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How Houzz Grew From Its Founders’ Kitchen to Become an Industry-Changing Business |

How Houzz Grew From Its Founders’ Kitchen to Become an Industry-Changing Business

Like many great businesses, Houzz was born from a personal need. Houzz co-founders Alon and Adi Tatarko were remodeling their home and found the process was much more frustrating than they had thought it would be. Through talking to their friends, they realized their experience wasn’t out of the ordinary.

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Workers vs. Leaders

When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.

Simon Sinek

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GM Thanks Public for Bailout in Holiday Ad

While watching the Jet Bengals game this Thanksgiving evening I saw a commercial spot from GM that touched me.

I did a quick search and found the ad on a blog with the following commentary:

GM Thanks Public for Bailout in Holiday Ad

Just 16 months after emerging from bankruptcy, General Motors is again a publicly traded company and expects its first full year of profit since 2004. With the company in such good shape, the automaker will thank the public for their financial support in a 60-second ad that will air on Thanksgiving Day.

The ad illustrates failure through several pop culture references and cartoon images. There’s no voiceover, but toward the end of the ad, the words, “Thank you for helping us get back up” appear, followed by the GM logo.

The U.S. government invested $49.5 billion of taxpayer money into General Motors from 2008-2009, giving it 61% ownership of the automaker.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Treasury Department earned $11.7 billion from the sale of GM stock in the company’s IPO last Thursday.

Overall, U.S. government ownership in the automakers is now down to 33 percent from around 61 percent before the IPO, according to GM.

I’m a pretty loyal and proud Ford owner but I am thankful (and proud too) to see GM (and the economy in general) coming back and I think the message, both thanking Americans and the redemption & humility that comes with their resurrection is a good one especially this holiday season.

The songs lyrics that we don’t hear that are also apropos:

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

So on we go

His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there

For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

If I’m laden at all

I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share

And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy he’s my brother

He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

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Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.

I’ve been re-reading and re-listening to my Seth Godin book and audio book library these last few weeks and one of the reoccurring themes Seth talks about over and over again is the vital importance of being “remarkable” and is the fundamental concept in his book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (a brown cow isn’t remarkable, a purple cow is so you remember it and talk about it).

And today when I was searching for an old Inc magazine article on the Inc web site I ran across another article I thought was interesting an apropos regarding being “remarkable.” In ask Robert Stephens (Stephens is the founder of Geek Squad, a tech-support company that was acquired by Best Buy in 2002) Stephens answers t a question put to him:

“I want to generate buzz about my executive search firm among potential clients. What is the best way to boost word-of-mouth marketing?”

Stephens reply is a great one and I give you this link so you can read it on the Inc site but towards the end he said something that really caught my attention:

Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.

So I’m thinking of now here in 2010 and beyond how can builders and remodelers stand out from the crowd by being remarkable?

For some suggesting on how to get unstuck and moving on the road to becoming remarkable a quick list of things to consider read Seth Godin post on his blog: Seth’s Blog: How to be remarkable. In fact subscribe to his blog and read it religiously, go out and search for his videos on YouTube, Vimeo and wherever else they may be and watch them and and buy his books and audio-books. The guy is a master.

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Even if you’re on the right track,…

Cleaning up and tossing some old files from the late eighties and early nineties I had stored in the basement I found this quote written on a scrap of paper at the bottom of one pile.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

– Will Rogers

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