You might say there are three elements that undergird the launch of any successful small business – profit motive, an unfilled (or insufficiently met) need, and personal passion for the company’s goals. Where those rank in importance depends on the entrepreneur and the start up, but it’s hard to imagine any new business lasting long without those three fundamentals in place. In SpeechTails’ case, you could add one more: heartbreak.
For all the well-documented headaches our animal friends might cause us – from late-night potty breaks to the Furmaggedon that overtakes crannies and couches in what can seem like an instant – almost any pet owner will tell you that all the fuss is worth it. And that’s not just cloying sentimentality. No, the joys of pet ownership are now backed by real, hard science.
In vino veritas – in wine there is truth – is an ancient phrase, but any contemporary fan of the Romans’ favorite pastime could hardly dispute it. But while Pliny the Elder’s quintessentially Roman locution has stood the test of time (and any amateur drinker’s feeble attempt to disprove it), Erica and Jamie Zdroik hope that another Latin-inspired turn of phrase – this one coined in A.D. 2012 – will soon be dancing on the lips of wine lovers across the state.
Wisconsinites are more than a little familiar with cheeseheads, of course, but say “headcheese” and some America’s Dairylanders are likely to scratch their foam-covered noggins. But while the cheesehead is still mostly a regional novelty that broke on the scene in the last 20 years, headcheese is a centuries-old, worldwide phenomenon that’s been part of Wisconsin’s food heritage for generations, thanks in large part to the state’s heavily German population, which prized traditional pork-laden concoctions such as “sultz.”
Suddenly, manufacturing – long considered the redheaded (or perhaps gray-headed) stepchild of the American economy – is enjoying the kind of resurgence that seemed out of the question 10 years ago. At the same time, industry leaders are bemoaning a manufacturing skills gap that’s by and large the result of the sector’s “dirty, dumb, and dangerous” reputation.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are critical capabilities for manufacturing success. The best manufacturers are developing these capabilities within their operations and continuously looking for new models to emulate and adopt. One of the best models is neither new nor novel. Thomas Edison was the prototypical innovator and entrepreneur and he continues to be relevant today. Edison changed America through his inventions and ability to commercialize those creations.