April 17, 2018

Earlier this month, the music streaming service Spotify went public on the New York Stock Exchange with a valuation worth approximately $30 billion. And while that is certainly an enormous amount of money, it pales in comparison to the $93 billion that the Japanese telecom giant Softbank privately raised last year to create a technology investment fund. In the past, major IPOs such as Spotify’s tended to be the most dependable way for up-and-coming companies to receive a major infusion Continue reading

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April 13, 2018

Way back in 2014, we looked at how changing tastes had led to declining interest in the art and business of clowning. Unfortunately for these red-nosed entertainers, matters haven’t improved much in the following years. In fact, 2017 may have marked an all-time low for American clowns. Not only did the Ringling Bros. circus shut down after nearly a century and a half in operation, but also McDonald’s ended its regional Ronald McDonald program. Without the work that these Continue reading

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April 5, 2018

With its rolling mountains and vibrant fall foliage, Vermont ranks as one of America’s most beautiful states. But while these sights attract thousands of visitors every year, they’re apparently not enough to convince some residents to remain in Vermont for the long term. In fact, the state’s labor force is smaller today than it was before the last recession. Young people have largely led this exodus, causing Vermont’s median age to become the second-highest in the nation. Combined with a Continue reading

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April 3, 2018

With their fuzzy frames and quizzical expressions, alpacas might be one of the world’s goofiest looking animals. Of course, these llama-like creatures have much more to offer than just their funny faces. Alpaca fleece ranks as one of the finest textile materials available, similar to sheep’s wool only warmer and without any prickliness. In the 1990s these key qualities fueled a boom in alpaca fleece production that also encouraged many Americans to purchase their own animals for breeding. Once called Continue reading

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March 16, 2018

As we saw yesterday with the sad state of Toys ‘R’ Us, the last few years have not been kind to brick-and-mortar retailers. The rise of online commerce has encouraged an increasing number of consumers to do their shopping at home, leaving many companies worried that they could be the next to go under. But while this is a new feeling for some, others like independent bookstore owners have had to deal with such fears for a long time. Continue reading

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March 2, 2018

A good idea can come from anywhere. Whether the inspiration is drawn from years of research or a sudden flash of brilliance, the best organizations know how to spot new concepts and bring them to life no matter their source. That’s why in the 1990s the then-CEO of Frito-Lay sent a video message to his employees encouraging them to speak up if they had something to contribute. “We want every worker in this company to act like an owner,” said Continue reading

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February 13, 2018

In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean sold his first 100 pairs of boots to local hunters, promising that the footwear would “give perfect satisfaction in every way.” Soon enough, though, 90 customers brought their boots back after the bottoms became separated from the tops. While Bean nearly went bankrupt providing refunds, he knew that he had to stick to his word in order to regain his customers’ trust. As a result, people continued to support his business, which eventually grew from Continue reading

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February 1, 2018

For decades, malls served as community hubs where people could shop, see a movie, or grab some food all in one convenient location. But the rise of e-commerce and social media caused malls to decline both as retail and recreational centers, leading many to look like ghost towns today. In fact, experts predict that one in every four malls could go out of business by 2022.

In an effort to stay open, mall owners across the country have started appealing Continue reading

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January 25, 2018

As one might expect from a centuries-old art form, the world of ballet doesn’t adapt to change all that quickly. For instance, many ballerinas depend on a type of pointe shoe designed more than 100 years ago consisting of paper, glue and fabric. While this style is certainly reliable, it can also create a great amount of discomfort or even injury for dancers. After all, the “pointe” in the shoe’s name refers to the ballerina’s need to stand readily on Continue reading

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January 18, 2018

By the end of the year, companies around the world will generate an estimated $11 billion in revenue by selling baby products like diaper bags and infant carriers. Despite the size of this booming industry, though, many baby businesses are continuing to overlook a growing target market: dads. Of course, this is largely due to the fact that mothers remain the primary caregivers in many American families. But dads have made great strides in recent times to involve themselves further Continue reading

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