Inside the meltdown. Frontline ran a compelling piece on the first few months of the economic crisis last night—from Bear Sterns CEO Allen Schwartz botched CNBC interview that sped up its demise to Dick Fuld's hubris in refusing to find a buyer for Lehman to free market patriot Paulson announcing a capital injection into America's largest banks that would make him the most interventionist Secretary of the Treasury in U.S. history. It's strange to watch the always spot-on Frontline treatment applied to something that feels like it happened yesterday. But laid-out in an hour-long format with journalists who covered the power brokers behind the crisis and investment bank insiders, its chillingly clear how Bernacke and Paulson had no idea what was coming or how quickly the boom years of subprime mortgages and credit default swaps could topple Wall Street.
Getting entrepreneurs started early. Like really early. According to a panel at Davos, teaching grade-school kids basic entrepreneurship is key to the global economy's recovery. It's a provocative claim, as no one knows if it's even possible to teach entrepreneurship, and even advocates admit the business literacy parts are easier to explain to kids than creativity and innovation. But, as Kelly Spors at Independent Street suggests, maybe introducing the possibility early on, while their minds are still malleable, will encourage more people to pursue entrepreneurship: "We need to frame their minds early on—perhaps similar to why it's best to take piano lessons or learn a foreign language long before adulthood."
It's that time of year again'¶ Yes, April 15th is already casting its shadow over the new year. We're keeping our eyes peeled for helpful tax tips for small business owners. Business Week has 25 deductions you may not have heard of, while the IRS's page for small businesses is here. For more from Inc., see our law and taxation resource center .
Pepsi design brief leaked; we learn more than we ever wanted to about the making of a logo. What was Pepsi thinking with its ubiquitous new ad campaign? If you really want to know, check out this Fast Company post. The soft drink giant's 27-page PDF somehow leaked to the public. And it's an exercise in self-aggrandizement. The presentation compares the Pepsi logo to the golden ratio, the Mona Lisa, the earth and its magnetic fields, and the Parthenon. As FC's Aaron Perry-Zucker astutely observes, "It also illustrates the extreme disconnect between the marketing world and the real world."
Sign of the times: grocery bills. Privately-held premium grocery chain Wegman's is growing despite the recession. The Baltimore Sun reports that the company is planning to open a new store in Harford County, Maryland that will employ 600 people. "They don't take expansion lightly," said grocery analyst David Livingston. "They do it methodically." Meanwhile, the Sun's business section has added a very useful weekly feature—and a sign of the times—a comparison of prices at three local grocery stores.
Is the Go Daddy's gross-out ad strategy tapped out? Teressa Iezzi, a Go Daddy customer, takes the company's sexist marketing tactics to task on AdAge.com. Unmoved at first about the manufactured controversy behind its 2005 Superbowl ad, Iezzi now finds herself fed up. "Apathy was beaten down by the feeling of revulsion at being treated with such contempt by a marketer. Yes, the company's brand persona makes me feel unwelcome as a woman. But Go Daddy's advertising has gotten to the point where I'm not even sure it's about the sexism anymore. What I can no longer countenance is the sheer stupidity, the breathtaking inanity (to quote my favorite U.S. district judge) of the marketing communications coming from what is meant to be a major player in this sector of the internet economy. The ads offend me as a human being. In short, I just don't want to be associated with this company on any level." Here's the company's latest Superbowl offering:
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