The Internet's Success Expert™
“When small men attempt great enterprises, they always end by reducing them to the level of their mediocrity.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
One of the root causes of many problems I, as much as many other entrepreneurs, face throughout the life of a company ismediocrity. Over the years I have developed an insatiable desire for perfection and excellence in the products and/or services I want put my name behind. To be honest, it isn’t particularly hard to set these types of high standards. Making your organization live by them, however, is a different story; it’s extremely difficult! I still struggle with the execution of some of these standards at times as it is a constant uphill battle. (more…)
Last week FEMA announced that 90,000 square miles were affected by Katrina, an area greater than the size of the United Kingdom! This message certainly puts the effects of this devastating storm into perspective.
In one of the early news releases after Katrina hit Louisiana last week one survivor said “This is our tsunami”. My initial reaction was “Oh, come on, you can’t even compare these two”. By now my opinion has changed, however, as I submerged myself more and more in what really happened there. (more…)
A well equipped spa is one of the perfect places for me to relax, be by myself (although Pete and Chris join me sometimes) and think without being disturbed by anything or anyone. I spent a good 4 hours doing just that earlier this morning at Burke Williams in Hollywood. Great location and, against all odds, not that crowded on a Saturday morning. I find it extremely helpful for collecting thoughts and I try to do this at least once every few weeks. (more…)
I used to love to hate Wanda Sykes until Pete took me to a live show of hers. She got her claim to fame by pissing off Bill Cosby at the Oscars a few years back. She also had a TV show (Wanda At Large) that didn’t do so well. She’s much better doing stand-up. Most people will probably remember her, however, for her part as Jane Fonda’s sarcastic assistant Ruby in the movie Monster in Law. (more…)
I’m taking Pete and the family on our first official Alaska cruise next Thursday. It’s amazing how much positive feedback we got from people since I booked the cruise. Brad has always been the biggest Alaska fan; he spends almost all of his summer there, but virtually everybody we met who visited Alaska and/or did the cruise raved about it. So, I’m now starting to get really excited.
We’re going to Seward, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point on Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas. We’ll be doing some helicopter hopping, salmon fishing, whale watching, off-road jeep riding, and we’ll also enjoy plenty of “downtime”. My kids love cruises and so does “my better half” Andrea. She’s really happy that they have some form of kid entertainment on board for a few hours/day (hey, if Mama ain’t happy, nobody ain’t happy). (more…)
I recently taught a class on negotiation strategies and tactics. As part of my preparation for this I started formulating a set of guidelines using some of the obvious thing most people know (or should know) and adding some of my personal experiences. The results are my “Rules of Engagement”
I’m starting this post by making it crystal clear that negotiation is a process that can be learned! By following a number of rules, which I have outlined below, and practicing (repetition, repetition, repetition is the mother of retention), virtually everyone can fine-tune their skills at negotiating deals in which everyone wins. Please note that the “everyone wins” part is very important when you negotiate and want to continue a good relationship (i.e. funding/financing deals, leases, or salaries) with your counterpart post negotiations. If you are negotiating a one-time deal (i.e. bazaar, flea market) its more of a guideline than a rule. You’ll notice that the majority of deals you negotiate, however, fall under the win-win rule. (more…)
Ok, I admit it; I’m a Foodie! Big time, and I really mean BIG TIME! Having a sophisticated and fun 3 hours+ dinner with my friends is on of the pleasures of my life and most people who know me have experienced these “mini-vacations” with me at one time or another. Pete and I are pretty much on the same wave length on the food situation (unfortunately you can tell when you see us) .Chris is still “in training” when it comes to that, but I’m working on it! (more…)
I’m a big proponent of team work. A team to me is at least 2 people working together on a common goal. That doesn’t mean that there is no room for the single “star”, but these “stars” are usually more like shooting stars that flare up for a while and rock your world before they disappear. Great teams, however, by the simple concept of redundancy, have a much better shot at lasting success. In light of this I thought I share the following with you.
Yesterday I’ve had a weird conversion over lunch with one of the people that work for me at Globat. While no laws were broken I decided to name him Jack for good measure and leave his real first name out of this post. (more…)
Ok, my best friend Pete Pergelides (Pete, he spells it Petie [I'm German, don't blame me], is the most talented singer, voice coach, actor, and entertainer I know) and I have been talking quite a bit about creative outlets lately. So, as result of this, and after reading my other best friend Chris Ueland’s (Chris is also my business partner in Globat, Modern Living, and ProcLogic) blog and my buddy Brad Feld’s blog (Brad acquired one of my earlier Internet companies and with that and the 2 years we worked together changed my life) for a while I finally decided to take the plunge and join the blogging world (for better or worse) and started “Views from the Trenches”. So, welcome to anyone who wishes to peek in and spend time enduring my potentially completely biased and mostly very candid view points. Feel free to “chime” in as well whenever you feel it’s warranted. Enjoy! - Ben Neumann.
I have somewhat of a radical attitude toward seasonal sales and revenue fluctuations. I believe that more often than not companies and people use typical seasonal changes as an excuse to not perform up to their own expectations. The web hosting industry, as much as many other online markets tend to have weaker sales numbers during the summer months as well as between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Now I look at these typically slow times as tremendous opportunities to find out was exactly triggers consumer behavior to change during those times. (more…)