I lost my kindle during the summer and found it a few weeks back in my couch. I had sat on it and I’m sure that the pressure is what damaged it.

Today, after hearing all the Kindle announcements, I thought to call Amazon and see if I was still on warranty. I called them at 12:59pm and by 1:02pm I was off the phone with a tracking number, my replacement Kindle on the way.

With that kind of customer service, I’m reminded of friends who’ve tried to replace their iPhone screen with Apple (same service with iPad). Nothing but complaints.

Now that people weigh Kindle Fire against the Apple iPad, customer service will increasingly become part of the war. And right now, Amazon is definitely winning that battle.

I’m sitting at the UVEF top 25 under 5 award ceremony and I’m listening to John Pestanna, co-founder of Omniture, speak on the opportunity in model trains especially in the down economy.

A distributor that refused them right before the crash and said “we don’t need you.” Recently, the same distributor said to John, “we need you.”
ExactRail can hire machinists and designers all day long because of the down economy.
The competition starts later. Small companies benefit from the lack of competition during a downturn.
How do you create, maintain and protect the culture?
He recommends the “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.”
Sell, sell, sell.
Now for the top 25 under 5…

Last time I attended this an MLM called Xango won.

I asked my Dad once about his favorite poems and he mentioned “if” by Rudyard Kipling. I am beginning to understand more and more each passing year his recommendation and how my perception of the poem relates to the history behind it.

On a day when, at UVEF, we celebrate the triumphs of 25 Utah companies and their growth, it is healthy perspective for us to remember a few excerpts (emphasized below) and lessons from this famous poem.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

To those of you who are new, or disaster stricken or veteran entrepreneurs (and I suspect each of us has or will or will again be part of all three groups), as we navigate triumph and disaster, may we not let either imposter change our “will…to…hold on,” and may we “fill [every single] minute with 60 seconds ‘worth of distance run.”

From Harvard Professor, a compilation of the best resources for entrepreneurs.

All I wanted was a short presentation with embedded videos for the NACDS 2011 conference in Boston. We have iPad’s built into the booth and I thought it would be easy.

I thought it would be slick to do it with Prezi (our favorite presentation software at Orabrush), but the videos didn’t seem to embed with Prezi (probably because Prezi.com doesn’t encode the video during the file creation process, just includes whatever video you give it).

Then I tried adding the mp4 videos via iTunes. Nope. They wouldn’t transfer because they wouldn’t play on the iPad.

I almost had to buy Wondershare’s convertor for $40, but the video team told me that Final Cut files would work. I tried to use the mp4’s from Final Cut rather than from YouTube downloads. Nope.

Our editor showed me how to use Final Cut to create an mp4 with iPad settings. I did that (took hours to encode 5 videos) and then installed the videos onto the iPad.

I downloaded Keynote and created my presentation. When I tried to add the videos to the Keynote, it would only allow me to select from the photo album. So, I went back to the Mac and discovered that I would need to add the videos to iPhoto (that’s intuitive) and sync the iPad again.

Then the videos were available, but as I added them to my presentation, Keynote had to encode them again! More time waiting.

Finally, I had to deploy them to 4 iPads, a couple iPad 2’s and a couple iPad 1’s. Because the file was huge, I had to track down the computer that each iPad syncs to and use a thumbdrive to sync the file. One guy had never synced with iTunes and so his iPad software and iTunes were out of date.

Two days later, I have the slickest presentation that will be at NACDS :)

Would have taken me two hours to do with a regular computer and Prezi.

iTunes is a bloated mess and the shackles of syncing for file deployment make me want to pull my hair out. There has got to be a better way to do this Apple!

This new genome project is worth following: Startup Genome.

“Liberty built civilization. It can rebuild civilization. And when the tides turn and the culture again celebrates what it means to be free, our battle will be won. It could happen in our time. It might happen after we are gone from this earth. But it will happen. Our job in this generation is to prepare the way.”

That’s one of my favorite quotes from Ron Paul’s book Liberty Defined that I just finished.

Thank you Ron Paul for your tireless effort to reeducate the country on liberty.

While Michael Moore incorrectly blames capitalism and the free market (instead of corporatism and cronism) for our economic ills, he makes a really good point in this interview about the killing of Bin Laden.

Moore: Bin Laden Suffered An “Execution;” Should Have Put Him On Trial


The power to kill without a trial (and without the apprehenders’ lives in danger) is a scary thing to play around with, no matter out terrible the accused crime. What a precedent!

I recently heard a Mother say, “I did not know how to respond when my little daughter asked me: ‘Why did Saddam get a trial but Bin Laden didn’t?” Very insightful question from the mouth of a child.

We recently closed $2.5 million in funding at Orabrush and the marketing team devised a very clever way to annouce it.

Zions Bank helped us collect a whole bunch of $1 bills for the shoot. We called four banks and it took 25 minutes to recount the money with automated machines when we returned it to the bank. What was fascinating to me, was that there were $2 missing after all that cash was thrown around.

It’s wonderful to work around such trustworthy people. Makes it so much easier to do business when you trust those you work with.

Watch the video below…

Filthy Rich Tongue – Orabrush Series A-1 Funding

Thanks to Susan at Zions Bank for collecting and counting all those $1 bills!

While trying to archive some corporate governance documents a few weeks back, I thought to myself, surely some enterprising company or individual will create a way to scan directly to Google Docs.

I love programmers. To my joy, OfficeDrop has a solution. They’ve integrated shared folders so that you can choose where the documents are filed as you’re scanning. You can also rename them. Apparently, they OCR them and make them into searchable pdfs, but Google Docs doesn’t yet add that information to the Google Docs index.

Unfortunately, it’s not scanning my lettersized page properly on our Canon MF5750. I’ve submitted a support request and I’m hopeful that between this post and my support request, I’ll come to a solution quickly.

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