Gongol.com Archives: December 2012
Brian Gongol

December 25, 2012

Business and Finance Better than branding, and far better than social media
Fast Company takes a brief look at how Patagonia builds itself around the premise of being bigger than just making a profit -- while still making a profit. It's really a subject straight out of the book "Built to Last". Nothing revolutionary, really. Yet it's easily lost in a sea of people who think they're doing the greatest magic in capitalist history by coming up with some way to "monetize social media". ■ Maybe there's something useful to social media, maybe there's not. Maybe there's something wonderful about Patagonia's purpose, maybe there's not. ■ But there are altogether too many people who dismiss the idea that businesses can be purposeful. A whole cadre of onlookers think that government is the only party that can do good, and business can do nothing but act selfishly. They're wrong. It's actually well within the scope of business to be both profitable and purposeful. ■ Suppose, for instance, that we wanted to truly make a dent in unemployment. Government can create lots of big jobs-creation programs, and they may often end up being as useful as hiring ten men to dig a ditch and ten others to fill it back in. But it's also possible for a batch of motivated people to capitalize a business with the sole purpose of employing people. That's not the ordinary purpose of business, but if people wanted to create such a firm, they could. ■ Owners might deliberately sacrifice a portion of their expected profits in the interest of deliberately employing more people than necessary. And if it's a profit-making, private-sector firm dedicated to the purpose of employment, then it's vastly more likely to produce results than haphazard guesswork by the government.

Business and Finance Is this the right message for global development?
The President plans to appoint the co-chief investment officer of Pimco to chair a global development council. Pimco isn't exactly a sunshine-and-lollipops kind of operation. They're the ones who talk about "the new normal", which looks to a future of low returns and high levels of regulation.

Business and Finance Savers have missed out on huge stock gains
Fear and panic have chased people out of the stock market for no sensible reason.

Iowa Culver 2014? Please, no.
The former governor of Iowa is thinking of running again for the office. Had he left behind a stellar record, maybe. But it was far from spectacular. Apparently, a lot of Democrats are pondering a run against Terry Branstad, who most certainly ought to run again. Branstad does what any Republican official should concentrate most upon doing: Competently and efficiently managing the things government must do, while resisting the urge to get government into lots of things people may simply want it to do.

Humor and Good News Sometimes, the best thing to leave behind is a cookie recipe

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