Can Crowdfunding replace bank loans, SBA and investment capital?

No, I don’t think it can for the reason that the strict demands loan officers and investment bankers put on those who would get money from them include rigorous analysis for success potential. There are so many options in the conventional financial establishment for gambling on well-designed plans that crowdfunding’s low standards for entry seem beside the point for purposes of commerce.

The argument that, without crowdfunding, some projects could never be produced, is the point. It’s a false promise to suggest that substandard projects are worth producing. Lurking under the false promise is the incontrovertible fact that low standards and low accountability encourage warped vision, incompetence, failure, and create a fertile ground for manipulation, even fraud.

Rx 4 Ignorance: Free Online Courses

Other students in the Forensic Science course at  provided this smorgasbord of additional sources for free online courses. I’m more excited about free courses than I am about free software.

Other MOOC providers:

  • Cosmo Learning,
  • Kahn Academy,
  • edX,
  • Udacity,
  • Open Culture,
  • FutureLearn,
  • Saylor. org,
  • open2study,
MOOC aggregators:




Do Your Children a Favor


Train them to be polite and to appreciate the humanity in other people. Teach them good manners early so they have practiced skills to get along successfully with other people for the rest of their lives. The magic is in the effort.

I read a blog entry by a woman who was captivated by a little kid’s excellent manners. The little boy approached her with a big smile, looked her straight in the eye and stuck out his hand to shake her hand. She was extra impressed that his hand shake came straight from his shoulder. I am, too.

He didn’t learn that by osmosis – he was trained in the  handshake style that wins friends and influences people. His parents apparently work with him on eliminating superficial barriers to making positive connections with the public.

I have an amusing story of my own about how a kid’s background in good manners kicked in. He was the smallest of a group of teenagers loitering at the door to a store. He was practicing distance spitting on the sidewalk when I walked up to the door. He barely missed my foot. I glared at him, said, “Nice job,” and kept going. I expected no response or a vile comment back at me.

Instead, he rushed after me, eyes wide with sincere regret, and said, “Ma’am, I apologize.” He certainly changed my opinion of him in an instant. I accepted the apology and didn’t complain to Security. As I said, the magic is in the effort.

Ma’am! I apologize. He didn’t pick that up by osmosis, either. I thought it was impressive that his training trumped the influence of his bad companions, who were all watching to see what would happen.

The Answer is “Black Swan”

I’m finally getting to Nassim Taleb, free audio book on  The Black Swan is pure chance – unexpected, successful and inexplicable except in hindsight attempts to explain it.

My art career was a black swan. What a shame I didn’t have a name for it twenty-plus years ago when it would have been a handy answer to friends and family members who demanded an explanation of just  what I thought I was doing.

Riding a black swan, of course. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Too late to be useful, it’s still satisfying to have an answer, even though Taleb casts aspersions on the tenets of argumentation and debate in the course of his discussion.



I Love You, Too, Zappo’s


Can you imagine any other merchant, big or small, launching a guilt trip and getting a smile for it?

Can you imagine doing it yourself?

I’m not so sure that a marketing campaign can be designed to garner love or loyalty from its audience. I think those are earned benefits that accrue organically as customers find your sincere effort to please them in transaction after transaction.

An interesting question to ponder is whether your clients would find a little tongue-in-cheek playfulness from you fun or whether the reaction would be negative. You don’t have to it – just think on it.

I abandoned the shopping cart at Zappo’s because  I don’t need any more black jackets or tops – I just gravitate toward them.