Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oil Spill Creates Difficult Conundrum

Here's an ironic twist of events - The BP Oil Spill in the Gul is pumping oil out like Congress is spending money, and the mad rush is on for spill booms to help contain the mess. Most booms are made from PVC coated polyester, and the PVC they are made from is public enemy number one on the consumer end. Nike and other highly visible consumer companies have an all-out ban on the substance, which makes the use in this case somewhat ironic, since we are trying to limit an environmental disaster by producing something that is seen to be an environmental disaster. Hmmm.

This is very often the case, and regularly debated when humans attempt to mitigate their environmental impact - What we attempt to solve a problem with actually gives birth to another. Look at the hybrid car battery. While the impact of the emissions of the vehicle is reduced, the toxic disposal and creation of the battery spawns an entirely new set of complicated issues. We, as humans, tend to believe we have all the answers using science and our complex data models of information, yet we fail, or refuse, to admit that so often our theories and hypothesies are faulty. Take the ozone layer phenomena. Remember when the Earth wouldn't exist as we know it due to solar radiation? Well, now scientists are stating that human reduction of ozone depleting chemicals has helped stabilize the ozone, but has actually become a proponent of global warming - our newest poster-child for the masses.

There is no question we need to continue to find solutions to our problems, and a best effort using the tools of science and research are critical, however our egos need to be set aside, sensationalism reduced, the media controlled if possible, and the special interests put in their place. A huge task at hand I might add. Kind of like containing an oil spill.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The EU is PU (as in smelly, my friends)

Although we are sovereign to our currency (sort of), should we not concern ourselves with our own burgeoning debt crisis here in the US, we could undoubtedly end up in the tailspin the EU is experiencing now. While a few of the countries in the EU are driving the economic meltdown for the other participant countries, it reminds us of the old cliche - one rotten apple can spoil the bunch. Proponents of global currency ideologies ought to be concerned with the performance of such plans and the consequences they afford. Governmental spending has to be controlled, period. I am not sure how anyone can believe otherwise...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo, off to retail we go...

A new client arrived yesterday. Their spirit was broken, but not lost altogether. Seems the last 2 years have been difficult to endure - diminished margins, mounting discounts, and a distributor to big-box played games with the little company with a big heart. The longer I look at their product, the more I imagine how such a great idea can have such a difficult , tumultuous path to the consumer.

The focus of my topic is to examine this phenomena of cyclical successes and apparent defeats we all go through during the course of bringing something to market. One thing is for sure - it is not easy. From the inception in the bathroom, or while driving along a lonely road on a sales trip, we get a great idea and can instantly picture it flying off the shelves at retail. Those of us in the fast-paced product development realm love the romantic nature of the biz, but we also realize, through experience and failures, that as fast as we process the development and deliver to retail, we can also lose all of that effort overnight by external forces out of our control. After talking to the client today, the emotions were apparent, the disappointment was evident, but the will and resolve nowhere near finished. Far more important than rehashing and grinding over the past, the client was ready to take a loss and move forward - a little lighter, but much wiser... When we experience the high of delivering our product to big-box, it is hard not be euphoric and celebratory. But we have to remember that it is just like a birthday - over in one day and followed by 364 days of normalcy. Those are the days that are most important to keep the euphoria, balanced by common sense and calculated decisions, and execute on the plan you set forward.

Next Post: The Plan