Monthly Archives: July 2010

2010’s Best Designed Products | Fast Company

The winners of the 2010 International Design Excellence Awards can help you ride the waves, grill a burger, catch varmints, and save the earth.

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Cash for Chocolate? |

Instead of going to a bank or tapping your family and friends, consider some alternative financing options.

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Merchants Push Sales Through Social Media –

After learning how to market themselves through tweets and status updates, some small companies are taking the next step: selling directly to consumers via social-networking sites.

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HOW TO: Make a Great How-To Video |

Whether you’re a small business owner and want to demo a product, an artisan wanting to show off your skills, or even a consumer with a passion for sharing knowledge, before you pick up the camcorder, have a read of our top tips below.

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Why the Twilight Exit Will Buy You a Steak Dinner If You Close Your Chase Bank Account – Seattle News – The Daily Weekly

He was watching customers pay with cards furnished by the company he felt was trying to screw him, all in the name of keeping a little extra of his money every month. It’s illegal to offer free booze to entice customers.
But free meat? Fair game.

“If someone wants a steak dinner,” he says. “I will feed them.”

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Finding a Good Financial Bill in 2,300 Pages |

I did something I doubt few people have dared. I took the liberty of a 13-hour flight back from Asia earlier this week to read all 2,300-plus pages of the bill. Yes, all of them.

My law professor verdict: There are many things to applaud in this bill and much in there that will substantially enhance the government’s power to regulate the financial industry. On the whole, if you think that the financial industry needs more supervision and financial regulators more tools, you should be relatively happy. If you are an advocate of big world changing ideas like breaking up the banks, you will be less so.

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Apple Becomes Big Brother | TAUW

Seriously, this is nothing that a little duct tape can’t fix:

Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Apple deleting discussion board threads on topics which are unflattering to Apple’s products. It’s closer to the fiftieth time. In fact, we’ve heard so many reports about this happening that it seems safe to call this standard operating procedure for Apple’s discussion boards. That’s not to say that there are no negative threads on the discussion boards, but the ones that are there are the ones that Apple’s moderators have decided to leave active.

How do you like Steve now?


DOE Announces $30 Million in New Small Business Funding to Help Commercialize Clean Energy Technologies

Department of Energy Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that $30 million in funding from the Recovery Act and FY 2010 budget appropriations will be made available to qualified small businesses to support the commercialization of promising new technologies. Today’s funding announcement builds on the Department’s existing efforts under the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) to develop near-term clean energy technologies and support American small businesses that will play an important role in building the clean energy economy of the future. This is the first time DOE has offered Phase III awards under these small business programs.

“Small businesses are the engine of job creation and innovation, and we need their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit to drive a clean energy economy,” said Secretary Chu. “By helping America’s small businesses bring these innovative technologies to market, we will spur economic growth and help reduce the country’s energy use.”

Small companies previously awarded Phase II grants through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) or the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) are eligible. Projects that include developed technologies with a strong potential for commercialization and impact on U.S. manufacturing and job creation are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants may receive up to $3 million over three years to research, develop, and deploy new technologies.
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Fear is the Mother of Violence | Peter Mehit

The title is lifted from a Peter Gabriel song. I can’t remember the lyrics except that line, but it always stuck with me. I was reminded of it today when reading a comment on a blog post:

My opinion is the media wether it is newspaper article, online article or broadcasted news (not all MOST) are just agents of chaos.


It hit me. The if-it-bleeds-it-leads, humiliation and degradation obsessed media are agents of chaos. Some say up to 14 trillion dollars have been vacuumed out of the economy by financial engineering. Does that get crisis coverage? No, Lindsey Lohan gets more air time than the senate hearings to uncover the crime.

Car chases. Snooki. Gay marriage. The terrorist next door. Whatever will agitate us while toothless regulations are passed to allow just a little bit less rape. It’s the same reason all plots have a diversion element. It makes people turn their eyes away from the actual crime. It happens in front of you and you don’t see it. Chaos makes money.

There is no conspiracy; It’s human nature.  The wealthy don’t need to be told to watch each other’s back.

The problem with this machine is it’s whipping up more anger and division. People are stacking sandbags instead of reaching out. Fear is high. If it gets too high, it will cause violence.

Tell the truth. Build your community. Help your neighbor.

Who Is Generation X? | Lydia Mehit

Many business owners think that EVERYONE is their customer, so they create a coupon, find a monthly delivery system (a coupon magazine or coupon mailer) and hope for the best. But understanding your target customer can give you insights into how to price, how to promote, how to utilize media and what special offers will appeal to them.

Is Generation X the most likely group of people to purchase your goods and services?

How would you know? Start with your current customers. What is the average age of the majority of your customers? Who typically makes the largest purchase during an average visit. Who are return customers?

If you are not in business yet, look at the neighborhoods where you are thinking of locating your business. What is the average age and income of the people in the immediate one mile radius. Check out the three mile radius also. If you have a retail business, the majority of your customers will be local to those areas.

If your answer is Generation X, have you made them the target of your marketing dollars? Do you know how to make your message resonate with them?
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