Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Two Ways of Approaching Business

[This is what I've learned so far as an entrepreneur.
Don't ask why I made it rhyme...]

The Two Ways of Approaching Business

The market wants a product,
so you open up shop and provide it, 
Others follow in kind, sell for cheaper
and thus divide it.
The market may still grow in time
but to all, a smaller chunk,
Profit margins shrink for all
"til nothing's left but junk.


Reimagine a problem so small
the market must have missed it,
Build a product, make it better,
so the people can't resist it.
The first of its kind, unique,
they'll pay whatever you charge, 
The extra work was worth it
as the profit margins are large.

In the latter you're making the pizza,
the former you're chasing a slice. 
The latter depends on the oven,
the former depends on the knife.

The server can cut the pizza
and make their money slow,
But the baker made the pizza,
so the baker makes the dough!

- John Anthony

Monday, February 9, 2015

AquaArm Hydration Pack For Runners Now Available On Amazon!

Great news from Advanced Sports Technology, the AquaArm hydration pack for running is now available on Amazon.com. Aqua Arm truly is the best hydration system for runners out there and is now available with one of the best online retailers out there.

When I invented Aqua-Arm, the two major things I was focused on were comfort and style. I didn't want to go running with a backpack or a fanny pack, but I wanted to be able to stay hydrated so I could perform at my best. At the time, I wasn't looking to invent or create anything, I was just looking to buy something. I looked online everywhere, but there wasn't any hydration pack that looked comfortable or even remotely something I'd be willing to wear in public.

Unsatisfied with what I found, I created exactly what I was looking for. Something that looked stylish but was comfortable to wear and lightweight. I bought the initial materials off of Amazon and built a basic prototype and it worked fantastic. The only problem was it looked awful. Fast forward 4 years later and I truly believe that my company has created the best hydration pack for running in the world now, and we only have plans to make it even better!

The Aqua Arm hydration pack for runners truly is a hydration system worth trying, whether you're training for a marathon, half-marathon, 5k, or just head out for the occasional 30-minute jog. It truly is a runner's best friend, with a pocket to carry your phone, MP3 player, keys, or credit cards.

I'd love to hear your feedback in my journey to create the best hydration system for running, but ultimately I want AquaArm to be usable for anybody, doing anything, anywhere. So feel free to drop me a line on the contact page of the site (aqua-arm.com) and let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? - Daily Recommended Water Intake

Recommendations run the gamut from the standard 8 x 8 dictum, to over a gallon, which is right for you? Check out How Much Water Should I Drink for a full breakdown to determine what's right for you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Great Fitness Tips From An NPC Competitor!

My girlfriend Danee is doing some great writing work and fitness tips. Check out her guest blogpost on MMaxout that she did on Aqua Arm.

Ps. That ab routine is a killer, make sure you stay hydrated with a comfortable hydration pack! :o)


Monday, December 1, 2014

Advanced Sports Technology Launches AquaArm: Hands-Free Hydration System

SOURCE: Advanced Sports Technology, Inc.
Advanced Sports Technology, parent corporation of National Bubble Soccer has launched its second product division within the sporting goods industry. AquaArm, the world's first hydration system engineered specifically for comfort-in-motion, has become available for pre-order just in time for the holiday season.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.Dec. 1, 2014 -- Advanced Sports Technology (AST), the parent corporation of the National Association of Bubble Soccer has announced its second product launch within the sporting goods industry, a hands-free hydration system, aptly named AquaArm.
AquaArm Hydration System
"Aqua Arm is the world's first hands-free hydration system ergonomically designed for comfort-in-motion," commented John Anthony Radosta, Chief Executive Officer of AST. "The genesis of the idea came about when we looked at the current options available for hydration systems and saw that everything was just a poor fit for the natural motion of the human body during exercise, especially for runners. Backpacks and fanny-packs seemed to be the only things available and hold upwards of 1.5 liters of water. Unless you're running a marathon or hiking for a whole day, there's no reason to carry that much water. Not to mention the chafing that occurs with these hydration systems can almost make them not worth even carrying."
AquaArm, as the name would suggest, is a hydration pack that attaches to the user's forearm and carries up to 20 oz. of water. It contains a pocket for the user's cell phone, IPod, or other items and allows the user to properly hydrate during exercise unencumbered with having to carry a water bottle.
"Traditional hydration systems such as Camelbak & Fuelbelt are great for long-duration activites like hiking or cycling, but for someone engaging in 45-60 minutes of activity, they just aren't very feasible. We wanted to create something that flowed with the natural motion of the human body, something that didn't bounce, chafe, or slide around during motion."
According to AST, AquaArm has been under development over the course of a few years as the company experimented with different materials and designs to be best-suited for comfortability. In regards to the price, AquaArm sells for $25-30, a fraction of the price of other hydration systems which typically go for around $50.
AST has been a manufacturer of sporting good products since early 2013. Its first divisional launch, the National Association of Bubble Soccer, is successfully running operations in 27 major US cities over the last year and has thousands of players registered. Also known as bubble football in theUnited Kingdom & Australia, bubble soccer is full-contact soccer while the players wear giant inflatable bubbles for protection.
For 2015, Radosta said that AST is focused on continuing to grow domestically. "We're only in 27 metros within the United States, so we still have some growing at home to do before branching out internationally. We've also made marked improvements in our bubble soccer equipment and it's truly the best in the world now. With AquaArm, we're focused on online sales, but have already had interest from one major retailer within the United States. But for both bubble soccer and AquaArm, the strategy is essentially the same: grow, baby, grow!"

Friday, August 8, 2014

Trust Can Be A Dirty Word

I've said it before, I'll say it again: when it comes to business, you don't trust anyone until you know their true motivations, no matter how nice and genuine they seem.

Had a guy from an investment trust reach out to me and asked for my company snapshot and executive summary. Guy seemed like a good ol' boy, grey hair on his LinkedIn profile, southern twang on the phone, missionary work in Africa prior to working with the fund, pictures working with tribesman in relief efforts on Facebook, the whole nine yards. A real heart-string puller on paper...

Long story short, we set up a call today and he explains that the fund has about $100M under management and invests in all stages of funding,  but they don't take an equity position, they do a profit sharing percentage. Fine. I'm open to unorthodox deals insofar as it makes sense for both parties and doesn't kill cashflow. So I ask him how he gets paid and he tells me he takes a retainer up front to present to the trust because it's a conflict of interest basing his compensation on the funding amount and that the client [me] chooses what he gets as a consulting fee...

Uhh okay. In that case, I'll bid $1, Bob.

Resisting the urge to offer to pay this guy in milk duds, I explain I wouldn't have a problem paying him a small retainer as an act of good faith, to be paid in tranches upon reaching certain milestones within the presentation process...provided that the majority of his compensation is payable upon the event of the company getting funded from the trust. Pretty fair deal so that all interests are aligned, I'd think...

Since he is serving as the fund's sole representative, I ask him if he has his Series 7 to broker the deal. He asks "What's that?"

Red Flag #1

So I have to explain to a supposed fund representative of what a Series 7 license is. He says to me "Well John! You seem to know a lot about this!"

[Face palm...] At this point, this is like a doctor saying, "Hey you really know your stuff! Can you show me what this doo-hickey does?? [points to stethoscope around neck] All I know is when I yell into it, it hurts my ears..."

So I get off the phone and prior to sending the full business prospectus, I ask the guy for a portfolio of companies that the trust has invested in via email. He writes me back the following:

I cannot do that due to required adherence to confidentiality agreements.  The Trust does not allow even the clients to reveal their source of funding - its a deal breaker. 

There is no communication between "prospective" clients and the Trust; it is the basis of my involvement.   Before releasing the funding a strict NDA is requiring there be no disclosure of information regarding the Trust, its clients or partnership arrangements except by order of a court

Ahhh ok, all I read from that was "no, we have no portfolio companies for reference, you're just going to have to trust a perfect stranger." Red Flag #2...that $1 retainer is sounding better and better.

Pressing forward, I write back:

Chris [name changed for confidentiality],

I understand your concern, but I'm sure you can also understand my concern in regards to first determining the legitimacy of your trust in the form of either a portfolio of current holdings or referenceable business contacts. Before I release any further information on our company's internal workings, especially confidential financial documents, I need to determine the validity of your trust from a third-party source, preferably more than one. 

To start, can you provide me with the chosen name of your unit investment trust (UIT) that is registered with the SEC? Upon request, when I release financial information to you, I would have no problem engaging the services of a third-party auditor of your choice to determine our financial statements are accurate according to GAAP.

I receive no answer back, most likely because he didn't know what UIT, SEC, or GAAP even stand for. Who owns this trust exactly??? Willy Wonka?? Does my investment round come with a golden ticket? Do the shnozz-berries taste like shnozz-berries? Only shnozz-berry I'm seeing here is you, dude-man...

Goes to show you, no matter how genuine and trustworthy someone seems at first, even if they've got photos of themselves feeding starving Africans, doing missionary work, owning a chocolate factory, whatever...it could very well all just be a front to throw you off the scent of bullshit that's wafting from their mouths when they open it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Funnest Sport You'll Ever Play: Bubble Soccer | Bubble Football

These videos being passed around the internet of this hilarious sport has to be the most entertaining thing I've watched in years. Full-contact soccer!

I actually had an opportunity to play recently and its even more entertaining to play than it is to watch. Half the time I couldn't even stand up I was laughing so hard. Could definitely play this with my friends on a regular basis.

I found the website from the National Association of Bubble Soccer that you can find a league in your area and register to play. They connected me to a league in South Florida immediately and my first game is next week. I've already invited a ton of other people in Fort Lauderdale and Miami to play and they're all psyched up about it.

I recently just went on the website again yesterday and it looks like there are leagues starting up in New York City as well, would be pretty cool to play some bubble soccer right in Manhattan, maybe even Central Park.

Anyways, cool sport and looking forward to it. Good to know if I ended up moving to NYC ever, there's some bubble football action going on up there too!

If you want to register to play on my team, or just find a league in your city, you can register to play here.