Thursday, September 8, 2022

Metals Here, Metals There, Metals Everywhere

What do most environmentalists and techies have in common? Metals. Whether you are trying to save the planet from greenhouse gases or just really like to have the latest phone from that certain fruit-named company and a self-driving electric car from that one car company whose CEO also likes to shoot stuff into space, you are likely a consumer of a lot of metals, many of which you may never have even heard. So, you are a consumer of metals, so what?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

WIPO Global Awards reward small and medium-sized enterprises making a global impact

In 2022, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a new initiative to recognize the innovative efforts of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from around the world. WIPO’s new Global Awards are designed to identify new inventions and creative commercial solutions that impact economic, social, and cultural progress, and in turn, encourage innovation and the commercialization of IP assets.

WIPO is a self-funding agency of the United Nations (comprising 193 member states) that provides a global forum for IP services, policy, information, and cooperation. WIPO’s mission is to ensure a world where innovation and creativity from anywhere in the world is supported by IP rights for the good of everyone. An aim of the Global Awards is to recognize and support enterprises and individuals striving to make a positive impact through innovation both at home and beyond borders.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Thomas Borstelmann, The 1970s: A New Global History from Civil Rights to Economic Inequality (Princeton, 2011)

The years between 1973 and 1979 took me from high school through college, a time during which I worked in my first job, cast my first vote in a presidential election, and generally prepared for life as an adult. Historians have labeled the era “a kidney stone of a decade,” but, from the perspective of teenage me, they were pretty great times. Between the end of the Vietnam War (I fortunately fell into the age group that avoided having to register for the draft) and the onset of the Reagan years (during which I engaged with life as a yuppie), life felt carefree, as I imagine it did for many a young person raised in suburban middle-class comfort during those years.

Lately, as I’ve mused over the way we were (to borrow the title of a 1973 Oscar-winning film), I’ve started to recall some not-so-great things that were only at the very edge of my consciousness at the time: an oil embargo, stagflation, unrest in the Middle East, and post-Watergate distrust of and weariness with politicians. No doubt, in retrospect, these were weird times, characterized by, as historian David Kennedy once observed, “the odd blend of political disillusionment and pop-culture daffiness that gave the 1970s their distinctive flavor.”

Friday, August 19, 2022

Minneapolis/St. Paul Ranked High for Startups:

As a lawyer who works with startups for a living, I wasn’t surprised to see that M25, an early-stage venture firm based in Chicago that invests in tech startups headquartered in the Midwest, has (again) ranked the Twin Cities #2 among its Best of the Midwest Startup Cities Rankings. I’ve known for a couple of decades that the Twin Cities is a pretty great place to start a business and this report just validates that.

The rankings are rooted in three general areas: the amount of startup activity, how supportive the area’s ecosystem is for startups, and the general business climate. The top two (Chicago at #1) have been consistent among the 59 metropolitan areas ranked since these rankings started in 2017. Pittsburgh, which had consistently been ranked third fell to fourth behind a rising Indianapolis, which really benefitted from aggressive funding availability through programs (direct investment, angel tax credit, etc.)

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Dog Days of Summer

The “Dog Days” of summer are from July 3 to August 11 each year. They’re usually the hottest and most unbearable days of the season. We often hear about the "Dog Days" of Summer, but few know the meaning of the expression.

The phrase can be traced back to ancient Greece and has its roots in astrology. It is a reference to the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius (known colloquially as the "Dog Star"), which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. The term “the dog days of summer” is now taken to describe the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Domain Names and Branding – What’s in a (Domain) Name?

In the internet age, a good domain name is a crucial part of any business’s branding strategy.

In a previous post on this blog directed at domain name owners, I covered the importance of domain names and identified some common domain scams. But what about new businesses that are just starting their branding? Ideal “.com” domain names can be in short supply these days. What is an entrepreneur to do?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Twin Cities Summer Music Opportunities: Get Out and Enjoy!

Since moving to the Twin Cities, my wife and I have always loved and appreciated the community’s strong commitment to the arts. From catching a musical at the Orpheum, to attending concerts at the Minnesota Orchestra, to impromptu open mic nights at our local brewery, we are constantly surrounded by a talented and passionate group of musicians that makes us feel at home.

This year, the Minnesota Orchestra said goodbye to its music director, Osmo Vänskä, who led the orchestra for nearly two decades and has been a pillar in our arts community. During his farewell tour, many fans have shared stories of Vänskä performing throughout the cities and prioritizing our community, reminding me of how lucky we are to have this flourishing community.