Thursday, August 17, 2017

How to Enjoy an IP-Safe Big Game

For only the second time in NFL history, Minnesota will host a Super Bowl game.

In 1992, Minnesota hosted Super Bowl XXVI at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome.    Gloria Estefan was the halftime headliner, and Olympic figure skating champions Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill skated on Teflon.  The game was played at the end of January and I’m sure it was cold.  I don’t remember much about the game, but I seem to recall that there were a lot of “Super Bowl” events and activities around town – or maybe not.

Super Bowl LII is less than six months away, and will be played in the new US Bank Stadium.  Hosting the Super Bowl presents big opportunities for Minnesotans.  Hotels, restaurants and retail stores in Minneapolis and the surrounding communities will realize millions of dollars from housing, feeding and entertaining participants, fans and the crews covering the event for media outlets throughout the world.  There will certainly be a number of “events” and merchandising surrounding the game, but if you are planning to participate, be careful what you do and how you promote it.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Great American Eclipse Tourism Rush

The countdown is on . . . in a few days there will be a total solar eclipse across North America.

A solar eclipse occurs when the orbit of the moon aligns directly in front of the sun to block its light, plunging sections of the earth into complete darkness for several minutes during the middle of the day.

On August 21, 2017, the Great American Eclipse will make a diagonal path from Oregon to South Carolina. While all of the continental U.S. will be able to see a partial solar eclipse, you must be in the path of totality to experience the total solar eclipse.  The path of totality is the thin ribbon, about 70 miles wide, that the moon’s shadow traces on Earth during a total solar eclipse.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

SEC Publishes Initial Crowdfunding Statistics

A couple of months ago, I posted about crowdfunding in Minnesota under the “intra-state” legislation commonly referred to as MNVest, along with some general tips for crowdfunding success. Since then, I came across an article published by the SEC that provides some statistical analysis regarding crowdfunding that occurred in 2016 under Title III of the JOBS Act.  

As background for those who haven’t been paying attention to the myriad of entreVIEW posts on crowdfunding, the JOBS Act, short for Jumpstart our Business Startups, was enacted on April 5, 2012.  Title III of the JOBS Act created a new exemption from registration for Internet-based securities offerings of up to $1 million over a 12-month period. The SEC adopted final crowdfunding rules on October 30, 2015.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

An Entrepreneurial Approach to Everyday Life

During a recent meeting with my book club—a dynamic group of women attorneys—the discussion turned to the “entrepreneurial spirit.” Often, conversations about entrepreneurs focus on folks that start companies. However, an entrepreneurial spirit is much more than starting a company—it is a way of approaching life and interacting with the world.

For example, my club discussed how an entrepreneurial spirit can lead individuals to seek out and create employment opportunities that work with the flow and balance of their lives. In this context, an entrepreneurial spirit manifests itself as creative work solutions that challenge conventional workplace norms such as being in the office for a set amount of hours, and acknowledging that many people are more productive while working from home or between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, 2d Ed. (MacMillan, 1972)

I don’t think I’m giving away any secrets here, but a fair amount of atrocious writing is produced by otherwise esteemed members of the lawyering profession.

To be fair, a lot of the turgid and opaque prose is baked into forms of documents that have been used since time immemorial and read about as easily as Beowulf in original Old English₁.  In many cases particular wording has, over the years, acquired a judicial gloss with which few practitioners wish to tamper, even if they were so inclined (and most of us aren’t).

But in a profession in which effective communication is at the heart of what we do, too often what we write is not a model of clarity, and frequently induces bouts of head-scratching among those who must decipher our meaning. Unfortunately, the same can be said of what we receive from some of our entrepreneurial clients, particularly in a Google-enabled universe where finding examples of certain documents or language is so easy. These clients also have the quite excellent excuse that their focus is economic activity, not the nuances of language.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Watch this Space!

We at entreVIEW are pretty proud of this little blog. Sure, we’ve earned the immensely prestigious 25 Top Minnesota Blawg Award in the past, but it goes far beyond external affirmations.

Or does it? And how come this post is all about navel-gazing and not something really interesting, or quirky, or quirkily interesting?

Well, if you must know, we had a great post we were preparing for this spot, but at the last minute we were told by the author to hold it. Why? Because the New York Times had indicated to him that it might be interested in publishing it, but only if it hadn’t been published elsewhere first. If you look up the phrase “punch above your weight,” the dictionary will undoubtedly offer this as just one example.

So, dear readers, stay tuned. You never know when something you read here might be a scoop lusted after by some hoity-toity mainstream media outlet!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cool New Technology for Fresh, Fun, Growing Businesses

I’ve owned my retail business since 2011, and in that time, I haven’t made any big technological changes. We’ve stuck with the same point of sale system, the same website providers, and the same email marketing service. But this year, I totally caught the bug and started checking out some new technology, which has turned out not only to be a good investment for sales purposes (our numbers have grown every month), but also fun for our employees and customers. There are so many technologies and services available, it’s hard to sort through them all, but here are a few of my personal favorites for small businesses:
  1. Zipwhip.  This service allows customers to text your regular business phone number, where you or any of your staff can respond easily. We receive messages in three ways: 1) on the zipwhip website, where we can also fill in detailed customer info, send mass text campaigns (reply “yes” to receive a $10 coupon!), or set up auto-replies to answer outside business hours; 2) via pop-up notifications on a computer screen, so we never miss a message; or 3) through the smartphone app, which alerts me every time a message comes in and allows me (or one of my managers who has downloaded the app) to answer just like any regular text.  Prices start at $35/month, and referral credit is readily available. We initially started using this as a “text to order” experiment, hoping to make it even easier for customers to order from us than a competitor’s website.  However, it has additionally turned into a round-the-clock communication platform for our customers, who seem to love using it for questions of all kinds. It’s definitely improved their access to us, and in a personal, yet non-intimidating way.