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 What’s My Discount?


It’s been said that it’s a mark of greatness to create a legacy that leaves something wonderful behind you for future generations. Years before I began working there, at one HiFi store an enterprising general manager had brokered deals with two professional organizations to extend to them a corporate discount program. What that meant was […]

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The Technology That Time Forgot


One of the principles that guide me is actually an aphorism that was in much of my CEDIA training back in the day: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” History is littered with things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but didn’t have lasting appeal. For your morning […]

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Delivering Effective Presentations


Over the years, I have sat through what sometimes feels like an endless procession of training sessions. Some were great, and some were less so. As the great wheel of existence turns, now other people have to sit through my vendor training sessions. It’s my expectation, whether I’m receiving or presenting, that in return for […]

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Dreadful Vendor Spam Redux


Most of the time, the Clutter folder in my new Outlook works great. Sometimes Outlook buries important emails from people I want to hear from in the Clutter folder, and as a result I have to browse it regularly to rescue them, but that’s another story entirely. Instead, let’s look at what the Clutter folder […]

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Some Things Aren’t Complicated


How often do we over-complicate things? In my case, despite my best intentions, sometimes I do. A lot. Occam’s Razor says, as you all know, that “among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” The truth of that was borne out for me (again!) last weekend. The charging port on my […]

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Branching Out — Does It Make Sense?


Things change; that’s a message we repeat on a regular basis in the trade media. Disruption, commoditization, price erosion, there are a whole host of factors play into changing the business landscape. Sometimes the evolution of a business is gradual and easy, other times it can be a little rocky. At some point or other […]

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Yet Another LED Lighting Update


It just occurred to me that I haven’t bored updated rAVe readers the state of my light-bulb quest since November of last year. No time like the present, I always say. Last time I checked in on my efforts to switch my home over to LED lighting, the grand total sat at 58% LED, with […]

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Constant In Car Connectivity


It’s been a thesis of mine for some time that luxuries become necessities. That’s hardly an original observation. Oscar Wilde put it much better than I when he said “Give me the luxuries and I can dispense with the necessities.” Thirty years ago power doors and windows were only an option on luxury cars. Today […]

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Make/Buy Repair/Replace/Argh!


For those of us who aren’t independently wealthy it often takes time to assemble an impressive home AV system. A piece here, a piece there, another piece over here. As an aficionado, especially one with a budget, a lot of time gets spent contemplating your options before selecting just the right component. It takes years. […]

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The Challenge of Brand Protection


Manufacturers and distributors aren’t just responsible for growing their brands’ business and market share — they’re also responsible for maintaining their brands’ image and position in the marketplace, as well as supporting the best interests of their dealers. Products deserve to be sold for what they’re worth, and dealers who support the brand deserve to […]

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4D Theater: Just Stop, Already


  The history of cinema is littered with technological missteps best left forgotten. I continue to think that 3D belongs on the trash heap of history, but that’s not what I’m here to rail against today. In January we spent a week in California, visiting Disneyland, Sea World and the San Diego. Overall, it was […]

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Praise For Multi Tools


When it comes to tools, I often quote Pablo Picasso, who said “everything is either easy or impossible. As I interpret it, oftentimes the difference between the easy and the impossible is whether or not you have the right tool. Don’t believe me? Try running wire between drywall and insulation without fiberglass rods. My love […]

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Best Behavior On The Jobsite


I made a blog post recently about dressing appropriately for the workplace, and Leonard Suskin left a comment about one of his pet peeves: Technicians who wear rock concert t-shirts and grubby jeans on jobsites. He’s right, of course. That got me to thinking about professionalism, and what constitutes professional conduct on the job site. […]

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What You Learn From Contests and Incentives


  I have a lot of experience with sales contests, both running them, and participating in them. Personally, I love sales contests, and I think they’re a fantastic way to sharpen the focus on promoting a brand. They’re also educational. Running a sales promotion shows you who amongst the participants are driven by incentives to […]

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