Caltron UPDATE (December 2002)





• Caltron customer tests our 8.4" high-brightness prototype.
• We offer new 4" monitors, with metal housing and attractive features.
• Caltron solves control-board problem for naval warfare application.
• We do more OEM, customizing, and engineering, increasing value as we go.

1. Caltron customer tests our 8.4" high-brightness prototype.

A Caltron customer is testing a prototype of our new 8.4" high-brightness 1400-nit open-frame monitor. We have custom-configured this compact unit uniquely for a 3-D indoor entertainment and presentation system. The sample unit passed Caltron's strict quality control process over the past month.

Our customer is quite happy with its performance so far.

The customer uses multiple lenses to generate a multi-layer 3-D display. The brightness here is much higher than the 150-200 nits for a normal monitor and on the high end of the 1000- to 1600-nit output for high-brightness monitors.

To learn more about this project, or to see how our high-brightness monitors might fit your needs, please call us at 510-440-1800, or e-mail us at sales@caltronind.com . For other needs, see our Website at http://www.caltronind.com/.

2. We offer new 4" monitors, with metal housing and attractive features.

Caltron will now offer new 4” video monitors with metal housings and multiple attractive features.

The monitors feature left and right reverse image switches, so the image can be turned right or left, for mirror-image creation.

The units also have user friendly controls and two video inputs, so the user can switch between two video sources. These monitors also feature video-in and video-out, so they can be hooked up in series as part of a chain display.

The monitors also feature low weight (one pound) and low power consumption. They are ideal for multiple security displays, baby sitting, video-studio, and other applications. They are being evaluated by a prospective customer.

Please visit our Website at http://www.caltronind.com/ or call our sales people at 510-440-1800 for more information.

3. Caltron solves control board problem for naval warfare application.

A naval warfare systems integrator here in California is using Caltron’s 2.5" TFT LCD video kit as part of a prototype tracking device. Before they called Caltron, this integrator’s project was stalled by the size of their original supplier's control board, which was nearly twice as big as the monitor itself.

We managed to find a control board about the same size as the monitor, making integration much easier. We are proud of our effort here, to find something different to fulfill our customer’s needs and to help national defense. The integrator likes the compact size of the LCD screen and appreciates working with Caltron on product development.

If you have a problem that demands a unique solution, please contact us, and we will do our best to help you.

Visit our Website at http://www.caltronind.com/ or call our sales people at 510-440-1800 for more information.

4. We do more OEM, customizing, and engineering, increasing value as we go.

Over the past six years, since we started in 1997, we have gradually expanded our business, adding more value all the time, from touch-screens to high-brightness monitors, to providing OEM and customization services to our customers.

Lately, Caltron has been working with customers to modify existing products and to do minor engineering projects, adapting new monitors to suit their applications.

We find these projects interesting and rewarding, and we invite customers to discuss their needs for project development.

Please view the Caltron Website at http://www.caltronind.com/ or call us at 510-440-1800 or e-mail us at sales@caltronind.com.


Thank you for reading this newsletter and for your interest in Caltron Industries.

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Caltron Industries, Inc.
4120 Clipper Court
Fremont, CA 94538.
Tel #: 510-440-1800
Fax #: 510-440-1526


CROSSROADS LLC                                                                         1469 words

Newsletter 6/10/99


By Dennis I. Simon (as told to Roger Angle)

These are the best of times, or at least the wildest of times, to rephrase a line from Dickens. Exciting times, with the stock market riding high (as of this writing, in June, 1999), productivity up, inflation under control and the cost of labor stable or falling.

But these are also tumultuous times, with markets volatile and methods of doing business changing overnight with each new Internet invention. Formerly sedentary businesses now have all the excitement of the Chicago Board of Trade, at least during periods of rapid growth or during mergers and acquisitions.

The biggest new force, riding and partly driving the current wave of prosperity, is of course the Internet. The influence of the Net, both in terms of e-commerce and other business communications, is so pervasive that every type of enterprise must pay attention.

“No man is an island,” wrote the poet John Donne, meaning that we are all connected, perhaps in spirit. Today, we are all connected through the World Wide Web. What started as a techie’s paradise has turned out to be a powerful tool for sales and marketing as well as a powerful engine driving a larger portion of the economy, including the stock market.

Web-based businesses are growing faster than any other type of business in modern memory. We now see stock trading on the Web, retailing on the Web, publishing on the Web, and even food and gardening on the Web.

The Web is attracting new businesses and entrepreneurs at an unprecedented rate. Dollar flow from the Net is affecting everyone. Newer, Web based companies are using IPO dollars, which are made so fast they seem almost like play money, to buy brick-and-mortar companies. Money made in months is buying businesses built over generations, in a new form of leverage buyout.

In April, a four-year-old online auction company, EBay, announced that it would buy a 134-year-old brick-and-mortar auction house, Butterfield & Butterfield, for $260 million in EBay stock. EBay’s market capitalization was $25 billion, so the upstart online company was worth a hundred times the older firm, based mostly on hope for future earnings.

That is like a rocket passing a tortoise. It is phenomenal growth, in anybody’s book. It is not business as usual, in the traditional sense.

To take another example, the Net firm America Online, with a stock value of $150 billion, was talking about buying CBS, which had a stock value of $32 billion. Again, phenomenal growth based on future potential.

These heady gains — paper profits not backed by assets or earnings — are frightening to some and attractive to others. The bubble may burst, but the economic energy behind the bubble is real.

A new wave of businesses is building to help companies join the tide of e-commerce. Some companies do nothing but facilitate relationships among new e-commerce firms. Some industries will become Web-dependent; in a few years, if you aren’t on the Web (i.e., if you stick to business as usual), you won’t be doing business at all.

The Web is eliminating the middle-man in some industries, shorting the distance between manufacturers and consumers.

Many traditional businesses are already being left behind. Retailers are squeezing each nickel out of every transaction and tracking information on every customer, trying to imitate the Web, which tracks every transaction, showing who their customers are and what their customers want.

Web-businesses are fueled by unprecedented investment through the stock market. This, in turn, is fueled by boundless hope. Investors seem to think there’s gold in anything with “.com” after its name. Traditional retailers don’t have access to this confidence or this cash.

One answer to all this turmoil is for companies to merge with other firms that have complementary products, services and markets. So, some of the current merger mania is fueled directly or indirectly by technology and the Web. Part of it is fueled by knowledge: We know how to make these mega-mergers work, at least part of the time. Certain big mergers haven’t produced the kind of synergy that some people had hoped.

But mergers continue to grow, both in number and in size. Mergers and acquisitions are now measured in tens of billions of dollars. Banks are merging, oil companies are merging, and the European nations are merging, at least economically.

Last December, as noted by Mergers & Acquisitions Magazine, Exxon moved to buy Mobile for $87 billion. In January, Air Touch Communications was reportedly bought by Vodafone Group for $58 billion. Also in 1998, the Travelers Group bought Citicorp for $72 billion and change. To paraphrase what someone once said about the federal budget, fifty billion here, eighty billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Again, this is not business as usual. 

Speed is more and more a factor in today’s business. Again according to M&A Magazine, General Electric Company was the most active acquirer last year, purchasing 47 different companies in 1998 alone. That’s almost an acquisition a week.

We do business in a complex and rapidly changing world. The pace of change is significant in itself. The great futurist Alvin Toffler said recently about his first and most famous book, “I'm not sure everybody got the basic argument of Future Shock. We were not only saying that accelerating change is hard to adapt to, but that acceleration itself has effects on the system.”

We are now in overdrive in hyperspace. Everything is changing, including the language we use to discuss business. These changes affect work relationships, which are much more fluid today.

It is harder to find and retain both good workers and top managers, and at the same time more work is being outsourced to freelance contractors, hired guns, who often specialize in specific markets and provide high quality services without any thought to company loyalty.

While the workforce changes and company alliances change, the amount of information available to us grows exponentially. The speed at which we can access that ever-growing pile of virtual books and magazines grows even faster. We have more information coming at us at higher and higher velocities. The future was an oncoming train; now it is a jet plane, and we are all in its path or rushing to catch up. Soon it will be a rocket.

The amount of technical information in the world is doubling every six months. As a book called “Information Anxiety” says, “More new information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the previous 5,000. About 1,000 books are published internationally every day, and the total of all printed knowledge doubles every eight years.”

How do we survive and prosper in such a rapidly changing and rapidly globalizing marketplace? One widely known consultant said a few years ago that it is useless to plan. Is the market changing so rapidly that we should throw out all our traditional planning tools?

I don’t think so. I believe the answer to rapid change is more rapid and intelligent adaptation to that change — more planning, more communication within companies and among trading partners, more analyses of the market, more attention to new opportunities, and a more pro-active approach to marketing and strategic planning.

To again quote Toffler, “There's a current of thinking today which says that because things are changing so rapidly, it's impossible to have a strategy. All you need is to be agile and react to immediate change. That is wrong. It allows someone else to determine the constraints under which you'll operate. Organizations with a strategy will set the terms of competition.”

The smart companies are placing more emphasis on strategic planning. Some are creating new planning positions and these companies are developing more and better products and ways to bring them to the customer, to the client and to the end-user.

The best leaders are often the best visionaries, people who can synthesize information and trends from a dozen different sources and analyze the forces that affect their business.

Using information technology in every conceivable way, from modeling to forecasting to manufacture and design, we can keep up and even get ahead. This is not an easy objective, but no great challenge ever is.

An old saying comes to mind: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” It was popular in the go-go 80s, but now it needs to be changed: “Lead, find new profit centers and new markets, find new ways of adapting to the marketplace, find ways to out-think your competition, or run the risk of being left behind.”

In today’s rapidly changing and highly competitive marketplace, the company with the most flexible, comprehensive, and executable strategic plan is the company that will win.

Like a basketball team in the NBA, the winners will have multiple skills — talent, height, speed and a winning attitude. No one skill or attribute is enough any more.

If Alvin and Heidi Toffler are right, the Third Wave, the Information Age, is rushing us toward the future. We must stay on top of the rapidly building wave of knowledge; we will drown if we are stuck in the past. We will drown if we stick to business as usual.


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