Apple buys a market – again!

According to this story, Apple has secured (again) the rights to the name iPad in the Chinese market.

What a flipping bargain!  It sure seems that Apple’s lawyers earned their salaries on this one.  $60M is a small price to pay for the ability to sell iPad’s into China.  With the size of that market, Apple will be able to continue its world wide growth for some time.

It brings up a feeling of deja vu for me – I was working at Creative Labs when Apple settled a patent lawsuit with them.  Creative Labs had a patent on the scrolling menu system that was used on iPods.   (I think it is the same version still being used on current generation iPods.)

The Creative Labs settlement cleared the way for Apple to continue to dominate the personal audio market.  The feeling at Creative was one of vindication and pride on being “right.”  We really felt that we had stuck it to the Big Bad Apple.  Unfortunately, being right didn’t sell any additional Zen players.

If I remember correctly, the fiscal quarter that saw the money arrive from Apple was our only positive quarter in the previous 4-5 quarters.  It didn’t get any better after that as future quarters saw us loosing money also.

I left Creative Labs not too long after that, but will always remember the feeling of false hope that the settlement brought…


Christmas Shopping

We did our annual Christmas Shopping for our immediate family this last weekend.  Kids buy presents for the rest of the family, strict $5 per person limit.  Actually, $5 per person total spent is the goal, not just a limit.  It is not allowed to buy a pack of gum and keep the change…  (It’s been asked before)

With three kids buying presents for each other and Mom and Dad, it’s $20 per kid.  I’d have to say it is my favorite shopping trip of the year.  Totally worth the $60.  In fact, probably the best $60 we spend on Christmas each year.  Fun, educational, family time, and several teaching moments rolled into an afternoon.

To see what each child thinks is a good present for their brother/sister and for Mom is great!  They are innovative and imaginative – sometimes even more than I am.  They really do have fun finding treasures for the family.

We have fun dividing up the kids between Dawn and I and we head off into the store.  We’ve done Target the last two years, and this year we decided to give Fred Meyer a shot.  It was a great choice with plenty of options in our price range.

Since Dawn and I aren’t buying, we get to advise, motivate, and calculate for the kids.  We try to teach them about shopping, “If you buy that for him also, you’ll be over the limit.  Is THAT the present you really want to give ?”   We throw out ideas for them to build on if they get stuck, but basically we try to stay out of the way and make this event for them.

The kids also wrap their presents and put them under the tree – that is a huge part of the experience.  I’m always amazed at the amount of tape that can fit around a gift!

In the car on the way home, Ryan said that doing the family shopping was his favorite part of Christmas – he knew that Christmas day was almost here, and he couldn’t wait to watch us open the gifts.

What sort of special family traditions do you treasure each year?


Wal-Mart’s Christmas Price Guarantee

Wal-Mart repintado
Image via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart is looking to strike back at other retailers:

Read the story at USA Today

Interesting to me:

  • You don’t need the product, just the receipts
  • Comparison doesn’t include online purchases
  • You get difference back in Wal-Mart gift Cards
  • Almost an 8 week window to watch for pricing
  • I bet they include internet retailers for next year

What are your thoughts – Did they go far enough?  Will you take advantage of this?

You have handed off sales to someone…

This is the fourth part of a five part series, diving deeper into individual points from the post : “5 reason’s your product is not at retail”

4 – You have handed off sales to someone…

If you’ve hired a sales manager, sales person, or independent reps, your job is not even close to being done.

Making the hire doesn’t do the job.

As the responsible person (it is your company, right?) you have to guide and lead all parts of the company, including the sales dept.  Even if you have no interest or desire to become the sales person on a day to day basis.

Your involvement depends on the type of person you have hired and their scope of responsibility.

If you hire a VP of Sales, then you would expect that person to be able to handle a greater share of the decisions and actions.  You can set the strategy, timeline, and expected revenue and let them handle the rest.  You still have to check in constantly as to the strategy and execution, however, I have seen the best results when checking on the specific details also.  Drilling down with your sales person and team on specific accounts, channels, or deals can make sure that something important isn’t missed.

If you hire an independent sales rep (or several) than you are responsible for far more of the work, the strategy, and the follow up.  You have to MANAGE them and their activity on a weekly basis.  This is your product, your company, and your sales.  If you are not willing to undertake that work yourself, then you need to find someone who will do it for you.