Lightbank Tries To Tackle More Internet Fame

Lightbank, the company that brought the world the infamous Groupon, has now created a completely new arena in technology and the world wide web.  The company launched the first-ever online full service pawn shop, PawnGo,in  mid-June creating buzz and opportunity to technologically advanced users who would like to or need to pawn their belongings.  The targeted audience for PawnGo is supposedly upper-class Americans looking to pawn their old jewelry, sports memorabilia, Hollywood artifacts, etc.  It sounds to me like they are catering to the stars and the wealthy who should be donating these items to charities or auctions in the first place.

Another concept that I don’t think Lightbank considered before starting this venture is that if people are pawning something, they usually need their money fast.  At PawnGo, a person has to go online, get approved, get a quote through email, FedEx their items (another ridiculous portion for if someone pawns something, they probably don’t have the money mail something overnight) and wait for their cash, ONLY to come AFTER the company receives the donatee’s item/s.

Personally and professionally, I don’t see how this online business will prosper, but I could be wrong.  There hasn’t been much buzz about the company or it’s success since it’s launch in June, which normally is not a good sign.  However, Lightbank is the starting factor to many successful ideas that become a multi-million or billion dollar industry.  This is a great idea, there just need to be a few tweeks including the FedEx cost and time factor.  IF Lightbank can fix those aspects of the idea in a way to be more compelling and convenient for consumers and users, they I think they have a pretty good shot at a completely new and unsaturated surface!  Good Luck!

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Nobody Likes a Bragger

The Chicago Sun-Times has recently been in the media boasting about their local readership numbers surpassing those of their archrival, the Chicago Tribune.  There are many things to consider when looking at “who’s on top.”  For instance, Sun-Times includes six of their suburban newspapers which have to circulate at least four times a day.  the Tribune does not have that same advantage.  Another fact to consider is that the Tribune’s national readership ranks higher than the Sun-Times.

While it is understandable that a large company like the Chicago Sun-Times wants to use the local numbers to their advantage to attempt to increase both readership and advertising ratings, it does not look good when they are quoted in other newspapers bragging about how they are number one in Chicago, when it is simply not that easy.  Yes, there’s been an incredibly long rivalry between the two papers.  Yes, emotions are at an all time high with newspaper ratings decreasing by the year due to electronic forms of news.  However, think before you boast and take all numbers into consideration before you look desperate, especially publicly Mr. Halbreich (CEO of Chicago Sun-Times).

Read more about the issue here: Crain’s Business Article

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Running Season Kicks In

Spring is here and more and more people are reminded that they are closer to trips to the beach, and more importantly, swimsuit season.  My past internship with CAPRI Events, now known as Life Time Fitness athletic events, taught me a lot about the running season, mostly that Chicago residents are loyal fans of running events, especially those that help sponsor a charitable cause.  Here are a few that I am looking forward to in the near future:

* May 15th- the Chicago Spring Half Marathon: http://www.chicagospringhalf.com/

*May 28th- Soldier Field 10 Mile: http://www.soldierfield10.com/

*June 19th- Race For the Kids: http://www.childrensmemorial.org/eventdetail.aspx?contentId=5430&calendarID=1377

* July 31st- Muddy Buddy Chicago: http://muddy-buddy.competitor.com/event-info/chicago/

AND MORE TO COME.  Help spread the word about the upcoming running events in Chicago.  Better yet, participate or volunteer for any of them.  Your donation of time and money is always appreciated at events like these and most of the proceeds go to the charity of choice by the organization running the event.

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Bulls, Rose Bring Interest Back to Chicago Basketball

The Chicago Bulls have an incredible past when it comes to the team’s viewership from thousands of fans across the world.  The most popular time for the Bulls, of course, was the era of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman (aka 1990’s dynasty).  If you do not know who I’m talking about, look it up now, because in order to understand anything about the rest of this post, or to partake in the poll shown below, you MUST know Chicago Bulls great history.

Since that era has ended, the Chicago Bulls and their fans have somewhat, well…faded.   Dare I say it, THE BULLS are BACK!  Welcome to the 2010’s boys.  Rose, Noah and whoever you’d like to name the third MVP (because there are several to choose from) have brought back the pride and enjoyment to watching and following the greatest team in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls.  What inspired this post?  Derrick Rose is to be named the youngest MVP in NBA history at 22 years and 7 months.  Congratulations Rose!  Now, let’s add another award with the 2011 NBA championship shall we!  What do you think?

What We Have To Look Forward To

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Taco Bell Fights Back Virally

January 28, 2011 2 comments

Since it’s been a while since my last post (so sorry), I figure, what better way to start off the new year, new posts with Taco Bell’s fight against a new nationally recognized lawsuit.  Everyone knows the Taco Bell super-chain, its a great hangover spot, it has spices and tacos at the grocery store, it’s on about every five blocks in Chicagoland, and it’s even more popular now because of it’s famous dollar and value meals.  The suit filed by an Alabama law firm last week has gained media coverage through their attacks to the chain’s beef, saying, “Taco Bell is using the word ‘beef’ incorrectly,” and “at best they should call it taco meat filling,” said the firm.  The firm claims that the meat contains only 33 percent real beef, however, taco bell President Greg Creed had more to say on the subject.  Creed claims that taco bell meat is full of at least 88 percent USDA approved beef and even goes as far to give every ingredient included in the meat in a viral video posted both on YouTube and Taco Bell’s website.  The fast food chain has also included print ads and billboards with the headline, “Thank you for suing us.  Here’s the truth about our seasoned beef,” which is included in numerous newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago RedEye.  The issue at hand has gained a huge amount of media coverage going all the way to late night television with Stephen Colbert, using the words “beefy” and “beef-esque.”  Watch the increasingly viral video of Creed’s effort to fight back here:

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Wal-Mart Recalls OLD Space Heaters

December 17, 2010 1 comment

I’d like to start Wal-Mart off from a fair state of mind today.  So, for one second, pretend like you don’t know about all of the scandalous things that Wal-Mart has been part of in the past.  Now imagine this situation like it was the Alpha of on-top-of-it business strategy…

From 2001 to 2009, millions of consumers bought space heaters (especially us in Chicago) at their local retail store to stay warm from the winter freeze.  Some had problems with their heaters right away…but somehow this “problem” of fire and hazardous smoke was never known to the public or brought to the media’s attention.  The company that sold these space heaters is a company that claims to always want the safety of their consumers and employees first and foremost, with other worries far behind.

Loyal Customers at low prices, high cost Wal-Mart

Ok..now…SNAP OUT OF IT.  Wal-Mart had sold those heaters for 8 years.  All of the sudden, 9 years later in 2010 there are multiple reports of the heaters being hazardous and Wal-Mart wishes to recall certain brands including Flow Pro, Airtech, Aloha Breeze and Comfort Essentials.  Is this a coincidence?  Could reports of the problems really not surface for 9 years???  Why now, are there being reports of these problems, how has this not been an issue before?  I have a feeling that this is something I, nor you, the public, will ever get a straight answer to.  However, if you do have one of these brands of heaters, please be careful and go to your local Wal-Mart retailer to get your full refund after 1+ years of use!

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Jobless Rate Drops in Illinois

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

The Jobless rate has dropped in the state of Illinois for the eighth consecutive month in November, relieving to a 9.6% of unemployed persons in Illinois.  However, though things are looking up for the state, things are not looking as good for students just graduating from college (just my luck, right!?) with the 25 year record high of unemployed college graduates from the ages of 16 to 24 (of course I’m in there!) at 9%.  Will the employment environment take a step toward glass half full for the degreed collegiates any time soon?

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