Business Models

Anything you can do, I can do meta.

A passage in Al Gore’s new book, pointed out to me by Julio Ottino, caught my eye and got me thinking. In discussing the automation of work, the former Vice President* writes: And robosourcing is beginning to have an impact on journalism. Narrative Science, a robot reporting company founded by two directors of Northwestern University’s […]


Can you launch a startup with just 100 bucks?

Later this month, Facebook is planning a ninety billion dollar IPO. Let’s write out that number so we glimpse its enormity: $90,000,000,000. Whoa. Chris Guilliebeau thinks Facebook is cool. But he urges the rest of us to concentrate on a smaller number: a hundred bucks. Let’s write out that one, too. $100. See? It’s a […]


This might be the best 11 minutes you’ll spend today.

Seth flags this short film about this amazing project. Watch it. Seriously. P.S. Seth also has some interesting thoughts on what this film tells us about the book industry.


Call my cell

On Saturday night, Mrs. PinkBlog and I — along with two-thirds of our progeny — decided to go out for pizza. We chose a place about three miles from our house called Il Canale, which a friend (an Italian journalist posted in the States) had raved about. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But moments […]


Take a trip to the Idea Store

A few weeks ago, Mrs. PinkBlog and I hopped into the family Toyota and drove to southwest Washington, DC, for the (e)merge art fair – a sprawling assemblage of creations from up-and-coming painters, sculptors, photographers, and performers. We saw some interesting stuff (and a lot of total dreck), but one of the most arresting pieces […]


How do you sign an e-book?

That’s a question that writers, and others with plenty of time on their hands, have been pondering since the intelligentsia realized that electronic books are a force rather than a fad. It’s easy to ink a signature across the title page of a paper book. It’s cool, too. (As it happens, I collect autographed books […]


If the shoe fits, give it away: What TOMS can teach your business

In this month’s Sunday Telegraph column, I examine the peculiar business model of the insanely popular American company, TOMS Shoes. Every time TOMS sells a pair of shoes to one of its customers, it gives away a pair to someone in need. Turns out this the


Another book recommendation: The Mesh

We all know it’s better to own than to rent, better to have than to borrow. But what if there’s a wiser way — one that takes advantage of the 21st century’s exploding opportunities for tapping information networks and connecting with others? Lisa Gansky’s The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing describes an emerging ecosystem […]


What a high school algebra teacher can teach us about innovation

Chances are that you’ve seen the handiwork of Karl Fisch. Along with Scott McLeod, he created the legendary Shift Happens videos, which have now been viewed online roughly four gazillion times. But Fisch also has a day job — at Arapahoe High School, near Denver. This year, in addition to his other duties, he’s begun […]


Is the best vacation policy no vacation policy?

In this month’s Sunday Telegraph column, I explore vacations through the lens of Netflix, Inc., which has taken a peculiar approach to paid holidays. At Netflix salaried employees (though not hourly workers) can take all the vacation they want — whenever they want to take it.  Somehow it works. (More: Check out Netflix CEO Reed […]