Category Archives: Blog

NEW YORKER Says It All (and other gripes too)

Must admit I did lot of political stuff when Bernie was active. Never touched Republicans. Now it is my turn to endorse a candidate. My Favorite Magazine, the NEW YORKER, did it in a cool way. YES, a 131 kilo / 289 pound Miss Universe sounds cool.

Much of what I do day-to-day is not glorious. Sometimes I get to write, what I call great blogs. You may not agree that SO HOW IS THE 124-YEAR OLD “START-UP” COMPANY DOING? is great. But I do. I spent several hours working on it.

Many times I think I am in the wrong business. I obviously love writing blogs. I love picking other blogs to REBLOG. But the STUFF that goes along with it is absolute “BS”. Respond to comments on WordPress. Go onto FACEBOOK and respond to whatever. Same with TWITTER, PINTEREST and the other little followers. Not Like the old days when I wrote about SUPPLY CHAINS.

What changes do you want to see in NYC’s subway system?

NYC subway in an attempt to modernize the aging transit system. Chief among those is the introduction of more than 1,000 new subway cars (some of which will have an open-gangway design) that’ll be filled with tech-focused upgrades: Wi-Fi, USB ports, the whole nine yards. Some subway stations will get revamped; others will get better wayfinding systems; and countdown clocks are apparently coming to more stations.

These are all good things, right? Well, sure, in theory—but we all know how long it can actually take for improvements to actually get made to the subway system. (We see you, Second Avenue Subway.)

Plus, there’s the fact that there are other urgent improvements that could be addressed, but aren’t quite as fancy; things like repairing stations that are falling apart, for example, or bringing the system up to a “state of good repair” (a process that could, admittedly, take up to 50 years).

With all that in mind, we’re curious: What changes do you want to see in the NYC subway system? Cleaner stations? Wi-Fi underground? More public art? Take any and all suggestions to the comments (and remember to play nice).

SEE THE COMMENTS!!!

What’s Wrong With This Picture ?

I am not one who usually complains. Even my complaints are kind of mild. A lot of bloggers probably will laugh at what DOES bother me.

(1) Bloggers, some who sell their own books for example, stick little advertisements right in the middle of a page. I keep looking for a « EXIT » OR « X » to get rid of the horrid box.
(2) While bloggers may or may not go on Facebook, we must be signed-in to post there. Facebook insists on sending us « instant notices » of new posts.
(3) WordPress is a publishing platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online, and proudly powers millions of websites. It comes in two flavors: the fully hostedWordPress.com, and the self-hosted version, whose software is available for free atWordPress.org. WordPress.com sites send blogs for you to read, like or reblog at set times….which YOU can control. WordPress.org sends new blogs whenever THEY want.
(4) The stupid bouncing logo on Goggle Search.
(5) There is no picture. That is what is wrong ?

Mark Cuban: Here’s Why Millennials Love Bernie Sanders

Could billionaire entrepreneur and Shark Tank host Mark Cuban be considering a run for president?

You’d think from the tone of a blog post he published Monday, entitled “Some Thoughts on the Presidential Race and Socio-capitalism,” that it has at least crossed his mind. In the post, the outspoken Texas native ripped into candidates from both parties for what he perceives as a lack of leadership, poor understanding of technology, and an inability to craft a sound fiscal plan.

Cuban’s post is well-timed, with the New Hampshire primaries getting underway Tuesday and polls showing many of the candidates running neck-and-neck. The rhetoric in the run-up to the primaries has at times turned ugly in debates and town halls, where asserting progressive or conservative bona fides and voicing extremist views have often usurped discussion of the issues voters care most about.

he cites Millennials, who most frequently include an element of social entrepreneurship in their business plans. And he links their ideas and enthusiasm about using business to solve social problems to their support of Sanders’s campaign:

How can it be a surprise that Millennials are excited about Bernie Sanders? Millennials EXPECT capitalism to reflect a socialist element. I don’t think Bernie knew this going in. Either way, any candidate that expects to get millennial votes needs to understand that your father’s capitalism is not … how they understand the world. Soci0-Capitalism [sic] is who they are and what this country will be. Whether you like it or not.

8 Morning Rituals of the Most Successful People

What are some examples of the morning routines and habits of successful people? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.

Answer by Alok Sharma, intern at IIRS-ISRO, on Quora

The day begins with the morning, and how well you utilize your morning decides how well you utilize your day. The morning habits of successful people vary, but a few common and helpful practices emerge. They

1. Wake up early.
2. Decide and review what to do for the day.
3. Work out.
4. Have a healthy breakfast.
5. Maintain a journal.
6. Meditate.
7. Finish difficult tasks with focused work.
8. Outlearn their competition.

1. They wake up early

What do Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz, Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, and many, many other successful people have in common? They all wake up early; any time from 4 to 5:30 a.m., they’re up, while their not-so-successful competitors are comfortably in their beds, dreaming about how to beat the titans.

2. They decide and review what to do for the day

Most successful people review, plan, and look into their goals, strategies, and motivations before starting the day. They have clarity of vision, and this clarity breeds mastery that they can unleash in their work. This goes hand in hand with journaling (point 5).

For example, Steve Jobs asked himself every morning:

3. They work out

Apple CEO Tim Cook can be seen in the gym around 5 a.m. Jack Dorsey goes for a six-mile jog, while Unilever CEO Paul Polman runs on a treadmill.

All successful people understand that they need a highly functioning body, without diseases and stress, to face the day and perform some of the most challenging and inspiring tasks in the world.

Science says that working out releases endorphins that help reduce stress; it also maximizes energy and keeps you all-around healthy.

4. They have a healthy breakfast

Some do it at home, some in the car, and some in the office, but all successful people have a healthy breakfast. Richard Branson has a breakfast early in the morning, while Hain Celestial CEO Irwin Simon has a breakfast meeting. Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley says: “I used to eat virtually nothing for breakfast. Now I have a V-8 juice, half a bagel, and a cup of yogurt. And I eat five or six times a day. It’s about managing your glycemic level. You don’t want to boom and bust.”

It’s a good thing to have complex carbohydrates that slowly break down and release energy as the day goes by.

5. They maintain a journal

Some call it a gratitude journal, some call it an idea journal, some simply call it a

record or a plain-old diary. Mark Twain, George S. Patton, Thomas Jefferson, George Lucas, Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway, and Ludwig van Beethoven all kept a journal. They recorded their thoughts, ideas, gratitude, plans, strategies, goals, progress, and reminders.

Journaling is a powerful tool for planning, strategizing, reflecting, tracking progress, keeping ideas, motivating, and inspiring. It’s a doorway to yourself.

6. They meditate

Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney, and Jack Dorsey meditate daily to improve focus, bring clarity and peace of mind, eliminate distractions, reduce stress, and boost health.

Science agrees: 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.

7. They finish difficult tasks with focused work

Successful people recognize that focus, energy, and willpower are far more valuable resources than money.

To do any task masterfully requires focus, energy, and willpower. With daily practice, successful people transform their habits into rituals; they reach a level of automation so they can utilize their resources on even more demanding tasks.

After reflecting, planning, and strategizing about their goals, successful people begin work with the focused execution of the most challenging but most rewarding tasks, early in the morning, so that they can finish other tasks that require lesser resources later in the day.

Science has proved that willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day passes.

8. They outlearn their competition

Successful people outlearn everyone around them. They’re obsessed with learning. They’re voracious readers. Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Disney CEO Bob Iger read and learn. They finish newspapers, books, audio books, journals, and magazines like Harvard Business Review, Inc., or Forbes while their not-so-committed peers waste their time on worthless entertainment.

I’d also highly recommend reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy, The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma, and On Shortness of Life by Seneca to get an insight into the rituals of a few highly successful people.

When the Rich Took Over Our Neighborhood

By Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

Chinese restaurant across the street from me – one of the last, reasonably priced joints in the neighborhood – closed last weekend. Their lease was up for renewal and the rent increased from $5,000 a month to $25,000.

Such an enormous jump isn’t unusual here in the West Village, part of Greenwich Village in lower Manhattan, which has become such an expensive and trendy part of the city that I may soon be kicked out both for violating the fashion code and skewing the curve on median income.

The restaurant owner, who had run his place for three decades, was remarkably calm about it. “I understand,” he told the dining blog, Eater. “The property values are really high in this area.”

That’s an understatement. Much of Bleecker Street, for example, once a Village thoroughfare of bohemia immortalized in songs by Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen and Iggy Pop, is now a mini-Fifth Avenue of upscale boutiques and chain stores from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers and Coach. Gone are most of the delis and funky, mom-and-pop shops that gave the area its distinctive style.

Gone, too, are many of the community services that make a neighborhood a neighborhood, replaced by expensive housing and other amenities for the rich whose desires are obliterating the very things that made this area an attractive place to live in the first place. Just a block north from that now-shuttered Chinese restaurant is the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital, founded in 1849 by the Sisters of Charity, a Catholic teaching hospital that over the years treated everyone, rich or poor, and everything from cholera to AIDS (it was a pioneer in HIV-AIDS care). Survivors from the Titanic and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire were brought there, and on 9/11, its medical staff waited patiently for casualties.

But five and a half years ago, St. Vincent’s flatlined and closed, awash in bankruptcy and whispers of alleged collusion with developers eager to get their hands on some prime real estate. The New York Post even reported, in 2011, that the Manhattan district attorney was investigating “whether honchos purposely tanked its finances so it could be sold.” Nothing ever came of the story or the rumors and now, rising on land where healing and compassion were once the be all and end all, are grand luxury condominiums.

“Inequality in housing has reached Dickensian dimensions. The middle class is being squeezed to the edge as the rich drive up real estate values and the working poor are shoved farther into squalor… wealth and power get their way without regard for the impact on the lives and neighborhoods of everyday people.”

This weekend, The New York Times reported that the first two condos had been sold: “An eighth-floor unit went for $19,528,202.36 and was the most expensive closed sale of the week, while another, four floors below, sold for $16,320,623.57.”

In each case, the buyers are anonymous. The Times continued, “The pricier of the sold apartments… has four bedrooms and four and a half baths spread over 4,537 square feet. The unit, with monthly carrying costs totaling $15,800, also has a library with a fireplace, a home office, a large utility room with a washer/dryer and a centrally located gallery. There is an open living/dining area with beamed ceilings, dark-stained herringbone floors and custom wood trim.”

According to the development’s website, “These handsome spaces bring to mind the cachet of an Old World private club.” No doubt the kind where Gilded Age tycoons like Carnegie, Morgan, Vanderbilt and Whitney escaped the madding crowd and from the windows flicked their cigar ash at worker bees and slum dwellers.

So there goes the neighborhood. These new apartments next door to the empty Chinese restaurant are what economists call “local indicators,” further proof that the one percent would prefer the rest of us to vanish into the woodwork – excuse me, the “custom wood trim.” As colleague Bill Moyers reported a year ago on Moyers & Company, “Among our largest, richest 20 metro areas, less than 50 percent of the homes are affordable.”

In New York City, he said, “Inequality in housing has reached Dickensian dimensions. The middle class is being squeezed to the edge as the rich drive up real estate values and the working poor are shoved farther into squalor… wealth and power get their way without regard for the impact on the lives and neighborhoods of everyday people.”

And here’s another twist of the knife in the back of the rest of us. In August, Laura Kusisto at the Wall Street Journal wrote:

“Even though construction of multifamily rental properties is running at the highest level in decades, the overwhelming majority of new units — more than 80% in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas — are luxury, according to CoStar Group Inc. Construction costs are generally too high to justify building new complexes for low- and middle-income tenants, experts say, contributing to the scarcity.”

Meanwhile, the now vacant building where the restaurant operated becomes just one of many empty storefronts here in the Village, a paradoxical phenomenon related to our ongoing gentrification known as “high-rent blight.” Even though this pestilence can destroy the character and stability of a neighborhood, owners may hold out for months and years in the hope that the space will be sold to build yet more deluxe apartments or that a bank, national chain or top-of-the-line, overpriced boutique will show up to pay top dollar, as so many others already have.

What’s happening here is happening in other urban centers. As Tim Wu noted in a May issue of The New Yorker:

“The fate of small businesses in the West Village may be a local issue, but it is one with large implications. For one thing, cities remain major drivers of economic growth, and small businesses continue to form a larger part of G.N.P. than their larger cousins. But there is a deeper issue as well. Since the nineteen-sixties, when Americans faced an extreme wave of urban blight, they have understood rising property values as a reliable measure of recovery. But everything can go too far, and at some point high property values may begin to destroy local economic activity.”

There was a time, Wu pointed out, when the great urban critic and author Jane Jacobs – who lived just a few blocks away from me — thought that Greenwich Village was the very model of an ideal city neighborhood, precisely because, in part, local merchants did business with one another and looked out for each other and their friends and customers who lived nearby. What’s more, it had eclecticism and diversity, and as she wrote more than 50 years ago in her classic book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.”

Jacobs worried about a future in which the sense of community was lost and the elite isolated themselves from everyone else in their stately pleasure domes of beamed ceilings and dark-stained herringbone floors. “We expect too much of new buildings,” she said, “and too little of ourselves.”

She would look at what’s happening today and first despair, then fight like hell, for as Jacobs knew, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

The Night Air: Fenway Fraternization

Wide Awake But Dreaming

Mornings with good coffee seem to do the trick for me, because today I’ve had good coffee, a good muffin, and good music, and in two hours time I’ve written almost twelve hundred words even with breaks for conversation and research.  And with the three hundred words I wrote last last night, there almost fourteen hundred and fifty words to post today.  That’s a whole lotta writing, let me tell you.

The flight moves on, and by now my kids are well down into the city of Boston–or Bastaan, if you prefer.  This scene leads off with a bit of recollecting as my Solo Flier and her Chase arrive at the next stop of their whirlwind tour of the Night Skies of New England . . .

All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

The universities were behind them. They…

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Don’t Let Omni-Channel Pressures Force You Off the Supply Chain Grid

Seamlessly managing business in today’s ever-changing omni-channel environment is a lot like competing in the Super Bowl: It requires a superior level of skill, agility and collaboration to take home the championship ring. Coaches must devise a strategy and reach consensus about their offensive and defensive lines before they finalize the game plan. Yet, once the players are on the field, any number of things can happen—players get injured, the ball gets intercepted, etc.—to disrupt a team’s plan. The team that can react more quickly to these disruptions, and then execute a newly revised plan to score, is the one that wins.

The same is true in business today. How quickly a company is able to see and react dynamically to market trends, disruption, or change in consumer demand is dependent on the agility of its supply chain and the collaborative relationships it has developed with its supply chain partners. Just as a football is rarely carried in a straight, uninterrupted path toward the goal line, getting a product from one end of the supply chain into the customer’s hands requires significant coordination, adaptation and collaboration between all players of the extended supply chain.

Yet, in reality, often little to no collaboration occurs between retailers, manufacturers and their partners because of differing or conflicting business objectives. We rarely see suppliers, manufacturers, third-party logistics (3PL) providers, warehouses, and retailers operate in unison, and the evolution of today’s connected consumer has only amplified this problem.

Consumers’ expectations are higher than ever now that smart technologies have become an intrinsic part of the shopping experience. Increasingly connected via social media, consumers are more informed and influenced by their peers than ever before. These consumers expect a personalized shopping experience—from initial promotion to post-purchase communication—that’s tailored according to how and when they like to shop. They are also willing to pay more for products and services they value, and they expect these preferences to be anticipated and met.

As a result, succeeding in this new consumer-driven environment is not easy. Increased complexity in the marketplace, data overload, fluctuating demand, trust issues and competitive threats are just a few of the challenges retailers, manufacturers and distributors are facing.

The Impact of Omni-channel in Manufacturing

Fearful of being left behind, many companies are embarking on a “me-too” omni-channel game plan, rushing to offer consumers more personalized products and services. The problem, however, is that few businesses are earning a return on these investments. In fact, according to a recent study conducted for JDA Software by PwC, only 16% of companies can fulfill omni-channel demand profitably today.

In a rat-race to address consumers’ ever-changing expectations, companies are paying a high price to sustain or grow their market share. As businesses sell and deliver products across multiple channels, it’s the high cost of fulfilling orders that is eroding margins. Plus, 67% of companies in the study report that their fulfillment costs are growing, not shrinking, as they increase their focus on selling across channels.

One of the reasons behind this increase is the complexity and high costs associated with managing a fulfillment network that is essentially driven by the end consumer. Smaller order quantities (e.g., eaches or cases), more order variants (e.g., a zillion yogurt flavors) and temperamental consumers who now have access to many different shopping channels are all factors influencing the complexity of the supply chain and the new level of coordination required of all supply chain players. According to the study, businesses report their highest costs associated with omni-channel selling are related to handling returns, shipping directly to customers and shipping to the store for customer pick-ups.

It’s no surprise, then, that the need for multi-channel management has created a plethora of planning and distribution challenges not just for retailers, but for manufacturers, wholesale distributors and 3PLs. In the face of increasing competition and rising demand volatility, companies often make ambitious price/product/service offers in order to win the sale—without considering the true cost of fulfilling those offers.

Manufacturers and their trading partners need to work together as collaborative partners to achieve the ideal balance between too much product and not enough. By tightly connecting the planning and execution processes to what is actually happening with demand, inventory visibility is increased and products can more effectively flow through a synchronized supply chain.

To achieve this level of seamless supply chain planning and execution, companies must build a new type of supply chain—the supply chain grid—that will enable them to thrive in an omni-channel environment.

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