In this month's issue, we ask the question, "Is Dave Insane?" That's not as impolite as it sounds: We're referring to Dave Hirschkop, the founder of a line of gourmet foods whose signature product is called Dave's Insanity Sauce. Since Hirschkop started Dave's Gourmet in 1993, he's added dozens (and dozens) of products, including a range of hot sauces that now includes Ultimate Insanity, Total Insanity, and Temporary Insanity.
Recently, Hirschkop confronted a dilemma common to many founders of fast-growing companies: Were the inconsistencies in his labeling and messaging limiting his growth? Should his diverse products all have the same basic look? Was he keeping up with changes in design? Was it, in fact, time for a brand makeover? I highly recommend John Grossmann's story on Dave's Gourmet. It gives readers an inside look at a branding campaign (executed by another entrepreneurial company, Cincinnati's Deskey) and the difficult decisions it entails. The story is instructive, entertaining, and, I think you'll find, surprising.
This month Inc. introduces a few structural changes. We've discontinued the rubric Hands On and created four new sections: Finance, Technology, Managing, and Sales and Marketing. At the same time, we've made our coverage in all these areas both broader and deeper. Our hope is that readers will find Inc.'s service features more useful and relevant, and also easier to find. Let me know if you think we've succeeded.