Integrity in Business

Probably the most important as well as most unexpected takeaway I got from my Financial Accounting class was on the last day.  The professor teaching the class, also the CFO of Resources Connection, gave us a speech on the last day of class about integrity.  He said that so much of the economy’s problems stemmed from a lack of integrity on the part of CEOs and CFOs and that once you lost your integrity, it was gone for good.  When he talked to people, whose companies were having problems, about what changes they would make related to their careers, most said that if they had one thing to take back, they would go back to the first time that they had compromised their integrity to make things easier or run more smoothly.

I think that this is hugely important as the decisions that upper management make flow down to all levels of the organization and effect corporate culture.  If you want to instill integrity in your organization, you not only have to talk the talk but walk the walk.

~Sascha Calkins
CEO, BlueVortex, LLC

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Looking for STTR Partners

The next round of small business research grant topics are out.  This round is for teams of small businesses and non-profit research institutes.  BlueVortex is looking for partners for topics related to UGV’s and their vision algorithms, helicopter rotors, condition based maintainance, surgery robotics, and UAV/UUV. If you work for a non-profit that has a good background in any of these topic areas and are interested, drop us a line.

Thanks,
Sascha Calkins
CEO, BlueVortex, LLC

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First Mover Advantage – Fact or Fiction?

Some interesting insight I thought I’d pass on from a happy hour discussion with my Micro Economics professor, which may prove useful.  While many people associate being a first mover in an industry as having a major advantage, that may not be the case.  It seems often we associate the well-known or most successful brand with being first where as many of the highly successful companies that get credit for being first movers are actually the companies that refine a technology or build on it after another company chased down all the dead ends necessary to find out what does and does not work without a defined market.  It is often then the company that understands the technology being developed as well as the market that can successfully put in place the business strategy to capture the market.

A couple prominent examples:  While Frauenhofer developed the first MP3 player, it was unsuccessful, and then even though  Advanced Multimedia Products came out with the first successful mp3 player, most people associate Apple with the mp3 player given the huge success of the iPod and often mistakenly believe that Apple was the first mover.  Who invented the first desktop operating system?  Not Microsoft – it was actually Digital Research that developed the first desktop operating system called CP/M, but Microsoft beat Digital Research out for inclusion on IBM’s personal computer and the rest is history.  For that matter, Microsoft’s hugely successful history is full of second and third mover advantage.

That being said being the first to blaze a path into new territory does provide for advantages such as defining industry standards, guiding technological development, and the potential to hedge out other entrants based on economies of scale; however, it does not guarantee success.  This leads to a couple take aways.  If you are a first mover, make sure that you focus as much on a market strategy as on the technology under development and take measures early on to allow yourself to retain as much of the market that you have developed.  However, if you are not the first mover in a promising field, do not be discouraged – there is a good chance that the first mover has broken the ground for you and with a clever market strategy and a better defined customer need, there is still a whole lot of returns waiting for you.

~Sascha Calkins
  CEO, BlueVortex, LLC

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Welcome to the BlueVortex Blog!

Welcome to BlueVortex’s Company Blog.  My goal for this blog will be to discuss company ongoings as well as new technologies and management insights.  You can view our company website at:  Website for information on past projects as well as engineering and consulting services we offer.

I guess I should start out with a bit of background on BlueVortex as well as myself, so here it goes.  BlueVortex was founded to pursue innovative research and development and is active in the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.  Our focuses are on novel software, electronics, and mechanical systems, so the blog will jump around between these areas as new technologies warrant.  A little about myself – I’m a co-founder of BlueVortex with our CTO, Amy Min.  Both of us worked in the aerospace and defense market prior to launching BlueVortex with our focuses over a wide range of projects from UAVs and UGVs to energy solutions to virtual simulations.  I received my undergraduate degree from Caltech in Mechanical Engineering and branched into control software and electrical engineering as I progressed through my career.  Deciding that management was my focus, I shifted to program management and have been managing programs for the last nine years.  Outside of work, I am currently working on an MBA from UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business.

If this blog is of interest to you or you are interested in finding out more about BlueVortex, please subscribe to the blog or feel free to contact us at: Contact Email.  Thanks for stopping by.

~Sascha Calkins
  CEO, BlueVortex, LLC

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