How Do I Pick a Solar Installer? 10 Questions to Ask a Solar Installer

For disclosure and so you know where I am coming from: I am a Civil Engineer by training, spent two years managing a renewable energy installation company in Northern Nevada, followed by a general contractor focusing on green building and energy efficiency. I have since moved on to become a program manager the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization, a 510(c)3 nonprofit organization. Alright, lets get to it: First thing is first, … [Read more...]

Even Reno Landscape Companies Kill it with Social Media Marketing!

"We sold $150,000 in one day though, can you believe that?" - Small-time Reno Landscape Guy Social Media Marketing isn't just for the chic & trendy businesses anymore. This morning I must have walked in on good 'ol boys landscaping industry meeting at Starbucks. Okay it was definitely nothing official but four guys from different landscaping companies were definitely having coffee together this morning... Collusion in Landscaping … [Read more...]

Are MBA’s a Waste of Time for Engineers?

What society thinks I do, what my former coworkers think I do, what my friends think I do, what my parents think I do, what I think I do, what I really do

I know the feeling, wanting to get out of the monotonous routine, get out from the cubicle, and get away from your boring boss that has been working for the firm for 30 years. I've been there and I am seeing more and more that many engineers get that same itch. That need to use the other half of your brain, to engage that creative nature that has been suppressed. The desire to act on a vision, build with your hands, mix it up, do what feels … [Read more...]

Natural Inelasticity: Providing Value instead of Value Engineering

"Sell to the classes, eat with the masses. Sell to the masses, eat with the classes." - Henry Ford One recent point in my class on Economics and the Firm looked at how to maximize revenue in a business from the standpoint of an economist. The example has been, "If you increase the price of your product by 10% and you lose less than 10%, you likely aren't charging enough and haven't maximized your marginal revenue." Once you  lose the same … [Read more...]

Julia Boorsten of CNBC: I have an Inbound Marketing lesson for you

Facebook's IPO is obviously a landmark achievement; $16 Billion raised in no time, $104 Billion Market Cap, estimated wealth in excess of $20 Billion for Mark... Well done guys. One of the big concerns prior to the Facebook IPO has been GM's announcement (or leak) that it was pulling away advertising on Facebook, and asking why would GM do and say that now. Earlier today I was watching the Facebook Special on CNBC's PowerLunch when something … [Read more...]

How Google Went Kung-Fu Panda on SEO

Kung Fu Panda and Google Logo saying I ate Spam for Breakfast

The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost... Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is dead. Great companies don’t fake it, and Google is out to force that hand. In the past search simply focused on providing the best results for the keywords used. It didn't matter how great your site looked or how valuable the content was, as long as you had your SEO con-men or some smart … [Read more...]

Venture Socialist? – Value Over Risk & Return

Guy with Cowboy hat and white shirt hitchhiking to Reno in Nevada

One June 16th, 2010 I wrote the following on my old blog @ dananimal.blogspot.com: If I could give one thing to the world... one thing that would change it and sustain it... it would be the oxymoron of a non-profit organization that's goal and purpose in life is to create, invest in, support, and build sustainable businesses... an organization that reinvests what is earned into the community and the world around it... building businesses not … [Read more...]

Think Social Media is Stupid? You’re Going To Lose.

Think Social Media doesn't matter? ... Well you're dead wrong. Allow me to give you a personal example of why you can't afford to ignore Social Media... "If you're in the group that thinks twitter is stupid you are going to lose." - Erik Deckers (06-Mar-2012 in Skype conversation) On the 12th of February, 2012 my fiancée and I had a nice bit of wine tasting over at the Wild River Grill and figured we'd give Campo another go, since it was … [Read more...]

Is Solar Marked with a New Orleans Saints Bounty?

I have been working in the Solar industry for the past two years through ups and downs of start-ups, small and large Photovoltaic installations, starting by selling one-off modules to Burning Man "Burners" to get by and more recently installing large Federally funded Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant projects with Johnson Controls throughout Nevada. One thing remains, it is constantly a struggle to sell solar. I recently had a spout with … [Read more...]

Work ON your business. Not IN.

Work on your business, not in your business. Have the forethought to manage instead of always being consumed by your business. I met a wonderfully prosperous and inspiring man while hitching a ride from Wanaka to Queenstown in New Zealand in 2009. The one piece of advice he gave was to "Work on your businesses, not in them." There are loads and loads of people with great business ideas who are awesome people, but many get so consumed in the … [Read more...]