Weekend Digest: The Crystal Ball, Trump victory tour, drone fireworks edition

by Larry Brannan ([email protected]) 111 views 

On this week’s TV edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Sundays at 9:30 a.m. on KATV Channel 7 in Central Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.:

A New Agenda
Sen. Tom Cotton. He’s rumored for a position in the Trump administration, but the U.S. Senate has plenty of business ahead. Post-election, what are Cotton’s priorities? We’ll explore.

The Aftermath

Republicans and Democrats assess the aftermath of the big election. What stats stand out? And where do the two parties go from here? Chris Caldwell, campaign manager for Sen. John Boozman, and Democratic consultant Michael Cook are our guests.

Inside the Numbers

Plus, we’ll go inside the numbers for 3 numbers that mattered this week in business and politics. From Wal-Mart to Washington, D.C.

Tune in to Talk Business & Politics in Central Arkansas on KATV Channel 7, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and in Northeast Arkansas on KAIT-NBC, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Coming in January 2017, Talk Business & Politics will air in Northwest Arkansas on KFSM Channel 5 at 10:30 a.m. following “Face the Nation.”

Once again, Fortune has made its annual predictions from its “well-informed” staff “about the people, products, and trends that will matter in 2017.”

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency represents a seismic shift in American politics, an event with implications nearly impossible to predict. One casualty of the election, indeed, may be the science of prediction itself: For all their algorithmic gymnastics, pollsters and betting markets were utterly confounded by Trump’s win. Which is why it’s essential to have a prediction tool that relies as much on art (and whimsy) as it does on science.

“And this year, for some extra insight, we’ve even teamed up with artificial-intelligence powerhouse IBM Watson, which mined tens of millions of sources to help us spot hidden trends. Here, we offer our well-informed, intuitive take on the stories that will shape business — and much else — in the coming year.”

Read on here.

In his annual letter to shareholders, Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos wrote, “We want Prime to be such a good value, you’d be irresponsible not to be a member,” posts Forbes.

“To make good on that proposition, Amazon currently offers free two-day deliveries on over 30 million items, free same-day deliveries on hundreds of thousands of products, free video streaming of original series and other programming, free storage on the Amazon Cloud, the Kindle Lending Library, discounted rates on its new streaming music subscription services… The list goes on.”

Now, according to reports, it appears as though Amazon plans to add housekeeping services as a perk for its Prime members. Read on at this link.

“A new face at the top brings new hopes, and often, new strategic priorities,” says Harvard Business Review.

“When Target hired Brian Cornell as CEO in 2014, expectations were high that he would inject fresh energy into one of the largest U.S. retail chains. When that same year Microsoft replaced CEO Steve Ballmer with Satya Nadella, the move signaled the possibility for major change. Indeed, the company eventually announced its strategy to venture massively into cloud computing.”

When new CEOs take charge, they sometimes change or even reverse the entire strategic course of the company – a course that, such as in the case of Microsoft, often aligns with entrepreneurial growth opportunities.

Newly appointed CEOs might consider such an entrepreneurial focus attractive for various reasons. Following an entrepreneurial strategy ultimately means that managers and employees of a firm act more proactively and innovatively, and they take more risks — all which is known to drive growth and increase a firm’s advantage against competitors.

“Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice shows that new CEOs indeed change a firm’s strategy and that this change tends to go into a more entrepreneurial direction. Interestingly, we found CEOs hired from the outside are more likely to change a firm’s strategy more drastically. However, insider CEOs are more likely to adopt new entrepreneurial strategies much sooner.”

There are several reasons for the shift to more entrepreneurial strategies.

Learn what they are by clicking here.

An editorial writer for The Scoop posts, “I have no problem with anyone who voted for Trump, because they wanted a Trump presidency. I have an enormous problem with anyone who voted for Trump or Stein or Johnson — or who didn’t vote at all — and who now expresses horror about the outcome of this election. If you don’t like the consequences of your own actions, shut the hell up.”

The problem this election season has been that liberal Democrats — just like too many Republicans — have been consumed by provably false conspiracy theories. They have trafficked in them on Facebook and Twitter, they have read only websites that confirm what they want to believe, and they have, in the past few months, unknowingly gulped down Russian propaganda with delight. In other words, just like the conservatives they belittle, they have been inside a media bubble that blocked them from reality. So before proceeding, let’s address a few fantasies about this campaign:


POLITICO posts, “President-elect Donald Trump will be embarking on a ‘victory tour’ to the states he carried, a campaign aide told reporters Thursday.”

“We’re working on a victory tour now; it will happen in the next couple of weeks,” said George Gigicos, the campaign’s advance team director, who briefly talked about Trump’s first trip, according to pool reports.

For more on this story, go to this link.

“The 2016 election exposed a chasm between urban and non-urban America that will likely widen under a Trump administration,” says The Atlantic.

The earthquake that elected Donald Trump has left the United States approaching 2020 with a political landscape reminiscent of 1920.

Not since then has the cultural chasm between urban and non-urban America shaped the struggle over the country’s direction as much as today. Of all the overlapping generational, racial, and educational divides that explained Trump’s stunning upset over Hillary Clinton last week, none proved more powerful than the distance between the Democrats’ continued dominance of the largest metropolitan areas, and the stampede toward the GOP almost everywhere else.

“Trump’s victory was an empire-strikes-back moment for all the places and voters that feel left behind in an increasingly diverse, post-industrial, and urbanized America. Squeezing bigger margins from smaller places, Trump overcame a tide of resistance in the largest metropolitan areas that allowed Clinton to carry the national popular vote, but not the decisive Electoral College.”

“This election thus carved a divide between cities and non-metropolitan areas as stark as American politics has produced since the years just before and after 1920. That year marked a turning point: It was the first time the Census recorded that more people lived in urban than non-urban areas. That tangible sense of shifting influence triggered a series of political and social conflicts between big cities teeming with immigrants, many of them Catholic, and small towns and rural communities that remained far more homogeneously, white, native-born, and Protestant.”

For the complete post, follow this link.

“In the 18 minutes it takes to blow up 30-some tons of fireworks for the Fourth of July show on the National Mall in D.C., it costs the government more than 200 grand. Bigger shows—like the massive Macy’s show in New York City—can cost millions,” reports Fast Company.

“Fireworks also make local air pollution spike, and can pollute water and soil when chemicals and heavy metals shower down from the pyrotechnics.”

But everyone likes a show. So Intel is attempting to pioneer an alternative that’s just as mesmerizing to watch: hundreds of drones, choreographed into a spectacular light display.

The company first tested the idea in 2015, in an experiment with 100 manually programmed drones. Now they’ve unveiled a new drone, called the Shooting Star, designed for light shows. An algorithm automatically programs the drones to fly in formation, and a single pilot can run the display.

Prepare to be amazed here.

Bloomberg reports, “It’s official: After Tesla shareholders approved the acquisition of SolarCity, the new company is now an unequivocal sun-to-vehicle energy firm. And Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk didn’t take long to make his first big announcement as head of this new enterprise.”

Minutes after shareholders approved the deal — about 85 percent of them voted yes — Musk told the crowd that he had just returned from a meeting with his new solar engineering team. Tesla’s new solar roof product, he proclaimed, will actually cost less to manufacture and install than a traditional roof—even before savings from the power bill. “Electricity,” Musk said, “is just a bonus.”

“If Musk’s claims prove true, this could be a real turning point in the evolution of solar power. The rooftop shingles he unveiled just a few weeks ago are something to behold: They’re made of textured glass and are virtually indistinguishable from high-end roofing products. They also transform light into power for your home and your electric car.”

More on this incredible new Telsa rooftop at this link.

Business Insider says, “If your’e looking to sharpen your finance knowledge before diving in, Udemy is currently offering a course just for you. Chris Haroun has guest lectured and advised at McGill and Columbia Universities, respectively, worked a Goldman Sachs, and authored “101 Crucial Lessons They Don’t Teach You in Business School,” which was recently named by Forbes magazine as “1 of 6 books that all entrepreneurs need to read right now”.”

Haroun has taken lessons he’s taught at universities in the past and condensed them into one course that he describes as “an entire MBA.”

“Through the class students will learn macro and micro economics, how to value companies, and the basics of how investment banks and management consulting firms work. In addition to the nuts and bolts, Haroun aims to teach his students about the importance of personal connections and professional presentation: how to identify and pitch venture capitalists and communicate your ideas clearly and concisely.

And talk about a Black Friday deal. You’ll be amazed at how much this course costs. But you’d better hurry. Course details at this link.

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