Archive | December, 2008

The Biz Roundup December 31

“Friends” don’t foreclose on friends on Facebook. A court in Australia has ruled a mortgage lender can use social networking site “Facebook” to tell one couple they’ve lost their home. . . . The court ruling means the law firm has satisfied the legal requirement of informing the two that their loan is in default. [...]

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There is no charge for awesomeness . . .

With still a few days left before our official book launch, Shoestring Venture has managed quite a few Kindle downloads and a couple kindly Kindlerians have typed out some well-appreciated and awesome reviews. Right now, we’re counting down the hours to 2009 and as this annus horribilis grows ever shorter, it’s nice to read how [...]

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The Biz Roundup December 30

And the first one voted off the island is . . . eToys! On Monday, the Parent Company, an Internet retailer of children’s products, had the dubious distinction of apparently becoming the first well-known retailer to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after Christmas. The company, whose majority owner is the hedge-fund firm D.E. Shaw [...]

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Ooma Core VoIP Phone — heads up!

Our writing elves are busy busting their butts on the second edition of Shoestring Venture which will be coming your way sometime in June. For those unlucky few who don’t already have a copy, you are missing our stupendously useful write-up on VoIP and how to use it to score big business savings. Well, we’ve [...]

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Posted in the i.t. files4 Comments

The good reviews keep coming . . .

Okay, okay, I like the Shoestring Venture book because, well, I wrote it. And the thing about books is this: like babies, they’re always born beautiful. At least to those who are most responsible. But even though the official launch date is a few days away, Shoestring Venture has been for sale on Amazon and [...]

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The world’s most demented exercise machine

In today’s I-want-whatever-drugs-they’re-taking department, we proudly give you the Treadmobile, enthusiastically hailed as “The World’s Worst Invention” by YouTube: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoq-hxtv-AI I’d pay real money to see someone run down a steep hill with this thing. I mean steepily, steependously steep, like someplace in San Francisco. Actually, the Treadmobile isn’t the world’s worst product invention. Believe [...]

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Posted in seriously dumb4 Comments

The Post-Employment Economy, Part 1

Over the past twelve months, I have been giving talks in various and sundry places, like trade groups, conferences, and a couple biz schools here and there on what I call the “post-employment economy.” In many ways, my still-in-flux thoughts about a “post-employment” world is one of the driving principles behind the Shoestring Venture series. [...]

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Posted in economy5 Comments

The Biz Roundup December 27

How far can home prices fall? The sky’s the limit. The median home price in the L.A.-Long Beach-Glendale metro area is projected to fall nearly 25% in 2009 – the biggest drop in the country. (“10 Worst Real Estate Markets for 2009,” Fortune, December 24) Did Jack Skellington kidnap Santa so that Halloween-land could take [...]

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A mortgage bail-out?

Because mortgage problems and foreclosure rates are not only impacting the economy at large, but small businesses and entrepreneurs in particular (I have five clients that have either gone out of business or have gone into hibernation because they are directly involved in things like home renovation, i.e., cabinet manufacturers, etc.), it seems reasonable that [...]

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Posted in economy, happenings1 Comment

The Biz Roundup December 23

Take a number. The National Retail Federation called for three periods of sales tax-free shopping that would last 10 days each in March, July and October 2009. The trade group estimates that it would save consumers about $20 billion, or $175 per family. Under the industry group’s proposal, which would exclude alcohol and tobacco sales, [...]

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What did I say, huh? Video games and crafts!

In a previous post, I predicted that video games and inexpensive craft items would fare very well in the coming recession. Here’s the pudding in the proof from tomorrow’s New York Times; Craft stores, from giant chains like Michaels Stores to small scrapbook supply shops, are reporting that sales are higher compared with the last [...]

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Posted in economy, the strategy notebook1 Comment

The Biz Roundup December 22

If the shoe fits, throw it. No, seriously folks, shoe me the money! Wacka wacka! Although his assertion has been impossible to verify — cobblers from Lebanon, China and Iraq have also staked claims to what is quickly becoming some of the most famous footwear in the world — orders for Mr. Baydan’s shoes, formerly [...]

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Joe the Plumber is an acolyte of the Austrian School . . .

In today’s seriously dumb category, my just-arrived American Spectator has book recommendations from the “most distinguished readers and writers,” a truly rarefied group which, apparently, includes Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the 15-minute-famed, tax-dodging, Joe The (unlicensed) Plumber. Among predictable bathroom reading choices that plumb the lost lore of toilet history (“Flushed with Delight: The Story of [...]

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Brown M&M’s

Okay, it’s now official. Smoking Gun proves that Van Halen had a rider in all their contracts stipulating that no brown M&M’s were to be allowed in their dressing room. Here it is from their 1982 Van Halen World Tour rider: M & M’s (WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES) Actually, I’ve been using brown M&M’s [...]

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Speaking of logos, how the best logo of 2008 was created

Speaking of logos, how the best logo of 2008 was created

If you’re in the market for logos of any kind, you should hear Sol Sender’s two-part video interview on how his team created the Obama ’08 logo. Now, most of you can’t afford someone of Sol’s stature and ability, but if you listen carefully, you’ll learn much about what separates an effective design from an [...]

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Logo design trends of 2008

LogoLounge’s yearly roundup of logo design trends. Here’s the thing: for small businesses and entrepreneurs, the designers they can afford are a couple years behind the trends. Why are most of these logos and trends kind of sucky if not a whole lot sucky? First, nothing beats simplicity. Second, the best logos are the ones [...]

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Social networks, use analysis, and correlate analysis

I’ve gotten about a dozen emails about my last post on social networking (doesn’t anyone use the comments?), so I thought I’d elaborate more on what I mean by “correlates” to online communities. The problem with most social network projects is that they don’t do what I call “correlate analysis.” Don’t go looking that up [...]

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Actually, I don’t listen to the lyrics . . .

In today’s seriously dumb department, KTLK AM 1150 here in Los Angeles got paid good money to produce and broadcast an infomercial trying to finagle loyal listeners out of their 401K’s to get in on a scheme buying up Orange County probate property for dimes on the dollar and to sell for dollars on the [...]

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The post-gasoline auto industry, part three — Proof of concept

As followers of this blog know, I’ve been covering the decline of the auto industry in view of the future configuration of the auto industry and the opportunities available to far-sighted entrepreneurs here and here. Here’s the main thrust of the argument: But the current manufacturing structure is best for a world in which the [...]

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The Biz Roundup December 13

It’s on again. It’s off again. It’s on . . . oh, forget it. :: Throwing a lifeline to Detroit’s ailing automakers, the White House reversed course Friday and said it would consider using the $700 billion financial-rescue plan to avert a bankruptcy of the Big Three that could deepen the U.S. recession. (Wall Street [...]

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