Everything he knows about business he learned in baseball – Monterey Herald

CARMEL VALLEY – He calls it a hobby. Others might call it an inspiration, a passion, a fascination, a pleasure. Bob Steinberg is intrigued by how things work. Founder and president of an instrumentation company that manufactures gas mass flow meters, he is both determined to reduce energy costs, increase efficiency and minimize harmful emissions −− and intrigued by how to achieve it.

But outside of his professional world, in his shed in fact, he has a completely different interest: toys. Not the typical “hobby car” or epic collection of Hot Wheels model cars or action figures, but real toys, mostly custom-made electric playsets. One is a game of baseball, a hybrid of pinball-meet-football, using items found around the house, such as a deep drawer to house the structure, rubber door stops, the rubber handle of a tool hand and the figure of a baseball trophy – plus its own electronics designed to power the game.

Since a young age, Steinberg has been making electric toys born out of the spirit and intrigue of exploration and invention, with no awareness of their remarkable character. His strategy was simple: understand as you go.

Bob Steinberg, author of Carmel Valley. (Courtesy picture)

He was 8 years old when he invented a little gadget that lighted up, his ingenuity prompting his grandmother to ask if he could find a way to reduce static interference in his radio. So he opened the box, studied the components, and turned a screw until his position became clear. Then he closed it and presented it, like new.

“My grandma thought I was a genius,” he said, “which was incredibly motivating. I loved what I did. It was the kind of thing where you’re so immersed in it that you hear no sounds and are not hungry; everything is devouring.

In addition to his electronic baseball game, Steinberg’s toys included an electronic animal classification game, a slot machine and a pinball game, and a tactile challenge, using lights and switches. Both primitive and ingenious, they were the forerunners of today’s electronics, created with the materials available to an 8-year-old child. He still houses them in a shed outside his Carmel Valley home.

“My ‘understand’ approach is how I run my business today.”

Up to bat

Born and raised in New Jersey, Steinberg attended school in New Brunswick before enrolling at Rutgers University, where he earned a dual degree in electrical engineering and liberal arts, which he says boils down to roughly the extent of his interests.

In 1978, Steinberg moved to Carmel Valley, where he lives with his wife of 49 years, art therapist Janet Steinberg. After a series of ventures and inventions that met with varying levels of success, nearly 20 years ago Bob Steinberg established Sage Metering, Inc., a manufacturing company designed to increase process efficiency, conserve energy and improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.

In 2020, he decided to channel all of his experiences, accomplishments, frustrations, failures and successes into a book which he titled “The Triple Play of Business”. Published by Dorrance Publishing Company, the first two pages of the book present a baseball analogy and how difficult and rare it is to execute a triple play −− when all three out of the inning are achieved on the same play −− in both baseball games. and, metaphorically, in business.

“Everything that happens in a triple play,” Steinberg said, “is instantaneous. Instinct and training tell you to work hard, to work together, to trust, to collaborate, and to have respect. You must have experience in your field of activity, but you must also trust your teammates, collaborate with them and maintain respect for each other.

Steinberg wrote the first draft of his book spontaneously, not in terms of the experiences and perspectives that motivated the book, but when he realized it was time to write.

Ever since he was a young child, Carmel Valley's Bob Steinberg has been making electric toys that stem from the spirit and intrigue of exploration and invention.  (Courtesy picture)
Ever since he was a young child, Carmel Valley’s Bob Steinberg has been making electric toys that stem from the spirit and intrigue of exploration and invention. (Courtesy picture)

“The catalyst for starting my book,” he said, “was realizing the difference between appreciating all that we had done through my business and coming to understand that, nonetheless, she was on point. to go bankrupt. The denouement, the moment when all the plot pieces came together and our issues were resolved, finally found a way to survive, thrive, and thrive.

His book grew out of his frustration with corporate America and some of the companies he worked for. But, ultimately, says Steinberg, the thesis of his book is joy — the joy that comes from figuring out how to make something happen, and then acting on it.

“Knowing what it takes to deal with the risks and meet the challenges of running a successful business,” he said, “my book explains how building a positive culture, containing these three positive elements or the “triple play of success”, creates a much healthier environment for employees.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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