Jan 312011
 

 

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Was looking for a tool and thought I might check out what Sears had to offer. Upon visiting the Sears website, the ad above was quite prominent. This seemed more like an ad a retailer would do around Thanksgiving. A bit surprising to see it in late January. Perhaps this is the end of the quarter for Sears.

Jan 302011
 

Ford, in reporting its biggest profit in more than a decade Friday, disappointed Wall Street but pleased UAW workers with bonuses averaging $5,000.

The profit-sharing bonus was two-thirds larger than the amount Ford was required to pay under its contract, said UAW President Bob King.

“What’s really important for our members to know is they didn’t have to do this,” King told the Free Press.

With about 20,000 Ford hourly workers living in Michigan, the checks, due in March, will help lift the state’s economy.

via Ford made $6.6 billion in 2010, workers get $5,000 profit-sharing checks | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

Time for some quick math. If each of the 20,000 hourly Ford workers in Michigan gets a check for $5,000 how much might that boost the Michigan economy?

Let’s assume that the check is for the full amount and that each worker on average will spend 60% of it in the 30 days after they get it.

20,000 (checks) * $5,000 = $100,000,000

At a 60% spend, one hundred million dollars will generate $60,000,000 in economy boosting cash flow. It will be interesting to see how the Michigan economy does in the months of March, April and May. It would seem likely that dining out will increase and that fuller restaurants will equal more tips for servers. Will the general sense of optimism create a measurable up tick in consumer confidence? I for one believe it will and time will tell if that is an accurate prediction of what will occur.

Jan 302011
 

Global Detroit cites Duke University research indicating a third of Michigan’s high-tech startup companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had at least one immigrant founder. A U.S. Small Business Administration report found that 16 percent of all Michigan businesses started between 1996 and 2007 were started by an immigrant.

via Snyder: Foreign nationals could help Michigan economy – Crain’s Detroit Business – Detroit News and Information.

Creating an environment that is welcoming to people interested in starting their own business is critical. Having policies that attract and bring  talented people to Michigan from other nations and that are more likely to start-up a business enterprise could be a jobs engine.

There was a time when Detroit and Michigan were leaders in innovation and manufacturing. Manufacturing will probably not be a job engine for Michigan as it was in the past. technology and services are the areas that are poised to be fast growing and provide the most opportunity.

Jan 302011
 

Below are two sequential tweets about the film The King’s Speech in my Twitter timeline.

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Will be looking to see this at some point.

Jan 292011
 

via Foursquare – Four Green Fields

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Came to the tip above after seeing a friend check-in, at the venue above, on Foursquare and post to Twitter. Was interested in the place since I had never heard of it before.

The tip section contained a comment that was not that helpful. Sounds like a problem the manager should be informed of ASAP and not posted online. The tip section is usually to recommend a signature item on the menu that is really great.

Other tips posted by “Robbie” for other venues have what one would call a negative tilt.

Jan 292011
 

Recently there has been some conversation about stand up desks, to the point that I have begun to consider one myself. Looking to get the computer, cords and accessories in its own space. So, earlier tonight I was searching on Google and went to several places including Amazon and Staples looking for examples of stand up desks. A little while later while I was on the MLive page and the ad you see below appeared in the right sidebar. Wonder how many more times it will appear.

 

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Jan 292011
 

Bottle-grade PET is up more than 21% from a year ago and more than 24% since late September, according to ICIS, which tracks petrochemicals data.

via Plastic Prices to Pressure Soda Prices – WSJ.com.

*Full link is behind the great wall of subscriber

Wonder how much this will crimp margins for Coke and Pepsi.

Questions:

Will prices go up?

How much will prices increase?

Will unit sales decrease faster than prices rise?

Will revenue increase fast enough to increase profits or will customer decline to buy at higher prices?