"If you want to be reminded of why American business is one of our country’s greatest assets, not something to bemoan, spend your Black Friday evening watching 'Shark Tank.'"
"Everybody always shifts their priorities and business plans every 12 years or so."
"The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to an all-time record Tuesday on news that China was pledging to plow more money into its economy, returning the markets to highs not seen since before the financial crisis. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, the Dow was up nearly 90 points, or 0.74 percent, to 14,216.70, blowing past a record that was set Oct. 11, 2007, during a time when the economy was just peaking and headed toward disaster. [...] The Dow’s record high confirmed that the ongoing political paralysis in Washington has failed to spook the markets much in the last year." —The very rich don't seem to be bothered by [...]
In all the pretend cultural battles between the East Coast and the West Coast, Dunkin' Donuts occupies a special spot. Eastern Seaboard people are constantly in the Dunkin' Donuts shops, eating bizarre lard-based concoctions such as the beloved "New Hampshire Turkey Snausage Cheese-Steak On a Heat-Pressed Chocolate-glazed White-Bread Sodium Bagel." It's the kind of food that makes Taco Bell look healthy in comparison. It's food for cops and the huge bellies they've earned from 25 years on the beat, taking crap from you people who don't show no respect for nothin', and eating in their patrol cars while listening to classic rock.
America engaged in a few moments of phony communal nostalgia for the Hostess Twinkie today, as the news got around that the Texas-based snack manufacturer would shut down operations and sell its assets following bankruptcy and a long battle between the brand's current private equity owners, creditors and the union representing 18,500 bakery and factory workers. The biggest losers, as always, are the employees. With a Kochian sneer, Hostess CEO Gregory F. Rayburn announced that "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."
Oh, the Twinkie! How will America recover, etc. First, [...]
“Consumers are always looking for new ways to satisfy similar needs. Generally most people between lunchtime and dinnertime start to look around for a little something to snack on, and generally in the afternoon that need is satisfied with a sweet treat. It also comes back after dinner, several hours after eating. Generally the sweet snack world exists in those two places. The human condition is not a new one, right?” —Greatest article ever is about Pepperidge Farm cookies.
Max Rivlin-Nadler, who recently wrote for us about the National Funeral Directors Conference, talks to New Hampshire Public Radio about the way we are laid to rest now.
Would you like to have your mind blown? Let Jay Jay French, the guitarist for Twisted Sister, tell you about their 41-year plot for riches and domination:
A well-run company should be an iceberg. The product you sell is the tip. But underneath the surface lies your expertise. We’re great performers. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” were so iconic they were almost equivalent to “We Will Rock You” or “We are the Champions” by Queen. So we started to license them. Now we’ve done hundreds and hundreds of commercials.
Mmm hmm. And: In the back of our minds, we wanted to become famous. When we [...]
Cody Brown, of Scrollkit, made a replica of the ballyhooed New York Times "Snow Fall" story—in about an hour. Naturally, the Times made a copyright complaint: he was, after all, using their images and whatnot! So he removed it. Then they insisted that he "remove any reference to the New York Times" from his website. Heh.
He writes: The backlash to “Snow Fall” is that it’s an indulgence only the Times can afford. It took them six months and a powerful multi-person dev team to hand-code it. Most news orgs don’t have anywhere near these kinds of resources, and this is why we’ve spent the past year [...]
Micro-blogging service Twitter struggles with corporate and celebrity users who refuse to follow industry standards for social media engagement. Case in point: Twitter user @Pontifex, apparently an elderly World War II veteran with an inexplicably large online following, has outraged millions of Twitter users by refusing to follow anyone but his own duplicate accounts. The rudeness reached such a point today that the end-user has finally given in to intense pressure to retire his Twitter accounts and also give up his job leading a global pedophilia ring headquartered in a European castle.
But there is a #fail even with this alleged cessation of the @Pontifex Twitter account, which [...]
"The firearms business is coming under mounting market pressure as calls for new restrictions on gun ownership following last week’s school slaughter drove down shares of two major players and led some retailers to begin pulling specific products from shelves." —Capitalism may need some couples therapy to help repair its relationship with the murder-weapon industry.
Photo by Pop Culture Geek.
"Trillions of dollars worth of stock certificates and other paper securities that were stored in a vault in lower Manhattan may have suffered water damage from Superstorm Sandy. The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., an industry-run clearing house for Wall Street, said the contents of its vault 'are likely damaged.'" —And here you are worried about people having food and water and electricity.
This "brainstorming about what the Times should do" is largely accurate. People love membership, when it doesn't suck. The idea is to go more MoMA or BAM and less NPR. Look at the BAM Cinema Club membership levels, which are (sorry!) better executed than MoMA's. But also, then look at airline frequent flyer programs. People love belonging. But more than they love belonging, they love having status. Scratch even the most socially liberal person and you'll still find a person that loves convenience, if not outright status snobbery. (Just speaking from personal experience!) (Photo credit.)
Walking into McCormick Place, Chicago’s half-hangar, half-labyrinth convention center, I looked at the schedule to find that I had just missed “Canadians Do Cremation Right.” The 130th National Funeral Directors Conference, was underway; held each year in a different city, the conference brings together funeral directors from across the country for three days of presentations, trade talk, awards and camaraderie. After shaking off my initial disappointment at having missed the Canadian talk, I scanned the remaining workshops. After passing on “Marketing Your Cemetery: Connecting With Your Community” and “Managing Mass Fatality Situations,” I circled “The Difference Is In The Details,” an embalming workshop.
The small film company I sometimes work [...]
To adapt Robin Williams' immortal comment on cocaine, buying a newspaper could be God’s way of telling you you’re making too much money. (But not for long—ha-ha.) The sales of the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry and the Washington Post to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at prices reflecting but a glimmer of the gold they once traded for has triggered a bull market in speculation over the general future of newspapers and the fate of the New York Times, in particular.
"Darden Restaurants (DRI) has been struggling to make its brands relevant again as diners increasingly head to chains like Chipotle and Panera, where they feel they're getting restaurant-quality food without paying as much. As it looks for ways to catch up to shifting trends, Red Lobster this week started testing a 'pay-at-the-counter' concept at two locations near its headquarters." —The great divide between people who like to occasionally eat at a restaurant with table service and the food-obsessed coastal elite snobs grew a little wider this week, as mall chain stalwart Red Lobster began selling its Krab Dinners at the counter, McDonaldland-style.
Photo by Daniel Oines.
Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Google, Chevron, Disney, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Oracle, KB Home, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Hilton, Oracle, eBay, Charles Schwab, Clorox, Adobe, Oracle … it seems like a lot of the world's top companies are based in California, including more than half of the NASDAQ technology index. But Texas Governor Rick Perry is the kind of man who knows things in his heart, and he won't let any fancy coastal-elite numbers and facts get in the way of what God tells Rick Perry in the dead of night.
Google's Android phones are used by more people, yet Apple's App Store sells 400% more than Google's online store for Android apps. How is this even possible? Consumer tech experts say it's because Apple started early and has stringent quality control and also has a whole lot of iTunes account holders who typed in their credit card information before they even owned a smart phone.
Consumers are more willing to fork over their money for an iOS app, because they know they’ll probably get their money’s worth, says app developer Zak Tanjeloff with DLP Mobile. “The App Store has a higher proportion of quality apps, thanks to the [...]
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit suddenly resigned this morning, which is a very big shock to the people who follow this kind of thing. But how does this affect you, the Citi consumer account holder? You still have to pay your credit card bills, sorry.
One of the problems with this innovative and cool approach by the Wall Street Journal to writing about Pinterest by writing about Pinterest on Pinterest (and it is!) is that there you can't address that, more than early Napster, more than Megaupload, more than any government-seized hip-hop blog, Pinterest is entirely copyright-infringement. It's just that, unlike with music and movies, there's no dumb and hostile industry lobby that represents, say, "every photographer everywhere." If there was ever a place on the Internet that made you think SOPA was a good idea, it'd be right here! But there is, in the Journal itself, a spiffy little paragraph [...]