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This category contains 31 posts

The Proactive Buyer’s Pledge

This is a push-back against the barrage of marketing that has been beating down on us.  I’m suggesting somebody should start a list of people who pledge NEVER to respond to aggressive marketing contacts (phone, email, etc.) and to only buy from companies to whom they reached out themselves.  It’s sort of like a do-not-call list … Continue reading

What’s With All These Credit Card Calls?

If you run a small business you probably get 1-2 calls per day from companies that want to provide you credit card processing services. Obviously there is money behind it, if the sharks are circling like this, but really, what’s going on? I’ve been on and off the road for the last 6 months representing … Continue reading

Tricities Green Drinks presentation Oct. 28th, 2015

Green Drinks is a national organization that gets people together each month over drinks to talk about Green developments in the community.  Kyle Meister runs the Tricities chapter, and he is rotating us through each town.  Last month was in Johnson City. This month, I will be presenting an overview of the various Green Technology … Continue reading

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy

This talk by Dr. Al Bartlett is both a lesson in simple consequences of growth rates, and a discussion of historic consumption of resources such as petroleum, coal, and space.  It’s an hour and a quarter, but it kept me riveted.  It is clear that humankind’s situation is far worse than we’ve been led to believe by … Continue reading

Cleaning Clues

This piece of literature was worked up for our Green Technology cleaning and floor care product line. ——– Cleaning Clues Here we talk about everything from soap bubbles to brighter whites.  Just a start to get you thinking about what the different cleaners do. Soap and pH The earliest soaps were made by breaking up … Continue reading

Doc McConnell CD’s

Bit of a commercial update here — sorry ’bout that. At one time I was helping the McConnells by putting their complete story-telling CD collection on Amazon.  For the last 2 years or so, stock was down — out of print — and I was too busy trying to start a business — so I … Continue reading

Green Tech Products Going Retail

We now have two retail outlets for our Green Technology cleaning products. Olde Towne Pharmacy here in Jonesborough, and Downtown Farming in Johnson City are now offering our products to the general public.  We are still seeking alliances with retail sites in the Kingsport and Bristol areas. They are carrying: GT Mainstream multipurpose cleaner, a … Continue reading

What a “Company” Should Be

Corporate America has lost touch with the original meaning of the word “Company”.  A company is a group of people with common interests and goals.  Leaders within the group gain the respect of the others by articulating clear visions of strategy, a policy, or a tactical plan, and thereby gain the support of the rest … Continue reading

Elevator Speech

Everybody that is trying to promote anything, be it a business or a point of view, needs to have a very short reply to the question “what do you do”?   This is called an elevator speech because you have someone’s attention for about the time of the elevator ride, and if you haven’t hooked … Continue reading

Financial Tips for Entrepreneurs

I won’t waste time on the clichés like “don’t quit your day job”, or “expect the unexpected”, or the long hours you might have to work if things don’t go as planned, or that things never go as planned.  Instead, I want to write about the financial issues that may not have occurred to you, … Continue reading

An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems

Found this old gem in my archives: MISSING  OCTAVE  INSIGHTS,  INC. Newsletter 1/24/07 © 2007, All Rights Reserved http://www.MissingOctave.com An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems To misquote a famous green ogre, Quality Systems “are like onions.  They have layers.” We’ve all seen management try to force-fit a one-size-fits-all quality system on a business or product, … Continue reading

Mutilate the Corpses – An Organic Gardening Strategy

Despite the sound of this, it is not out of that farcical fantasy game Munchkins(™).  It is a genuine way to control pests.  It sounds like putting the remains of executed criminals on display as a warning for others, but the way it works runs much, much deeper than that. I first heard of this … Continue reading

Socially Responsible Supply

Here is the latest vision of what we are doing with MOI Labs, a spin-off of Missing Octave Insights.  A worm’s eye view is that we are going to sell janitorial cleaning supplies and floor finishes, but the vision is so much more of that. We are going to be the science nerds who evaluate … Continue reading

Craft Shop

We have space, materials, and tools here at our MOI Labs site.  There are a lot of things we could do to make crafty items on a small-scale (hundred-lot) basis.  We could then market them on the internet.  This is similar to the idea of collecting craft items from the community and selling them, and … Continue reading

Sole Proprietor Exemption

Here is a (half-baked) idea to stimulate the economy and help people move from lower class poverty to middle class.  It addresses the barriers of intimidating red tape & authority, and the dis-incentive of letting go of disability, unemployment, and other forms of marginal income that people cling to. As things stand now, being a … Continue reading

New Media – The Computerized Novel

The birth and development of the “computer game” has of course taken a completely different direction from the paper-based novel.  “Readers” have such latitude – (burn the village or trade with the natives?) – that the author has very limited control over the course of events, and has to resort to heavy-handed deus-ex-machina to steer … Continue reading

New Media – The Paperback Version

Dr. Egon Spengler (Ghostbusters) says that print is dead.  I would say that there is so much more that we can do than just a linear story line 100% controlled by the author, in the (non-participatory) story-telling tradition. As I kid, I was intrigued by the choose-your-path mystery books.  At every critical junction, you had … Continue reading

The MOI Labs (Jansan) Brochure

This little brochure (in draft) about our Janitorial Services and Supply business should give you an idea what we’ve decided to throw our muscle behind as a first project.  The plan is to get started with a few contracts, since this is a business Terry knows.  Expand our formulation and mixing capabilities, come up with … Continue reading

Patenting Medications

In the bad old days, inventions sometimes died with their inventors, since innovation was a closely guarded secret.  The US government recognized that to grow stronger industry, this loss had to be stopped.  They hit on the idea of a quid-pro-quo — inventors who disclosed and taught their inventions to the world would get a … Continue reading

Game Rules – The Green Biz

Here are the rules I spit out when Terry challenged me to write an educational game related to green technology entrepreneurship.  In a nutshell, you try to build an industrial complex with Murphy’s Law knocking you in the shins all the way. This would need to be published as a card game, so it needs … Continue reading

Arts and Crafts Marketing

The creative impulse to make things is very different from the hard-nosed mindset you need to sell them after they are done.  A lot of artistic and crafty people end up selling their products the quickest way possible and for less than they are worth.  The selling process itself is inefficient, one person sitting in … Continue reading

General Services

With the graying of the baby boomers, there are going to be a lot of people needing more help than they used to need.  It is also hard to find reliable people to help you these days. I’m proposing a General Services business, where, whatever the need, from grocery shopping to finding a plumber, from … Continue reading

Analytical Laboratory

Our MOI Labs facility was set up to service W2Fuel, nominally a biodiesel company.  We spent 2 years developing expertise, procedures, and getting ready for certification.  With their abrupt cessation of support, due to their inability to make any money off biodiesel (long story), they are taking back custody of the capital investment (i.e., the … Continue reading

Purchasing Co-ops

Why don’t we do this more? Anything that is cheaper in bulk, be it Mason Jars, Rice & Dried Beans, Cloth, Fertilizer, garden seeds, anything. Is the problem lack of starting capital?  Lack of distribution point?  Lack of trust? A lot of that can be gotten around by using the resources we have here at … Continue reading

Recycling Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Right now most old roofing shingles go to the landfill (people sometimes even pay a dumping fees).  Then, more foreign oil is consumed making new asphalt shingles to replace them.  What I’m thinking about is turning shingles into road paving materials — a way to use another “free” resource to reduce our foreign oil dependence. There … Continue reading

Game Rules – Enchanted Empires

I crank out new ideas for games the way some people play tennis – to deal with stress and frustration.  Here is one that I put together not long ago, that would form the kernel of a web-based game.  The tracking of populations and resources and such are way to complicated to do without a … Continue reading

The Algae Story

During my work on oil sources for biodiesel production, and later attending the 2013 Algae Biomass Summit in Florida, I have learned a lot about Algae.  I will repost some general information from my Facebook stream at the bottom of this note for those interested. There is a lot done with algae, but current limitations … Continue reading

The Lignin Story

Okay, today our Kickstarter effort expires, so at a minimum I owe our supporters there a full-context overview of our Lignin status. Lignin is the cell walls of the wood that is left over after they extract the cellulose fibers for paper making.  350 billion pounds a year are produced, and it’s burned up into … Continue reading

Do what when I grow up?

It’s only half a joke – all of us seem to be searching for what we “want to do when we grow up”.  I think I just joined the ranks of the blessed ones who have found their muse, and their focus.  First, some background info so I can explain. Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor … Continue reading

Patronage

For an established business, the patronage of its customers is everything. For a startup or an R&D firm, patronage is much more difficult. My first corporate experience spoiled me.  I found myself in a skunkworks – a isolated bit of a company, sheltered from the tyranny of the rest of the corporation, free to pursue … Continue reading

About Business and Community

I consider Business and Community be totally linked.  I’ll talk about money, and how the system has been perverted to the point it is no longer a good way to keep score of the value of our activities.  There was once a time (or at least a fairytale) that went something like this: your work … Continue reading