December 2011

Oregon EVs on a slow charge

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1211_ElectricVehicles_01Two years ago, electric vehicles were going to save the world and Oregon in particular. There would be several models on the market to choose from, they all would be fast and go far, and there would be as many charging stations dotting I-5 as Ducks fans on game day. Manufacturers and politicians alike were expecting everyone to dive into the deep end of the EV pool. But consumers have been slow to embrace the new technology.

 

State we're in: Housing permits flat

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1211_IndicatorsGraph_03Amid a still sluggish real estate market, Oregon housing permits remain mired thousands per month below the heights of five years ago.
 

Oregon economic indicators as of September 2011

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
 

Company composts pet waste

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1211_PoopComposting_02When Steve Dreiling took over son Lance Donavan’s Green Pet Compost Company in early 2011 it had 100 clients. It now has 200 residential clients in the Portland metro area (as well as Gig Harbor, Wash., where Dreiling lives) and 10-12 commercial clients, including the Stay Pet Hotel and Sniff Dog Hotel in Portland.

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger cast in bronze in Oregon

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1211_BronzinatorTim Parks does not impress easily. The founder and owner of TW Bronze in Enterprise comes across as laid back and unpretentious. But even Parks felt a bit of a thrill when Arnold Schwarzenegger rode shotgun with him to take a tour of his bronze foundry in September.

 

Artisan soap's sudsy success

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1211_Soap_02Oregonians are buying artisan, whether it is gloves they purchase from a crafter on the website Etsy, home-brewed beer they buy from a co-worker, or specialty cheese they pick up at a farmer’s market. Add to the list: handcrafted bar soap.

 

Holiday retail's uncertain outlook

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Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1211_HolidayRetailThe annual holiday shopping marathon is upon us, and in the face of a still-fragile economy, retailers around the country and locally are collectively holding their breaths.

 
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The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

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pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


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The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

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Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


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Downtime

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Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


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Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


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Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


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Fly Zone

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The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


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