Category Archives: business

The Human Using Your Product

When I was 14 years old my mother cut out an advertisement from the Indianapolis Star. They were looking for kids who could write and who had some personality. Miraculously, I was invited to join the mass interview.

I never will forget that first day. There were over 150 kids and they were far more experienced. Some had been published. Some were going off to college. A couple of kids were editors of their high school newspaper. I thought my writing was decent but wasn’t sure it would pass their tests. In the end they choose 12 kids.

Apparently, they liked my writing. I was surprised when they called me for a second interview and eventually hired me. Turns out they were looking for raw talent. They were looking for something else too. They wanted someone who could put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

Mind you, I had written about my love affair with tennis. I wrote what it must be like for a baseliner to play on grass courts. (True tennis buffs out there will completely understand why knowing your surface can make or destroy your game).

Anyway, a lot of the kids wrote big essays with flowery words. And mine was really simple. If we haven’t met then I can assure you I am not a ‘flowery person’. Practical and down to earth are my speeds.

Not your shoes?

Putting yourselves in someone else’s shoes. Yes, it’s a cliché. But think about it from a product point of view. If you produce a product (documentary, website, interview) with the end user in mind, you’ll be successful.

Everything you do should be with the end user in mind. And guess what- that precious ROI (Return on Investment) will be there too.

Sure, it takes a fair amount of risk- financially, creatively and you have to keep pushing yourself.

Think about your own decisions when it comes to design and development. Are you thinking how your end user and your audience will use your product? Are you doing so at every stage of the product’s development? If not, begin thinking how your product is being used.

Your client will appreciate it and so will their end users.

Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.

Interested in learning more about Defining Personas? Check out these sites.

Keywords: Business Analysis, Defining Personas, Analyzing Data, Goals and Objectives

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Filed under business, business analysis, Customers, goals, Marketing, Strategy

The Mentor in Your Business Career

Johann Lohrmann is an award-winning business analyst who specializes in increasing a company’s bottom line through strategic planning, analysis and creative thought. He holds a BA in Communications. defines a mentor as:

1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

My first professional job was with WTVI-TV. WTVI-TV is a PBS affiliate and one of the best lessons I learned was the power of mentorship. There, I was surrounded by award-winning talent that included writers, directors, producers and crew. These were guys who had decades of experience.

The job of the mentor is to serve as a guide. He is there to support and offer his wisdom. He’s also required to learn from his protégé. Now, it sounds odd to think of a mentor learning from his protégé but think about it for a minute. Would you want a mentor who is not open and capable of learning?

The job of the protégé is to listen and ask questions. He is charged with learning as much as he can on his own and from his mentor. He is required to teach his mentor what he knows.

Remember, that one day the protégé will become a mentor. The best case scenario for a mentor/protégé relationship is where both are direct, open and leave their egos at the door.

Interested in learning more about mentoring? Check out these sites.

Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.

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Filed under Atlanta, business, Career, Resources

Mind-Mapping and Your Job Search

I have friends out of work. Their typical approach is to look for jobs online.

As a researcher, I’d argue that is the most inefficient way of finding a job. A proactive approach is the much better approach. A proactive approach puts you in control and makes you look for solutions.

Most of us would never think of taking a vacation without some sort of plan: what time you need to get to the airport, where you’ll be staying, your vacation budget- those types of things.

But how many of us do that with our job search? I’d venture to say not a lot of us do. But, what if you did?

Mind-mapping is one way for you to map out your job search plan. Take a look at the mind-map below and think about it. Click on the image to enlarge it.

I’ve also listed some online mind-mapping tools.  Yes, they are all Mac and PC friendly.

To learn how to create amazing mind-maps, visit Mark Dykeman’s site, Mind Maps – A Beginners Guide and Example | Thoughtwrestling

To put it all together, head on over to Sean Cook’s site,

To begin using mind-mapping programs check out:

You are now officially mind-mapping ready.
Johann Lohrmann

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Filed under business, Career, career change, Curious, imagination, industries, job search, Research, technology

Just Seize the Day, Will Ya?

One of my friends frantically called me the other day. It was work related and she was under the gun. From the tone of her voice I knew it was important. She asked for my help and when a friend asks for help, you’re there. Foxhole and all.

Being the research wonderboy that I am, I listened and then told her the search terms to use. I then walked her through the process on how to find exactly what she wanted. If she doesn’t know what to research, then she probably does not know how to use the right tools.

Research involves strategy and the ability to communicate one’s thoughts. Maybe that communication comes in the form of a video, an article, a giant spreadsheet complete with graphs and charts. The goal is to put research into action. (Industry folks know this as actionable research and actionable intelligence).

Even though it was an easy find for me it was a difficult find for my friend. Then again, I’m not an nurse and there is zero chance that I would ever find nursing as a reasonable career move. My friend did the right thing. She knew she had to find something and she called me. What she didn‘t do was quit.

A good researcher will not quit and will not give up. If he doesn’t find the information then he will continue to dig. He also knows how to find someone who can help him.

Of course, this applies to every day life. Sure all of us have had an economically rocky couple of years. But, you don’t quit. You keep plugging away and following that precious strategy.

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Filed under Atlanta, Balance, business, curiosity, job search, LinkedIn, Research, Resources, Strategy

Researching at the Library of Congress

For those of you who are so privileged to have visited the Library of Congress, congratulations. For those of you who have either vacation time, time to kill or are simply curious, have you ever considered researching at the Library of Congress. It’s in DC and I’m sure you’d find the adventure rather enjoyable.

Of course for those of you who enjoy a certain type of staycation, then simply find your laptop and start the adventure there.

So, what makes the LOC so much fun? Well, there are thousands of stills (photos), maps, documents, webcasts, sheet music and manuscripts.

Some of the more famous collections include:

  • African and Middle Eastern Materials
  • Asian Materials
  • European, Iberian, Latin American and Caribbean Materials
  • Law Library
  • Rare Books and Manuscripts
  • Presidential Papers
  • Gutenberg Bible
  • American Folklife Center and Veterans History Project
  • Comic Books and Newspapers
  • Cartography
  • Scientific and Technical Information

Visit the Library of Congress website to learn more. There are also resources for kids, families, librarians, publishers, researchers, visitors and if you don’t happen to fall in any of those categories, visitors.

One of my favorites? The Veterans History Project. If you have an interest in preserving the stories of veterans, then please contact them.

You’ll be glad you did. Here are two images to enjoy.

Blue grotto, Capri Island, Italy

Orphans Going to Coney Island in Autos 1911


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Filed under business, curiosity, documentary, footage, Lohrmann Award World War II, public domain, Resources, rights clearance

Three Questions to ask for Better (and more humane) Networking

Today has been a rather fascinating day. Imagine attending a Business Broker lecture. What would you expect to see? Who would you expect to meet? Well, I met an interesting fellow who shares my passion for technology. It came about by asking personal questions that are beyond the standard questions.

Standard Questions: (Begin Yawn)

  1. What company are you with?
  2. What do you do?
  3. How long have you been in business?

The problem with this Q/A system is that these questions do not take into account the person. The questions are business centered and frankly, I want to do business with people I know. Yes, you may have a fascinating industry, but I want to move beyond the industry.

So, what are some better questions to ask?

Personal Questions: (Cue Enthusiasm)

  1. What led you into getting the real-estate industry.
  2. What do you enjoy about your current profession. Specifically, what do you enjoy about the real-estate industry?
  3. What is your biggest challenge?

Think about how you engage others. Is it personal or are you simply interested in your next lead?

Johann Lohrmann
Digital Product Manager

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Filed under Atlanta, Balance, business, Career, creativity, curiosity, Customers, imagination, LinkedIn, networking, story, Strategy, technology

Three Reasons Why You Should Research to get Your Next Job

Get your strategies in place before you need them and you’ll take away a lot of the stress that goes along with planning.

If you’re like a lot of people you see a posting at careerbuilder, craigslist, monster or indeed and you immediately begin emailing your resume. You’re feeling good. You applied to 5 companies today. Yes, things are looking up. But, where are your resumes going? I’ve had to hire staff and at some point the stack gets really big.

The folks I hired did their research. Not only did they do their homework but they could tell me how their research would benefit the company. Yes, they had a much better shot of getting the position and no, they didn’t hound me.

Okay, so back to that pesky little item of research. Why should you research the company? How can research possibly help you?

There are a lot of advantages to researching a prospective company. Now, research takes all forms and includes competitive, background, intelligence, internal, trend…. I’m not expecting you to become a research genius in the next 48 hours but just know information about your company is out there.


1. Let’s say you decide to work for a particular company. You saw an ad or maybe you’ve even heard of them before beginning your job search. (Subtle hint there). Are you excited about possibly working with this company? That’s a clue. If you’re excited about having a job but not working at a particular company, move on. If you can imagine yourself contributing to the company, continue with the research.

Research helps you determine your level of interest in the organization.

2. Good research goes beyond the obvious. Press releases are written to provide information and to make others aware of the organization. Learn how to read between the lines of a press release. Reading the press releases and the staff’s blogs will give you an insight to the company culture and it may even give you a contact there.

Note: If you cannot locate the staff’s blogs that may be an indication that the company is slow to respond to cultural changes. Look to outside sources if you want information. What charities do they support? Is this a diverse company? Do the employees care about the organization?

Research explores the company culture and can help you determine whether or not you will be a cultural fit in the organization.

3. Good research will help you better understand the competition. If you cannot quickly name the company’s top 3 competitors before applying, then you have no business applying.

Research gives you insight into the competition. Conduct the same research on your prospective company that you do on the closest competitors. You now have two other doors to explore.

I want to do to a simple exercise. Visit Google and type in three words, find Logitech competition. Scroll down until you find the see the competion’s  name next to the word, competition. Go to the next page if you must. What company names do you see? Next time you want to find the competition you can do this simple test.

Good luck with your research.

Johann Lohrmann
Noodlehead Studios

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Filed under business, Lohrmann, Research