Steve Burgess

Recent Posts on BCBusiness - Page 4

Jul 5, 2017
Why your business should rethink its relationship with plastic

Whole foods? Great in theory, but in real life inconvenient and annoying. Much better to cut them up and enclose them in plastic. Presumably that’s why the Whole Foods Market Inc. supermarket chain briefly tried marketing pre-peeled oranges in plastic...

May 25, 2017
Is it appropriate for businesses to talk politics?

Unless you peddle buttons, cardboard signs or television airtime, or you own a hot-dog stand near a polling place, this month’s provincial election is unlikely to influence what products you sell. And yet as politics becomes more polarized, not every...

Apr 24, 2017
Shortchanged junior hockey players look to even the score

“Someone hit the big score / They figured it out,” goes the Gillian Welch song “Everything Is Free.” “That we’re gonna do it anyway / Even if it doesn’t pay.”Welch is referring to musicians and the curse of free downloads...

Feb 16, 2017
Watercooler: What the Airbnb controversy tells us about people young and older

Airbnb—does it contribute to the economic well-being of society? Or does it make our cities less livable? A recent Mustel Group poll of Vancouver citizens commissioned by BCBusiness offers one perspective. Does Adam Smith offer another? Smith—perhaps you’ve heard of him—suggested...

Jan 24, 2017
Get ready to pay for all the things that used to be free

With great leg room comes great responsibility. Those lucky passengers who are seated in the spacious exit rows of an aircraft are instructed by flight attendants on what to do in case of an emergency: pulling down the handle, tossing...

Jan 10, 2017
The power—and peril—of customer feedback

The Grand Canyon had better pull up its socks. Reviews are in, and they’re not good. Mother Jones magazine recently collected a series of one-star reviews for America’s national parks. In addition to the thumbs-down for the Canyon (not enough for...

Nov 7, 2016
The Trump technique

The presidential campaign of Donald Trump offers many lessons. The idea that Trump has something to teach marketers may seem profoundly distasteful at first blush: “Bob’s Panini House—if you hate and fear religious and ethnic minorities, we have the sandwich...

Oct 31, 2016
Will workplace automation leave anybody standing?

What will be the spark of the Great Robot Rebellion that will end the era of human rule on our planet? Here’s a theory: the robots will become disgruntled with minimum wage. That’s the job level they are poised to...

Sep 13, 2016
When is local and organic really local and organic?

Marketing is essentially the retail equivalent of politics—promises, promises. Call it “green-washing” or “local-washing,” but when it comes to food, it often seems more attention is paid to the selling than to the processing. At both supermarkets and restaurants, items are sold with feel-good phrases like locally sourced, fair trade, organic...

Aug 8, 2016
What business folk can learn from Barbra Streisand

What is the Streisand effect? Something to do with trying to order a blintz in a strong Brooklyn accent? Singing notes that break glass? Or people who need people (the luckiest people of all)? No. As anyone in the legal profession can tell you, the Streisand effect refers to an...

Jun 9, 2016
Why renters are better off in L.A. when "The Big One" hits B.C.

Tornados are famously random. A twister will destroy a home while leaving its neighbour untouched, like a perverse, divine reminder of the unfairness of life. But an earthquake is different. A quake is like a ruthless prosecuting attorney—probing, seeking out wrongdoing, searching for weaknesses and uncovering hidden evils. The evils are...

Jun 8, 2016
Should tipping be outlawed?

Unless that tipping point involves tipping. In that case, apparently, the point refuses to tip. Danny Meyer, who runs over a dozen popular New York restaurants such as the Modern at the Museum of Modern Art and Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel, has referred to tipping as “a demeaning...

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