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EP 056: Interview with Mr. Steve Miller
3rd October 2018 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
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Harsh Reality: Being better than your competition isn't good enough anymore.” This is a quote from this weeks interview with Mr. Steve Miller founder of Adventure LLC and Author of Uncopyable – How to create an unfair advantage over your competition. You know that Industrial Talk is passionate Industrial Success, Steve's interview does not disappoint. Steve nails the tactical solutions you need to deploy to be a success in the industrial market. Find out more about Steve at:

Website:  https://www.theadventure.com/

Book:  https://www.amazon.com/Uncopyable-Create-Unfair-Advantage-Competition/dp/1599327872

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveamiller/

Podcast Transcript:

[00:04]                   Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional, dedicated to transferring, cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hardhat, grab your work boots and let's

[00:22]                   welcome to the industrial talk podcast. My name is Scott Mackenzie. This is where we celebrate the human power of industry and I'm so glad that you are here. We got an incredible interview today with a gentleman by the name of Steve Miller. You can remember that name, but it's not the Steve Miller that you might know and the band is Steve Miller, the incredible author of Uncopyable, which is an incredible book that I highlighted last week and we're going to expand upon that. So jam packed show. So let's get this project started and thank you again.

[00:55]                   All right, thank you again for joining the industrial tech podcast. I'm really just honored to be able to be a part of this whole industry. I love industry. I am your cheerleader. Of course you know that, but nonetheless, let's get going. Tailgate talk number one. Okay, so we're creating this industrial academy, as I alluded to a number of times, the industrial academy, it's still work in progress. We're still putting meat on the bones, but this is what happens. We highlight and we elevate those industrial trail builders. There's those individuals that are making a difference in the industrial space. We create this training platform that highlights what they're doing. If you want to know about industrial leadership, boom, there's a program for you. If you want to know about operations, boom, there is a program for you as well as sales and marketing as well as finance and technology.

[01:47]                   It's gonna all be out there and it's going to highlight these trailblazers who are do we have just this passion, this passion for industry and but the best part, the best part, the purpose of this particular platform is to be able to provide this cutting-edge educational platform to young individuals all across the world. It's free, so if you're down in Central America, boom, you can find stuff about industrial leadership right there and it's a training program. It has meat on it. If you're down in Africa and you want to know more about, let's say sales and marketing, just because boom, it's available to you, free of charge, no big deal. You got an Internet connection, you can access this information. If we're here as industrial professionals and we want to change the world and we want, you know, spurned that, that, that passion and, and in the industrial world, this is what we can do.

[02:44]                   We can provide the educational platform that is free to these locations, no questions asked. So these individuals that will be highlighted in the industrial academy are just passionate about sharing their knowledge and insight into what makes them such an incredible trailblazer. So for me personally, I'm very honored. Number two, okay. Books, you know, I'm all about education. I'm all about constantly looking at books at bringing in the opportunities, right in this book right here that I've read, blue ocean shift by a w dot Chan. Kim is a right at the top. I, um, I read it. And what it really does is it just says, hey, you're in this market, you're doing the same thing, but I guarantee you it will change and you better start thinking about blue ocean opportunities, other ways of being able to expand your market right into other opportunities. This gives you a tactical steps on what that means.

[03:48]                   So that's blue ocean ship, W. Chan. Kim. Good read tactical stuff. Number three. Okay. I'm all about food ok. And so I went to this place called mugshots. Mugshots says, Hey, okay, we got this cheeseburger. Okay. And you're saying to yourself cheeseburgers. So what? Oh No, no, no, no. Yeah, you've got the button. I mean you got, you got the meat, you got the cheese and now they. Okay. They throw bacon on there. This is where it starts to get really interesting macaroni and cheese. So they'd stay. Okay. Let's throw some macaroni and cheese on top of that. Boom. Okay. You're saying wow, that's fantastic. Oh No. The buns are too grilled. Cheese sandwiches. Boom. So you got your meats, cheese, bacon, macaroni and cheese to grilled cheese sandwiches as your bun. I ate the whole thing and I didn't feel guilty. Now I didn't count the calories because I guarantee you it was over 20.

[04:39]                   But nonetheless that is mugshots and, and I, it was, it was incredible. I, I, just a fantastic. Now here's a bonus one. So my office, I'll go to. My officer is a gentleman by the name of uh, what's his name? Cody. No, no, it's not Cody. I forget his name, but he's with vigilante coffee, right? The vigilante coffee. He gives me a bag, I guess. Gishubi beans. You bruise me up. Have a coffee and you. And, and if you've ever had a premium roasted bean, it's incredible. And so this particular company, it's out of DC. Great. Been I just vigilante coffee. What can I say, man? It's been great. Number four. This is the last one here. Okay. I'm going to Barcelona on October 14th and I'm going to be broadcasting for reliability radio and at an Iot conference in Barcelona, Spain. How about how cool is that?

[05:34]                   I get to meet international industry leaders in Barcelona, so it's fantastic. So standby because we're gonna be broadcasting some videos from that location. We're going to be doing some Facebook lives just because we can and because the town of Barcelona is gorgeous. Okay, so now onto the interview here. Look at that guy. So, if you're out on YouTube, you could see the face right there. He is a great guy. He likes the color orange and his book of course, if you're on YouTube, there it is. It's orange too as well. It stands out like he stands out. And, and um, we talk about because once again, I enjoy the fact that there is so much wisdom out there available for you as an industrial professional to be able to access, to be able to leverage in your career. This guy has no difference. Let me quote this.

[06:25]                   The harsh reality, and this is, this is, this is a truth being better than your competition isn't good enough anymore. Boy, it's, it's both earth shaking and depressing all in one, but opportunities. Because here's a book that says you don't have to you. You don't have to just sort of be a part that you, you've got to think differently. Right? And so in his book he says, you know, you have better product. Everybody does better customer service, everybody does better pricing of course, and so how do you in this noise, get above all of that. So nonetheless, Steve Miller, not to be confused with the other, Steve Miller, this guy is full of wisdom, full of insight, incredible energy. Me Personally, what an honor to be able to have him a part of the industrial talk podcast. So stay tuned. Here he is. He is the guy. His name is Steve Miller. He's a fantastic man. Here you go. Hey Steve, how you doing? Welcome to the industrial talk podcast. So glad that you are able to make it and make time in your schedule to be here. Thank you Scott. Scott, it's my pleasure. Thank you so much for inviting me. This has been on the schedule for a little while. I'm. Yeah, I'm excited, man.

[07:41]                   I'm always excited to do a podcast and, and you know, I've listened to a few of the wins in the end. You know, you're a, you're a rock and dude on here. Yeah. Thank you very much. Everybody that's listening out there. I am a rocking dude. Please note that in fact I'm going to trademark. That was. Can I trade my pen? No, no, please do. Oh, I can do. Very good.

[08:01]                   Hey, for the listeners out there, Steve, get to give us a four, one, one on who you are and where you come from, what makes you so spectacular? Because we're going to dive into your book because I think it's important for the industrial community to understand where you come from.

[08:14]                   Yeah. Well actually, I kinda come from their background really, uh, the, uh, you know, I'm a, I call myself a Kelly's dad marketing gunslinger. Uh, essentially that means that I'm a consultant, professional speaker and author in marketing and branding and most of my business is done in the btby world, manufacturing, community, industrial community. Uh, my background goes back to, I have to kind of go back to even when I was a teenager in high school because it kind of was kicked off by the fact that my dad, Ralph Miller was the co inventor of the eight track tape player. I recognize, I recognize some of your listeners are probably go, what the heck is he talking about?

[09:02]                   But anyway, that's good one. That's a good one. I know you got me off guard on that one man. Well, but what, what, what it was all about was that, you know, dad got involved with a gentleman, gentleman named bill lear who was lear jet, a building jets who had, who he was driving around and I'll get this. All right. I want you to think about he, he was driving a Chrysler that at that time had a turntable in it. Think about that. I know people are like, what the hell is he talking about? So anyway, but, but uh, you know, you think about driving down the road, the needle's skipping along not absolutely better be smoother road, not really practical, right? But he thought, but it's a great idea to bring music, you know, bring your own music. And so he went out looking for somebody who was an audio specialists that he could finance and he found my dad and they, and together they kind of came up with the concept of the, uh, the eight track tape player, which basically changed the music industry,

[10:08]                   you know, except you couldn't fast forward, you could say change tracks. And then as a boy, I ever remember him going, okay, on track one, I'm close. If I hit it three times, I can find that one song I like.

[10:20]                   Yeah. But I don't know if you wanted, if you wanted to listen to spinning wheel by a blood, sweat and tears again, you had to keep driving around the block. But one of the, one of the negatives of the eight track. But, uh, but when they were building the eight track, and this is, this is where, you know, at the time I didn't really realize the, the education I was getting, but when they were building the eight track, they decided to build it in Japan so that they could save money on a production and labor. But back in the sixties made, made in Japan, uh, meant it was really a piece of crap. And it's true. I mean, talk about the wayback machine. You're just putting me on.

[11:01]                   I forgot all about that, but you're right. It's made and the way it was. So, so the way my whole brain in the way I started, I started thinking was kickstarted, was that they brought in a w Edwards Deming to help build quality into the product before they manufactured it. So I was sitting at the feet, you know, dad would take me out on a, on some trips with, with those guys. And, uh, and in regard, despite the fact that I hated being on the road with three old guys, uh, because I was a teenager, you know, and, uh, so yeah, I know I'm exactly who I hated it and uh, you know, so I started to learn something about total quality management and in particular the thing that he called benchmarking and, you know, and so once I started to learn from him about benchmarking layer, it was interesting how late later on in life, uh, as I got into sales and marketing and when in my last real job was for a Japanese, a toy company that made, it was the world's largest manufacturer of radio control toys.

[12:08]                   And so I was in, I was in charge of all sales and marketing for the company, but it also meant that I had to be involved in production because I was developing products with them and, and, uh, figuring out how to make these things. Unfortunately with the background of my dad and I also studied some engineering in college before I switched to physics, which are obviously very important for your marketing background. A unique perspective. I guess it does, yeah, it gives you a unique perspective and that was kind of the whole thing was that so. So throughout all of that, it's exactly what you just said. Uh, I'm in between. I tried some other stuff like I tried to play on the PGA golf tour. That was a pretty good golfer. Uh, but, uh, uh, I didn't make that so, um, so, like you say it, these different experiences gave me a different perspective on things.

[13:03]                   And so as I got involved with sales and marketing with companies, I started to notice that most company, and in particular because of my background with manufacturing, I got involved with, you know, industrial manufacturing companies. I started noticing that besides the fact that most. I hate this, I hate to use this word, hate to say this, but I'm going to say it as gently as possible when it comes to sales and marketing. Most manufacturing companies, most, they kind of suck. I think it's epidemic. I have to agree with you on that one. Couldn't continue. I didn't mean to interrupt, but I, yeah, I, uh, and I, and I don't say that as an insult, I say it because what I'm, what I'm saying is that most, most people in the industrial world really have not been taught the correct way to do, to go about marketing.

[13:55]                   There is a bit different. They're there, their attention to other items with. It's just, uh, it's, it's just different and I think you're great. I think you bring a great message to that. Well, and that's, and, and, but, but it, it, it's different compared to the outside world but on. But inside the box, and this is, this is where, you know, you know, we've all heard the term you should get out of the box, but nobody's ever said to you what the box is a and what I, what I tell people is, and in this particular case you say, all right, if you are in the industrial community, you're in the industrial box. That's where you are in that box. And it is a stout buck. No question about it. Got a lecturer, you're living, you're living together, and you're all speaking the same language, you're all going to the same conventions, trade shows, you're reading the same magazines, the same books, uh, and so, so, and, and where do you get ideas for marketing?

[14:55]                   You get ideas from studying each other, and so if it develops into this strategic orthodoxy and the idea of marketing, you know, the bottom line is, marketing's purpose is to separate you from the competition, not just to make you a better choice, but to make you a choice that they will want, they will want to make. They want to work with you for the rest of the, the rest of the time, the two companies together, right? Uh, and, uh, and, and so most companies are not looking at it that way. They're looking at, you know, oh, they, they make a, uh, you know, they've got a CNC machine that uh, uh, does five, 5,000 widgets an hour, right? All right. We'll do one that does 8,000 widgets now. Okay, well that's great. It's better until somebody does $10,000. That's exactly right. That it's a race to the bottom in a sense, but continue because it becomes a price race. It does. You commoditize it

[15:58]                   in your report. You say commoditization. I've lived there and I don't like it.

[16:03]                   No, no, no. We all have. And, and, and once I started to realize that I had this interesting back, I started to see things differently. I started to say, okay, if I'm gonna, if I'm going to be in this manufacturing world and I'm going to compete with other B to b companies, uh, well, what's the number one thing that I want to do? I, I don't want to do what they're doing. That's what I, that was the number one thing. So by having this. And so what I teach people, and this is what the basic concept of the uncle of my book on Uncopyable is about, is that, is that better is not good enough. Competition does not breed innovation. It breeds conformity. And you know that, that what we have to do is we have to force ourselves to go out, to climb outside of our box and build a new box. That's just for us. But our new box breaks the rules, you know, of, of, of marketing and branding and things like...