Rich Jester

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Pay Close Attention To This Marijuana Millionaire’s Weed Venture Capital Fund

A “high” tech startup boom could grow around the pot plant, as legalization efforts gain momentum. And Emerald Ocean Capital is going to help fund it.<p>Before medical marijuana, before Colorado and Washington’s legalization initiatives, there was only the underground weed economy. There was no such …

How To Sell Almost Anything

My colleague Fred Allen went to a Best Buy store in Manhattan intending to buy an iPad. No sooner had he located the device than an eager salesperson approached and tried to persuade him to buy an extra gadget and a monthly data plan that offered perpetual 4G Internet access. The staffer asked no …

Why Goody-Goody Companies Go Bad

In the business world, social responsibility may be a double-edged sword. According to a study published in the winter issue of <i>Personel Psychology</i>, when companies go beyond what’s required of them by law in order to provide some sort of social good–through philanthropy or community relations or …

Philanthropy

Breaking News Stories from US and Around the World | MSN News

The Emerging Software Ecosystem for Running Small Businesses

According to a 2012 report by the Small Business Administration, between 1993 and 2011, small businesses helped create 64% of net new jobs in the United States. Whether or not you believe they are the backbone of our economy, it’s clear they represent a sizable percentage of the U.S. economy and …

How To Recognize “Big A**” Opportunities

Entrepreneurs have one thing in common: the ability to see and seize opportunities when others don’t.<p>I write this from one of Asia’s largest cities–Dhaka in Bangladesh–with street sounds making their way up to my 20th floor hotel window. Though still one of the poorest areas of the world, the city …

Salesforce

Have You Ever Considered That You’re Peeing Wrong?

Okay, fellas, huddle up. You know how sometimes, when you pee in a urinal, there’s a little bit of splashback that gets on your pants? It’s cool–happens to everybody once in a while. But fear not: We live in a world full of researchers and scientists who are determined to solve <i>every</i> problem, and …

Burgernomics 101: Big Data Is More Fun When Applied To Burgers

Locu finds it’s the skinniest counties that have the largest per-capita burger offerings.<p>Some people have a hard time wrapping their heads around big data, but it’s considerably more approachable when applied to burgers. Locu, a merchant finder service recently acquired by GoDaddy, has crunched the …

Burgers

Microsoft’s First 3-D Printing App Is Made For The Average Joe

Recognizing that 3-D printing is an esoteric concept, Microsoft has designed its first 3-D printing app for crafty moms, bright kids, and pretty much anyone but the typical maker.<p>Just a few months ago, Windows 8.1 became the first OS to support 3-D printing natively. That essentially meant …

3D

A Visual History Of Poison

A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History explores poisons throughout history and around the world. Watch out for the live Gila monster.<p>“And now, my beauties,” crowed the Wicked Witch of the West in <i>The Wizard of Oz,</i> “something with poison in it, I think … with poison in it, but …

Touchscreens

A Scientific Journal For Kids, Edited By Kids

Made up of editors as young as 5 years old, Frontiers for Young Minds is a science journal created by a UC Berkeley professor to teach kids peer review.<p>Science journals can be a bit… well, dense. To help bring more young people into the world of science and scientific research, a new science …

Science

Why Creativity Thrives In The Dark

Imaginative minds have long appreciated the power of dim lighting. New research confirms that when the lights switch off, something in the brain switches on.<p>Editor’s Note<p>01/01/14<p>Happy New Year! We’re saying good-bye to 2013 by revisiting some of our favorite stories of the year. Enjoy.<p>Great artists …

Creativity

Why Weird is Wonderful (and Bankable)

<b>Weird is wonderful. And it’s bankable too.</b> <br>You know who’s weird? Astronauts. Saints. Nobel Prize winners. Scientists. People with hobbies you’ve never heard of or are afraid to try. People who speak their minds. People with both problems and (gasp) solutions. People who are (enviably) not like you. …

The Future Of Collaboration Is About Looking Backwards

With more and more technology to help us work together, it turns out that a better solution for a future workplace might already exist–we just have to use our tech to get us there.<p>There is a fascinating thing happening in today’s world of work. Employees are drowning in technology, yet they want …

Offices For All! Why Open-Office Layouts Are Bad For Employees, Bosses, And Productivity

In part one of our two-part series, Fast Company senior editor Jason Feifer makes a case for giving all workers a little alone time–behind an office door.<p><i>Editor’s Note: This is one of the most-read leadership articles of 2013. Click here to see the full list.</i><p>I had an office. Now I don’t.<p>I’m not …

The Workplace

Add Security To The List Of HealthCare.gov Tech Issues

To the long list of problems plaguing HealthCare.gov, add data security. The enrollment site for the new health insurance exchanges had a security flaw that didn't get patched up when the exchange marketplace went live.<p>An internal government memo obtained by <i>The Washington Post</i> and Associated Press …

Obama says health care website will 'get fixed ASAP'

President Barack Obama on Wednesday said there is “no excuse” for the problems with the health care website and that he will “take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.”<p>“There's no denying it. Right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not …

Internet Explorer 11 gets official release on Windows 7

Microsoft this morning is releasing the latest version of its web browser, Internet Explorer 11, for the most widely used version of its operating …

Hey, Designers: Stop Trying To Be So Damned Clever

Clever is nice, but effective interfaces matter more. Here, Etsy’s Creative Director Randy J. Hunt explains why.<p>In every Web product you create, you should prioritize effective over clever. As you probably already know, sometimes the equation gets reversed. During the design process, you can easily …

UX Design

5 Must-Know Things About Content Strategists

Going way deeper than simply SEO.<p>If you’re not a change agent, don’t even consider becoming a content strategist.<p>When corporations hire a content strategist, they’re at least tacitly acknowledging the need to improve or reinvent critical Web business processes. Many companies have wasted big bucks …

Marketing

Welcome To The Creator Web Era–Here Are 4 Ways To Thrive In It

These days many platforms are valued by the quality of their users’ contributions, not what they do. Are you ready for that?<p>The Internet has powered the rise of a new creative class. Global reach, real-time feedback, and reputation building have redefined the creator. Today, the Instagram-wielding …

Peer Review

IRS Backs Down, Returns Seized Cash To Family Businesses

Imagine heading to your bank to make a withdrawal and finding it empty.<p>Next imagine finding out that your identity hasn’t been stolen, your banking information hasn’t been compromised, but rather the federal government has emptied your account. On purpose. And there’s nothing you can do about …

Not All Bullies Are NFL Linemen: A Lesson for Leaders

By now, anyone but the most reclusive hermit is aware of the brouhaha in the National Football League. Richie Incognito, a 320-pound guard for the Miami Dolphins, is accused of “harassment” in his treatment of a teammate. This “harassment” included racist and vulgar texts that were off the charts …

5 Best Business Travel Apps Of 2013

Let’s face it: The app market is glutted with choices that often don’t live up to their hype. We’re all well-versed in the nuances of Gate and Seat Guru, WiFi Finder, and TripIt, but is there anything new under the cyber-sun that is actually useful? While 2013 hasn’t brought any total …

Why Not Use Tax Preparers To Sign People Up For ObamaCare?

What if we bought individual health insurance through our tax preparers? At first, the idea seems bizarre, but give me a minute to explain.<p>Given the well-known problems of HealthCare.gov and many of the state health exchanges, people seeking insurance coverage need a better way to buy. And …

Why The Most Interesting Things Happen Where Disciplines Intersect

<i>Editor’s Note: This story contains one of our 10 Best Business Lessons of 2013. For the full list, click here.</i><p>LittleBits Founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir didn’t want to be an engineer, despite what her diploma tells you.<p>So while she completed her education at the American University of Beirut, Bdeir …

Makerspaces

A Girl Who Codes

Computing has always been a boys’ club. How 18-year-old Nikita Rau–and other young women like her–are finally changing that.<p>Nikita Rau is a high school senior and, at this moment, drinking applekiwi-strawberry juice out of a plastic cup. We’re in the cafeteria of Bronx High School of Science, in …

Computer Science

These Mortifying Obamacare Ads Are Not Going To Help Anything

If Obamacare is going to work, young people need to buy in. These ads about “brosurance,” “BFFs,” and Ryan Gosling aren’t going to make that happen.<p>Aside from the much-in-the-news problems of website design and sign-up difficulties, the true test of the Affordable Care Act will be if enough young …