3 Things I Learned Last Week 11.2.15

This week: Boeing is still flying high after nearly 100 years; SEC opens up crowdfunding; award opportunities for entrepreneurs

A Look at Boeing’s Aviation Innovation as the Company Turns 100
Boeing is turning 100 years old. Still the only company in the U.S. to build jumbo jets, it has come a long way since it got its start with a canvas and wood airplane. Watch how Boeing’s innovations have revolutionized the last century of travel.

SEC Votes to Allow Securities Crowdfunding
Many startups get their initial funding through conventional crowdfunding campaigns. A vote last week by the Securities and Commission will now permit startups to use crowdfunding to sell company stock to their investors. Read details . . .

Several Award Programs Seeking Small Business Nominations
Most small businesses can use all the publicity or dollars they can get. One way to earn those things is through awards. Right now, several awards programs are seeking nominations:




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3 Things I Learned Last Week 10.25.15

This week: Internet of Things forecast; 2016 estate and gift tax limits announced; Domino’s revolutionizing pizza delivery?

Forecast: Internet of Things to Exist in Nearly 2 Billion Devices by End of Decade
Tech analyst firm Linley Group is forecasting a big upswing in electronic brains by 2020. While much of the application has been in industrial devices, more growth is anticipated in the consumer market during the next few years. To learn more about the predictions, implications for business, and security issues surrounding IoT, click here.

IRS Sets Estate and Gift Tax Exemption Levels for 2016
If estate taxes are an issue for you, you just got a slight break from the IRS as they raised the exemption level for 2016 for both individuals and married couples. The gift tax exclusion holds steady. Click here for details.

Domino’s to Equip Delivery Cars with Ovens
This week’s innovation tidbit: Domino’s rolled out more than pizza dough last week as it launched a line of delivery vehicles in Michigan equipped with warming ovens. The roll out will continue in 25 markets during the next 90 days. The cars boast additional innovative features, and the company took advantage of crowdsourcing to come up with some of them. Read more . . .

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3 Things I Learned Last Week 10.18.15

This week: Toyota aims to phase out gasoline-powered cars by mid-century; World Statistics Day gives us numbers to notice; Is Paper the answer to online collaboration? LinkedIn changes Group features

Toyota Aims to Put Combustion Engines to Bed by 2050
In business innovation news . . .Toyota is planning to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles and reduce emissions by 90 percent by 2050. Hydrogen vehicles, not electric cars, will be the means by which the company plans to meet its goals. Read more . . .

What Are the Odds? There Really Is a Day Set Aside to Highlight Statistics
World Statistics Day was observed on October 20 to highlight the role statistics play in bettering our lives. A few notable stats released about business:

  • There were 30.5 million businesses in the U.S. in 2013. That includes both non-employer businesses and businesses with paid employees.
  • 85.8 percent of workers commute to work by car.
  • The national mean time to commute to work was 26 minutes in 2014.

And here’s another one, just for the heck of it: The current U.S. population is estimated at 321.9 million. The country’s population in 1776 was 2.5 million. Read more interesting stats . . .

LinkedIn Introduces Changes to Groups
Like it or not, LinkedIn has introduced major changes to its Groups. From what I’ve read online, some users think it’s about time some of the changes were made because they think they’ll reduce the spam that’s become such a hallmark of Groups. Others, of course, are unhappy and letting LinkedIn know about it. Here’s a summary of the major changes. What do you think of them?

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3 Things I Learned Last Week 10.11.15

This week: The egg sandwich: A long and scrambled history; Twitter launches “Moments”; Who says money doesn’t grow on trees?

How the Creation of the Egg Sandwich Boiled Down to Fried Workers
Okay, sorry. I’ll stop with the puns. But, seriously, it always intrigues me to learn the history of everyday things that we usually don’t give a thought to. I bet most people think the Egg McMuffin was the first egg sandwich. It turns out that industrial workers in 19th century England, too busy to eat before leaving for the factory, gave rise to entrepreneurial street vendors who served up fast and runny egg sandwiches along with mugs of coffee. Read more about the evolution of the egg sandwich, the workers it satisfied, and the entrepreneurs who profited. It even played a role in the discovery of the American West and the building of the railroad!

Kodak had its “moment”; Twitter grabs its “Moments”
Indeed it has with several announcements the last few weeks, including Jack Dorsey taking over again as Twitter CEO. In addition, the company is rumored to be experimenting with a format that will allow longer tweets. And now it has launched “Moments,” which is described as a mini news digest consisting of roughly 10 tweets on a particular topic. Find out more . . .

The Money Trees
Remember as a kid how tempting it was to jump into a pile of freshly raked fall leaves? Now an entrepreneur in New England hopes those colorful piles will have him rolling in the dough.

An entrepreneur named Kyle Waring has started a company called ShipFoliage.com to allow anyone in the country to experience the beauty of the changing seasons. Each package contains three beautiful leaves, each in a different color, and costs $19.99. Find out more . . .

P.S. In case you didn’t recognize the name, Waring is the same guy who started a company last winter to ship snow from Boston to clients in warmer parts of the country.

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3 Things I Learned Last Week 10.4.15

This week: Small business picks up the hiring pace; 50 places to find employment forms; Longer tweets coming?

September Was Strong Month for Small Business Hiring
The National Federation of Independent Business said that small businesses created jobs at the fastest pace of 2015 in September.

Highlights of the survey:

    • Owners added a net 0.18 workers per firm.
    • 53 percent reported hiring or trying to hire.
    • 85 percent of those trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.

The full report will be released on Oct. 13; in the meantime, click here for additional highlights.

Need an Employment Form?
Business owners need all types. Whether you’re looking for tax forms, I-9s, SBA forms, here are 50 places where you can find them.

Twitter May Be Expanding Length of Tweets
Rumor has it that Twitter may soon allow users to share tweets with more than 140 characters. If it happens, it’s just one of several recent changes Twitter has introduced.

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3 Things I Learned Last Week 9.27.15

This week: iOS9 update could be costing you money; entrepreneurship story unfolding in Africa; a whale of a discovery

iOS9 Chewing Through Your Data Plan?
Your iPhone could be running up a tab if you’ve updated to iOS9 and you don’t have an unlimited data plan. A setting called WiFi Assist is part of the upgrade and is defaulted to On. It allows your iPhone to detect weak WiFi signals and switches over to a cellular connection. Click here for more details and instructions on how to turn the setting off.

Entrepreneurship on the Rise in Africa
Young Africans are embracing entrepreneurship, and it’s creating a boom for many African economies. Read more . . .

Whales May Hold Key for Trauma Patients
My innovation tidbit for the week: Proteins that allow deep-diving whales to hold their breath for nearly two hours could hold the key for creating synthetic blood for humans with traumatic injuries. Read more . . .

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3 Things I Learned Last Week 9.20.15

This week: Young firms and the economy; A sole win for women business owners; Are you ready for EMV?

Missing Generation of Young Firms Drags Economy
We all know that small business is the economic engine of the company. We also know from more recent data that young firms—those fewer than five years old and twenty employees—are responsible for the majority of job growth. However, declining startup rates are now threatening growth. Read more . . .

Sole Source Authority Becomes Final
Except for the Women Owned Small Business program, every other small business contracting program has sole source authority. What does that mean? That in some circumstances, contracting officers can directly award contracts to eliminate a long, involved process for distributing the contracts.

Things are changing, though, and the WOSB program will soon recognize sole sourcing. The final rule goes into effect on Oct. 14, with a cap of $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and a $4 million cap for others. Read more . . .

Businesses Preparing for EMV Compliance
Businesses that accept point-of-sale credit card transactions and are not EMV-compliant by October 1 could risk greater liabilities. Read more . . .

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