The Weekend Digest: Mud, McDonald’s And A Music App From Twitter

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 56 views 

For our weekend business and political readers:

The drug is called Juxtapid and its successful marketing happened after entrepreneur Marc Beer heard about it from a physician friend. At the time Beer, a wealthy entrepreneur, was staying at home taking care of his children after his wife had died.

Daniel Dubin, a physician, old friend and vice chairman of Leerink Swann, told him over dinner about a promising drug being shunned by investors but backed by one of cardiology’s best minds: Daniel Rader, chief of translational medicine and human genetics at the University of Pennsylvania. Beer called Rader and found himself sold. “All I did was listen,” Beer says. “He just needed to be listened to.”

The result of that listening is one of this year’s biggest biotech success stories: Aegerion Pharmaceuticals.

Go inside the full story from Forbes about this remarkable drug used “as a treatment for patients with a rare genetic disease that frequently causes fatal heart attacks before age 20.”

Click on this link to learn how Beer managed to overcome his personal tragedy to start a new pharmaceutical company that is not only saving lives, but analysts predict by 2015 will have sales of $200 million and profits of $62 million.

What are the best companies in the world? Well for Pennsylvania non-profit B-Lab it’s just not about profits to make its rankings as “Best for the World Benefit Corporation.” B Lab’s criteria for a World Benefit Corporation is “a company that turns a profit while benefiting its workers, its community and the Earth, sometimes at the expense of its owners.”

B Lab puts applicant companies through a rigorous vetting process, where it uses a 200-point system to measure companies’ performance in five areas: accountability, which includes governance, transparency and customer engagement; employee impact, like compensation, benefits, job flexibility and worker health and safety; consumer, including whether its products promote public benefits or are targeted at underserved populations; and community, including whether the company uses locally sourced materials and donates to local charities and service projects.

Forbes has the listings for the top 12 World Benefit Corporations that met B Lab’s rigorous criteria. Click here for the results.

Everyone hates to fail. Sure we learn from it, but no one really likes it. But what if we took a different approach to failing? How about a “failure bow?”

Developed by Seattle-based improvisation teacher, Matt Smith, it works like this: Instead of cringing when you make a mistake, you raise your hands in the air, announce, “I failed”, grin like a submissive dog, and then move on. The failure bow can be transformative because it alters our physiological response to failure by removing the demons of self-doubt and self-judgment. Without those holding us back, we can be more flexible and improve results and learning.

Harvard Business Review has a revealing look at different versions of “failure bows” that organizations and companies have developed. In different ways, it’s like the ones some athletes and circus performers use.

Trapeze artists, acrobats, and other athletes are trained to take a failure bow after a stumble because it releases them from the fear of making a mistake. Even Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler — who took a nasty fall while competing — got up, raised her hands in the failure bow, and smiled.

To read the full story go to this link.

Gold is crashing at a swift rate and Bloomberg Marketweek has the complete analysis on why gold is plunging.

A chart of the crashing price of gold looks like a wedding ring rolling off a table. Gold futures for June delivery closed at $1,361 an ounce on the Comex in New York, a drop of more than $200 in two sessions. Gold’s fall of 13 percent since April 11 was the biggest two-session decline since 1980.

Find out why and whether it will revive at this link.

On Thursday, President Obama traveled to Boston to deliver a “message of resilience and recovery as he renewed his pledge that the country would stand by this city still recovering from Monday’s Marathon bombings — and that “those responsible would be found.”

Traveling with his wife Michelle, the president spoke at an interfaith service at the Cathedral of Holy Cross.

“As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you,” Obama said.

Politico has the complete story of the president’s remarks and sad trip to the city of Boston. Click on this link for the details and to also learn why Obama has such a close connection to Boston.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was laid to rest this past week and in the wake of her death Real Clear Politics has posed the question, “What did Thatcher and her legacy mean for women and for feminism?”

There was little love lost between the Iron Lady and the “Women’s Libbers,” as she called them. But if liberation means pursuing one’s own path regardless of others’ notions of what women should be, then Britain’s former Prime Minister was one of the great liberated women of the 20th century—one who defied both traditional and feminist prescriptions.

For an in-depth look back at Thatcher’s career and how it affected feminism, go to this link.

Former Republican South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is seeing GOP members withdraw support and blasting ads from Democrats in his special congressional election campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday will begin running a hard-hitting TV ad attacking Sanford for ethical scrutiny he endured four years ago, after he revealed that he had been spending taxpayer money to fund trips to visit his Argentinian mistress.

With no assistance from Republican groups – and with Democrats intensifying their investment – Sanford is likely to soon find himself severely outspent.

All of this comes after Sanford’s ex-wife filed a court complaint against the ex-governor.

Find out what the complaint was about as well as a full inside look at the status of his campaign at this link from Politico.

Former New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner is considering running for Mayor of New York City. Polls show he is in second place for the primary, which Weiner thinks is encouraging, reports the New York Times.

The poll was conducted by Marist College, but renowned statistician Nate Silver is not so impressed with Weiner’s showing.

A more careful examination of the poll results — and a consideration of the 40 percent runoff rule that New York will apply in its primary — should yield the conclusion that Mr. Weiner’s chances are remote.

Weiner resigned after talking about sex and sending lewd pictures on Twitter and then lied about it. So it’s not surprising the poll shows Weiner is viewed unfavorably by 41 percent of Democrats.

For a complete look at the poll numbers and outlook of Weiner’s potential mayoral run, click here.

It’s called “Mud” and will be the third film for up-and-coming director and Little Rock native Jeff Nichols. Nichols fashions a Mark Twain-esque Mississippi River tale with some big Hollywood names, including Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

The 34-year-old, Little Rock, Ark.-native may be unassuming, but he’s becoming harder to overlook. Next week, he’ll release his third film, the Mississippi River coming-of-age tale “Mud,” a movie that confirms Nichols as one of the most promising young filmmakers in the country, a personal storyteller with an instinct for the kind of classically American films of Steven Spielberg or Paul Newman.

With his indie debut “Shotgun Stories,” his critical breakout film, “Take Shelter,” and now “Mud,” an ode to young love starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, Nichols has gradually grown in scale and skill. It’s the kind of ascent Hollywood notices, but despite studio offers, he’s so far stuck to writing his own scripts.

For a profile of Nichols and a sneak-peek look at his next film in the works, click on this link from

Twitter has launched what it described as a 21st century version of the mixtape, with a new app that recommends tracks to music fans based on the artists they follow.

Fans of artists such as One Direction or Adele will be able to listen to their latest hits from within the social network using the #Music app.

Find out how the app works and learn more about how “the move is part of an attempt to reposition Twitter as an entertainment hub online” by connecting to this link.

Lunch time workers are choosing fresh sub sandwiches over Big Macs reports Bloomberg Businessweek, and because of that, Subway has taken over the top lunch spot from McDonald, Bloomberg says.

In the first quarter, Subway beat McDonald’s as the most popular lunch spot for workers, according to Certify, an expense report management software company, based on 1.96 million U.S. expense receipts from the first three months of the year. The sandwich chains were followed by Starbucks.

Even though Subway’s average bill for groups is higher than McDonalds, it still comes out on top.

For a look at the top ten lunch spots for workers, go to this link.

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