Tag Archives: Business

growing up just the right amount


In a New York Times article about him, Shane Smith, CEO and co-founder of Vice Media, was quoted, saying he wanted to be just like Tom Freston, “Tom Just flies around everywhere, gets to make movies, gets to start TV shows, hang out with cool people and do whatever he wants.” Tom Freston was a top executive at Viacom and was instrumental in the success of MTV and is now an advisor to Vice. Just like Shane Smith, I want to be just like Tom, and since Shane Smith is now just like Tom, I want to be just like Shane Smith for the same reasons he wants to be just like Tom.

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3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution


“Imports by airplane have a substantial impact on global warming pollution. In 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables into California by airplane released more than 70,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to more than 12,000 cars on the road.” according to Food Hub. Rather than reducing the impacts of food transportation, with 3-D printing we could eliminate them.

“Imagine being able to essentially ‘grow’, ‘cook’ or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact – everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging,” says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer. “You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc,” he adds.

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Just sit back and relax


Mr. Musk,

The United States Census Bureau published traffic accident data from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that contained some disturbing statistics.  In 2009 there were just under 11 million traffic accidents in the United States.  In the same year there were almost 36,000 deaths as a result of these traffic accidents.  This number does not include the hundreds of thousands of people who are injured to different degrees as a result of traffic accidents.  While the number of car accidents has stayed relatively constant over the past ten years, the death rate in car accidents has decreased significantly over the same time period.  I know there are many other problems across the world that cause significantly more pain and deaths, but I think that this problem is one that is not such a hard fix.

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Just Think About It! Utilitarian Ethics Behind Nike’s Questionable Corporate Comeback


The Facts

Just Sew It! Oops… I mean Do It! This Nike phrase along with their iconic swoosh logo is recognizable all over the world. In the past ten years, their stock price has risen 124%.[1] They earned the number one spot in the apparel and accessories sector in performance rankings. In 2013, Nike placed 22nd in CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list, which recognizes elite performance of US public companies and was simultaneously named America’s Most Innovative Company.[2] Yet they’ve also faced vicious criticism since the 1980s about horrific sweatshop conditions in their supply chain in addition to abuse and violation of factory workers’ rights. When the criticism started getting heavier and heavier, with increased public outcry, Nike launched a campaign to reverse their image and fix this flaw. This was the start of an incredible comeback for a company that had college campuses protesting across the country. But despite their comeback, the same allegations kept coming up. How does it make sense that Nike was able to turn itself around? Continue reading Just Think About It! Utilitarian Ethics Behind Nike’s Questionable Corporate Comeback

Are you PEPI?


Brand and service standards are very important to uphold in the business world. Micah Soloman’s Forbes article How Ritz-Carlton And Four Seasons Empower Employees And Uphold Customer Service Standards discusses an ideal way to develop training and enforcement programs for standards. This ideal system is called PEPI. PEPI is an acronym for purpose, enforce intelligently, peer pressure, and input. Soloman describes these key phrases as:

“Purpose: Employees have a clear sense of purpose—and how the standard fits into it.

Enforce intelligently: Keep things visual, train, and reinforce.

Peer pressure: Positive peer pressure is a must.

Input: Employees are able to have a say in the refinements, changes, and even possible future abolition of the standard.”

Do you think the Four Seasons hotel sufficiently meets the PEPI standards?

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Patagonia and B-Corps


If you’ve been outside on a cold day at Bucknell, you are familiar with the Patagonia brand. Their high quality, high performance, and fashionable winter-wear has made the company a global leader in the outdoor apparel industry. Shockingly, Patagonia has been able to achieve such distinction despite its certification as a benefit corporation or, B-Corporation. This means that that it is committed to using its power as a corporation to benefit the environment. A short video on B-Corps can be seen below: Continue reading Patagonia and B-Corps

2.3 Miles Makes a Giant Difference


Fortune 500 and nationally-known companies are not the only ones who face ethical dilemmas in their decisions. Smaller and lesser-known companies also grapple with the ethical implications of both their day-day and long-term decision-making. In my Paper 2, I will take a look at the strategic decisions behind local grocery store chain, Giant Foods. In this blog post I will give a summarized version of the case and a glossed over version of the results (sort of spoiler alert but not really). Fortunately for me, my dad has a management position in Giant, so most of the information in this post is from using him as a source.

On October 10, 2014, Giant Foods opened its new store located just off of I-81 and Wertzville Road in Enola, Pennsylvania.  A few weeks previous, Giant closed its long-time successful store 2.3 miles away on Wertzville Road located in Pennsboro Commons Shopping Center.

Giant has owned the leasing rights to the land for the new store for ten years.  Approximately three years ago, the real estate developer for the land told Giant that they must do something to develop the land or else they would not be able to renew their lease for the 25-30 acre plot.  Giant was only holding the land to prevent competitors like Wegmans from entering the market, but now they were faced with a difficult decision. It was clear that Giant needed to build a new store on this plot of land, but what should they do with the existing Enola store?

Closing the old Enola store would be a significant blow to the community. That store is the heart of Pennsboro Commons, a shopping center that only exists because of the large number of customers in which Giant brings. The 2.3 miles to the new Giant would be a way bigger issue than most would think. The communities between these two areas are very different, and even more importantly, while the new Giant was technically still in Enola, it now resided in Hampden Township as opposed to the old store which was in East Pennsboro Township.  This was a major loss of tax dollars for East Pennsboro Township.

Giant’s accounting and real estate teams crunched the numbers of their ROI figures and determined that opening a new store at the new location would increase sales because they would have a new facility, closer location to the highway, and closer vicinity to the technology parkway (new local medical and corporate centers).  They also determined that there was no way to keep both stores open; especially since the majority of existing customers would simple drive 2.3 miles to the new store. Spoiler: They were wrong. Old customers were not willing to travel to the new store, and the new customers did not care for the new store. Sales figures missed projections badly (stay tuned for exact figures in Paper 2).

Giant was fully aware of the negative implications that closing the old store would have on East Pennsboro Township. They could have tried to make a compromising plan to appease the community but instead they went with the plan for most profit. Ironically, the strategy did not go as planned and Giant is left with an angry community and a less profitable store. Below are pictures from Google Images of the Pennsboro Commons shopping center layout and a picture of what the parking lot looks like before and after Giant closed its doors.

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The company the world needs. But the company the world deserves?


As the world nears a population of 9.5 billion people by the year 2050 and the world’s climate continues to become more volatile, Monsanto will work to provide the necessary resources to feed the world’s population. Monsanto is an industry leader in agriculture as it produces products in two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. The company has over 21,000 employees in facilities in sixty-six countries. In the Seeds and Genomics Segment, Monsanto researches, develops and sells normal seeds for crops like corn and soybeans as well as genetically modified seeds (GMOs) that incorporate certain traits in a seed to help the crop flourish. In the Agricultural Productivity Segment, Monsanto produces and sells chemicals like herbicides to its customers.

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Purpose-Based or Purpose-Faced?


If you have driven down Route 15 in the last year, I am sure you have stopped by Panera Bread for a delicious sandwich, soup, or salad. As someone who has certainly done this a few times, I am always astonished by the speed at which they can deliver their freshly made food. It is a unique quality I attribute to Panera and part of the reason I am a returning customer. In marketing terms, I would say I appreciate that the company and I share the values of time and quality.

In today’s increasingly informed and transparent world, however, this simple connection is not enough. Should I find out that Panera’s speed and freshness come at the cost of harming the environment, Continue reading Purpose-Based or Purpose-Faced?