GM’s Deal with Govt. To Close Mon or Tuesday

The New York Times is reporting that we’re one step closer to having the GMimages mess cleaned up.

Judge Robert E. Gerber released his 95 page decision today, which overturned the 850 objections to the Government buyout, and gave his approval for the American taxpayers to lend the company $1.17 billion dollars.

I am not a fan of government backing, I believe in free enterprise, but I’m almost not a fan of feeling a complete collapse of one of the largest companies in the world.  I’m not that brave.

Read Full Details At The New York Times

Plan To Sell G.M. Assets Approved

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It’s A Beautiful Morning

 It’s 6:00 a.m, the alarm is buzzing in your ear and it’s time for the games to begin.   You run down to the kitchen, throw the coffee on and start running around the house waking everyone up.  Back to the kitchen to put the bread in the toaster and pour the milk over the cereal.  The shower starts in the bathroom and the fight is on – “ HURRY UP – it’s my turn!” bang bang bang. “I need to get in there too!”  bang bang bang. 

Up the stairs you go, break up the fight and start the bathroom line moving.  You promise faithfully that some day soon you will build another bathroom in the house, but for today, everyone needs to get along. Damn – is that the toast burning? 

Back downstairs to the kitchen, scrape the black off the toast and onto the table it goes.  It’s now 6:30 a.m., you have a splitting headache and you just want to go back to bed.  Unfortunately, you have a meeting at 8:00 a.m. with your biggest client and you know that the pile of paper on your desk could kill someone if it ever collapsed.  Deep sigh. 

It’s your turn in the bathroom and you now have 20 minutes to get ready and out the door, if you dry shave your legs and let your bangs hang down to cover your unplucked eyebrows, you should be able to make it.  There’s not a minute to waste. You run out the door, screaming good-bye to everyone as you throw on your shoes.  Out the driveway you fly just in time to hit the traffic jam that will allow you to crawl all the way to work. 

It’s only 7:15 a.m. Imagine what 2:30 is going to be like

Making The Green

15_19_1_thumb.jpgI was working with a client, expanding out his business idea, when I realized that with a slight twist, it could be promoted as an environmentally friendly.  He actually told me that he didn’t think that investors would be interested in a Green project – that they wouldn’t think it was profitable. 

I was surprised that anyone still thought that way.  Green is good – Green is beautiful – green in the project means green in the bank – and anyone who doesn’t realize this by now is completely naive.  

57% of Americans are very concerned about the environment and billions are being spent every year finding answers.  Venture capital investments in alternative energy, biofuels and clean technologies, jumped 44.4% in 2006 to $884 million[1]

Citibank has committed $50 billion to environmental projects in the next 10 years, IBM is spending $1 billion on energy efficiency, and Wal-mart has implemented a new Lifestyle section of their store to bring affordable, environmentally conscious goods to the consumer.  

The message from Wal-Mart today to the rest of the business community is there need not be any conflict between the environment and the economy. We will find the way not only to reconcile (those), but to find new profits and new opportunities as we do the right thing.”

-Al Gore

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, their interest in the environment signifies that eco-friendly is no longer the industry of tomorrow, tomorrow is today and today can be utilized for profit – because no matter what, Wal-Mart is Wal-Mart and they’re always focused on the bottom line.   

Now, mainstream giants in markets spanning consumer products, banking, airlines and chemicals have sweeping programs to shrink their companies’ impact on the environment – and cash in on consumers’ desire to go green”

 – Paul Davidson, USA Today

Solar power, human power, wind power, these are not dreams of the future any longer; they are available now.  I’ve worked on several exciting projects recently and when you work the long term numbers, the revenue potential is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  

[1] Dow Jones Venture One and Ernst and Young   [1]

They’ve got the power

Many, many years ago, I was in some University class, giving some speech, on something or another, and I was discussing how women control the finances at home, but weren’t taken seriously in the financial world.  My instructor, who had always been something of a chauvinist, stopped me and asked me for a source “on that fact”.  I had been stuck in several classes with this guy and I really disliked him, and I was quite annoyed that he had interrupted me – so I told him to open his eyes and look around at the world if he needed a source.  Probably didn’t get an A on that one.     

I come from a long line of alpha females and it was just common sense to me that women control the checkbook – and I have finally been vindicated.  The word is out. Of all the money spent in all the homes across the country – women make 80% of all the final buying decisions.

Who’s the apple of marketers’ eye? It is not free-spending teens or men 25-50. Its women, thanks to their one-two punch of purchasing power and decision-making authority. “

-Business Week

Now, of course, everyone is jumping on the skirted bandwagon.  NBC got into the game in 2005 when they paid $600 million for iVillage.  .  Today they have 16 million unique visitors and an Alexa ranking of 1657, making it one of the top destinations for women online.  It’s an eclectic mix of news, information and forums, which is kept fresh daily and has been for the past 10 years.  The company generates over $100 million in advertising revenues from brands like Dell, Fido, Tide and Lipton.  I don’t mind iVillage – they get a little pushy sometimes with the email offers – but not too bad. 

There’s also Café, who launched in November 2006 and claim 2.1 million unique and 99 million pageviews last month – They picked up  $5 million in funding in August 2007 but it seems to me as just a huge jumble of blogs and discussion groups with no order – I’m not saying that there aren’t some good groups there – but I saw a lot of spam – a lot of groups with 1 member and a lot of complaints about “bashing”.  It seems to be a little out of control.   I did find it interesting to read quite a bit of discussion about “no men allowed” on cafemom – when the entire thing is owned by two men.)  

Now I’ve run across– They’re the new guys in town, with Big Daddy Warner Brothers footing the bill.  They’re doing a news feed in blog format – with an odd discussion forum/wiki kind of thing.  The news feed definitely has its good days and its bad days.First time I visited their site, they has one blog about maxim’s supermodel picks, the next one was about sex, but with a picture of a sexy blonde woman biting a pair of underpants, and then another one about picking out video games – didn’t seem to quite fit with the “mom” demographic.   However, their original content is usually good, they’ve had a few really interesting interviews, and they have a nice layout with some good colors and designs.  Their discussion forum is difficult to navigate though – they’re using wetpaint – needs some design work