Managing Uncertainty

It’s taken me 30 years of practice to realize it, but most of what I do is help clients manage decision making in an uncertain world.  Getting comfortable with uncertainty, and managing it wisely are keys to success. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example.  At the outset, it looked like it might be very bad.  I’m talking about ambulances hauling away dead neighbors on my cul-de-sac.  The kind of bad that makes you glad you stayed home from the beginning and sanitized the mail and groceries before touching them.  That was one scenario among many milder ones,  [...]


The Only Allen Wrench Set I UseLast month, I ran out of space before I could reveal more about my patent pending invention, which I think has promise to be an actual hit product you’ll see on the market.  Contrary to the advice I give new inventors that there’s little hope companies will notice your patent and offer to buy or license the rights, I think this one could actually be on retail shelves generating royalty checks for yours truly.  But the patent is the easy part, and getting licensees interested comes later. The Problem In engineering school, our product  [...]


After 30 years as a patent attorney, I find that inventing and pursing my own patents keeps me sharp and stimulated. I’ve written about how hobbies that train me in technology (like camera lens repair) make me a smarter patent attorney. Years ago, I got a patent on a drop in part for a Steyr AUG trigger that reduces the heavy pull weight, and it’s been featured in a chapter in my book and a past newsletter. The patent expires in 5 years and has earned me tens of thousands of dollars in profits on the sales of the little plastic devices. What I’ve Learned from My Own  [...]

WHY ARE YOU STILL MARKETING TO POOR PEOPLE? (Our Industry’s Missing Market Segment)

Almost nothing to do with guns, but... Have you ever sat down to a big round table with a bunch of industry folks, and the conversation just didn’t quite get off the ground? I had  dinner some time ago with a good client, but with a bunch of key people I didn’t  yet know very well. When the conversation stalled, I got out my conversational secret weapon: “So what hobbies and enthusiasms do y’all have outside of shooting?” When I ask this old standby question, I learn just how diverse we are. The responses ranged from outdoor garden model railroad layouts  [...]


On March 10, I posted on Facebook: Poll: Is the virus threat affecting your decision whether or not to attend the NRA Annual Meeting next month? (Reply only if you normally attend). 1. I’ll be there unless something changes substantially. 2. It’s a factor, and I’m watching the situation with uncertainty. 3. I’m unlikely to go unless something changes substantially. About half the replies were a 1 for “I’m going.” One commented “1 because I have to.” That was the adult son of the founder and CEO. Hmmm. Another said “1 or 2” and they have “hunch  [...]


As I look ahead to my 20th SHOT Show next year I realize that my annual reports in this forum are usually about sharing experiences among insiders and old-timers. So this year I thought instead I’d start with an overview and some tips for my readers who are new to the industry. “What’s The SHOT Show?” That was my question nearly 20 years ago when I was an established patent attorney but a newbie gun nut. I had called a riflescope company about buying a scope and was having a technical discussion with the guy on the phone. He turned out to be the owner of the  [...]