September 23, 2017

Can Machine Learning Give Your Company a Competitive Edge?

The following is a guest post by Alexander Brooks.

Machine Learning is changing the way industries operate. Things that once were people managed are being automated. Today we’re going to discuss a few ways machine learning can help your company gain a competitive edge in today’s market.


Automate the boring stuff and focus on the most important challenges. In every organization, processes exist that requires minimum human involvement to complete the task. By automating the simple task that requires minimal to no human involvement your organization can direct resources to the most challenging tasks. Although automating all customer service task are not beneficial, you can focus on just the tasks that require the least amount of human attention.

Recommendation Tools

Building a robust recommendation tool can improve the accuracy of number-driven decision making. Recommender tools can be used to manage Keyword advertising. Having a Recommender tool to choose the best keyword based on historical data can benefit an organization in several ways. Some of the benefits include increasing accuracy, reducing resource needs and cost long term.

Predictive Analytics

Using historical data to develop a game plan for future objectives can help you create a competitive edge. We recently did an analysis on bike-share data from 2014 to 2016 in the Seattle area. We discovered that the average bike share usage was around 20 minutes per ride in Seattle. This information is important insight for any bike-share startup company in the Seattle area.

Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (d/b/a Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that helps small and medium-sized businesses increase their customer base and extend lifetime value of current customers through machine learning and business strategy. Mr. Brooks may be contacted at

September 21, 2017

Adrian Rose: A Friend to All

My father and me at
Berthoud Pass, Colo. in 2003
My father, Adrian Rose, passed away at the age of 85 on Sept. 3, 2017. Below are a few business and personal lessons that I learned from his life.

Customer Service is #1

For approximately 40 years, my father was a taxi driver in Denver, Colo. He was actually an entrepreneur as he owned his own cab and worked as an independent driver for Yellow Cab. This experience taught me two lessons. First, there are no sick days when you work for yourself. Whether it was the flu or a sore back, my father worked seven days a week and often 12-14 hours each day. There is flexibility in being your own boss, but you are not always afforded some of the benefits a salaried worker may enjoy. Recognizing the risks my father experienced as an independent driver helped me prepare for those risks I would later encounter as an entrepreneur.

My father strongly felt he was the best cab driver in the world. He took great pride that he provided outstanding customer service. And he had a gift of making each customer riding in the back seat of his cab feel like he entered the profession to provide them with a safe and enjoyable experience. Using an example of dining at a restaurant where the food may not be the most delicious, but the staff are overly friendly and attentive, my father often said, "Customer service is #1 and quality of product is #2."

"It's not how much money you make, it's how well you manage it"

Admittedly, my father was not the best at managing his personal finances. And perhaps it was this imperfection that led him to believe "it's not how much money you make, it's how well you manage it." Whether or not someone was blessed with a high income, my father valued the ability to manage personal finances wisely through savings ("put away $5 dollars a day"), investing and smart purchasing (do you need it or do you want it?).

You cannot change the past

While he spoke little about it, my father had a difficult childhood. He also made several decisions throughout his life (often as a result from an addiction to gambling) that occasionally led to negative consequences. And as time passed, he would dwell in the regret of those decisions. That regret, unfortunately, often prevented him from enjoying the present or having optimism for the future. I learned that while mistakes will be made (knowingly or unknowingly), we should learn from those experiences with the aim of gaining knowledge of becoming a better person. As my late uncle (my father's identical twin brother) often said, "Yesterday is gone."

Openness to others

My father had a gift of not judging others, which I wished more people possessed. Working as a cab driver afforded my father the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Whether they were of a different race, came from a different culture or held different religious beliefs (my father was proud to be Jewish), he embraced meeting people from all races, cultures, and religions. As my mom recently said about my dad: "He was a friend to all."

What business or personal lessons have you learned from your parents?