Friday, July 17, 2009

Donald Trump goes MLM.

Donald Trump, whom many Americans associate with good entrepreneurial
judgment, is now urging people to become distributors in a multilevel
marketing company called The Trump Network. In a video on the
company's Web site, Trump states that his plan is "designed to lead
millions of Americans to better health and financial independence." The company, operating since 1997 as
Ideal Health, was renamed The Trump Network several months ago when
Trump partnered with the founders. Its flagship product is a
"customized" dietary supplement said to be based on the results of a
urine hormone test called the PrivaTest. In 2004, Quackwatch
criticized the test and many of the company's health claims and noted
that the FTC had received seven complaints from people who lost from
$5,000 to $25,000 by investing in questionable television advertising
programs. [Barrett S. Ideal Health's PrivaTest: Another scheme to
sell you something. Quackwatch, Nov 19, 2004]
It will be interesting to see whether Trump's involvement triggers
media and regulatory attention to any wrongdoing.

From Consumer Health Digest

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Innovations can generate jobs—if they materialize. For instance, in 2003 a quarter of American workers were in jobs that weren't listed in the Census Bureau's occupation codes in 1967. You sure won't find words like "Web designer" or "mobile-phone salesperson" in the LBJ-era list.

"What's unpredictable are the physical gizmos that will trigger a multiplier effect with employment," says Amar Bhide, visiting professor of economics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Daniel Boorstin, the late historian, captured the dynamic this way in a 1987 essay: "Who, for example, could have predicted that the internal-combustion engine and the automobile would breed a new world of installment buying, credit cards, franchises, and annual models—that they would revise the meaning of cities, and even transform notions of crime and morality with no-fault insurance."

Problem is, no one can say whether such innovations will appear.

From Business Week

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I just got this email from my friend Scott Heiferman. Scott is the founder of, we've had lunch here in Denver a couple of times:

Gotta share this inspiring Meetup news -- I was invited to visit the White House and met President Obama a few days ago.

Maybe you'll be inspired hearing what it was about...

The President gave a speech about the importance of "community solutions" --- and I was invited to be there because so many of your Meetups are examples of people coming together to solve problems -- big and small.

Here's a 2-minute (sort of covert) video I made for you while I was there!

The President said "the best solutions don't come from the top-down... Solutions to America's challenges are being developed every day at the grassroots." And when he said that, I thought of you -- almost 50,000 Meetup Organizers, with millions of people in your Meetup Groups -- creating real communities and solving real problems in people's lives.

Sometimes it's hard being a Meetup Organizer. But it's worth it when you think of the enormous potential of your Meetups -- and the Meetup Groups yet to be started. What's possible for the future of your Meetup?


--Scott Heiferman
Meetup Co-Founder & Chief Organizer

PS. If you use Twitter, follow @Meetup!

I've started following Scott on Twitter, how about you?