Why Businesses Should Embrace the Collective Model

I love a good collective. Is it like cheese, where there isn’t a bad one? If you’ve spent time in Berkeley, California, you might have eaten delicious pizza from the Cheese Board Collective, an employee-owned cheese, bakery and pizza shop. They serve only one specialty pie every day – its vegetarian and piled with weird cheeses and veggies, and there’s a line out the door and around the block every single day. The collective has been in business since 1971. The workers are the owners and they make decisions collectively about the direction of the business.

“I love saying to people that this seems like an impossible business model, but it works, and it works very well.”
– Charlie (Longtime Cheese Board member)

Continue reading “Why Businesses Should Embrace the Collective Model”

How Good Communication Can Grow Your Business


The government is shut down, markets are faltering, there’s a coal baron up for head of the EPA. Things are rough. I think we’re in for a serious global political reckoning — a resource distribution of millennial proportions. To quote Lin Manuel Miranda writing for King George in Hamilton, “oceans rise, empires fall.” It’ll happen, and maybe it’s not a bad thing if you look at a big enough time horizon. The next decade or two might be rough though. 

And yet. I’ve got two young girls to raise. Continue reading “How Good Communication Can Grow Your Business”

Solopreneurs: Who Is Your Ideal Customer?


Yes, any customer is a good customer. But some will spend more, buy more profitable products, be less of a hassle. If all your customers were those kind of customers, your business would be in a healthier, happier place, right? Customer targeting simply means moving from  ‘who likes my stuff?’ to ‘who do I like selling my stuff to the best?’

Knowing the answer to that question can help you design products and packages that appeal to your target customer, thereby attracting the customers that make your business most successful. Continue reading “Solopreneurs: Who Is Your Ideal Customer?”

How do you build a just economy?

Murals in Malmo Sweden. Image credit Maria Eklind, Flickr Creative Commons

If President Trump is good for anything, it’s controlling the news cycle. Every day brings a new disaster to mull and worry about, and that’s how he likes it. The White House news cycle has largely replaced television in my life. Press banned from the briefing room, military on the border to meet asylum seekers, Ivanka’s emails. Real life is worse than some of the most farfetched plot lines a Hollywood writer could think up.

It’s strange that the economy is booming. I look at the stock market, the trade war with China, the threats to our European allies and the continued march of climate change impacts. What’s the economic impact of the Bay Area’s workers clearing out for over a week at a time to avoid noxious air? Something has got to give. Perhaps the recent lowered trading of tech stocks  is the harbinger of more to come. Continue reading “How do you build a just economy?”