Spotlight Interview: Dave Mattson

Dave Mattson - Sandler Systems, Inc

Dave talks about innovation, learning from customers, and success in sales.

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Spotlight Interview: David Allen

David Allen - Getting Things Done

David talks about GTD and how it can help you, your business, and your success.

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Spotlight Interview: Gordon Logan

Gordon Logan - Sport Clips

Gordon talks about Sport Clips and the success of the franchise model he built.

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Brittany Hodak
Brittany Hodak

ZinePak specializes in creating custom packages for pop-culture superfans. Since the company’s inception in 2011, superstars including Katy Perry, KISS, Taylor Swift, George Strait, Mumford & Sons, and dozens of other performers have turned to ZinePak for help elevating their entertainment offerings.

ZinePak was founded by Brittany Hodak, whose career began in the music industry, and Kim Kaupe, whose background is in publishing. Although both industries experienced double-digit sales declines for almost a decade prior to ZinePak’s launch, the cofounders saw a need in the marketplace for compelling, physical products for entertainment fans and set out to create a company to create them.

ZinePak’s namesake configuration, which pairs a CD with a small-format magazine and collectible merchandise items, launched in Walmart stores nationwide in early 2011. Since then, fans have spent more than $25 million buying 3 million ZinePaks at Walmart.  Can you expand on how your love of writing was a big part of the reason that you started ZinePak?

Brittany:  Absolutely! When I was 17 years old, I began working at a radio station in Arkansas…as the station’s mascot. Luckily, I was soon given other, slightly more glamorous responsibilities, one of which included blogging about artists for the station’s website. I loved writing and I loved music, so it was the perfect job—especially since meeting rock stars was literally part of my job. From there I helped several bands craft their bios and press kits while I was in college, then took a marketing job at a record company in New York. I thought there was a hole in the marketplace for a configuration that really paired music with artist discovery. That insight led to the idea for ZinePak. Our mission is to help get fans closer to the artists they love with exclusive content that they can’t find anywhere else.

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Paul Brown CEO DisplayNote
Co-founder and CEO

Paul Brown is co-founder and CEO of DisplayNote Technologies which was formed in 2012 and is based in Belfast. Prior to founding DisplayNote Technologies, Paul was the managing director of Qwizdom, which he established in 2003 and grew the organisation to be a market leader within the student response sector in the UK market. He also served as sales managers for Randox, Edge and Texthelp Systems.

DisplayNote Technologies Ltd builds solutions that allow people to share connect and collaborate on their mobile devices.

DisplayNote is the inaugural product from DisplayNote Technologies. It helps presenters share and engage audiences effectively during a presentation. Audiences can capture slides, make notes and share their screens to the presenter and room display.  Can you share how the inspiration for DisplayNote came while looking at Sony’s PlayStation devices during a conference?

Paul:  While this conference set the initial wheels for DisplayNote in motion, it was ultimately a combination of factors that helped form the company overall. At a handheld learning conference in London about six years ago, Sony employees were trying to position the PSP as a learning device, when in reality it was a gaming device. It did not gain traction in schools but it was amongst the first handheld consumer devices that saw the opportunity in education. Only 18 months later Apple developed the iPad and the education industry grasped the possibilities. We then saw the potential for taking the content that teachers had created on their computers and delivering that content from the computer to a set of iPads.

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Daniel Assouline
Daniel Assouline

Founded in 1999, Lavasoft is the original anti-malware company, creating free, award-winning security and privacy software. Born of the belief that online security should be available to everyone, Lavasoft offers millions of users maximum protection for their computers and online identities.

With close to 500 million downloads, its flagship product Ad-Aware has blocked and removed billions of threats, saving consumers from all forms of attacks and malware, including viruses, spyware, adware, phishing and drive-by downloads. Lavasoft is a global company with operations in North America and Europe.  What separates your Ad-Aware Web Companion product from your previous offerings?

Daniel:  Ad-Aware Web Companion is a free download that complements users’ antivirus programs with Web protection. It is powered by Lavasoft website filtering technology, a real-time website analysis which prevents users from login into dangerous websites or clicking on dangerous links where malware is present.

Lavasoft’s filtering technology is superfast and checks in real time the currently visited website against the most complete and constantly updated database of malicious websites available today, and blocks them before they can do any harm. Each day, another 200,000 links get added to our database protecting consumers against the latest malware – more often before antiviruses even know they exist.

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Kevin Short Clayton Capital Partners
Kevin Short
Clayton Capital Partners
Managing Partner and CEO

Kevin Short is the Managing Partner and CEO of Clayton Capital Partners, a St. Louis-based investment banking firm specializing in merger and acquisition advisement.  Beginning in 2007, Thomson Reuters, FactSet Mergerstat and Investment Dealers’ Digest all ranked Clayton Capital Partners as a top U.S. M&A firm.

Kevin is also the author of, Sell Your Business For An Outrageous Price, published by AMACOM Books in September 2014. This book synthesizes Kevin’s experience in selling mid-size companies ($10MM – $250MM in value) for twice the multiple of the industry average.  Can you talk about the art of understanding the buyers of mid-market companies?

Kevin:  Buyers in the mid-market are either financial or strategic.  Financial buyers use a financial formula (usually based on a desired rate of return) to determine the price they’ll pay for a company.  Strategic buyers base their offers on their perception of future value: how they expect a company to perform under their ownership.

There are four types of strategic buyers:  competitors, verticals, industry players and adjacencies.  As we evaluate each type in the context The Outrageous Price Process™, the art is first to match the competitive advantage of the seller to the needs of the strategic buyer who is active in the marketplace.  The second challenge is to make that strategic buyer aware of the seller (and its competitive advantage) long before taking the seller’s company to market.

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Anthony C Johnson
Anthony C. Johnson
American Injury Attorney Group

American Injury Attorney Group (“AIAG”) is changing the way you find a lawyer and changing the way lawyers market online. Rather than charging for marketing services, AIAG is a performance marketing company. They acquire business, give it away, and only make money when the client makes money.

AIAG swims upstream in the marketing and advertising verticals by putting their money where their proverbial mouth is. Marketing is filled with middlemen that peddle in trinkets and what-nots, all without accountability as to quality or RIO for the end client. This is especially true in the legal industry, where the attorneys (clients) have deep pockets and the educational gap between client and marketer is vast. AIAG aims to bring transparency to legal marketing. If a marketing company is great, then they should prove it by taking the risk and sharing in the reward.  What inspired you to launch a company that revolutionizes the way individuals find a lawyer and also changing the way lawyers market online?

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Baldoni Fun
John Baldoni

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator, executive coach and speaks throughout North America and Europe.

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Julian Bolster
Bolster Life Group

Bolster Life Group specializes in fostering leadership on an individual, corporate and community level. BLG Inc. provides tools, seminars and programs that help individuals and corporations to break through the barriers that are keeping them from realizing greater success, so that they live more fulfilling lives and impact their businesses, communities and the world around them in extraordinary ways. You recently co-authored a book with Dr. Deepak Chopra, “Roadmap to Success.” Can you share some highlights from the collaborative process and any insights you gained along the way?

Julian: Absolutely. I learned a lot about the process of writing from this project, mostly around the idea of authority. I had culminated all of my ideas, practices and “rules for success” and then went about searching for academic or professional studies to backup or support my “rules for success.” I lost a lot of time realizing that there really is no “right” way in the world of business and personal performance, but there definitely are lots of ways that don’t work. I had to assume authority in my work; allowing myself to understand that I can make a case for something. And I found that this is a common theme that holds back a lot of people in business — having the courage to just go out on a limb and stand behind an idea, to pursue it and just work out the kinks as you go. Hesitation is a killer in business. You need to believe in yourself; right or wrong, that confidence will fuel the work you do in business. Knowing the “right” way is a bit of a myth and only points the direction to go in, and it doesn’t get you to your goal. Confidence is the thing that allows you to make the journey happen.

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Chuck Marble
Elevation Brands, LLC

Ian’s mission is to be the leading provider of high-quality, all-natural, allergy-friendly foods consumers can trust. Their mission is also their passion, so they take sincere pride in providing you with quality foods that you’ll truly enjoy. Why do you think that we’ve seen such a large increase in food allergies over the last decade?

Chuck: Over 15 million people suffer from food allergies. Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of an allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. While scientists have many theories such as the overuse of antibiotics, or the “hygiene hypothesis”, a definitive cause remains elusive.

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Jan9 President, Brandon Abbey
Brandon Abbey

Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and its operating subsidiaries provide online escrow services that facilitate and accelerate e-commerce by assuring a secure settlement. is a privately held company that has pioneered the process of online escrow services. The Company, founded in 1999 by Fidelity National Financial, has established itself as one of the leading providers of secure business and consumer transaction management on the Internet.

Brandon Abbey has been the president of since 2004.  His background includes senior management positions with Burroughs/Unisys and Digital Equipment Corporation.  He actively directs the strategy of the company and is passionate about providing a safe and secure environment for all Internet users to transact business.  How has the team managed to create an online escrow platform that is simple and safe for both Buyers and Sellers?

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Bobby Moulton
Seven10 Storage Software
President & CEO

Bobby Moulton has spent his career in the storage industry building global alliances, defining sales strategy and establishing brand name recognition for market leading products. As one of the founders of Seven10 Storage Software, Bobby draws from his significant years of executive leadership at Smart Storage and OTG, where his leadership in sales resulted in successful exits for each company.

Seven10 is a market leading developer of cloud-based information lifecycle management (ILM) software. The company’s award-winning technology provides organizations a simple, unified information management system that includes data migration capabilities from existing storage arrays. With support for on-premise and cloud technologies, Seven10 helps customers protect their most essential corporate data – offering a secure, scalable, and centralized view of tiered storage. With proven success in healthcare, finance and other compliance-driven markets, Seven10′s software delivers demands for immediate access while providing the most economical choices for long-term data retention. Technology built to outpace innovation.

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Brent Feldman
Brent Feldman
Matchbox Design Group

Matchbox Design Group was founded in 2006 by Brent Feldman and Cullen Whitmore. During the past eight years they have grown into a highly specialized six-person team that focuses on digital marketing, web design and web development.

Over the past two years, they’ve amplified their web services by offering a full-range of search engine optimization (SEO) solutions to their clients. SEO allows Matchbox Design Group to build enticing websites that outperform the competition and deliver results. What are some of the biggest mistakes you see businesses make when it comes to website design?

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