Worth a Look: Is the Economy Better Than We Think?
Image: Bless This Stuff
Image: Bless This Stuff

Plus: New Year’s Resolutions for Managers, Working for Less, Top LinkedIn Mistakes, Branding Tips from Indiana Jones, Origin of a Cookie Empire and MORE.

Sometimes the Internet seems like it’s gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, IMT presents a weekly feature that spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks. We’ll have a new “Worth a Look” each Wednesday.

  • New Year’s Resolutions for Managers | For many people, a new year is motivation to view the next 12 months as a clean slate and an opportunity to set new goals. At IndustryWeek.com, consultant Lawrence Miller offers six suggestions for managers to improve performance at almost any workplace, starting with, “Encourage others.”
  • Is the Economy Better Than We Think? | We may believe the U.S. is in desperate economic times, but, according to Zachary Karabell at The Daily Beast, it’s not. “From employment to debt to manufacturing,” the president of River Twice Research and River Twice Capital explains why things are looking up for 2012. Agree or disagree?
  • Working for Less | The New York Times offers a compelling piece describing how General Electric and other firms are bringing previously offshored production jobs back to the United States. Yet most of the decisions to bring work back home come with agreements to lower the entry-level wages (and benefits) for new workers.
  • Social Media Opportunities for Small Manufacturers | Businesses of all sizes and in all industries are finding social networks useful for mining information that can help them improve their products and bottom line. PAPA Advertising lays out four key ways that low-profile manufacturing firms in particular can benefit from social media.
  • 5 LinkedIn Mistakes | We recently learned to avoid using certain buzzwords on our LinkedIn profiles, but Geoffrey James, author of Inc.com’s Sales Source column, adds a handful of other LinkedIn mistakes to avoid if you hope to keep your professional credibility intact. Also: How to Make Great Connections on LinkedIn
  • Worst Computer Passwords | Unless you want to be an easy target for hackers and online scammers, “password” is the worst possible computer password you can choose. If you use this or any other option on SplashData’s newly released “Top 25 Worst Popular Passwords of 2011″ list, you could be setting yourself up for fraud or identity theft.
  • Origin of a Cookie Empire | Once upon a time, an Oregon Girl Scout troop organized a bake sale. Nearly a century later, the Girl Scouts of America command a $700 million cookie empire, unloading 200 million boxes a year, according to company literature. A Business Insider slideshow explores how the cookie empire was built.
  • Branding Tips from Indiana Jones | “What do Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ikea have in common?” an editorial at FastCoDesign asks. “They both create overtures — opening sequences that communicate what comes next.” In the latest edition of its 10×10 series, design and innovation firm Method proffers 6 branding secrets exemplified by Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Teen Science in Action | In 2011, three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair. In a TED Conversation video, Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah describe their inspiring projects as well as their route to acquiring a passion for science.
  • Addressing DIY Danger | Add this to IMT’s wishlist: The ThumbSaver magnetic nail setter (pictured below), which helps DIYers position a nail, staple or screw without leaving fingers exposed to the hammer’s wrath.

Thumbsaver 399x270.gif
Image: Bless This Stuff


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  • thevelvetine
    January 12, 2012

    Yes, the economy is sputtering forward now, but the pessimistic angst is real. Debt and inflation are two growing elephants in a small room. There are simply too many fundamentals to fuel the undertow that will sooner or later sink any forward momentum.

    Exploding healthcare and education costs, significant portions of the real estate market are still being corrected because of greed and incompetence, disembowled retirements, crumbling infrastructure and the volatile energy bomb are pervasive issues. Not to mention that we hardly make anything in this country anymore.

    This “massive income inequality” that the pundits condescendingly refer to will be the bedrock of a revolution, not of the relatively benign, astigmatic “Occupy Movement” ilk.

    The government has lost credibility with its citizens. America is in financial trouble and you will pay for it.

  • OIdStabby
    January 13, 2012

    Well said, my friend. Americans don’t have the sensibilities of Indians or the Chinese places where the peasants have known their place for centuries. They are largely unarmed and unable to do anything about it. True Americans represent truly problematic attitudes when it comes to the system that has been set up “by a few for the few” over the last 25 years.

    You know the 2-class society that some in America crave for folks here: rich and poor, that’s it. Now only money makes money, not people’s hard work and ingenuity. For the most part.

    The time is rapidly approaching when the 99% will have had enough. They do have the ability to do something about it. I fear for my family because of the coming tribulations. Tribulations that will be of our own making…

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