Thanks for the tip, BeeSeeBee.
On September 17, 2013 in this thread
, HammerTime2 wrote:
OMG, this guy is hilarious. I don't think the consulting thing makes any sense, but maybe he could become a late night comedian.
My three short term projects are: re-engage the bicycle fitting community in which I had played such an active role in creating; launch a personal, non-commercial blog site; and provide consulting services.
A long time ago I’d had some inadequate advice from a Harvard MBA turned professor and advisor. Later on, I was introduced to a consultant who was pretty much on it, but I ran up a pretty good tab by first teaching him about the bike industry before we really got down to my business. Both times what I needed was someone with cycling industry experience who could efficiently and effectively evaluate my business challenges and offer fresh insight, helping me identify realistic options. At other junctures what I could have used was a short term or part time champion executive to help implement a strategic initiative or to help evaluate potential investors. After serving as an officer in the Military, Bill Watkins, built a highly successful business career primarily in medical compression garments where his executive and leadership skills built an International success story. The point is, over our years in business, we’ve made plenty of mistakes to go along with the good decisions, and have learned from them all. Together, with our combined 70 years of business experience, we can provide a broad range of support services from short term assessments to direct engagement while implementing solutions including advising on capital resources and M&A on either side of the table.
Ah, so he's saying that because he's screwed up in business so many times, now he knows what he's doing, and should advise others. Well, there's no evidence he's gotten it right yet. Anyone who hires him (and Bill Watkins) to advise on capital resources or M&A <mergers and acquisitions> on either side of the table deserves what they get.
Alchemy Bicycle Company is consulting with industry veteran Ben Serotta as it develops new retailer strategies. The company said it is developing a plan to help retailers increase profit margins, manage inventory and lower financial risk. Alchemy makes stock and custom frames and bikes in several materials at its shop in Denver.
"I think I bring 40 years of lessons-learned — the good, the bad, the ugly — it's all experience," said Serotta. "Alchemy has a fabulous foundation, a great and committed ownership and staff, but they are also smart enough to know they haven't grown a bike manufactory before, smart enough to realize there are pitfalls, and I think I can help them navigate some of the growth issues and avoid the pitfalls so they can grow more effectively."
So Ben Serotta actually got a consulting gig, a paying gig I presume? Well, regardless of whether Alchemy pays money to Ben Serotta, Alchemy is likely to "pay" for utilizing his consulting services, even if not to him.
Maybe Alchemy should follow Jerry's advice to George and do the opposite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUvKE3bQlY
. So maybe it's brilliant after all. Hire Ben Serotta to provide advice, then do the opposite of what Serotta advises.
And here's a dig from the guy who was CEO before the final Serotta CEO who was fired along with Ben Serotta by DCG.
Howard Berkowitz · Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Machine Laboratory
OMG, what a disaster in the making. Serotta is a brilliant innovator but horrible in the front office and with the distribution network. If they want him to develop the next great bike design.......awesome move. But to consult on how to make money at selling bikes..........not good. Don't take my word for it, give it 18 months or less and the results will tell all.
Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 2 hours ago
which can be interpreted in the context of this post I made in this thread on August 18, 2013
Comments in red by the former Serotta CEO, who was fired by the most recently fired Serotta CEO who replaced him, and who is none too fond of Ben Serotta or that (now fired) CEO who replaced him.
Posted on another forum..a somewhat contradictory view from those 'oh, how sad', comments elsewhere.
Quote-"Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
Yes, it certainly does seem there is 'another' side to this story--the following was posted by Howard Berkowitz on Facebook this morning (in response to comments about the Serotta situation). Recall that Howard was the interim CEO of Serotta and was rather unceremoniously fired by Bill upon his arrival. (From what I understand, I think he got just about the same treatment that Ben/Bill received, perhaps worse as I think his access was just shut down and no one even told him about it.)
Rich, for whatever reason I cannot leave a comment on the story about Ben Serotta in which you mentioned my name. Here is my take:
Unfortunately, in the years I have known Ben I have learned that the truth is a vague thing to him and the messaging serves his personal purpose. Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest bike innovators of the modern age, although he has done little innovating in the last decade. That said, his skills in running the business are non existent. The current owners took the company from the bank right before foreclosure do to that mismanagement in early 2012.
As far as the claims in the "letter"; he was not fired "without cause". Actually there was "cause" and I understand that it was detailed in the written correspondence he received to that effect. Secondly, Bill Watkins does not have the skill set to run the company. In fact, since he arrived less than one year ago, he alienated the entire staff (all of the artisans), wasted money on painting the inside of the factory and other such nonsense, and did not put any effort into building revenue with actual an SALES EFFORT. No on at 41 Geyser likes or respects him except Ben. That says it all.
The fact is that Ben and Bill were seemingly bent on a management takeover and were devaluing the company so they could get it cheap. That was the reason for the unauthorized, negative interviews they both gave to industry rags a couple of weeks ago.
I am only one guy and this is only my opinion so take it for what it is worth."
Interestingly, the quoted thread started in October 2011 with speculation that Serotta was going under.