Business Administration Education Guide

Friday, May 11, 2007

Living Room Discussions Encouraged Through Starbucks Coffee Cups

There are just as many jokes about Starbucks as there is Microsoft. Both companies are international successes, have aggressively pursued it’s industries, been called Darth Vader of the economical world, both have they’re Feel Good Charity departments and both have caused their fair share of controversy.

But I believe Starbucks has now outdone MS with its newest controversy issue of thought-provoking messages on coffee cups.

Despite anti god complaints, coffeehouse goliath Starbucks is standing by its campaign to put thought-provoking messages on its coffee cups and insists that the messages are not anti or pro anything, they are simply statements to get a person thinking.

The controversy exploded after a customer became steamed after reading a quote on the coffee cup that asked:

"Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure."

The quote was written by Bill Schell, a Starbucks customer from London, Ontario, Canada, and was included as part of Starbucks' "The Way I See It" campaign to collect different viewpoints and spur discussion.

…and discussion or better yet debates it has spurred. The “discussion” has become so hot that it’s become the chosen favor for national radio show subjects for Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham.

Former Starbucks customer and cup reader Ken Peck of Lakeland, Fla., bought a thought-provoking cup that he felt criticizes his Christian faith here is his photograph of the cup.

It reads:
The Way I See It #230 “Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can’t wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell.”
- Joel Stein, columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

The coffee cup dialogue offended Peck so much that he has now started a boycott of Starbucks in favor of other local coffeehouses in Polk Co., Fla. In his opinion, he has said

"There's absolutely no reason to put that out on a cup," Peck told World Net Daily. "From a marketing standpoint, it blows me away. I don't put a picture of Christ of my business card."

Meanwhile Seattle-based Starbucks has not and it looks as if they will not be making any apologies any time soon for they’re God-related messages, nor its campaign.

"We are committed to this program," Starbucks communications manager Tricia Moriarty told World Net Daily. She said that the quotes regarding matters of faith make up only a small fraction of the printed messages.

"We cover topics such as theater, film, the environment, food and sports," Moriarty said. "The cups are not pro- or anti-religion per se," said Moriarty.

Ani God or Pro God?

The Way I See It #92:

"You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny." -- Dr. Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose-Driven Life.

The Starbucks' "The Way I See It" campaign website site: "Please note: The opinions put forth by contributors to “The Way I See It” do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks."

The thought-provoking messages were meant to spark conversation and it has done just that. Starbucks never said you have to agree with the messages, it was a marketing ploy to get customers to buy new cups to see what the next cup would say and to get customers talking. Oh it, definitely is doing that.

Starbucks touts itself as the Living Room café where friends and family get together. What do people do in their living rooms? They talk and that is exactly what Starbucks has accomplished with they’re message cups.

The funny thing is that I hadn’t even noticed the new thought-provoking messages on my Starbuck cups, until I discovered this bit of news. I pulled my cup out of my wastebasket and read the message.

The Way I See It #196

The greatest leader is a servant. Don’t be a boss. Be a leader, a servant leader. A servant leader is a winner. Even when he loses everything, even when he loses his life, a servant leader wins it all.” -- Pat Williams Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic

Hmmmm I’ll have to think more on what he means.

Hey it worked!

Stop smoking with an E

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Silicon Valley Offers Haircut Fringe Bonuses

Every day three refitted Winnebago mobile homes owned by Onsite Haircuts roll into the famous Silicon Valley high-tech companies such as Google, Yahoo Inc., eBay Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.

The ‘bringing personal service to you’ work culture is instilling a new sense of community to employees and experts say, such an environment boosts productivity.

Silicon Valley has earned its reputation for mixing the informality of California beach culture with innovative and rebellious industry trends that has sometimes disrupted the

Old school corporate ways of doing things.

Google in Mountain View south of San Francisco offers free organic food, laundry machines, a gym, massages, volleyball court, bike repairs and on-site doctors. Workers with new babies can bill the company for up to $500 for take-out food.

The company that plays together works happily together.

Andrew Hargadon, worked at Apple Inc. from 1990 to 1993 and recalls perks such as free bagels, beer on Friday and Nerf tag games -- Hargadon said such items make workers feel better about irregular hours and encourage more productivity.

Because many of the companies are in industrial parks with few commercial establishments nearby and with traffic always draining the lunch hour minutes, small services like hair cuts and mobile delivery espresso cafes and lunch buses make a big difference. In addition, not punching in a time card allows employees to take lunches and breaks, as they need them and not interrupting a specifically productive moment of work development.

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Microsoft's Biggest Threat: MySpace?

From: InformationWeek

magine for a moment that Microsoft's biggest threat comes not from Google, but from MySpace. That view was advanced by Slide CEO and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin in a panel discussion at the Software 2007 Conference on Wednesday.

"MySpace is what's going to take on Microsoft," said Levchin. Google, he said, doesn't have that much data. Never mind that Google's recent personalization push is all about getting that much data and more.

Social networks, said Levchin, are becoming operating systems in the sense that they create consumer lock-in through control of user data. And just as Microsoft dominated the desktop in the '80s and '90s, he expects social networks to dominate in the years to come. He subsequently referred to social networks as platforms, which may be a more appropriate metaphor.

Whether social networks are operating systems or platforms or the next bubble, Levchin's point has some merit. User lock-in goes a long way toward explaining why MySpace is reportedly planning to acquire Photobucket.

Brian Behlendorf, founder of Collab.Net and a founding member of the Apache Software Foundation, expressed some skepticism about Levchin's view, noting that social networking sites aren't quite that "sticky," and that people can be part of multiple social networks. He said that an open data movement might well arise and noted that people are developing screen scraping software to make data more portable.

Levchin countered that the metadata associated with social network profiles can also lock users in. As Levchin sees it, the Internet is rapidly recentralizing around a few large players. "No one wants to collaborate," he said offhandedly. "Web 2.0 is a joke. It doesn't exist."

Wes Boyd, co-founder and president of, also said he was "really concerned about some of these closed communities" such as Facebook. Yet he allowed for the possibility that an alliance between consumers and companies might be able to prompt legislation that would give individuals and businesses some measure of data ownership.

Behlendorf echoed that sentiment, noting that enterprises want to own their data. "That's going to be an upper limit to," he said.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Linked In?

I’ve been avoiding new social networking sites because after a while they all just start to melt together like ice cream on a Chicago summer day. On the other hand, that is sort of like going online and reading only one news source and thinking you know everything there is to know about the article subject matter.

I keep hearing about LinkedIn and figured it was time I paid anther visit to the site and do my homework.

What is LinkedIn?

It's a professional networking website. Some call it MySpace for Adults without webcam girl emails and pictures of that drunken night at the last holiday party.

There are no blogs about how Joe Smo can’t get a date or ‘Princess waiting for her Prince Charming’ lack of love.

Linked In is a place where you can build a network of valuable networks. The first step is joining Linked In and creating your professional profile. Then search for people you've worked with, worked for, or just know from school.

Why Use LinkedIn?

The more creative way to go about utilizing LinkedIn is to travel around the site and see who may be a valuable professional connection for your long-term career goals. However, remember that others are also looking for valuable networking sources – so to find value, be valuable.

Is there a company you have always wanted to work for but just haven’t been able to get an interview with? Search for people who currently and or formally have worked for the company.

Once you have exchanged greetings and agreed to link, you'll have access to they’re network connections as they will have access to yours.

After some research I find that LinkedIn definitely deserves some more attention. So here are some tips & tricks I discovered.

Don’t expect LinkedIn to do the work for you. It’s a tool, like the keyboard. Just because the keyboard has letters doesn’t mean it’s going to write an email for you.

LinkedIn won’t automatically connect you to people. Relationships don't just happen, you have to go into the system and introduce yourself and get involved.

The more time you spend exploring LinkedIn, the more helpful it can be.

Being friendly pays -- the more connections you have and a potential contact has will increase the amount of networking possibilities that exists.

Let me know what you find by exploring LinkedIn. I’m looking forward to experiencing all that LinkIn has been bragged about -- feel free to add me.

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No gas on May 15th, won't work

Don't boycott gas on May 15th . It just wont work.
The only way to make a difference and show companies that we can do without gas is to use *less* gas.

I've started parking my car a couple of blocks away from work. This way I get a bit more exercise and I save a few extra pennies in gas. Plus, if my car isn't readily available
in the garage than I wont make car trips when I could easily walk.

Other ways to boycott gas prices effectively

Carpools / National sites

1) Carpool Connect

Carpool Searches, Message Center and Forums

2) eRideShare

A good website with a lot of tools that inlude correspondnce safety, driving traffic stress suggstions, groups, events, where to buy cheaper gas and many other options.

The website is still pretty low key in format and eye candy, but the tools make it a great drive by site.

3) Carpool Match NW has better eye candy than eRideShare and it offers new members a choice bewteen regular commutes and one time trips.

However, you must verify your address before continuing. I used my PO address, my work address and than make up a residential address and every time it said the address could not be found. I also used two major intersections and nothing came up.

So I stopped trying.

Other Suggestions

Look up your local public transportation and see if they have a Rapid Express bus that makes few stops

Some metropolis cities offer vanpool programs for large companies.

Try to work with your company to set up a company vanpool program.

The May 15th boycott myth will not lower gas prices:

Boycotters who drive their cars on May 15th -- their overall gas consumption will remain exactly the same. Boycotters will simply pump more gas on or before May 14th or after May 15th.

The dollar savings calculations are wrong:

May 15th boycott emails claim that if 73 million people chose not to fill up on gas on the 15th of May, it would save approximately $2.3 billion dollars ($31.50 per person). Simple math and even my bad math calculations knows that the calculations are almost $700 million away from $3 billion.

Second, we can not even get one million people to recycle 7% of garbage, how in the world can we expect 73 million to not use a gas pump?

See Snopes for more information on why the May 15th boycott wont work.


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Monday, May 07, 2007

Cures or Bioweapons?

I think I can safely say that all of us or at least the majority of humans let alone Americans want cures / antidotes to deadly diseases such as anthrax, avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease. However, the same majority that want the cures and the research for those diseases do not want the process location to be any where near them.

A dozen US states is intensely competing to be the host to a future government research lab that will be full of killer germs that would provide hundreds of jobs.

  • At least 300 lab-related jobs
  • Multiple janitorial positions
  • Dozens of administrative jobs
  • Hundreds of construction jobs

As part of the bidding competition, the government has said it would take into account offers of new roads, cheap water supplies and discounted utilities. The competing states are dangling their premier scientific expertise and community treasures as location bonuses.

The competing states are:

  • Texas - San Antonio is offering three sites - They currently have four similar sites.
  • California
  • Georgia - offering two sites each
  • Kansas - offering two sites each
  • Oklahoma
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi - offering two sites each
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Wisconsin
* Kentucky and Tennessee are working together for one site in Kentucky.

The proposed 520,000-square-foot National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility that will cost at least $450 million to build and operating by 2014. In June, officials will narrow down their options to three to five state sites with the wining state announced in October 2008.
The future site would replace an aging and smaller lab currently at Plum Island, N.Y., which was criticized for security lapses after the site drew scrutiny from Congress and government investigators.

However, residents of the biding states are not happy to even be considered for the potential site.

Largely in opposition against the lab.

City Council voted to oppose the sites proposed for their communities:
Dunn & Dane County, Wisconsin
Tracy, California

The Wisconsin bid has drawn complaints from landowners who have bought development rights to preserve the land in rural areas just outside Madison. They are imposing not only the development the lab would bring, but worry about the pathogens that could leak into the community area such as Lake Kegonsa.

"They made sweeping statements of 'Trust us,' generalizations that nothing bad will happen. That may be good enough for some people, but not for me," a Wisconsin Patent lawyer George Corrigan said.

In Leavenworth, Kansas, residents voiced concerns about lab safety, the lab's effect on property value, traffic congestion and the project's potential to make the area a terrorism risk.

Everyone has questions and it seems as if the government isn’t being too forthright in providing answers.

The future lab will be considered a BSL-4 site, meaning it would be equipped to handle the most lethal, incurable disease agents. The lab will be the only one in the country to integrate study of lethal agents that could be used as bioweapons on humans and in agriculture, research on diseases that could be passed between animal and human, and foreign animal diseases.

The politicians of these states are intensely competing and playing host to welcome in a lab that could potentially develop cures and antidotes for some of the world’s deadliest diseases. However, as stated, the lab is a project managed by Homeland Security where they will study the lethal agents that could be used as bioweapons. This sends a firework display of questions in my mind.

One question is:
Will they be looking to create a protection against bioweapons or create an offensive stance as a one last desperate measure against the enemy?

Source: Associated Press

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Five Additional Ways to Watch TV

From Research Brief

According to a soon to be released study by E-Poll: "Multi-Platform Viewing of Video Content," the youth are leading the way, with 26% of males 13-34 frequent viewers of video on devices other than a TV. Teens are by far the most prevalent users of mobile video devices such as iPods and cell phones.
  • 75% view on a desktop computer
  • 46% view on a laptop
  • 16% view on a portable video player
  • 13% view on iPod
  • 13% view on cell phone