Videos

[VIDEO] The Environmental Cost of Free Two-Day Shipping

2017-12-01 14:55:53 nickelsmchughmchugh

During the upcoming holiday season, analysts estimate shoppers will spend more than $100 billion online. The majority of these purchases will likely be made on Amazon, which has attracted millions of loyal customers over the years through perks like free two-day shipping. But while undoubtedly convenient, quick shipping is far from environmentally sustainable. This video outlines the problem while also offering a few potential solutions.

Questions:

  1. How does Amazon’s free two-day shipping program cause more trucks to end up on roads?
  2. What potential solutions does the video present that could solve quick shipping’s sustainability problem?
Tagged in: AmazonOperations ManagementProduct DistributionPromotionsRetailShippingSustainabilityTransportation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] What Are the Paradise Papers?

2017-11-09 14:41:00 nickelsmchughmchugh

This week a group of investigative journalists released an enormous cache of leaked documents called the Paradise Papers. Like last year’s Panama Papers incident, these records detail the offshore financial activities of some of the world’s richest people and companies. But while 2016’s leak focused mainly on the tax avoidance strategies of foreign entities, the Paradise Papers are full of names that will be familiar to Americans. The video below provides a quick overview of this complex story. Tomorrow, we’ll look into greater detail at the methods that Apple used to dodge their tax bill.

Questions:

  1. Why is it unethical for wealthy individuals and companies to keep money hidden from the government?
  2. Besides avoiding taxes, what are some other reasons why people hide their wealth overseas?
Tagged in: EthicsGlobalLegalOffshoringPanama PapersParadise PapersRegulationTax Avoidance Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Bitcoin, Blockchains, and the Future of Money

2017-11-03 14:07:19 nickelsmchughmchugh

When we took a look at Bitcoin in August, the cryptocurrency had just reached a record value of more than $4,000. Since then it has only continued to grow in worth, topping out $7,200 this week. Many experts now say that Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies could be the future of money, even though most consumers have no clue how they work. This longform video tries to remedy that problem by comparing Bitcoin with the stone ring currency system used by people on the Pacific island of Yap.

Questions:

  1. Besides using large stones as currency, what else is unique about the island of Yap’s traditional monetary system?
  2. Do you think Bitcoin or other blockchain-based currencies will eventually replace established monetary systems? Why or why not?

 

 

Tagged in: BitcoinBlockchainCurrencyEthicsGlobalInnovation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Welcome to Mcity, the Fake Town for Cars

2017-10-13 13:58:19 nickelsmchughmchugh

This light and breezy video takes you to Mcity, a tiny town that serves as the test track for the University of Michigan’s autonomous vehicle research program. Engineers observe closely as self-driving cars learn how to avoid pedestrians and navigate through obstacles in a realistic setting.

Questions:

  1. What is the benefit of testing products like autonomous vehicles in controlled but realistic settings?
  2. Do you think self-driving cars will become a common sight on the road within a few years?
Tagged in: AutomationInnovationMichiganProduct DevelopmentProduct TestingSelf-Driving Cars Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] What Impact Could a Remade NAFTA Have On You?

2017-09-01 14:19:57 nickelsmchughmchugh

Along with being one of the most groundbreaking trade pacts in history, the North American Free Trade Agreement is also considerably controversial. NAFTA has especially faced criticism recently, leading representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to meet and discuss the future of the deal. This video looks at how NAFTA currently impacts supply chains in North America and how changes to the agreement could affect commerce.

Questions:

  1. What do American opponents of NAFTA want to change about the deal?
  2. Should the terms of NAFTA be renegotiated and updated? How can its member nations go about reforming the deal?
Tagged in: Free TradeGlobalNAFTANorth AmericaProduct DistributionProtectionismSupply chains Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Death and Life of Helicopter Commuting

2017-08-18 14:58:30 nickelsmchughmchugh

Instead of waiting in traffic, what if you could hop in a helicopter and commute to work in a matter of minutes? For a brief period in the 1970s people could do just that on New York Airways, a helicopter shuttle service that ferried folks around the city for as little as $5. Although a tragic accident quickly put an end to the industry, this video shows how advancements in technology could possibly allow helicopter shuttle companies to make a comeback.

Questions:

  1. Do you think improved safety measures and quieter aircraft could help helicopter shuttle companies make a comeback?
  2. Will startups like Blade succeed by adapting Uber’s business model to helicopter travel?
Tagged in: CommutingDronesEthicsNew York CityProduct DevelopmentTransportation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Stress Test: What Is Bank Capital?

2017-08-04 14:11:35 nickelsmchughmchugh

Since the passage of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, banks have been required to keep a certain amount of cash on hand relative to their assets. Legislators put the rule in place so that institutions would have enough money in their vaults to bail themselves out in the event of another credit crisis. This video explains the concept of bank capital and why these regulations have caused some frustration in the finance industry.

Questions:

  1. Why are banks required to keep a certain amount of capital on hand?
  2. Do capital requirements hurt banks’ ability to do business?
Tagged in: BankingCapitalDodd-FrankEconomicsFinanceRegulation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Blue Ocean Strategy Explained

2017-07-21 14:00:09 nickelsmchughmchugh

When starting a new business, many entrepreneurs opt to enter an established industry so they can know what to expect. At the same time, however, these markets are packed with fierce competitors who must vie with one another for their piece of the pie. The most fortunate entrepreneurs avoid cutthroat industries and create new markets based on previously unknown consumer demands. The video below looks at how this “blue ocean strategy” can ensure long-term dominance for innovative companies.

Questions:

  1. Can you think of any other company that succeeded with a “blue ocean strategy” like Cirque du Soleil?
  2. What happens when time passes and a formerly “blue ocean” company finds itself in a “red ocean” with many competitors?
Tagged in: Blue Ocean StrategyCirque du SoleilEntertainmentEntrepreneurshipMarketing Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How the Federal Reserve Works

2017-06-23 12:49:19 nickelsmchughmchugh

When the economy was on the verge of collapse due to the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to zero in an effort to get money moving around again. The economy is not in such dire straits now, of course, so the Fed has once again returned to raising rates gradually. This video quickly reviews how the Fed works and demonstrates the ways that the central bank affects the nation’s money supply.  

Questions:

  1. What are the Federal Reserve’s two main goals?
  2. How would the Fed act if it wanted to increase the nation’s money supply?
Tagged in: 2008 Financial CrisisBankingEconomicsFederal ReserveInterest RatesMoney Supply Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Why Japan Has So Many Vending Machines

2017-06-16 07:00:24 nickelsmchughmchugh

In Japan you can buy almost anything from a vending machine: hot tea, sushi, umbrellas, even bread in a can. This video takes a look at the economic and cultural factors that have contributed to Japan’s vending obsession, such as an excess of coinage and a shortage of unskilled labor.

Questions:

  1. How does Japan’s low birth rate contribute to its vending machine culture?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of relying so heavily on vending machines?
Tagged in: Birth RateFoodGlobalHuman ResourcesJapanProduct DistributionVending Machines Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How Robots Are Saving the Dairy Farm

2017-05-12 13:38:56 nickelsmchughmchugh

For most non-rural people, the classic image of a dairy farm likely involves a solitary, bucket-toting farmer trudging out to the barn to milk the cows before dawn. As this video shows, though, modern American dairy farms are far more advanced than most city slickers would imagine. From automated milking machines to robot feeders, these high-tech tools help dairy farmers cut costs while also improving efficiency.

Questions:

 

  1. What are the advantages of automation on dairy farms?
  2. How have labor issues helped push dairy farmers towards automation?
Tagged in: AutomationFarmingHiringHuman ResourcesLabor RelationsOperations Management Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Meet the Enormous Boats That Carry Your Stuff

2017-04-28 14:44:03 nickelsmchughmchugh

Today’s globalized supply chains depend on enormous shipping boats to ferry cargo from one end of the world to the other. It wasn’t always this way, though. This video takes a look at how standardized containers aboard gigantic vessels have transformed logistics since the 1970s.


Questions:

 

  1. How did containerization make shipping more efficient?
  2. Why are supply chains and logistics so important to modern companies?

 

Tagged in: ContainerizationGlobalizationLogisticsProduct DistributionShippingSupply chains Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Why Do Airlines Sell Too Many Tickets?

2017-04-14 14:28:38 nickelsmchughmchugh

This week United Airlines angered millions when a video surfaced of a man being brutally dragged off of an overbooked flight. People not only felt horrified at the violence of the incident, but they also questioned why the company needed to overbook flights in the first place. As this video shows, though, the answer is not so easy.

Questions:

 

  1. Should airlines be allowed to overbook flights?
  2. What risks do airlines face if they do not overbook a flight?
Tagged in: Air TravelEthicsOperations ManagementOverbookingProduct DistributionTransportationUnited Airlines Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Business of GIFs: Then and Now

2017-04-03 14:23:10 nickelsmchughmchugh

The looping animated icons known as GIFs have provided websites with a unique visual element since the dawn of the Internet. Of course, today’s GIFs do far more than just attract eyes to otherwise dull sites. People use them constantly in social media and text message conversations to express emotions that are difficult to convey with words. And as this video shows, companies like Giphy think that these moving images will soon turn into major money makers for content creators and other entertainment ventures.

Questions:

 

  1. How does a streaming video company like Hulu benefit when someone posts a GIF drawn from one of the platform’s TV shows?
  2. Do you think websites like Giphy will eventually charge customers to use specific GIFs?

 

Tagged in: BrandingGIFsGiphyInnovationMarketingMobileProduct DistributionPromotions Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Inside the Pantone Color Factory

2017-03-14 13:38:26 nickelsmchughmchugh

While identifying colors might seem like a simple preschool task to some, it’s a serious job at the Pantone color factory. This company creates color guides that act sort of like dictionaries for artists and designers. In order to create consistent colors every time, Pantone depends on eagle-eyed employees to check for flaws. Along with these dedicated staffers, this video also shows some of the machines used by Pantone to create such vivid hues.

Questions:

 

  1. Why does Pantone require their employees to take a color test every year?
  2. Do you think robots will eventually be able to do the job of a Pantone ink technician?
Tagged in: DesignMotivationOperations ManagementPantoneProduct DevelopmentProduction Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How to Get 60,000 Containers Around the World in Record Time

2017-03-02 15:21:23 nickelsmchughmchugh

Supply chain management is an incredibly complex process involving dozens of companies stretched across thousands of miles. This video takes a look at the shipping firm Flexport and how they simplify “freight forwarding” for businesses transporting goods from China to the U.S.

Questions:

 

  1. How does Flexport improve the process of freight forwarding?
  2. Why is international supply chain management so complicated?

 

Tagged in: ChinaFreight ForwardingProduct DistributionShippingSupply chainsTransportation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] This Incredible Machine Pulls Clean Drinking Water Out of Thin Air

2017-01-20 14:45:01 nickelsmchughmchugh

Ensuring clean water for everyone on the planet is one of the major environmental challenges facing future generations. In this video, a Chilean engineer demonstrates his invention that draws vapor from the air and turns it into drinkable water. If he succeeds in making the machine smaller and cheaper, it could provide an immense benefit to communities that lack access to clean water.

Questions:

  1. Why does Hector Pino need to continue refining his product?
  2. Once fully developed, should Pino form a non-profit or for-profit company to distribute his product?
Tagged in: ChileGlobalProduct DevelopmentProduct DistributionSustainabilityWater Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How Much Do Your Favorite Holiday Songs and Movies Make?

2016-12-29 14:26:51 nickelsmchughmchugh

As 2016 comes to a close, many people across the country have likely spent the last few weeks immersed in Christmas music and movies. This brief video takes a look at how much money some of these old entertainment properties earn during the festive season, from Frank Capra’s classic It’s a Wonderful Life to Mariah Carey’s perennial hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

Questions:

  1. How did the public domain copyright of It’s a Wonderful Life transform the film into a holiday favorite?
  2. Why do some holiday songs and movies remain hits years after their original release?

 

Tagged in: ChristmasCopyrightEntertainmentHolidaysMoviesMusic Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How China Is Changing Hollywood

2016-12-06 15:04:33 nickelsmchughmchugh

Thanks to a rapidly growing middle class, China has transformed into the largest moviegoing market in the world. And while Hollywood is the source for many of the nation’s hit flicks, American filmmakers still face a number of hurdles before they can do business in China. This video looks at the ways Hollywood tries to appeal to Chinese culture in order to break into this tough but rewarding market.

Questions:

 

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of China’s revenue sharing model for American movie studios?
  2. Could China’s own “Hollywood” eventually grow to compete with the American original?
Tagged in: ChinaEntertainmentGlobalMarketingMoviesProduct DevelopmentProduct Distribution Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] When Carmakers Taunted Horses

2016-11-22 06:00:32 nickelsmchughmchugh

With 43.5 million Americans expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, drivers will likely have to deal with more traffic jams and slowdowns than usual. Then again, at least these dedicated travelers will be making their journey by car rather than on horseback. But while this preference for pedals seems like a no-brainer today, the situation was much different a century ago when automobiles were new and confusing to many consumers. This video shows how carmakers marketed these futuristic vehicles by often insulting the loyal steeds that had carried humans for millennia.

Questions:

 

  1. Why did early carmakers hold such a grudge against horses?
  2. Will self-driving car companies attack traditional carmakers once autonomous vehicles become more commonplace?
Tagged in: CarsHorsesMarketingProduct DevelopmentPromotionsTransportation Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Inside the Factory Where Robotic Dinosaurs Come to Life

2016-11-10 14:23:05 nickelsmchughmchugh

When a group of Australian special effects artists were having trouble finding work, they decided to pool their resources together and create their own animatronics company. Most had planned to return to working on movies and television once they’d made a splash with their enormous, lifelike representations of dinosaurs and monsters. But Creature Technology wowed the world with their creations, leading to the bustling and almost magical workshop shown in the video below.

Questions:

 

  1. Why must Creature Technology keep some of their creations secret?
  2. In an entertainment world that largely depends on computer animation, will physical effects designers like the ones at Creature Technology be able to compete in the long term?

 

Tagged in: AustraliaCreature TechnologyEntertainmentEntrepreneurshipGlobalOperations ManagementProduct DevelopmentSpecial Effects Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] You’ll Be Eating Crickets Soon. You Have No Choice

2016-10-27 13:49:42 nickelsmchughmchugh

Although the world’s population is always increasing, the physical size of the globe stubbornly remains the same. As a result, humans might soon face a shortage of some key resources, including food with high protein content. But here’s where the humble cricket hops in: while many Americans may consider them pests, crickets can be a nutritious and environmentally sustainable food source. This video takes a look at the ways one cricket farm operates and how its owners hope to market bug-eating to skeptical Americans.

Questions:

 

  1. Do you think Americans will ever find the concept of eating crickets appealing? Will they simply have to get used to the idea, as the video suggests?
  2. How would you market a cricket-based protein bar to the public?
Tagged in: AgricultureCricketsFoodGlobalMarketingOperations ManagementSustainability Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Formula for Selling a Million-Dollar Work of Art

2016-10-13 15:26:38 nickelsmchughmchugh

For those of us who aren’t involved in the upscale art world, the multi-million dollar price tags attached to some works can seem baffling. This video from Vox takes a peek into this exclusive market and shows how assessing a piece of art’s value often has more to do with the reputation of the artist and their dealer rather than the work itself.

Questions:

 

  1. Should a work of art’s value be tied more to its artistic worth? Why is this difficult to do?
  2. How do art dealers manipulate the market to drive up prices?
Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Automating the Grocery Warehouse

2016-09-23 14:31:06 nickelsmchughmchugh

Although drone deliveries are still a few years away from becoming a reality, automated machines are already having a big impact in other parts of the supply chain. This short but visually rich video takes a look at the robots made by a company called Symbiotic and the ways that they have streamlined operations at a grocery warehouse.

Questions:

  1. What makes Symbiotic’s robots more efficient than human workers?
  2. Will worker robots from companies like Symbiotic eventually replace human labor?
Tagged in: AutomationProduct DistributionRobotsSupply chainsSymbioticWarehousing Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Volcker Rule Explained

2016-09-14 14:45:01 nickelsmchughmchugh

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ranks among the most important laws passed in recent history. It’s also extremely complicated, amounting to some 14,000 pages of various regulations and restrictions. The video below takes a look at one of the key provisions of this landmark bill: The Volcker Rule, or the stipulation that banks cannot act like hedge funds and gamble with their own cash reserves. Although reviled by many on Wall Street, supporters say the rule is perhaps the most effective deterrent against another financial crisis on the scale of 2008.

Questions:

 

  1. Why is it dangerous for banks to invest too much of their own cash in risky ventures?
  2. Does the Volcker Rule prevent U.S. banks from being as competitive as their international counterparts?
Tagged in: Dodd-FrankEthicsFinanceRegulationVolcker RuleWall Street Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The ‘Natural’ Label on Your Food Is Baloney

2016-09-02 05:00:05 nickelsmchughmchugh

As Americans become more health conscious eaters, food companies have taken advantage of this trend by producing an abundance of items labelled “organic” and “natural.” However, one of these words is not like the other. This video takes a look at what “natural” means when it appears on food packaging and how this potentially misleading word could soon be subject to stricter regulation.

Questions:

 

  1. What is the difference between the words “organic” and “natural” when it comes to food packaging?
  2. Should the government place stricter guidelines on the use of “natural” on foodstuffs?
Tagged in: EthicsFoodLabelsOrganicPackagingProduct DistributionSustainability Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] NAFTA Explained

2016-08-29 13:57:10 nickelsmchughmchugh

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership inches closer to ratification in the U.S. and abroad, the debate surrounding free trade agreements like it has grown more intense. This video takes a look at one of the first of these tariff-eliminating multinational deals, NAFTA, and the ways that it has remained controversial.

Questions:

 

  1. Do free trade deals like NAFTA or TPP provide enough of an economic benefit to justify their potentially negative effects on the U.S. job market?
  2. How do tariffs encourage or discourage trade between nations?
Tagged in: EconomicsEthicsFree TradeGlobalManufacturingNAFTATPP Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How Free Games Are Designed to Make Money

2016-08-12 12:16:21 nickelsmchughmchugh

Mobile games like Pokemon Go and Clash of Clans have become revenue-generating machines despite being free to download in any app store. So how do these games manage to make money without a set price point? This fascinating video from Vox provides the answer by taking a close look at the optional purchases that drive profits for these apps.

 

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical for freemium gamemakers to earn the bulk of their money from so-called “whales,” people who spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on in-app purchases?

  2. Should other freemium game designers take a hint from Pokemon Go and be more discreet about where they place offers for optional purchases?
Tagged in: AppsEntertainmentEthicsMobileMobile GamingPokémon GoPricingProduct DevelopmentVideo Games Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Using Wastewater to Brew Environmentally Sustainable Beer

2016-08-09 13:23:07 nickelsmchughmchugh

As the U.S. craft beer market has grown over the years, breweries that were once seen as upstarts to larger rivals are now becoming established institutions themselves. But while this is great news for many thirsty Americans, the beer boom has not been as kind to local water supplies. In this video, Bloomberg takes a look at how California’s Half Moon Brewing Company is experimenting with a sustainable system that uses retreated wastewater to brew beer.

Questions:

  1. How would you market a beer that was brewed with sewer water?
  2. Should large scale breweries begin to use recycled water as well?
Tagged in: BeerCaliforniaGreenProduct DevelopmentRegulationSustainabilityWater Supply Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Does the U.S. Have the Highest Corporate Tax Rate?

2016-07-29 14:13:01 nickelsmchughmchugh

While the U.S. corporate tax rate looks tough on paper, this brief video demonstrates how large companies can use legal loopholes to drastically decrease what they owe to Uncle Sam.

Questions:

1. Should companies be able to exploit legal loopholes to lower their tax rate?

2. Would corporations be more likely to leave the U.S. if the government enforced stricter corporate tax standards? 

Tagged in: Corporate Tax RateEthicsLoopholesRegulationTaxes Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Why Did the Concorde Jet Fail?

2016-07-20 12:00:49 nickelsmchughmchugh

With cramped cabins, long delays and ever-increasing fees, these days airplane travel is about as exciting as a cross-country bus trip. In the mid-1970s, however, the skies briefly brightened with the arrival of the revolutionary Concorde supersonic jet. Capable of cruising at more than twice the speed of sound, Concorde could fly from London to New York in half the time of normal planes. For optimistic aviation observers, the jet represented no less than the future of air travel.

But a number of issues kept Concorde from soaring to the heights that many expected. Along with high costs and environmental concerns, a crash in 2000 followed by the post-9/11 drop in air travel led Airbus to discontinue the jet in 2003. This lengthy video from Vox details Concorde’s origin and end, providing a great example of how a product can still fail despite its technological advancement.

 

Questions:

  1. Do you think Concorde could make a comeback today? Who would be its target market?
  1. Why do some technologically advanced goods or services fail to catch on with the public?
Tagged in: Air TravelAirbusConcordeGlobalInnovationProduct Development Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Meet the Last Disco Ball Maker in the United States

2016-07-08 13:49:28 nickelsmchughmchugh

As a bit of an antidote to the tragic violence and uncertainty that has dominated recent headlines, this short, fun video looks at the last producer of disco balls in the U.S. and the ways they’re struggling to stay relevant.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Why would you purchase a Kentucky-made disco ball for $125 when one produced in China runs for as little as $30? 
  1. What stage of the product life cycle does the disco ball currently fall under?

 

“Meet the Last Disco Ball Maker in the United States,” NBC Nightly News, July 7, 2016. Photo by Tambako The Jaguar.  

Tagged in: Disco BallsKentuckyManufacturingProduct DevelopmentProduct Life Cycle Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] How the Euro Caused the Greek Crisis

2016-06-29 14:01:47 nickelsmchughmchugh

In the aftermath of the Brexit, many non-European observers have been left wondering why a majority of British voters opted to leave the EU. While a number of factors contributed to the historic ‘Leave’ decision, this video specifically looks at the euro’s role in plunging the Greek economy and how the crisis turned into a cautionary tale for other EU countries.

Questions:

  1. Should wealthy EU countries send regular financial support to poor nations in the union?
  1. Will the euro last as a continent-wide currency?
Tagged in: BrexitCurrencyEconomic CrisisEUEuroEuropeGlobalGreece Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Britain Is Leaving the EU. Here's What That Means

2016-06-24 14:27:44 nickelsmchughmchugh

Last night voters in the United Kingdom elected to part ways with the European Union. While the full consequences of this historic decision will not be known for a long time, this video explains the immediate impact of the “Brexit” and how the situation could play out in the coming months.

 

Questions:

  1. Did UK voters make the correct decision? 
  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of membership in an economic community like the European Union?
Tagged in: BrexitEthicsEuropeEuropean UnionGlobalImmigrationRegulationUnited Kingdom Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] What Is The 'Real' Unemployment Rate?

2016-06-16 13:30:17 nickelsmchughmchugh

While the government’s official unemployment rate has been hovering around 5 and 6 percent lately, that number doesn’t tell the whole story about joblessness in the U.S. This video summarizes the concept of the “real” unemployment rate and the different ways that the government defines joblessness in its statistics.

Questions:

  1. Why isn’t the “real” unemployment rate used as the official measure of joblessness?

 

  1. What does the large amount of underemployment in the U.S. say about the current state of the economy?
Tagged in: Human ResourcesJoblessnessUnderemploymentUnemployment Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] It's Not You. Claw Machines Are Rigged

2016-06-01 14:06:22 nickelsmchughmchugh

With summer here at last, people across the country will be looking to fill up their free time with some fun. But if your idea of a good time includes trying your hand at a claw machine, you may want to pick up a more reliable hobby. As this video shows, many claw machines are designed to ensure that players continuously lose. So beware, those who frequent arcades and boardwalk midways, the system is rigged against you!

Of course, not everybody gets to spend the summer trying to wrangle a Spongebob Squarepants plush from the bowling alley “skill crane.” For those who soon start their summer sessions, next week the Understanding Business blog will return to its regular posting schedule of around 3 articles or videos a week.

 

Questions:

  1. Should companies be allowed to rig games like claw machines without informing consumers?

 

  1. Why do regulators make clear distinctions between games of skill and games of chance?

 

Tagged in: Claw MachinesEntertainmentEthicsGamblingGamesProduct Development Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Explainer: Disruptive Innovation

2016-05-06 14:50:31 nickelsmchughmchugh

This week we looked at the startups that have tried to follow in the disruptive footsteps of the on-demand car service Uber. The following video explores how small companies can disrupt large firms and the ways that the big boys respond.

 

 

Questions:

  1. Why can it be dangerous for companies to focus on small but lucrative customer bases?
  1. Will startups like the parking service Luxe or even the gasoline delivery company Filld become disruptors like Uber?
Tagged in: CarsDisruptionEntrepreneurshipProduct DevelopmentUber Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Fed Machine

2016-04-19 13:10:34 nickelsmchughmchugh

To go along with last week’s video about the debt versus the deficit, here’s another quick piece that sums up a complicated financial concept using striking visuals. In this video, The New York Times constructed a Rube Goldberg machine that illustrates the consequences of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. In fact, the segment’s running time is so short that you might consider showing it twice just to get the point across (and to see this fascinating machine in action one more time).

 

http://nyti.ms/2277xwW

 

Questions:

 

  1. Why would the Federal Reserve want to slow down the economy?
  2. Along with maintaing monetary policy, what other responsibilities does the Federal Reserve have?

 

Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Never Mix Up The Debt And Deficit Again

2016-04-15 15:11:48 nickelsmchughmchugh

For years Americans have heard about the dangers of the national debt from TV talking heads as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle. But what exactly is the national debt, and how does it differ from the deficit? And just how frightening are these figures that top out in terms of billions and trillions of dollars? Along with defining “the debt” versus “the deficit,” this quick video also explains why GDP plays a major role in any proper assessment of U.S. debt.

 

Questions:

  1. Why is it important to know the difference between “the debt” and “the deficit”?
  1. How does GDP help to put the nation’s debt into perspective?
Tagged in: DebtDeficitEconomicsGDP Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] Unions Win Big in Supreme Court Split Decision

2016-04-01 10:00:53 nickelsmchughmchugh

This week, America’s labor lobby scored a major victory thanks to a split Supreme Court decision that upheld unions’ right to collect membership fees from public sector workers. The short video linked below brings clarity to this complicated story and focuses on the perspectives of both sides.

http://on.wsj.com/1VSf1RU

Questions:

  1. Is it ethical to require teachers like Rebecca Friedrich to pay for membership to unions they oppose?
  1. What benefits do union members receive from the dues they pay?
Tagged in: EthicsLabor RelationsRegulationSupreme CourtUnions Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] A History of Oil’s Booms and Busts

2016-03-25 14:13:15 nickelsmchughmchugh

Gasoline prices are lower than they’ve been in decades, but this is far from unique. Throughout oil’s volatile history the commodity has experienced several surges and sharp declines in value. This short but informative video tracks some of the biggest petroleum price jumps over the last century.

Questions:

  1. Why does the price of oil change so frequently? 
  1. Should world governments invest more money into alternative energy sources in order to decrease their dependence on the unpredictable oil industry?
Tagged in: CommoditiesEnergyGlobalOilPetroleumPricingThe Middle East Read more... 0 comments

[VIDEO] The Rocky Revival of Vinyl Records

2016-01-19 21:15:15 nickelsmchughmchugh

Although vinyl records sales are higher than they have been in decades, companies are having trouble meeting demand due to their reliance on old, antiquated machinery.

https://youtu.be/mHJQJbrvOd0

Questions:

  1. Will demand for vinyl records drop if companies fail to maintain a steady supply?
  2. With music and movie streaming sites now commonplace, do vinyl records and other forms of physical media have a long term future?

 

From The New York Times

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[VIDEO] What Happens When You Win the Lottery?

2016-01-14 21:24:51 nickelsmchughmchugh

This short video shows what happens to a person’s money in the very, very unlikely event that they win the lottery.

 

Questions:

  1. As the video says, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery, so why do people play it?
  2. Which option ensures that a lotto winner gets the most money from their prize: the cash payout or the annuity jackpot?

 

From CNN Money

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[VIDEO] Utility vs. Homeowners over Solar Power

2015-07-01 21:01:44 nickelsmchughmchugh

Millions of Hawaiians want to switch to cheap solar power, but overloaded grid structures often prevent them from doing so.

http://nyti.ms/1H09wdS

 Questions:

  1. What is the key problem facing consumers seeking solar power in Hawaii?
  1. What seems to be the solution to solving Hawaii’s energy problem?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Why the Rich Get Richer: Income Inequality Explained

2015-06-01 21:00:05 nickelsmchughmchugh

This animated video shows how compound interest insures that the wealthy remain that way.

http://on.wsj.com/1HUX6Ev

Questions:

  1. Do liberal economists believe everyone should earn equal income?
  1. What is a key to growing wealth among all individuals?

From The Wall Street Journal

 

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[VIDEO] What Are the Causes of Inequality?

2015-05-01 20:58:07 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video delves deep into the complicated origins of income inequality and how it affects the economy as a whole.

Questions:

  1. What has been the economic effect of technology on productivity and jobs?
  1. Is cutting CEO pay the answer to fixing income inequality?

From We The Economy

 

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[VIDEO] Guns, Drugs and Money

2015-04-15 20:57:47 nickelsmchughmchugh

From The New York Times

Growers and sellers in Colorado’s legal marijuana industry may only deal in cash, leading to major problems with banking and security.

http://nyti.ms/1zchdUI

 Questions:

  1. With cannabis legal in Colorado, why can’t banks deal with merchants?
  1. Is there a double standard merchants face in the cannabis industry?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] That Film About Money

2015-04-01 20:54:52 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video takes a look at the nature of money and why some people’s preconceptions about cash might be incorrect.

Questions:

  1. Can banks vary the amount of interest they charge borrowers?
  1. What’s the key reason why Federal Reserve regulates the money supply?

From We The Economy

 

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Inside the Guts of Macy’s Herald Square

2015-03-15 20:53:45 nickelsmchughmchugh

At Macy’s flagship store, it takes a lot of action behind the scenes to keep this iconic retailer running smoothly.

http://nyti.ms/1wUBqAl

 Questions:

  1. What utilities are critical to Macy’s success in the retail market?
  1. Why is the women’s shoe department at Macy’s such a massive size?

From The New York Times

 

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How to Make an Oscar Statue

2015-03-01 20:51:41 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video shows how one factory handcrafts each Oscar statue before Hollywood’s biggest night.

Questions:

  1. Does R.S. Owens Company use a continuous or intermittent manufacturing process?
  1. What type quality control process does R.S. Owens use in producing Oscars?

From CNN Money

 

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League of Legends’ Profitable World

2015-02-28 20:50:20 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video shows how far some video game companies are willing to go in order to create a one-of-a-kind fan experience.

http://nyti.ms/1xytTH5

 Questions:

  1. Why would Riot Games sponsor game competitions at a financial loss to the company?
  1. Are video games such as League of Legends fads or products here to stay?

From The New York Times

 

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Ex-NFL Star Finds New Passion in Farming

2015-02-01 20:48:58 nickelsmchughmchugh

After landing a big time contract in the NFL, Jason Brown left it all behind to work the land as a farmer.

 

Questions:

  1. Why would a successful NFL player leave football to become a farmer?
  1. Does his plan for building First Fruits follow good business practices?

From CBS Evening News

 

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[VIDEO] The Story Behind Oil’s Plunge

2015-01-15 20:45:25 nickelsmchughmchugh

This short animated video explains the recent drop in worldwide oil prices and what people can expect to pay at the pump in the future.

Questions:

  1. What has caused production of U.S. oil to increase by 90% since 2008?
  1. Why is it likely that American jobs in the oil industry will decrease?

From CNN Money

 

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[VIDEO] Cave-O-Nomics

2015-01-02 20:41:31 nickelsmchughmchugh

This nuts-and-bolts explanation of the economy acts as a good introduction to the course’s content.

Questions:

  1. Why is competition a key to developing economies?
  1. How do consumers and businesses benefits from high productivity?

From We the Economy

 

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[VIDEO] How Does Wall Street Influence the Economy?

2014-12-01 16:37:15 nickelsmchughmchugh

Another entry in the We the Economy series, this video delves deep into Wall Street and its role as a financial hub both in the past and the present.

 

Questions:

  1. What influence does Wall Street have on the U.S. economy?
  1. What major problem does Wall Street suffer from since the financial crisis?

From We the Economy

 

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[VIDEO] Supply Chain Reaction

2014-11-15 16:35:56 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video reveals some of the unpleasant origins behind the world’s most common products and highlights the importance of understanding supply chains.

 

Questions:

  1. Have big companies improved work standards in their supply chains?
  1. Should consumers be involved in making sure supply chains are managed humanely?

From We the Economy

 

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[VIDEO] The Debt and the Deficit

2014-11-01 16:34:00 nickelsmchughmchugh

This animated installment from the We the Economy video series explains the intricacies of the country’s budget deficit and national debt.

 

Questions:

  1. How does the number of social security recipients impact the economy?
  1. If the economy grew from 2 percent to 4 percent would that help the debt?

From We the Economy

 

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[VIDEO] The Remote Repo Man

2014-10-01 16:32:47 nickelsmchughmchugh

As people inevitably default on their subprime auto loans, dealers turn to a variety of ways to retain their merchandise, sometimes with hazardous consequences.

 

http://nyti.ms/1qwkB8x

 Questions:

  1. Do regulatory agencies need to clearly define when a borrower is in default?
  1. Should lenders be able to turn off a moving car?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] No Credit? No Problem

2014-09-15 16:31:35 nickelsmchughmchugh

In order to attract cash-strapped buyers, more auto dealers are offering sub-prime loans on vehicles for people with poor credit. This video and the one below document the potential dangers of this financing practice.

 

http://nyti.ms/1lgctaY 

Questions:

  1. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of sub-prime lending?
  1. Are investors in bundled sub-prime car loans taking on significant risk?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] See the Startup Developed in Prison

2014-09-01 16:30:14 nickelsmchughmchugh

An entrepreneurial incubator in California’s Folsom Prison teaches inmates business skills that can help them adjust to life after release.

 

Questions:

  1. Why are programs like the Last Mile important good for society?
  1. What message did inmate Trevor Bird offer that’s important to remember?

From CNN Money

 

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[VIDEO] Humans Need Not Apply

2014-08-01 16:28:29 nickelsmchughmchugh

Recent technological advancements in automation could soon make many human workers obsolete, according to this rather bleak video. Due to the length and potentially overwhelming nature of this piece, we recommend showing just the first five minutes.

 

 

 

Questions:

  1. What has been the true value of mechanical advancements for society?
  1. What is the key message sent forth in this video?

From CGP Grey

 

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[VIDEO] Etsy Artisans Reach Retailers

2014-07-15 16:27:06 nickelsmchughmchugh

The online, indie-driven craft store Etsy is giving their users a chance to sell their wares wholesale to retail outlets.

 

http://nyti.ms/1jFBb61

 

Questions:

  1. What are the major benefits of using Etsy to a firm like Worley’s Lighting?
  1. Do entrepreneurs like Shelli Worley often turn their hobbies into businesses?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] How Net Neutrality Works

2014-07-01 16:25:00 nickelsmchughmchugh

Net neutrality continues to be a hot topic for debate in Washington. Here’s a video explaining this complicated subject.

 

http://nyti.ms/1nRVU8i

Questions:

  1. Should the Federal Communications Commission (FDC) continue a policy of net neutrality?
  1. Does FCC Chairman Wheeler have a conflict of interest in this decision?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Pinball Machines for the 21st Century

2014-05-15 16:23:38 nickelsmchughmchugh

This New Jersey pinball wizard is trying to modernize an old arcade favorite.

http://youtu.be/FnKKoaMNxw4

 

Questions:

  1. What’s important characteristic about their customers must pinball machines manufacturers keep in mind?
  1. Will pinball manufacturers like Jersey Jack be able to expand their market?

From CNN Money

 

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[VIDEO] Browse Without Prying Eyes

2014-05-01 16:22:24 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video explains the simple ways that Internet users can surf the web without being constantly tracked.

http://nyti.ms/1mzC944

 

Questions:

  1. Why is online security important?
  1. Why don’t search engines protect an individual’s information?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Brazil’s Big Box Empire

2014-04-14 16:20:43 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video takes a look at a bizarre Brazilian retail chain that takes the concept of American pride a little too far.

 

http://nyti.ms/1lAokVM

 

 

Questions:

  1. What seems to be the inspiration for Havan stores in Brazil?
  1. What risk is Havan taking in relying so much on American symbolism?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Penciling in the Future

2014-04-03 16:19:22 nickelsmchughmchugh

Take a look inside this stately German pencil factory, one of the oldest family-owned manufacturers in the world.

http://nyti.ms/1dOrJOc 

Questions:

  1. How is the German economy different from the U.S. economy?
  1. Will the pencil go the way of the buggy whip and become obsolete?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] The Booming Business of Bilingual

2014-03-14 16:18:00 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video documents the personal sacrifices one Texas woman had to make in order to get her bilingual school off the ground.

 

http://nyti.ms/1dpXt7s

 Questions:

  1. What key marketing basic did Adriana use to start her business?
  1. What did Adriana do to help ensure her success in business?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Epic Fail: The Business Edition

2014-01-01 16:15:14 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video takes a look at how BlackBerry went from the hottest smartphone on the market to a victim of its own success.

 

http://nyti.ms/1kRYQDu

 Questions:

  1. What’s the important lesson to be learned from this video?
  1. What does it mean that Blackberry failure was due to “commitment escalation?”

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Scalded by Coffee, Then the News Media

2013-12-01 16:13:34 nickelsmchughmchugh

 

This video chronicles the famous saga of a woman who spilled McDonald’s coffee on herself and won a huge settlement, along with the ire of a nation.

http://nyti.ms/15WTRbJ 

Questions:

  1. Why did McDonald’s fight to not change the temperature of their coffee?
  1. Why did the actual facts in this case never come to light?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] Top Ten Marketing Failures

2013-11-12 16:07:13 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video chronicles the most famous and head-scratching marketing mishaps in recent memory.

Questions:

  1. What do the ten failures shown in the video tell us about marketing?
  1. What’s should companies do after a marketing mishap?

 

From WatchMojo.com

 

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[VIDEO] A Day in the Life of a Human Resources Officer

2013-11-01 16:01:39 nickelsmchughmchugh

Though this video hails from Australia, its breakdown of an HR rep’s daily duties is relevant to offices around the world.

Questions:

  1. What are the primary functions of human resource management?
  1. Describe the education background discussed in the video that is needed to qualify for a job in human resource management.

From Student Edge

 

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[VIDEO] Inside Budweiser’s Largest Brewery

2013-10-15 15:47:22 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video takes a close look at the day-to-day operations of A-B Inbev’s century-old brewery in St. Louis, MO.

Questions:

  1. Does Anheuser-Busch InBev use a continuous or intermittent manufacturing process?
  1. Why did Anheuser-Busch InBev choose St. Louis for their largest brewery?

From CNN Money

 

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[VIDEO] All’s “Fair” in Midwest Fried Food Business

2013-09-01 15:59:53 nickelsmchughmchugh

Mom and pop vendors at many of the nation’s leading state fairs are having trouble competing with new corporate competition.

http://on.wsj.com/1dks49v

Questions:

  1. What major challenge have small State Fair venders faced in recent years?
  1. What additional challenges do small food venders at State Fairs face?

 

From The Wall Street Journal

 

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[VIDEO] The Surprising Moral Case for Free Enterprise

2013-07-01 15:50:39 nickelsmchughmchugh

Suggested by Mark Varycki of Hillsborough Community College, this video makes the case for free enterprise as a moral imperative.

 

Questions:

  1. Do you agree with the position stated in the video that free enterprise is the best economic system?
  1. Is it correct to credit globalization and free trade with easing global poverty?

From AEI Enterprises

 

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[VIDEO] The Redesigned $100 Bill

2013-05-01 17:20:21 nickelsmchughmchugh

In this video the Treasury Department details all the design changes soon to be implemented on the $100 bill.

http://www.newmoney.gov/uscurrency/redesigned100.htm

Questions:

  1. Why did the Federal Reserve take almost 10 years to develop a new $100 bill?
  1. What other considerations needed to be considered in the new $100 bill?

 

From U.S. Currency

 

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[VIDEO] How About a Little Luxury?

2013-04-02 17:18:40 nickelsmchughmchugh

Auto manufacturers are looking to attract a younger type of luxury car owner by shrinking model sizes.

http://nyti.ms/ZBFtBl

  1. Why did American buyers reject small-sized luxury cars in the past?
  1. Why are Gen X and Y buyers considered good targets for smaller luxury cars?

 

From The New York Times

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[VIDEO] Creating Skilled Workers

2013-03-01 16:16:48 nickelsmchughmchugh

In an effort to create more skilled workers, manufacturers are adopting German-style apprenticeships with local students.

 

http://nyti.ms/1c3SNln 

Questions:

  1. Is apprenticeship training a valuable resource for high school graduates?
  1. Do “blue collar” jobs have a negative image in the United States?

From The New York Times

 

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[VIDEO] How Welch’s Started as Alcohol-Free Wine

2013-02-15 17:14:24 nickelsmchughmchugh

This video about Welch’s beginnings serves as a companion to an abstract in this month’s Newsletter about cooperative corporations.

Questions:

  1. What major advantages does Welch’s provide to their grape growers?
  1. Have other products shifted from their original purpose and found success?

From CNN Money

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[VIDEO] From Shoeshiner to Small Business Owner

2013-02-01 17:12:54 nickelsmchughmchugh

With the help of a mentor, an immigrant works his way up the ladder to eventually own a shoeshining business.

Questions:

  1. What business advice did Raul follow before starting his business?
  1. What’s been the real key to success for Willie’s Shoe Service?

 

From CNN Money

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