Why Entrepreneurs Are Winning

Is it ever a bad time to be an entrepreneur? When times are great they have lots of potential investors to fund outlandish ideas that at times may seem highly speculative. When times are bad, entrepreneurs are some of the best bootstrappers around and create high value propositions for ailing businesses or thrifty consumers. Finding and creating value is what the entrepreneur specializes in; it’s an ancient form of arbitrage that can thrive in just about any type of market.

The last five years have left the world economy in notoriously poor condition. The credit crunch has hit consumers and businesses hard, and stifled cash flow, loans, and all kinds of funding from angel to venture capital. Millions of people have been laid off of cushy cubicle jobs, pensions have been lost, and 401k’s have been decimated by highly volatile movements in the financial markets. At the same time, the cost of technology has never been lower, the value  of that technology has never been higher, and highly valuable talent is collecting unemployment checks. In short, it’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, here’s why: (more…)

Personalized Marketing

As a child you might remember some of the antics of cereal mascots as they attempted to steal, steal back, or keep people from stealing their Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisp, or Trix. Mascots in their current incantation have been stealing our hearts and brains the same way for the last two hundred years, but that is all changing. (more…)

Electronic Cigarettes

The last 5 years have brought about many disruptive technologies. Digital technology has invaded almost every facet of modern life. Google and it’s vast stores of information are accessible from your pocket, your car can call the cops for you when you get into an accident, and your TV can let you know who’s calling on the phone. Now, when the stress of all these devices gets to you, you can light up your battery powered cigarette.

Hon Lik - Los Angeles Times Photo

Hon Lik, E Cigarette Inventor

Hon Lik, 53, is the creator of a product that threatens to change not just how people smoke, but the entire smoking stigma all together. Lik, a former smoke, used to smoke through two packs of cigarettes by dinner time. When his father died of lung cancer, he decided that he would not suffer the same fate and quit smoking. Using his training as a pharmacist, and a bit of entrepreneurial spark, he had a prototype in hand in 2002, and a year later, a patent in 2003. (more…)

Rise Of The Quant

In the business, they’re oft chided as “rocket scientists” or “propeller hats” but they’re the new archetype for a Wall St. trader. They don’t wear $5000 suites, they don’t care about the bull or the bear and they don’t even do their own trading. They spent years in academia only to leave it’s sheltered walls looking for a big day on Wall Street. Their art is called high frequency trading. (more…)

Ubiquitous Pricing Information

It’s better to be currently knowledgable than to be just knowledgeable. This is true with almost anything, including shopping. While many might argue shopping is a chore, others, including this author, would consider it a sport, much like horse racing. The sport of shopping is particularly competitive during the holidays.

In 2009, over 10 billion dollars was spent on Black Friday alone. The ‘holiday’ got it’s name from the notion that the holiday season takes many retail outlets from the “red” indicating loss, into the “black”, indicating profits. This year, things are changing. The amount of savvy available to almost anyone is changing the playing field. (more…)