“In today’s tight labor market, the talent-is-hard-to-come-by lament is near universal and potentially misleading. The problem is that employers want workers they don’t have to train. That attitude may deny businesses a powerful competitive advantage.” You could train them to do things your way! Read more: “You’ll Never Train in Vain” by Leigh Buchanan, Inc. Mag. July/Aug. 2018
“Beware the Coming Splinternets: Your customers could be treated differently depending on which country they live in- even which state in the U.S. Lawsuits and new regulations are pending worldwide. Big tech companies will find it impossible to comply with every legal permutation.” Amy Webb, Inc. Mag., July/August 2018
“Hunger Games: HelloFresh blew past 100 competitors to become the No.1 meal-kit company on the planet. The German start-up is winning-but at what cost?” Fascinating article in July/August Inc. Mag. 2018 by Burt Helm
“Retail Therapy: Competitive retailers are finding they need both traditional and online platforms. Savvy stores are incorporating multiple sales channels- It has to be frictionless and has to provide an experience that can’t be found online.” Jennifer Leavitt Seattle Magazine, July, 2018; Retailers are incorporating board games, cafes, pop-up shops, workshops, tasting bars—things to create experiences that will draw customers i.e. retailtainment!
“Don’t seek mentors. Create them: Cultivate a relationship- a give and take, casual but mutual investment in each other’s success. That could be an old friend or a new contact; maybe a current or former colleague or boss or professor. Maybe you have a whole cast of people.” Good advice from Jason Feifer, editor of Entrepreneur Mag. Build a relationship in a natural vs a formal way!
Bootstrapping a company? Think about creative alternative kinds of partnering relationships—maybe your vendor supplies you in exchange for equity in your company, or maybe you help financially support a vendor and they repay you in services or you develop other kinds of partnerships that are a win-win for both!
“The Dark Brilliance of the Entrepreneur Brain: scientists are taking a long overdue look at the mental health of entrepreneurs. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that mental disorders are more common among entrepreneurs than in the population at large but little hard data currently is available. In blog posts, founders are coming out about their struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal impulses. These mental health conditions are accompanied by positive traits that enable entrepreneurs to excel, says Michael Freeman, clinical professor of psychiatry. For example—if you have ADHD, one of the positive traits is a need for speed, and an interest in exploration. You have an ability to act without getting stuck in analysis paralysis.” Interesting article in July/Aug 2018 Entrepreneur Mag., by Lisa Harris
Entrepreneurs: “Seize every chance to learn and grow, pivot when the market tells you to pivot, and always be alert for what problems you can solve.” Advice from Raphael Farasat of business consultancy Truffl. Entrepreneur Mag. July/August 2018
“ A Pilot program suggests voice-activated technology might help ease isolation and loneliness among some older adults. One study showed that loneliness can shave off several years of a person’s life expectancy- so an AARP program is in a testing phase using Alexa to help older people access their community activities, hear the news, listen to their favorite music and audiobooks and set reminders to take their medication.” AARP Article by Christina Ianzito in July/August issue; Sounds like a good idea!
“Autonomous trucking has the potential to be a lucrative business-and has attracted Alphabet (Waymo), Uber, Nikola, and Tesla. There is a shortage of drivers- so companies are having to pay more for drivers and to keep up- shipping rates are rising. (Amazon recently increased its Prime membership fee from $99. Ro $119./yr. Self-driving technology could actually help in recruiting drivers and reducing costs—atleast that is the hope.” America: Who’ll Keep on Truckin”? Kirsten Korosec, Fortune Mag., July 2018
“Red Staters See Green in Hemp: There is a hemp deficit in the U.S. and a bill before Congress- to expand the production of industrial hemp- has bipartisan support—due to growing awareness among policy makers that hemp and marijuana are not the same crop.” Jeff John Roberts, Fortune Mag., July 2018
Ending Forced Arbitration for victims of sexual harassment: A bill now has 17 bipartisan cosponsors and is on its way through Congress- to prevent forced arbitration in sexual harassment cases.
Corporate Wellness Programs are starting to make a comeback—not so much to reduce medical costs but more to entice new employees and retain their current top employees. Read more: “Hit the Gym, Gently”, by Phil Wahba, Fortune Mag. July 2018
“Where Autistic Workers Thrive: An estimated 80% of people with autism go unemployed, even though many are highly educated and eager to work. So last October , 6 companies Ford Motor, DXC Technology, EY, Microsoft, JP Morgan and SAP formed “Autism at Work Employer Round Table” to share best hiring and workplace practices and help other companies see the return on investment in hiring autistic employees.” Yay! Read more: by Dinah Eng, Fortune Mag., July 2018
Kudos to Melinda Gates with her Pivotal Ventures investment/incubation firm that is putting money in to female lead or minority focused venture firms including Aspect Ventures, Female Founders Fund, and Defy Partners.
“Unmasking A.I.’s Bias Problem” A.I. has the potential to do wonderful things- for example reduce medical errors, or screen thousands of resumes, however the data that is in-put isn’t always neutral and has the potential for racial and sexual bias. Consider hiring situations or criminal investigations. Important article in Fortune Mag. July 2018 by Jonathan Uanian
Education for the next generation: Flocabulary Inc., led by Alex Rappaport—creates rap videos to help students learn history, math and literature. What a great idea!
“Ann McKee, researcher who has studied the brains of 111 NFL players, found that 110 of them showed “chronic traumatic encephalopathy”—which causes deteriorating cognitive impairment and behavioral changes. Football’s image is taking a hit.” “For Tackling Concussions” Fast Co. Mag. Summer 2018
Kudos to “Spread the Vote” and Kat Calvin for helping the poor and homeless get government issued voter ID cards so they can vote. Many individuals in this country don’t have the money and transportation resources to get the cards and get to polling facilities.
Kudos to Daniela Perdomo of goTenna for creating “Mesh” that allowed relief workers in Puerto Rico to share lifesaving communications when the grid was down. Now hikers are also using “Mesh”. People can text without a cell signal or wifi while on Mesh. Read more: “For Connecting When the Grid is Down” Fast Co. Mag., Summer 2018
Getting students to put their cell phones down: Nearly 1,000 schools use Yondr to keep students off their phones during class. It is a pouch that is locked. Even some concerts are using it.
“Creating Fashion Without Waste: Misha Nonoo- luxury fashion designer now creates each piece of clothing on demand—after the customer has ordered it—eliminating dead inventory and waste.” Fast. Co. Mag. Summer, 2018
Kudos to M. Sanjayan, “CEO of Conservation International who is spear heading the largest ever tropical reforestation project. Over the next five years, 73 million new trees will sprout over 70,000 acres in the Brazilian Amazon.” Fast co. Mag., Summer 2018
Kudos to Aaron Fairchild, Cofounder and CEO of Green Canopy—contractor and real estate investment group in Seattle—the only U.S. builder dedicated to erecting exclusively certified “deep green” single and multi-unit homes. They have more than 80 net-zero homes in development in Seattle and Portland. Read more: “For Coloring Housing a Deeper Shade of Green”, Fast Co. Mag., Summer 2018
Support for struggling veterans: “ Objective Zero” has built an app that connects vets with one of 350 trained volunteers— who can help them in dealing with survivor guilt, and suicidal thoughts. If you know a vet who could use support- tell them about the “Objective Zero App”.
“Turning Gaza’s ashes into stone: Majd Mashharawi , founder of “GreenCake” has developed a low energy manufacturing process that turns ashes from coal or wood burning fires into bricks that are stronger and cheaper than their conventional alternatives. “ This has been a life saver since cement and building materials are restricted from entering Gaza’s borders. Fast Co. Mag., Summer, 2018
“Today’s artificial intelligence software is powerful enough to create other A.I. software- which means it won’t be long before we replace coders with code that codes.” Andrew Nusca , Fortune Mag., May 2018 “Teaching Kids to Code is Overrated”;
“127:1 The median overall CEO-to-worker pay ratio at S&P 500 companies.” Bloomberg Company Reports
“The Problem with Platforms: A startup launches using AWS and gets traction-and then ( Amazon, Apple, Google, FB) trot out a cheaper product competing with their own customers.” Read more: Inc. Mag., May 2018 by Jeff Bercovici (maybe the idea isn’t so good after all)
“There aren’t as many start-ups these days– because huge players can block them, state and local regulations are a barrier, and the cost of real estate.” (Inc. Magazine May 2018)
“Annual cost of work-related stress in the U.S. according to the American Institute of Stress is $300 Billion.”
“Gamification (to market companies) has been so misused that the entire shtick is exhausted.” Thomas Goetz, cofounder of Iodine Co.
“New robots could move production back to the U.S. without driving up the prices—less money on overseas contractors, shipping and foreign taxes.” Amy Webb, Inc. Mag. May 2018
“Facebook and Google are simply the new middlemen. Instead of paying rent, many “direct to consumer” companies pay the internet giants to be their storefront.” “The Race to Reinvent Everything”, by Tom Foster, Inc. Mag., May 2018
“Texas company “ICON “ erected its first prototype, a 350 square foot home, in Austin in March via 3D printing. Their next step is to build homes in El Salvador, and then build homes in the U.S. within 12 months.” Read more: Fortune Mag., May 2018 “Your Next Home Could Be 3D-Printed”, by Chris Morris
“Jacinda Ardern- 37, the world’s youngest female head of government says her country gripped by immigration and housing crises will be the first to rely on social, cultural, and environmental well-being metrics.” Fortune Mag., May, 2018
“Walmart and a wave of other big employers have expanded paid-leave benefits for blue- collar parents this year. One reason for their generosity: a relentless and savvy campaign by a behind the scenes coalition of activists, ( PL+US non-profit) investors, and their own employees.” From: “Putting On The Pressure for Parental Leave” by Valentina Zarya, Fortune Mag., May 2018
“Sheep Ranch absorbs more CO2 than it emits! A Ranch in California has been part of an experiment: by managing where the sheep graze, and planting trees and cover crops and using compost- Bare Ranch now absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits. This project was funded by a grant from North Face.” Read more: “ Putting a Lid on Carbon Dioxide” by The Cali Wool Beanie in May 2018 Fast Co. Mag.
“Lia”- The world’s first flushable pregnancy test is made of protein, plant, and mineral based fibers that are biodegradable whether flushed or composted. They will hit stores and Amazon this Summer.” “Privatizing Pregnancy” by LIA Diagnostics, Fast Co., May, 2018
“Seattle startup “Evrnu” is turning old T-shirts into new Denim: They take this year’s castoffs and use a patented process that takes post-consumer cotton and breaks it down into a pulp before extruding the liquid through fine filters to form new fiber- and creating next year’s must-haves.” Fast. Co. Mag.-May, 2018
Kudos to Jose Andres’s “World Central Kitchen” charity for providing over 3.3 million meals to displaced people in Puerto Rico, helping build a coffee- roasting collective in Nicaragua, opening a bakery in Zambia, investing in beekeeping in the Dominican Republic, and setting up over a dozen solar cooking facilities in Haiti—-and many more disaster relief programs around the world. Read more: “The People’s Chef” by Matthew Shaer, Fast Co. Mag., May 2018
“Power Hungry: Miners of cryptocurrency flock to central Washington for cheap electricity” — good article in Seattle Business Mag. April 2018 by Bill Virgin
In a Stanford Study, researchers learned that the effect of multi-tasking is worse than smoking marijuana or sleep deprivation- on performance. “Why Multitasking Is Life in the Shallows”, Spirituality and Health, March/April 2018
“Your employees’ mental health can affect your bottom line.” Good article in March 2018 Inc. Mag. By Etelka Lehoczky There are several ways you can support the emotional health of your company!
“Modern Meadow is Growing Leather in a Lab– No animals needed- animal free bioleather Zoa can be grown to mimic the qualities of leather textures.” Read more: Inc. Mag. March 2018 by Alden Wicker
“The Science of Retirement Satisfaction: For roughly a quarter of retirees, life after work involves isolation and loss of direction. The habits formed before we are 50 are the biggest determinant on how well you retire.” Words to the wise! From Inc. Mag., March 2018 article by Kathy Kristof
“Rinse Inc. promises to save you from cleaning and sorting your laundry. Lots of other startups have the same idea.” Would you pay a company to do your laundry? This is a growing business sector. Read more: “Cleaning” by Bill Saporito, Inc. Mag, March, 2018
“Retail is dying. Right? Not for e-commerce brands like Warby Parker which are using big data to open stores exactly where their customers want them.” The key is sophisticated data points. From: “It’s All About Location” by Nancy Miller Entrepreneur Mag., March, 2018
“Servant leadership isn’t about being nice at all costs. A leader should be as brutally honest as possible—and you can do this in a kind and loving way.” Ron Shaich, ex-CEO of Panera Bread, Entrepreneur Mag., March, 2018
“Joint healthcare enterprise with Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase– will nominally serve the 1.2 million people who work for those companies.” “Amazon and Friends”, by Karl Vick, Time Mag., Feb 12, 2018 It will be interesting to watch the ripple effect of this!
“Brooks Running believes your next pair of shoes will be custom-built for you, starting with a 3D foot scan. Biomechanical data help make their running shoes with custom levels of support.” This sounds like a great idea to me! Read more: ‘Kindred Sole” by Phil Wahba, Fortune Mag., Feb, 2018
“The reality for many positions, across most organizations, is that education has no influence on actual performance.” Tim Sackett, head of HRU Technical Resources Staffing Firm. Employers now value grit, potential, creativity, willingness to work hard, love of learning, curiosity, and capability to adapt.” “Ready, Set, Jump” by Geoff Colvin, Fortune Mag. Feb. 2018
“At a time when scandal can topple even the mightiest of unicorns, the smart money is falling out of love with the bad boys of Silicon Valley. That’s opened the door to a new breed of investor who is betting big on diversity.” Read more: “Can These VC’s Fix Tech’s Bro Problem?”, by Michal Lev-Ram, Fortune Mag. Feb. 2018
Shell is seeing the writing on the wall and diversifying into wind and solar energy. “Oi Faces Lower Forever”by JeffreyBall, Fortune Mag., Feb, 2018