Money

Increased flooding may cost the world $1 trillion by 2050

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 18, 2013   View Article

Flood damage in the world’s major coastal cities may top $1 trillion a year by 2050 due to rising seas and subsiding land, according to a new study.

The startling figure is “not a forecast or a prediction,” but rather a means to “show that not to adapt and not to improve protection is impossible,” Stéphane Hallegatte, a senior economist with the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and the study’s lead author, told NBC News. “We have to do something.”

Game changers: Lakeside alumni are shifting paradigms

Publication: Lakeside Magazine   Date: May 25, 2012   View Article

Jens Molbak ’80 didn’t fancy himself an innovator while studying for his MBA at Stanford University. He was just tired of lugging a jar of coins every time he moved in his 20s.

“I ended up with an innovative idea and going off and pursuing it,” says the inventor of the Coinstar machines that turn grubby loose change into cash. Along the way, he learned that “innovation is a skill that can be taught … there is a process, a discipline, to go through.”

Ashton Kutcher, friends, key to Twitter’s success

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 21, 2011   View Article

Developers of the next-big social networking application stand a greater chance at skyrocketing success if Hollywood stars and big media go gaga over it, according to an analysis of Twitter’s meteoric rise in popularity.

Data collected on the number of users adopting the microblogging service in its early years (between 2006 and 2009) show that it first spread gradually via traditional social networks — real-world friends, work colleagues, neighbors — then took off when media stars started to gather their flocks.

Grant turns lab rats into scientific entrepreneurs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: December 20, 2011   View Article

Lab scientists are getting a $50,000 assist from the U.S. government to go to school and learn the entrepreneurial skills required to take their innovations into the marketplace and, perhaps, become millionaires.

“I am basically teaching them how to do eye contact and test their hypotheses outside of the lab,” Steve Blank, a startup guru at Stanford University who designed and teaches the course, told me Tuesday.

Is the smart grid too smart for us?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: June 21, 2011   View Article

The Obama administration unveiled a string of new initiatives last week that will pump political muscle and federal dollars into the development of the smart grid. Did you miss the news? You’re not alone. Most of us don’t really know what the smart grid is or care that much about it.

This lack of knowledge about and interest in the smart grid is the biggest impediment to its implementation, the energy consulting firm Black and Veatch found in its annual survey on the electric utility industry.

4 lessons from a 97 year old real estate agent

Publication: MSN/SwitchYard Media   Date: September 16, 2010   View Article

Buy a house today if you can, but don’t sell one if you don’t have to, says George W. Johnson, a 97-year-old real-estate agent who has been working the Seattle market since 1936.

Johnson, who is reluctant to call himself America’s oldest real-estate agent — he says he just learned of a 99-year-old broker in Florida — has seen his share of housing booms and busts since he hung his first real-estate shingle 74 years ago.

The business of Mother’s Day

Publication: MSN/SwitchYard Media   Date: May 2, 2010   View Article

As holiday spending goes, only Christmas eclipses Mother’s Day.

The second Sunday of May — May 9 this year — is a big day not only for America’s 83 million moms, but also for sellers of things that smell nice, look pretty, taste yummy or feel good. All told, the run-up to Mother’s Day 2010 is expected to bring in $14.6 billion in U.S. sales, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation. (Preliminary U.S. sales figures for last year’s Christmas season totaled $446.8 billion.)

It’s estimated that sons and daughters will shell out an average of $126.90 each on the mother figures in their lives. Most — 83% — will focus their shopping on their moms or stepmoms, though wives, daughters, grandmothers and sisters make many lists as well.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach