David A. Rosen – Tech CEO, Board Member, Investor, Serial Entrepreneur https://davidarosen.com Helping People and Business Achieve Remarkable Results Sun, 23 Jan 2022 23:15:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://davidarosen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IcoReadyFile_TechX.png David A. Rosen – Tech CEO, Board Member, Investor, Serial Entrepreneur https://davidarosen.com 32 32 Warning: Bump in the Road for Local Manufacturing https://davidarosen.com/warning-bump-in-the-road-for-manufacturing/ https://davidarosen.com/warning-bump-in-the-road-for-manufacturing/#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 18:10:03 +0000 http://davidarosen.com/?p=333 My friend John van Saders reminded me that I have used Addidas Robotics as a Foundation for the premise that Manufacturing is moving closer to demand. (And away from supply with low cost labor and materials).
It appears that Addidas has succumbed to direct financial pressure to reverse the trend. The US must embrace robotics and re-train for the skills needed to deploy, manager, maintain and enhance their value.

This is a wake-up call for two issues:

1. We must close the skills gap on NEW manufacturing skills that we have misunderstood and offshored for so long and

2. Understand how to embrace new manufacturing techniques of customization, but more importantly, how to market and sell that to consumers.

The post Warning: Bump in the Road for Local Manufacturing appeared first on David A. Rosen - Tech CEO, Board Member, Investor, Serial Entrepreneur.

]]>

My friend John van Saders reminded me that I have used Addidas Robotics as a Foundation for the premise that Manufacturing is moving closer to demand. (And away from supply with low cost labor and materials).
It appears that Addidas has succumbed to direct financial pressure to reverse the trend. The US must embrace robotics and re-train for the skills needed to deploy, manager, maintain and enhance their value.

This is a wake-up call for two issues:

  1. We must close the skills gap on NEW manufacturing skills that we have misunderstood and offshored for so long and
  2. Understand how to embrace new manufacturing techniques of customization, but more importantly, how to market and sell that to consumers.

There are still great examples where manufacturing closer to demand really works. Look at all the BMW X series cars that are made in the Carolinas mainly for the US market.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Automated factories were seen as an alternative to overseas labor

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/13/20962688/adidas-robotic-speedfactories-ansbach-germany-atlanta-usa-athletic-shoes

No alt text provided for this image

Adidas to end robotic shoe production in Germany and the US

theverge.com

While reading my email this morning, a report from the Small Business Administration (SBA) was released that showed 40% of all new patents were created by small businesses in the US.  The SBS argues on the positive side that small business really contributes to the growth of the US economy.

As a business owner, I agree with that, but I have the following questions looming in my head.

  1. I wonder how many of those patents are actually put into productive, revenue producing products or services?
  2. Are these patents mearly a play to put up competitive barriers in new markets that may or may not be developed?
  3. How many good new products are not being developed because someone or some group is simply building a group of patents spawned from ideas created by some other companies efforts?

I personally believe that patents should only be offered to those who are interested in pursuing them with tangible new features, functions, products or services.  There are too many companies in the market making revenue from patent infringement pursuits, rather than developing smart products or services taht people will buy, want or need.

I worry about what the US will be producing, and exporting in the next 20-30 years that others will buy.  We have lost a lot of our manufacturing economy and replaced it with “Knowledge Workers” .  My concern is that for the US to succeed we need to be able to export to the other countries in the world who may grow faster than the US in the couple of centuries.  IP will not provide that stream of revenue and jobs, but will force us to take our eyes off the ball.

Does anyone know how many patents are put into production or productized versus those that are only pursued for infringement or royalties versus those that never make it to market?

Here is a link to the summary of the report from the SBA.

http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs335.pdf

Enjoy.

David

Shuts Down Business Operations Just Days Before Shipping…

Developing a Tech Hardware Company is tough and SmartLock learned the “Hard Way,” no pun intended.. on how not to do it.  In some respects, as bootstrap investor and entrepreneur, I have luckily not made these mistakes; but the post-mortem on Otto, the Smart-Lock company which halted its business, just before shipping its product, is an example of a typical West (Left) Coast startup business model.  The company focused on a strategic exit/equity raise for the business to cross over the hurdle from prototype to production. Exposed itself to selling the company way too early without understanding how hedge the risk and knowing how fickle large companies can be…

A bootstrapper would stay focused on the product launch and production needs based on customer revenue, rather than seek or consider alternative funding.

Read the article in Medium by the Founder/CEO HERE:  https://hackernoon.com/so-close-806b8ae77fa6

Read the TechCrunch Review HERE:  https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/01/smart-lock-maker-otto-suspends-operations/

This really is a prime example of missing the market in many ways:

  1. The price point is way out of bounds from the standard dead bolt of $20 to the Wifi/Zigbee/Z-wave alternatives in the $200-$400 range. Missed Market Pricing and Demand Signals. (pre-orders or crowdfunding does not validate “the market”)
  2. Any business should assume that starting with customer revenue is the best way to make money, not equity raises. In selling a company there should be a penalty that the buyer pays if the deal doesnt go through… especially for locking you up for so long.
  3. The company was too early to be on “Sale” The value should have dramatically increased after shipping the first products, validating the market and pricing, and scaling sales, production and delivery
  4. With a “High” price like you set at $700, there was probably a false sense of profitability and timing… COGS should be 20% or less than average retail price or sales price.
  5. Rather than developing a unique, stellar, high-end user experience (and especially without validating pricing and demand for the huge premium), a better, reasonable MVP could have been developed. Remember, when Salesforce entered the market as a SaaS CRM, it barely had the basic features of other Sales Systems. It merely solved the major problem of syncing data amongst remotely dispersed sales-people and had COMPARABLE functionality to other CRMs… Its pricing was also unique but the one value prop of real-time syncing was enough to pay the premium for comparable or even lower functionality
  6. Just by looking that the company picture, the staffing model seems way to high for a pre-revenue company with a single product. It appears that you may have burned a lot of money chasing the “ideal” product, not just the one to get a single and prove the value of the product and its service/capabilities versus alternatives.

Of course Hindsight is always 20:20 in vision. But this is another prime example of the Challenge behind building a Tech Hardware product vs. a Software only and the culture of raising equity versus raising customer revenue to validate a product.

What are your thoughts on this…

“Hardware is the new software”, at least according to David Rosen, CEO of TechxFoundry. In this episode of the Transform IT Show, Charles Araujo sits down with David to discuss his intriguing beliefs that hardware, smart devices and the bi-directional data feeds they create will be the source of innovation and competitive advantage in the very near future. He shares with us why he believes that hardware is now the key and how you can embrace an innovative mindset to get ready for the changes that are coming.

I was Interviewed by Intel to DIscuss The Digital Transformation Surrounding Manufacturing and My Investment Thesis Surrounding Investments into:  Software Integrating and Connecting with Physical Products

Hardware is the New Software – Part 1

Hardware is the New Software – Part 2

All I can say is WOWSEE IT HERE

I am excited about this Indiegogo campaign.  When I bring paper to a meeting, I always have a hard time reading my own writing.  Its worse than my sister “The Doctor”.  I can barely understand my own chicken scratch.

I am a big Evernote user and take notes all the time at every meeting, unless I dont have my phone or Tablet with me.  I can’t wait to be able to listen more and then have the notes and dialogue come out in text!  Hope the grammer, spelling and organization comes through.  Plus the ability to see WHO was speaking.  Easy Search and Replace with names and you are done.

“Remember when you said…”  will become data and fact based, not dependent on whose memory is better or voice is louder.

This tool can be useful for:

  • Meetings
  • Lectures
  • Presentations
  • Pitches
  • Practicing Speeches (and see how far off-script you are)
  • Capturing Important Phone calls.

Cant wait to see this product commercialized and brought to retail.  Get on Board Here:  Link to Titan NOTE

 

 

<iframe src="https://www.indiegogo.com/project/titan-note-change-the-way-you-take-notes-college-innovation/embedded/13877292" width="222px" height="445px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Experience AR/VR if you haven’t done it already…

Augmented Reality

Seeing the Virtual World

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited by my friend, Paolo Lorenzi to see and experience the business VR/AR solution from his company InContext Solutions.  I ran into Paolo at a party where he was elated and excited about his new company and its value.   I just had to experience it for myself.

I have tried VR/AR in several tech accelerators and early stage companies in the past. I also saw some work that students produced at Bergen Tech High School (Public High School ranked #4 in NJ)  Robert Scoble. is an active author and great resource in the space and is regularly, almost daily, shooting Facebook Live videos and sharing his experiences with new companies in the space.

If you are not experiencing Virtual or Augmented Reality you are missing the future…

I have experienced several apps on different VR/AR platforms today (Oculus and HTC) in several tech accelerators and early-stage investments I have reviewed.  However, most of them are being built around social and game segments which are not in my wheelhouse.  (I am a B2B market expert).  I even tried the Google Cardboard with my son’s phone and was amazed at the perspectives you could get looking around in space, animated environments and more.  My advisory and investment work takes me into more industrial applications, so I was not as excited as I was when I first saw Paolo’s product.

InContext – “VR Solutions to Drive Faster, Smarter, More Profitable Decisions at Retail”

What I saw, through the Vive Headset and controllers from Incontext, shattered my B2B senses.  Here was a business solution that could rapidly setup nearly real-looking retail environments and get valuable customer feedback quickly and at a much reduced cost and risk.  What they enable is the ability to have actual customers, walk-through nearly real retail environments, and allow them to pull products off the shelf and inspect them as if they were there, in-store.  The experience to the consumer is extremely high, the only thing missing seemed to be the sense of smell.

Value to Retailers and Manufacturers

Do not consider this just a value to retailers, but more importantly, there is great value to the manufacturers.  Retailers are able to get a rapid response to new store designs, in-store walking patterns, reactions to interior design changes, before going to the expense of physical mock-ups.  This can save extensive costs in choosing the themes, traffic patterns, promotional programs to drive more revenue per customer and more customers who buy.  Whether its at the cash-register for impulse purchases, the impact of POS promotions, or aisle patterns and breaks to guide customers to naturally paired purchase selections.

For the products and goods manufacturers, it can provide immediate reactions to new packaging, color choices, and even how people pick-up and review the packaging.  InContext provides the ability to get heat maps as people walk realistic aisles in the store.  This provides a direct feedback as to how and when people walking down the aisle, See your product, and decide whether to purchase versus all the other competitive or adjacent products surrounding it.  I was even able to pick up cereal boxes and read the nutrition labels  on it, simulating a purchase review example.

The application and potential of AR/VR is Just Beginning to be seen….

Consider that we are the beginning of the potential of how these can be applied and will be applied.  The experience is quite revealing when you stop staring at a 2D TV and start swiveling your head and body to look around.  It just reinforced that this technology, both AR and VR, will greatly change how we evaluate situations, train teams on new products and services, establish troubleshooting methods and even control machines remotely to name a few.

Try it yourself and see the potential

I got so jazzed up by the experience with InContext that I went and bought the Samsung VR Gear (a poor mans’ VR solution).  It was an $80 solution, compared to $800 (plus a $2K computer) for the Oculus and HTC solutions.  However, it gives you initial access to some amazing 360 degree and virtual worlds designed and built by talented people from around the world.   to being in the center of a jazz of classical orchestra, or an experience watching Netflix which appears to be your own 200 inch Movie Theatre.

If you are a Star Trek (Trekkie), you know of the Holodeck.  Consider this to be the first step towards that experience.

A Taste of Potential in Industrial and B2B Solutions… not just games.

What I experienced and saw from InContext was like looking through a window into the future of B2B applications.  Consider not just early in the design cycle, where you get customer feedback early and quickly, but also in the training, education, operations, and risk mitigation applications.  Consider the following:

  • operating robots remotely, through a 360 Degree perspective,
  • running test procedures on remote facilities where you can get to the root cause, before you go into the field and provision the exact parts you need for the fix,
  • manage a meeting “on-site” where you can see things live, without having to leave your office and lose precious travel time.

We are at the beginning of this technology application and potential for disruption.

Do it now… Talk about it.. Socialize it.

If you are in any Technology related field, the experience could be invaluable.  As a large company executive, I would ensure that all employees get exposed to this technology soon.  If you want people’s morale to change and improve, exposure to this experience can open up the imagination and potential to innovate.  In some respects, its analogous to the first time I saw Color TV.

We HAVE come a long way Baby.

 

CAN YOU BELIEVE A SOFTWARE BUSINESS GUY FIXED A TV (HARDWARE) FOR $10.

Annoying Problems Started 3 Months Ago…

My wife and I have gotten in the habit of watching the News in the evening from our Bedroom 46” LCD TV.  However, 3 months ago, we noticed that when we turned the TV on, it would start cycling a few times before the screen lit up.  The cycle itself was a little annoying as well, especially with the audio sound that would occur on each cycle.  You know that sound, doo doo dle do doo dledo ¯¯¯   ¯¯ ¯¯¯

What started as a 10 second cycle to light up the screen started getting longer each day.  Finally, after leaving the TV on and cycling for a hour, the lighting (backlit LCD TV) never came on.

 

So, What Was Wrong Inspector Clouseau?

I have seen this before in computer monitors.  And, I forgot to mention that I would hear a loud click at the start of each cycle.  For you techies out there, the TV is digital and has very few moving parts… so what could be clicking?

After a lot of research on the Brand (Samsung), the model number, and symptoms, VOILA!  The disease was found.  It was the capacitor of course.   And, apparently, this was a known problem where if this was 2013, Samsung would have repaired this for free.

But now, what the h$#%k is a capacitor?

 

Ok.. Its the Capacitor, What Do I Do Now?

So I scrambled through the YouTuberverse and identified the model and unit numbers of my TV to discover the details, manuals, diagrams, and potential parts that could be the source of the problem.

Somehow, I figured out that when the TV starts, it needs a “Kick” of power to get the juices flowing (a technical term).  I reasoned that the “Click” i was hearing was at the root cause of the lack of the power kick needed.  I also inferred the capacitor was the cause as I dealt with an alternator and starter problem before in my cars and when the HVAC guy explained why my outdoor compressor fan wasn’t starting.  It all makes sense, right?

 

Ready People?           Charge!  Well, Unplug It First…

So, I searched for the right parts for the TV model I own and found it would be a direct replacement of a couple of capacitors (pictures to follow below) or the power board in the TV.  There are two major boards in the back of a LCD TV.  One is for the Power, the other is for the logic, controls, video conversions and scaling and I just ran out of the buzzwords so I will stop there.

I felt certain that it was the capacitors.  Now to confirm the actual part type and specs, I had to open the back of the TV and take a look.

 

Hardware Is the New Software… And Software Is the New Hardware…

As most of you know, I have been talking and working with companies which are dealing with the convergence of hardware and software (and Digital with the Physical).  But, like most of you, I am a software guy who knows a lot about PC’s, but not much about electronics or circuit boards or power supplies and boards, etc.

 

Enter from Screen Left –>  Maker Dude

The Maker Movement has gotten under my skin in the last few years. So, enter the Super Hero, David, “The Maker Dude” to the Rescue.  I told my wife Lynn, “I will save this TV Lynn (Nell).”

Sustainability is in my brain as well and who wants another 46″ TV going to the junkyard.  No more leaching of mercury into the soil on some remote Island where the TV will get recycled by under age child labor.  I will avoid that and fix this TV myself!

 

Open Sesame.  Says Me.  Remove The Board Without Hitting Anything.

Got my trusty power screwdriver and began to unscrew the back (plastic shell) of the TV.  It came off easily.  (BTW, UNPLUG the TV From the wall).

I then had to remove the steel covers (with lots of holes for air) that protected the two big boards.  Then, like I used to do when I was fixing Personal Computers, I had to unplug the various ribbon cables that went from accessories like speakers and buttons to the boards.

Then I unscrewed the board from the TV’s metal chassis and laid it down on a soldering pad I borrowed from my son.  I then started playing a new game, find the capacitors.  With my tablet nearby, I had a reference picture of another board from a similar TV that I could use to identify where the capacitors were on the board.

BTW, is this reading like an “Action-Thriller” yet?

And, amazingly, I found the capacitors and inspected them.  The tops of capacitors are supposed to be flat, metal.  However, you know when a capacitor is bad when it looks like an erupted volcano instead of flat metal surface on the top.  Sure enough, there were four (4) of the six capacitors, barely 1/4 the size of a pig in a blanket, (I know, weird symbolism, but I love them), that were damaged.

 

I took more pictures, read the lettering on them, and determined that they were 1000mF, 25Volt, and 150C degree capacitors.   Not sure what any of that means, except the voltage and maybe the 150C means a hot application.

 

Do I Buy Online or Go to The Store?

Now I know what I need.  So, do I get them on Amazon because that is where I buy everything?  Or, do I go to the local electronics store.

I chose to go to the STORE for instant gratification and that I couldn’t wait for prime two-day or overnight delivery.  But, believe or not, itreally hit my budget for going to the store.

Instead of spending $6 for 4 capacitors, I was going to buy them from the store and I knew I would spend a lot more money.  I shelled out over $10.  Can you believe it?  Highway Robbery.

 

Ok.  It’s Time to Fix It.

So, I come back to my home and pull out all the good Maker Tools I bought for my Son.  Out comes the Soldering Gun, Solder Cleaner, Solder Sucker, Picking tools, Solder Wick, Magnifying glasses, and more.

Step one.  Remove the damaged capacitors.  heat the soldered connections up, press down on the solder sucker and when the solder is in liquid form, press the button and suck it up.

Step two.  Do One again because I have never done this before.

Step Three.  Repeat step two more frequently if you are inexperienced.  Or like the women and men on YouTube, suck it up once per connection.

Step Four.  Place the new capacitors in the top of the holes, be sure to find negative and positive facing polarities, otherwise the results look like a small Manhattan project.

Step Five.  Turn the board over.  Solder the wire pins to the board holes and ensure that it doesn’t wiggle and they are in tight.

Step Six.  You are done on the Board.

Speedy Step Seven.  Replace the boards in the TV chassis and return all parts, connectors, screws, and place and put back cover back on.

Houston.  We Have Lift Off.  (And Another Pats Super Bowl Victory).

I then plugged the TV back in, and Amaaaazing!  The Power came right on!  One cycle, and the screen lit up with the right menu.  I did it!

I then mounted the TV back on the Wall Mount and I was up and running again!

SUCCESS….

 

In Summary and A Little In Retrospect.

Who would have thunk?  A Software Guy… able to repair Hardware parts in a TV, and it only cost me $10.

My family is still just going wild and crazy-proud of me for doing this. (Or was it really because of another Patriots win this weekend)?

The “maker movement”, Make Magazine, My Son, and the resurgence of manufacturing in the US have all inspired me to do this.   MakerFaire has been amazing in demonstrating the possible from what looks like the possible.  Getting our hands into a project, and not just a keyboard, really was satisfying and meaningful.

On another note, I wish my dad was still alive.   He was a electrical engineer who would have completed this project in under an hour.  It took me three, excluding the road trip to the Electronics store.  If my Dad was here, I know he would have been truly proud of me this weekend.

“Make-On” Dudes and Dudettes!

 

P.S.  I am still not sure what to do with the extra parts I have leftover that I couldn’t find any place to return in the back of the TV.

Its October 2015 and I am Back.  Its been a while since I wrote any blog content.  Let me catch you up with everything going on 2015 has been an interesting year so far.  Here is the latest:

  1. TechX Foundry will be opening its first Prototyping facility in early Q1 2016 in Newark.  With our Great Partnership with NJIT, we are moving right along.  See an article here.  Once we settle in and establish an operating, economic, and revenue/demand model for Newark, we will work again on setting up Secaucus for our 80K Sq. Ft. Hub.
  2. Thanks to our great team, our business Innovation Center and Collaboratory,  TechX Foundry, accelerates the concept to prototype and market process for Tech Hardware, Systems and Software efforts, while eliminating capital requirements, lowering risk and reducing time to a fraction of the off-shore, conventional methods today.  I received the Innovator of the Year for 2015 from the NJMEP and NJBiz.   See More Here.
  3. We have come to the realization that Tech Hardware investments are growing faster than their traditional Software options.  I really think Software Fatigue is slowing down the rate of investment in lieu of Hardware investments supporting companies in the IoT, Autonomous Vehicles, Drones, Security, Automotive, and other Hardware Growth markets.  Expect more on these fronts from our prototyping and editorials coming from TechX Foundry.
  4. Our Meetup Group has been growing steadily, with very little marketing efforts placed on it.  We are now over 750 Hardwarians.  While our Panel Discussion with 3 CxO’s has been well received, we are going to change our format for our November/December meetup.  We will have 5-10 Tech Hardware Companies pitch their businesses and desire for resources, support and dialogue.  Look for our Meetup Group emails to learn more.  Expect 2016 to be an even better year for Meetup content.
  5. On a Personal Note its been a period of Flux.  My wife is in China for 8-9 months (back every 8 weeks or so) and is living in Shanghai.  Check out here travel website if you get a chance.So its the bachelors at home (Stephan and I).  My daughter is now a Buckeye and is at her first year at Ohio State.  A great big 10 education.  She was accepted into the business school and also taking more Mandarin to become an international savant.

Well, thanks for tuning in.  Expect more from me soon.  Wishing all the best health, happiness, prosperity, and success.

Warm Regards,

David

 

I don’t get it. I just opened a newsletter I was interested in reading this morning. It was in PDF form, and formated in two-columns. The articles flowed from Top to Bottom in Column1 and then to the Top of Column Two.

This is a poor format for the age of reading on PC’s, Phones, iPads, Tablets, etc. ALL people hate to scroll! Why force readers to go down, up, down, next page down, up, down through every page?

With a single article its best to either scroll down to reach the rest of the article (continue to scroll down) or one touch/button to the next page… without columns. Newspapers use multi-columns and “go-tos” since they want you to view and see all their advertisements as you travel on or between pages.

The new formats and flows on devices and PCs allow for continuous scrolling or in very cools ways let you “swipe” sideways to the next page. This is smart layout for digital media and content.

Popular Science Magazine produced a great video which talks about its approach to designing its e-reader approach. Its quite fascinating and found here:

http://vimeo.com/10630568

Am I crazy? If you have something to say then simple SCROLL DOWN and make a comment.

I spent 90+ minutes last week with Gerhard Gscwandtner, Founder and Publisher of www.sellingpower.com who stopped by our offices today and brought some great wisdom with him. Not only did we share thoughts about our passion of Photography, but we had some great conversation about the state of sales, and about his current views on Sales 2.0. He also had some great thoughts about WarpSales and understood how WarpSales is able to uniquely accelerate and enrich the sales funnel. Read On.

Gerhard helped me understand more about what Sales 2.0 is doing to assist in driving sales effectiveness and productivity and improving the sales landscape.

“WarpSales is Enriching and filling Sales Pipelines and Helping to Accelerate the Pipeline building process in WarpSpeeds” Gerhard Gscwandtner, November 2007

Gerhard surmised that while our value is at the heart of improving sales effectiveness and assisting in companies pipeline building among other current priorities, our current language in terms of increasing live connect rates to improve prospecting effectiveness is not articulating the value that we actually achieve. I believe he confirmed that we are demonstrating a direct improvement in the sales funnel by:

  • Increasing the number of Qualified Sales Leads (QSL) entered into the Sales Pipeline (We use the term QSO… Qualified Sales Opportunity);
  • Improving the quality of leads that sales people are qualifying in addition to increasing the quantity;
    Accelerating the speed in sales pipeline growth, especially at the top of the funnel; and
  • Providing an early point of sales revenue predictability compared with waiting until a QSO is created.

Improving the Sales Funnel is one of the top 3 priorities of Sales Leaders across the board… based on research by CSO Insights*.

Gerhard and I had many other discussions in our time together. I expect that you will see the results of those discussions come out in Acrelic’s own marketing and product offerings in the near future. The current growth of both Acrelic Interactive (WarpSales) and Acrelic Group (Management Advisory Service) will both be showcasing those issues.

I have been a reader of Sales magazines and have been using CRM systems for 25+ years. I evaluated and deployed CRM systems for my sales teams and my personal use when they started being introduced for the PC in the mid 1980’s. I have been reading Selling Power magazine for 8 years (not sure why I didn’t read it sooner) and have attended their sales conferences. I have seen an ever-increasing level of value from Gerhard as he and his team has worked hard to help sales people and marketing and sales leaders innovate and improve sales practices. In my opinion, Gerhard is one of the top 5 gurus in the world helping Sales and his Publishing firm is leading the charge. I would encourage anyone involved in Sales or Marketing to learn more about SellingPower, join their readership and get involved in their related programs.