Thursday, February 11, 2010

1800FLOWERS & Martha Stewart Team Up for Valentines Day

I've always known Martha Stewart to be an accomplished artisan when it comes to putting together elegant and classy flower arrangements, but since she teamed up with 1800FLOWERS it seems she has outdone herself. What an incredible collection of flowers, and other gifts too!

And of course Martha Stewart  loves roses, those species of flowers that embody the very essence of love. There is no better spokesperson for 1800FLOWERS than Martha Stewart...

1800FLOWERS Promotes Young Adult Literature

I had never before associated Valentine's Day with vampires before, but the Twilight flowers DVD offer by 1800flowers made me rethink this. I am neither a fan of the Twilight book or movie series, but this is only because I have neither read the books nor watched the movies. In my humble opinion as a writer, any book that causes a young person to pick it up and read it is a good thing. Besides which, young love is a topic on which I have written as well, though not nearly as successfully as Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight Series.

So, if you or the one you love are at all interested in vampires, I suggest sending her or him flowers through 1800flowers and giving Stephenie's books a good read.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vivek Kundra: Applying Information Technology to Government

Vivek Kundra became the Chief Information Officer for Washington, DC earlier this year. He replaced the city's antiquated tech system with a new one that provides information for the city's mayor in real time. This will allow those who run the US capital to more efficiently track how money is spent.

Vivek Kundra was an instrumental member and leader of Obama administration's tech team that set up, which provides information on how stimulus money is being and has been spent. He has also been tasked with numerous information technology projects in the District of Columbia, from middle schools to ensuring that the District of Columbia's various agencies provide information on police response times, crime rates, health care, and other data.

His unique upbringing has made Vivek Kundra very aware of the value of money. Born in India and growing up in Tanzania, he saw the poverty endemic in Third World countries, and perhaps because of this he is more able to find solutions that are economical. He has urged the US federal government to move away from costly solutions that include heavy investment in infrastructure and instead look to less costly ways in which to store data, including outsourcing to private IT providers, consolidating servers, virtualization, cloud computing, and shared services. In any case, it is good to know that there are some government employees like Vivek Kundra that are working hard to save American taxpayers money.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics

The University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious universities in the midwestern United States, so it comes as no surprise that a man like Steve G. Stevanovich would allow his name to be put on to an educational center like the Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics. Steve G. Stevanovich donated $7 million to the University of Chicago to make this center possible. His reasons for doing so can be told best in his own words:
"World financial markets are becoming more and more complex and mathematics is increasingly becoming an invaluable and necessary tool in understanding these markets. The financial mathematics program at the University of Chicago is at the forefront of providing students the necessary tools to filter and decode this complexity. It is an honor for me to be a part of this endeavor and to continue the legacy of excellence at the University of Chicago."

Steve G. Stevanovich received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and went on to found an asset management firm that has offices in North America, Asia, and Europe. The Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics brings together financial professionals and mathematical scholars in order to help solve the problems facing the financial industry. Looking at what has happened in the past few years to this industry, this is indeed the time for the Stevanovich Center for Financial Mathematics to make its mark on the world.

Sak Narwal Can Now Play the Blues

Harmonicas are a big part of American folk music, and Sak Narwal has developed an affinity for this instrument, known also as a blues harp, french harp, mouth harp, and mouth organ. Sak Narwal discovered the harmonica while on a business trip to Trossingen, Germany, where Hohner harmonicas are made. While attending a harmonica competition there, he decided to learn how to play it.

As a successful entrepreneur, Sak Narwal worked hard to become successful, and he also put this same spirit into learning the mouth organ. Considering all his successful business endeavors, one would not think he would be able to master an instrument that has been linked so essentially to the blues. Yet, as with his business endeavors, he was able to play songs within a week of taking lessons. That in itself is an accomplishment of note!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Short Introduction to Deven Parekh

What do Insight Venture Partners - a multi-billion dollar venture capital firm that specializes in software and businesses that utilize the Internet - and Publicor - a non-profit organization that works with disaffected youth - have in common? One of the managing directors of Insight Venture Partners, Deven Parekh, also sits on the board for Publicor.

Deven Parekh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He worked at The Blackstone Group, where he advised on acquisitions and mergers as well as participating in principal activitivies. Prior to working for Insight Venture Partners, he worked as a principal at the New York merchant banking firm Berenson Minella & Company.

The Aspen Institute also honored Deven Parekh as a Henry Crown Fellow. The Henry Crown Fellowship fosters leadership based on values. The fellowship was started to commemorate the late industrialist Henry Crown, who espoused industriousness and philanthropy throughout his own life as well as a strong commitment to moral principles and honesty.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Carl Sgro - Internet Marketer

Catching customers is a lot like catching bass. Carl Sgro has developed a strategy along with a team of experts to help companies harness the marketing power of the Internet. Sgro's company helps develop marketing plans for businesses by managing their Internet presence, utilizing time honored sales techniques and good old fashioned marketing along with types of advertising that have just come into use within the last couple decades, such as search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

This includes pay per click advertising, algorithmic marketing, and targeting topic pages. These three techniques are the key to successful Internet marketing. We have all seen ads on sites that will click you through to a business home page, where customers can then buy products or services offered by the customer. The algorithms which rank websites are also important elements of any marketing strategy, as the higher ranked sites on search engines are the ones to which customers invariably go first. Topic pages offer a way in which to communicate with customers by directing potential customers towards a specific product or service.

Though other companies claim to be able to bring in customers easily and with minimal expense, according to Carl Sgro one should not believe this hype. I know from personal experience that Carl Sgro is right about this. New customers are hard to come by, and it is much easier to hold on to the customers that you aleady have. It is much more difficult to gain a new customer than to keep an old one and in order to develop a new customer it costs many times what it would cost to retain an old customer.