Monday, October 22, 2007

Occassional Dimes

  • Tom Brokaw interviews Yvon Chouinard: The founder of Patagonia at the recent Google Zeitgeist! His fingers have never touched a keyboard, and he has never owned a cell phone. Personally I held off buying a cell phone until 2004 -- even then I did so only because I needed a work/office phone. I advise all you techno-geeks out there to watch this interview. Money quote: "We are no longer citizens of the world, we are consumers."

  • Leaving Microsoft to change the World: John Wood left a successful life as an expatriate manager for Microsoft to start the highly-regarded education non-profit Room To Read. The book traces Wood's journey from successful technologist to the current state of his successful non-profit. Non-profit employees and managers will benefit from the numerous tips and good practices that the author refashioned from his experience in the private sector.

  • City Bike Share: SF looks to implement a bike sharing system, similar to those found in European cities.

  • Dumpster Divers Go Mainstream In Thrifty Germany: Unfortunately available only to subscribers.
  • In many other countries, dumpster divers like Mr. Brylla would be written off as eccentrics. In Germany, he's just a normal 36-year-old graphic printer brought up to look down on wasting money on new things when sturdy old stand-bys are there for the taking.

    "Consumption is nothing good," says Mr. Brylla. "It brings evil into the world."

    Germans like Mr. Brylla are the retail trade's worst nightmare. They make enough money to buy the latest wares but choose to live in a free-of-charge economy. People who don't want stuff put it on the sidewalk. People who like it take it home.

    "It's the culture here in Germany," says Dora Fecske, a Frankfurt businesswoman. "Why trash something if it's still good?" She recently found a large wooden dining table in the street and carried it several blocks to her home with help from friends.

    ... The trend is stubborn, with deep roots in history. Germans save their money partly because war and economic disasters during the last century make them think the future will bring more rainy days.

    Today, even though the German economy is growing solidly and unemployment is falling, consumer spending is in the doldrums.

    Previous Dimes can be found here.

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