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5-18-2017 -- The beginning of car audio is rooted in the early 1970s when CB radio and 8-track players were a big deal—before the first sound-off events were staged in the late ’80s. Out on the West Coast, a movement had started. Folks wanted more out of their cars than the standard sonic fare. A group of enthusiasts had an idea about what needed to be done and started building 12-volt audio amplifiers. This was the backdrop for Audiomobile, launched with industry pioneers Paul Starry and Rich Coe at the helm.  The company name, of course, says it all. “It is a landscape name,” said Matt Overpeck, Vice President of Audiomobile. “It says exactly who we are—audio and mobile—and it is an absolute legacy brand. Many would say it is the genesis of high-end car audio.” The original Audiomobile from Costa Mesa, Overpeck said, not only put Starry and Coe on the map, but Larry Frederick and other luminaries like John Bishop, who literally wrote the book on high-end car audio. “They had a technical training manual that they published on a quarterly basis that was the vanguard of teaching retailers about audio and stereo,” Overpeck said. Audiomobile was not…
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5-10-2017, Mobile Electronics -- A bird of prey has many functions. These functions change based on the surrounding environment. To survive, the bird must rely on its instincts and natural abilities to catch food. The method of catching food, however, is almost always different. Land-based predatory birds require different strategies than water-based predators. The birds in these varying landscapes go by different names, which include fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, fish hawk and one other—osprey. Much like its namesake, 12-volt retailer Osprey has earned its name by adapting to an ever-changing environment in its 32 years of doing business. The Westwood, Mass. location operates out of Boston's South Shore community, where car audio is only a fraction of its daily workload. The company goes by a different name, Boston Truck & Van, to cater to its fleet business installing ladder racks, van shelves, emergency lighting and GPS tracking. This work is done not just for small businesses like plumbing and electrical, but for local municipalities like police and DEA vehicles. Since opening its doors, the company has adapted to declining revenue in one category by venturing full-force into another. That journey began in a completely different market, far from…
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5-1-2017, Entrepreneur.com -- New eras call for new ways of thinking about leadership, and 2017 is ushering in real change in the business world. Boston Consulting Group recently published an ebook, Transformation: Delivering and Sustaining Breakthrough Performance. The book argues that companies must operate in a state of “always-on transformation,” ready to shift tactics at a moment’s notice. In BCG's view, transformation isn’t something that happens once every 10 years in response to a crisis. It’s the process by which leaders regularly improve their operating models, culture and business strategies. This concept of constant transformation may seem daunting, but great leaders understand the power of this approach. Successful companies fail often, learn from their mistakes and pivot quickly. But even small transformations can create momentum. Yes, transformations are challenging and disheartening at times. But that’s where strong leadership comes into play. When employees see executives and managers exhibit inspirational qualities, they have faith that even turbulent changes are for the best. I know, because I’ve witnessed this many times in my 20 years as a leader in the public relations industry. Despite making my share of mistakes, I’ve gained valuable insights from each of those mistakes and used that knowledge  to strengthen my company. We've won…
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4-24-2017, Entrepreneur -- Social media ads are the norm for entrepreneurs both as consumers and business owners, so it’s a safe guess that most entrepreneurs realize the power and reach of Facebook's targeting capabilities.   Maybe you’ve tried Facebook advertising but it wasn't as effective as you hoped, or maybe you’re a believer who wants to take your ads to the next level. Either way, Facebook advertising is too powerful to be given up easily. There are five crucial considerations to accelerate conversions and ROI. 1. Getting very specific about your audience. Facebook has such impressive targeting capabilities, it’s getting scary. After the basics like gender, age and location, you can dive deep into people’s interests and life stages. For example, you can target people in the market for a specific car make or model, or appeal to parents of newborns, or target people at specific income levels, plus interests and lifestyles such as frequent travelers or readers of Entrepreneur magazine. Hone in on your audience by specifying as many demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics as you can. Use Facebook's Lookalike Audience tool to find the top one percent that looks like your existing audience. In my experience, it can make a big difference in your targeting, because Facebook…
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4-19-2017, Mobile Electronics -- Looks can be deceiving. As Western culture took over as the popular culture in the world, people's looks became indistinguishable from the personality of their cultures. If you dressed like a cowboy, that must have meant you were from Texas and liked to ride horses. If you were a guy with long dreadlocks, wore flip flops, tie-dyed shirts and shorts you must have been a hippie. But after meeting Jason Kranitz, owner of Kingpin Car and Marine Audio, you'd quickly learn that there's more to a person than their sense of fashion. With spiked hair, a no-nonsense attitude and a sleeve of flame tattoos, one might relegate Kranitz to that of a punk-rocker. While he shares many traits with that sub-culture, including his refusal to play by the rules of hiring only established installation technicians, Kranitz's views on industry topics, his shop's appointment-only business model and high standards of excellence prove that he's much more than a rebel with a cause. "We do things so differently, we expect perfection. A lot of experienced guys come over to our shop, get going and realize it isn't for them," Kranitz said regarding his decision to train workers from…
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4-19-2017, Autoblog -- Your feelings about autonomous cars could be related to your age, as a recent J.D. Power study has found out. According to the 2016 US Tech Choice Study, younger generations trust fully autonomous cars far more strongly than older generations. As many as 56 percent of "Gen Y" vehicle owners, also known as millennials, trust self-driving technology, closely mirrored by 55 percent of Gen Z'ers (born in the mid-1990s at earliest) feeling the same. The study was conducted in February and March of 2016 among 7,900 people who bought or leased a new vehicle in the last five years. 41 percent of Generation X customers trust autonomous tech, but there is a steep drop to 23 and 18 percent when so-called Baby Boomers and Pre-Boomers are asked about it. A full 39 percent of Baby Boomers "definitely would not trust" self-driving technology, and neither would 40 percent of Pre-Boomers (born between 1930 and 1945). Only 11 percent of Generation Z customers feel as negatively, and only 27 percent of Gen X and 18 percent of Gen Y drivers share the sentiment. "The level of trust is directly linked to the level of interest in a new technology…
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