2 Dudes: Sherry Zhang and Art Flater

The theme for this week is interesting business owners. As a new business owner it is great to get to talk to other business owners and learn from them. In this weeks case the types of businesses couldn’t be much farther apart. One is GenoPalate, a business that uses our genetic makeup to help plan a better diet for us. The other is Central Office Systems, who turn red ink and paper thins margins into profit for you.

I met Sherry Zhang at an event called Grasshopper. It was a small networking event where we learned about buying and selling businesses. Sherry is a Doctor of Molecular Biology who is fascinating to talk to. Her company idea is not just we are what we eat, she takes it a step farther to say that our DNA has an internal shopping list built into it. Using the map that is already built into our DNA it is possible to eat better. She has brought together a team to help turn her vision into a product. Using web and mobile technologies to take orders on the front end, putting her magic black box of gene interpretation in the middle and then using web and mobile technologies on the back end to deliver diet suggestions, she and her team have a very solid solution. The great thing is if you already have a gene mapping from another source, they have ways to use that for the process. Sherry is a driven professional that was a pleasure to meet.

Next I met Art Flater through one of my alumni dudes, Kat Ramirez. When Art and I first sat down we pondered why Kat would want us to connect. After explaining what I do and hearing what Art does, it became obvious why she connected us. Art and I have a very similar target market. Art and I are both bloggers. Unfortunately for Art, most of the learning that happened today was pretty one sided. After hearing what I do, Art suggested that I read the book, Selling to Zebras. I have put the book on hold at the library and will report back once it is finished. Art also let me know that the library has many of the research tools that I am using for a much lower price. He also introduced me to his business. While printers and copiers are his bread and butter, he also has a very well established IT business. So wait, why would an IT guy say that making a connection with another IT business is a great thing. Here is the bottom line, while Art’s IT business model can address the strategic concerns of an organization, it is not really their bread and butter. They are a tactical organization that gets into strategy and mine is a strategic organization that gets into tactics. We are the kind of companies that need each other to survive. Well I need Art, not sure he really needs me but I can dream. Anyway, I was extremely impressed with Art’s business and business model. You should reach out to him for your office systems needs.

Now if Art and Sherry could get together and make a food printer that uses my DNA to print out food that is great for me, I think we would have game changer.

As always if you don’t have time to meet either of of this weeks dudes feel free to sign up for a coffee or lunch with me here. I would be happy to talk more with you about why you should talk with them.

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