Newsclips Featured

9:41am EDT July 22, 2002
Profit is not a dirty word

Who says making a buck is a bad thing? Certainly not Jack Shoykhet, president and CEO of Gov24.com. That didn’t always ring true, however. During a Jones Day Reavis & Pogue e-commerce program recently, Shoykhet told the crowd, “In the city where I came from, the word profit was illegal. I love capitalism.”

Program sponsors Conley Canitano & Associates certainly agreed. Don’t we all?

Freer travel

The Employers Resource Council of Northeast Ohio has announced that businesses utilizing its online Travel Center to make airline reservations will not be charged the reservation transaction fee which is typical in the travel industry. The fee generally ranges between $10 and $25 per ticket. ERC members’ employees are also eligible to access the ERC site (www.wercnet.org) and make their leisure reservations online. The site features a full spectrum of HR and workplace information, services and benefits.

Who needs the Super Bowl?

It’s become standard, if a little risky, for Internet start-ups to blow their entire marketing budget on a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. But a Cleveland company proves you don’t need a lot of flash to get recognized. 1-Jobs.com, an Independence-based high-tech recruiting Web site, was ranked by PCWeek Online as the seventh-best site for those looking for high-tech workers. That places 1-Jobs smack dab between HotJobs.com and Monster.com, two operations that blew a bundle on Super Bowl advertising. Sometimes it’s not who knows you, but how good you really are.

Modern day wisdom

Business owners seeking their fortunes on the Net may be wise to listen to the voice of someone who’s been there. Todd McCormack, CEO of TWI Interactive, an independent subsidiary of Trans World International, reminds entrepreneurs: “E is just one letter of nine letters in e-commerce.” McCormack spoke at the Jones/Day e-commerce program. McCormack also took a poke at the tech industry’s biggest fish: “I can’t believe how rich Bill Gates will be when his products actually work.”

Self-employed on the Net

The number of self-employed Americans with Internet access has doubled in just two years, according to a survey of members of the National Association for the Self-Employed. More than 68 percent of those responding report they connect to the Internet at home or at work. A closer look reveals 39.7 percent access the Net at home and work, 20 percent at home only and 8.6 percent at work only. And for those wondering how much time those eyeballs spend in front of a computer, they average eight hours per week online.

What’s in a name?

Northeast Ohio is losing one of its best company names. Mozes Cleveland & Co., a Web development company specializing in intranet, extranet and Internet solutions, has merged with Quest4mation, an information services company specializing in consulting and electronic commerce. The new venture will do business as Digital Day. It’s certainly a modern sounding moniker, appropriate given the service it provides. But we can’t help but shed a tear as we reflect on our city’s past and the man whose name we bear so proudly.

A high-tech venture

National City Corp. and Cuyahoga Community College have formed an alliance designed to bring high-tech jobs to Northeast Ohio residents. The venture calls for National City to fund the establishment of Techno Venture, a series of “super camps” on Tri-C’s three campuses. The camps will train 350 students, grades 9-12, in the computer technology necessary to become professionally certified for high-tech jobs. The alliance also provides National City with access to the college’s students for part- and full-time employees.

It’s good to be a woman

The U.S. Small Business Administration has nearly tripled both the number and dollar value of approved loans to women entrepreneurs since fiscal year 1992. According to the SBA, there are 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, which account for 40 percent of all business. These ventures employ 27.5 million people and account for $3.6 trillion in sales. And women are starting new firms at twice the rate of all other businesses.

Not so elementary

Canton-based Diebold Inc. used the recent CeBit 2000 technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany, to unveil its new “Watson” technology. The revolutionary ATM-like kiosks adjust to a user’s’ physical traits and consumer tastes using a mix of biometric technology and the Internet.

The result is a personalized experience that could one day make your corner ATM about as cutting edge as a rotary telephone. The Watson system identifies consumers as they approach the terminal, eliminating the need for a personal identification number. By accessing pre-registered information, the machine automatically adjusts to a consumer’s physical needs.

The interface also allows access to items of personal interest, such as customized stock reports and movie listings via an Internet connection. Meanwhile, the unit’s color laser printer allows for the creation of hard copies to take with you. With technology like this at our doorstep, can those Jetsons-style TV phones be far behind?

Innovation for sale

When it comes to developing new products, a recent study shows America’s fastest growing companies acquire intellectual properties from others to gain a competitive edge. PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed 449 CEOs of companies identified by the media as America’s fastest growing. It found 49 percent of those CEOs license technologies or intellectual assets from others, while 27 percent are involved in joint ventures and 15 percent invest in smaller, independent businesses as an extension of their research and development.

Ironically, only half the businesses surveyed have a formal process for identifying and managing their own intellectual property assets. Consequently, only about one in four that hold IP assets end up licensing them to others.

Trade shows make the cut

Don’t worry about the Internet replacing the traditional industry trade show any time soon. In a survey of 250 business executives conducted by Chicago-based Incomm Center for Research and Sales Training, 91 percent believed the traditional industry trade show would survive the information age.

When asked why they believed the Internet would not send the traditional exposition the way of the dinosaurs, 55 percent pointed to the networking opportunities provided by such events; 35 percent said the hands-on ability to see and discuss a service or product is hard to replicate online; and 10 percent said questions are answered better when visiting an exhibit in person.

Counting their blessings

On April 8, a dozen Cleveland area clergy representing a wide variety of faiths and spiritual beliefs blessed Western Reserve Brewery Co. Gavin Smith, CEO of the award-winning brewery in Midtown Cleveland at 4130 Commerce Ave., says there is a considerable body of historical precedent for the intertwining of beer brewing and religion, and the idea of blessing the Western Reserve Brewing Co. had been bouncing around in his head for awhile.

“This is something we’ve always planned to do, and for some unknown reason, we’ve just never gotten around to it,” he says.

EDR Media strikes Olympic gold

When marketing specialists at Cleveland’s world renowned International Management Group needed a cutting-edge presentation to sell sponsorships for the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2004 Summer Games in Athens, they turned to Beachwood-based EDR Media. The company responded with a top quality sight and sound DVD showcasing great Olympic moments for IMG marketing specialists to take with them on the road.

Cliff Hughes, director-interactive media for EDR Media, says the big-name sponsors IMG is seeking required an impressive, yet portable presentation. “Given the stature and significance of the Olympics and the high profile of IMG’s target audience of upper level corporate management, they wanted the quality of the presentation to make a strong statement about the quality of the sponsorship,” he explains. “The fidelity of the audio and the resolution of the video on DVD really sets this presentation apart, and it can easily be played on a laptop computer.”

Olympic gold part II

Beachwood’s Allen Telecom Inc. will make sure every cellular phone at Sydney’s Olympic Park works properly during this year’s summer games. The company is deploying technology that allows the use of a large number of cellular phones in the same area without excessive interference. Olympics officials worried that the massive popularity of cellular phones in Australia may create problems for the main Olympic venue, expected to draw up to 500,000 visitors a day, especially as people call family and friends to share the excitement of the occasion.

Walking the tightrope

Owners of small and medium-sized businesses say their top goals are achieving significant personal wealth and making time for family, according to a survey by Chicago-based George S. May International Co. That may not be terribly earth-shattering, but the 75-year-old business management consulting firm reports that now, more than ever, business executives think they can achieve both of these goals. Seventy percent of those surveyed reported they have established or are working on a business plan that includes the integration of time-saving procedures that will help them with this delicate balance of work and family.

“American business decision-makers are consciously saying they want and know how to have their cake and eat it, too,” says Donald Fletcher, president of George S. May International. “Before this current age of telecommuting and ‘mommy tracks,’ you had to choose between fortune and family. Now, it is possible to achieve a work/life balance — but it requires planning.”

Wildlife profiling?

Rudy Socha, the president of Lorain-based WildlifeCollectibles.com, recently sent out 15,000 customer surveys to members of her Dolphin Whale & Shark gift store in an attempt to assemble a profile of her average customer. Thirty-six hours after sending out the surveys via e-mail, she received 223 responses and discovered some interesting information about her customers’ online habits:

  • Eighty-one percent of the shoppers who responded to the WildlifeCollectibles.com survey were women.

  • Sixty-five percent visited between one and three new e-commerce Web sites a week.

  • Customers made an average of 11.1 online purchases a year and reported an average of 7.4 purchases a year from traditional catalogs.

  • Forty-four percent of shoppers spend between $21 and $30 when buying a gift on the site for a “non-immediate” family member. Thirty-three percent spend less than $20, while 13 percent spend between $31 and $50.