It was surely only a matter of time before someone thought to capitalize on the current trend for wearables with a battery designed to charge via kinetic energy. And so meet Ampy: a spare battery pack, currently bidding for crowdfunds on Kickstarter, that straps to your person and, its makers claim, charges up from human movement, such as walking, running and cycling. So instead of just quantifying the number of steps you’ve taken you could convert those steps into stored charge in a lithium-ion battery pack to help juice up your mobile devices via USB.
It’s a nice-sounding idea in theory — if you don’t mind the thought of strapping a rather chunky battery pack onto your person and running around the streets — but, as with all crowdfunding projects, it pays to be a little sceptical of how effective it will prove in practice. And indeed whether it will make it to market at all. Hardware is always hard.
One Wall Street firm has an idea that’s raising eyebrows: forgive some student debt for first-time homebuyers.
It’s too early to say exactly how the stimulus measure BlackRock BLK suggested would work, but it would take Congressional action because the federal government administers the majority of student debt.
The move could be a creative way to ease student debt, which has quickly become a $1.2 trillion Achilles heel in the American economy.
Millennials aren’t buying many homes. Mounting student debt may be part of the problem. “Fiscal policy initiatives targeted at young workers with high levels of student indebtedness might, perhaps surprisingly to some, have an outsize impact in supporting the housing recovery and financial markets,” Rick Rieder, co-head of Americas Fixed Income at BlackRock, wrote in a recent commentary.
If you happen to be working on a Halloween costume this week, remember two things: Nothing beats duck tape when you need to fashion a quick coffin or a knight’s shield, and if you do a really good job of it, you can enter the annual Stick or Treat contest first prize: a thousand bucks, which crowns the most innovative use of duck tape.
Wait—or is it duct tape?
Ah, yes, this time of year often gives voice to one of the world’s great unanswered questions: Is the proper term for America’s favorite waterproof, polyethylene and fabric-mesh strip adhesive duct tape or duck tape?
Let’s start with a quiz…
- How many senses do you have?
- Which of the following are magnetic: a tomato, you, paperclips?
- What are the primary colours of pigments and paints?
- What region of the tongue is responsible for sensing bitter tastes?
- What are the states of matter?
If you answered five; paperclips; red, yellow and blue; the back of the tongue; and gas, liquid and solid, then you would have got full marks in any school exam. But you would have been wrong.
Do you want to sell your products or your work for free? I’m sure you don’t. But it happens all the time. Customers want what you have to sell and pay you nothing for it. What should you do when customers want your work for free?
Be ready with a response. This recently happened to a client of mine. My client prepares very well for prospect meetings. He uses some expensive business analytic tools to generate reports about their business. Prospects are very impressed to learn the breadth of his knowledge about their business.
Generation X has a gripe with pulse takers, zeitgeist keepers and population counters. We keep squeezing them out of the frame.
This overlooked generation currently ranges in age from 34 to 49, which may be one reason they’re so often missing from stories about demographic, social and political change. They’re smack in the middle innings of life, which tend to be short on drama and scant of theme.
But there are other explanations that have nothing to do with their stage of the life cycle.
Gen Xers are bookended by two much larger generations – the Baby Boomers ahead and the Millennials behind – that are strikingly different from one another. And in most of the ways we take stock of generations – their racial and ethnic makeup; their political, social and religious values; their economic and educational circumstances; their technology usage – Gen Xers are a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths.
Yes, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook at 19. But Charles Flint launched IBM at 61.
While Hollywood may love the story of the college kid who starts a billion-dollar business out of his dorm room, that’s only one story. For many, life as an entrepreneur begins much later.
Consider: Legendary wedding-dress designer Vera Wang didn’t start designing clothes until she was 39. Home decorating goddess and business czar Martha Stewart didn’t get into home decorating until she was 35. And San Francisco-based angel investor and founder of business incubator 500 Startups Dave McClure didn’t invest in a single startup until he was 40. That’s all according to a pair of infographics, embedded below, created by startup organization Funders and Founders.
When it comes to launching a business, what a person may lack in youthful energy comes back multiplied in experience. Reid Hoffman started the ultra-popular career networking site LinkedIn when he was 36; Sam Walton started Wal-Mart when he was 44; and Joseph Campbell started Campbell Soup when he was 52.
Have a look at the two infographics below. Be inspired. And stop counting the grey hairs on your head.
v.18 n. 42 – Released October 28, 2014
This Week’s Headlines:
With a constant influx of new technologies to market, it can be tough to keep up with trends. Instead of spending months speculating what new features will appear, it’s worthwhile to consider how best to make the available products work for you.
We tracked down a slew of apps to streamline the tedious tasks in your life, from printing photos to adding a new contact to your phone. These recommended hacks will shave hours off your chore list — hours that can be well spent being far more productive.
Big online marketing mistakes seem all the rage these days. In late August, Spanish clothing and accessories retailer Zara got into hot water over what appeared to be a yellow Jewish star on a kid’s striped pajama top that looked like prison gear. Then there was Urban Outfitters with the Kent State sweatshirt that sported what looked like bullet holes and blood stains.
When confronted with evidence of what angered people, at least they managed to cleanly remove the offending items. It doesn’t make things all better, but it’s an important first step. If only Walmart had learned that lesson.
The company has just gone through a one-day rollercoaster with marketing stomachs likely still heaving. It all started with Walmart’s Halloween costume. Someone noticed a different subsection on the company’s website: Fat Girl Costumes, as the blog Jezebel reported.
And that started the very-bad-not-so-good day for Walmart’s marketing department. Even as the story was hitting online media and complaints were landing in the company’s social networking accounts–the term “fat girl costumes” apparently hit the top 10 of Twitter trends–things moved slowed at Walmart. Jezebel noted that by 11:15 a.m. eastern, there was still a fat girl costumes section, although there were no items in it.