Random Neuron Firing

Playing in New York City

So after a long week of work in NYC and juggling the kids with our dear friend and "Manny" Jared (Aussie actor living in NY who I taught at High School in Sydney) we hit two museums: The Guggenheim and The Met. The boys really got into the Armour / Shields display…anything that caused damage millennia ago appeared to appeal!

Jared the Manny, only lost the boys once.


At the Gugg. (Is that a new gBag prototype bottom left???)


At the Met.

Random Neuron Firing

The Business of Being Born & Choices in Childbirth


On our last day of work in NYC, we met with Lisa & Elan of Choices in Childbirth, a group that advocates just that! Kim and I are really passionate about the issue. My Mum was an ObGyn but Kim and I had the choice and chose to use a midwife and had two home births in the water. I am not advocating a midwife / homebirth / waterbirth, simply that parents know all the options going in so they can make an informed decision.

Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein, the producers of the terrific Tribeca finalist documentary, The Business of Being were also there. They too are big supporters of giving parents choice.


Ricki was good enough to lend the boys her iPad while we met. Needless to say we had an issue returning it at the end! 

All up a very productive week of work in New York City!

Random Neuron Firing

For the expectant Mum who has everything…


If you think the bellycast is outdated, these might do just the trick!

There's no shortage out there of DIY kits for making casts of a
baby's feet and hands, but Otete
& Anyo
has come up with an innovative variation on the theme
that can serve as a lifelong stamp and keepsake.

The words "otete” and “anyo" signify a baby's hand and foot in
Japanese, and Tokyo-based design firm Kawamura Hideo Activity has tapped those terms for
its original stamps of babies' hand- and footprints. The engraved prints
can be used not only as stamps for papers and letters, but also as
lifelong mementos suitable for birthday presents, baby gifts and more.
Parents or other gift-givers begin by making an ink print of baby's
hands and feet in 127-by-89-mm size. They then email those prints to
Otete & Anyo, which engraves them in real size. A solid black hand
grip makes stamping easy, while a paulownia wood box embellished with
the print is used for storage. Baby's name and birthday, meanwhile, are
engraved on the back of the stamp for posterity. Launched last week, the
stamps are priced at JPY 8,800 each plus shipping.

With a solid, lasting alternative to most baby casts and a globally
attractive design and packaging, Otete & Anyo stamps seem likely to
do well around the world. Baby and children's products retailers: one to
bring to the doting families near you?

Website: www.otetetoanyo.com

Random Neuron Firing

Back on a jet airplane…


October is shaping up to be the biggest month of travel in a long time. Getting any sense of work-life balance is really being tested.

I spent 3 days last week on sales calls around the country. With the boys wondering who this stranger was when I returned, I took Monday off and half of Tuesday just to reacquaint myself. I don't know how everybody else does it.

Today I am off to Babson College in Boston to speak on green entrepreneurism. I am really looking forward to it but leaving the kids at 5 am this morning was not so great.

Next week it is San Diego to speak at Social Venture Network's Fall Conference. And then I promise, promise, promise no more travel in 2009…

Random Neuron Firing

Mini movie review: “Capitalism: A Love Story”

Don't be put off by the trailer. Yes, Michael Moore does do his standard publicity stunt stuff but he also reveals some fascinating facts about how the current flavor of Capitalism in the US came to be.

There are some incredible foreclosure stories, the revolt of workers against an employer who laid them off with no earned benefits, more background to the $700 billion bailout, how ex Goldman Sachs execs now run the treasury and the revelation of the most disgraceful  "Dead Peasant" insurance policies.

It is probably his best work. Not left -right, just the reality of where we are today. The problem he faces is that his early work (excluding Sicko which was also very Fair & Balanced in an unFox like way (I mean, it was fair and balanced)) was a collection of polemics and so he has written off a large chunk of the potential audience.

Go see it and watch as no-one on Wall Street can explain a Credit Default Swap (Wikipedia doesn't really help either).

Random Neuron Firing

OMG, my mother is a drug dealer…

Mum is here from Sydney for 2 weeks and her new cell phone from AT&T is quite the entertainment center.

Day one and she receives the following text message:
"I have 10 mg of OC. for 10$. Who needs it?" According to google, "OC" is OxyContin.
A voice mail follows with a similar message.
Then yesterday another text :"What's cooking? Who needs what?"
Mum had just put together a terrific lunch. We were so tempted to reply with "Deviled eggs and some cold cuts on a baguette"!

I wonder what today will bring.

Random Neuron Firing

Burgerville: A fabulous case study in profitable sustainability

(With thanks again to Morning Newsbeat)

Burgerville Aligns Sustainability Concerns With Economic Priorities

Reuters has a piece about Burgerville, the Pacific Northwest fast food chain, which has been pursuing an environmental strategy that has had a direct payback.

According to the story, “Currently more than 60 percent of the restaurant company's garbage avoids ending up in landfills due to an employee-led recycling and composting program begun in 2007; once that amount reaches a company-wide goal of 85 percent, Burgerville expects to pocket some $100,000 in yearly waste removal savings.”

In addition, “Last year Burgerville recycled nearly 70,000 gallons of used oil from its fryers, the result of an initiative begun in 2006; nine of every ten gallons are converted into cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel. Last year Burgerville introduced a sustainable packaging program.”

"It's not a moral story I'm trying to preach,” says CEO Jeff Harvey. “It's the pathway to smart and sustainable business."
KC's View: I’ve long said in this space that Burgerville is one of the best burger chains out there, proving day in and day out that a fast food chain doesn’t have to make lowest common denominator product. From the burgers to the smoothies, Burgerville is a superior operation…and one of the things that the Reuters piece points out is that the company’s sustainability initiatives extend to sourcing meat from a cooperative of local ranchers.

Now, it is fair to say that this works for Burgerville because it only serves an area of the country that is friendly to environmental concerns. But in my view, this is the way of the future that more and more companies are going to adopt.

And besides all that, they make a superb Tilamook Cheeseburger and Triple Berry Blast Smoothie.