Focus Designs sells one-wheeled EV

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Camas, Wash.-based Focus Designs is shipping one-wheeled Segway-like vehicles to consumers.

 

Multnomah County considers partnership for courthouse

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Multnomah County commissioners are considering a public-private partnership with a British Columbia company to rebuild or renovate its 103-year-old courthouse.

 

NuScale must reapply for grant

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Corvallis-based NuScale Power has to reapply for a large federal nuclear power grant it had been counting on.

 

Gresham utility fee moves forward

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gresham is going forward with a modified version of the $7.50 monthly utility fee it proposed in September.

 

Stores get creative to lure holiday shoppers

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The rise of online shopping and the sluggish economy is forcing stores to offer more than deep discounts to attract shoppers this holiday season.

 

Xzeres raises $1.5M

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wilsonville-based wind turbine maker Xzeres closed on $1.5 million of a $2 million equity round.

 

EV buyers more educated and wealthier

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Must Reads
Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Electric car owners are more well-off and well-educated than the average consumer, new reports say.

 
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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
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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Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
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2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


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The 100 Best Companies survey is open

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Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


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The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


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I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


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Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


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Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


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