May 29, 2011

every wonder what a day of plastic cup wastes would look like???

What does it look like when 350 million people do something with unintendend consequences.. . .4 million plastic cups a day on the airline industry-- 40 million coffee cups a day. . .

one out of every four people in the world in prison are in US prisons!

Why Buy local????

Go ahead print this out and put it up at your store!!!

May 28, 2011

Business on a Blackberry- a new business model

This is an interesting case study for those of you who think you can't start your business without a storefront- pick up your PDA and get to work!!

Small Retail: Unusual places, unusual wines
July 5, 2008

You may never have heard of Garagiste, a Seattle company claiming to be the state's second-largest seller of wine, after Costco.Odds are, too, that if you read a single e-mail from this unusual retailer, you'd be a customer.

Founder Jon Rimmerman, 41, sends up to three e-mails a day to 10,000 people worldwide who have requested them.Traveling half the year with his life and work partner and a young daughter, the native Chicagoan seeks out unusual wines in unusual places.

Sometimes sitting in the middle of a vineyard, he types out enticingly descriptive e-mails on his BlackBerry.The wines he describes can be ordered with a click, charged to a credit card on file, and delivered anywhere in the U.S. or picked up from a nondescript refrigerated warehouse in Sodo.

That's it. No advertising, no marketing, no PR. Not even a storefront or a Web site offering product.

The only similarity between Rimmerman's family-owned business and a conventional wine store is shelving holding odd lots for sale in the warehouse.

But the business works. Garagiste -- pronounced "gah-rah-ZHEEST" but often just called "The Garage" -- sells an estimated average of 50,000 bottles a month. That means annual dollar sales in eight figures and steady profits supporting a staff of 12. The company is experiencing annual double-digit sales growth, Rimmerman said.

Wines are competitively priced, said one customer. A week's offering includes some wines at $8-$10 a bottle, some at $15-$20, and some at $20 and above. Anyone can sign up to receive e-mail offers, with no obligation to buy, at

Rimmerman's huge enthusiasm for wine -- plus his gift for describing its qualities and the culture, geology and geography of the places it's produced -- propel the business, enticing even nonwine drinkers.

For more information:

the new rural

Rural America outgrows label

August 7, 2008
By Haya El Nasser

In New Hampshire's northernmost county, the wood pulp extracted from the rich forests to produce paper has long been the lifeblood of the local economy. As paper production increasingly moved overseas, the mill that helped boost the population of Berlin to 30,000 went into bankruptcy. Now, a new owner is keeping it going with 400 workers, down from a high of 2,400. Coos County's biggest town has lost two-thirds of its population.

"Once you peel the mill away, you have a city of 30,000 (housing) units but 10,000 people," says Cathy McDowell, executive director of the Family Resource Center in nearby Gorham. "There's blighted housing."

Locals tried to get federal funding to tear down some of the homes. They couldn't because there was a shortage of housing at the time in most of "urban" America.

In a nation whose urban needs influence federal policy and whose rural policy is dominated by agriculture, rural areas that have urban-style woes can fall through the cracks. "There is no rural policy for the kind of rural we are," McDowell says.

A study last year found that the 260 largest farm operations in 13 Midwest and Great Plains states received more federal money than Agriculture Department rural development programs for nearly 3 million people in more than 1,400 communities. The study covered the three most recent years for which data were available, says the Center for Rural Affairs, a non-profit rural and family-farm advocacy group based in Lyons, Neb.

"One policy doesn't fit all," says Mil Duncan, director of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

The institute just issued a report based on surveys of 8,000 people in 19 rural counties. Its findings emphasize that 21st-century rural America is not just about farming.

Home to 17% of the nation's population, rural areas consist of at least four distinct regions that face contrasting problems. According to the report, the four rural Americas are:

•Amenity-rich. They're places such as Aspen, Colo., or the Appalachian region around Asheville, N.C., where mountains, lakes, coastlines or forests draw vacationers, retirees and second-home owners. Challenges: affordable housing for longtime residents and workers and controlling sprawl to protect the environment.

•Declining resource-dependent. They once thrived on agriculture, timber, mining and manufacturing — industries that have declined because of globalization and depleted resources. The middle class is disappearing, and the population is aging and shrinking. The Great Plains is a prime example.

•Chronically poor. These are regions such as the Mississippi Delta where residents and the land have seen decades of dwindling resources.

•In transition. Traditional resource-based economies are in decline, but these areas have natural beauty that offers potential for growth in service economies and niche industries. These areas include parts of New England and the Pacific Northwest.

"Those historically have relied on natural abundance to support livelihood," says John Berdes, president of ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia, a non-profit community development financial institution based in Astoria, Ore. "You didn't have to do that much to feel financially secure. In those communities today, that is no longer the case. … The challenge is learning new ways to do more with less." For example, he says, there are market opportunities for fisheries that can scientifically prove that their albacore tuna have low mercury levels.

Russ Karpisek owns Karpisek Meat Market in Wilber, Neb., 40 miles outside Lincoln. He's also a state senator. He says Americans have a distorted view of rural America. "Even in Nebraska, rural and urban senators see things much differently," he says. "You can get the Internet here (in rural places). You can run your home-based business."

Programs that help rural areas diversify are lacking, he says.

In its most recent farm bill, Congress set aside $4 million a year for a new rural development program, says Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs. "That's less than half of 1% of what's spent on farm programs annually."

Only 4% of rural residents make their living farming, says Karl Stauber, president of the Danville Regional Foundation in Virginia. He works in a region that once was a prime tobacco-growing area. It has evolved into a growing high-tech area.

The last time most Americans lived on farms was in 1880 and the last time the majority lived in rural communities was in 1920, he says. As rural populations continue to shrink, their needs may get even less attention once seats in Congress and most state legislatures are reapportioned after the 2010 Census, Stauber says.

"If policy is based on this assumption that rural is really about agriculture, then the vast majority of rural America is left out," he says.

we need a grid for the 21st century

Northwest Leaders See Bigger, Greener Power Grid

Like the Great Depression that gave birth to hydroelectric dams, today's crisis could usher in a green energy revolution for the region.

WASHINGTON - Seventy-five years ago, during the height of the Great Depression, one of the largest public works projects of the New Deal began to take shape on the banks of the Columbia River in eastern Washington.
Some 7,000 workers employed by the Works Progress Administration built Grand Coulee Dam - a mile wide and twice as tall as Niagara Falls - along with Bonneville Dam and a transmission grid that electrified the Northwest. The electricity from the dams still powers the region.
Now, as the current economic downturn deepens, there is talk of another major public works project for the Northwest - one that would spread green wind power throughout the region like it did hydropower in the 20th century. Some estimate it could create 50,000 jobs.
Plus, the region's lawmakers want money to expand the Bonneville Power Administration's transmission system.
The ideas could be a perfect fit with the incoming administration's support for green energy and green jobs. It also could emerge as a model for turning the nation's antiquated 200,000-mile transmission system into a clean energy superhighway.
"It's the sleeper issue," said Rep. Jay Inslee, the Washington Democrat who has emerged as one of the leaders on green energy issues and climate change in the House. "We need a grid for this century, not the last."

think local first

Green gifts are made locally to last

Location, location, location.
The No. 1 rule for buying real estate (OK, maybe not in this market) also tops the list for buying green gifts
"When it comes to buying things, you have to weigh what the important issues are to you."
Buying goods locally isn't new, of course. Waves of community-supported agriculture have crested many times over the years. And any small store that has tried to compete with the Wal-Marts of the world urges its consumers to spend money within the community. With a faltering economy and a new focus on the emission-spewing role of global transportation, however, being a "locavore" seems to count for even more.Read the rest of the article here:

innovation- 10 Trends to Watch


While our focus firmly remains on emerging consumer trends, we do include a brief overview of current global macro trends. These economic, demographic and political trends (from a changing global financial system to diverse demographics to the war for talent to a multi-polar world) are sourced from leading research firms and institutions, providing you with the context for everything that follows in the database and the 2011 Trend Report.


Equally important, understanding consumer needs, wants and desires is at the core of tracking, understanding and applying consumer trends. Building on Maslow's hierarchy, this brief section is basically a consumer psychology '101', giving you a crucial framework for understanding consumer behavior (in both developed and emerging consumer societies).


A brief overview of the current revolution in business and consumer culture, and the processes, practices and convictions defining the business arena in 2011. We're witnessing the 'perfect storm' that links new generations, emerging markets, ideas about status, environmental concerns, corporate responsibilities and beliefs on what role business should play in society. While a threat to static incumbents, infinite opportunities exist for B2C brands that move with the new societal and cultural realities.


More than ever, corporate giving, sharing and caring in post-recession 2011 will beat taking, so expect lots of new, cutting-edge trend examples for GENERATION G's sub-trends: from EMBEDDED GENEROSITY, BRAND BUTLERS and FREE LOVE, to PERKONOMICS, TRYVERTISING, RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS and REWARD.INC.
Includes 250+ related trend innovations.


Expect the differentiation between 'online' and 'offline' to be irrelevant for younger generations (and plenty of online-loving members of older generations, too). Life is 'online' now as both mobile online access and time spent online continue to explode. This is one trend that never stops, so expect plenty of new material illustrating ONLINE OXYGEN, MASS MINGLING, and OFF = ON at their most powerful in 2011.
Includes 130+ related trend innovations.  


Closely related to DIGITAL DOMINANCE, consumers are embracing 'gamification' in all aspects of their daily lives. Fun and entertaining, games allow players to visualize progress, while satisfying fundamental needs and desires - for reward, status, achievement, self-expression, competition, and altruism. Includes the GAME ON sub-trend.
Includes 50+ related trend innovations.


One of the most impactful themes for 2011, we're diving deep into the endless new services and brands now helping consumers to satisfy their insatiable lust for relevant information, for transparency, for tracking, for mapping, and so on. Includes DIVINE DATA and VISUALOVE.
Includes 120+ related trend innovations.

8. CURATED CONSUMPTION---- Apple computers does this one really well. . .

Faced with today's avalanche of choice and (online) content, curators offer consumers a solution to information overload and choice paralysis. Get ready to help consumers to become curators: from BRAND CURATORS to TWINSUMERS to SOCIAL-LITES.
Includes 60+ related trend innovations.


Consumers’ ingrained lust for instant gratification is being fuelled by the host of novel, innovative, practical and fun real-time products, services and experiences. REAL-TIME includes sub-trends such as NOWISM, PRICING PANDEMONIUM, SEE-HEAR-BUY, and LIVING THE LIVE. Now's the time to embrace the here-and-now in all its splendid chaos, realness and excitement.
Includes 70+ related trend innovations.


In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) intangible goods and services, and physical needs become increasingly satisfied, experiences become ever more  valuable. The accumulation of material goods is replaced by preferring OWNER-LESS hassle-free existence - an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span (FSTR), and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible. Closely related to NOWISM and HAPPYNOMICS.
Includes 80+ related trend innovations.


While the entire world may be at their fingertips, the vast majority of consumers still live a 'local' life, and happily so. Overlapping many of the other trends, the enduring appeal of all things 'here', from URBAN PRIDE to MADE HERE to LOCALITIED to NICHE NODES, will prove to be an endless source of innovation in 2011.
Includes 160+ related trend innovations.


While, strictly speaking, not a ‘consumer’ trend, design has become such a key concern in the consumer arena and society at large, that it warrants a section in the 2011 Trend Report and database. Expect a to-the-point overview of key design trends and thinking in 2011: from biomimicry to devolved design to data-driven design to crowd-sourced design to beta-design to design simplicity and more.
Includes 70+ related trend innovations.


From BRAND ME to CUSTOMYZED to SIPs (Socially Important People), consumers are embracing (and profiting from) everything that has to do with personal branding and social capital, relishing their elevation to MASTERS OF THE YOUNIVERSE.
Includes 30+ related trend cases and examples.


It's all about collaborative consumption as traditional boundaries between corporations, competitors and customers continue to blur. Brands are teaming up with customers, with designers, with brands from other industries and even with competitors. On top of that, consumers will continue to explore novel ways to form any kind of CROWD EXPRESS, connect P2P, or go down the SELLSUMER lane, joining the business arena not just as collaborators, but as players. While this trend is no longer 'new', the many insights and examples we're adding for 2011 certainly are!
Includes 80+ related trend innovations.


With basic needs satisfied, consuming products, services and experiences with embedded (health or knowledge) benefits becomes a key concern amongst those consumers intent on achieving self-actualization . Learn from sub-trends like EVER-EDUCATING and WELLTHY, as consuming becomes a positive pursuit.
Includes 150+ related trend cases and examples.


From BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID to FUNCTIONALL to EXCEPTIONALL, via URBANY and the GLOBAL BRAIN, the incredible rise of emerging economies (yes, that would be Turkey and China and South Africa and India and Brazil and Vietnam and Indonesia and so on) remains one of the key consumerism stories in 2011. Satisfying the demands of both newly minted middle classes and low(er) income consumers means the avalanche of innovations for and by emerging giants will continue to surprise and delight in the next 12 months.
Includes 110+ related trend innovations.


Some trends are so well-researched and so pervasive that the only thing they're good for is relentless innovation. Think certain demographics, lifestyles, or themes like 'convenience' and 'personalization'. Hence our focus on fun new products and services from around the world, delivering on specific needs and wants. Brace yourselves for the latest and greatest innovations in PINK PROFITS (the Gay & Lesbian market), FEMALE FEVER (female purchasing power), BOOMING BUSINESS (baby boomers), MINISUMERS (infants & kids markets) and more, all waiting to be copied or improved on in 2011!
Includes 300+ related trend innovations.


The 2011 Trend Report and database will continue to bring you the best of the best in brilliant eco-thinking and innovating from around the world. Whether it's ECO-EDUCATION, or ECO-EASY, or ECO-ICONIC, or ECO-SUPERIOR, the sheer amount of smart green innovations leaves you no excuse to not go all out on profitable sustainability.
Includes 210+ related trend innovations.


Last but not least, the section on PARTICIBRANDS is really a roadmap for brands and organizations on how to anticipate and apply all trends highlighted in the 2011 Trend Report. Time to ‘MOVE WITH THE CULTURE' indeed!

generations- what will the boomers inherit?

What will boomers inherit?

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, December 14
Posted: 4 pm ET

My 86-year-old mother-in-law gave my husband his annual holiday check last weekend when we visited. Sometimes she gives me my own check, but this year she said she didn't think I needed the money and that if I did, my husband could share his.

I laughed. Family money -- even when there isn't much of it -- is a tough topic.

A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College for the MetLife Mature Market Institute calculated that boomers will inherit $8.4 trillion in 2009 dollars.  The median inheritance per person is $64,000.  About $2.4 trillion has already been received as the Greatest Generation passes on. The wealthiest boomers will be given an average of $1.5 million, while those of us at the other end of the spectrum will be left $27,000. While it may not be a fortune, it's actually a higher percentage of the less affluent group's overall income, the study said. In all, two-thirds of boomers will inherit something.

This study referred to a previous study in 1986 that looked at the accuracy of this information and concluded -- not surprisingly in my view -- that the amounts differed significantly depending on who was doing the reporting. The previous study by William G. Gale and John Karl Scholz, compared estimates of the gift by recipients of the inheritances to the estimates of those making the gifts. Givers tended to inflate the amount of the gift while recipients underestimated the inheritances they received. Gale and Scholz concluded that information from the givers was probably more accurate because recipients didn't want to think of themselves as financially dependent. But who knows. Ultimately, the givers weren't around to verify when the money actually changed hands.

The Center for Retirement Research also looked at whether the current economic downturn is going to affect what boomers receive, and concluded that declining stock and home values are likely to cut inheritances by  an average of 13.1 percent.

My husband, the CPA, says you can never account for money you don't have. And the Center of Retirement Research points out that this is particularly true of inheritances. "Boomer households should not count on an inheritance to eliminate the need for increased retirement saving," the study concludes.

The researchers also urged boomers to talk to their parents about their financial situation and their estate plans.

The New Economy-job-less recovery

This Is What the Post-Employee Economy Looks Like- By Derek Thompson

Fifty years ago, the four most valuable U.S. companies employed an average of 430,000 people with an average market cap of $180 billion. This year, the four largest U.S. companies employ an average 120,000 people with an average market cap of $334 billion. The titans of 2011 have twice the the value of their 1964 counterparts with a quarter of the employees.

One statistic is a snapshot of the economy, not a complete wall-to-wall portrait. But zooming out reveals a similar picture: America's largest companies are making much more money with much fewer workers. In the last two years, the Dow has recovered three-quarters of its losses while our employment ratio remains at an historic low. But the profit-hiring gap isn't a temporary side-effect of the post-recession economy. It's a function of the economy, period.

Below is a a glimpse of the 10 most valuable companies in the world in 2011 vs. 1964 in order of market cap (in red) with their number of employees measured in blue. Witness the red tide. Figures are via New York.

A few observations:

1) The lesson these graphs scream loudest to me is the decline of the wired telecom and auto manufacturing industries, which used to be huge job machines. The former lost 55% of its revenue between 2000 and 2010 as mobile phones proliferated. The latter suffered a more protracted slump, but lost nearly a seventh of its total employment between 1992 and 2010.

2) As New York's Andre Tartar adds, these figures are even more striking when you take into account that a third of US-based corporations' employees are stationed overseas in 2011. Half of GE's employees, and three-fourths of IBM's workforce, are outside the U.S.

3) You might notice the last chart has only nine companies. That's because the data excluded Walmart, whose chart-busting 2.1 million employees is the equal of the top six companies (Exxon, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Microsoft, GE and Chevron) combined and doubled. This statistic, together with McDonald's announcement that it's adding 50,000 jobs this week, is a reminder that the jobs least replaceable by technology and globalization are on-scene service jobs that haven't been automated. That doesn't make them the fastest growing jobs (or the best paying jobs, for sure). But it makes them safe. For now.