Self-Checkout Lines: Do the Costs Outweigh the Savings?

Bruce discusses the growing trend of the implementation of “self checkout” lines at retail stores, debates their merit from both a consumer and retailer perspective, and wonders whether they are really worth the cost savings they are designed to initiate. Plus, he discusses the “business” of lottery tickets, the trend of kids getting re-vaccinated for diseases that had been thought to be cured, and the problems that many athletes seem to have managing money.

Don’t get lost in the fog of brand…Essentially what happens is that they tend to hire people who know nothing about your product, nothing about your service, who come in and they give it an artsy look or they design something. That’s not the brand. Brand is the experience the customer has with your product and with the service that goes around that product. That’s brand…You do need ad agencies and you need these kinds of people but don’t delude yourself into thinking that they’re going to create your brand. They’re going to create cosmetics..but that’s not the brand.

— Regis McKenna, Founder, Regis McKenna Inc.

When It Comes To Taking a Stand, Do Consumer Boycotts Work?

From the boycotting of sponsors after Rush Limbaugh’s recent controversial comments to staying away from the Miami Marlins baseball games after manager Ozzie Guillen praised Fidel Castro, consumer boycotts have made headlines as of late, as folks are “voting with their feet” in order to make a point. But do they work? Bruce discusses the consumer boycott phenomenon among other topics, including the cruise ship experience, the conservative mindset, and the importance of breaking through your psychological and geographic comfort zone when it comes to selling your good or service.

When you think about a service business that is largely a personal interaction, it’s a much more difficult business. Fortunately what we have done is we’ve now created kind of a self service world with the internet where much of the infrastructure allows you to do your own search, to do your own sourcing, to do your own servicing on products. You go to help desks and so forth, so there’s this constant touching of databases. But Ed Levit said that, “A service is something you don’t know what you don’t get until you don’t get it.” When you order a computer you got something tangible in front of you and if it doesn’t work you know it doesn’t work, but you don’t know why it doesn’t work…So once you start questioning about, “Do I fix it? Does somebody else fix it? Who’s supposed to be responsible for seeing that this product has the right software on it? Or does the software itself heal itself?” All of those kinds of questions become intangible, so we haven’t really learned how to work in a service world. More and more of our, quite frankly, businesses are service related businesses because the components themselves are all readily available to put together, but it’s this ability to service, develop, interact and use software that connects everything and allows it to be adjusted to a specific circumstance, it’s really much more of a service world.

— Regis McKenna, Founder, Regis McKenna Inc.

Saying Goodbye: Revisiting the Shows That Marked the Milestones of Ron Morris

Of all the startups that Ron accumulated throughout his career, which was the most important to him? As he has said many times, it would be his family, his wife, Karen, his son Jaxon and his daughter, Lexi. Today, on the final broadcast of American Entrepreneur Radio, we revisit the first shows after the births of Jaxon and Lexi, where we can hear the real thoughts of a successful entrepreneur facing his biggest challenge yet: being a worthy father to his children. Finally, we end it where it all began, with a rebroadcast of his very first show, originally airing June 20, 1999. Plus, members of the American Entrepreneur Radio staff, as well as a surprise guest at the end of the show, share their thoughts about the end of American Entrepreneur Radio.


What Lies Ahead For Business and the Economy


American Entrepreneur Radio host Mark Laskow anchors the final live episode of the radio program, as he talks with three business leaders and good friends of the program, Bob Boyle of JA Sauer Heating and Cooling Company, Lou Stanasolovich of Legend Financial Advisors, and Ken Komoroski of Fulbright and Jaworski, about what lies ahead for business, the economy, and the economic development that is the Marcellus Shale.


A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Ron Morris


American Entrepreneur staff members Brian McMahon, Andrew Rossi, Darryl Grandy and others join host Mike Kauffelt and show callers and listeners in celebrating the life and legacy of the late Ron Morris. They share stories and the lessons they learned from their experiences in working with, learning from, and listening to The American Entrepreneur and Ron Morris.


‘Best Of’ The American Entrepreneur Featuring Jim Rudolph, Robert Rosenberg and Varol Ablak


Ron Morris talks with Jim Rudolph, CEO of Rita’s Italian Ice, and former Franchise developer of the Wendy’s franchise within Western Pennsylvania.


Also, we talk with Robert Rosenberg, the longtime CEO of Dunkin Donuts, and the man who transformed the iconic brand from a family-run local dining establishment to the global powerhouse franchise it is today.

And finally, Ron talks with Varol Ablak, the CEO of Vocelli Pizza, about the remarkable family story of Vocelli Pizza, and the tactics that Varol employs to this day to expand the company’s footprint, and to ensure that the Vocelli name is on the forefront of the minds of the consumer who faces a glut of choices when it comes time to order out.

Ron’s Radio Debut, March 1999 – A Recording From The “Lost Archives”

In March of 1999, Chris Posti (Posti & Associates), a former host on 1360AM radio and a friend of Ron’s, interviewed him on the topic of being an entrepreneur. Immediately afterwards, Ron remarked to me “I want to do that. I’d like my own show.” Three months later, he had his own show on 1360AM.

The American Entrepreneur radio show remained on the air for 13 years and eventually became a 7-day-a-week show, crossing over simultaneously to FM radio in its last year – virtually unheard of in the local radio industry.

I had been looking for a recording of the original show for years, but with no success. Then, while cleaning out some boxes in our garage this past Fall, I came across a single cassette tape, sans a case, simply labeled “Ron’s Radio Debut.” And … there it was —- the Rosetta Stone!

Many thanks to Chris Posti for interviewing Ron some 16 years ago this month and for agreeing to share this 27-minute recording of her show (and a nod also goes out to “Ace” … Ron’s very first-ever caller). As a result of this one interview, Ron launched a program that would become a “port in the storm” (credit to Paul Crawley of The Net Return) for many entrepreneurs.

Enjoy the show,
Karen, Jaxon & Lexi