The government should pay entrepreneurs salaries to save the economy (Trickle Up Stimulus Optimization)

(Note: this is a blogpost I originally wrote in 2009 during the financial crisis. In 2019 I became a supporter of Andrew Yang, and remembered that my proposal ten years ago, while not as “complete,” was very similar. So I updated it a little bit and surfaced it back. Despite having a degree in Economics, I am NOT an expert on the economy but an expert on behavioral design and gamification)

A few weeks ago, I was exercising while listening to the Wall Street Journal This Morning about what the government is doing to save the economy. I have also been paying attention to how governments are giving grants to startups who can prove that they are very innovative.

Having wrote a blogpost on this topic earlier, I formulated what I think is a doable plan for the government to save the economy.

For validation, I took this plan to two of my friends, one who is an ex-VC and Boston Consulting Group Consultant, and the other a Stanford University Researcher. They haven’t been able to poke holes in this theory *yet*, so I thought I would share it on my blog and hopefully I will find out the flaws in my thinking or it will get discovered by policy makers to really execute it through.

Foundations of my theory: nodes and 3 coefficients

When the government throws money into the economy, it passes through many “nodes” (person or organization), and each node has three coefficients along with it: spend/save, innovation, and upside.

Continue reading The government should pay entrepreneurs salaries to save the economy (Trickle Up Stimulus Optimization)

How to get more Yelp reviews for your business

Local businesses have a love-hate relationship with Yelp.  If you have a 3.5+ rating on Yelp with over 30 reviews, then Yelp is a terrific resource for new customer acquisition. On the other hand, if you have a sub-3 rating on Yelp, then Yelp can destroy your business. The ratings and stars is a good example of gamification, a booming trend. (Click here to see What is Gamification)

It’s therefore important to not only get a lot of reviews on Yelp, but to make sure they’re positive reviews.  This post will cover how to increase your review count, while a future post will cover how to make sure these Yelp reviews are positive.

Who should read this post: local business owner that are looking to increase their Yelp reviews

Why you will learn: how to get customers to leave you more Yelp reviews

Continue reading How to get more Yelp reviews for your business

Why The McDonald’s Breakfast Menu Is Not Served All Day

McDonalds Breakfast Menu

(This is a guest post written by Joseph Yi. Check out his blog at Create & Innovate!)

For food lovers, the McDonald’s Breakfast Menu is the equivalent of diamond. Everyone wants it, but not everyone can have it. Hard to come by and unique, those lucky enough to wake up for it savor each bite, while those who are not so lucky ask the question “Why not serve it all day?”

Starting with the Egg McMuffin in 1972, McDonald’s pioneered breakfast fast food by providing a quick and easy way for consumers to have the ‘most important meal of the day.’ In the United States, most McDonald locations stop serving the McMuffin and their breakfast menu at 10:30AM, with a few stopping at 11:00AM on weekends.

While many fast food and QSR chains have expanded their breakfast menu hours to run all day, most notably Jack in the Box, McDonald’s remains one of the few chain restaurants to serve breakfast only during morning hours, and for good reason. While there are obvious economic reasons in play, such as the differing cooking temperatures for breakfast items vs. lunch items (ie: hamburger patties vs. eggs) and extra staffing requirements, from a marketing and branding standpoint, McDonald’s is an excellent example of Gamification and how not serving it all day has it’s benefits. 

The Law of Scarcity Continue reading Why The McDonald’s Breakfast Menu Is Not Served All Day

Infographic: Loyalty Program Comparison

When it comes to picking the right loyalty program, there are many options available. From solutions that focus on smartphones, iPad apps that utilizes Gamification, to the traditional physical cards, loyalty programs are abundant. Still, while there are many choices, the hard part can be figuring out which solution will fit your business best.

  • What sort of hardware does the loyalty program require?
  • Does the loyalty program support text/email marketing?
  • Am I able to capture SKU Data and/or capture dollar value?

These are the sorts of questions that business owners need to ask when picking a solution that best fits their needs. While the most obvious question is the ability to measure and track ROI with a loyalty program, there are many factors that need to be considered. Continue reading Infographic: Loyalty Program Comparison

If Yelp is bad for business, why should local businesses use it?

Businesses hate Yelp

There are a myriad of articles online about why Yelp sucks:

Even our own reader Patrick expressed why he feels Yelp is bad for business on our post about how to get more Yelp reviews:


[You] did a big disservice to small business by asking them to suport YELP. Yelp is bad for [the] business community and any effort to support them will [continue to affect businesses negatively]. They are first of all not business friendly and most of the Yelpers are bargain hunters. 90% of the reviews are complaints and it has become a complaint forum.

Why do you want business to pay / support a complaint forum. If people really care about business they can talk with the owners and resolve issues. You dont want people to give you a 1 star because they dont like the paint color or they didnt like the owners hair style.

I strongly suggest you should do research and write about how Yelp can hurt local community. Yelp makes a business by pitting customers against business. This is not a healthy model for the economy and local community.

The only way for Yelp to fail is to ignore them and stop their cash flow from businesses. If businesses understand this they will stop support to Yelp.

With so much compelling evidence, should business owners completely shun away Yelp?

Continue reading If Yelp is bad for business, why should local businesses use it?

Hassle Free Steps On How To Setup Pinterest For Your Business

As Pinterest continues to grow in business relevance, a common question is how to setup Pinterest for your business. While a relatively easy process, businesses can benefit from following our easy, hassle free steps on how to setup and how to begin ‘pinning’ on your businesses Pinterest page.

1. Request an Invite

The first step to starting out on Pinterest is to ask for an account invitation.

Invitation waits vary, but most users will receive an invite within the first 24 hours if not sooner. While you wait, you can always explore others pins 🙂 Continue reading Hassle Free Steps On How To Setup Pinterest For Your Business

How Will Your Franchise Restaurants Compete Against Competition?

Mcdonalds Franchise

Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald’s was no longer the world’s largest restaurant chain. No longer will McDonald’s and their Big Macs be known as the largest chain. Rather, Subway will bring it’s iconic green and yellow logo and $5 foot-longs to the top of the list and take claim.

While the general public may find it surprising to hear that McDonald’s was overtaken, should one take a closer look at Subway and the strategy they undertook to get where they are today can serve as a great model for franchise restaurants as far as defensibility against other restaurants and expansion strategies.

Knowing is half the battle

In the mid-80’s, the popular phrase “Knowing is half the battle” was coined by G.I. Joe. While G.I. Joe no longer does PSA’s on television, restaurants that stay ‘in the loop’ are the ones that are most likely to succeed.

If you look at some of the top restaurant chains in the United States for example, you will note that one common denominator amongst them all is that they are constantly getting feedback from their customers on ways to improve the service they provide as well as suggestions on future products. Corner Bakery for example is known for their careful attention to detail when it comes to their customer service and making sure that they are providing the highest quality product possible to its 25 million + customers annually. Continue reading How Will Your Franchise Restaurants Compete Against Competition?