For our weekend business readers:

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S MOST POWERFUL COACHES
Forbes has put together a list of the most powerful head football coaches in the NCAA and the leader of the pack should come as no surprise.  Forbes used an interesting formula to rate the power grid for the coaches and as you would probably guess, the system is based on money and not just what the coach makes.

To measure coaching power, we looked at each coach’s salary, its proportion of the school’s total coaching salaries and athletic expenditures, the football budget at the coach’s disposal (football expenses less coach’s salary) and how much it would cost the school to terminate his contract before the end of the year.  We feel these categories best reflect a coach’s influence and power in his athletic department, at his university and ultimately across college football’s coaching ranks.

Take at look at the top ten most powerful coaches at this link and the conferences they represent.  You might be surprised to learn that the SEC came in second to another conference with the most in the top ten.

WHY DON’T YOU ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS WHAT IS ANNOYING THEM?
That’s an interesting question posed by a contributor for Harvard Business Review who says customer satisfaction surveys in his opinion often miss the mark.

Customer satisfaction surveys tend to be biased toward identifying more “significant” issues and problems. Behavioral economists like Dan Ariely and Nobel laureate economist Daniel Kahneman would say the framing of survey questions reflects a desire to capture what’s most important or detect emergent pathologies.  I’ve seen many surveys and questionnaires asking customers what made them “unhappy” or “dissatisfied” with their experience or interaction.  I’ve never seen — or been asked — was there anything particularly irritating or annoying about your dealings with us?

Michael Schrage goes on to point out that “Cynically put, petty irritations and annoyances are simply too petty and annoying to merit managerial focus… Turn their irritations into your innovations.”

Go to this link to learn how a petty irritation kept Japanese mothers from buying Procter & Gamble’s disposable diapers and how the company turned that market around after discovering and correcting the problem.

‘PAY-AS-YOU-EARN’ PLAN WILL CHANGE HOW STUDENTS PAY BACK COLLEGE LOANS
The new plan went into effect December 21 and will supplement the current income-percentage-based repayment (IBR) plan from the federal government. “Pay-As-You-Earn will offer current college students and recent graduates a lower monthly payment and shorter repayment terms than IBR.”

The new plan could benefit recent and current graduates.

Under Pay-As-You-Earn, borrowers will pay back 10 percent of their discretionary income for up to 20 years. Then, whatever’s left on their federal student loan is forgiven. The IBR plan takes 15 percent of income for 25 years.

Click on this link from Marketplace to learn what critics think about the new repayment plan and how much federal student loan debt on average graduates from the class of 2011 had upon entering the workforce.

TWITTER HITS A MILESTONE
Twitter says it has a half billion registered users, but it’s the active users that count and that number grew by 17 percent in the last half of 2012, reports Fast Company.

So how many active users are now tweeting each month?  Click here to find out.

WINNING PHOTOGRAPHERS GIVE THEIR PERSPECTIVES
Recently the Wall Street Journal published its winners for the best photographs of the year.  Now the Journal gives you an inside look from some of those photographers on what they had to say about their remarkable shots.

Click here for the scoop.

END OF THE WORLD FUNNY TWEETS
If you are reading this, the world didn’t end on Dec. 21 as some have said the Mayan calendar predicted, and so you can enjoy these hilarious tweets about the non-apocalypse from Mashable.

MAPLE SYRUP HEIST
It was worth $18 million dollars and it’s gone. Stolen from an Ottawa, Canada cartel apparently during a sophisticated inside-job at a major storage warehouse.

Lt. Guy Lapointe of the Sûreté du Québec, the police force that led the investigation, said that the thieves rented another portion of the warehouse for an unrelated business. That enabled them to drive large trucks into the building.

“They were basically inside guys,” Lieutenant Lapointe said. “The leader wasn’t with the federation, but he had access to the warehouse that would not attract any suspicion.

The thieves eventually stole six million pounds of maple syrup, reports the New York Times.

300 people were questioned and 40 search warrants executed. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement service joined the investigation.

For all the facts on this “sticky” story including if any arrests have been made click here.

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