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September 2017
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Focus Groups Can Turn The Tide Of A Nasty Slide


MY OPENING REMARKS ON SATURDAY MORNING, February 20, 2015, to a small group of business professionals were straight and to the point: “Boulevard Printers in Huntington Beach, California, owned by our host Jim Cavener, is on the brink of failure after only four months in business. As Jim’s public relations consultant, I’m here to moderate the group. You’ve been invited here to help find potential new markets for his printing business and hopefully save him from impending disaster. Are you ready to take on the assignment?”

Sound like a new job for the Mission Impossible team? It wasn’t. Cavener had opened his home to a focus group. Those attending included a CPA, a marketing professional, a financial planner, and a retired printer–people who could provide valuable insight based on their experience and skills.

I began by asking Cavener a series of questions to give the participants some background information about …

Exercise And Video Games? Sign Us Up!

It turns out that the physically draining whitewater game we played, Namco’s Rapid River, isn’t a one-of-a-kind machine. It’s just the latest in a wave of revolutionary video games that simulate various sports. Downhill mountain biking? It’s here. Virtual skateboarding? Yup. Hang gliding? That, too. Name a sport and a video game “simulator” exists or is being developed by some demented computer genius. And no matter how big a stud you were at Asteroids, you’ve got to be fit, skilled and athletic and have splendid hand-eye coordination before you can even think about becoming a great player at these games. A thick wallet helps, too: Each game costs anywhere from $1 to $4 per play, depending on the game’s complexity and the arcade owner’s level of greed.

raprivIf you’ve got some disposable income, though, and are jonesing for sports action on a lousy winter day, play any of the following