Shapeways 3D printing company has increased its employee base to help with Google’s Made with Code initiative. After disclosing that a mere 30% of Google employees are female, Google has created this program to get more girls interested in science and technology at a young age. Spokeswomen include Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling, as well as organizations such as Seventeen Magazine and Girl Scouts. Shapeways 3D will expand and use four of EOS’s largest 3D printers to allow daily printing of 8,000 bracelets coded by girls. Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen hopes the initiative will encourage girls to create and run their own Shapeway shops in the future.
Eric Goldwyn ’03, investigator of urban affairs, has written a compelling article for The New Yorker on how ride-sharing networks like Uber are changing the landscape for professional taxi- and other drivers out there. There have always been cheaper and more expensive transportation options when it comes to hiring a driver, with some more knowledgeable than others – London’s black-cab drivers complete a 5 year training on the fastest routes through the city, for example. Yet combined with GPS technology, Goldwyn argues, “startups like Uber argue that technology can transform the casual driver into a professional.” Part-time ride-sharers are sure to make it more difficult to earn a living driving cabs, and it is up to the taxi companies to figure out how to compete.
Michael ’04 and Melissa Fensterstock know the secret to a good vacation: it has to be bug-free. While on their honeymoon in Southeast Asia, the couple was introduced to a local mix of essential oils to help them repel the numerous mosquitos. Most bug sprays smell less than appealing, but this one was a decadent combination of vanilla, exotic citrus and more. The duo saw their business opportunity, and Michael quit his job to develop the fragrance product – called Aromaflage – full-time. The product is now sold in resort areas such as Canyon Ranch and Martha’s Vineyard, where vacationers are bound to spend time outside. It has also been picked up by larger online retailers such as Circle & Square and Uncommon Goods.
“There are Burmese refugee women that hand-craft Aromaflage,” Michael said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, “so we have a social impact to our supply chain, which is really inherent in our business. Doing well by doing good is important to both Melissa and myself.”
New initiatives and regulations for healthy, nutrition-savvy kids are great. But what if they are crushing a healthy entrepreneurial spirit? Bake sales, which have long helped school clubs and sports teams raise fast cash, also teach kids how to sell things — and give them the confidence boost that comes along with it. These bake sales may be banned if their products don’t meet fat, sugar, calorie and salt content regulations set by the USDA (read: that’s hard for a brownie or cupcake to do). With a curriculum already devoid of personal finance training in many states, supporters of financial education worry that kids will not learn the basic enterpreneurial skills a bake sale can teach. As a result, Domino’s Pizza is coming out with a pizza that conforms to these regulations , and it’s likely other businesses will follow suit.
Names like Sprite and Verizon automatically conjure images in our minds of fizzy beverages and cell phones. But why “Sprite”? Why “Verizon”? Subtle and strategic reasoning goes into brand names like these – a sprite, for example, is a lively and energetic elf or fairy, perfect for the effervescent image Coca Cola marketers wants to promote for their lemon-lime soda. Other tactics including drawing from Latin roots and combining words (think “veritas” and “horizon”).
The interview game is changing. Many interviewees have been taught strategies and common questions to help them prepare for business oriented questions, but interviewers are using new tactics to analyze something intrinsic: personality. Your “soft skills,” or “emotional intelligence,” often reveal to an employer whether he or she believes you would work well with their team. But the abstract nature of the discussion of these skills often makes it hard to identify when employers are directly probing for interpersonal skills, initiative, optimism, and more. There are also the “think fast” questions: “A penguin walks in through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” Fast Company identifies some of these strategies for interviewers and interviewees alike.
At first glance, the New York Times‘ chart of industries that have bounced back or continued to decline after the 2009 recession looks like a tangled mess. But with a couple of quick scrolls, the graph clarifies how certain industries — whether in fast food, consulting, or health care — have recovered and even grown while others, such as home building and manufacturing, have not. Trace over individual industry-representative lines to see an industry’s progression in number of jobs, average salary, and recovery status.
Sen. George Mitchell ’54
Global consulting firm Teneo recently hired two “political powerhouses” to advise clients. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell ’54 and former U.K. government minister Mervyn Davies will serve as two of the company’s dozen senior advisors, advising on politically relevant issues such as international policy concerns. According to Fortune, this recent hire represents a larger trend of increasing overlap between business and government.
Fidelity Investments is privately owned, not focused on acquisition, and low profile despite its powerful influence and size. So when Abby Johnson, president of Fidelity’s parent company FMR LLC, spoke at the TiECON summit in Boston, a room full of entrepreneurs eagerly listened. Johnson said Fidelity is eager to invest and partner with unique startups, and acknowledged that young investors are looking beyond the traditional 401(k). Read more of Johnson’s insights on Fidelity, family and finance in Fortune.
If you’re looking for a summer read, Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Bershire Hathaway and investment partner to Warren Buffet, has you covered. He firmly believes that near-endless reading is imperative in gaining wisdom in life. “My children laugh at me,” he says, “they think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.” Business Insider provides a selection of 20 books Munger recommends. Their topics range from the history of physics and business, to persuasion, genetics and evolution. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies comes recommended by Charlie Munger and Bill Gates.