Entrepreneurship as a Cure for Violence

The Success Indicator

I-CAMP is a program to teach young people entrepreneurial skills such as computer programming. I-CAMP stands for Intrinsic, Community, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose, which are fundamental elements for building wealth and health. According to Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow:

If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste – a group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits — much as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.

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Innovation Requires Empathy and Faith

For several years Peter Denning, co-author of The Innovator’s Wayhas been puzzling over why it seems that our innovation adoption rates are low even though our idea production rates are high. The overall success rate of innovation initiatives in business is around 4%. Yet many businesses report that they have too many ideas and waste precious time and resources struggling to select the ones most likely to succeed and then work them through to adoption. We are idea rich, selection baffled, and adoption poor.

From a Forbes article by Steve Denning we learn that a magisterial study by Deloitte’s Center for the Edge shows the rates of return on assets and on invested capital for 20,000 US firms from 1965 to 2011. It shows that “managerialism” has been steadily failing for the last half century. Economy-wide Return on Invested Capital

The graphic shows that something has gone so terribly wrong with the US private sector—the supposed engine of economic growth and the supposed creators of jobs. When the best firms have rates of return on assets or on invested capital of, on average, just over one percent, we have a management catastrophe on our hands. Continue reading

Six Steps Governments Need to Take to Help Small Businesses

Thank You for Shopping LocalSmall businesses and startups are the backbone of the American economy, and according to a report done by Tim Kane for Kauffman Foundation:

[W]ithout startups, there would be no net job growth in the U.S. economy. This fact is true on average, but also is true for all but seven years for which the United States has data going back to 1977…. Startups create an average of 3 million new jobs annually. All other ages of firms, including companies in their first full years of existence up to firms established two centuries ago, are net job destroyers, losing 1 million jobs net combined per year.

As we go through the political drama of the “sequestration,” the truth of matter is that the only way to reduce the deficit is by reducing unemployment. According to an article written by Business Insider‘s executive editor Joe Weisenthal:

History is pretty clear on how you reduce the deficit: Get growth, and reduce unemployment.

We ran this chart earlier this week to show how nicely deficit/GDP and the unemployment rate correlated with each other. Throughout these decades tax and spending policies have changed a lot, but it clearly hasn’t mattered. When unemployment drops, deficit/GDP drops. When unemployment rises, deficit/GDP rises. Growth is the only deficit reduction policy that matters. Deficit-GDP

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Combating Groupon-type Deals Sucking $280M from Independent Restaurants

The Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern selected 2nd best restaurant in the United States by a panel of 176 food critics for The Daily Meal

In 2011, Americans ate out 60.6 billion times. That’s down from 62.7 billion in 2008 and flat compared to 2010. Of the 2.1 billion visits lost, 2 billion would have been to independent establishments.

This lost of visitors was compounded by daily deal providers sucking value away from local merchants. In 2011, revenue for daily deal providers like Groupon grew 138% but visits to independent restaurants were down 4%. According to Bill Bice of Coverboom this works out to $280M lost by independent restaurant owners.

“The number one way small businesses can compete with chains is by nurturing the relationships they have with the customer,” says Joe Erickson, editor of RestaurantOwner.com, an online resource and networking tool for independent restaurateurs. “Collect their names, birthdays, anniversaries, and their specific likes, and use that [information] to start a direct mail campaign.” Continue reading

Does Your Business Get Women?

A Shopping Machine

• Most small business owners don’t get women yet two women in a store is a shopping machine.

Did you know?

At home, the majority of women (90 percent) still control the family’s purse strings, from stocking up on household items to having the final say on home and car purchases and health care.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-women-control-the-money-in-america-2012-2#ixzz2KcusOnpj

Consider the following:

  • Most small business owners don’t get women yet two women in a store is a shopping machine.
  • There’s a very strong consumer bias for well-run local businesses. Look at the popularity of farmers markets. But it has to have an energy, freshness and evangelical joy to it.
  • Don’t neglect cleanliness. Hygiene is very important, especially to women.
  • Most women will U-turn and leave an aisle if it’s so narrow that another shopper gives them a “butt-brush.”
  • New windows and reorganization on the floor is necessary to create a sense of evolution that brings excitement to the space.
  • Engage all five senses. Shoppers are conscious of what they see, taste, smell, touch and hear. Sense marketing is an inexpensive way to impact the customer experience.
  • 85% of people have used the Internet to search for local businesses, yet only 3 percent of small business total advertising dollars flowed online, compared to as much as 16 percent for big companies.

Would you like to attract more women shopper? Consider sponsoring The ZinC HoPLo Lab:

The ZinC HoPLo Lab looks to address this situation by teaching girls skills. They will start by learning the basics of computer science and programming in this unique course taught by David Evans and Terrance Jackson. In this course they will build a working search engine. Google is the most well-known and popular search engine.

This course is a blended model of on-line instruction and in-person instruction. Students progress through the content of the course, on-line, with David. But students also meet weekly with other students and Terrance to work additional problems, share with and help each other, and have their questions answered directly.

For more information on the on-line content, click here and watch the video.

https://startupwestchester.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/the-lovelace-hopper-lab/

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Pistis, Building Strong Communities

Royal Portal Chartres

The Royal Portal at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres. Some say these images are direct references to scenes described in the ancient Coptic Gnostic text, The Pistis Sophia.

Groupon grew out of a social activist website called “The Point” to became the fastest growing company ever with a great idea that seemed to serve the needs of small business owners. “The Point” got its name from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, a book by Malcom Gladwell: “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.”

Yet this great idea at Groupon treated people as merely consumers and not human beings; and in hindsight, it is very obvious that this great idea would never turn into a great innovation. The difference between merely having an idea and real innovation can be like the difference between masturbating and having a baby. People enjoy looking at baby pictures; no one wants to see stains on a sheet.

Pistis Database Services is creating real innovation and real value for local communities by understanding people as human beings, not consumers.

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Getting More Scientists, Engineers and Entrepreneurs into Government

Thomas Jefferson said, “If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? ”

In the 111th Congress:

TOTAL NUMBER OF LAWYER-LEGISLATORS IN THE SENATE: 54 out of 100 or 54%

TOTAL NUMBER OF LAWYER-LEGISLATORS IN THE HOUSE: 162 out of 441 or 36%

Many of our elected officials’ important duties involve running the economy, allocating resources and budgets, and analyzing policies based on their inputs and expected outcomes, yet lawyers have less experience at this than businessmen and economists (the next most common professions in politics). When it comes to deciding on whether to join a currency union, how to direct a trade negotiation, whether to cut taxes or how to design a social program, lawyers appear dangerously under-qualified compared businessmen and economists.

When we are confronted with the greatest crises in the world today – global warming, disease, energy scarcity – lawyers appear to be dangerously under-qualified compared to scientists, doctors and engineers. Lawyers tend to have little substantive expertise in any of these areas, and it is their skill at “politics” rather than “policy” that seems to have enabled their political success.

Decreasing the domination of politics by lawyers will mean that we have achieved some progress in reigning in the influence of money.

http://invisiblecollege.weblog.leidenuniv.nl/2008/01/25/why-are-so-many-politicians-lawyers/

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