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

Best Behavior On The Jobsite

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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

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  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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We All Need A Little Patience

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I’ve blogged before about how the key to effective communication is listening, understanding, and expressing yourself in a way that is best for your counterpart. However, communicating effectively with people in the manner that works best for them isn’t always easy. It becomes challenging when your counterpart has their own issues inhibiting their ability to […]

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Demos and Prototypes

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  So, I had a thing happen to me this past week. I guess you could even say, “I had an Internet of Thing happen to me.” I received a prototype sample from a vendor, in order to test it, and show it to a few key resellers in order to further its development. You’ll […]

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Christmas Surprises!

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When I worked in retail I sold lots of AV gear that was surprise Christmas presents. That’s why I stopped writing thank you cards in mid-October, and did them all in a big rush in January. When I moved into the AV design and installation, the number of surprise presents people bought were fewer, but […]

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Holiday Preparations

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    Christmas is just around the corner! Time for a holiday Public Service Announcement. I believe in the importance writing Thank You cards to clients, as well as sending them Holiday greetings as well. It can be somewhat arduous and time consuming, especially if your handwriting is as poor as mine, but it’s an […]

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LED Progress Update

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My program of switching over all the lighting in my house to LED continues unabated. This past July was the last time I had taken stock of the percentage of bulbs in my house that were LED rather than incandescent, CFL or halogen. The score then was 41%. Since the year is just about over […]

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Product Review: StarTech Bluetooth Audio Receiver With NFC

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I’ve always found myself drawn to and interested in problem solving devices, and sometimes I find them more interesting than larger pieces of equipment, like loudspeakers and video displays. The BT2A Bluetooth audio receiver from Lockburne, Ohio-based manufacturer StarTech is intended to turn any audio output device like amplifiers or integrated receivers into a Bluetooth-compatible […]

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Christmas and Salesman Fuel

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  This is normally the time of year where I dust off my standard blog post about how to batten down your company’s hatches in preparation for the Christmas holidays. Instead, however, I find myself irresistibly drawn to talking about my choices of Holiday sustenance from all those years working in retail. In other words: […]

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Thermostats And Unintended Consquences

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An awful lot of my blog posts are inspired by things breaking. There was my antique DVD player a couple of weeks ago.* And before that, over the years, various other pieces of equipment. Well, this week my thermostat croaked. It didn’t croak in the sense that “OMG! Winter is coming, the furnace won’t work […]

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Bloggers, Products and PR Professionals

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Last week the Canadian business magazine entitled, appropriately, Canadian Business posted a brief blog on their website entitled “How Giving Freebies To Bloggers Can Backfire.” It’s a short read, and I don’t want to steal their thunder. However, for the too long/didn’t read crowd I’ll summarize: giving free products to bloggers doesn’t guarantee that they’re […]

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Crossing The Rimikon

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Slowly but surely, we’re moving towards the future of lighting. In January of 2014, Canada legislated to ban 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. Then in January of 2015 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs were outlawed. Businesses are still allowed to sell through their existing inventory, which is why 40- and 60-watt bulbs are still […]

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Design And Consultation Retainers

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To me, the thing that stands out the most as the biggest difference between residential and commercial AV is the approach to starting new projects. Specifically, I mean the bid process in commercial/institutional AV versus the design retainer in residential. It speaks to a different dynamic, not least of which is that the buying process […]

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Haggling: You’re Doing It Wrong

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Haggling and negotiating is to be expected when striking a deal. Of course, like anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. What constitutes appropriate negotiations is, naturally, dependent on context. How you go about getting a good deal on a new car is different from how you negotiate the price […]

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Words Mean Things

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Everyone knows the expression “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” but how often do people think about its implications. I do. Since my job centers on communications I spend a lot of mental energy finding the best way to communicate with my customers. This past week a friend shared his customer […]

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Styli Are So Hot Right Now

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  What many said was impossible has come to pass. Apple has announced that they’re making a stylus. That sound you hear is Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave. But for as much static as Apple is getting from the commentariat, how could they not? There are already a lot of aftermarket styli available […]

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Why You Don’t Chase Every Rabbit

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Recently, I had a great discussion with a couple of business acquaintances about business ethics, specifically, on the subject of poaching clients from rivals. It was the consensus of the group that picking up a client who’s dumped their last contractor can be dangerous, unless a client has clear material reasons for abandoning a company they previously […]

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Staying Open Minded

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I recently had a conversation with my peers, the consensus of which I thought would be entertaining and informative for rAVe readers as a whole. We’re looking for new business.  I think it’s safe to say that many of us out there are. As much as we love our existing customers, we can’t expect them […]

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Topical Humor

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AV is serious business. That’s why it’s often helpful to use levity brighten the mood. I joked around a lot back when I worked in retail. I still do in truth. My favorite joke when it came to the outdoor landscaping speakers that look like rocks was to tell customers “but you can only play […]

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