Unconventional Thinking

Water Scrooge Makes a Splash at Buildings NY Show

03/21/14 Posted in Branding, MSCO News, Marvelous Marketing, Small Business, Trade Shows, Water Scrooge

Water Scrooge Booth at Buildings NYMSCO client Water Scrooge was a hit at this weeks Buildings NY trade show.  The annual show attended by residential and commercial landlords who own buildings of all sizes was the ideal place to show off the potential of this new water conservation product.

The most notable feature of our space was the water tank we set up to demonstrate how Water Scrooge works. Showing that even with the reduced gallons per minute, water pressure remains solid is one of our chief marketing goals for this new brand. Not to mention that this system of patented, tamper proof shower head regulators will help landlords save hundreds of dollars per unit, per year off their water bills.

The best part is Water Scrooge sold over 100 units to landlords from around the Tri-State and generated well over 70 leads from the event alone! I guess our simple message is resonating:

Water Scrooge: Save Water, Save Money

Changes in Store for Unconventional Thinking

03/18/14 Posted in Branding, Business, MSCO News, Management, Marketing, Public Relations, Unconventional Thinking

I’m Unconventional Thinking admin Tommy Jay. I’ve been working with Mark to coordinate his blogs. Lately, we have been talking about all the different things blog platforms can now do. With that in mind, we decided it’s time to overhaul this Unconventional Thinking blog on MSCO’s website to be more reflective of the strength of our company.

In the coming weeks, you’ll notice new content from different authors like myself. These things may range from MSCO news to client happenings. We even have a few surprises in store that we’ll talk more about with you soon.

Don’t worry; you’ll still get plenty of content from Mark Stevens and his “Unconventional Thinking” posts will be tagged and searchable.  We’re just enhancing the experience with a breadth of new media and perspectives. Stay tuned.

It Gets Ugly Out There

03/13/14 Posted in Unconventional Thinking

It Gets Ugly Out ThereMy mom is dying. Of old age, yes! But a sad and lost 93-year old blind woman crying because life is slipping away doesn’t get poetic because she’s had a full life.

People I trusted greatly turned out to be lying with nearly every word. Yes, trust can be a form of naïveté but sometimes it cuts too close to the bone.

As businesses we all pour our hearts, brains and talent into the products/services we deliver, only to discover that some of the recipients never had any intention of appreciating or paying for what they received.

So I look around at this Fellini parade moving around me — I have done so all of my life as we are all hit by a combination of exhilaration and cruise missiles–and thankfully have understood most of the time that a few key rules can guide us through:

  • *Take none of the majesty of life for granted
  • *Do not succumb to fear or whining
  • *Accept that some things cannot be changed
  • *Recognize that some of the barriers we are told are impenetrable, are truly vulnerable to our will

And most important, the quality of our businesses/our lives is calculated mostly by the determination to discover beauty in the ugly wherever it might be

My Day With Bill Gates

03/06/14 Posted in Unconventional Thinking

keyboard-214729_1280In the spring of 1990, I traveled to Redmond to spend time alone with Bill Gates on the Microsoft campus. To give you an idea of how fast the world changes, when I told people who I was visiting , the near unanimous response was “Who’s that?”

When I arrived, the scene was surreal and paradoxical. The campus was throbbing with the pulse of 3,000 young geniuses tossing frisbees in the air and sketching equations on small workbooks. There were no suits, ties or even leather shoes. I could see that the conventions of corporate America had been tossed in the waste basket in a single revolutionary act of change.

Gates, on the other hand, was a traditional businessman but with a 16-year old face. He was intense,arrogant, wildly intelligent, philosophical and most important, laser-focused on a vision: to place a computer on every desk in every home and office in the world.

Seems routine now, but in 1990, it was an outsized dream but one Gates was determined to achieve. I can’t say I liked him but what does that matter. He wasn’t trying to be popular and he blew me away with his sense of leadership.

What did I see in Gates that day that should be important to us all?

  1. Vision must be matched by brute power and determination.
  2. Money can never be the primary goal but will be a major reward if number one is followed.
  3. Move ahead of the curve in such a major way that by the time others catch up, you will see them in the dust.
  4. The only ones who call you ruthless are the ones who lose to you.

No one has ever done Gates like Gates.

Chasing Cars–Revisited

02/27/14 Posted in Unconventional Thinking

Chasing Cars--RevisitedThe first time I wrote about this song it was a smash hit from a still unknown band. A true reflection of the artistic power of a three minute piece of music that flies round the world at the speed of love.

I was in a different place. Another universe. Wondering what it meant. Wanting it to mean what I romanticized about the lyrics. The story. The lovers. The cars.

A 757 would roar away from JFK and I would plug the song into my brain and dream the dreams I wanted to dream. I would count possibilities. I would see no limitations. I would wonder if I could float up to the spirit of the song and join it in mid flight.

Then years went by and I lost touch with Snow Patrol and their haunting car dreams. Were they a one hit wonder? Was I the only hostage to their music? Had time stood still? Was Einstein right? Had I traveled past my own place and time?

And then a few weeks ago on a trip to Anguilla, I noticed Snow Patrol’s Greatest Hits album on Amazon and listened to Cars for the first time in nearly a decade. But there was more. So much more. The unknown band had created a true body of work that will live on — for decades, perhaps more. And there is a true power at work here.

When we create art in our lives — in our work — we do something magnificent. In a daily grind of checklists of activities, those who take time to turn cars into clouds, into angels, gain a certain kind of blissful and gorgeous immortality.

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