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Business Bytes

This category contains 12 posts

Friendly neighborhood technologists

Unlike on Main Street, in a virtual business customers and competitors, whether around the corner or around the world, are equally close.   But when there’s no neighboring start-up to pop into, it’s difficult to know what virtual business is actually around the corner. While the Internet does make in-person meetings less of a necessity … Continue reading

Prophecies are not housed in prices

If people could easily interpret the economy then “expertise in economics” would be redundant rather than a full-time profession.  In the attempt to gain insight, people, rather obsessively, watch different metrics as indications of whatever the economy seems to be doing and to predict its next move.  Housing prices provide one data point, where rising … Continue reading

Why touch that dial? Advertising can benefit consumers

Jana, the world’s largest mobile payment network, with access to 100% of cell users in over 100 countries throughout the developing world, could be the dystopic novel Feed finally realized.  For those of you who were not young adults in the early 2000’s , in the novel people have a device wired directly to their brain … Continue reading

Money’s on the move, slowly

Money that moves grows the economy.  Moving money means people spending, which signals potential profitability from production.  Greater production then leads to a greater Gross Domestic Product.  Anything that makes it easier to people to spend money, like a standard currency in the United States or credit cards, then grows GDP.  While mobile commerce or … Continue reading

Polonius erred; a borrower, please be

First the modern world eliminated debtors’ prison, making prison more a state of mind.  But with any number of people coming to collect and settle debts, prison might have been kinder: serving time in lieu of searching desperately under the mattress ad infinitum. The drama of financial crises and fiscal cliffs has obscured a defining … Continue reading

Pay it forward

It can be hard to adjust to new technology, particularly if you’re old enough to have lived through, rather than studied, the Korean War.  Sometimes, though, the technology of the future takes way longer to arrive than it seems that it should. In the days before sliding a finger to answer the phone, a touch … Continue reading

Questions to pop exuberance bubbles

The option to go public provided a revolutionary way for a business to raise funds, beyond appealing to a wealthy benefactor’s eccentricities or sensibilities.  While I am no stock market scholar, it seems that the public option provided the primary way to raise funds for many, many years.  That “venture capital” and “angel investing” are … Continue reading

Analyze that: challenge accepted

It seems that companies use selling advertising slots as a magic bullet for profitability.  While advertising certainly boosts a company’s revenues, the greater value a company can provide to advertisers lies not in delivering an audience but in delivering information about the audience. It is worth considering the incredible array of web services available at … Continue reading

Boingo could be a go

To those on the 3G network or who enjoy sitting in Starbucks for hours on end, it seems incredible that anyone would pay for wifi access. Boingo, a company with a wifi network that offered wifi subscriptions, finally realized the ridiculousness of its model and now offers wifi at no cost to the consumer, albeit … Continue reading

Starbucks expanding mobile payment network

Starbucks recently announced a partnership with mobile payment network Square.  Under this arrangement, customers can pay through Square’s app, Square will process Starbucks’ transactions, and Starbucks will invest in the start-up’s next round of funding. Square currently competes with another mobile payment start-up LevelUp; Square charges a 2.75% interchange fee to all businesses who use … Continue reading