It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below videos. They will show you what occurs at the event more than words can describe here.
Any questions or thoughts? Please reach out on LinkedIn (Alexander Ricketts) or Facebook (X-Man Az).
It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below pictures. They will explain what occurs at the show more than words can describe here.
Fun fact of the day: Bahama Buck’s is a privately held franchise specializing in shaved ice and other frozen non-alcoholic beverages. The company is headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. It was founded in 1990 by the current president and brand owner, Blake Buchanan.
He started with 1 ice shaver and the hope of a college job that didn’t involve mowing grass or flipping burgers. Constructing the original store by hand, he enlisted volunteer help from 3 generations of his family, staffed it with friends and college students, and opened the doors.
The tropical sensation caught on, and with the help of his wife, Kippi (cool name!), and his friend, Eric Lee (now CFO), the summer job turned into a full-time vocation.
As of March 2017, Bahama Buck’s operates 100 stores (located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico) with over 100 additional stores in the works. Except for stores operated by Buchanan all stores are franchised.
Have you ever been?
I had the incredible experience of attending the Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC, Utah. I sat in on a panel, representing Simply Mac, Steals.com, and Jamberry Nails. All entrepreneurs start with a problem they want to solve. Eventually they create a solution out of these problems.
It is awesome to see how far Utah has come in the entrepreneur space, and what companies have come to fruition because of the top-talent pool in the Valley. Utah’s economy is booming, housing prices are rising, labor is cheap, and the mountains are 20 minutes away. Who wouldn’t want to start a company here?
And yes, that is my classmate and I “riding” in a Tesla!
I had the privilege to attend an event that only happens so often. In April, Get Motivated came to Sandy, Utah at the South Towne Expo Center off of State Street and 9400 South. This event was from 8am to 5pm, and yes I stuck through the whole thing. But, it was well worth it.
Some of the speakers included: Dr. Keith Jonson, Dr. Willie Jolley, Bob Kittell, and the famous Les Brown. Les chose to be last on the speaker order, in order to see if people actually stayed for the entire seminar.
Speaker topics included: motivation, confidence, real estate, publishing a book, investing, and competitiveness. My favorite topics were confidence and real estate. Right now, the real estate market is doing great. A house offers so many benefits, including tax advantages and an asset that can be sold for a monetary gain.
One of my favorite sayings by a few of the speakers, was that a person needs to know when to let others go. Friends, family members, and acquaintances might not have the same vision you do. If they are constantly telling you “no,” then you will start to believe in the “no.” Therefore, it is best to leave them behind and follow your vision by setting goals. Goals are how you get to your long-term vision. Without goals, a vision seems impossible. But…we all know what impossible really stands for, “I’m Possible!” Just Do It -Nike
I had the tremendous opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship get-together at the Impact Hub in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The VillageCapital Event featured a keynote speaker who is world renowned. Steve Case was the co-founder of America Online (AOL). He is now an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and technology. He recently wrote a book titled The Third Wave, which is set to release April 5, 2016. It can be found on Amazon.com here.
The last half of the event was devoted to leaders from across the United States, telling their story about how they are going to change the way entrepreneurship is thought of, used, and recreating in the capitalist society we live in. It will be interesting to see these cities evolve and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, set a ton of records in 2016. It had 2.47 million square feet of show-floor exhibits. Last year, this number was only 2.2 million. The attendance hit a record 176,000 people, albeit it was capped. Automotive electronics had 200,000 square feet, up 25% from 2015. 3D printing had 24,000 square feet, up 31% from 2015.
The number of emerging innovators went from 375 to 500 in 2016. From January 5 through the 9, there were 15.2 million billion CES social-media impressions.
University Entrepreneur rankings came out this month and the results are positive for the University of Utah: #17 for Graduates and #24 for Undergraduates.
I am honored to be a part of such a fabulous institution and cannot wait to see where we will be in 5 years.
Quote of the day: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” –Richard Branson
My MBA classmate brought to my attention this company out of New York City. I took a look at their website and watched their Kickstarter video. They took a workman’s boot and mixed it with a trendy, fashionable boot. What they came up with is a niche in a market. A space where others have not been, at this point in time. Entrepreneurship is intriguing and I hope this company makes it far in business.
What does it take to become a master at your craft? Is genius innate, or can it be learned?
In his book, “Mastery,” Robert Greene draws from the latest research, interviews modern masters, and examines the lives of former greats like Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Mozart to discover what it takes to achieve excellence.
He argues that success is within anyone’s reach, if they have discipline, patience, and follow a number of important steps.
With permission from Greene, we’ve excerpted the following tips for mastering anything from his book:
1. Find your life’s task.
Many people have an intense feeling about what they’re best at. Too often, they’re driven away from it by other people. The first step is to trust yourself and aim your career path at what’s unique about you.
Leonardo da Vinci didn’t come into his own as an artist alone, but when he followed his childhood curiosity about everything, he became an advisor and expert in subjects from architecture to anatomy for his patrons.
2. Rather than compete in a crowded field, find a niche where you can dominate.
Legendary neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran was at once a restless and dissatisfied professor of psychology. What was supposed to be a calling felt like a job. When he began the study of phantom limbs and anomalous brain disorders, he found questions about the brain and consciousness that fascinate him to this day.
Find your perfect niche, and stand out.
3. Rebel against the wrong path, and use that anger as motivation.
Mozart was a child prodigy on the piano. At a very young age, his domineering father toured Europe with him. When he discovered a talent for unique composition, his father suppressed it. It wasn’t until he rejected his father entirely that he became a master.
We are often attracted to the wrong things, whether it be money, fame, or approval.
4. Love your subject at a very basic level.
The things that transfixed you as a child, that you found most exciting was not a passing fancy, but a message about what you’re supposed to do. For Marie Curie, it was wandering into her father’s laboratory and being fascinated by his instruments.
5. Find the ideal apprenticeship.
Charles Darwin was a mediocre student. He scraped by in school, more interested in specimens than classes. When the chance to join an expedition to the Americas came, he almost didn’t go. What he saw on that boat lead to his life’s work, and one of the most influential theories of all time.
We are often raised as dependents then given over to teachers. It’s experience and exploration that can transform us and lead to mastery.
6. Engage in deep observation, practice incessantly, and experiment.
You don’t need to impress people. You need to watch them. By learning the rules, you can dominate.
Practice, practice, practice
Our brains are set up to master skills. By repeating one thing over and over again, neurons are recruited, hardwired, and mirrored. That’s one of the reasons you never forget how to ride a bike.
You don’t know if you’re a master until you test it. Do it before you’re ready so you actually learn.
7. Value learning over money so you’re not a slave to everyone’s opinion.
Instead of a more lucrative, time-consuming commercial job, Martha Graham took a poorly paying teaching job that allowed her time to train and develop the innovations in dance that made her as revolutionary as Picasso was for painting.
Training, learning, and mentorship don’t come from the highest-paying, highest-pressure jobs. Those lead you down a conservative path of pleasing others.
8. Revert to a feeling of inferiority in order to truly learn.
Daniel Everett, a gifted linguist, was failing to learn the language of the Paraha tribe in the Amazon, which stumped researchers for years. He failed because he approached it as a linguist and Christian missionary, from a position of superiority.
He didn’t master the language until he learned it like one of the Paraha’s children, dependent on the tribe, and subject to the same restraints, inferiority, and need for support that they were.
Entering a new place or path you need to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Lingering prejudices and feelings of superiority hamper that.
9. Engage in intense practice and lean toward resistance and pain.
Hall of Famer Bill Bradley was suited for basketball only in height. He was slow, couldn’t jump, and had no feel for the game. He practiced three or more hours after school, on weekends, put weights in his shoes, and taped cardboard to the bottom of his glasses so he could dribble without seeing the ball. That was just the beginning of his regimen.
Intense practice with resistance can be twice as effective as what’s easy.
10. Rely on trial and error more than anything.
Paul Graham was always fascinated by computers. He eventually found that he learned by tackling problems, failing, and trying again, not by being taught. That experience eventually lead to the creation of YCombinator, which gives entrepreneurs the support to do what he did.
Now, apprenticeships are less likely to be formal. You have to make your own based on your unique style of learning.
11. Absorb a master’s power.
The right mentor-protege relationship is the most efficient and fastest way to learn; you focus on one excellent source of knowledge instead of casting about for many. You can learn a masterful way of thinking that takes a lifetime to develop in a fraction of the time.
But the goal must always be to surpass them.
12. Choose a mentor who will intensely challenge you.
Carl Jung worshiped Freud as a pioneer in his field, but was ambivalent about certain parts of his theory. By using him as a mentor, even though they eventually split, he better understood where he disagreed with Freud, learned a great deal, and sharpened his own core ideas and identity.
The more your mentor challenges others, the more they’ll challenge you.
13. Absorb your master’s knowledge completely — and then transform it.
Glenn Gould was his legendary teacher Alberto Guerrero’s most promising piano student. Gould would take what Guerrero taught him and quickly move it in an entirely different direction. At 19 he went out on his own, but years later, Guerrero could still see the things he taught Gould, totally absorbed, but utterly transformed by his genius.
It is almost a curse to learn form somebody brilliant; it can be very intimidating. But overcome this by absorbing everything, and then going beyond.
14. Create a back-and-forth dynamic with all of your relationships.
Freddie Roach, one of boxing’s most legendary trainers, found his greatest student in future 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao. He was Roach’s most intense, teachable student, and over time, he learned to take Roach’s strategies and instructions a step beyond what he ever could have alone.
The best relationships are interactive.
Learning someone else’s dogma is never as effective as adapting and improving it.
15. Master social intelligence.
One of the biggest barriers to becoming a master is dealing with others. It’s far too easy to live life as a series of battles and skirmishes over power that turn out to be minor.
The idea that people can be so brilliant they don’t need to deal with society is a misleading one. Masters use social intelligence to amplify their skills, rather than turning others into an obstacle.
16. Accept criticism and adapt to power structures and society.
Ignaz Semmelweis was one of the earliest pioneers of using antiseptic techniques, something that could have and since has saved millions of lives. It was never fully adopted in his time because of the high handed, arrogant way he dealt with his superiors, and his refusal to actually prove his ideas. He died penniless and abandoned at 47.
Use those in power, don’t alienate them. Otherwise, genius goes to waste.
17. Meticulously craft your persona.
Teresita Fernandez, a sculptor and winner of a MacArthur “Genius Fellowship” could have let others define her. Sculpture, and working in metal in particular was a largely male medium, and she could have easily been perceived as as a fleeting novelty. By spending time on her persona, as well as on her art, she added to her success.
We all wear masks in society. Being aware of that rather than self conscious about it allows you to be more effective in any situation.
18. Suffer fools, and learn to exploit them.
The German poet and novelist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent a period of his youth in the court of a prominent Duke. Upon accepting it, he found himself in a claustrophobic and petty court culture. Rather than engaging, he used their behavior as the basis for later plays and novels.
There are simply too many fools to avoid. Don’t engage or sink to their level.
19. Awaken the dimensional mind, and be bold.
After emerging from an apprenticeship, the inclination is to be conservative, to work firmly within a field and established, familiar rules.
The key to mastery is rejecting conservatism and becoming increasingly bold.
20. Absorb everything, and then let your brain make connections for you.
The brain is designed to make connections. When we focus too intently on a given task, we can grow tense, and our brain closes off. Masters read and absorb everything that could be related to stimulate the brain into making a leap.
That’s how Louis Pasteur made the leap that lead to vaccines. He spent years developing germ theory, which enabled him to see the importance of a group of chickens that survived injection with an old culture of disease. As he said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.”
21. Avoid putting things into familiar categories.
The most creative minds resist one of the brain’s signature tendencies, to put things in easy categories, to use a mental shorthand to simplify everything. With an effort to alter perspective, that can change.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with the insight that made Google by seeing what seemed to be a trivial flaw, bad results in search engines that ranked pages by how often something was mentioned. One anomaly led them to a vastly more effective path.
22. Don’t let impatience derail your plans.
John Coltrane’s greatest strength, improvisation, was once a weakness. He would resort to imitation rather than innovation. After years of absorbing other’s styles and learning a vast technical vocabulary, he learned how to bend it into something intensely personal and different from everybody else.
One of the greatest impediments to creativity is impatience. Stay the course and develop your authentic voice.
23. Value mechanical and abstract intelligence equally.
The most brilliant engineers in the world failed to create a working flying machine. Orville and Wilbur Wright were bicycle mechanics. A simple insight, that a flying machine needed to be able to bank like a bicycle rather than moving in straight horizontal lines like a ship, helped them beat men who had attacked the problem for years.
Mechanical intelligence, the focus on functionality, can be equally as vital and creative as the abstract.
24. Avoid “technical lock,” or getting wrapped up in technical artistry instead of the real problem.
“Neurobotics” pioneer Yoky Matsuoka had an impossible goal, to build a robotic hand that was lifelike. To her, it wasn’t a series of mechanical puzzles, but a learning process to understand the human hand. Seemingly irrelevant anatomical details turned out to be extremely important for function.
Technical lock makes people lose sight of larger questions. By looking at the human hand, already weirdly perfect, Matsuoka surpassed people who had been absorbed in technical issues for years.
25. Fuse the intuitive and the rational.
This is the final step. Deep immersion in a particular field, experience in an apprenticeship, time under a mentor, and unlocking creative potential create an extraordinary depth of knowledge and an ability to quickly and instinctively respond to any situation.
Combining that instinct with rational processes allows people to achieve their greatest potential, to become masters.
26. Shape your world around your strengths.
Albert Einstein was a bad scientist. He hated the way physics was taught and didn’t like experiments. His greatest insights came from elsewhere. His theory of simple relativity, came partially from thinking about an image in his head of trains, beams of light, men and women.
By deciding at 20 to stray away from conventional, experimental science, and to use his distaste for authority to remove conventions that held him back, Einstein did something that felt intuitive, looked illogical, but was intensely rational.
27. Know that practice is just as important as innate skill.
Cesar Rodriguez, nicknamed “America’s Last Ace” wasn’t a naturally gifted pilot. He fell behind at first. He caught up, then passed everyone through endless practice. He knew every control in his bones, and reacted better than those who relied on talent. That helped him make three aerial kills and earn his nickname.
Achievement through thousands of hours of practice seems so ordinary somehow. But it’s how most people become masters.
SALT LAKE CITY — Tired of the stodgy tie collection from the department store rack?
Accidental Gentleman can hook you up with the most daring or unique of screen printed tie designs limited only by your imagination.
Heck, if you’re really that fond of yourself, you can put your own mug on that tie you drape around your neck.
If you’re hungry, The Menu lets you punch in the specific food you’ve got a hankering for and presto, a list of the best customer-rated ham sandwiches or burgers will pop up on your smart phone.
Twenty teams of young, bright-eyed, well-dressed entrepreneurs trotted out their sales pitches, demonstrations and business cards in a fierce competition called the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge.
The final round of the 2015 competition was held Saturday at the University of Utah’s Spencer Fox Eccles Building, where the public had a chance to pick their favorites.
The spoils for the top finisher was $40,000 — a tidy little jumpstart to get a budding business off the ground.
Jeremy Garcia is co-founder and chief executive officer of Accidental Gentleman.
The Dixie State University student said his twin brother, Garrett Garcia, is the “original gentleman” helping to inspire the business, which he described as a “no brainer” for them.
“I must have 60 ties in my collection and I have been screen printing since I was 16.”
Screen printing allows those with the most discerning eye for detail the ability to put one’s brand, logo, photo or even drawing to fabric.
“We just need some more backing,” Jeremy Garcia said.
Across the way, Urban Yield wants to become Utah’s first vertical hydroponic farm. The practice has not yet widely caught on in the United States, but Japan has the world’s largest indoor hydroponic farm that produces lettuce nearly three times as quickly with just 1 percent of the water.
Zeppelin Zeerip from Westminster College wants to demonstrate and prove the practice in Salt Lake City, growing lettuce, mint and basil in a state he says produces just 2 percent of the vegetables its residents consume. With drought a challenge and most of the nation’s food produce supply coming from Mexico or California, Zeerip said he believes it is well past time for the efficiencies of year-round vertical farming.
Hosted by the Lassonde Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business, the challenge attracted 180 teams from colleges and universities from throughout the state.
Institute director Tony D’Ambrosio said each year, the challenge becomes tougher.
“The level of sophistication continues to go up every year.”
Ultimately, a student startup providing an online service to help people secure green cards won first place and the $40,000 grand prize.
Sam Stoddard, a team member of SimpleCitizen and a student at Brigham Young University, said the money will help his team launch its website by this summer.
The University of Utah is ranked the No. 2 school in the nation for cash awarded to student entrepreneurs, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine. Last year, the university awarded $744,550 to students.
In fall 2016, the university will launch Lassonde Studios, designed to house the nation’s top 400 entrepreneurial students from any field of study who want to “live, create and launch.”
Bruce Felt Jr. was the finance chief during the initial public offerings of SuccessFactors Inc. and Qualix Group Inc. [both since acquired]. Last August, he was named CFO of Domo Inc., which offers cloud-based tools to help companies likeeBay Inc.EBAY -0.31% and National Geographic keep tabs on their finances and supply chains. Mr. Felt spoke with CFO Journal’s John Kester about the pitfalls of IPOs. Here is an excerpt:
Q: How do you bring a company public the right way?
A: First, you have to have a business model that works. It just is working. And that means, with confidence, you can tell investors, ‘This is what’s going to happen,’ and you make it happen.
You have to be able to close books quickly. They need to be correct. You need to be able to file [Securities and Exchange Commission] reports on time. All your systems need to be in place and buttoned up. The whole era of [Sarbanes-Oxley] is here where internal controls matter a lot and the accountants have gained an incredible amount of power over companies, the public accounting firms in particular.
Q: What are some of the pitfalls of bringing a company public?
A: One of the worst things you can do coming out of an [initial public offering] is miss your numbers…If you went public and the expectation [for growth] was 85% and you came in at 75%, you’re going to get hammered and the whole company’s credibility, the CEO and the CFO, and the prospects of the company will be severely diminished. And the cost of capital will go up and the amount of time spent with investors will go up…
When the business is doing very well, it’s very easy to oversell what you’re going to deliver…To be able to bite your tongue and hold back: very hard to do. And the fear of screwing up, I think you can only learn through experience…Your fear overcomes that optimism and you do the right thing.
You’ve got to get your revenue accounting correct. There’s no playing around with the numbers. You have to be iron-clad on when a deal’s a deal, when you start recognizing revenue and know exactly how to do it. And no monkeying around with dates, effective dates, when a deal came in or didn’t come in – all kinds of temptations, that’s in the world that we work in. You just have to have the discipline to say, ‘No, we’re doing it by the book.’
Q: How much was your IPO history a factor in Domo hiring you?
A: As a CFO, as a résumé-enhancer, you really need to check that box. I’m able to get a higher salary, which is nice to have…Back in the good old days, you didn’t even think in terms of multiples of revenue…So valuations are up there and the stakes are really high. And so boards and CEOs get a lot of comfort in somebody that’s done it before.
Q: What advice would you give CFOs?
A: You have a boss. Realize that. Be the boss’s partner. That means you don’t work for the board; you work for the CEO. You want to make yourself a very trusted advisor to the CEO at the same time.
Come to work every day with a service-oriented attitude, with the whole concept of ‘What can I do for the company?,’ and I contrast that against those that come to work every day and say, ‘What can the company do for me?’
Know your trade. Be on top of everything that’s going on in the finance world where a CFO ought to know. That can cover technology, strategy, systems, vendors, talent.
You’re only as good as the people under you, at the end of the day…[and] whether or not you like the numbers, you better know them.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
A: I’ve always put myself in a situation of hyper-growth. And it’s just a different beast…Hyper is like 100% growth. You’re doubling your workforce every year. You’re doubling the top-line every year. So we’re four years old going on five. When you’re doubling, that means in the year you’re in you’re doing as much business, and have as much activity as you did in the whole history of the company before that.
It’s just harder to manage in that environment. It’s hard to get enough talent. It’s hard to control the business. It’s extremely difficult to put together 100% growth year after year after year.
Most of us have seen the question, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” That simple yet insightful query aims to get to the core of what really motivates us, past any fears or self-limiting beliefs that are holding us back. It’s a phrase that can act as a catalyst in our pursuit of our true potential.
People too often talk themselves out of going for it before they’ve even seriously considered their dreams. Thoughts such as “It’s not realistic,” “I’m too old,” “I’m not talented enough,” or “That’s pie-in-the-sky thinking” can cause even the best and brightest among us to stop dead in our tracks before even taking our first step.
That need not be the case. Here are five ways the simple process of “thinking colossal” can change your life:
The mere process of jotting down on paper a mammoth target should be enough to get your spine tingling with excitement. An average goal elicits average motivation, but a goal that resonates passionately with you can change your outlook on everything. Suddenly you have a mission and purpose that wasn’t there before.
You wouldn’t be reading an article such as this if you had mediocre thoughts and desires in life. And the people who accomplish things out of the ordinary in this world are the individuals who’ve out-dreamed, out-thought, out-planned and out-executed the rest of us. Remember: Big thinking always starts with a dream.
A colossal goal should energize you to your very core. Use this inspiration as fuel to take action and develop a step-by-step plan to make it happen. And if your goal is truly inspirational and monumental, you’ll be inspired to get started now . . . which is half the battle.
Big dreamers who walk the talk have a knack for bringing everyone around them up a notch or two. To accomplish your goals, it’s likely you’ll need lots of help along the way. When others witness you taking massive action to turn your biggest ideas into reality, they can’t help but want to be a part of something special, too.
Without a vision that stretches and truly inspires you, it’s unlikely you’ll ever know or reach your true maximum potential. Great, worthwhile accomplishments rarely happen as a result of luck. They are a result of chasing dreams that some believed impossible, but you took a different tack. You willed them to become real.