Lee Distad

Lee Distad

Lee Distad is a rAVe columnist and freelance writer covering topics from CE to global business and finance in both print and online. Reach him at lee@ravepubs.com


Strange ReTales: Suspicious Behavior

Strange ReTales: Suspicious Behavior

One of my personal weaknesses is the lengths I will go for a joke. Sometimes it’s gotten me into trouble. I used to work at a place that had a monstrous, top-heavy bureaucracy. Like all monstrous, top-heavy bureaucracies it generated mountains of paperwork. Mind boggling amounts, stuffed into bankers boxes and squirreled away into filing […]

Business Acumen: Here’s What Not To Do

Business Acumen: Here’s What Not To Do

I believe that bad examples are just as valuable learning experiences as good examples, if not more so. In order to keep growing personally and professionally, it’s useful to take the lessons the universe presents to you and learn from them. I’m not in the car business, and I’m not writing for an audience that’s […]

Scenesters: Then And Now

Scenesters: Then And Now

Most editorials about “kids today” typically take the tack that things were better in the old days. This isn’t one of those editorials. Instead I’m going to marvel at the advantages the Internet age has presented to culture vultures worldwide. None of these observations are new, novel, or earth shaking, but I find myself thinking […]

The Slow Death Of Retail

The Slow Death Of Retail

I’ve reached a stage in my life where I don’t really fit into any particular demographic group. I look at print, television, and online advertisements with a critical, professional eye and, more often than not, I think “Wow, that ad is absolutely not directed at me.” That said, beyond age, gender, and income if there’s […]

Do You Know Who I Am?

Do You Know Who I Am?

One of the hazards of vending high end systems is dealing with clients who have a rock star attitude. I’ve mentioned before that it’s been my experience dealing with both luxury goods and high end home AV installations that the clients with the highest net worth are the ones who are the most normal, reasonable […]

Product Review: StarTech.com 3-in1 Thunderbolt Adapter

Product Review: StarTech.com 3-in1 Thunderbolt Adapter

Right up front I’m going to admit that I have a soft spot for widgets and dongles. I blame it on my borderline-obsessive fascination with troubleshooting and problem-solving. If there’s a problem, there needs to be a solution. This is where various widgets and adapters come into play, specifically adapters. StarTech.com’s new 3-in-1 Adapter lets […]

DIY CRM

DIY CRM

I know that I’ve made unkind comments in the past about LinkedIn’s utility as a social media platform for professionals, but lately I’ve been coming around. I’m starting to find that LinkedIn isn’t completely useless. In addition to being a networking site, it also comes in handy as a venue for collaborating. I know that […]

More Clever Tips For Business Travelers

More Clever Tips For Business Travelers

A couple of weeks ago Gary wrote an insightful blog post that speaks to all of us who do lots of business travel. If you haven’t already read it, you should. http://www.ravepubs.com/five-simple-services-every-business-traveler-wants-actually-needs/ I have to concur with all of his findings, although (spoiler alert!) it hadn’t occurred to me to perform emergency plumbing repair on […]

Making Small Talk

Making Small Talk

An interesting study crossed my newsfeed this week, and engendered some interesting discussion amongst my peers and I. From the Academy of Management website: “Men who engage in small talk before getting down to negotiations — compared with those who launch right into it — not only make a much more favorable impression, but also […]

Lifts And Let Downs

Lifts And Let Downs

If there has ever been an AV product category that I’ve maintained a love/hate relationship with, it’s motorized TV lifts and mounts. On the plus side of the equation, there are few things cooler than a concealed installation where a flat panel display or projector rises from a tabletop or descends from the ceiling. But […]

Features Don’t Sell, Benefits Sell

Features Don’t Sell, Benefits Sell

Recently I had a lengthy conversation with a friend of mine about the importance of trying to reacquaint dealers and vendors alike with focusing on benefits over features. We both admitted that we’ve done a lot of thinking on this subject. Comparing notes, both of us have observed that the number one priority we hear […]

But, But I Have People Skills : Managing Managers

But, But I Have People Skills : Managing Managers

My absolutely favorite aphorism for sales comes from the movie Jerry Maguire, when the titular character’s mentor and guru Dicky Fox says “The key to this business” *claps hands* “is personal relationships!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyxWWYeXKBw As a manufacturer’s representative my job role is all about personal relationships: making them, and keeping them. In fact, it’s more about […]

Why Do We Even Have That Lever?

Why Do We Even Have That Lever?

There’s a scene in the Disney film The Emperor’s New Groove that defines my attitude towards user interfaces. “Why do we even have that lever?” was a regular catchphrase in meetings at my old office whenever the design and programming teams met to discuss the of client’s automation systems. We would shout out “Why do […]

One Simple Rule For Being Happy

One Simple Rule For Being Happy

There are rules to live by, and mostly they’re pretty universal. Some our parents teach us, like that touching a hot stove is a bad idea. Others are taught to us as part of the Social Contract, like signaling before changing lanes (To be honest, where I live, an alarming majority of drivers haven’t heard […]

On Golf, Prospecting, and Chutzpah

On Golf, Prospecting, and Chutzpah

I recieve a lot of emails. I also recieve a lot of spam emails, mostly product pitches from overseas manufacturers. I actually do read (okay, skim) them all. While most of them are tedious and uninteresting there is the occasional gem hidden amongst all the dross; the odd interesting new product that I think worth bringing […]

When AV Devices <del>Attack</del> Croak

When AV Devices Attack Croak

More often than not the inspiration for my editorials and blog posts come from recent events/incidents/disasters in my life. Invariably, in these incidents (and disasters) I have to fall back on my training as an installer and designer. To quote Al Pacino from The Godfather: Part III: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull […]

Remote Power Management

Remote Power Management

What matters most to all those expensive black boxes neatly connected and stitched up in the rack, connected via other expensive black boxes to displays throughout the project aren’t buzzwords like resolution or bit-rate but one single, simple thing: electricity. As even small (fewer than ten rooms or displays) systems depend on more sophisticated technology […]

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