Saturday, April 14, 2012

Category: Dust Cover Chutzpah Award Winner/2012 By: Jerry Pritikin

Every so often I go to Howard Brown's Brown Elephant Resale Store. It has a large assortment of used furniture, appliances, art, and clothing, and at the back of the shop, shelves laden with books. Many of the books are in excellent condition, and most hard covers sell for 1 or 2 bucks. Once in awhile I buy a book for a friend or for my brother, if I think they will enjoy the contents. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a book for my brother, because the title caught my eye. He is in the mirror business. His company is now celebrating its 40th anniversary and, like most companies has had to fight to stay in business over the last 5 years. He may get something useful out of the book. The title is, The Mirror Test: Is Your Business Really Breathing, by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett with Jim Eber. It was published in 2010 and once had a retail price of $24.95.

When I read the back of the book jacket and the inside covers, it reminded me of when I was a kid, and had to do book reports for my grammar school classes. I was never much of a book person so those areas were all I usually read to complete the assignments. Now, at 75, I resorted to my childhood habits. Just reading the dust jacket information made me realize that Hayzlett is eligible for my Chutzpah Award. His bio states: JEFFREY W. HAYZLETT is the chief marketing officer for Kodak. He has twenty-five-years of international marketing and management experience and has received numerous global awards and honors, including being named BtoB magazine's Marketer of the year.

About forty years ago, when I became a freelance photographer, Kodak was known as the Yellow God. Its competitors lagged far behind the company. It seems that the author of this book, in telling other businesses how to stay in business by using his award winning skills, forgot to tell his own company how to do it. Kodak recently stopped manufacturing Kodachrome film at the end of 2011. In January of this year it filed for bankruptcy and in February it stopped selling cameras after 112 years in the business.

Now that's Chutzpah!

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