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Two Days as a Car Salesman Made for a Smarter Car Buyer (MarketWatch)

Handshake256

 

Is it possible that it all comes down to information and breath mints? Gone are the days of the high-pressure salesman (Well, we hope; there are sure to be stragglers who haven’t gotten the memo) — eschewed in favor of “information specialists” looking to help you find the right fit all around.

MarketWatch personal finance and consumer spending reporter Charles Passy spent a couple of days as a car salesman armed with fresh breath and a good handshake. Read the article.

Eric Goldwyn ’03: Smartphone is Transportation’s Most Important Innovation (The Atlantic)

New York City Fifth Ave256

 

“Mobility apps have the power to transform the relationship between transportation networks and travelers,” write Eric Goldwyn ’03 in The Atlantic blog, Citylab.

Goldwyn takes aim at what he calls New York City’s lack of imagination when it comes to figuring out how to deal with “the most important, most obvious innovation in transportation: the smartphone.” Read the article.

May Apple Bless Your Shopping Center (MarketWatch)

 

Apple store? Yes, please.

Apple stores are buzzing with Mac Heads beside themselves with anxious anticipation over the newly announced iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and, of course, The Watch, but the stores themselves are hot commodities.

These retail outlets tend to be located in already thriving and established locations as a way to further prosperity, not catalyze it, holding one particular phrase true: “you don’t call them, they call you.” Apple currently has plans to remodel 15 stores — and to open 20 more.

Maine Number Two State For Giving Birth (Sun Journal)

 

Baby

Maybe the next thing is baby tourism? Vermont and Maine rank number one and two in the U.S. for having babies, according to a new study by WalletHub.

Maine has the lowest rate in the nation of mothers dying in childbirth, a low number of preemies, a fair number of pediatricians and relatively inexpensive childbirth costs. The Sun Journal points out the irony in this: for while Maine and Vermont top this list, they also tie for the second-lowest birth rate in the country.

‘Loyalty Beyond Reason’: The Mystery Over the Value of Brands (The Economist)

Nike. Sony. Ralph Lauren. Kellogg’s. These are some of the names that confer distinction and inspire brand loyalty.

Well-Known World Brand Logotypes

While some customers grow inexplicable bonds to a company that will lead them to purchase their products again and again, no matter what — others have less passion and are drawn to an item’s easy accessibility. Along with these countering factors, the more a company advertises, the more one is aware of the product being sold and is influenced to purchase it. The Economist examines brands and looks at why no one agrees on how much they are worth — or why.

CrossFit Fights Injury Reputation, Fuels Sense of Community (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Weight lifting weights

CrossFit’s high-intensity training routines have caught on like wildfire, but despite the workout craze’s popularity, it has attracted a fair share of criticism from people who say it’s dangerous and that CrossFit gyms push people to do things they may not be able to handle.

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brendan Greeley takes a look at what some people have called a cult but what is nonetheless developing strong bonds among its ripped devotees.

It can kill you. I’ve always been completely honest about that. — Greg Glassman, CrossFit Inventor

Infographic: Vacation Time Around the World (Good)

Time off info

Click image to view in its entirety. Infographic detail: Good.

Optimize Your Social Media With Tips from Top Marketers (Hootsuite)

Social-mediaBN80Nearly everyone uses social media these days - but are we using it well? Hootsuite asked a panel of expert social media marketers a variety of questions on how to optimize success for you and your business over various platforms. They cover tips they learned recently, social media marketing habits they are still working to improve, and more.

Where the US Falls Behind on Women in the Workforce (New York Times)

FamilyIt’s true that during the last three decades of the 1900s, many changes bolstered women’s ability to join the American workforce. Yet in recent years, other countries have made progress that we have not — and the percentage of women working is actually declining slightly after years of increase.

These other countries have implemented various policies to aid working parents, such as paid family leave and subsidized child care that the U.S. is still lacking. In fact, the United States is the only developed country in the world not to offer paid maternity leave as part of federal policy — as a result only 59% of employees report having this benefit. Read more about the impact of paid leave on employees from The New York Times.

Technology Tracking Shows Habit of Most Productive People (The Muse)

Alarm clock256The numbers 52 and 17 apparently hold some productive significance. Using the tracking application DeskTime to study the habits of the most productive employees showed that they did focused work for 52 minutes at a time – then took a focused break for 17 minutes. Rather than sneaking quick peeks at a phone or email, they let themselves be wholly invested in what they were doing for these periods of time, whether working or taking time to walk around the office and chat.