first_imgAlistair Hay from Emerald Guitars gets ready for the long journey.AN exciting project that spans three continents has reunited a local guitar manufacturer with a Canadian artist whom he first met on a chance meeting in Donegal over two decades ago.Tomorrow Alistair Hay from St Johnston, will travel to China where he will have one of his unique Emerald Guitars decorated with Eastern philosophy-influenced art by Canadianartist Kristel Ouwehand for a Chicago-based customer.The founder and driving force behind one of the leading carbon fibreguitar companies in the world first met the artist in 1992.Kristel was travelling the world, financing herself through painting,and was invited by the Hay family to stay at their home for a few daysupon their encounter on Main Street, Letterkenny. While they did manage to stay in touch for a little while after,contact was lost at one stage, but thankfully re-established throughthe internet a four years ago.Kristel had left Alistair’s home leaving him with a painting which hada profound effect on him and became a symbol for his own personaljourney.Alistair said: “She came and stayed in our house for a few days and inreturn she painted a picture of a horse for me.“It was a beautiful picture depicting the horse with a flowing maneand tail galloping in the wind and it has held pride of place eversince.” Kristel went on to settle, first in Northern India and then moving onto China where she worked with Buddhist monks, learned the way oftheir art and recently set up the Amdo Art Projects in the monasterytown of Xiahe, Gansu (Facebook: ‘Amdo Arts Projects’).Having found each other again on the internet, Alistair and Kristeldecided they would love to work on a project together some day, if theopportunity arose.Four years later, an Emerald Guitars customer contacted Alistairrequesting a custom-made nine-string guitar.As if this wasn’t unique in itself, the customer also said that hewould like his guitar to feature Eastern philosophy-influenced art,This prompted Alistair to contact his old friend. “We started talkingabout the design and I realised that it wasn’t something I could do. “Instantly, I knew it was Kristel who would have to do this. I calledher and I also spoke to the costumer and he said ‘If you can take theguitar to China in person and have the artwork done, go for it’.”And so visas were applied for and flights to China were booked forAlistair and his media manager, Greencastle man Alan McLaughlin, totake the guitar to the monastery town where Kristel is running the artproject.“What’s so exciting about this project is that it’s a lot of differentlife experiences of mine coming together to allow this to happen.“It’s bringing a story full circle; that first connection withKristel, all those years ago, reconnecting with her in her home inChina and creating a very special piece for one of our customers,”said Alistair.In the history of Emerald Guitars there have been a select number ofinstruments that have marked milestones in the Donegal company’sstory. This began with the very first Emerald Guitar to be given to someone,which just happened to be American rock legend Steve Vai, to the newmost famous guitar in the world, Chinese-American pop star WangLeehom’s Chinese dragon guitar, simply known as Bahamut.Alistair has also had the privilege to build instruments forworld-famous acts such as legendary rockers Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, andmany more.“I have always said we are not a company that makes guitars, we’re acompany that makes stories. We always work with our customers to makea memorable experience and create something special for them,” said.THE DONEGAL GUITAR WHICH TOOK 20 YEARS TO GET TO CHINA! was last modified: September 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalEmerald Guitarslast_img read more

Investor Blogs Weigh in on Foursquare Funding

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… audrey watters Related Posts With news breaking late yesterday afternoon about Foursquare’s closing a $20 million Series B round, it’s not surprising that many investor blogs from last night through this morning were updated with posts offering their individual takes the deal. Was it a good investment? Was it a wise move for Foursquare? What next?Ben Horowitz wrote a post aptly titled “Why Andreessen Horowitz Invested in Foursquare.” Horowitz lists the following reasons behind his firm’s investment in the location-based network: a great founder, a killer product, a gigantic market. Weigh Decisions CarefullyFred Wilson took issue with some of the criticisms about what may have seemed like indecision or missteps on Foursquare’s part throughout what was a closely followed round of investment and acquisition inquiries. Wilson too praises the deliberation on the part of Foursquare founders. The moral of the story, Wilson writes, “is don’t let conventional wisdom force you into making decisions you don’t need to make and you aren’t ready to make, particularly about very big decisions that you will be living with the rest of your life.Develop Relationships with Investors EarlyFirst Round Capital Entrepreneur in Residence Charlie O’Donnell wrote a longer piece, less about the specifics of the Foursquare investment and more about lessons entrepreneurs can learn from it. Titled “Multiple Passes at the Target,” O’Donnell points to the importance of entrepreneurs and investors building a relationship over time, noted in the case of Foursquare with some of the offers and and declines from Andreessen Horowitz before yesterday’s funding.O’Donnell urges entrepreneurs to let go of the notion that they only get “one shot” to win over an investors. Instead of waiting to interact til it’s time to pitch, O’Donnell advises “never pass up an opportunity to have a ‘way too early’ conversation with an investor.”Investors have an information advantage, says O’Donnell, and this knowledge on markets, competitors, lessons learned, and funding in general, can be invaluable. By establishing a relationship early, investors will see progress: “It’s hard to show progress in one meeting, but if I meet with you when you have something super early that breaks all the time, and then 3 months later when you’ve sured up the product, struck a biz dev deal, and bolstered the feature set–after you told me that’s what you were going to do–that’s going to get a big check mark on execution. Of course, that’s different than trying to come in 3 weeks later with just one more customer if my initial concern was executing a sales plan in a market with hundreds of thousands of potential customers. That’s the same story all over again.” O’Donnell does distinguish between meeting early and actually pitching early. Using the common dating analogy, he does admit it can be a “very fine line between what’s just being friendly and what is a clear pursuit.” Emailing wireframes for some casual feedback is one thing, sending a PowerPoint deck? “Pitchy.”High praise came from many of the investor blogs about Foursquare’s founding team, and many of them remarked on the progress that the company had made. Being able to observe the company’s development over time and being able to testify with some certainly to the vision and follow-through of the founding team does support the argument that O’Donnell makes in his post: that it’s worth developing a relationship over time between entrepreneur and investor. Tags:#Analysis#start center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Two Things You Must Love to Grow Your Business

first_imgYou may sometime hear someone say, “Business would be great if it wasn’t for two things: customers and employees.”While the statement is true enough, it betrays a mindset that is harmful to growing a business. Hating your customers is not a growth strategy. Having negative feelings about your team will ensure you stagnate at best, and disappear at worst.Love ClientsClients, or customers if that better describes your relationship with the people and companies you serve, are the reason your business exists.Wait. You thought the reason your business exists is to make money for you and your shareholders? Making money on the net line is the result of doing a lot things right. You have to make more money than you spend. But the money that you spend shows up on the Revenue line of your P&L when you deposit the checks you receive from your clients.To remind you how important are your clients, go ahead and delete the revenue from the top 20% of your client list.  What’s that you say about money? The order of things matter. Your business exists to serve your clients. Money is the outcome of doing that well. Not taking care of your clients well eliminates money.When your client presents you with a difficult–or seemingly impossible–challenge, when they behave badly, and when they act from a place of scarcity and fear, remember that they are why you exist. Remember too that solving their problems gives you new capabilities that you can use to solve other client’s problems.Your clients are the most important asset you have. Without them, you have no business. Speaking poorly of your clients is an example that your team will follow.Love EmployeesEmployees, like all human beings, can be difficult. They can cause you problems, and they will, from time to time, disappoint you. They will also exceed your expectations, do the impossible, and delight you and your clients.Without employees you cannot serve your clients. If you want to grow your business, the speed at which you can do so is directly proportional to the caliber of the employees you hire, the leadership you provide, the culture you create, and the processes and systems you build for and with them.Much of the time, the problems you see with your employees are the result of some constraint that needs your attention, some donkey you need to remove from the bridge to clear the path for your people.If you want your employees to perform for your clients, you have to perform for them. Harboring bad feelings towards your employees is a governor on your businesses growth’ the more you turn up your resentment and frustration, the slower you grow.Words have meaning. Words also have consequences. Instead of seeing the challenges your clients and employees present you, see them as opportunities to grow, to improve, and to do meaningful work.If you would grow your business, you have to love your clients and love your people.last_img read more