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PODCAST - 004 Chia Pet - Great Feats of Entrepreneurialism!

Here is an interesting story about Entrepreneurialism and a product we all know about!


Be a hustler and get out there.






Transcript:


(00:00):

Welcome to Wealth commander. My name is not important.

(00:22):

Joe Pedott was born April 14th, 1932 in Chicago. Oh, I forgot.

(00:36):

Joe Pedott attended university of Illinois and he said he was the first of his immediate family to go to college. He began at, what was the temporary Navy pier campus ,like a satellite campus I think, and he later transferred to, I'm going to really screw this up. Urbana-Champagne metropolitan campus, Urbana, champagne. I don't know how to say that. Joe worked a lot of different jobs in the interim varsity. He had a friend that convinced him to work as a radio announcer for the Chicago board of education radio station. He also worked as a switchboard operator at one time and then another time he was also a woman's shoe salesman. Say that one again? A woman's shoe salesman. Women's shoe sales person, person sales person, shoes, salesperson. I think that's the best one.

(01:35):

Joe reflected on his time. At that time, you couldn't get any poorer than me. He said in those days there weren't scholarships or loans. My tuition was 64 semester and it was getting paid about 65 cents per hour. I was always doing odd jobs and quote to bring that perspective. 1955 money to go to college. It was about 602 U S per semester and he was getting paid about five 76 per hour and I did that on a, on a calculator it says, no, it's called like now money or something like this and we need to think about that calculations today. 600 USD for semester is not that bad even for like community college, I think. I think that's still pretty good deal. Uh, in 5.76 that's, that's pretty terrible. The radio announcing job was what he believed that got him interested in advertising and marketing.

(02:26):

After meeting someone from master control at NBC TV station, WMAQ advertising department, he realized there was money to be made not too long after his meeting at NBC, he had business cards made up and now he was in the business with his partner, Darryl Peters as Pedott and Peter. That's good. That could have been a good jingle put out.

Peter's come to you marketing for you know who it's for, doo doo doo.

By creating an answering service and visiting local sales managers at TV stations, after six months, they were able to get their very first client made Royal interiors, who sold for Formica tabletops and had several stores in Chicago. They went to work writing, finding actors and creating a live had commercial, the commercial and tell them putting alcohol on the table, lighting it, and then wiping it off afterwards, pointing out that there was no marks left behind from the flames.

(03:30):

Voila. Now that is some Royal interior. Now they picked up other counsel on the way and they even did a commercial for a movie in 1952 but I wasn't able to find out what movie that was at that time. At this time, they were creating 20 commercials a week and attending college at the same time. They would split time between Chicago and the Urbana, Illinois campus. They would work all weekend at their Chicago office and then they would head back to campus on Monday morning at 5:00 AM they were 21 and they had 100,000 USD in the bank, which is in today's money. That would be about 886,000 us dollars by today's standards, but as soon they lost that money and they were put right back in the debt. As Joe [inaudible] describes in one move, we were wiped out. One mistake, he graduated school and he tried to rebuild the business with his partner dads.

(04:26):

They had small of motive and retail accounts, but no more national accounts at this time. His part of Peter's wanting to split the business down the middle, Peter said that he already contacted the clients and 85% of them were going with him, but dot recounts, it's sorta like walking into the bathroom and having your wife with some other man. I was completely shocked and quote, but being a man with gumption, he called those clients and got 85% in the back. He built up his own agency and he began to do well. He started getting interest from larger agencies and our Jack Scott offered him a job, which apparently was a biggest firm at the time. Um, I was unable to find any more details about that. They got great names here too. You got to love the time things like, I mean I could have been TW commander, he was offered two and a half percent commission for new clients and if any of you decided to leave, he got to keep his 100% clients he brought and then anything new that would be divided, men be split between the two companies.

(05:28):

He decided this was a good deal and he signed on. He did very well at the new agency and he made more money than his seniority's did at the company. Well, she described was quote unquote disruptive to the company and his boss, R J Scott, and he wanted to renegotiate the deal after coming to [inaudible] told him, Hey, you know what? I'd rather walk away. I'll take no percent of any of the clients that I had, but I could pursue those clients with no. After one year, Mr. RJ Scott reflected on the idea and he said, you know, let's just go back to the original proposal now, probably realizing that he could probably take all those accounts really easily. [inaudible] replied, you know what, you broke the camel's back. How can I trust you? And from there put dot left.

(06:49):

He then visited the ABC station in California and he was struck how everything was so nice. He described his thoughts at that time. Isn't it wonderful? The weather's great, the people are friendly. The white buildings stay white and the country's beautiful. Why am I in Chicago from there? And he left Chicago and move West and that was 1956 he suckered work at another smart agency in California and brought in again a lot of business. And again, the owner indicated that his success of making more money than everyone else was a problem or also known as unknown. No, he left and created his own agency, Joseph [inaudible] advertising and marketing. Personally, I think he missed an opportunity here to be, call it JP advertising or J P. dot. Just my opinion. One of his clients he secured was a local grocery, Frank Petrini, the owner and Al frenzy, who was the official quote unquote hands on guy. That's how it's noted here. Wanted to market frozen food and freezer packaged deals. They agreed to let predoc take the account if he could. Triple sales per DOT's idea did more than triple in sales and the first day it ran and when it was all said and done, made five times more sales than they had previously ever done. Now later, one of the associates in the company asked him, why was he ashamed of his Italian heritage and he's never spoke Italian and [inaudible] replied, I'm Jewish.

(08:22):

He was the first to invent the concept of dealer tagging, which is a this kind of idea available at stores.

(08:31):

Hey, this Christmas party is getting a little too quiet. I think it's time we live in it up with my favorite Christmas gift. Mr. Microphone. What's that? Oh, you set the dial on your FM radio and texting [inaudible]. These kids are having a fabulous time with mr. Microphone, the cordless microphone that actually puts your voice on the radio. There are no attaching wires, so you're free to move around, broadcast over any FM car radio. Hey, good luck and we'll be back to pick you up later. You can broadcast in Moto professional entertainers. Use mr. Microphone for rehearsing and you can too. It's practical and great fun for the whole family and for only 1288 they really make great Christmas becomes the perfect Christmas gift at Walgreen's. Woolworth, Wilco, Wasco venture, we both Montgomery ward,

(09:29):

which finally brings us to the one of the items that you finally know this man for. The chia pet. Joe Pedott did not create the chia pet or Joe was good at was marketing and advertising. It did not happen overnight and it was something that he had to work at. Not days, not weeks, but years while tending a Chicago houseware show. He asked the general sales men are at the thrifty stores. What was your best Christmas item? Quote, Joe said, the VP, some of the best things I've had for the two years, it's the most stupidest thing. It's called a chia pet.

(10:08):

There's a new pet chia pet, the pottery that grows, it's on an easy soak your chia, spread the seeds, even watered and watch it grow and now grow off whole collection of fun with chia, Teddy bears, puppies, kittens, Rams, poles, there's even a chia tree to keep your beds company chia pets and trees, the pottery that grows the chia pet and chia tree or available at Kmart, Rite aid aims and Woolworth makes a great gift

(10:38):

but not followed the trail to the owner of this product and which was located in his old stomping grounds. Chicago. After offering his services to market the product and then being declined, the man admitted he was losing $1 each time he sold one, so a year past he reached out to the owner once again, who at this time was considering to sell it as he was still losing money. The chia pet owner found Pedott’s offered too low, but he said he would consider it if no competitor offered him a better price, but that then went and provided him a list of his competitors. At the next meeting, the owner told Pedott’s that his offer was two times higher than the highest offer he got from his competitors, but dot was now the new owner of the chia pet name and concept, but that's next feat was to figure out where the extra dollar was going. He visited the original supplier in Chicago, but the product was being made and imported from Mexico. He decided to head down the Mexico himself.

(11:46):

He went down to date early to investigate the area before the Chicago suppliers arrived. He found a village that produced and sold the product at the local marketplace for much cheaper than what the Chicago supplier was selling it for, so now he knew the real price. When the Chicago supplier arrived, he led them towards the local village market. Now they tried to divert him, but then he said, Hey, look, here are our chia pets. Let's find out what it's going to cost and what we can buy him for. He was able to demonstrate that they weren't charging him 2.5 times more than market prices. So good old Joe Pedott told them, you're thief and you're fired. They pleaded for one more chance and apparently he gave him that chance. He's merciful. After figuring out the correct price. Joe went on to improving the quality of the chia pet.

(12:43):

He learned about all the specifications he learned what type of clay, where it came from. He met the people that made the chias. Now, chia production was known as a cottage industry, which mean it was made in their own homes and they use their own kilns. This led to too many variances. Now to bring uniformity to the product, he brought a cement mixer and used it to mix clay. He required the local producers to only produce from this one source. Put out also required that the legs of the chia pet all touched and the ground in a uniform way. And an easy way to do that is making sure you put it down on a piece of paper and all the legs touch. Then his final requirement was to reject all items that were burnt. Now, [inaudible] noted about the village in this village. They don't have any electricity.

(13:33):

They have to go pump the water from the well, but they're all carrying machetes. From that point on, the product quality improved. Now, originally the chia pet was just ahead, but Pedott introduced the Ram and bull in 1982 as the first new additions. Today there are over hundreds of different models, although a lot have been discontinued now. They had all types of stuff. They had a 19, uh, 2002, the chia Homer, 2003. The chia barked a 2008. Chia Obama determined and chia Obama happy 2012. Chia, hello kitty, 2016. Chia emoji and chia Spiderman, which then, uh, in the same year they also had Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Freedom of choice series of 2016 2017 they had a chia, Bob Ross. Ooh, that's, and that's a nice one. And also the new chia emoji poopy was introduced. Finally 2018 we got chia Deadpool, chia predator, predator, and then also the chia base of Rick and Morty both.

(14:43):

They're both of their heads and the golden girls, some classics there. So not to just all only work on one product. He was then approached by the great American turnout or turn off company and that's a strange name to help them market a new product. Now all you had to do was clap your hands and the product turned on and clap your hands again. N the lights turned off and this could be done with anything you plugged it into. Now Pedott soon found out that this company was not really working. Honestly, he really has a knack for this thing, you know, he's like getting to the bottom of stuff. He's like a little investigator. They were more of a kind of an investment company, but they were pocketing most of the money and putting little into real products or development. So the quality of the product wasn't that great.

(15:36):

It tended to fry TVs. Now, price of a TV in 1985 was about 585 us dollars. That was a 19 inch TV, 19 inches. Today, that's a close to about $1,700 for 19 inch TV. Isn't that crazy? And that's also a lot of tacos. $1,700 the company soon went bankrupt. [inaudible] was there to scoop up the concept. He got an engineering to work on the original product and makes sure that it didn't fry electronics anymore. Saving countless fried TVs, put dot then held a dinner party to come up with a good name. And the clapper is what we know today.

(16:16):

Multiple products, different markets and uses. Pedott was able to take these products and make them noticeable to other people. Pedott’s main strategy was that the product had to have a mass appeal but also be unique. And finally, the margins weren't enough to be marketed on TV, which makes me wonder it. In today's world, it would that still even work. You'd really have to get a pretty cheap, cheap product per dot says he's always looking for new ideas, quote ideas of the cheapest things in the world. It's executing them. That gets involved in quote today. He still gets people approaching him with new ideas, and if he likes it, he will give you a shot and give the investor the royalties on the sales. Do you have any good ideas? Also want to thank, uh, the AM history and EDU for archives of, for the tapes and for the history of Mr Joe Pedott. So thanks so much for that guys.

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© Jamon Michael Yerger