Archive for the ‘Best in the Bizz’ Category

Pigs Switch to Trail Mix
May 31, 2007

                                                                                     trail-mix.jpg

With corn prices rising, pigs are switching to fatty snacks. Farmers are feeding their pigs trail mix, cheese curls, tator tots, yogurt covered raisins, candy bars, french fries, and other fatty snack foods. Some farmers even mix chocolate powder with cereal and feed it to baby pigs. You may be asking why on earth they would do such a thing, similar to my initial reaction. The growing demand for corn based ethanol, a biofuel that has has become very popular over the past year, has pushed up the price of corn to near record levels. Corn is a farmers main feed and feed is a farmers biggest cost when raising animals. Therefore, farmers are feeding their animals people food since it is often less expensive.

The price of corn has doubled from 2 years ago and is now at $4 per bushel. I find it hard to believe that candy bars and trail mix can be bought for less than that. If so, I’m paying way too much. However, some extremely innovative farmers save even more. For example, one farmer found a local manufacturer that was looking to dump surplus mix that was either too salty, sprinkled with cardboard, or otherwise not up to standards. Idaho farmers are buying truckloads of french fries, hash browns, and Tator Tots. And the Hershey Co. have been selling farmers waste cocoa and the trimmings from Kit Kat bars. Nissin Foods, maker of Top Ramen, has been selling farmers the noodle scraps that accumulate under the assembly line.

Farmers costs who have been feeding their livestock fatty snacks are still paying on average 17% more than they did the year before in order to feed them. This number would be far higher if farmers weren’t using alternative food choices. One farmer said he’ll save over $40,000 by feeding trail mix, as oppose to corn, to his 5,000 hogs. But he will still be paying more than he would have 2 years ago.

Google – Don’t Be Evil
February 23, 2007

Last week, our guest speaker was Andrew Rodman, the “Google Guru.”  He provided us with a very informative class session, which I was disappointed to see end.  He showed us an exceptional amount of remotely simple information that most of us tend to overlook.  The first piece of information he provided that really made him my “Google Hero” was the simplicity of viewing a snapshot of each page as it looked when we indexed it.  For those of you without the computer savviness as myself, give this a try.  By holding Control and Print Screen (top right of the keyboard), you can copy the identical image you have on your entire screen.  To paste, simply right click and paste as you would typically do.

 

 
I really enjoyed how the class was completely hands on and provided us with a lot of information that can be used immediately to help us to better utilize the internet more efficiently and quickly.  For example, have you searched the internet for currency or metric conversion?  Each and every time I’ve ever used the internet for conversions when cooking, doing homework, I’ve spent at least ten minutes to find an accurate site that actually contains the information I’m looking for.  With Google, simply type 8 feet to meters and it’ll give you the answer immediately.  He also taught us a lot of quick techniques to use to scurry along our web surfing process.  I learned some helpful things from Andrew Rodman and was glad to have him as a guest.  

 

 

 

The Best Mantras Write Up
February 13, 2007

What makes a great mantra? 

            There are various elements that make a mantra great.  First, a mantra must motivate and inspire the workforce of the organization; it is simply more than just words put together in a catchy phrase.  Having a solid mantra makes all the employees feel like they are on a unified team. If all of the employees can recite the mantra, then they will most likely know the vision and goals of the company. Implementing a mantra that everyone relates to is very important and can easily help structure a team by allowing them always to refer back to it as a source of encouragement and personal accountability. The unifying theme keeps everyone in line and makes them feel good when they come into work everyday to know they have a meaning.  

Second, a mantra serves as an integral part of the employee’s jobs.  Not only should they be able to recite the mantra by heart, but they should also firmly believe in its inner most meaning.  According to Guy Kawasaki, the litmus test for a good mantra is to call a company and see if who ever is answering the phone knows it. The logic behind this is that a great mantra shouldn’t be restricted to the CEO or other top level executives. For a mantra to be great every employee should, if not know the mantra, have the ability recognize and understand it. This shows a level of implementation and infiltration of the mantra that pushes a mantra from good to great.

Lastly, the mantra also provides a sense of pride for the employees, enabling them to perform in the highest level.  The company must be passionate about their inner philosophy in order for it to be well executed.  The mantra may not be an organization’s complete driving force, but it enables the whole team to accomplish a common goal.  If each and every employee at an organization doesn’t live, breathe, and sweat the mantra, it’s essentially useless.  A well-constructed mantra must be instilled into the employees and exercised every single day throughout the organization.

 

 

Criteria of the Best Business Magazine
February 7, 2007

Criteria of the Best Business Magazine

Note: Criteria are listed in no particular order Depth of Coverage Depth of coverage is important because:·         When reading news regarding business and global issues, it’s important the stories are thorough and cover all the important facts·         Depth can provide the reader with a greater understanding of the information provided

·         Depth allows the magazine company to show that its writers are knowledgeable in the related field

·         Depth gives the reader the opportunity to find the underlining meaning of the article 

Readability / Understandability  

  • If the reader can’t understand the content of the articles the message or information will be uselessà therefore the magazine would be missing a large part of what would be required of the “Best Business Magazine”  
  • Readability and understandability are important to the best business magazine because the information must be able to be practically applied by the readerà for this to be possible the reader must be able to read and understand information in the magazine

Width 

  • The width addresses the variety of content that a magazine covers. 
  • It is important the best business magazine gives an insight into a number of areas that would directly impact the reader.  A great business magazine would include articles in technology, finance, entertainment, business, and world news
  • A variety of coverage can help readers in their personal and business lives

Publisher’s Credibility

·         Similar to judging an author’s credentials, knowing more about a publishing company can help you understand their potential biases

·         Keep in mind that publishing standards vary for each publishing house. XYZ Publishing may print anything that will bring a profit, whereas X University Press may screen all information they publish to ensure the validity of the content, protecting their reputation

·         Also who reads the magazine is important—if CEO’s and entrepreneurs are reading the magazine it adds creditability to the publication 

Online Presence

·         Recent hour by hour updates (stocks, breaking news, etc.)

·         Blogsà discussion of articles (commentaries of controversial articles)

·         Shortened version of articles (lets you know if you want to read the full version in the magazine)

·         Wider content, but not as deep (a large variety of news that the magazine does not provide)