Carnival of the Capitalists - Rethink(IP) Edition

Posted by Douglas Sorocco at September 6, 2005 09:00 AM

Thanks for wandering on by Rethink(IP) for this week’s installment of the Carnival of the Capitalists.  If you are scratching your head trying to figure out what the heck Rethink(IP) is all about – head on over to the Blawg Review (as in “law blog”) and read the synopsis of our blog and our collaborative efforts. 


In a nutshell, we are three intellectual property lawyers from three different law firms (that’s right, we’re competitors!).  We developed a friendship based on a common belief that there’s a better way to practice law and deliver legal services.  The Rethink(IP) project was born out of that common belief.


We each have our own blogs – The Invent Blog (Steve Nipper), Promote and Progress (J. Matthew Buchanan) and PHOSITA (Douglas Sorocco) – and we would enjoy having you stop by over there as well.  It is through reading one another’s blogs and interacting (electronically) with one another that we met, a prime example of the “virtual team” Jack mentions. 


This version of CotC is, therefore, a collaborative effort as well.  These are the posts we found engaging, thought provoking, profound and down right funny.  If it is a little bit disjointed, we make no apologies.  You’re going to have to deal with it because, in the end and despite all of the cool electronic tools we have, getting three lawyers together on a single document is still a lot like herding cats.  It is, however, a great way to “make knowledge.”


As you can imagine, most of the submissions we received this week are hurricane Katrina related.  We have attempted to balance CotC with some other noteworthy posts that we ran across the past week.


So without further ado… Carnival of the Capitalists.




What a week. 


The images we have observed have been truly heartbreaking and elicit so many different emotions – sadness, empathy and anger (and one blog has a handy print optimized page detailing all the relief efforts).  The blog-o-sphere has once again led in the effort to bring aid and comfort (including insurance information) to those in the gulf coast region (a region that is strategically crucial to the U.S. for reasons other than just oil and gas – namely, transportation of food and goods) – most notably Buzzmachine (Recovery 2.0 Planning) and The Truth Laid Bear have worked overtime to focus attention on the many deserving charities and aid organizations (watch out for the scammers) that have stepped up to the enormous task at hand. 


Everyone thinks we will rebuildNew Orleans bigger, better and bolder – but what if, we turned it into one big national park?  Furthermore, will Katrina become the next big infomercial craze?


Of course, Gadgetopia points us to Google Maps’ response – which is an emotional landscape that is too difficult to even comprehend, especially in view of the diaspora map posted by Gongol.  Carolyn Elefant worries about professionals in solo practices (the Working Solo blog timely explores if there is a link between a healthy lifestyle and business success) and Catallarchy has an overview of gouging practices and their effects on consumers.  The Drake Review spotlights the problems that small and medium business will be encountering.


Stocks have also taken a hit and the likelihood of a recession is 20% although, as the blog author relates, people who see the glass half full would argue that there is an 80% chance that a recession won’t happen.


Almost every commentator acknowledges that it is time to change and, as succinctly stated by Cheskin, in light of the death and destruction – bling has lost its glitter.


One little bit of good news, it turns out that coffee is actually good for you.


All Hail the Chief


Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed away and the talking heads are all a twitter – like Katrina, some are sad, some are mad and some are downright glad.  We can’t post anything past Sunday at midnight, so I guess we can’t tell you who was nominated to replace Rehnquist as Chief Justice.


Business Stuff


Ever wonder if you were ready for management – well, the folks over at the Value Management Blog give us 10 reasons why we should stay out of management including our favorite #5 entitled “You're Too Content with the Status Quo.”  Want to know how to be cruel to your employees?  It’s easy – just make up an organizational chart.  For crying out loud, if you do decide to leave because you just can’t take it anymore – take Larry’s word for it, don’t choose the counteroffer, you’ll thank him for it. 


Don’t feel too bad if you misplace your car keys every now and then, California apparently has misplaced almost half of its 70,000 state-owned fleet.  I guess the rules for citizens don’t also apply to government employees.


Wonder Branding’s post “A View through the Windshield of Life” reminds us that it is important when dealing with female customers to not judge a book by its demographic cover, but instead examine their values and needs to determine how best to serve them.  Multiple Mentality takes a different approach, arguing that companies need to be realistic in reaching out to their potential customers, regardless of what others may say, noting that “[m]ost real women have far more flaws. And that’s why we love them.”


In a lot of ways, networking is like marriage…you don’t just walk up to a prospective mate and say “Let’s get married.”  However, patience and the love of a hobby can be woven into an extensive business network.  Another promising area for business is through bloggers networking together to form “mutually beneficial business partnerships” (pardon the shameless promotion, but our little rethink(ip) collaboration seems to be a perfect example of such a relationship).  The author notes that “the blog connection concept might eventually turn into a business all by itself.”  Of course, another way to network is use someone else’s customer list.  One way to do this is through illegally stealing someone’s trade secrets, but the preferable (and legal) way is via “leveraged marketing.


On the tech side, do we now have to worry about hackers in hotel rooms stealing our credit card information and taking pictures of us while we sleep?  If only they’d have better marketed themselves to the corporate office the downsizing would have been prevented and their life of crime could have been diverted.


Thinking of switching teams?  No, not in the Seinfeld sense, but in the ‘life is a team sport’ sense.  No matter what company, family, or gang you’re a member of, they’re all teams (business and gang-bangers in the same post – you’ve gotta love that!).  If you’re unhappy with your current team, you’ve got to break free from the one you hate and pick one that suits you better.  When switching (and even when thinking of switching), remember that there are winners, losers and victims in the crazy game of life and, no matter your team, the field on which you play the game can have a profound effect on the final score.


Ouch – have you been banned from the really big exclusive geek illuminati important social networking conferences?  If you have, you may have been Foo-barred.  Speaking of being barred, apparently California’s attorney general is taking on fast food restaurants – namely, their french fries.


The Importance of a Liberal Arts Education” is offset by claims that Google undermining education by displaying ads for plagiarism and cheating?   Damn them! 


Are you too old to start a business (or, put another way, have you forgotten to buy long term care insurance)?  The answer is, as usual, it depends (no pun intended).  If you understand RSS (better yet, how to market RSS) – you are probably ahead of the game and knowing the intricacies of applying for a small business loan can’t hurt either.  Another option would be giving your downtown some open heart surgery. 


Be careful where you put that business – the cost of doing business may overwhelm your Web 2.0 company – in fact, why not look to the prairie states? (where you can actually get a house for the median price)  Then again, none of it really matters if you simply dell your customers. (“Dude, you got delled!”)  In fact, the signs are that all business will be conducted in Asia by the year 2156.  In the end, be careful who you get into bed with


Meanwhile, marketing to Gen X-rs (is that trademarked – in fact, did a gorilla choose your own company name?) has never been so easy thanks to the Lip-Sticking blog (in fact, it is even easier for women – just make them happy and they will buy).  All it takes is a simple little question “What if I started a business that is the Windows of _________?  We think it would just be better to stop practicing law and start juggling our money between bank accounts in order to maximize interest or better yet, maybe we should just go to work in the stock market.  Maybe there are other things you should put on a “what I want to learn” list.


The future isn’t in plastics, it is the B2B to the hispanic market. The use of celebrities to market to women is discussed over at the Learned on Women blog while the Bizinformer blog wonders how far one will stretch ethics in order to increase profits.  Google is, for all intents and purposes, going to own our souls in the very near future – or at least our mobile devices.


The next time you take your printer cartridges to get them refilled (or if you refill them yourself) – be warned.  You could be committing an act of patent infringement.  At the same time, the invention of the century could be The Life Straw which can clean up to 150 gallons of water by simply sucking through the device.  Such life saving devices will be “the play” of the year now that Katrina has struck.


How to Save the World posits the Ten Most Important Trends in Business (echo echo echo…) while the SF Indymedia blog examines the hidden and not so hidden racism of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  Meanwhile, with all the graphs, figures and gizmos – is it any wonder why the music industry (supposedly) can’t make any money on the internet? 


Maybe the music biz should consider Firing the CEO – as Martha says it’s a good thing?  There might be a few folks who disagree with that point – more likely you should fire any attorney who files a million dollar patent application.


Have you ever wondered what exactly ‘Word of Mouth’ advertising means? A lot more than just WOMMA, that’s for sure.  Of course, WOMMA is so old school – or is it new school?  Who knows – but the Media Guerilla may take a stab at explaining all the crazy marketing mumbo-jumbo to us. 


While we are at it – it is good that we now know how to manage losers – as long as we don’t see our coworkers using these tips on us!  Since we have our managing hat on, maybe we should fire all of the relatives of employees we mistakenly hired.  Marketers would never consider themselves losers (is it the medium or the message), so the rest of us should just learn their language and move on. 


Finally, this week’s best blog post -- told in the voice of a rhinocerous -- belongs to The Skwib (if the rhinocerous thing isn’t enough to get you to click that link, maybe “take calculated risks, but no hot dogging” will).  Yeah, we ignored the whole oil price thing, even though it did bring out some strange behavior in folks.  Sue us (just don’t ask for a referral).  It’s all part of having free markets, although others have doctrinal conflicts with it.


Thanks for reading!  I would encourage you to stop by the Blawg Review carnival that is going on right now over at Blawg Wisdom.  You’ll find the best legal commentary available as well as some thought provoking discussions.


Next week’s Carnival of the Capitalists will be over at Evelyn Rodriguez’s blog Crossroads Dispatches (Evelyn is familiar with surviving natural disasters…she was on Phi Phi Don island off the Andaman coast of Thailand last December when the tsunami hit and blogged about her experiences then).  Have a great week!

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Yvonne DiVita Says:

September 6, 2005 01:44 PM

OUTSTANDING job! Yes, I'm shouting. The Internet is too quiet.

This is no mean feat...I submit entries and always cross my fingers. The hosts are often so punny, and smart, it makes me shrink from ever volunteering.

To have another good lawyer blawg to read...well, all Jane can say is: What's not to like about that?

Chris Owen Says:

September 6, 2005 07:31 PM

I LOVE your STYLE guys!!

David St Lawrence Says:

September 6, 2005 07:54 PM

Great Carnival presentation! This is one of the best I have seen. It covers the ground in the most entertaining way possible.

I like the way you guys write and have already blogrolled you. I see you becoming a major voice in your particular area of the blogosphere.

Thanks for the extensive linking to my "Life as a Game" series. It is not over yet. I have a few more to write before I get back on the writer/publisher series.

Thanks for a most entertaining read!

Zane Says:

September 7, 2005 12:45 PM

Gracious. This is an outstanding post! From writing style to content to breadth of coverage to links to it all....Wow! Nice work.

t Says:

September 7, 2005 11:21 PM

Great job with the Carnival this week, gentlemen! Thanks!

WaltDe Says:

August 31, 2006 08:28 PM

Keep up the great work on your blog. Best wishes WaltDe

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