TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 10

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. How do we convince Americans that justice isn’t for sale — when in 39 states, it is?

By Sue Bell Cobb in Politico

2. It took pressure from customers and investors to make corporations environmentally sustainable. It’s time to do the same for gender equity.

By Marissa Wesely in Stanford Social Innovation Review

3. London’s congestion pricing plan is saving lives.

By Alex Davies in Wired

4. Libraries should be the next great start-up incubators.

By Emily Badger in CityLab

5. Annual replanting has a devastating impact. Could perennial rice be the solution?

By Winifred Bird in Yale Environment 360

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME technology

Apple Is Still a Startup

An illustration of the Apple Inc. logo taken on Jan. 30, 2015 in Lille, France.
Philippe Huguen—AFP/Getty Images An illustration of the Apple Inc. logo taken on Jan. 30, 2015 in Lille, France.

Zocalo Public Square is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism.

Apple is far less ubiquitous than you might think. It has plenty of room to grow

Sometime in 2000, my colleague Verlyn started bringing his Mac laptop to our New York Times editorial board meetings. The rest of us would hover around the sleek white machine with the cool lighting radiating from it, wondering if Verlyn Klinkenborg could possibly be serious. Some of us had used Apples in college, sure, but everyone does crazy things in college.

Was an Apple really fit for a workplace? Verlyn assured us that it was no toy, and that his Mac could do all the things ours could—the mix of surfing, emailing, and pontificating that the gig entailed—without crashing as frequently as our PCs. Verlyn claimed that his Apple was not susceptible to those nasty viruses that plagued our land of “WinTel,” and I wanted to believe him. I too bought a Mac, and instantly felt cooler as a result.

Fast forward to 2015, when the novelty would be for someone at a meeting to take out a laptop that isn’t an Apple. And, somehow, the caché remains. Apple has walked the tightrope between ubiquity and coolness, attaining one without sacrificing the other.

The company just announced the most profitable quarter in U.S. corporate history, a three-month period in which it sold almost 75 million iPhones and 5.5 million Macs. Tim Cook, Steve Jobs’ down-to-earth successor as CEO, couldn’t help himself on the earnings call, describing the quarter as “historic” and his company’s performance—selling on average 34,000 iPhones an hour, 24/7—as “hard to comprehend.” Apple is now the world’s most valuable company, with a stock market valuation of some $700 billion, and nearly $180 billion in cash on hand. The company’s online iTunes store counts a staggering 800 million active users.

What’s most astonishing, given those numbers, is that Apple is far less ubiquitous than you might think. It has plenty of room to grow. Indeed, it may only be getting started.

If you look at its existing product lines, Apple only dominates the tablet market. The competing Android operating system runs more than two-thirds of the world’s smartphones. Apple ranks fifth worldwide in the number of computers sold, and third in the U.S. There is plenty of market share left for Apple to steal from others.

Apple’s growth strategy is impressively disciplined. The company doesn’t slash prices or create subpar products to meet less affluent consumers in emerging markets halfway. Apple instead holds out its meticulously designed, pricier products as coveted trophies for new middle-class consumers.

Apple is only starting to wade into an array of markets that it will likely revolutionize, and dominate, in short order. Apple Pay, its bid to become your all-encompassing cashless wallet, is off to a strong start. Fledgling Apple ventures like HomeKit, CarPlay, Apple Watch and iBeacon provide clues to Apple’s unstated, ultimate goal: providing you with one portal, or operating system, that links your Apple devices, your car, and your home.

Apple is hardly being a trailblazing pioneer in this. There are plenty of “smart watches” and digital wallet surrogates already out there, but Apple has a way of bidding its time, learning from others’ mistakes, and introducing a tweaked product that will go mainstream, in part because it fits in so well within the broader Apple ecosystem.

No other company is anywhere near being able to match Apple in providing us with such seamless curation of our lives. The Italian novelist Umberto Eco famously said in the 1990s that Apple was like Catholicism, in that its followers had to adhere to one way of doing things, while Microsoft (you could say Google nowadays) was more akin to Protestantism, which gave followers more latitude to reach their own conclusions and organize themselves accordingly. Apple is unique among Internet giants in getting consumers to pay top dollar for its goods and services, while companies like Facebook and Google rely instead primarily on an advertising model to subsidize their interactions with consumers.

And so Apple’s prospects appear brighter than ever. Its own success would seem to be the only threat to a company that has billed itself as the scrappy underdog that promised to help us “think different.” Therein lies the company’s existential challenge: Can Apple remain cool if its products become the one indispensable means of controlling your life and communicating with others? Can it remain an aspirational brand once it’s within everyone’s reach? How distinctive can the world’s largest company, no matter what it does, ever be?

I reached out to Verlyn, who now teaches at Yale, to ask whether he’s still inhabiting the Apple ecosystem. He is, and his disgust at his pre-2000 Windows experience sounds as raw as it did when he first started proselytizing for the Mac. But he draws a line at the coming Apple Watch: “I’ve never worn a watch, and I can’t imagine starting now.”

Andrés Martinez is editorial director of Zocalo Public Square, for which he writes the Trade Winds column.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME viral

The ‘Ship Your Enemies Glitter’ Website Was Just a Big Marketing Stunt

Everything is a lie

A too-good-to-be-true prank website was actually, well, too good to be true.

The creator of Ship Your Enemies Glitter—a strange startup claiming to to do just that—told BetaBeat that the viral startup was actually just a marketing stunt. “My New Year’s resolution was to work on more side projects to keep me occupied whilst improving my marketing & development skills,” Matthew Carpenter, who created the site, wrote in an email. “I knew that if the story blew up on websites such as Reddit & Product Hunt that it would be a success.”

Carpenter played the Internet-friendly small business story to perfection, from feigning shock that his concept was a success (he begged consumers to stop buying glitter since he could keep up) to selling it last week for $85,000.

Although given the allegedly glittery condition of Carpenter’s living room, it appears as if he was trying to give his customers what they wanted. “The great thing about this project, no matter how messy my place has gotten from the glitter is that I’ve met a lot of really smart & creative people from it so hopefully I get to work with them on something cool moving forward,” he said.

[BetaBeat]

MONEY Second Career

How to Build a Second-Act Business with Your Millennial Kid

Combining complementary skills of two generations can be a recipe for success

It’s awesome working with my dad,” says Case Bloom, 30. The feeling is mutual, says his father, David, 58: “We are good complements to one another.”

Among the more striking developments I’ve learned researching my new book, Unretirement, is the rise in boomer parents going into business with their adult children, like the Blooms—co-owners of Tucker & Bloom, a Nashville, Tenn. luggage business.

In the past few years, setting up a multigenerational enterprise has been a mutually savvy way for boomers and their kids to deal with tough economic times. The parents typically have capital and plenty of experience, while their adult children burst with energy and tech skills.

From ‘You’ to ‘We’

The Blooms, and their business manufacturing highly-crafted messenger bags targeted at the DJ market, are a prime example. Before opening shop, David had spent his career in bag design and was director of travel products for Coach in New York City before he lost that job. When Case was in college in Nashville, studying business, he’d offer pointers to help his dad’s venture. “His logo was so bad. Horrible,” laughs Case. “I’d tell him, ‘You’re doing it wrong. Do it like this.’”

Eventually, Case says, it became “We should do it this way. The business happened organically.” Today, father and son each own half of the company, which has seven employees. David handles design and product development; Case is in charge of anything to do with the brand image and online sales. He’s also the one making frequent runs to Home Depot for the business’s factory and to the Post Office for shipments. “I have a different set of skills than my father,” says Case, who is also a part-time DJ.

When Kinship Is Friendship

One reason for the growing second-act-plus-child trend: surveys repeatedly show that today’s young adults generally get along well with their parents—and vice versa. “The key is an attitudinal shift in the relations between generations,” says Steve King, founder of Emergent Research, a consulting firm focused on the small business economy. “Boomers are close to their kids and the kids are close to their parents.”

Take Amanda Bates, a Gen X’er, and her mother Kit Seay, co-owners of Tiny Pies in Austin, Texas. “We’ve always had a close relationship, feeding off one another, finishing each other’s sentences,” says Kit, 73. They’d long wanted to do something together.

Several years ago, Amanda got the idea for making handheld pies from her son’s desire to take pie to school. So she and her mother began selling small pies, based on family recipes, in local farmers markets. They now sell them throughout the state, mostly through specialty stores, and opened a retail storefront at their wholesale facility in March 2014. Kit focuses on the creative and catering side of the business; Amanda’s in charge of the basics of running an enterprise. “The trust is there,” says Kit. Amanda agrees. “Yes, the trust is there. If she says something will get done, it will.”

Teaching Your Child Trust

Trust and complementary skills are also themes for Lee Lipton, 59, and his son Max, 25, and their Benny’s On the Beach restaurant in Lake Worth, Fla.

Lee, the restaurant’s principal owner, came out of the clothing manufacturing business, moving to Florida after the Calvin Klein outerwear line he ran with a few partners was sold. He bought Benny’s a year ago. Max, who’d wanted to get into the food business, is one partner; the other is chef Jeremy Hanlon. Lee’s the deal maker, Max manages the restaurant and executive chef Hanlon handles the kitchen. “The three of us trust each other incredibly and when one person feels strongly about something we tend to do it that way,” Lee says. “Very rarely after talking do we disagree, and that format was identical to my past partners. I want to teach Max and Jeremy that closeness.”

For second-act family businesses, creating boundaries between work and home is advisable, but easier to say than do. Speaking about her current relationship with her mom, Amanda Bates says: “We used to go out together and have fun, go to garage sales, that kind of thing. Now, when we get together, the business always come up. Even at family dinners, we end up talking business.”

The Win-Win of Multigenerational Businesses

But in the end, it’s family that makes these businesses succeed.

Bianca Alicea, 26, and her mom Alana, 46, started tchotchke-maker Chubby Chico Charms. in North Providence, R.I. with $500 and less than 100 charm designs at their dining room table in 2005. They now have roughly 25 full-time employees and sell several thousand handmade charms. Alana is the designer; Bianca deals more with payroll and other aspects of the business. “It’s important to remember you are family,” says Bianca. “Things don’t always go according to plan, but at the end of the day you have to see one another as family.”

Intergenerational entrepreneurship, it turns out, can be a win-win for boomers and their kids. For the parents, it’s the answer to the question: What will I do in my Unretirement? For their adult children, working with mom and dad provides them with greater meaning than just picking up a paycheck.

Chris Farrell is senior economics contributor for American Public Media’s Marketplace and author of the new book Unretirement: How Baby Boomers Are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and The Good Life. He writes twice a month about the personal finance and entrepreneurial start-up implications of Unretirement, and the lessons people learn as they search for meaning and income. Send your queries to him at cfarrell@mpr.org or @cfarrellecon on Twitter.

More from Next Avenue:

Businesses Mixing Older and Younger Partners

Hiring Your Parent

Older Entrepreneurs Are Better Than Younger Ones

TIME advice

How 3 Female Entrepreneurs Bounced Back

Three businesswomen
Getty Images

I knew I had to make a change

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

Some refer to it as their wake-up call. Others call it a breaking point. Brene Brown dubbed it her spiritual awakening.

While we each have our own labels and codewords we use to describe these challenging episodes in our lives, the experience is truly universal. Nearly every founder, maker, and creator you speak to has some variation of the same story to tell about the psychological price of entrepreneurship.

The moment when it all became too much. The moment when they were jolted from their old patterns of thought and behavior by an experience—or series of experiences—that brought them to their knees. The moment when it became glaringly evident that the way they had been operating was no longer working, and that it was time to make a change.

The three stories you are about to read are representative of the wide spectrum of founder experiences—from teetering on the edge of full-on burnout to a New Year’s decision to recommit to self.

These entrepreneurs are candid about the fact that reaching this personal and professional juncture can be unsettling, but they also demonstrate that it can be a moment of grace. An opportunity to pause and reflect, to become more conscious and deliberate in the way that we live and work. Their stories serve as an important reminder that no matter how alone you might feel in the middle of your “spiritual awakening,” countless other founders have been through the same struggle, done the hard work, and are now better off for the experience.

As author, researcher, and professor Brene Brown explained in her powerful TED talk on shame, “the two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.”

Renee Warren, Co-Founder of Onboardly

I knew I had to make a change when…

I realized that, in a 24-hour day, the only time I had to myself was when I was sleeping. From dawn until dusk I was either a full-time CEO, mother, housekeeper, or wife, and there was quite literally no time for me. No time to work out, get a pedicure, read, or even go out with my friends. Some may say this was self-inflicted, and there is a grain of truth to that. But I couldn’t figure out who would do all the work if it wasn’t me.

So, on January 1st of this year, I decided to make 2014 the year of Renee. This was an uncharacteristically selfish thought for me, and it took me some time to fully respect my decision to take time for myself. But as I progressed through the year, it became evident that this new practice made everyone in my life happier and better. Business boomed, my kids started regularly sleeping through the night and were less fussy, and my husband respected me and loved me more.

When you slow down and “smell the roses,” it opens up all your senses. You see things differently, you sleep better, and your thoughts are more clear. Me-time means more focused work, more inspiring ideas, and bigger leaps forward. I’m starting to realize who I really am and my path in life.

Here’s how I started practicing self-care…

1. Sleep is absolutely the number one indicator of a healthy lifestyle.

I told my husband that my only two requirements—regardless of travel plans and workload—was that I needed eight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night and the ability to work 45 hours per week.

As mothers will understand, this is a big deal. We have a one-year-old and a two-year-old, and thankfully we’ve had them on a decent sleep schedule since they were both three months old. They sleep 11-12 hour nights, so asking for an eight-hour sleep was entirely realistic.

2. I spend one hour of “me time” every day.

It can be anything from having a bath, reading a magazine, working out, or watching TV—whatever I feel like doing in the moment. What matters is that I get at least one hour of uninterrupted me-time.

3. Eating and exercise.

This, I like to do with the family. Planning and having dinner together every night is so important. We take the time to talk about each others’ days, and introduce new foods to the boys’ pallets. (My two-year-old loves salmon and falafel wraps. Who would have thought?)

As a family we hike together, go to the playground and run around, go for long walks, and otherwise involve the kids as much as we can in our daily routines. Showing them from an early age how much we love to eat well and exercise helps to shape their healthy mindsets as well. We’re their role models, so everything they see us eat, do, and say they interpret as something they also can and should be doing. It’s good practice for us anyway!

(MORE: How to Navigate the Burnout Zone)

Erica Diamond, Founder & Editor-In-Chief, WomenOnTheFence.com

I knew I had to make a change when…

Somewhat ironically, the realization that I had to slow down came when I was at the height of my game. I was 26 years old, newly married, and thriving by all accounts.

For years I dreamed of making my passion my paycheck, and it had finally happened. My business was on fire, we were being covered on TV, in newspapers and in magazines, I was receiving numerous awards, and I was named to the Profit Hot 50 list—the only female CEO that year.

On the surface it looked like I was rockin’ it, but I was quietly suffering and getting dangerously close to burnout.

If you’ve never experienced burnout before, it feels almost like a constant agitation. Everything becomes irritating. You get into bed at night, unable to shut off your brain. Because of this, you don’t get restful and restorative sleep, which leads to more anxiety and worry.

I became so fixated on growing my business, that the more I grew, the more I stopped appreciating it. Every high became no big deal. I was monopolizing our marriage with talks of both daily work stresses and accomplishments. Everything was do or die, life or death. I mapped out and planned every minute of every day, and managed to become a highly functioning and successful MESS.

Here’s how I started practicing self-care…

Thankfully my mother, a therapist, noticed what was going on with me and suggested that I see someone professionally, which was a tremendous help. Getting into therapy was a gift to myself. One of the most helpful things she told me was that slowing down didn’t have to mean diminishing my gifts: “Don’t eliminate your gifts. Be your authentic self, but complement it and balance it with a calmer lifestyle.” For me that meant yoga, but it can be anything that brings you feelings of peace and calm.

Sleep had become a major issue for me at the time, and another great tool was my “worry list.” Whenever I became confronted with stressful thoughts during my sacred sleeping hours, I transferred them to a piece of paper on my nightstand and let myself worry about it the next day—off my head and onto paper to deal with tomorrow.

If I learned one thing through the whole ordeal, it’s that good restorative sleep is absolutely essential.

(MORE: How to Refocus When You Burnout on Your Career Marathon)

Caroline Ghosn, Founder & CEO, Levo

I knew I had to make a change when…

I contracted salmonella and was unable to function for a week, and then unable to go back to eating varied foods for another two months. It made me realize the baseline state my body was operating in, and how tired I had been.

Here’s how I started practicing self-care…

From then on, I began what has become an increasingly ambitious wellness regimen, documented and monitored using wearable technology. I measure my sleep and aim for 7-8 hours a night, cut out coffee altogether for two years to eliminate my addiction (and now have, with a doctor’s blessing, returned to a half mug 2-3 times a week in the morning for the antioxidant benefits), work out 2-3 times a week, and meditate once a week.

I’m working toward meditating once a day–that’s my new goal and the next step.

You Don’t Have to Wait for a Crisis

A common element in so many stories of breakdown, awakening, and transformation is the metaphorical ‘salmonella’—an event or experience that forces us to revisit our lifestyle choices, whether we’re ready to or not. But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for food poisoning, major loss, or depression to start making changes.

While we still live in a culture that tends to conflate productivity with worth and constant forward motion with success, there’s a noticeable shift happening in the way we think about work and business that’s leading us toward a more holistic definition of what it means to thrive as an entrepreneur.

A moment of peace and presence is now just a tap away, and conversations about mental health and balance are no longer taboo in many entrepreneurial circles.

Now is the time to capitalize on this sea change and claim your right to do things differently.

MONEY Careers

Work for the Man? That’s So Over, New College Grads Say

With banks dissing them and peers largely underemployed, Millennials are finding an alternative financial future.

Big companies still have many high-paying positions, and with the job market perking up those opportunities will expand. But young adults are still having trouble establishing basic financial security—or landing a decently paying entry-level job. Instead, they are forging different paths to financial success.

This search for alternatives starts with checking and saving. Banks haven’t figured out how to serve this new generation. Millennials have big debts from college, and instead of a single, steady full-time job, a recent grad may have four or five paying gigs. Banks can’t fit them into an existing box. But this new generation still needs credit and banking services.

Faced with this inflexibility, one third of Millennials seek to cut ties with traditional banks and financial companies, according to market researchers. Half say they are counting on start-up firms to overhaul how banks work, and 75% say they would prefer financial services from the likes of Google, Amazon, and PayPal. They are also turning to alternative financial firms like Square, Betterment, Robinhood, and Wealthfront to manage their payments and manage their money.

In their search for financial options, young adults are also finding new ways to launch their careers. Millennials have seen under-saved Boomers delay retirement, while corporations have shed workers and their peers are settling for jobs below their ability. As a solution, more twentysomethings are turning to entrepreneurship. Six in 10 recent college graduates are interested in starting a company, according to a new survey by CT Corp., a small business services firm. Those results mirror similar findings by other polls.

Entrepreneurial pursuits offer the potential to put individuals squarely in charge of their future. This is the mindset that the Thiel Foundation capitalizes on with its 20-under-20 fellowship, which seeks to develop entrepreneurs right out of high school and convince them they don’t need college or the student debt that comes with it.

The problem is that while many recent college graduates say they want to be their own boss, a large portion doesn’t really understand what that entails. So while 61% say they’d like to start a company, only 45% believe it’s feasible, CT found. Meanwhile, 67% display a knowledge gap around practical aspects like incorporating, registering a business name, securing a domain, and marketing their products or services.

Still, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in this crowd. One in five recent grads started a business while in college, and even among those who don’t believe they’ll ever start a company a third dream about doing so. More than half believe that being their own boss offers greater rewards and more financial security over the long run. Let’s hope they are right because in the new normal this is the path often taken.

TIME Companies

Uber Will Launch Courier Service in New York on Tuesday

Delivering packages by bike and on foot, UberRush will serve as an "Uber for things," according to general manager Josh Mohrer.

Uber, the popular driver-for-hire company that has made waves for the threat it poses to traditional taxi and limo companies, is setting its sights on a new frontier: courier service. On Tuesday, the app-based service will launch UberRush, through which users can hire foot or bike messengers to send packages from Manhattan to anywhere else in the city, according to CNBC.

Josh Mohrer, the general manager of UberNYC, told CNBC, “It’s an Uber for things.”

The new 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service will reportedly cost between $15 and $30 depending on how far the courier has to travel. Deliveries are expected to take less than an hour. Both senders and recipients will also be able to track their package’s progress within the new app. Uber did not tell CNBC how many couriers will be available though Mohrer said the company will “always have enough” people.

The startup, which launched in 2009 and now operates in more than 70 cities, began testing delivery services with Christmas trees, kittens and ice cream last year.

[CNBC]

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