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Feed The Rat
Issue: Vol. 50, No.1, January 2010
The name Julian Vincent “Mo” Anthoine isn’t widely known today, but during the 1970s and ‘80s he was one of the best mountain climbers. When asked about his drive for adventure, he quipped that he had to “feed the rat.” That was his way of describing his hunger for challenges and adventure that pushed him to ever more challenging mountains and rock faces. The description stuck. What does this have to do with bulk vending? by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

Mottos Are Not Enough When It Comes To Best Business Practices
Issue: Vol. 49, No.12, December 2009
Businesspeople, particularly owners of small businesses, are in a state of constant combat. They are fighting not only against competitors or regulations, but very often with themselves. The internal conflict is not a simple one: it’s a constant struggle between what they know versus what they believe. Though some folks have taken to using “know” and “believe” interchangeably, it is not a fine distinction. Confusing the two can... by Henry Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

Good News For Neighborhood Bars
Issue: Vol. 49, No.12, December 2009
Ever since Louis Glass first installed the very first nickel-in-the-slot music machine in San Francisco’s Palais Royale Saloon exactly 120 years ago, taverns have been the most important locations for street operators. But the bar market has been under a ferocious assault for the past 25 years. First came wave after wave... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

Big Lessons From Small ‘Apps’
Issue: Vol. 49, No.11, November 2009
The amusements industry has survived the "Great Recession." The shrinking of the Gross Domestic Product is over, according to an Oct. 29 announcement from the U.S. Commerce Department. The economy actually grew 3.5% during the third quarter of 2009. However, unemployment will probably top 10% by mid-2010, economists admitted. So, for the next year at least, location traffic will probably remain light and the national cashbox will probably remain "less than overflowing." But the coin-op trade is populated by tough... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

Efficiently Managing Change Is An Essential Business Strategy
Issue: Vol. 49, No.11, November 2009
If we believe the conventional wisdom surrounding bulk vending, then we’re apt to accept that not much changes in the industry. Gumball and capsule machines are simply a sleepy little hamlet of nickel-and-dime commerce. Of course, nothing could be more inaccurate. The past decade has seen unprecedented changes in the industry. Machines may still look more or less the same, but... by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

Are Small Vendors Up To Playing A Leading Role?
Issue: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009
To quote the playwright, actor and songwriter, producer and director Noel Coward, "People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what's wrong with it." The same could be said for bulk vending, and not just because I enjoy the odd pairing of bulk vending with the elegance and genius of Coward... by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

Shifting Landscape
Issue: Vol. 49, No.10, October 2009
It was hardly a shock when the Amusement and Music Operators Association announced that it would merge its International Expo with the American Amusement Machine Association's Amusement Showcase International. For one thing, it's nearly impossible to keep a secret in this small industry, and insiders had known since at least August that this move was coming... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

Capitalism Viewed From The Sidewalk
Issue: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009
Here's a novel idea that you won't hear in corporate boardrooms or business schools: The most basic principles of business success can be found in the smallest of enterprises. In bulk vending terms, whether an operator has 50 or 5,000 locations, he's dealing with the same issues. Similarly, a small business is a microcosm of the large multinational... by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

The Gambling Dilemma
Issue: Vol. 49, No.9, September 2009
The U.S. amusements industry has always had a complicated relationship with gambling. For most of the mid-20th century, America's puritanical anti-gambling attitudes forced the amusements industry to proclaim loud and long that, "We are not about gambling; we are about innocent fun." From New York to California, that argument helped legalize everything from free pinball replays to cranes, merchandisers and redemption games... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

Cheap Or Free Investments Every Operator Can Make
Issue: Vol. 49, No.8, August 2009
For years I've been hearing the phrase "invest in your business." Mostly it's used to sell stuff. All kinds of stuff. Some of those investments are things small businessmen actually need: new equipment, technology upgrades and fuel-efficient vehicles. But some stuff touted as a "business investment" is entirely useless in business... by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

To Merge Or Not To Merge?
Issue: Vol. 49, No.8, August 2009
This month the members of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry will be considering the issue of whether to keep their association going as a small, independent organization, or to merge it with the much larger International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Ironically, proponents and opponents of the merger point to a single overriding factor: IAAPA's enormous size... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

Demography And Destiny In The 21st Century
Issue: Vol. 49, No.6, June 2009
As a very smart man once said: "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." It's a cute saying, but it ultimately rings true. Equally true is the fact that the future is pretty much upon us in bulk vending. That is to say, a significant percent of this industry's customers was born in the 21st century...by Hank Schlesinger
Author: Hank Schlesinger

The Timeless Operator
Issue: Vol. 49, No.6, June 2009
This year marks the 120th anniversary of the jukebox, and of history's first music operator. Back in 1889, San Francisco saloon owner Louis Glass invented a music playback contraption that he called Nickel in the Slot. In the process, he also launched the amusement machine industry... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

The Great Digital Debate
Issue: Vol. 49, No.5, May 2009
Power House Vending recently announced a nationwide rental program featuring privately branded jukeboxes that run on the Ecast network. The principals say their goal is not to undermine the operator, but rather to use the tools available to digital jukeboxes in a new way. Are they right? by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: How To Deliver Bad News
Issue: Vol. 49, No.4, April 2009
Even the most successful, experienced businesspeople often find one particular task daunting: delivering bad news. A veteran operator wrote to suggest that we provide an article on "the art of delivering bad news”... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: Information Deficit Disorder
Issue: Vol. 49, No.3, March 2009
It is an extremely odd fact that despite the flood of media, news and commentary that pummels Americans every day, we remain a dreadfully uninformed population. The amusement machine industry also suffers from Information Deficit Disorder... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: The Confidence Game
Issue: Vol. 49, No.2, February 2009
"Our economy is not a con game; it is a confidence game." So says Paul Volker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve under presidents Carter and Reagan. Today, Volker chairs Barack Obama’s newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board. His description of the economy as a "confidence game" carries special lessons for an industry that is built on games (and music)... by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: The Vanishing Quarter
Issue: Vol. 49, No.1, January 2009
Five real-life stories cast an interesting light on the future of coin purchases in the U.S. First story: I recently spoke to a young man who described a summer job working the counter at a mom-and-pop burger joint. One lesson he learned, he said, was that "men don’t carry change"...
by Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: Winter Is Coming
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 12, December 2008

The current economy reminds me of the story about a guy who moves to upstate Alaska…in July. Everybody warns him about the climate, but he figures he can handle it. When September arrives, temperatures drop to 10 degrees below zero. The guy is standing at a bus stop, all bundled up, shivering uncontrollably, teeth chattering...By Marcus Webb


Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: Business As (Un)usual
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 11, November 2008

“In times like these, it’s good to remember there have always been times like these.” That clever quip is irrelevant today. We have never seen times like these. As former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan testified to Congress in late October, we’re experiencing a “once-in-a-century” credit meltdown… By Marcus Webb


Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: Coin-Op Needs A ‘New Deal’
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 10, October 2008
As of this writing, Congress was busy passing a $700 billion economic rescue plan. By the time this issue mails, America will be 21 days from electing a new president. Also this year, “Web 2.0” – the user-generated, social-networked, collaborative model of the Internet – has quietly gone from controversy to consensus. Arguably, then, we’re looking at a fresh start… a “New Deal”… in New York City, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley… By Marcus Webb
Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: The AMOA Story
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 9, September 2008

NEW YORK CITY (Sept. 2008) — Congratulations to the Amusement and Music Operators Association as it celebrates its 60th anniversary this month. AMOA packed so many personalities, issues and events into these six decades that it’s sometimes difficult to see the big picture. Accordingly, this column offers a succinct overview of “The AMOA Story"… by Marcus Webb


Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: The Great Temptation
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 8, August 2008

NE WYORK CITY (AUGUST 2008) — News came recently that Betson Enterprises and Incredible Technologies are once again working together. This development underscores an important fact about the amusement machine industry in 2008. For all its wrenching changes, this is still an industry where operators, distributors and manufacturers need each other… by Marcus Webb


Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: ‘One Show’ Debate Misses The Point
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 6, June 2008

The industry’s ongoing argument over “how many shows is the right number” has intensified lately. The whole debate reminds me of a key exchange from a classic war film. “The Battle of Britain” takes place in the summer of 1940. Nazi bombers are flying across the English Channel every day, bombing London to hell as part of the softening-up process before a planned German invasion… more by Marcus Webb


Author: Marcus Webb

EDITORIAL: ‘Happy Talk’ Versus Real Optimism
Issue: Vol. 48, No. 5, May 2008

Recently, VT columnist and vending pioneer Allan Gilbert described an operator who was depressed over the U.S. economy – and deeply worried about his own prospects (see VT, March). Gilbert pointed out that this operator’s company remained strong, with earnings and ROI well above national averages. The operator “was facing a crisis of confidence,” Gilbert concluded, not a true crisis of circumstance. Gilbert went on to say that tough times represent opportunities for savvy operators, who increase market share at the expense of less-competent, less-aggressive competitors.s...by: MARCUS WEBB


Author: Marcus Webb

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