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Yes I spent 30 hours in Omaha, NE and here are a few things I came away with…..

May 4th, 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a city that I had never been to before. My travels took me to Omaha, Nebraska for a CEO conference hosted by Phil Terry, followed by attending the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting?

I didn’t know what to expect but here are a few things that I came away with:

  • The people couldn’t have been any friendlier – in fact, one of if not the friendliest city I have ever visited.
  • Even though it was cold and rained during pretty much my entire visit, it seems like it is a walking city and has statues everywhere.
  • The TD Ameritrade Park is home to the College World Series. The capacity is less than 35,000 and seems to be a special place to attend the game.
  • Having never been to any shareholder meeting I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am sure none are like this one. The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting was attended by over 40,000 people that saw it live and simulcast in different local hotels. In addition, Yahoo was streaming it for the first time and I am sure millions watched it.
  • Warren Buffet at 85 and Charlie Munger at 92 are intelligent, sharp as a tack and couldn’t possibly be any funnier!
  • Berkshire Hathaway is built on one thing and one thing only – culture. The home office has 26 people in it and none of the companies they own are required to fill out budgets, reports, or anything like that. They only work with people they trust and have very little turnover.
  • Warren & Charlie appear to be best friends, are great storytellers, and love to eat peanut brittle. They were on stage for over 5 ½ hours and must have consumed a few boxes of the treat.
  • The exhibit hall is not to be missed. The Hall is filled with companies they own and significant partners of theirs.

My time in Omaha was short but very special.

  • Have you been to the city?
  • What are your impressions?
  • Have you attended the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting?
  • Did you enjoy the experience?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Live! With Kelly and __________? You tell me.

May 2nd, 2016

I am sure by now all of us have heard that Michael Strahan is leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael and joining Good Morning America. The question is, what will the new show be named? Who will replace Michael Strahan?

So I ask you what would you do?

To level set, Michael was paid around $11,000,000 per year so let’s assume that will be enough money to draw interest from a lot of people.

Here are a few things to consider. Do they want to replace Michael with another man? Will he be an athlete? Will he be about the same age?

I will start the ball rolling. To me, they will replace Michael with a man but I am not so sure he is an athlete. With that said, I will hedge my list…here are 5 names that, if they asked me, I might consider:

  1. Tyrese Gibson – Worked work well with Kelly, big strapping good looking guy who seems to be very intelligent and could handle most topics.
  2. Jason Sehorn – Good looking, former NY Giant player, well spoken – no one is mentioning him so perhaps a darkhorse.
  3. Adam Sandler – I Am a big fan and since these are my thoughts – why not!
  4. Jay Z – Very famous, always in the spotlight in New York and would bring an edge to the show.
  5. Billy Crystal – I think Billy would be great for a few years. Hysterical, big time following, amazing contacts, and a New Yorker!

Okay, your turn:

  • Do you watch the show?
  • What do you think of my list?
  • Who are some of the people you think they should consider?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Oops – this information was Bogus! What do you think of these statistics?

April 29th, 2016

Please note that although we verify our facts before these posts go up, this one got past us and the statistics are bogus. Please accept our apologies.

Last week one of my colleagues (thanks S.B.) sent me a very interesting chart that I thought I would share.

Even though I knew, felt, and experienced some of this first hand I must admit I was a little surprised to read some of these numbers. Only 10% of sales are made within the first 3 calls – that seems right, but link that to the fact that 85% of sale people either never follow up or give up after three calls. To me that reinforces my belief that if you have tenacity, focus, and have solid time management/follow up skills, you will be successful.

  • What do you think of these numbers?
  • Do they feel right to you?
  • Can you share a story that can support these statistics?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What I have learned so far in the NBA playoffs….

April 27th, 2016

I must admit I have enjoyed watching the NBA playoffs. So far, here is what I think I have learned:

1. The Boston Celtics are a very athletic team.
2. Kevin Durant is too good a player to get caught up in all the cheap shots, flagrant fouls, & ejections.

  1. Even with Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors aren’t beating the San Antonio Spurs.
  2. The San Antonio Spurs, without question, are the best dynasty I have ever seen in sports!
  3. With Chris Paul out the Clippers are going home after the first round!
  4. The Detroit Pistons will be a special team next year!
  5. I don’t care who wins the Toronto Indiana series!
  6. The Houston Rockets are the most dysfunctional team I have seen since some of the crazy George Steinbrenner NY Yankee teams!
  7. The trainer for the Miami Heat is a superstar for everything he has done to get Dwayne Wade in a position to play!
  8. The Cleveland Cavaliers are better than most people think!
  9. Even only winning one playoff game the Dallas Mavericks overachieved.

Okay your turn…

  • What have you learned so far?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention researchers. Please watch this video and let me know your thoughts…..

April 25th, 2016

Over the weekend I was watching the NBA playoffs and a commercial came on that I thought would be very interesting to the research community.

Please click on the image to watch the 30 second spot.


  • Have you seen this before?
  • What are your thoughts?
  • What is going thru your mind regarding the market research industry?
  • Do you think that any type of PR (good or bad) helps our industry?

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Time to finish this sentence……

April 22nd, 2016

For me life is about…

  • Teaching my kids and preparing them to be adults!
  • Being around family and friends!
  • Accomplishing things I didn’t think I could accomplish!
  • Moving the business forward!
  • Laughing!
  • Loving!

Now your turn…

For me life is about…

I look forward to reading your comments.

Is 143 pitches too many?

April 20th, 2016

A few weeks ago I was watching TV and, of course, flipping around. While I was doing that I ended up on a women’s NCAA college softball game between NC State and Florida State. Even though I only watched for 5 minutes, the game was pretty exciting. The score was tied in the bottom of the 7th. What caught my attention wasn’t the score, the teams, the uniforms, or anything close to that. I noticed the pitch count in the bottom right corner which was in the mid 130’s. Let me start by saying this. I know very little about women’s college softball. With every 20 seconds another pitch would come and the pitch count would increase. Once it got passed 140 I was very intrigued and was curious as to how high it would go.

The pitcher for NC State was Courtney Mirabella who is a junior (12-12 on the year) and based on some of my research is a very experienced pitcher. She didn’t get any batters out in the 7th and actually hit a batter so perhaps she was very tired. NC State came up short losing 5-4 and Courtney’s pitch count ended at 143.


I must say I was shocked!

  • With the torque on their arm and shoulder isn’t that a ton of pitches?
  • Do some college pitchers actually throw more than that in a game?

I look forward to your comments and hope a few college pitchers’ or coaches respond to this post. I am really curious on their thoughts.

P.S. Here is a link to the box score. Click Here to see the box scores.

Attention travelers… do you like this survey….. I don’t.

April 18th, 2016

Like most of you, I travel quite a bit. As you know, I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to but it is a way of business and needs to happen.

A few weeks ago I read a survey that I thought was interesting and at the end a little disappointing. The story was about airline quality and rated the airline I travel the most 10th out of 13 airlines ranked.
The article said that overall, airline performance was up last year, but so were passenger complaints. In fact complaints are the worst they have been in 15 years.

The interesting part of the article was that on-time arrivals improved to nearly 80 percent of flights last year across the industry, up from 76 percent in 2014. The mishandled baggage rate dropped by 10 percent, and fewer passengers were bumped from overbooked flights, all of which should have made for happier travelers and less complaints!

Instead, passenger complaints were sky high, a sign that dissatisfaction goes beyond lost luggage and late arrivals.

JetBlue’s on-time performance improved to 76 percent from 75.4 percent in 2014, the report says. Its rating for bumping people from flights is the lowest of all airlines rated. Its customer complaint rate — 0.86 complaints per 100,000 passengers — was less than half the industry rate. JetBlue’s mishandled baggage rate of 1.81 per 1,000 passengers in 2015 was second best among airlines rated.

Spirit, headquartered in Miramar, had the lowest on-time performance of the 13 airlines: 69 percent. It also received 11.73 complaints per 100,000 passengers, far more than the industry average. But Spirit’s rate of bumping passengers was the fifth-best of the airlines rated, and its rate of mishandled baggage — 2.57 per 1,000 passengers — was fourth best.

Here is the Airline Quality Rating 2016.

Airline rankings:

  1. Virgin America
  2. JetBlue
  3. Delta
  4. Hawaiian
  5. Alaska
  6. Southwest
  7. SkyWest
  8. United
  9. ExpressJet
  10. American
  11. Frontier
  12. Envoy Air
  13. Spirit

For me I am not surprised that Spirit was last, but I was surprised about American being 10th! I take them all the time and was shocked the gap between Delta and American was that big.

  • What are your thoughts of this survey?
  • Do you think people are complaining more than they did a few years ago?
  • Are you enjoying traveling as much as you did 5 years ago?
  • I look forward to reading your comments.

Does this statement make sense to you?

April 15th, 2016

Since my dad has been slowing down I have been realizing more and more that growing old is very hard and has tremendous challenges. A few weeks ago someone said something to me that has really stuck.

She said “I want to die healthy.” At first I was taken back, then I thought it was a goofy comment. And, as most of the readers know, I tend to be very goofy, but as I have thought about the meaning of the statement I think she is right. I would like to die healthy.

What I would ask is that you take a minute and think about the statement. To me it means I don’t want to suffer for a long time. Of course I don’t want to die at an early age, but if I was healthy and all of a sudden I had an illness that took my life instantly or after a few weeks, I believe I would be ready for whatever is next. I am very fortunate to have amazing friends and family and, of course, would like to let each of them know what they mean to me and how much I love them. Seeing my dad in this state is very hard, remembering my dad in another phase of his life is what I need to keep going. I am sure each of you have had loved ones in the same state. Although I do have long-term home health care I truly hope I never have to use it and be a burden on anyone.

  • What does the statement “I want to die healthy” mean to you?
  • Do you think it actually makes sense?

I look forward to reading your comments.

P.S. I am truly sorry if this post is too morbid or insensitive, that really wasn’t my intent.

Five things I learned while I ran a 5K

April 13th, 2016

Even though I have been working out over 20+ times a month for 15 years I haven’t run in a 5K since I was in my 20’s with my roommate at the time – J.M. While I was driving around town I noticed a few signs that were promoting a 5K road race for a charity and the next thing I knew I signed myself and Mary up to not only support the charity but also to try something different.

Here are a few things I learned along my 5K!

  1. Running on pavement is a lot different than on a treadmill! My back and top of my knees really felt the impact a lot more than running 8 miles on a treadmill.
  2. I need to run with music! As opposed to most people who truly enjoy running in a competitive environment I need to listen to music and yes, run to the beat a little bit!
  3. I had absolutely no idea how far I had gone and how much I had left! I counted the number of songs and multiplied it by 4 minutes and kind of had an estimate but not really. I looked up and saw the finish line when I had a lot more in the tank!
  4. Running in a timed 5K is a VERY dangerous thing for me! Because I am so competitive, and now that I have a time as a measuring stick (29:30), I will definitely have a need to beat that next time. Because I am old and won’t listen to my body, I have a sense that I will push myself way beyond what I should.
  5. I had a lot of goofy thoughts. While I was running I was looking at the houses, the streets, and the other participants. Thoughts came into my mind like oh I can get past this house before the song ends, I can’t believe that person is ahead of me! That person is older than me I should be able to run faster! What am I doing, I am too old for this!

Overall the experience was great. I am glad I was able to do this with M.D. and of course she finished with a huge smile on her face while I was struggling.

  • When was the last time you ran a road race?
  • Did you enjoy the experience?
  • Have you run a marathon?
  • What was the feeling when you crossed the finish line?
  • What are you thinking about when you run?
  • I look forward to reading your comments.