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Owlee Audio: Designed to Give a Hoot

With a name like Owlee, it called for ‘Give a Hoot’ as its tagline. Because ain’t that the best option for a sound company who cares about being on the forward trend of creating beautiful sound for its consumers?

We got the products raw from the team at Owlee and developed the brand, packaging and sometimes informing the design of the product itself. The products hung around the office, where we got to wear them, play them, test them out, hold them in hand and on occasion casually adopt them (shhh, I think they’re still looking for the Raven).

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Debate Debacles: How NOT To Talk To Your Clients

Amidst the helmeted hairdos, hyperbaric hyperbole and heated harangues, a presidential debate was apparently held this past week.

The Donald on the right. Madame Secretary on the left. And a collective nation of weary voters crammed smack in the middle.

News flash: The presidential debate was anything but presidential.

Pointed questions went pointedly unanswered. Vague claims and misleading statistics and snide references were haphazardly thrown around. And copious sniffles abounded.

This was not America’s finest moment – at least from a business perspective.

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Business Lessons from 30,000 Feet

I’m always amazed how the greatest business insights can sometimes come from the most unexpected places.

On a recent flight back from Israel, I struck up a conversation with one of the stewards. We made a little small talk, and soon our chat turned to his job. During the course of our discussion, he lamented to me that, although he always tried to be friendly to every passenger, he had no real business incentive to be cordial.

He described the startling lack of employee appreciation. There was no recognition from his superiors for better customer service. No compliment for going the extra mile. Positive feedback was from passengers, not superiors. The only way to get noticed? Publish something foolish on social media. Boy, would that work!

Instead, he explained, the employee growth module of this airline was, essentially, “survival of the fittest.” Been here for 4 years? Congratulations on lasting this long, here’s a raise.

This is a very troubling and flawed model.

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Going From “Boss” to “Leader”

Leadership.

This word is one of the most commonly-used buzzwords in today’s chaotic business climate. Companies like Google, Twitter, Nike and AMEX are lauded not just for their amazing products – but also for their stellar leadership.

So what’s the secret to become a great leader? Why do some rise to the top while others stagger along aimlessly?

The truth is, great leaders don’t just inspire and motivate their charges with pep talks and inspirational speeches. They take a hands-on approach, are meticulous down to the last detail, and pay close attention to the needs of every individual working for them.

Ever heard of of Roald Amundsen? The man was a perfect example of what it takes to be a great leader.

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Why Can’t Everyone Just Think Like Me?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably found yourself saying or thinking along these lines every so often. After all, life is so much simpler when everybody around you thinks and acts the same way.

Genuine leaders, however, know a little secret: Wanting everybody to agree with you is the worst possible mindset to have.

You’ve got to understand the value of listening to and encouraging opinions besides your own. Take a look at what the legendary Abraham Lincoln did to prove this point.

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My Painful $17,000 Lesson

We’re living in a world where spam, phishing and cyber theft are all too common. At some point or another, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of an email starting off like this: “Sorry, but my email account was hacked, please don’t click on any strange links that were sent…”

Unfortunately, last month, I became a victim—my inbox was hacked and hijacked.

Fact is, modern computer systems are so complex and there are so many different flaws waiting to be exploited. All it takes is a skilled hacker with a criminal mind and an anonymous bank account. In just a few clicks, they can create an expensive data breach that’ll rack up thousands of dollars in losses and cause an endless amount of aggravation.

Here’s my story.

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