Mobile Electronics Magazine

January 5,  2018 -- A Class Act With its many programs, accommodating academic schedule and on-campus housing, the Installer Institute is a smart investment for schooling. Back in 1992, The Cartoon Network started broadcasting, the Mall of America opened and airline TWA declared bankruptcy. There was no Facebook, Twitter, or any social media and certainly no smartphones for installers to be tinkering with inside vehicles. Even though it was a simpler time, it had become more imperative for installers to ramp up their skills or risk falling behind with advancing automotive technology and potentially suffering professionally becauseof that. The only issue was that they had nowhere to go for any formal type of training. Bill Jones, owner of Metra Electronics, took up the reins and pioneered the Installer Institute, a technical training facility based in Holly Hill, Fla. The synergy made perfect sense with Metra being an aftermarket car audio installation accessories company. Today the Installer Institute is a 10,000 square-foot training facility with comprehensive programs yearround and on-campus housing. More than 5,000 students have graduated from the school. In 2016, the Installer Institute reached a milestone with its accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).…
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"Find a need and fill it." Ever since I first heard this profound statement, which was spoken by 12-volt sales guru Del Ellis at my first KnowledgeFest, I found that it was also representative of the industry I'd soon come to adore. When I was first hired by Mobile Electronics magazine I was a daisy-fresh rookie with a journalism degree who didn't know a double-DIN from a DSP. Although I'm still no expert on the technical side of 12-volt, what I have gained a strong grasp of is how the industry works. That's also what intrigues me the most about it. In my first year, here's what I learned: car audio isn't just putting a deck and four's in a car but an entire industry filled with music lovers who also love cars. The products are vast and complicated. Installing those products takes great skill and expertise that is acquired through countless hours of trial and error, through which most are done for no money and could potentially ruin a vehicle's electrical system if done incorrectly. My second year consisted of me basically trying to make sense of the whirlwind of things I'd learned in my first. I developed my…
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1-2-2018 Mobile Electronics -- Jim Carrey once starred in a movie called "Yes Man." The film followed a bank clerk who found that he was missing out on life by saying no to everything. After being dragged by a friend to attend a seminar, Carrey started saying yes to every opportunity. While hilarity ensued for the sake of comedy, his character's life changed for the better, resulting in his meeting a new love, learning new skills and getting a big raise at work. For Main Street Stereo, success came in a similar way thanks to the company's slogan, "Yes We Can!" which tells customers that any and all service requests are welcome. The store, located in Sayville, N.Y., is comprised of five full-time employees and one part-timer. Service offerings include car audio, truck accessories, window tinting, marine and power sports offerings, rims and tires, remote starters, alarms and selling LED lights wholesale to other companies. On its way to becoming one of the hottest aftermarket retailers on the East Coast, Main Street Stereo began its journey to dominance in 1974. Having originally opened on Main Street, the shop moved to Sunrise Highway and eventually became a household name in that…
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12-28-2017 Mobile Electronics -- With the new year just around the corner, there are plenty of things worth remembering about 2017. Among them are stories about the people that help make the 12-volt industry so great. Here are the top three most read articles of 2017: 1. May 2017 Bird of Prey – Osprey Boston Truck & Van : https://issuu.com/mobileelectronics/docs/17me_may_for_digital/30 2. October 2017 Partner for All – Automotive Data Systems: https://issuu.com/mobileelectronics/docs/17me_october_new/40 3. April 2017 Rebel Monarchy – KingPin Car & Marine Audio:  https://issuu.com/mobileelectronics/docs/17me_april_for_digital/28 
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12-20-2017, Forbes -- If you invent a great idea for a new product, others will copy you. It’s just a matter of when. That’s guaranteed. Whether your company is small or one of the largest in the world does not matter. Copycats are the norm now. Run a successful Kickstarter campaign? Factories in China may beat you to market before you’ve shipped a single unit. Selling on Amazon.com? Prepare to do battle with Chinese counterfeiters who steal your original photos, descriptions and even reviews. Congratulations on your success! Copycats do not imitate products that aren’t selling. So… how can you compete? Will having a patent or several patents help you? Not really. Due to changes in our patent laws, it has become enormously expensive to defend one’s intellectual property in the United States. First, take a deep breath. There are other strategies to pursue. Not only can you survive, you can succeed. But you’re going to have to be unemotional and think differently. Early on in my career, I was under the impression that it was possible to own a creative work through patents, copyrights and trademarks. And in fact, the only right referred to explicitly in the U.S. Constitution is to our inventiveness. But it’s more…
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12-20-2017, Entrepreneur -- As part of my job, I regularly work with people who own and run their own businesses. Many of these people are what you might call "thought leaders," highly respected in their fields. They're movers and shakers. And starting a few years ago, they all started saying the same thing: We're firing our millennial employees. This troubled me. Why were they firing them? And why did they feel so strongly about the firings that they felt the need to tell me about them? I asked nearly a dozen experts, influencers and business owners why they thought millennials sometimes struggled in the workplace, and why they were getting fired. As I investigated, trends began to emerge.   What I learned didn't change my positive opinions about my generation -- but it did give me insight into why business leaders sometimes complain. Here's what my contacts said about millennials, and why they get fired. 1. Lack of vision Josh Steimle, CEO of MWI, told me that in his opinion, lack of vision was the biggest reason why millennial employees sometimes flare out. "A lack of empathy is hurting many millennials in the workplace, because they're not understanding the circumstances of their…
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