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Appell Pie
Written by Howard Appell   
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 23:50

January 2015
Way outside the box

Happy New Year to all. Let’s try and make 2015 a profitable one and one of the ways to do it is to “Think Outside The Box” I pride myself on being outside the box and sometimes it’s lonely out there, so I want some company.

During the last quarter of 2014 I was watching an episode of Shark Tank that I saved to my DVR. For those of you who never watch it, you should. The shows’ format is to have business owners come before a panel of celebrity billionaires, ”Sharks” and make their case for the “Sharks” to invest in their company. The “Sharks ask questions like how much have you invested? Are you working at the business full time? What were your sales? How much does the product cost to make? How much are you willing to give up and how much they need the “Sharks” to invest. After a period of back and forth questions and answers the “Sharks”, one by one give their opinion of the investment opportunity and make an offer to invest or “Go out.”  Very entertaining and educational.

Many times the companies looking for funding are rejected for a multitude of reasons including that they are too early in their life cycle and don’t have all of the pieces in place to represent a real company or the valuation the owners are putting on the worth of the company is too high based on sales. Sometimes the reason is that the “Sharks” just don’t get it. This was the case when Steve Christian was on the episode I was watching. His product to stop tables from wobbling in a restaurant, Table Jack, was one. The Table Jack is a brand new design to allow the restaurant server, owner or anyone to adjust the table base using their foot to touch a lever that levels the base to the floor. One by one the “Sharks” turned Steve down as I screamed at the TV screen. They obviously never had a rocking table and had put a paper napkin under the base because nothing else worked.

Steve related the story of how in the three restaurants he owned in Texas, wobbling tables were a big problem, so he went to his workshop and designed the Table Jack system for restaurants. After hearing the story and seeing the demo of the product I immediately went to the company website and found the contact information. I called Steve the next day.

Steve answered the phone and I related to him how much I liked his product and that the “Sharks” had gotten it wrong. We had a great conversation and we said we would talk again. We did. This time we discussed Sales and Marketing for Table Jack and I was able to help Steve find the right people for what he needed. Getting his story and his product out to restaurants in our reading area is what we do.  We have already send out an Eblast to over 13,000 restaurant owners and anticipate doing some print ads in the pages of Today’s Restaurant in the upcoming months.

If Steve wasn’t thinking “Outside the Box” he never would have designed Table Jack and never would have applied for his appearance on Shark Tank and if I wasn’t waiting for him “Outside the Box” we never would have spoken etc. Don’t limit yourself to your comfort zone, it is too confining. Go “Outside the Box” to meet the forward, progressive and modern thinkers and walk the path of success.

New Life
Written by Howard Appell   
Monday, 18 August 2014 21:28

I want to thank the staff at West Boca Hospital, Delray Medical Center and my longtime friend and Cardiologist, Dr.David Funt for their great work in providing me a new life. Life comes at you very quickly and without warning and Tuesday morning I got a handful thrown at me. To make a long story short while walking from my car to Dr. Funt's office, for a scheduled appointment, I experienced mild heartburn that subsided when I sat down. I told David what happened and he immediately sent me to admitting at West Boca Hospital to stay overnight in advance of an angioplasty to check for a blockage.

The next morning I was taken by ambulance to Delray Medical Center and had the test which found one artery with a 90% blockage. A stent was inserted and I stayed there overnight.

The level of care I received was terrific and I am alive only because of the advances in medical science and the skill of the doctors and nurses in both hospitals, I thank you so much.

As a result of this event the next edition of Empty Plates will feature low fat, low carb cuisine. No wisecracks are necessary, lol. I am a happy and lucky guy. Yes, Terri made me go to the doctor in the first place for blood work etc. unrelated to this event but it put me in David's office at the right time and day. My Angel did it again. Guys, listen to your wives sometimes.

I am home and back to work. It's amazing!

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