CES 2015 Marketing Fails (World’s Best!)

I greatly enjoyed CES 2015… Perhaps most of all, the startup corridore (some of which was sponsored by indiegogo.com ).  However startups, big and small, seemed to fail at several key marketing elements.  Here are some of my favorite marketing fails from CES 2015.

1.) Worlds First:   Several startups made this claim proudly on banners, some of which not more than 100 feet from a similar product, also the worlds first.
Why a marketing fail?  Not what you think… Its not the claim itself that fails (maybe its true, maybe not). The problem is WHO CARES!  Marketers must train themselves to think from the customer point of view….   And tell them the benefit of your product, from their perspective, not a useless claim!
2.). World’s “whatever” (smartest, best, smallest, whatever).
Why a marketing fail?   This one is the reason you think…  How can you verify this claim?  Unless it is self-evident, you cannot back it up.   And anyways, its not from the customers perspective… so again, who cares!
  Can you find the claim?
3.) No Idea What You Do…   Too much clutter!
Why a marketing fail?  This is the most common problem.   I just want to scan your booth and see what you do or make or your product… If I cant figure that out in 5 secs, i am gone.

   What is this selling exactly?

4.) No Goal! No point to even be there!
Why a marketing fail?   If you don’t have a “MEASURABLE GOAL” how can you know if you achieved it (or anything).  I’m not picking on my UT friends, but I’m not sure what it is they are trying to do… maybe looking for partners?  How will they know how many they met?  If I go to a show like this, I would have a specific goal and agenda, and a way to measure it.  Give-aways/raffles are a great way to do this.
What fails did you see at CES this year?

What Martial Arts can teach you about Business.

I love martial arts.  I’ve practiced some form since I was 10 years old.  Martial Arts can teach you may things about business… some very interesting concepts from the business of martial arts, and some from the philosophy of martial arts.  Read on for the scoop.

The Business of Martial Arts:

  1. At it’s core, the business of Martial Arts is a franchising operation.  The difference is that you must EARN the right to franchise.  That’s just good business sense.  Don’t let anyone with a buck sell your product, make them earn the right.
  2. Bill monthly, encourage use.  By billing monthly, martial arts keep you “captive” to your pocketbook (a tactic known to 24-hour gyms).
  3. Make me feel special.  As a consumer of martial arts, I love it that you make me feel special, unique, and desired.  It’s a club that not just anybody can join: e.g. the best kind… and a kind that breeds long-term customers.
  4. Don’t be what you are not.  You don’t have weights, snacks, movie nights, or popcorn.   You don’t offer massage, swimming lessons, or dance…. you are martial arts.  You are what you are, and you never break your contract with me about what you are. Good for you; this too keeps me loyal, not overly demanding, and keeps your costs down too!
The Philosophy of Martial Arts:
  1. Only for Defense, never for Offense.  This may not be all martial arts philosophy, but it is most of their core principles.  How does this relate to business?  Simple.  DO NOT abuse your customers.  If they are your customers, you don’t need to FIGHT them for goodness sakes.  Also, don’t go after your competition… it’s better to find your NICHE and defend from a position you own, then to go on OFFENSE and try to take their position.
  2. Goals.  This is a core tenant of Tae Kwan Do (my current marital art of choice)… and for business it is essential.  If you have no goals, you are going nowhere.  If you don’t set “Practical goals” you can “Actually measure”.. you are drinking your own Kool-Aid or setting yourself for failure.  No matter what you do in business, set goals… try to reach them.. analyze if you fail… celebrate if you win. Then set another goal now that you are wiser of your limitations (for more or less).
So you see, Martial Arts can teach you much about business.. and keep you healthytoo!  Get to it!  We can spar any time (the image at top is of me sparring a partner during black belt testing…  I’m the bug guy leaning forward.. perhaps a tad too aggressively).  I need to work on #1 of the martial arts philosophy… I attack too much!

New look/feel of Tytus-Blog.

After analyzing Google Analytics, and feedback from people who read my Blog, I’ve discovered that an apparent bias I have towards “Engineers” as better than normal folk comes through a bit too loudly. In fact, it’s not “entirely” untrue, as it relates to how many normal folk view problems. Reality is though, that I truly do value diversity. Diversity of thought, diversity of opinion, and especially diversity of viewpoint.

With that in mind, I’ve renamed the blog “Tytus’ Business for Engineer-type Brains.”, with the hope that it help not just engineers, and people who think like engineers, but also all the diversity of other personality types out there who would simply like to know “how engineer-type brains” think.

With the new theme, and the new “black” (easier to read) look, I hope that EVERY ONE OF YOU will subscribe to this feed over RSS or via Blogspot follow, or similar.


Self-Motivation: Short-term goals that lead to long-term success.

Engineers daily face the challenge of self motivation. Especially when working on a ‘big’ project. Engineers who master this self-motivation will do well in business because they understand short-term goals vs. long-term goals.

Imagine the Engineers day: “work on THIS bug” which helps me complete “this small task”…which leads to “this small feature” which leads to “this part of the product” which leads to “this product”. For that day, it was just that bug. Thats it. It will be months, years before that bug ‘doesn’t’ show up in that finished product.

In Business, this skill is absolutely necessary. Becoming overly fixated on “the long-term success” can lead one to do the wrong things at the wrong time. Like a good programmer, the businessman MUST fixate on the ‘current task’ while keeping in mind “the long-term goal”! For this, one needs a plan. ANY PLAN. It doesn’t have to be ‘the best plan’ it just has to make sense and be flexible. Like a good engineer, if ‘fixing this bug’ is taking too much time/effort and no end in sight, perhaps ignoring it and working around it is a better approach. The same goes for business. If ‘the current’ task/step is bogging you down, and forward progress seems blocked, we must be flexible enough to work on something else (a workaround) or a future step.

In essense, we must “Begin with the end in mind” as Covey would say. But we must also “Put first things first”! If you can’t imagine the long-term success… you are sunk. But you are equally sunk if you can’t put together a logical (if difficult) series of steps that get you there.

Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People info:

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