See What Startup Is Attempting To Change The Mattress Game

The mattress industry these days is what it is. You know you’re going to overpay, it only depends what for. The memory foam, a remote control attached to your bed, or a waterbed. The mattress game is in need of revamping, and a startup called Casper aims to do just that.

In a quote from CEO Philip Krim:

The industry is bloated with sales commissions, excess SKU creation, and retail rip-offs. You can’t choose the right bed by lying down in a crowded showroom with a salesperson hovering overhead.

Casper will sell one mattress model available in six different sizes, with latex foam and memory foam that contour to the body while remaining cool and bouncy to the touch. But the main draw to the business model is the packaging and shipping of the mattress. Empowered by a German compression machine, the mattresses are packed tightly into a box that can fit in the trunk of a car, making life much easier for folks.

[Entrepreneur]

 

Tuesday Morning Link Sprinkle

Start your Tuesday off right with some of the most interesting stories in the hustle with our link sprinkle. And enough peeps already, it’s beach season.

The summer reading list for entrepreneurs is here.

Pay your darn interns for Pete’s sake.

Netflix stream prices are going up for new customers.

How all those hours at the cube farm has shaped American life.

Ways for men to get the most out of their clothes.

 

Taking On Giants: A Quick Look At MacDougall Batmakers

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“Is anyone else doing this? If yes, can I do it better?”

That quandary is usually enough to derail a business before it leaves the mind of the would-be-founder.

Louisville Slugger and Rawlings have been the premier name in baseball batmaking for the better part of forever. They have left little, if any room for a competitor.

In fact, if you were telling your friends and family you wanted to start making baseball bats for a living, they’d probably think you to be out of your mind.

But over in Bend, Oregon baseball enthusiast John MacDougall is doing just that.

He is the man behind batmaking start-up called MacDougall Bats that has spent the past five years trying to challenge the common way of thinking.

MacDougall started his company after seeing several bats meet their demise in the batter’s box. Sick of replacing expensive bats, MacDougall began researching batmaking and looking into different types of wood that would last longer.

MacDougall found his answer and began started making bats out of

The results have been successful thus far. MacDougall bats are now being carried in stores in several US Stores as well as stores in Canada, Australia, and England. Their Powerwood Bats are NCAA approved.

MacDougall Batmakers are not just trying to turn into a cute little story, they are instead challenging the old guard of an industry long thought to be conquered.

 

Location, Location, Location: The Innovation Hubs Of America

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You’re an inventor, but are you living in the right city? The map above shows the 20 American cities with the most patents received. As you can see, areas like New York metro and greater San Francisco are the biggest hubs for innovation, but not the only spots. Technological advancement seems to arise in clusters, where competition fuels progress, and if you’re not in the Big Apple or Silicon Valley, don’t worry, you can still make a name for yourself in other places like Texas or the Chicago area.

To read more on the growth of specific metro areas visit Inc.com.

Game Changer: Walmart To Sell Budget Friendly Organic Food

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Say what you want about the so-called “evil forces” of Walmart, but perhaps they’re doing a good thing here by selling affordable organic foods. When it costs more for a dollar menu burger than it does a head of broccoli, consumers are searching for ways to eat healthy within their budget. And what’s more synonymous with budget than Walmart?

Walmart has teamed up with Wild Oats to be its exclusive organic food supplier, launchingabout 100 products to the line, some costing 50 percent less than more popular brands. Whether the food is any good remains to be seen, but we can bet on continuing to see a rising trend in mainstream stores jumping on the organic bandwagon.

From Forbes:

“We’re removing the premium associated with organic groceries,” Walmart executive vice president of grocery Jack Sinclair told reporters on Wednesday, adding that customers “have been asking for this.”

Indeed, internal research carried out by the Bentonville, Ark.-based store chain showed 91% of their shoppers would happily buy organic products at Walmart — for the right price. As it is, the retailer’s organic food segment has been growing faster than its main grocery business, said Sinclair.

Whether the food is any good remains to be seen, but we can bet on continuing to see a rising trend in mainstream stores jumping on the organic bandwagon as demand for affordable organic products continues to rise. Once again, we have Walmart, potential game changer.

[FoodBeast]

Monday Morning Donuts: How The Hell Are We Going To Make It Through This Week

I have bad news. The weekend has come and gone quicker than you can say Bubba Watson sniffs his own underwear.

It is Monday morning and you have to find a way to pull off another full work week despite the  beautiful weather that will be shining through your office window.

I know it seems hopeless right now. But as Gandalf says, This Too Shall Pass and in four sleeps it is going to be Friday morning and we are going to be talking about the big plans you have for this weekend.*

How are we going to make it this time? See below:

The NHL Playoffs Are Here. Yes, yes. The NHL Playoffs are lots of fun. This year the first round features some particularly tantalizing matchups. St. Louis and Chicago were Stanley Cup Favorites about 10 minutes ago and now they are playing against each other in the first flippin’ round. Same goes for Los Angeles and San Jose. The Eastern Conference is as stale as month old Cape Cod chips but overtime goals make players scream like a bunch of school girls cutting school with Mom to see whoever the new Miley Cyrus or Justin Bieber is these days.

Sunday, April 13th May Go Down As The Best Night In TV History. Mad Men, Parts Unknown, TURN, Game of Thrones, Veep, Cosmos, Silicon Valley, and Years of Living Dangerously all were on last night and you didn’t watch all of them in one because it isn’t college anymore. So make sure you’re on your spoiler game this week as you catch up on your stuff.

The Milwaukee Brewers. I don’t care that it is only the third week of the season we are excited about the Brew Crew. These guys have some gosh darn gusto. Milwaukee is currently riding a 9 game win streak into a series against those mighty fine St. Louis Cardinals. Now would be a good time to ask  your friend for his MLB.tv credentials.

But first, enjoy this batty performance from Future Islands on Letterman a few weeks back:

 

 

 

*-may have taken some liberties with that Gandalf quote. My bad.

Just Your Run-of-the-Mill Thursday Morning Link Dump

It is almost Friday. Get a little closer by sniffing around these links.

From INCImmigrants are starting businesses at nearly double the rate that American Born citizens are.

Kauffman says there is a fine line between being active in promoting your business and being annoying. Straddle that line.

A brief guide from Entrepreneur into hiring the right people in the food biz. They say personnel is the most important factor for a successful bar, I say it may be the food/drink.

And how about a look at a company trying to redefine the Mayonnaise game.

Morning People Are For The Birds

Morning people suck.

-Abraham Lincoln, 1852

For a morning person waking up is as simple as it sounds. Turn off alarm, kick off blanket, feet on floor, and off we go! Don’t matter if it is 4 AM on an extra cranky Monday Morning in February and annual reviews are looming or if it is a beautiful Saturday in May — these mutants are able to carpe diem from the moment their REM cycle wears off.

You on the other hand hobble into work at 8:58 because you spent the better part of your first hour fighting off dozens of alarms and bartering with the voices in your head. Well, I showered last night and laid out some clothes before bed, so I earned an extra ten minutes. The next thing you know you wake up in a cold sweat after a half-dream about hot dogs chasing you through the Lincoln Tunnel and you are on pace to be at your desk at 8:59.

This isn’t a new theme in your life either. In high school your mom or dad probably swore at you to wake up from September until June. And you thought 11 AM classes were easy to wake up for in college? Think again beer monster, you were up until 3 AM last night watching reruns of Cheers. 11 AM comes a lot quicker to those hanging with Cliff Clavin at the wee hours of tomorrow.

You knew morning people existed in college. Most of them were girls and the athletes who got them. They were up for spin class and a shower while you were face down in a couch sporting a few loose french fries in between the cushions. Now those morning people have graduated into the freakish super-morning-people you see in the break room at your office.

It is seven minutes into the work day and you are already fighting to keep your eyelids where they belong during work hours. In your head you wager whether or not is worth it to get a cup of joe from the break room. It is coffee-rush hour and there will probably be a lot of people you hate by the mugs. So you decide to wait until things slow down along the main thoroughfare to the break room. You attend to a few e-mails (mostly from friends and Groupon), spin your wheelie chair around like you have something important on the other side of your desk, and then you check your fantasy team. Voila! It is 9:37 AM and the break room should be clear. As you get nearer to the breakroom you hear the familiar hiss of the Keurig, signaling the end to someone’s brew. You slow down a bit hoping you catch a break and the current inhabitant is done with their java song and dance before you enter. But with milk and sugar still to be added you didn’t stand a chance. And before you stands Walter and boy did he have a morning he wants to tell you about.

“Hey Walter.”

“Happy Monday Champ.”

“Yeah.”

You walk over to the Keurig cup drawer and pick out whatever cup because function over form.

“The rain is really getting these week off on the right foot.” You hate to be sarcastic in the office but it is Monday and you haven’t had any coffee yet.

“I love a good soak. Ran to the gym this morning in my Vibrams and then went on the [rowing machine]* and simulated the Henley Royal Regatta before getting in my bis, tris, and thighs.”

It is then that your mind takes you back 90 minutes to the song and dance you did instead of rowing a simulated version of one of the most prestigious races in the world. You collect your mug in shame and head back to work.

You start calculating what time Walter must have got started this morning. His gym antics sound like they took at least an hour, add in time for running to and from and then a shower. Then it hits you, Jesus Christ, this dude is waking up at 5 AM every morning.

On the commute home you cut a deal with yourself that you are going to try to emulate Walter. Oprah says it takes 30 days to make or break a habit and starting tomorrow you are going to be a morning person!

It is now 12 hours later and 5 AM hits like a freight train. Your hand lands on that snooze button and you roll over. Tomorrow I am going to be a morning person.

 

Plumber Pranks Brother By Tapping Beer Through Every Faucet Of His House

For you beer lovers, you probably would want nothing more than to to continually pump beer through the pipes in your home. Sounds nice…for a minute…in theory. Well, some pranksters in New Zealand did just that to one of their friends, and it was awesome, authentic, elaborate and potentially overkill.

Russell Brown, the “victim” has played many a prank over the years, and his brother decided it was payback time.  His brother, Sean teamed up with a New Zealand Brewery Tui and plumbed beer through Russel (and his wife’s) home. They tapped EACH AND EVERY faucet, to stream ice cold beer.