Category: Business Written by Captial Bay
In the last 10 days, I’ve spent $21, repeatedly drained my phone battery, and blown a deadline for the first time in years—all so I could play a game for which I have absolutely no aptitude. I’ve been tapping away at Candy Crush Saga on the subway (like half of New York), in front of the television, and, yes, in the bathroom for countless hours, and despite all that expense and devotion, I’m stuck at Level 38. There are more than 350 levels. My Slate colleague Rachael Larimore, a mother of three and the most sensible person I know, has reached Level 125. I’m 10 times more irresponsible than Rachael, but about three times less successful at a dumb phone game. That’s just not right.
I’m not alone in my addiction. About 45 million people play Candy Crush on Facebook each month, making it the most popular game on the site. It’s the most downloaded mobile game on both Android and Apple devices, and it’s the top-grossing mobile app. Think Gaming estimates that Candy Crush brings in around $633,000 a day—more than $230 million a year—for King, its British creator.
Candy Crush is simultaneously simple and satanic. Faced with a grid full of brightly colored “candies,” players must move around the pieces to line up three of the same type in a row; once aligned, the candies—crushed—disappear, and those above them take their place. It’s Bejeweled meets Tetris, a veritable speedball of a puzzle game. There are a few complications involving fruits, nuts, and jelly. (After a handful of easy rounds, the bonbons start to become encased in the stuff.) But that’s pretty much all there is to it. All those hundreds of levels represent different challenges—points targets, number of moves permitted—but the game play itself remains the same: Line up at least three candies of the same color, click, and repeat until you’re weeping from frustration. It’s that straightforwardness that makes it so addictive. Continue To Capital Bay...
Last Updated on Monday, 08 July 2013 12:44
Category: Business Written by YE
Eliciting the best work from your employees is the mark of an effective leader. But, effectively communicating what exactly you expect from them can be difficult.
“Unclear expectations lead to inefficient processes and subpar performance,” says Christine Lotze, a partner at Philosophy IB, a Florham Park, N.J.-based management-consulting firm that specializes in changing workplace behavior. “People get frustrated because their work isn’t valued and ultimately the company suffers.”
You can avoid that confusion with these four tips to communicate your expectations clearly and effectively:
1. Reinforce your expectations. As with any conversation, you should use simple and direct language when communicating your expectations. “The key to effective communication is simplicity and repetition of the message,” Lotze says. Hearing your expectations once won’t make them sink in — they need to be regularly reinforced. Continue to YE...
Last Updated on Monday, 08 July 2013 10:21
Category: Business - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) said today that it is very encouraged to see the Obama Administration and HHS delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act employer mandate for companies with 50 or more employees from 2014 to 2015.
Jennifer Kluge, CEO of MBPA, states, "this decision comes just in time as our members who fall under the ACA employer penalties have been scrambling to make some tough business decisions that will significantly affect the livelihood of both employers and employees; this extra time to strategize is greatly needed."
Kluge explained that the reporting called for under the new law about each worker's access to and enrollment in health insurance often requires new data collection systems and more complicated operations coordination. The administration's announcement this week provides an opportunity to re- assess the detailed reporting and pave the way for a more streamlined approach while the reporting requirements and penalty payments are suspended for 2014. This move allows employers more time to make any necessary modifications to their health benefits while still moving ahead to comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
She pointed out that MBPA has been working diligently to educate its members by offering various types of seminars, webinars, and conferences, solely dedicated to federal healthcare reform since the law's passage.
"We saw the tremendous need for education on the new health care law, and the need to continually update members as new information comes out weekly that affects the business community," commented Bonnie Bochniak, MBPA Vice-President, Government Relations.
Bochniak also stressed that this recent announcement does not affect small businesses with less than 50 workers as they are not required to offer healthcare to their employees. These small businesses do however have the option to use the Small Business Health Options Program and marketplace exchanges that are scheduled to be operational by October 1 of this year for enrollment. Regardless of the business mandate delay, the Affordable Care Act still goes into effect for everyone on January 1, 2014.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 16:34
Category: Business Written by Amanda Lewan, Michipreneur
We happened to cross paths with a young, inspiring entrepreneur in Detroit.
While most of us are still perfecting our pitch this little lady has her energetic and passionate story polished to share with the world. Asia Newson is ten years old and running her own candle business called "Super Business Girl."
Check out Asia Newson's sales pitch
The young lady told us shes been an entrepreneur for 7 years already, and that she plans on giving back to Detroit when she becomes mayor of the city. Bamboo Detroit captured her pitch below.
Brian Davis Co-founder of the co-working space Bamboo Detroit is offering this young entrepreneur free office space inside their office, with parental guardian.
"We saw her pitch in Detroit and had to offer her space," said Brian. "We need to support young entrepreneurs, they're the future of this city."
Bamboo Detroit is located at the corner of Brush and Gratiot in downtown Detroit, offering work space and shared services between members. They are taking applications now.
Photo Credit: DetroitHub
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 10:15
Category: Business - Original Written by Leon LaBrecque
At the June 19 Fed meeting, Chairman Bernanke indicated that a strengthening economy would cause the Fed to 'taper' its bond buying activity commonly known as QE3 (Quantitative Easing 3, no one really remembers QE1 and QE2 because they really didn't work.) The Fed Chairman then proceeded to repeat a statement almost verbatim that he had said in several previous press conferences. As the economy got better, the Fed would not need to keep pumping money into the system," says Leon LaBrecque, JD, CPA, CFP, CFA, and the Chief Strategist and founder of LJPR. "I likened it to the doctor saying, 'As your hip gets stronger, we can wean you off of the pain medication'."
"The last thing the market wanted was to be weaned off of pain medication, despite the fact that the doctor did not actually do any weaning, but merely inferred that said weaning might take place. The stock market plunged, the long term bonds plunged (we have almost no long term bonds, thank goodness), gold plunged. Our take? Complete overreaction," says LaBrecque. "But weird overreaction, not unlike the strange under reaction of the first five months: all bad news – sequester, terrorist attack, North Korea, Cyprus and the market soars. Good (or maybe even just neutral) news, as the economy gets better, the Fed will quit injecting dollars to prop it up and the market tanks."
"What is the reality? All the world's central banks are pumping money at high pressure and volume to get their respective economies moving. That's China, The ECB, the Bank of Japan and the Fed. The dollar numbers are mind boggling: the balance sheets of the Central banks have gone from $10.4 Trillion in 2007 to $20.5 trillion today," says LaBrecque. "By my calculations, the balance sheets of the Central Banks are equal to 30% of the world's GDP! So, the question is: if the treatment is working, don't we want it to eventually stop? In other words, if the easing stimulates the economy, then don't we logically want to get off of the QE drip?"
"Irrational market behavior is nothing new. Our approach is to maintain a cautious allocation and keep our mix properly balanced. We hope the Chairman is right in his view that the economy is continuing to improve. The Sequester has done wonders to the deficit: It's gone from well over $1 trillion to around $642 billion. The deficit was 10% of GDP in 2009, and is now rapidly approaching 2%," says LaBrecque. "For now, we see continuing slow growth and hopefully a tapering of Fed policy. And, it seems, we need some bad news to stimulate the market...or do we need good news?"
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 11:19
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