Why ‘Slutty Vegan’ became a hit in Atlanta – a city known for its barbecue

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

There’s a vegan sensation going on right now and of all places it’s in Atlanta, Georgia.

That’s where businesswoman Pinky Cole has just opened her first brick and mortar vegan eatery called “Slutty Vegan”. The restaurant, which began as a food truck and delivery service, saw more than 1,200 people lined up outside its doors on its very first day this week.

So how did a vegan restaurant in a place known more for its barbecue become such a hit? When you learn more about the story, and the owner’s marketing, the reason becomes very clear. Read More…

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Ever Heard Of Henry Ford’s Colossal Failed City in the Jungle?

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(This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur)

He was a visionary and one of the most famous capitalists in all of history. He introduced the automobile to the world and created the modern day production line. By the time of his death in 1947 Henry Ford was worth almost $200 billion in today’s dollars. He was an icon and a hugely successful businessman.

Except when he failed. And in 1928 he launched a project that failed big time. It was called Fordlândia and no, it wasn’t located in Oregon and Fred Armisen had nothing to do with it. Read More…

The government shutdown’s latest victim? Craft beer

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

The US government shutdown, which is soon to enter its fourth week, is affecting travel, small business loan approvals, passport administration, national park services, food inspections and tax return processing. Most Americans can live with that at least for a while.

But there’s another consequence of the shutdown that could soon rattle American society: a disruption in the deliveries of craft beer. New beer labels must be approved in advance by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau – which is part of the US treasury department – and because of the standstill in Washington this is not happening.

The result? Manufacturers of craft beers – many of whom are small businesses – are feeling the pinch. Thousands of applications are piling up and revenues are going, well, untapped. Read More…

Evernote Promises To Fix A Long List Of Problems…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

 1 — New Evernote CEO vows to spend 2019 fixing note-taking app’s long list of problems.

The CEO of Evernote, Ian Small, says that he’s committed to fixing a long list of problems with the note-taking app this year. In 2018, the company cut 15 percent of its staff and lost many top executives as a result of these issues, but now Small says he promises to create a “more coherent, more consistent Evernote experience for every version of the product we ship.” He’ll focus on restructuring the way the company designs and delivers software updates and on overhauling the core infrastructure that powers the app. (Source: Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business: Read More…

On CRM: Chatbot Maker Ada Raises $14M To Automate Your Customer Service

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

I often run across clients who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in complex CRM systems and are still not responding fast enough to customer questions, particularly when they’re posed online.  Sometimes, just a simple application is all that’s needed.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who’s suffered with this problem.  Which is why last month, a few significant investors such as New York-based VC firm FirstMark Capital as well as Leaders Fund, Burst Capital, Bessemer, Version One, and computer scientist Barney Pell plowed $14 million into a Canadian startup called Ada.

Ada has only been around for a couple of years, but the timing for their technology couldn’t be better.  Their product is a simple, customizable chat application for a website that, they claim, can be programmed by just about anyone to provide automated responses to common questions using their proprietary artificial intelligence algorithm. “People spend an average of 6 months of their lives on hold,” their website says. “We’re here to change that.” Read More…

The new Congress will do nothing for small business – and that’s fine by us

(This post originally appeared on The Guardian)

“One good thing about a divided Congress,” my father – a small business owner – used to say many years ago, “is that Washington can leave us alone.”

Even today, a great many of my clients agree with my dad’s sentiment. My father passed away almost 14 years ago. But if he was still around he would certainly love the 116th Congress where Democrats control the House and Republicans control the Senate. That’s because, at least for small businesses, this Congress could possibly shape up to be the best Congress ever.

Why? Because a lot has already happened over the past two years that has benefited the business environment. But despite some members of the House making noise, we can rest assured that not much is going to happen over the next two years. For business owners, that’s a good thing. Read More…

A Naked Restaurant In Paris Shuts After 15 Months

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Care for some additional toe cheese with your bread ma’am? May I bring you more pubic hair, sir?

In what many would consider a positive step forward for humanity, the owners of Paris’ first (and hopefully last) nudist restaurant – aptly named O’naturel – have announced that they will be shutting down their eatery in February after just 15 months in operation. The reason isn’t just the lack of clothes. It appears to be a lack of customers, according to this report in The Independent, which also includes a few action photos of unclothed diners eating that should permanently put to rest any interest you may have had in eating there.

But what a sad, sad day it is for the 2.7 million practicing nudists in France, right?

Read More…