Category: Notable articles


One of the amazing things about business is that when one industry prospers, outsiders often find a way to tap into that success. A growing industry can need new suppliers, distributors or back-office service providers, or a booming field may need new competitors.

But how do you know which industries may be worth mining for new customers or for developing entirely new businesses? Sageworks, a financial information company, conducted a financial statement analysis of privately held companies to identify the fastest-growing industries of the last 12 months. These are industries that have seen dramatically higher growth rates than the growth experienced over the last 12 months by all private companies in Sageworks’ database. [Read the full article]

 

Let us just say this up front to get it out of the way: You can’t have everything.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have the kind of life you want, but it does mean you can’t have everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Everything you need? Absolutely. Everything you can imagine? No. [Read the full article]

 

While team Family Records was in between offices in early 2012, we had 6 weeks to bridge until our new space was ready. During that time we were fortunate enough to be taken in as guests by awesome companies for stretches of time, and for the remainder we took over corners of coffee shops all over Brooklyn and Manhattan. The experience of working out of coffee shops was so positive that even after we moved into our new home, I made sure to get in a few “coffee shop days” each month. For carpal tunnel related reasons alone, I would not recommend working out of coffee shops every day, but here are some reasons why it might be great to try it for one or two days every month. [Read the full article]

 

What motivates employees to go above and beyond the call of duty to provide a great customer experience? Disney tells a story about a little girl visiting a theme park who dropped her favorite doll over a fence. When staff retrieved the doll, she was covered in mud, so they made her a new outfit, gave her a bath and a hairdo, and even took photos of her with other Disney dolls before reuniting her with her owner that evening. The girl’s mother described the doll’s return as “pure magic.”

The theme park team didn’t consult a script or seek advice from managers. They did what they did because going the extra mile comes naturally at Disney. Such devotion to customer service pays dividends. Emotionally engaged customers are typically three times more likely to recommend a product and to repurchase. With an eye to these benefits, many companies are making customer experience a strategic priority. Yet they are struggling to gain traction with their efforts. [Read the full article]

 

Most of us woke up to presents (and/or a welcome day off from work) on Christmas morning. The MV Akademik Shokalskiy ship, on the other hand, found itself trapped in ice up to 10 feet thick on all sides.

The research vessel sent out a distress signal, hoping help would arrive as quickly as possible, considering the 74 crew members were currently sitting in the Antarctic sea. [Read the full article]

 

In a media environment increasingly dominated by celebrity, scandal and the political horserace, many of the most important stories receive scant coverage. Here are nine hugely important things that happened in 2013 that are rarely discussed: [Read the full article]

 

The year on Al Jazeera

 

The world faces two potentially existential threats, according to the linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky.

“There are two major dark shadows that hover over everything, and they’re getting more and more serious,” Chomsky said. “The one is the continuing threat of nuclear war that has not ended. It’s very serious, and another is the crisis of ecological, environmental catastrophe, which is getting more and more serious.”

Chomsky appeared Friday on the last episode of NPR’s “Smiley and West” program to discuss his education, his views on current affairs and how he manages to spread his message without much help from the mainstream media. [Read the full article]

 

Sherlock Holmes fanfic authors: You’re now free to write your hearts out.

The characters, settings and other elements of the detective franchise are officially in the public domain, a federal judge has ruled.

Given that Holmes first appeared in print more than 125 years ago, you’d think that would be obvious. Not according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate, which argues that so long as 10 of his stories remain under copyright, all of the elements therein must also be under copyright, and anyone who uses Holmes, Watson or 221B Baker Street has to pay the estate a licensing fee. [Read the full article]

 

Let’s not even go into the attacks on reproductive freedom or all the violence against women, or even the Aaron Sorkin characters who set your teeth on edge. Let’s just talk about the ways pop culture can chip away at the soul, the ways a jokey demonstration of a game or an imaginary Twitter fight or yet another celebrity explaining that she believes in equality but don’t call her a feminist or the sound of that song that just wouldn’t go away can make a person realize how far we still have to go. There were truly far too many contenders to choose from this year, but these were the sexist lowlights that raised our blood pressure most. [Read the full article]

 

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