Midweek Reading: Productivity, Gestures, and Chip Cards


This week’s top reading for entrepreneurs includes our national obsession with productivity, how speakers should use hand gestures, and the controversy over the new chip cards.

Melissa Gregg of Intel looks at the obsession with productivity in contemporary culture, and the way that various apps promise that technology will help workers and entrepreneurs take control of their lives.

Whether you’re giving public speeches, making sales presentations, or leading team meetings, here are tips for using your hands effectively to keep your audience focused and engaged.

Retailers worry that the new chip cards issued by credit card companies, requiring billions of dollars worth of new payment terminals, are only helping banks reduce their risk, not any of the risk shouldered by the merchants themselves.

Uber and other “gig economy” businesses are often discussed as the future of American work, but is it really? Data suggests that very few drivers are dependent on Uber income—it is largely used for supplemental cash or income during time between jobs.

Several states have opened up equity crowdfunding for small businesses, allowing business owners to reach out to large numbers of small investors and offer ownership in the company, but so far few companies have successfully managed to raise any significant amount of capital.

Stress is a productivity killer. Companies large and small are looking for creative ways to help employees burn off their stress and keep their heads in the right place.

If you want to remember what happens in a meeting, writing notes with a pen and paper beats taking notes on a tablet or laptop.

Online shopping isn’t slowing down, and this year is projected to cover nearly half of all holiday shopping according to a survey on behalf of the National Retail Federation.

Bell Labs was one of the most innovative institutions of the 20th century, and the Kauffman Foundation looks at various aspects that helped Bell Labs succeed, including partnerships with outside individuals and firms.

As Black Friday continues to creep into Thanksgiving Day itself, many retailers are standing firm and staying closed on the holiday.

Starbucks laughed all the way to the bank during “Red Cup Gate,” as the company got a huge publicity spike and had everyone talking thanks to the way information and conversation spreads so rapidly in the social media age.

Edwin Bevens

Edwin Bevens

Edwin Bevens is the Head Writer and Editor for Tarkenton Companies, and the Editor of SmallBizClub.com. With a background in journalism and publishing, Edwin received a 2008 South Carolina Press Association Award for reporting. Developing, producing, and maintaining content across multiple websites, Edwin focuses on helping small business owners find the right match of voice, audience, and medium for every message.