Proposals for the recast of RoHS – hot off the press!

A draft proposal for the recast of the RoHS Directive has been published by the European Parliament (EP).

Start-up of the Year


ARM #039;s Lab-in-a-Box

ARM has produced a ‘Lab-in-a-Box’ for universities and colleges to hook the young on ARM technology,

serving my community

Each New Year’s Day I reflect on the past year. I review the previous year’s highs and lows, my lessons, my accomplishments and failures, and write down hopes and dreams for the coming year. Today I am sharing my 2013 unconventional top New Year’s resolutions for business success.

When I was younger, I would go through great efforts of listing objectives for the New Year, many of which had to do with growing my business. My typical business resolutions would involve strategies to: grow sales, increase profits,, expand product lines, streamline operations or commit to technological improvements. It was a laborious process, but I thought that as a business owner I owed it to myself and my employees to build the business and committed to doing so.

Not too long ago something odd happened. I realized that as I became less dedicated to setting specific objectives for the business and focused on the human aspects of the industry, my business began to thrive. I’m not suggesting that I didn’t put in the effort, because I did, but rather than setting business goals each year, I focused on setting objectives relating to human aspects of doing business. What was odd is that as my emphasis was less about the bottom line and more about people, the business grew; my sales increased, profits rose, new business relationships appeared allowing me to make technological investments.


To share my experience, two years ago I began with the simple resolutions …


With advanced communications today, it has become too easy to conduct business without even seeing each other. We text, email, Skype, fax and from time-to-time even snail mail each other.  Over the past two years I set out to:


Personally meet and greet my customers with a smile and a handshake.

Regularly pick up the phone, call my customers and say, “Hello,” rather than emailing them with the pertinent details.

Silence our android phones while in meetings with our customers, vendors or principals.

Value the human factor in the decision making process, since decision-making grids do not take into consideration loyally, ethics or reputation.


Last year I made additional promises …


By making more personal time for myself, I am happier and healthier, and I realize if I’m not in perfect health I cannot serve my customers and staff in the manner they deserve.

By serving my community I’ve learned the true joy of giving.

By practicing the art of reflection on situations which deserve some quiet moments,, I make better decisions.

By appreciating the little things I’ve learned that I receive more.


As we approach the fiscal cliff the promises I am making in 2013 are:


I will participate in the 26acts movement and perform random acts of kindness (more information to come).

I will refuse to dwell upon fear, and adopt Neal Donald Walsch’s acronym, F.E.A.R. is false evidence appearing real.

I will better trust my intuition, my inner guidance when it comes to both business and people decisions.

I will regularly let my staff, principals, vendors and customers know how much I am grateful for my interaction with them.

I will continue to build upon placing people first, trusting that my business is on the road of success (and all traffic goes my way).


May your new year be successful, prosperous, joyful and peaceful.


Susan Bender



Ten keys to success and a deeper meaning

In the business world the term success conjures up images of inflated bottom lines, awards and recognition from professional associations, and new toys and assets acquired from escalating income. While all this is fine, at this point in my life, I’ve been looking for the deeper meaning of success.


"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,, a garden, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Having been a business owner for over twenty years and learning from the ups and down, I’ve come to realize there are some keys to success that have been present during the lucrative times. They are:

    Be committed to the vision or dream (of success) Treat people well Love yourself Give back to the community Constantly educate yourself through traditional schooling, seminars and reading Be open-minded to shifts in technology and be willing to adapt them Continuous self-examination and strive to incorporate the teachings Call it gut instinct, call it intuition, but never disregard it Set goals and plan Mentor others

When I take a look at the individuals I know who are successful, I see a common trait. While each person may establish their own keys to success, there is an underlying similarity among most successful people. That likeness is that these people make the world a better place.

Which brought me to ask the question, “Which came first? Success? Or improving the world?”

Most successful business people shake things up and change the world before they are successful. They are the ones who desire to help others and aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. They are the ones who donate their time, talents and gifts to groups and organizations they believe in. Perhaps it’s the selflessness of giving back and circulating their gifts which attracts success into their life.

Could it be that improving the world is a prerequisite for success?

Perhaps the deeper keys for success are to be less focused on the endgame (like the toys, the exotic trips, the stock portfolio), and more focused on improving the world by giving back to our communities and mentoring others.

Ed Plans To IPO

‘Time to tell The Brats about the Big Idea,’ Ed tells his diary referring to the 20-something year-old super-sharpies who monitor his company for its private equity owners. Ed’s Big Idea is to reduce the increasing costs of increasingly  unpredictable weather events by hugely increasing the number of data collection points for weather phenomena.