For our weekend business and political readers:

BUILDING YOUR OWN $100 MILLION COMPANY
Forbes says one of the New York startup scene’s recent success stories offers great insights to help entrepreneurs. The company is called Refinery29 and now after eight years in business, it’s worth $100 million.

The company made mistakes, betting on commerce offerings that haven’t delivered, but is profitable for the last three years and with ad revenue that’s quadrupled in the last four years.

Want to learn more about Refinery29 and how its remarkable journey can help you?  Click on this link for five lessons to success.

ATMOSPHERICS INFLUENCE DECISION-MAKING
Do you know what atmospherics are and how they can influence the decision-making process? Harvard Business review says important research shows the extent to which people deciding – even on matters of great consequence – are influenced by what we could call atmospherics.

For example, to cite just a few studies:

• The type of music being played in the background of a liquor store affects purchases. When German music is played, more German wines are sold.
• Adding the color red to a medical pamphlet (versus printing it in black-and-white) raises the likelihood of a patient’s opting to receive a recommended vaccination.
• Showing investment opportunities in green instead of red makes a difference, too.

The overall message of such studies is clear.

So just how clear is that overall message and could executives be influenced by it too?  And what can or should we do to improve decision-making? Decide for yourself at this link.

SALES AND MARKETING DON’T ALWAYS GET ALONG
Sound familiar? Harvard Business Review says all too often that’s true, but “certainly, all-out war between the two teams drains productivity.”

Yet having the two teams work in perfect harmony and reach an easy consensus on every decision is a pipedream, and in fact, is not the best answer either.

Some tension between sales and marketing is healthy and productive.

OK then what’s a happy median for a healthy company?

Accomplishing the common objective of creating customer value and driving company results requires competency in a wide range of tasks which fall into three categories.

What are they?  Click here to find out.

DEMOCRATS TO WHITE HOUSE: “FIX IT!”
That’s the Obamacare tangled mess of course, and Democrats have given the president a short leash to come up with solutions from the web catastrophe to other glaring problems, posts POLITICO.

Democratic senators facing voters next year are willing to give the White House time to resolve the glaring problems with Obamacare.

Very little time.

Democratic senators facing re-election have a green light to bash the White House and call for certain legislative fixes.

But as POLITICO reports “they’ve been urged by senior administration officials not to insist on delaying the controversial law’s core: The mandate for individuals to purchase insurance coverage or face penalties.”

For more on this tense dueling between the president and his own party over fractures within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, click on this link.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: THE GOP BILL CLINTON
POLITICO makes a possible case for that very interesting analogy especially after Christie’s overwhelming victory for Governor of New Jersey this past week in a state that President Obama won by 17 points in 2012.

Here’s a look at Christie’s election stats:

Christie won 60 percent overall. He won Latinos outright and took 21 percent of the black vote. He won women and men. He won high school graduates and people with advanced degrees. He won people making more than $200,000 and people making less than $50,000.

But POLITICO asks: are those glaring stats “transferable to the national stage?”

For the answer and more insight from this intriguing opinion post, go to this link.

GOP ASSESSES LOSS IN VIRGINIA
Democrat Terry McAuliffe is Virginia’s new governor-elect having defeated “outspoken social conservative,” Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the Republican candidate. POLITICO reports Republicans were initially shocked at the loss, but then the spin began.

While Mr. McAuliffe called for a spirit of bipartisanship in his first news conference as governor-elect, Republicans who viewed him as a flawed, beatable candidate were engaging in recriminations about how the party had gone wrong by nominating Cuccinelli.

At the Republican Party’s election night gathering in Richmond, the state party chairman, Pat Mullins, told the crowd that Mr. Cuccinelli’s loss by less than three percentage points, narrower than many polls had predicted, occurred mainly because he had been outspent two-to-one.  For the party’s moderate wing, the loss of what it considered a winnable race was a lesson in how a candidate known mainly for promoting conservative social policies could not appeal in a state whose population is increasingly diverse.

For full post-election analysis on the outcome of this race where one Republican said after McAuliffe won, “McAuliffe was probably the weakest Democratic nominee in a generation.”

Click on this link for more.

CARTER, NUNN RETURN TO GEORGIA BALLOT
One is running for the U.S. Senate, the other is running for governor.  One is the grandson of a former president, and the other is the daughter of a former senator.

Democratic strategists are hopeful for a symbiotic relationship in which Michelle Nunn’s Senate campaign will benefit from Jason Carter’s run for governor, and vice-versa.

Nunn, the head of the Points of Light Foundation and the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, has already proven she can raise big bucks for her Senate bid. Carter, a state senator and grandson of former president Jimmy Carter who just announced his bid for governor, could stand to get a leg up in the money chase thanks to his own family’s political roots.

The two candidates have “created an incredible amount of excitement among Georgia Democrats,” but do they stand a chance, and how do the two candidates complement each other politically? The Washington Post takes a look at this link.

HOW TWITTER CHANGED POLITICS
Twitter has gone public and made huge gains on the first day of its IPO.  It also has made huge gains in to the culture of politics and political journalism, reports The Washington Post.

But long before any Tom, Dick or Harry could buy stock in Twitter, the micro-blogging service was in the process of fundamentally reshaping the way in which politics is practiced and covered. The changes, which are still in process, are profound — in the way that politicians interact (or don’t) with reporters, the life cycle of news cycles and how the general public gets (or doesn’t) its information.

“When everything is in 140 characters, it gives a skewed version of reality, and that impacts how editors think about what reporters should be covering, and it impacts what reporters think is important.”

Find out how Twitter has set the tone for conventional wisdom in presidential debates to a “good tidbit that gets leaked” on the fast-rocketing social network by clicking this link.

NEED A HOUSEKEEPER OR A BUTLER?
A lot of people apparently do, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Demand for the well-staffed home is on the rise, according to agencies and house managers alike. Clients are calling for live-in couples, live-out housekeepers, flight attendants for private jets, stewards for the yachts and chefs for the summer house.

Why are these service jobs on the rise; how much does a good housekeeper, maid or butler make, and how do you find “good help?” Dust on over to this link for the full take.

MUST-READ NEWSLETTER PURSUING BUSY BUSINESSWOMEN
You might be surprised to know it’s called theSkimm.

When two NBC staffers realized just how many women wanted to keep up with current events but felt short on time (and intelligent dinner-party conversation), theSkimm was born.

But that’s a long way from being considered a “must-read newsletter for women” says Fast Company.  So what happened when these two former women NBC staffers quit their day jobs to produce theSkimm?  Why is it so popular and how much growth have they seen especially through word-of-mouth advertising?

Want to skim theSkimm and learn more, plus find out what’s on the horizon for the popular newsletter?  Click here.

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