Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review: The Digital Economy

Long before there was Google or eBay or YouTube and while Mark Zuckerberg was still in grade school,  business writer Don Tapscott penned a best-selling book titled "The Digital Economy" predicting that the "Internet" many people took for a passing fad or geekish novelty was destined to become a major driving force in the world economy.

Twenty years later, we live in the world Tapscott prognosticated, where institutions like newspapers, the post office, libraries and even banks are having to question their role in society and the "mass media" of just a decade or so ago now seems improbably small and even irrelevant.

On the 20th anniversary of its publication, "The Digital Economy" has been republished in a new edition for which Tapscott has produced introductory essays for each of the book's twelve chapters, discussing what has changed since the first edition.

The Internet is becoming a new mode of production that changes the way we orchestrate capability in society to innovate, create goods and services, and even create public value," Tapscott notes in an essay preceeding the original Chapter 1.  "The most important assets are contained in the crania of knowledge workers. The most effective work systems are social and collaborative, and increasingly thoughtful people everywhere understand that an economy based on greed is not only unworkable, it threatens the planet."

While much of the book is centered on corporations and their responses to new economic paradigms, it also offers plenty of insights and suggestions for small businesses and independent producers and social agencies and consumers who stand to gain from or suffer under this evolving economic model.

"The social world is transforming the way we create wealth, work, learn, play, raise our children, and probably, the way we think," Tapscott points out. As with changes in the climate, the choice is either to adapt or be overwhelmed by this transformation.

Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence
by Don Tapscott
McGraw-Hill, 2014
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Testing "The Digital Economy"

Two decades ago, The Digital Economy changed the way the world thought about the Web and Internet. While everyone else was in awe of “websites” and "dot coms," Don Tapscott was among the first people to argue that the Internet would fully transform the nature of business and government. It goes without saying that his predictions were spot on.

In this new edition of his classic work, the author provides topical updates with a sweeping new analysis of how the Internet has changed business and society in the last 20 years.

Rethinking Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence
by Don Tapscott
McGraw-Hill, 2014
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Testing "How to Make a Profit Creating & Selling Your Own Specialty Food Products in the USA"

Harvey P. Clark:
"Over the past several years of traveling all over the six New England states, including my home state of Massachusetts, I've frequently met many others selling their own specialty food products, and all seem to be asking each other the same questions. 
"It's been very common for others working at stores I sold to, or customers trying my products at store samplings, to ask how I got started doing this, and mentioning that they had an idea they'd like to bring to market too. 
"After digesting all this for quite a while, and finding that I've found a lot of the answers myself, through all these years of learning by trial and error, I decided it would be a very satisfying thing to try to make it easier for anyone else who wants to do this to find some of the answers, without needing to learn everything the hard way."
by Harvey P. Clark
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2009
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Monday, June 16, 2014

Testing "The Economy of You"

The "economy of you" is self-employment, side-gigs, moonlighting, freelancing, consulting, homesteading or whatever you want to call small-scale entrepreneuring. It is an economy driven by a desire for autonomy and self-determination more than profit, and a response to the insecurity that pervades today's workplace.

Driven by rapacious corporations and a breakdown in traditional business models, the alternative lifestyle of working for yourself and starting your own business has become mainstream and, for many, the most promising opportunity.

This book is based on dozens of interviews with and profiles of entrepreneurs who share the stories of their enterprises. The author, a magazine editor and blogger, groups their experiences in chapters on planning, financing, networking, and surviving this new economy. An appendix lists 50 side-gigs to consider, from disc jockey and florist to marketing consultant and yoga teacher.

Many of the "side-giggers" interviewed said that running a side-gig felt like an obvious and necessary choice, just as getting a nine-to-five job for life might have to their grandfathers. But if the night job becomes as necessary as the day job, and neither is sufficient by itself, then the "economy of you" is an economy of 80-hour work weeks and burned out prospects.

Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life
by Kimberly Palmer
AMACOM, 2014

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Testing "How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes"

In this updated edition of How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't by their father, Irwin Schiff, brothers Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff weave a fable that untangles many of the fallacies preventing people from really understanding what drives an economy.

With the help of colorful cartoon illustrations, lively humor, and deceptively simple storytelling, the Schiff's bring the complex subjects of inflation, monetary policy, recession, and other important topics in economics down to Earth.

by Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff
Wiley, 2014

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Online Retailers Get an Edge by Not Collecting Sales Tax

Two independent studies of online sales using two very different approaches reached the same conclusion: some online retailers have an advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

The studies find evidence from investors, analysts and consumers themselves that suggest online stores have a competitive edge when they don’t have to collect sales tax from shoppers.

Both studies were conducted by researchers at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and their colleagues.

One study found that sales fell 9.5 percent at in five states when the online retailer began collecting taxes on online purchases.

The other study found that the stock prices of online retailers dropped when news broke about possible legislation that would require them to collect sales tax.

Overall, the two studies show that consumers spend less at online retailers when they have to pay sales tax – and investors are quite aware of the threat these firms face from new tax-collection laws.

Sources: Fisher College of Business
The Ohio State University  University Communications

Artwork: Artisoo Cash Register by Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Testing "The Art of Social Selling"

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are changing the way consumers make purchasing decisions ...and tapping into these online communities has become a necessary part of any integrated sales strategy.

Citing enlightening research and real-world examples, this practical guide presents readers with a detailed methodology for growing sales and expanding their customer base using social media.

Finding and Engaging Customers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Other Social Networks
by Shannon Belew
AMACOM , 2014

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