal! Be the original. Embrace openness, transparency and vulnerability. The more you do, the more devoted your following will become. Yes, this takes time, effort and creativity. With the right campaign, you can reach millions. For better or worse, more and more people purchase products online these days.

3. Quickly build relationships with retailers. Share your story with retailers as fast as you can. From a retail standpoint, you need to consider the big picture. Many companies would prefer to sell units at a higher margin instead of going straight to big-box stores. But if you have a hit, I would rethink that strategy. Some retailers take a lot of time to get you in their system, which is another reason why you should approach them early. On social media and in all of your public relations campaigns, make it clear that their success is your success. If you support them, they’ll support you.

4. Keep innovating. Make improvements. Attempt to drive the price down by concentrating on manufacturing processes. If you have a great product at an affordable price, it will be easy to attract new customers. Focus on designing your product to the best of your ability. Copycats will be inferior and receive poor reviews.5. Cultivate raging fans. As contributor Pia Silva wrote in her article “Dealing With Thieves, Copycats, and Otherwise Terrible People,” if you’ve taken the time to create a truly unique brand, you don’t need lawyers or cease and desist letters. Having outstanding customer service is hands-down one of the best ways of protecting your ownership. It’s simple really: If you love your customer, they will love you back. Copycats don’t care.

6. License to or otherwise partner with a market leader. You can take your primary competition out of the equation this way. I used CCL Label to bring my packaging innovation to market. When I started a guitar pick business, I hired Dunlop to contract manufacture picks for me. Both were market leaders, but because we were partners, they declined to become my competition.

7. Be able to ship product the day you launch your crowdfunding campaign. In the past, I’ve written about how crowdfunding can help you test the market and refine your offering. But if you think you have a hit on your hands, you need to use your campaign as a marketing tool, not to fulfill your first order. Your best-case scenario (raising a lot of money) could actually become your worst nightmare if you aren’t prepared to capitalize on the interest you generate immediately.

Do the benefits of disclosure outweigh the risks? Yes, I’d argue. That’s what Indiegogo cofounder Slava Rubin told me when I asked him about the public nature of crowdfunding. Understand what the risks are and prepare accordingly.

You can fight for your rights in court and spend a lot of time and money and even win, but at the end of the day it might not be worth it… or even very effective.

So my advice is to be realistic and look at it from a business perspective. How important is your sanity? What about your time and wellbeing? How much are you really losing out on, money-wise? Speaking from experience, litigation weighs on you emotionally as well as financially.

What if you were to invest all of that money, time, and emotion into building a better product, systems, community, and brand instead? Your resources are limited. You could choose to direct them towards positive action.

The reality is there will always be variations. That’s the nature of innovation. It’s rarely black or white, and it’s far from fair.

This might be hard to stomach, but here’s what I think after thirty years as an entrepreneur: Be thankful you have a product people want. And enjoy that apple pie.

For more of my strategies on how to use intellectual property to profit, check out my latest book, Sell Your Ideas With or Without a Patent.

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Guerrera GMA VIP Guest

PACE CEO Christopher Guerrera got a chance to visit Good Morning America for his 4th time on set, this time to discuss his new products. Robin Roberts his long time friend introduced him to 2 of his favorites, weekend anchor Paula Farris and Chief Business, Economics and Technology Correspondent for ABC News and the host, creator and managing editor of Real Biz.

Good Morning America report’s the morning’s top headlines from a set in Times Square. The show features a combination of breaking news, interviews, in-depth reporting and weather. The program covers important issues with key figures from around the world and a wide spectrum of topics, including medicine, finance, consumer issues, computer technology, education and gardening.

 

Power Networking

ChrisHeadshotBTGMA Shark Tank

Christopher D. Guerrera – Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt Expert

Mr. Guerrera is an accomplished executive with over 33 years’ experience in Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing and Executive Management. He is a proven leader with expertise in building dynamic teams and developing “business athletes”. In his 33-year tenure Mr. Guerrera has served as an International Business Leader in Automotive, Aerospace, Custom Engineered Products, Manufacturing and Sales. Throughout his career he has been recognized as a dedicated business leader within the community.

Mr. Guerrera has enjoyed National Media exposure. He recently interviewed with NH Chronicle for his new venture Wiley Road Foods taking products to National Markets using Lean 6 Sigma systems. He has recently been nominated by LMJ as one of the top 25 Lean Experts in the world. He has been featured on Good Morning America Shark Tank and was the MC of the Shark Tank panel for the MAKE48 competition hosted by the Smithsonian Lemelson Center in Washington DC. He was featured with Christina Tosi of Fox’ TV hit series MasterChef. He participated in a Good Morning America National Commercial campaign featuring anchors Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, Ginger Zee, Lara Spencer, Michael Strahan, Jessie Palmer and hip-hop singer Flo-Rida. Interviewed by Good Morning America’s meteorologist Ginger Zee as part of the GMA Sunshine moment, served as a key Shark Tank panelist for the MAKE48 moderated by Stephen Key, MC of the Shark Tank All-Stars hosted at the Smithsonian Lemelson Center in Washington DC., interviewed by Kathy Ireland for her Modern Living national syndicated television show, interviewed by Michael King of Home Talk, featured alongside Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop Show, interviewed by Amy Coveno ABC’s WMUR news anchor for NH Chronicle, featured alongside of Mike Otis for CNY @home, featured on the front page of the Syracuse NY Post Standard Business news, interviewed by Mike Morin as the featured spot light for New Hampshire Business Review and is engaged with the History Channels Operation build “game changers”. He has products displayed at recent trade shows alongside such household name products as Scrub Daddy®, Squatty Potty®, Paint Brush Cover®, Drop Stop®, and ReadeRest®, all products that have achieved mass distribution & sales after their appearance on the reality TV series ‘Shark Tank.

Mr. Guerrera was instrumental in the BMW start-up and success in the United States where he managed the interior group for the BMW Z3 and X5. He spent over 4 years with his family in Greenville, South Carolina developing the BMW interior group. He was awarded the JD Powers and Associates best in class Quality Award from BMW. He was responsible for two plants in the United States with sales revenue over 170 million. The Greenville operation is a World Leader in Just-In-Time Kaizen techniques. Eighty percent of the interior components are manufactured, delivered and assembled on the BMW vehicles within two hours of production.

Mr. Guerrera was an integral part of the 1/8 turn fuel system design and development for Ford Motor Company and is listed on the patent as the Chief Design Engineer. He was the Director of Engineering responsible for four plants with sales revenue of 180 million. He spent three years developing the on-board fuel vapor recovery system for the Ford Taurus vehicle that was first in its class to have such a sophisticated fuel system design.

Mr. Guerrera holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New Hampshire in Mechanical Engineering and is a Lean 6 Sigma Master Black Belt. He is certified in the Toyota Production System and the BMW VDA Production System. He served on the Executive Supplier Counsel for BMW, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Company.

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