KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for June, 2010

Jun 30 2010

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Foundations for Success

We forget that the simple facts of success in business and in life often get overlooked. Here are two basic rules that have more impact on how we perform than many others…

We are what we think about and surround ourselves with and We are what we eat.

Being strong in both body and mind will give us the foundation to deal with life’s ups and downs. There’s no magic in this…it’s just that common sense isn’t so common anymore.

1. What you think about you bring about. What are you reading? Who do you surround yourself with? We do have some control over our environment. Any great leader surrounds him/herself with great people. Our enthusiasm is fired by the fuel we add… Think about people who make you fired up and how their attitude impacts yours. Also think about the people who bring you down and how their attitude has a direct impact on your own.

2. You are what you eat. The title of my previous book is “The 12 Cliches of Selling…and why they work” because there are truths to them…that’s why they become clichés. I’m not a “Nut” about what I eat, but I make sure I have them as part of the top 5:

1. Nuts
2. Fruits
3. Vegetables
4. Fish
5. Whole grains

Plus lots of water. I eat as many small meals during the day as possible and when I want a steak, pork chop, fried chicken, or dessert I enjoy…it’s the “In Moderation” saying that I keep in mind.

When I eat better, I have more energy; when I have more energy, I will do more and deal with any challenges with a better frame of mind and body.

“Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”—Sarah Bernhardt

Barry Farber

Jun 29 2010

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Cloud computing for designers, continued.

For effective group collaboration on projects, Drop.io is a popular file-sharing application that helps you to streamline your workflow.

You create “drops” filled with files, photos, audio, video and more that you can share with other people. There’s a 100 MB limit on a given drop, but you can purchase more space if you want. Typically, though, 100 MB is plenty—that’s an awful lot of PDFs and Word documents.


Every drop includes a dedicated conference call line and in-drop chat features. This makes real-time collaboration very easy. Another great feature is that any interaction with files is reflected on everyone’s screen so you know when changes are made or something as simple as a slideshow being viewed.

If you’ve ever found long chains of emails too hard to follow and worry about details falling in between the cracks, Drop.io is a great solution. If sending and downloading large files is too time-consuming, try the Outlook plug-in that lets you send up to a 100 MB file (for free) with ease.



Box.net is another Cloud file server that enables access, management and sharing of files and media on the web. Free membership offers 1 GB of free storage with a 25 MB max file size limit. Individual plans are $9.95/month while business plans start at $15/user/month.

Box.net recently added Box Sync, which lets you sync your desktop directly to your Box. As an added bonus, your team can also sync their desktops and get updates automatically. The Sync Box feature can be accessed anytime, even when you are not online. Once you are on the net, all your changes and additions will be uploaded to the Box automatically.

In addition to having apps for the iPhone and iPad, Box.net can integrate with Safesforce CRM and open cloud CRM providers SugarCRM and Zoho CRM.

If you need to view .dwf and .dwfx CAD files on the go, the Autodesk Freewheel integrated application lets you view these files in your box.net account.

Another promising integrated application is JotNot, which turns your iPhone’s camera into a scanner. This looks like a great way to track receipts for business expenses.


Popular features on Box.net for Business and Enterprise subscribers include managed file transfer for sending large files to co-workers or clients. Deal Rooms is a feature that allows you to create an online workspace to negotiate, manage contracts, issue statements, etc.

If you are like me and don’t have an iPhone, there is a Blackberry app and a Mobile Browser option.

There are more programs (Sugarsync, Dropbox, Yousendit) out there and new ones being developed every day. Please share what you are doing to streamline your business or be more mobile.—Ann Porter

Jun 28 2010

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Education in a box

michelle-kaufmann-earthbox-1all photos by JB Spector / Museum of Science and Industry

One of my very favorite green products on the market is the Earthbox. The Earthbox doubles the yield of a conventional garden, with less water, less fertilizer, virtually no effort. They are great for adding to your courtyard, roof deck, balcony or backyard. Earthbox is also wonderful for countries short on water, healthy food and financial resources. They, along with The Growing Connection, have been doing a lot of work in places like Africa and Haiti, providing much needed healthy food in impoverished communities. Google even has Earthboxes in their HQ courtyards for growing food for their infamous organic and vegan employee cafeterias.

In addition, Earthboxes are a great educational tool.

Recently, I had a wonderful morning with the Bret Harte Elementary School 4th graders and Earthboxes in the garden of the Smart Home: Green + Wired at the Museum of Science + Industry. First, we planted a slew of boxes with the Smart Home’s Master Gardener Madiem Kawa. Madiem had themes for each box. There were boxes that were pizza, salsa, salad, Italian seasonings, Indian and even potpourri (some of the box “recipes” below photos). The students could each choose what type of box they wanted to plant, and the various ingredients and plants were discussed. The kids and I had a great time and learned about the importance of mixing certain plants along with flowers for pollination as well as repellents for the herbs.

After the planting, we cut some lettuce, mircogreens, chard and arugula that some of the students had planted the month before on Earth Day to make a salad for lunch. I am not sure there is a more satisfying or flavorful meal than one that comes from food you planted and harvested. The students were super enthusiastic about gardening and much more knowledgeable than I had been as a child about edible gardens, insects and even composting.

The Earthboxes not only provide beauty to the Smart Home, a wonderful experience, a tasty lunch, but also great education for the students (and myself).

Next, I want to work on ways to incorporate the Earthboxes into the roof and walls of homes.

That, and plant Earthboxes at our house. The low-maintenance garden is the one for me.

michelle kaufmann ea#88D622
Michelle Kauffman in the SmartHome
michelle kaufmann ea#88D691
michelle kaufmann ea#88D69D
Michelle Kauffman in the SmartHome
Michelle Kauffman in the SmartHome
Michelle Kauffman in the SmartHome
Master Gardener Madiem Kawa’s themed boxes (they were a huge hit):

lemon thyme, variegated marijoram, winter savory, oregeno, and marigold (flowers for pollination and repellent)

tarragon, sage, parsley, celery, and dianthus (flower)

basil, black beauty, eggplant, peppers, sorel, and dianthus (flower)

chamomile, lavender, citronella, and marigold (flower)

tomatoes, onions, jalapeno pepper, garlic and dianthus (flower)

The museum’s Earthboxes have been producing and providing food for people in the city.

Smart Home: Green + Wired

Michelle Kaufmann

Jun 25 2010

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A valuable voicemail adds pizzazz to your promotion

What you do—or don’t—say on your voicemail can have a major impact on your business, considering the number of times prospects get your “message” before they get you.

Americans spend 3.2 billion hours a year talking to and listening to voicemail. If you don’t use yours as a promotional tool, you’re missing out on a major marketing opportunity.

Use your voicemail to provide information about yourself and your products and services, along with benefits that you offer your clients.

Ways to Add Value to Your Voicemail:
(excerpted from the “Superstar Selling Audio Download”)

+ Add magic to your message by including your “Only” (as in, “I’m the only award-winning local dealer who specializes in [fill in company name] products.”)

+ Offer options, such as your cell phone number, for those who need to reach you now

+ Provide regular updates (“Today is Thursday, and I’ll be in appointments all morning”)

+ Offer callback information, such as a promise to return the call within 12 hours

+ Include mailboxes with information about individual products and services

Fred Berns coaches design professionals on how to dramatically increase sales and promote themselves more effectively. For his FREE report on how to “Supersize Your Sales in Challenging Economic Times,” click here.