You walk into your local coffe shop. The service is exceptional. You go to leave a tip and realize there is no tip jar.

You realize the opportunity for a practically no cost, organic, local value creation: guerilla tip jar.

You elect to acknowledge the service, verbalize your appreciation, regognize a fellow soul on the path, and setup 2 note cards, each in front of a new tip jar. Way to go; you just created value out of thin air.


At my local coffee shop in Chicago, years ago, I recall "Cubs" on one tip jar and "Sox" on another. Similar examples include "Yankees / Mets", or even "Bears / Green Bay," where the outcome is essentially known in the target community. I would be astonished if such strategy did not improve tip volume -- it appeals to our competitive nature. I'd love to see the data on implementing such solutions:

(before) baseline tip volume, controlled for staff turnover; "after" for conditions 1) "crosstown classic" 2) "rivalry" 3) humor

With the data and the practie successfully launched in the community (coffee shop), online surveys could be conducted to effectively test poll customer interest in given competitions and results -- great for social media, online traffic generation, tips which improve employee morale, and customer engagement.


For those in San Francisco or Boulder, perhaps “app fund” would serve as a bit of humor to help drive tip volume with half the counter 'footprint' -- valuable real estate, there at the register ;)


Oct 23 2012 NYT piece by Adam Davidson - a friend sent me this article last week & I have some thoughts to share about whether we'll be better off in 2016 and how to get to there.

It's so true and so resonant with what Richard Florida says. This is why I have "switched on knowledge worker" on my business cards; manufacturing jobs are important, but knowledge work is the high income potential opportunity spot for the creative class.
Also, FWIW, 75K looks like the magic number for happiness... at 33 hours/week & with a <20 min commute. (~ $45/hour)
"persuade American businesses to stop complaining about China and instead focus on making goods that its consumers want to buy. For decades, Chinese businesses studied the American market. Now it’s time to play catch-up."
What could be an easier sell? It's a perfect match for the American ego, right? "explore how to better serve your needs" (they and you are so important)
"Meanwhile, those with college and advanced degrees will experience a country that has rebounded. Their incomes will grow."
...from his lips to God's ears... I don't hold anything against non-degreed folks - we need them to be artisans and wage-earning, tax contributing citizens*. We also need them to be poets, entrepreneurs, retailers and the backbone of our society (see Fight Club - no, seriously: see it.) Imagine what happens when we employ 1M+ of our ~3M prison population over the next decade: explosive power in the US workforce and a potential differentiator from China. Part of their energy is already being contributed to society, but unleashing them, literally, will have a positive and dramatic impact on the United States. Plus we've got trained troops coming back*; how can we ensure this is a good thing and not a missed opportunity?.  
"By 2016, though, the U.S. market should be saturated, and smartphone manufacturers will have to add a lot of new features just to get a small number of people to upgrade. There won’t be large growth or large profits in the U.S. The major companies — and the secondary economy of case makers and app designers — will be focused on the tastes of emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa."
... I have an idea for a cell phone case that appeals to Asian markets, based on the movie  Objectified. Call me, maybe?
I would also add that the only way we get that president in 2016 is to elect Obama, NOT because he's a democrat or because I agree with his values, but because he will be the only second term choice; he will be the one with 'nothing to lose'. Furthermore, despite unkept promises, I believe in him. I believe his heart is in the right place, that he is the best spokesperson for our country in this time, that he has the capacity to act in a maneer such that I am proud to identify as an American. ONE of the problems in modern US government is that our politicians seem to put re-election before their very survival. Their thirst, I believe, is fueled by the money in politics. Looks like ~711M USD between President Obama & Governor Romney, so far, per Liz Flock over at US News in her October 3 piece. 
*See Norway, which has an HDI of 1 and 
**I wanted to return to this at the end, to recognize the tide of PTSDs & TBIs returning from service. What do you think can/should be done to service these people? sign in and add to the discussion :)


iGo Bloggy - our world, my commentary

Podcasts, photos & videos I enjoy -- a great way to share information:


Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Co-op America puts out some great resources, too, including THIS list of things never to buy (yay!), THIS guide on seafood (go Shedd!) & more....... :-)


Corporate Watch - From Mining Issues to Cruise Ships

Composting, Vermicomposting, and Other Options For City Dwellers


Strange Days on Planet Earth




Change The Margins - Joshua, who loves ya, baby?

Politics - Don't give up hope on an environmental lobby or getting the $ out of politics. Until we get there, be aware ;-)

Sustainable Conservation

You can Do it!! Bikes can do a lot if we give them a chance -- just think of those images you've seen of people carrying their families or 50 chickens

Go, go Gadget Nat Geo! The Green Guide

Green Infrastructure in WI, IL, & IN

Buy stuff! Like this cool stapless stapler... So cool I'm not charging them for adspace... yet.

Kramer Junction Solar Electric Generation Station -- I think I blogged about this before...

Climate Change Collaboration? fun.

Recycling Electronics Rocks -- no, really, it does.

Footprint term glossary - everyone has to start somewhere -- brush up on your lexicon ;-)

Waste. It's a uniquely human concept and the Brits are ready to talk straight on it.

I Love Mountains. If you don't, you suck. Really, though, this is an awesome site with a GREAT tool - check it out and tell your friends!! punch in your zipcode and open your eyes. It's a rabbit hole thing and there's no turning back, so blue pill only crowd... or was it the red pill?

Biomimicry Guild - because it's arrogant to think you can do better than mother nature, especially when she has a few million years' head-start!

CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultureal Research -- I think they should get together with Jeffrey Sachs (and maybe someone at Grameen to discuss his new book and answer the following question: "Why can't the market answer the challenges of food efficiency with local independence and decentralized solutions leveraging, in-part, peer-to-peer lending and microfinance?"

Carbon Footprint Calculators - A LIST and more calculators for everything from solar needs to CO2.

An "Ecomunnity" Map from the folks at Sundance and while we're there, Sundance had this on San Francisco banning bottled water from restaurants; San Francisco, you rock.

A friend of mine put me on to this guy: No Impact Man - cool blog.

There's Idealbite for those who might describe themselves as "sassy"...?

SSIR - Stanford Social Innovation Review - I think I just subscribed to this, so you can expect posts about it

Toyota, have you been naughty?

How to Start a Community Garden on a Vacant Lot - Openlands rocks

Hooray for Worm Girl Montreal and her guerilla gardening efforts: bien jouee!

Autobloggreen: all things green auto. Parent site: Weblogs, Inc.

Instructables: everything from a cardboard bicycle to green science fairs

Interbrand launched Brand Channel in 2001, claiming to be the world's only online exchange about branding

Zipcode searches for CSAs, farmers' markets... tips and stuff to buy from the self-proclaimed consumer guide to greenliness...... The Daily Green


Fascinating Corporate Governance tool / source; I used the Apple org chart as an exmple. The URLs are fairly formulaic..

At the recent annual Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, beer was served in PLA cups, made of corn! Okay, so the cups were from Goose Island... Check Natureworks for the tail of the white rabbit... Then stop on by Find a Composter to really get into it.

The recycling of the cups is complicated. Certain conditions must be met for the cups to biodegrade. These conditions are seldom met under landfill conditions. "It's so hard to be green! How am I supposed to know all this??" Well, all you really have to do is THINK on this one. Think about the cup, making its way to a landfill amidst literally tons of other refuse. That cup is probably never going to see the light of day again; how could you expect heat, moisture, and sunlight to break it down...? Natureworks seems to imply that recycling is not so much about "recycling" as we are familiar with it, but in the context of recapturing PLA. It's interesting and involved. As usual, I think it's worth looking into.


Guerrilla Gardening: hm.