Five Ways A Trump Presidency Would Affect Your Business and Mine

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Donald Trump’s run for the Presidency is serious and should be taken seriously by business owners like you and I.

He is spending millions, putting his personal brand at stake and campaigning hard. Sure, some of the things he’s saying are controversial. But he’s among the leading candidates in the polls, both nationally and in key primary states, and is hitting a nerve with many voters. As I write this, he has as much of a chance of becoming the next President as any of his current competitors. And as business owners who look ahead and want to plan for the future, we should be considering now the economic impacts of a Donald Trump presidency on our companies. Social issues aside, these are five ways a Trump presidency would affect us. Read More…

Why PayPal’s Independence Will Have A Huge Effect On Your Business

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Last week, payments service PayPal spun away from Ebay EBAY -3.70% and began a new life with a market value almost one-and-a-half times the size of its former parent. Some investors are excited about PayPal’s future. And if you’re a small business owner, you should be more than excited.  You should be thrilled. That’s because PayPal’s newly earned independence will, in my opinion, impact you in a few very significant, and positive ways.

To begin with, PayPal is no longer constrained by Ebay. “As independent companies, we expect eBay and PayPal will be sharper and stronger, and more focused and competitive as leading, standalone companies in their respective markets,” the company said in its recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “EBay and PayPal also will benefit from additional flexibility and agility to pursue new market and partnership opportunities.” The company is now free to do deals with other e-commerce giants, like its former enemies Amazon and Alibaba . If you’re an Ebay merchant your customers will still be able to benefit from PayPal’s processing services. But if you’re one of the millions of small businesses who do business through other big (and small) e-commerce sites that compete with Ebay you will soon have the option of accepting payments using PayPal and reaching the company’s enormous community of potential customers. You will find new markets. Your customers will have more choices. And other payment services will face more competition from their participation, keeping your costs lower. Read More…

Why Does Going To The Supermarket Still Suck?

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(This post originally appeared on The Philly Post)

The announced bankruptcy of A&P doesn’t surprise me. I’ve watched the supermarket chain decline over the years and I’m sorry for the 28,000 employees who are the victims of its poor management in the face of much better run stores like Wegmans. But, as great as Wegmans is, it still sucks doing the food shopping, doesn’t it? As a business owner, I can’t help but see many inefficiencies and places for improvement. Every time I shop, the same questions keep popping up in my mind. For example… Read More…

Why The Ashley Madison Hack Is Good For…Ashley Madison

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(This post originally appeared on Inc.)

Yesterday it became known that Ashley Madison, the site that makes it easy for married people to cheat on each other, was hacked. The hackers have been threatening to release the names they’ve stolen to the general public (which could include some famous politicians and celebrities) unless the site is shut down. You would think this would be a bad thing for Ashley Madison. And to be sure, there will be some difficult weeks ahead. But no, this will not be a bad thing in the long run. In fact, it will be a very good thing. And for four reasons.

For starters, this is incredible PR. Unless you are a fan of the Howard Stern Show or Dr. Phil you may not have heard of Ashley Madison. I’m not a customer of the site (I’m happily married and besides, who has the time for all that running around for goodness sake?) but I’m a big admirer of the company’s CEO Noel Biderman. And Biderman (a married father of two) is a marketer. He spends millions to advertise his site and has been expanding it worldwide. But many have never heard of it. Or choose not to. Now his story is being played on all TV channels and major media outlets. Never could a company his size afforded this kind of exposure. So unless you’ve been living in a cave the past 48 hours, you’re aware of Ashley Madison. He couldn’t have asked for a better campaign. Read More…

Why Is Apple Launching A New Version Of The iPod?

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Just this past week, Apple announced that it was releasing a new version of the iPod Touch for $199. Wait, what?

Yes, you heard right. And there are plenty of cool things about it. The sixth-generation iPod Touch now features the A8 processor used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with options for slow-motion and burst image capture modes. The device also has faster Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity support, added motion hardware for fitness tracking, and benefits from Apple’s new iOS 8.4 operating system and the new Apple Music service.

But it’s still an iPod! Do you know anyone that uses an iPod? Why would Apple be selling a new version of the iPod in a world where there’s the iPhone? The answer is easy: Because there are still blacksmiths. Read More…

Could the Apple Watch Be Worse Than Google Glass?

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(This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post)

Do you know anyone (either not in the tech industry, connected to Apple or a gadget geek) who owns an Apple Watch? I don’t. I’m sure these people exist. But with all the publicity and fanfare I would’ve expected to see the Apple Watch everywhere. Something just doesn’t seem right. And that something seems to be sales.

Ever since the early days of its launch, no one has really been able to accurately predict the sales of the Apple Watch. But the numbers (and the user reviews) are now just starting to come in. And things aren’t looking good. Just this past week it was reported that sales of the Apple Watch have fallen almost 90% since coming on the market. The company is now reportedly leaning on the iPhone more to make up for the revenue drop-off. Some people in the tech community are now openly wondering if the Apple Watch is flopping. User reviews are mixed, at best – with just 38 percent saying they’d recommend the device, according to a recent study. To be fair, it’s only been a few months since the product was launched and the company hasn’t released official numbers yet. And even the iPhone, which debuted in 2007, didn’t really explode until the appearance of Apple’s App Store a year later, a phenomena the company hopes to repeat with a renewed effort on Apple Watch apps there. But there seems to be a ground-swelling of disappointment, a sentiment that’s accurately summed up in this short, yet harsh video that was recently on TechCrunch. Read More…

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