I Could Really Use The Knee Defender

I’m 6’3″ and I love flying, but the tight isles have always been a problem.  Most of my height is due to my long legs. On many flights, I have to stop the person in front of my from reclining because the seat literally crushes my knees! I’ve had a few people turn around with dirty looks, but what else can I do?

I’m thinking I should invest in this Knee Defender. Silly?

Goodbye 2013

We barely knew you… The baker’s dozen year. The darkest night in 500 years happened just 2 days ago.

I worked with a guy who stayed home every Friday the 13th.  Yes, he’s very superstitious.  I wonder if he’s happy 2013 is over?

There were bright spots this year.  The DOW is up over 24%, which is the best performance since 2003. The housing market steadily improved, but we still have a ways to go since 40% of homeowners have negative equity. All American’s have health insurance – right?

There were some dark spots too, but much will be written about those so I’ll stick to the positive.

My little incubator launched two startups this year;  Milefork and Gigable. We have a little spark in both and will be working hard to build momentum in 2014.

By the way, if you need animations or graphic design, Fiverr.com is an excellent resource.  Just do your homework and read the reviews. You will thank me.

Social Media made great strides this year. A whopping 97% of marketers are using social media to engage their customers. Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs lead the pack in effectiveness. Podcasting may be the newest medium to take off in 2014. You heard it here first.

Miley made a big splash to return to the spotlight. My thoughts on pop music here. I’ve heard so many mixed opinions about the state of music.  The fact is there is more music being recorded now than ever.  The problem (for some) is finding the good stuff. The “good stuff” is objective of course, but many people over 30 have given up on FM radio completely. My thoughts on radio are here.

I hear a lot of small business owners still blaming the economy for lack of revenues. However, when you look closely, I don’t think its the economy’s fault.  If you have a GREAT product or service and treat your customers like gold, your business should flourish – in any economy. I think the economy is just fine for the most part.  Have you traveled lately? Planes are full.  Restaurants are busy – the good ones anyway. There’s $16 trillion exchanging hands in our economy as of June 2013. I’m not an economist and I also ignore major news media.

So, what will 2014 bring?  I have no idea, but I’m pretty excited about the prospects.

Vehicle Graphics Expose The Goods

A 3M study shows that vehicle graphics has the lowest CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ratio than any other major medium. Vehicle graphics or “wraps” have increased in popularity among businesses of all sizes over the past 5 years.

Small fleets, such as HVAC companies and large fleets such as nationwide pizza chains have allocated a significant portion of their marketing budgets to vehicle graphics. And the results are paying off. These companies are seeing an increase in brand exposure and sales as a direct result of applying vinyl graphics to their company vehicles.

There are two main providers of vinyl media that is used for vehicle wraps; 3M and Avery Dennison. The state-of-the-art vinyl and adhesive is extremely durable and safe on vehicles.  The vinyl material can be applied to any part of the vehicle and will last up to 5-6 years.

Vehicle graphics and wraps must be installed by a certified graphics installer. The installation process usually takes several hours and each vehicle is different and requires special tools.

The photos below show graphics projects completed by Digital Graphic Solutions in Valparaiso, IN.  For each project, DGS provided the graphics design, manufacturing and installation.

 

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

 

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

 

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

 

Digital Graphic Solutions | Van Graphics

 

Create For Yourself

Most songwriters, artists and creators in general usually think in terms of creating a product for external consumption. I know I do.

However, it’s a good practice to create things for yourself.  This means creating something that is out of your comfort zone that no one would ever see.  Create something that uses skills outside your expertise. This builds the creative muscle and will most likely give you more ideas for your primary creative endeavors.

Todd Henry, author of “The Accidental Creative” calls it Unnecessary Creation.  Allow yourself to dig deep into something that you never plan on showing anyone.

You will be surprised at the results.