Cartoon Network's, Stuart Snyder was named the “Most Playful CEO” for 2012 and can be seen most days riding an oversized tricycle around company headquarters.
His employees are encouraged to have just as much fun.
One of the core values of the company Zappos is:
“Create fun and a little weirdness”
Now in its second year under Amazon.com, Zappos and their 3,003 employees maintain its zany culture with thinks like:
So…do you have fun at work?
Studies show that workers who have a little fun on the job are:
Experts say just look at toddlers. Toddlers learn best when they are playing, it’s also the best way of motivating them to do something.
The sad thing is that, as we grow up, and progress further in life, we tend to get rid of the ‘fun’ element, thinking it’s ‘not professional’.
But, according to the book The Levity Effect: Why It Pays To Lighten Up:
“If people are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis and take better care of the organization.”
The Great Place To Work Institute, a global research, consulting and training firm compiles Fortune Magazine’s annual, “100 Best Companies To Work For” list. Ironically, they're not on the list. SEE THE LIST
Each year, they ask tens of thousands of employees to rank their workplace experiences by answering 57 questions on a variety of factors including whether or not: “This is a fun place to work.”
Their decade of research that shows, that:
Now, skeptics make the argument:
“Well, that just because the company is successful, because of that employees view the company as ‘fun’”
But Amy Lyman, co-founder of the Great Place To Work Institute, disagrees saying it is VERY unusual for a company to be among on the ‘100 Best’ list and not score extremely well on the ‘fun’ question.
She points to the research that shows some very successful companies on the list that are only denoted as ‘good’ places to work. On the ‘fun’ question, those companies only score an average of 52%.
We all remember the most bizarre headline of the year: Dennis Rodman watches basketball and dines with Kim Jung Un.
It was a huge, internationally recognized publicity stunt.
But a lot of people ignored who exactly set the meeting up.
That was Vice Media, a multimedia company based out of Brooklyn.
One correspondent said:
“Dinner was an epic feast. Felt like about ten courses in total. I’d say the winners were the smoked turkey and sushi, though we had the Pyongyang cold noodles earlier in the trip and that’s been the runaway favorite so far.”
Vice received a lot of criticism for the visit, bragging about the food while millions starve in North Korea. But by all other measures, the visit was a success.
Vice correspondents were the only Westerners to ever meet Kim Jung Un. The hype was built for their TV series.
So how did they get to this point? And what does it mean for the future of journalism?
According to NPR, In its nearly 20 years, Vice Media has gone from a small Canadian magazine to figuring out the holy grail of media: how to capture an international audience of aloof 18- to 24-year-olds.
In the office's edit rooms, young producers work on everything from a food series, to a film about Somali pirates, to interviews about electronic dance music.
These projects violate all the rules of what's supposed to make money on the Web. Articles can approach New Yorker length. Videos can last an hour, covering topics both serious and salacious. They attract millions of views, as do the ads that accompany each video.
Vice's secret sauce has attracted big-name investors like Tom Freston, who ran old-media conglomerate Viacom after helping found MTV in the '80s. He has pushed Vice to expand to reach urban youth around the world.
Vice now employs 1,000 people across 34 countries, producing dozens of stories and videos a day. More at NPR News
Hear Bill tell the story of Vice Media.
With a revolutionary multi-media communications platform, Julie Stav inspires and empowers people from all walks of life through her popular national radio show, “Tu Dinero con Julie Stav”; her New York Times bestselling books; and appearances on Univision Television as their on-air financial expert.
But there is more to Julie’s story than most people know.
Julie’s youth was marked by struggle. Her family’s life was totally upended the day Fidel Castro took control of the country. From a seemingly perfect life in her native Cuba, in which her father, a well to do factory owner, was forced into becoming the janitor of the factory he used to own.
Her parents made the painful decision to send Julie out of Cuba for the opportunity of a better life. Immediately upon being separated from her family, she was sent to an orphanage in Mexico and endured a difficult two-year separation from her family.
When Julie was finally reunited with her family in Los Angeles and enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District, it seemed like her troubling story’s happy ending had arrived. But Julie's struggle didn't end there.
She spoke no English and was unable to communicate successfully, so LAUSD classified Julie as mentally retarded.
Her father, however, knew Julie's potential and refused to let the school district’s label determine her fate. He encouraged her to persevere. Julie did and became wildly successful and has dedicated her life to empowering others and giving back. Read more about Julie here.
Listen to Bill's interview with Julie Stav
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond.
From this humble beginning would grow the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball's color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years.
Read more about Jackie Robinson here
If you were married in the 1950s the dynamic was simple.
But that dynamic has been changing.
A recent USA Today analysis of Census Bureau data reveals an interesting change in the traditional roles of men and women.
Today, when one spouse works and the other stays home:
When the Census Bureau started tracking this data in 1976, that number was just 6%
In addition, when BOTH spouses work:
That means, in more than 12 million families, it’s the wife who is earning more than her husband.
And here’s an interesting fact:
According to U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Center and the Education Department reports:
In 2010, women earned:
According to Census data, during the recession:
As a result, more men were forced to stay home and take care of the house and kids while their wives worked.
What’s the price of a bowl of chili? Whatever you want it to be–at least at some Panera Bread cafes in the St. Louis area. The cafes are at the forefront of a trend: letting consumers set their own price.
As reported by ABC News and the Associated Press, other businesses are experimenting with this same model.
Video game downloads are available for whatever buyers want to pay through sales site Humble Bumble. Way back in 2007, rock band Radiohead used the same model to sell their album “In Rainbows.”
Ron Shaich, founder and CEO of the Panera chain, says the purpose of his pricing is partly charitable: If customers pay more than the chili costs Panera to make, the profit subsidizes meals for customers who cannot afford to pay as much. Diners are told upfront, when deciding what to pay, that this is how the system works. Read more aboutt his trend at ABC News
In 2010, Time Magazine named Kickstarter as one of the ’50 Best Inventions of the Year”
Kickstarter is described as a “crowd-funding” site. It’s a place where creative people can put their ideas out there and ask for help getting those projects funded.
In fact, KFI's own Bryan Suits, recently got his book project funded via Kickstarter!
…are the architects of Kickstarter.
In 2002, Chen, then a waiter and a Tulane Business school graduate, was trying to organize a $20,000 concert, but couldn’t afford to assume the risk on his own, so the concert never happened.
He started thinking of ways to make sure that this wouldn’t happen to him again.
In 2005, he approached, Yancey Strickler, music journalist and the editor-in-chief of the website, eMusic, with the idea for Kickstarter.
They went to Charles Adler, a tech designer and fleshed out the idea for what they called a “marketplace for creativity” and a place where people who needed money for a project could get it.
There are many categories of projects. For example:
According to Kickstarter’s guidelines:
There’s also a list of ‘prohibited’ things you can’t start a project for.
If you don’t fall into one of the prohibited categories, it’s simple and free to POST your project.
You go to Kickstarter and:
Then you send out the link to friends, family, or via social networks and wait for the donations to come in!
If you get enough donations in your allotted time, then:
If you don’t raise the money by the deadline:
Critics say there is one worrisome part of Kickstarter.
What if a project that was fully funded is never completed? After all, when a project is funded, the creator gets their money minus the fees.
Because of that, can Kickstarter be liable if a project isn’t completed?
Since creators receive their money after their project is funded, Kickstarter can not issue refunds.
Kickstarter says that creators of projects that are fully funded are expected to keep those that donated to them up to date on the status of the project through completion.
If a funded project isn’t completed, the creator of the project needs to find a resolution, such as offering refunds or detailing exactly how funds were used to satisfy those that backed the project.
Here’s one thing to remember, this is not an investment. You’re basically giving your money away. So if you invest in a movie that makes a HUGE amount of money, you get nothing but the pleasure of knowing that you helped make it possible and whatever little trinket they offered you for contributing.
Sandy Stein had a dream. In it, her deceased father showed her a simple design for a product and told her to get out there and sell it!
At the time Sandy was 52, a career flight attendant, and mother of a 10 year old boy. Her husband had been out of work and the airline industry was suffering due to 9/11.
Using her natural sales ability and experience gained from selling lipstick (a side job), she put together the most unusual sales plan the gift market had seen.
Then, using her life savings, launched Finders Key Purse® in December 2004. She and her team sold 1 million pieces in her first year of operation!
Over 9 million Finders Key Purse® have been sold to date and Alexx, Inc. has 12,000 customers throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Middle East, & New Zealand.
Listen to Bill's interview with Sandy Stein!
When you get engaged or married, you usually create a Registry, so people know what kind of stuff to buy you.
Now, you can go to high end retailers like Nordstrom’s,
You go in, scan a bunch of stuff you want people to buy you and they can access this information via a website or at the store when they’re ready to purchase you a gift.
Registries are designed to make sure you get the stuff YOU want, instead of the crap that people want to buy you sometimes.
Well, what if you want a NEW CAR?
There’s a registry for that too!
You may have recently seen this 30 second Dodge Dart commercial on TV…it’s everywhere.
In January, Dodge introduced the Dodge Dart Registry.
This allows you:
You can also upload pictures or a video about why you’re asking people to sponsor your car, some which involve sob stories.
Then, the registry itemizes the components of the car like:
….then those items are listed so that people can BUY them for you.
Once the registry is complete, you spread the word about it via email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
They go to the registry and click the ‘Fund a Part’ link and using a credit card, they sponsor those specific parts based on how much they want to spend.
The funds raised on the registry, MINUS A FEW FEES, are used to purchase your Dodge Dart.
Yes, there are fees involved, and these fees apply whether or not you reach your goal.
There is a:
That’s $90 for every $1000 raised. So, if you’re trying to raise funds for a $20,000 car, that would be $1,800 in fees!
The fees go to RocketHub, to cover the cost of running the registry for Dodge.
When your pre-determined timeline is up, you see how much you have and then ‘withdraw’ the money (minus the fees) and put it toward the cost of the car.
OR…you can ‘withdraw’ the cash and keep it, which would seem to be counterproductive since you still have to pay the fees anyway.