In a market economy, I believe state run economic development can sometimes be a good thing. But I suspect it’s usually a bad thing. Here’s why, in which a Rhode Island state treasurer cautioned against backing a celebrity owned company that would ultimately become a $75 million bath for taxpayers:
“In general, I would proceed very carefully on this. [The company] is in the Boston area where there are 200 venture capital firms, and it is in a very hot area of gaming so if it were in fact a compelling investment I would have to think it would be well funded already by venture capitalist; the fact that many have looked at it and passed is a red flag.” Continue reading…
Words to sell by.
I’ve grown up with Nike. I’ve watched them stir emotion with their commercials for decades.
The above ad — broadcast during the summer Olympics — is the latest in a long line of powerful advertising. It transcends mere sales and results in the thought of: “I like the company that made this commercial.” Of course, that ultimately leads to increased sales.
Doubly so coming from the global goliath of sports apparel that has acutely managed to stay cool for all these years, largely due to great copywriting.
You know those handheld beeping laser probes that some dentists use? They are a scam. At least that’s been my experience with them. And I’ve had 10 fillings!
Here’s how they work: Four years ago, after acquiring his first “diagnodent,” my old-old dentist said my x-ray and visual tests came back negative, but this newfangled beeping pencil-like thing said I had a cavity. Confused, I asked him: “Is this the same as an x-ray verified cavity.” No, he replied, but it did mean decay was starting. I asked if we could watch it with regular check ups. He agreed. Then retired later that year before I could follow up.
So I went to a new dentist. He too used a diagnodent. And each and every year, he would find more and more cavities with the device, while the xrays and visual tests all came back negative. Still doubtful, I pressed him on the issue each and every time. He always dodged my questions and politly replied, “If I were you I would get them filled.” He did this for not one, not two, but three consecutive years with an increasing amount of beeping teeth.
(As an aside, this dentist also said my root canal tooth should be replaced, as it could “crack and break at any time and injure my mouth.” Yep, I have a weaponized tooth, people. Keep your distance. It may attack at any moment.) Continue reading…
The New York times ran an insightful piece this weekend on the decline of Sony, which is valued at just a quarter of where it was a decade ago, and just one thirtieth the size of Apple:
“Sony makes too many models, and for none of them can they say, âThis contains our best, most cutting-edge technology,’ ” Mr. Sakito said. “Apple, on the other hand, makes one amazing phone in just two colors and says, âThis is the best.’ ”
In addition to department infighting, that really sums up Sony’s troubles: too much product, none of them hits. Continue reading…
I just got done reading this great story on a no-name musician landing a big break after “cold calling” a headliner on Twitter. In my opinion, the deal went through because of the following:
- The solicitor has talent. Continue reading…
As an independent contractor, I get asked a lot on how I make a living. The easiest answer is “I work from home.” If that doesn’t satisfy the interviewer, however, I’ll usually say “I’m a writer,” which is only partly true.
In many ways, I’m a jack of all trades. Writing and developing content for others is my forte. But I also enjoy critiquing software and games, moonlighting in online advertising, content marketing, and one-off projects that present a unique but hard-to-screw up challenge.
That said, I never over promise. I’m quick to tell a potential client or existing client “I don’t do that” when asked about other disciplines and send them on their way—mostly because I do crappy work when I’m not passionate about it. That and I refuse to engage in work I don’t like doing, regardless of how well it pays.
(Seriously, doing stuff you don’t enjoy solely for money or status is the epitome of living a lie. I realize some people have no choice in the short-term and often have to take one for the team to make ends me. But EVERYONE has a choice in the long term. It just takes planning, sacrifice, and guts.)
Anways, long story short, here’s how I became a thousandaire last year: Continue reading…
“There are two types of companies: those that work hard to charge customers more, and those that work hard to charge customers less. Both approaches can work. We are firmly in the second camp.”—Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based Amazon.com, now going on seven consecutive years as my favorite website.
Great video, particularly from 2-5 minutes.
Today, auctions represent only 31% of all Ebay sales. A decade ago, Ebay was suppose to change the way everything was bought and sold. That didn’t happen. A new article in Wired tells why:
To begin with, the experience of auctions changed over time, generally in ways that made them less appealing to both buyers and sellers. Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, which consults for ecommerce companies, points to the advent of sniping—the practice of placing winning bids at the last second—as something that has alienated ordinary shoppers…
Bargains, too, have become less common, as the market matured and people on both sides of the transaction became savvier…
Really, though, the biggest factor in the decline of the auction may simply be that the novelty of bidding wore off. “The Internet stopped being a source of wonder and became a place to do certain kinds of business,” Koehn says. “Once that happens, you start to think about things like âDoes it make sense to spend this much time on an auction when I might not even get the item in the end?’” In econospeak, the hedonic benefits of bidding on eBay diminished.
In my opinion, I think the information age has simply normalized pricing. By that I mean you can save a buck or two on ebay, but you really have to work for it… and wait for it. Why not “buy it now” for a few bucks more elsewhere?
More rare color photos of the depression here
Samsung sponsored this guy Kenton Cool (awesome name) to summit Mount Everest for a ninth time this month. In exchange, the company had him place the first cell phone call ever from the highest point on Earth, to his wife. What a moment.
J Dawgs is delish! (check the user reviews)
See those three stripes? They’re called “diva,” not pink, according to Adidas. And the white you see is “running white,” as opposed to idle white. I know because that’s what the box on my kitchen counter says. (They’re not for me, mind you, but the little soccer player I father.)
Adidas isn’t the first shoe manufacturer to use confusing names. I’ve seen red called “fire” on Nikes and blue called “ice” on Reeboks.
The silliness makes me wonder: Could shoe manufacturers sell more shoes by using color names people understand? Granted, people don’t shop by shoe boxes; they shop by display. But I imagine some prospective buyers have crossed an unsuspecting color and decided to pass on it. I know for a fact that ambiguity always hurts your chances.
That said, is there any proof that unconventional (or idiotic) color naming boosts sales? I doubt it.
Either way, at least Adidas got the hueless color right when describing the above shoes. They call it “black.”
They have cash—lots of it.
I’m a big fan of cash. Love the cash.
Insightful article by Wired on bucking offshoring manufacturing in favor of higher yield American manufacturing:
Today, a year since Krywko’s decision to go against the offshoring tide, Sleek Audio has a full-scale manufacturing operation that can be reached via a 15-minute car ride rather than a 24-hour flight. Each earphone costs roughly 50 percent more to produce in Florida than in China. But Krywko is more than happy to pay the premium to know that botched orders and shipping delays won’t ruin his company. And so far, the gambit appears to be paying off: Based on enthusiastic customer response, Sleek Audio is now projecting 2011 to be its most profitable year ever.
Globalization has been great. But thanks to latency, localization is thriving once more. It’s like the best of both worlds now.
This is wrong.
I love entrepreneurial ingenuity.
As the value of higher education continues to decline, these are some great alternatives: Start a business, travel the world, create art, make people laugh, write a book, work for a charity, master a game, master a sport. Splendid!
As seen on Yahoo News: “The most obvious way out of this mess is for bankers and developers to build or convert existing units into affordable studio apartments for the masses… Those kind of units created an on ramp to home ownership in the late 50s and early 60s. Instead, residential insiders are waiting for the country to be forced into some big public jobs initiative in hopes that property values can be propped up to levels that won’t massively threaten equity. They’re waiting for somebody to save them from the market instead of responding to it. Somebody’s got to take initiative. Will it be industry or government?”