Dear Friends,

I need to stop listening to skiers’ interpretations of the weather report. The predicted snowfall accumulation fudge factor (PSAFF) for a skier is usually 3x or 4x what we really get. For two days there was enthusiastic talk from Artie and the ski crowd of the big Nor’easter heading our way. On Wednesday, Grace was scheduled to get our snowmobile trailer from up where she works near Hyde Park, VT, and I almost called her off because of all the talk about the huge snowstorm. Of course, we got a little dusting and Grace just laughed me off and hauled the trailer.

Yesterday, the BIG storm was supposed to hit and I was scheduled for a number of meetings until late in the evening up in Burlington. I almost canceled, but when I called Grace to confer she called me a “snow wuss” and sure enough, while it was snowing a little bit (as I listened to the Boston Celtics post their 13th win in a row and the best start in that storied franchise’s history on the way home), the snow storm turned out to be mostly a dud. There was about 5 inches this morning when I awoke and rain coming down. One of the other Kibbles authors must have also been listening to skiers this morning…*

I held a couple of “all-hands” meetings here in Waitsfield and at our store in South Burlington. I try to do this at least once a quarter and it is a great time to talk to our team, answer questions and renew our commitment to our triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. It is especially important to keep an eye on how we measure our success as a company in the face of difficult economic times. As Small Dog Electronics grows, it is very important to me that we maintain the essence of what “small” meant to me as I named the company. We are an entrepreneurial company and the risk-taking and high energy that it implies is essential for success. Two of what I call entrepreneurial traps are “Work expands to fill the number of people” and “People build boxes around their jobs.” We discussed the need to constant attention to efficiency and productivity and even more importantly, the benefits of teamwork. We banned the phrase “It’s not my job” from the unique Small Dog lexicon. Customer satisfaction is a result of attention to detail and a top-down commitment to world-class customer service; we pledge to continue to improve and win your loyalty!

We are already booking appointments for Macworld and the Consumer Electronics show coming up just after the first of the year. While there are dire predictions of the impact of the economy on these major annual shows, I think we will see some awesome new products from both shows. It is hard to believe we are in the home stretch of 2008 but as they say, time flies when you are having fun!


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