Tag Archives: Business

A Cold War that’ll Give You an Ice Cream Headache

Running contrary to the New Year’s notion of doing better for several years running is the McDonald’s Ice Cream machine, a notoriously finicky piece of equipment that has its own online dashboard of failure. And if the efficiency experts in your life don’t gnash their teeth at that, they likely will when they read Andy Greenberg’s article in Wired.

Photo: Gabriela Hasbun

It’s really infuriating to see miserable experiences be standardized, but to see the lengths to which people go to preserve a sucky status quo, well, it may not be surprising, but it is dispiriting (that said, it’s a fascinating read).

Circle Back on Jargon and Put a Pin in It

Last Wednesday, I was in more meetings than not, so when it came to figuring out a good “wonky Wednesday post,” this article by Olga Khazan in The Atlantic resonated with me.

Basically, the article points out how much of the jargon is not only used in business and office settings a form of the office culture, but that it’s also, shall we say, an act.

Both from my background in theater and anthropology, I find that rituals and, frankly, cliched lines uttered at the office ring false.

One of the most interesting aspects of the article is that many of the main users of certain types of jargon find it to be, on at least one level, ridiculous. Yet they continue to use it. I suppose I need to go back and read up ethnographic appraisals about the power of “normal.”

In fact even business consultants can find it goes too far (though I wonder if they lose business because they’re not optimizing innovation).

I guess I’ll stick a pin in these thoughts and circle back at a future Wednesday.

I mean, even business consultants admit jargon can be useless…

Business, Heal Thyself

I know a lot of self-employed and small business folk who are hurting during this pandemic. And for my own business, we’ve needed to rethink how and what we’re doing.

Image via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

One of those entrepreneurial, self-employed friends, Russell Nohelty, wrote a post about how he retools his business… as he has done many times.

It’s a non-trivial amount of time –especially if you haven’t done it before– and figuring out how to best attribute the costs of marketing to what are usually multiple products and services can be tricky, but it’s worth it. I especially like the ranking that excludes the “safe” rank of “7.”

So if you’re one of those self-employed/small business people, take a look! Odds are it’ll be informative.

The Judicious Use of the Word that Rhymes with ‘Duck’

Many a creative doesn’t want to wear the business hat. I know, that’s me too a lot of days. But it helps to be confident in wearing the hat when it’s needed and when to bring in the hired gun (e.g., a lawyer) for the right situations.

A legal eagle I use, Seth Polansky, posted this in a thread related to a particularly ridiculous film festival. I’ve seen it before, but in a sense, this about-40-minute video is evergreen and worth re-watching even if you’ve seen it before.

Business Plans Without Pitfalls

Between yesterday and today, you could accurately deduce I have business plans on my mind.

Today, I wanted to share another article I found on Entrepreneur. This one goes over six business plan mistakes to avoid. Many of them are ones fellow filmmakers and I have discussed (especially about #4 and money) and, hey, it may be useful to you.

The Different Audiences of a Business Plan

The folks over at Entrepreneur created an article outlining the different types of audiences you may have for your business plan.

I love this, because so many people like to harp on “your business plan” as if it’s this One Holy Thing your business needs — without defining it beyond the black box of the buzzword term “business plan.” (See also vision statement, mission statement, term du jour that boils down to knowing what you’re trying to do and how you do it.).

“Know your audience” is a common refrain for many creatives, so I suppose it makes sense knowing who’s looking over your business plan and why is obvious. But it’s a nice summary and, for me at least, a reminder that no one business plan would necessarily meet the needs of all the different audiences.

Recommended Reading: The Profit vs. Purpose Debate Continues

Jokes from my previous post about cheerleaders’ souls aside, it’s good to note that the debate about whether a business should seek profit to the exclusion of all else, or join it with purpose has raged for years, as explored in this article from Inc. by Bill Saporito.

Personally, I like it when businesses are profit-minded, but purpose-driven.

(At some point when I’m not feeling swamped with deadlines, I’ll elaborate on that phrase.)

Recommended Reading: The Battle for Cheerleaders’ Souls -er- Sequins

I’m always interested in learning about a particular business industry’s ecosystem. How do some businesses become the major player? How do they fall? How do new companies displace them? So with that in mind, take a look at Leigh Buchanan’s piece in Inc. on Rebel Athletic and the surprisingly pitched battle in the cheerleader apparel industry.

Put another way: Come for the glitter, stay for the reflections on what makes a “Challenger Brand.”