Penta Digital, Inc. July 16, 2008


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News From
John McAuley
Idea of
the Week





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A Message From John McAuley
The Way I See It

A Not So Trivial Pursuit

In 1979, two friends – Scott Abbott and Chris Haney – sat down to enjoy a game of Scrabble. As they unpacked the board, they discovered that some of the pieces were missing. Rather than look for another game to play, they decided they should try creating a board game of their own. Two years later, the duo introduced the first prototype of what would become Trivial Pursuit.

At the time they started working on Trivial Pursuit, neither Abbott nor Haney had any experience creating games. Abbott was a sports editor for the Canadian Press in Montreal, and Haney was a photo editor for the Montreal Gazette.

The game itself met initially with a tepid response. Abbott, Haney, and their business partners – Chris's brother, John Haney, and friend, Ed Werner – sank just about everything they had into its development. The quartet pushed hard to get it released and saw their dreams come true in 1983, when sales in both Canada and the United States topped the million mark. The following year proved even more successful, as Trivial Pursuit soon became a household name.

At the time, Trivial Pursuit was viewed as an overnight success. In truth that “night” had been long, hard, and fraught with anxiety. Here's the way I see it: Overnight successes seldom happen overnight. They typically take time and involve a fair amount of sacrifice, sweat, hard work, and tears.

At Penta Digital, we understand the work you've put into building your company or career, and we realize it certainly has been no trivial pursuit. So whether you're still struggling through the overnight – or enjoying the light of the dawning day – give us a call. We want to help you look good on paper.


John McAuley
Idea of the Week
Take a Lesson from Disney

If you visit any one of the Disney Corporation's facilities, you have experienced a phenomenon they call "Onstage and Backstage." It's quite a simple concept, and one that Disney has definitely perfected. The "Onstage" area refers to anywhere that guests may roam freely, while "Backstage" is where the cast members (employees) travel from one part of the park to another, take "Disney-free" breaks, and get into costume. For Disney, the separation between onstage and backstage is essential in maintaining the magical feel of their facilities.

Your company most likely has a similar onstage (customer area) and backstage (production area) structure. And while your employees may not use your "backstage" area to don their Mickey or Minnie Mouse costumes, there are things that go on behind the scenes that most of your customers are not privileged to see.



That is, of course, unless you offer to take your customers on a tour of your facility. At most Disney facilities, visitors can take a ride backstage to see some of the inner workings of the magical world. The same can be done at your business. Allowing your customers a peek at the inner workings of your company and introducing them to your staff will improve your relationship with them. And, showing them any impressive machinery or workflow systems you have in place will increase their confidence in the work you do for them.

Take a lesson from the Disney Corporation and see what kind of response you get from offering backstage tours of your company. You may be surprised to see how many people would be interested in getting to know your company better, and the effect their knowledge can have on furthering your relationship with them.

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