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"F**k Michael Powell. Let him sue us."

Home Depot was having an issue with employees cutting their fingers off while sawing wood for customers. Michael Powell invented a safety device that Home Depot then copied without Powell's permission. Today, Powell won a $25 million judgment in federal court. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 12, 2010 - 141 comments

you got dick'd

Is a Woman's MBA Worth Less? $4,600. That's how much less women made than men in their first post-MBA jobs, according to research by Nancy Carter and Christine Silva of Catalyst. And it's not because women tend to start at lower positions than men — though they do start at lower positions than men, on average, that's a separate problem. The research controls for job level and industry. What's more, the salary lines aren't parallel; men's salaries start higher, then rise faster. The gap widens over time, even after controlling for factors like having children or differing aspiration levels. The pay just isn't equal.
posted by infini on May 8, 2010 - 96 comments

Hire illegals, lose your property.

If you hire illegal aliens at your business, the federal government can seize your property. In a rare move, the U.S. government is seeking to confiscate the property of an iconic San Diego restaurant that allegedly had a practice of knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Apr 29, 2010 - 115 comments

words fail me

CK Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business in the University of Michigan passed away on 16th April 2010 after a brief illness. His core competency was strategic insight and vision and his legacy to the world, the concept of the Bottom of the Pyramid, which changed the way big business viewed the teeming, huddled poverty stricken masses of the former third world as micro-innovators, micro-producers and so, micro-consumers in their own right. Among others, his work inspired Ratan Tata as the Nano turned conventional wisdom of automobile manufacturing on its head and paved the way for Indian industry to focus on the high volume/low margin potential of their domestic market. In 2009, he was named the "world's most influential thinker" . Though not uncriticized for his theories on the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, one can acknowledge his role in overcoming the "tyranny of dominant logic" that the poor should not simply be recipients of charity but demanding customers in challenging environments. RIP, sir. {previously, previously}
posted by infini on Apr 17, 2010 - 14 comments

Consulting, Conscience, and the $16K NDA

The Story He Was Offered $16,000 Not to Tell: A young quant, fresh from MIT, joins the world of international business consulting, is duly scandalized, and returns from the mountaintop to tell of the terrors beheld. Via Reddit.
posted by darth_tedious on Apr 12, 2010 - 95 comments

"This is an open-and-shut case of anti-competitive behavior"

"What happened here in Jefferson County would turn out to be the perfect metaphor for the peculiar alchemy of modern oligarchical capitalism: A mob of corrupt local officials and morally absent financiers got together to build a giant device that converted human shit into billions of dollars of profit for Wall Street" - "Looting Main Street" Matt Taibbi takes an in-depth look into how finance, deregulation, corruption, synthetic rate swaps, and greed decimated Birmingham, AL. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Apr 12, 2010 - 42 comments

Deal of the Century.

What might be the most profitable team in professional sports hasn't played a game since 1976. That summer, as the American Basketball Association was completing its merger with the NBA, only four of the six remaining teams were going to be able to join the league. It was the ABA's responsibility to figure out how to pay off the other 2 owners. One owner accepted $3 million, which he eventually used to buy the Boston Celtics. The other owners got a slightly better deal.
posted by empath on Apr 1, 2010 - 23 comments

"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

Stress: Our collective mood - "there seems to be a correlation between stress and lack of holidays. More important, however, is whether a relationship exists between either and economic performance. The data is equivocal. On average Americans put in an extra two hours a week compared with UK workers. Yet both countries had almost identical crises, while lazier nations fared considerably better." also btw: Why Women Don't Want Macho Men (cf. A Theory for Why Latvian Women are Beautiful) & Study Shows People In Power Make Better Liars (The psychology of power or The Duke and Dirty Harry)
posted by kliuless on Mar 27, 2010 - 21 comments

Turn me on, dead man

Nine months after Michael Jackson’s death, his estate has signed one of the biggest recording contracts in history, giving Sony, Mr. Jackson’s longtime label, the rights to sell his back catalog and draw on a large vault of unheard recordings.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 16, 2010 - 80 comments

25% of streaming music royalties aren't getting to the artists

1. Create a record label named "Unknown."
2. Form a band named "Various Artists."
3. (step 3 not required)
4. PROFIT!
No, really: Please take your royalty check Royalties are piling up from digital music streams, and a nonprofit has to track down artists who don't know. Then it has to convince them it's not a scam.
posted by planetkyoto on Mar 12, 2010 - 20 comments

Investment Green is People!

Kjerstin Erickson is a 26-year-old Stanford graduate. Would you like to own 6% of her?
posted by william_boot on Mar 4, 2010 - 95 comments

Delightfully tacky, yet overvalued

Rumor has it Hooters is for sale and could fetch up to $250 million. After the death of the chairman Robert H. Brooks about four years ago the company has been run by his son Coby who recently was on an episode of Undercover Boss. A legal battle erupted over Coby's widower step-mom claiming for a larger share of the inhertance under South Carolina's elective share law forcing the company to take on outside investors. Now the company looks to raise cash quick with a defunct airline, casino in default, and countless lawsuits plaguing its profitable salad dressing manufacturing, credit card, and franchise operations.
posted by wcfields on Feb 24, 2010 - 169 comments

30 Minutes or Less

Heroin can now be delivered to your house like a pizza. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Feb 21, 2010 - 81 comments

The Rise and Fall of the Comic Industry's Direct Market and Other Stories

"Since their birth early in the century, comic books had been regarded as a kind of junior magazine and allowed to occupy space on the shelves or spinner racks of newsstands, grocery stores, drugstores, dime stores, and sometimes even bookstores. They caught on quickly and, initially, more than earned their place in those venues, but after the 1940s, the comics industry experienced more downs than ups. The Marvel-led resurgence of the 1960s had foundered by the 1970s to the point where extinction seemed like a real possibility. Comics retailer (and former distributor) Steve Schanes put it succinctly: 'Comics were on their last breath. They couldn’t have lasted another four years.'"

Part One: Fine Young Cannibals: How Phil Seuling and a Generation of Teenage Entrepreneurs Created the Direct Market and Changed the Face of Comics [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on Feb 21, 2010 - 51 comments

funemployment

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America
The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come. (via rw)
posted by kliuless on Feb 11, 2010 - 84 comments

Pretend Office

Phil Gyford (mefi's own!) realized last year that after he and his friends spent much of their professional lives freelancing, they were missing out on a key part of business life: Office Culture. So he invented his own, launching a synergizing solutioneering company site called Pretend Office complete with stock art. The key component that made the ruse complete was the inter-office @everyone mailing list, which is also online. Through the mailing list, they create the story of the most painful fictitious office on earth. A personal favorite of mine was the Christmas Dinner thread, do step through the conversation.
posted by mathowie on Feb 6, 2010 - 20 comments

Cat Business Trip

Cat Business Trip (SLYT)
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2010 - 71 comments

Top 5 Reasons Porn-for-Profit Is Dying

Top 5 Reasons Porn-for-Profit Is Dying. (SFW)
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 11, 2010 - 133 comments

10 years later: the AOL-Time Warner merger

How the AOL-Time Warner Merger Went So Wrong Interviews with the key players involved with the AOL-Time Warner merger about its euphoric rise and pitiful fall. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Jan 11, 2010 - 21 comments

Notown

China is the new Detroit. New car sales in the United States plunged more than 20 percent in 2009 to a 27-year low 10 million vehicles, less than the 12.23 million sold in China during January-November, making the Asian giant the world's largest car market for the first time. That marked a turning point in the global auto industry, which had been led by the Big Three Detroit companies since Ford Motor Co. began mass production in 1913, introducing the world's first conveyor belt system.
posted by four panels on Jan 8, 2010 - 20 comments

A decade of digital music

A decade of digital music Vaguely styled as a timeline, this end-of-the-decade blog post (from UK digital music news source Music Ally) could prove valuable to anyone studying the music business or the intersection between entertainment and technology. The piece links to ten years of stories on digital music - from Napster through to Spotify - allowing us to look back on the issues without the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Gems include the Bluematter scheme from Universal Records in 2000, which comprised 60 non-transferrable, non-burnable tracks for $1.99 each.
posted by skylar on Jan 2, 2010 - 4 comments

Human Relations in the new millenium

If you're going to kill off an entire section of a newspaper and fire all of the staffers who work there, it's probably a good idea to get the Twitter password first. [more inside]
posted by minimii on Jan 1, 2010 - 25 comments

As If It Weren't Obvious Already

Saving Mexico "To weaken the cartels, some argue the U.S. should legalize marijuana, let cocaine pass through the Caribbean and take the profit motive out of the drug trade."
posted by kliuless on Dec 28, 2009 - 108 comments

a coherent platform for the grand new party?

Keeping America's Edge (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 22, 2009 - 21 comments

Two words: business school.

Why can't Americans make things?
posted by boo_radley on Dec 21, 2009 - 75 comments

Visual Business Cliches

Find the visual business cliches in this holiday poster from XPLANE. Boil the Ocean. Low-hanging Fruit. Drink the Kool Aid. Find the Strawman. (big PDF you really have to zoom in to appreciate).
posted by mathowie on Dec 21, 2009 - 57 comments

Pundits - Do Keep Up!

Embrace the web! It’s the same mantra that we hear day in, day out, from various sources; always those who have a vested interest in convincing us that artists are not doing so. These people seem to be the pundits, or people who want music to be free, and artists to make money in other ways - either by touring or by ‘monetising their experiential awareness’. Are these people the only people in the world who don’t receive a thousand spams a day from bands on Myspace, from people on Facebook suggesting that they become a fan, from dullards on twitter?

posted by divabat on Dec 20, 2009 - 32 comments

Haggling For Hot Dogs

Haggling For Hot Dogs: Where Tom Chiarella of Esquire decides to try and negotiate the price of everything he wants for 3 months.
posted by reenum on Dec 18, 2009 - 60 comments

Silicon Sweatshops

Silicon Sweatshops is a five-part investigation of the supply chains that produce many of the world’s most popular technology products, from Apple iPhones, to Nokia cell phones, Dell keyboards and more. The series examines the scope of the problem, including its effects on workers from the Philippines, Taiwan and China. It also looks at a novel factory program that may be a blueprint for solving this perennial industry problem.
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 19, 2009 - 9 comments

The business of online loyalty programs

A US Senate Committee just released its report on online loyalty programs. Combined, Webloyalty, Affinion, and Vertrue have made $1.4 billion in the past ten years charging customers $10-$20/month for marketing program memberships. Unfortunately, many of their customers (4 million this year) have no memory of authorizing the charges. [more inside]
posted by Nelson on Nov 18, 2009 - 26 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Nails Goes to Wall Street

Lenny Dykstra was lauded for his heroics with the Mets and Philles. After his career, Dykstra became well-known as a post-career athlete success story. Then the truth started coming out... [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 27, 2009 - 22 comments

The Gervais Principle

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”. Warning: link may evoke baleful despair!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 16, 2009 - 57 comments

Google Asks: "What Would Email Look Like, If It Were Invented Today?"

Google began inviting volunteers to a public preview test of their new Wave web-based collaborative email and document communications platform yesterday, which enables users to "communicate and work together in real time." Initial reviews this past May seemed positive. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 1, 2009 - 75 comments

Oldest Family Run Business

So how long have you been running your business? The Houshi Onsen in Komatsu, Japan. About a 2.5 hour train ride north from Kyoto is the Houshi Onsen complex was founded in 718. The legend states that the god of Mount Hakusan visited a Buddhist priest and told him to uncover an underground hot spring in a nearby village. He found the hot spring and asked his disciple, a woodcutter’s son named Gengoro Sasakiri, to build and operate a spa on the site. His family has run a hotel in Komatsu ever since. The structure houses 450 people in 100 rooms. For generations, Houshi proprietors have borne the name Zengoro Houshi. The current proprietor is the 46th Zengoro!
posted by somnambulist on Sep 30, 2009 - 27 comments

Goldman Sachs acquiring media equity

... one wonders why [Goldman Sachs] and [JP Morgan] were so eager to provide "rescue" financings to virtually the entire distressed media space: both companies knew too well that sooner or later they would end up with full equity control over essentially the most coveted industry: thousands of TV stations, radio channels, newspaper and magazines. (via) (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 23, 2009 - 16 comments

The future of the news business

The newspaper industry is facing challenges, and what might be done to ramify the situation Newspapers have been an institution for over a hundred years, but are now under threat of being undermined by the Internet and other sources. This article gives a decent background of the current crisis faced by the industry and how the industry might respond to the threats the printed paper faces.
posted by reenum on Sep 23, 2009 - 38 comments

Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle

"The most important of the all-too-human functions of consultants is to sanctify and communicate opinion. Like ministers of information, consultants condense the message, smooth out the dissonances, unify the rhetoric, and then repeat and amplify it ad nauseam through the client's rank and file. The chief message to be communicated is that you will be expected to work much harder than you ever have before and your chances of losing your job are infinitely greater than you ever imagined."
If you've ever known a management consultant, this explains why they always seem to have that "outrageously unjustified level of self-confidence." A fascinating insider's look into the anthropology of business consulting -- Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Sep 16, 2009 - 76 comments

How To Run a B&B in Baghdad

Adam Davidson, of Planet Money fame, was a reporter in Iraq. While there, Davidson decided to rent a house. To pay the rent, he decided to sublet rooms out to other journalists. You can read about his misadventures as a landlord in Baghdad here, and listen to the account on this episode of This American Life
posted by reenum on Sep 9, 2009 - 14 comments

The leader is not the architect of the system but its product.

"This is an America that has transferred its allegiance to spectacle, to pseudo-events, that no longer can determine what is real and what is illusion, that confuses how they’re made to feel with knowledge, that confuses propaganda with ideology, and that’s exceedingly dangerous. All totalitarian societies are image-based societies, and that’s what our society has become."
posted by plexi on Aug 16, 2009 - 127 comments

This organic mustard makes my foot taste great.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market (WHMI) writes a Wall Street Journal op-ed about teh evil Obamacare. Customers seem to disagree with his stance, and are reviewing their options.
posted by georg_cantor on Aug 12, 2009 - 347 comments

Meeting Ticker

Meeting Ticker -- if this helps shorten even one meeting by one minute, it'll have been worth it.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 17, 2009 - 20 comments

The Journal of Business and Design

@Issue: is the online blog of The Journal of Business and Design. Topics of recent interest include Drawords, an ongoing caption this drawing project, and Typography in China, an explanation of the availability of Chinese typefaces. Also, @Issue interviews an iconic group that includes captains of industry and design.
posted by netbros on Jun 2, 2009 - 5 comments

Sir Allen Stanford, the Ponzi artist

The Dark Knight - On Sir Allen Stanford
posted by Gyan on Apr 29, 2009 - 9 comments

That skinny motherfucker with the high voice

"Prince announces a triple album set available from Target. Unless he’s going to write a hit song and play in each and every store in the chain, this is a bad deal. We’ve got enough Prince music. We want two CDs and a third of a protege? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a life. And Prince hasn’t put out a good album in this century. ... How many people are going to tell their friends about Prince’s new album? None. No one has hipped me to a new Prince track in fifteen years. The release of his album is a dead end. He’s abused our trust. When you e-mail me an unsolicited track you abuse my trust. When you add me to your mailing list without asking first, you abuse my trust. When you focus on marketing as opposed to music, you’ve got your head up your ass." - Bob Lefsetz (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 10, 2009 - 109 comments

If a movie only exists on film but no one is around to distribute it, does it still exist?

New Yorker Films, the only US distributor of many of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Ousmane Sèmbene, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and many others closed operations yesterday. Many of the films they distributed remain unavailable on DVD, and thus completely unavailable to Americans for the foreseeable future. Coming on the heels of the eviction of Film-Maker's Co-Op, New York's venerable distributor and archive of avant-garde film, New Yorker's closing raises questions not only about the symbiotic importance of repertory film exhibition for film preservation efforts, but about the future of film culture and the possible role of the arts in the future economy.
posted by bubukaba on Feb 24, 2009 - 32 comments

Digital Research Tools PayDiRT

Digital Research Tools (DiRT) is a wiki created by Lisa Spiro, director of Rice University's Digital Media Center. Tons of "snapshot reviews of software that can help researchers" are categorized by what you're trying to accomplish ("Analyze Statistics," "Network With Other Researchers," "Search Visually"), as well as by general topic ("Authoring," "Linguistic Tools," "Text Analysis"). Via
posted by Rykey on Feb 4, 2009 - 5 comments

Value Altered Tax

The Tax Gap - "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?".
posted by Gyan on Feb 4, 2009 - 34 comments

Obama FAIL?

The Bad Bank Assets Proposal: Even Worse Than You Imagined -- the administration appears intent on building another black swan. This is political capitalism. [via]
posted by kliuless on Feb 4, 2009 - 103 comments

The Cost of Self-Publication: Ebook vs. Print - One Person’s Story

"I don’t know for certain what big publishers are doing to make their prices so high, or what they think they’ll get out of it. I only know that I made a deliberate pricing decision to discourage Amazon and Kindle sales because I needed Amazon’s visibility but I didn’t want to lose my shirt, bra, AND panties." [some language may be NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 3, 2009 - 36 comments

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