Your Business Card is Crap

…compared to Cody Shaw. Cody Shaw is a an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. He was looking for internships and noticed that a lot of people had slick business cards. Cody wanted to take this to the next level and create a card that also showed his electrical engineering prowess…

In Cody’s words:

So I thought up this cool little project during my last few weeks during my co-op term at Echologics Engineering. I saw everyone had nice, professional looking business cards, and I needed something to springboard myself into PCB design and manufacture. One and one came together, and this idea came about.

Be sure to check out his blog for the tech specs. They ended up costing him $3 a card, which is expensive, but considering the press the cards have garnered, I think it was worth it.

See the cards in action:

The Next Twitter? Vegan Meat.

Twitter Co-Founders Biz Stone and Ev Williams have a business incubator called Obvious Corporation. Their current big bet is on a Vegan Meat startup called Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat or “BM” aims to:

  1. Make plant based meats that are so close to the real thing, hardcore vegans may be put off by it.
  2. Create a product with better nutritional value – all the protein, none of the cholesterol
  3. Eventually be cheaper than regular meat

BM’s mission (from their website):

Our vision is to become the market leader in the development and introduction of new plant protein products. We are focused on perfectly replacing animal protein with plant protein where doing so creates nutritional value at lower cost.

So why are the Twitter founders interested in a meat substitute company? For starters, Biz Stone has been a vegan for 10 years. He’s on board with all the things that come with the vegan lifestyle, plus he’s on board with the way the company is approaching the multi-billion dollar meat industry.

From co.EXIST:

“These guys are coming at the meat analogue industry not as a novelty kind of thing or hippy dippy,” says Stone.”They were coming at it from this big science, super practical, scalable angle. They were saying, ‘We want to get into the multi-billion-dollar meat industry with a plant-based meat.’” When it came time for Beyond Meat to raise a round of funding, the guys at Obvious jumped at the chance.

The company’s first product is a veggie chicken strip. Then they’re coming out with something called a beef crumble, which I’m not terribly excited about…

Are you bullish on Vegan Meat?

(H/T co.EXIST)

What Really Motivates People? [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s no secret that happy, satisfied employees are a key ingredient to a successful company. But what really motivates people? Traditional thinking follows that the more you pay someone the more loyal and satisfied they are in their job.

But, the truth behind employee motivation is a more complicated mix including praise, autonomy, and leadership opportunities. Take a look at the infographic below for more on the many factors involved in motivating employees.

Mo Money Mo Problems

 

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.

Second Impressions…Protecting Your Awesome

Yeah…cause first impressions are so overrated.

Second impressions are ALWAYS the hardest.  Yeah it’s easy to be yourself the first time around and show off some talent, but what if you have to do it a second time or third…or for life?  This post is entirely focused at that second impression phenom.

So you have an idea, you’ve worked on that idea, and maybe have already built your prototype.  People around you are telling you how awesome your new invention is and that it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  These warm-hearted embraces and accolades from your buddies may be as awesome as kittens falling from the sky – your heart shudders a bit and your knees go weak from these cute and cuddly critters falling into your lap.  What isn’t coming in…is the greens.  Yeah your idea looks good on paper, but what are the next steps…because that second impression (the one to ACTUAL stakeholders) is crucial.  The first step…protect your idea from prying eyes.

Log Everything About Your Idea

While you are coming up with a way to build George Jetson’s spacemobile – you should probably take a minute to write all of this stuff down.  If you are like me (the artistic type) your brain is in about 400 different directions.  Your mind captures all of the information down in a mental note and then it stays there and eats your brains.  After a while though – those ideas stop being so hungry because you have work, family, school, parties…  What you NEED to do 100% is to write your ideas down!  Get a notebook (no not those loose leaf notebooks or even the ones with the perforated edges) and start writing that stuff down.  I actually recommend that you either go to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a “Composition Notebook” or if you are a little more trendy and wear those hipster jeans, skate on over to Barnes and Nobles or some trendy bookstore in your area and grab a Moleskin notebook.  Not gonna lie – probably the best notebook ever.

Alright well you have your idea…you have a book…I shouldn’t have to say this but did you grab a pen right?  Alright…Alright…I’ll wait…

So what do you need to write down?  Well I’ll tell you…and it’s not all writing mind you.  Be as detailed as possible.

  • What is your idea?
  • How did you come about thinking up this grand idea?
  • What does it do?
  • What does it look like? (This is that writing/non-writing part)
  • Does it help to solve anything? (Process, design, etc.)
  • Draw a picture…

When you draw the picture, people get so wrapped around the axle with statements like – “I can’t draw” or “Are you serious…I know what it looks like!”.  Seriously all you really need to do is draw a line/pen drawing of it.  Even a rough sketch that proves what it conceptually looks like.  If you can’t connect lines or know how to draw a box – try finding someone at a local college looking to do some extra work or something for a college project.  Could be free…could be really cheap.

Having this notebook and keeping it updated is your new-found purpose in life.  Your idea is now the boss of every pen stroke.  Log everything.  Updates to your idea, conversations with people about your idea, and anything else you can think of.  I would suggest to stop eating those chicken nuggets with that ketchup dripping off of them around this notebook.  Keep it clean, keep it professional.  It could come in handy not only as a log of everything “idea” related, but it could come in handy as a legal document if your neighbor has been using his binoculars – stealing your ideas.

The Origins of Surf Music

3254339[1]

The Boston Globe had a cool piece today about the origins of surf music and the misconception that the Beach Boys invented surf music in the ’60s. That of course isn’t true as killer surf music was around long before Brian Wilson’s voice made women swoon from coast-to-coast.

Timothy J. Cooley, an ethnomusicologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, took a look at the long association between music and surfing and found a surprisingly complex story, one that dates back centuries. Surfing first arrived in American popular music not by way of sunny California, but through Hawaii’s hapa haole songs in the early 20th century. Written by both Hawaiians and Tin Pan Alley composers in a mix of Hawaiian and English—hapa haole means “part-white”—the genre dealt with all things Hawaiian, partly as a way to promote the islands as a tourist destination. The songs treated surfing as a novel cultural export—along with ukuleles, pineapples, and hula dancing—for a mainland audience increasingly intrigued by island culture.

And well before that were the 18th- and 19th-century Hawaiian chants, ormele. In recordings and written texts of these chants, surfing appears as a sacred rite, a definer of class divisions, and, as the Beach Boys noted centuries later, lots of fun. Performed for royalty, the songs serve as an oral history of the sport and of Hawaiian society as a whole, with elaborate details about surfing hot spots, different techniques, and the structure of surfboards (your place in society decided the size of your board).

“[The chants] could go on for an hour, they went on for pages and pages and pages—they’re wonderful,” Cooley says. His new book, “Surfing About Music,” is the first ethnomusicological look at the full history of surf music. From his home in California, Cooley spoke to Ideas about his research.

These Kids Are Getting Paid To Drop Out Of College

url-1024x478

Must. Go. To. College.

It’s been ingrained in all of us: “If you want to be anything, you need a degree.” Well, the script is being re-written by the Thiel Foundation’s 20 Under 20 Fellowship program, which recently announced it’s latest participants.

From Entrepreneur:

The 20 teens chosen as Thiel Fellows are each awarded $100,000 over two years to launch their business ideas, but must drop out of college. While they are expected to be largely self-guided in their pursuits, they are given top-tier mentorship and guidance from former Fellows and other entrepreneurs and investors. They are also encouraged, but not required, to move to the San Francisco area.

The thinking behind the program is that entrepreneurs and innovators don’t all need the structure and time that a traditional four-year university requires. With student debt topping $1 trillion, Thiel says there’s a need for “more thoughtful and personalized approaches to finding success.” He hopes that Fellows “inspire people of all ages as they demonstrate that intellectual curiosity, grit, and determination are more important than credentials for improving civilization.”

In the three years since the program was established, Thiel Fellows have generated over $87 million in economic activity and created 182 jobs, according to Jonathan Cain, president of the Thiel Foundation.

Everything Is Ruined: Yum! To Launch A Banh Mi Fast Food Spot

Yum Brands - Defining Global Company that Feeds the World

The parent company that owns Taco Bell and KFC is opening a Banh Mi sandwich shop called Banh Shop, Business Insider reports.

This is the second big announcement Yum! has made in a few weeks, as they also decided to try their hands at the fast, casual trend to compete better with Chipotle and the like.

Yum! is proving that if there is a fad, no matter how foreign it’s origin, big corporations will do what it takes to exploit and saturate the market.

Banh Mi sandwiches are of Southeast Asian roots and usually consist of pickled veggies with meat on a French Baguette. You see the French once owned Vietnam so that’s why this all is happening.

God help us.

Hot Doug’s Is Closing, And It Sucks But Is Also Going To Be Okay

P1040596

A sad day for Chicago and an even sadder day for tubed-meat-enthusiasts.

Hot Doug’s Sausage Superstore, a pioneer in tubed-meat innovation, is closing it’s doors for good on October 3rd, 2014. Doug Sohn, the genius behind the hot doggery claims he is closing up shop because “it is time to do something else.”

That is a pretty cool sentiment. He is not closing up because of money or a dispute with a landlord, rather because he’s accomplished what he set out to do and now wants to take on a new challenge. Kudos, sausage king, kudos.

Hot Doug’s ascendency to the top of Mount Sausage culminated in a number of TV appearances, including on the Chicago episode of No Reservations.

If you’d like to get your hands on a Foie Gras Dog or their divine Duck Fat Fries, you have less than 5 months to do so.

An Important Message To Movers & Shakers During Playoff Season

stanley-cup-playoffs-2014

There isn’t a more stressful time in my life than the Spring. It becomes harder to stay focused and I find I am taking a lot longer to complete minor tasks.

I know what is holding me back, but I can’t tell a boss or a client, “Hey Big Shot! The NHL Playoffs are on and every team I hate is still playing and the only team I love is licking its wounds on a golf course or some magnificent Canadian Lake. Please excuse my ineptitude.”

I remind myself that I am not alone in this fight, but it doesn’t work. I think about the Maple Leaf fans who are sitting through a series between two hated rivals. I think of Flyer fans and Capital fans. This is not easy.

It is hard for hockey fans to go five minutes without thinking about their game. During the post-season is becomes that much tougher. Oh, and like I said my three least favorite hockey teams are among the last four teams alive in the Eastern Conference. In laymen’s terms I am in the middle of a two-month-long panic attack.

The nightmare of having to watch one of my hated rivals lift the cup is starting to become a reality and I don’t have the mental fortitude to make it through another Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Parade.

Obviously this is all going to have an effect on my performance and I hope you can just understand and pray that Carey Price stands on his head and it will all be over soon.

As Of Today Electronic Cigarettes Are Banned In New York City’s Restaurants

110915040220-electronic-cigarette-story-top

The newest, sleekest way to get a ticket in New York City is breaking the new law that bans electronic cigarettes from being smoked anywhere that there is a ban on smoking old-fashioned squares.

In a contreversial move, NYC has decided to create an umbrella law that treats all cigarettes as equals and will banish these E-Cigs to sidewalks and designated smoking areas.

The electronic cigarette phenomena is just getting started as people are turning to vaporizing their tobacco for a cleaner, healthier habit. However, New York City — the same Big Apple that doesn’t want you drinking soda in her realm — has deemed these healthy cigs to be an eyesore in public places.

Fines for violating the new policy can range from anywhere between $100-$400 bucks.