Archive for October, 2009

Hook and Ladder CEO

October 14th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

“A great beer that gives back”

That is the tagline of Hook and Ladder Brewing Company’s product branding, and how Matt Fleischer, CEO and Founder of Hook and Ladder, introduced his product to our Entrepreneurship and New Ventures class this past week. We had the priviledge of hearing how Matt created his business plan, marketed the idea to University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship (the first investor in his now rapidly expanding business), and began growing his company. Matt also explained some of the challenges he has faced during the past few years building his management team, working with his Board of Directors, and managing his passion for selling his company’s beer with selling the concept to the public. It was fantastic insight into how an idea goes from paper to production and the problems an entrepreneur faces along the way.

“A penny in every pint, and a quarter in every case”

As Matt explained business is not only about making money, but also being socially responsible. Hook and Ladder is focused not only on producing a high quality craft beer, but also giving back. The company donates a penny for every pint of Hook and Ladder beer and a quarter for every case sold to local firefighter burn centers/charities. Is there a better reason to enjoy a beer?


Negotiations and Power

October 7th, 2009 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

It recently became apparent to me that I am a tough negotiator. During a recent Negotiations and Power classroom exercise, I was chosen to “role play” the part of an employer who was being asked for a raise by a junior employee.

A fellow classmate and I “dueled” it out in class to the cheers and jeers of our fellow classmates. I used ever single distributive negotiations tactic I could think of…I laid on guilt, bewilderment, questioning, and surprise to help empower my position in the discussion. In the end, we came to a stalemate, but I found that even though I was “role playing,” I was incredibly entrenched in my character’s position.   There was no way that I would make any concessions to my opponent.  My competitive streak definitely got the better of me.

 However, there were learnings from the exercise; it provided me first-hand experience with a raise negotiation situation and insight into my personality style in conflict. Introspectively, both these lessons will pay dividends in the very near future, as I prepare for my career after b-school and partake in salary negotiations.

In my mind the best way to learn is not only through theoretical teachings, but also through experiential application, and my Negotiations and Power class is just one of many examples at Smith where real-world situations are applied to theoretical lectures and readings.