As one entrepreneur in Melbourne, Australia has demonstrated, you can have an entire business based on virtual reality by itself. Alan Convery has taken the idea of a video arcade, and combined it with virtual reality games
Food Network Superstar and TASTE HALL OF FAME‘s Alton Brown has a new tour, and part of it is based on food and science.
Alton Brown’s first food hack (he prefers the term “hacking” over “inventing”) took place during season one of his Food Network show Good Eats, when he made a fish smoker out of a cardboard box. Naturally, since then he can count the staff of Popular Science Magazine a part of his large and loyal fan base.
He invited PopSci to his secret workshop, where they made carbonated chocolate ice cream in 10 seconds, used lights to cook a pizza in three minutes, and answered a few questions about his favorite hacks, affirming that everyone’s home has a lab (the kitchen!), and why it’s a good idea to take apart the lawnmower.
If you’ve ever played with an EZ-Bake Oven, you’re familiar with the concept of cooking with the heat produced by a light. Alton’s Mega Bake takes the concept to a whole new level, using 54 one-thousand-watt lights to get the oven to over 600 degrees.
Brown used it on the Edible Inevitable tour to make pizzas in under three minutes, and showed us how he does it.
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Consider The ‘Entrepreneur Lite’ Option, Franchise Matchmaker Says
The traditional career path is dead, says business consultant Pete Gilfillan.
With rapidly changing technology and a global economy, the average company and employee in the United States continue to come to terms with the new normal.
Workers aged 50 and older who lost their jobs during the recession were 20 percent less likely to become re-employed than those 24 to 34, according to the Urban Institute. And, unemployment doubled for workers 55 and older between December 2007 and March 2012.
“It’s not just factory jobs that have gone, it’s also a wide range of middle-class, white-collar jobs that are letting go of their experienced people,” says Gilfillan, an entrepreneur who is opening new opportunities for business professionals as a franchise matchmaker, as detailed in his book Hire Yourself: Control Your Own Destiny through Franchise Ownership.
“Gone are the days when you could expect a job out of college to last an entire career. The new normal is, for many, a very cobbled career trajectory. Unfortunately, there are many talented, middle-aged professionals who are getting lost in the new shuffle. However, many are cutting their own new path.”
Gilfillan calls it “entrepreneur lite” – a franchise option that fast-tracks people to business ownership without the requirement of a brilliant idea.
“In franchising, someone has already dreamed the big dream, figured out how to make it work, and marketed and sold their way into a well-defined niche,” he says. “Now they’re looking for an investor and partner in building on that success.”
Is the entrepreneur lite career path right for you? There are many things to consider, including Gilfillan’s five Cs, which he summarizes as:
• Capital: Most franchise companies require a minimum level of liquid capital. A number of costs beyond the initial fee need to be considered when you’re investing in a franchise. There will be legal fees, rent, royalty fees, and equipment and inventory to purchase – to name some costs. Keep in mind that there is a ramp-up period with any business. You need enough money to cover your expenses during this time when more money will be going out than coming in. Meanwhile, the ordinary expenses of life continue.
• Capacity: You must have a certain level of business acumen. As a business owner, you must understand people and how to motivate, lead and support employees. Experience in sales and operations management is a plus. It takes strong leadership skills to build a business and develop a reliable staff, and savvy hiring skills will save you from costly mistakes.
• Cooperation: A franchisor will have a detailed plan for you to follow—and they need to know you will embrace that plan in a spirit of cooperation. They want to feel confident that you’ll follow their procedures and systems to create a consistent product and service upon which they can build their brand.
• Character: Franchisors expect the people with whom they partner to operate with honesty and integrity. As a franchisee, you will be representing the brand, and franchisors will take a close look at how well you will do that. A company may do a background check on their candidates to make an assessment of this quality.
• Customer satisfaction: Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Think about your own shopping and service provider experiences and how those interactions have shaped your opinion of businesses. Everyday transactions can earn your repeat business—or ensure you won’t be back. Do you have the desire and passion to create a superior customer experience? A franchise needs to ensure that you will take good care of customers.
About Pete Gilfillan
With more than 20 years of experience as a corporate executive and small business ownership, Pete Gilfillan is a matchmaker for entrepreneurs who seek career independence via franchise ownership. He also is author of the book Hire Yourself: Control Your Own Destiny through Franchise Ownership. As a young man, he worked 17 years at Ford Motor Company, rapidly advanced to general manager, when he guided 600 franchise dealerships generating $5 billion in revenue. Gilfillan became a franchise owner in 2010 when he purchased a multi-state master license to a junk removal franchise. Since 2011, he has been working as an independent franchise consultant with FranChoice to help potential franchisees gather information, evaluate opportunities and make smart selections in franchise ownership. Gilfillan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.
A Bluetooth speaker that floats may seem a little extravagant, but when you are in the shower or at a pool party then it’s definitely the first thing you appreciate when you are listening to your tunes. Of course, if you are also having a picnic and it starts to rain, then knowing that the music will continue to rock ‘n’ roll is very satisfying as well.
But what about scaling the Himalayas or hiking through the Amazon?
Not a problem.
Being both waterproof and dependable are just two of the great features of Altec Lansing’s LifeJacket 2 Bluetooth everything-proof speaker. The feature that we appreciate the most however, is the fact that the sound is so nice and clear that it really allows you to appreciate your playlist.
Altec Lansing says that the speaker is as rugged as they come, including water submersible, and sand, snow and shockproof. It also has a 16-hour battery life (very useful), can be used as a speaker phone (very cool), and has a power bank that you can use to charge other device (very convenient).
With a speaker of this size there are other fringe benefits as well. For example, you can place it in out-of-the-way spots where it cannot be seen and yet provides that soothing ambience or atmosphere that you need at any time of day… or night.
There is also the capability of turning it up so loud that it annoys your neighbors and wakes your roommates. But that just goes to show how loud it can go and still keep the high fidelity of your audio enjoyment.
The industrial design of the unit appears to be quite sturdy and able to “take a licking and keep on ticking,” as they say. But, we have not put it to that test so we cannot say if you can drop it off of a roof and still have music playing. It is likely not recommended.
On the plus side, even without this test we can say that we do recommend Altec Lansing’s LifeJacket 2 speaker to anyone who at least wants to party in the shower.
- Product Dimensions: 3.125″ x 7.5″ x 2.825
Compatibility: Apple, Android, BlackBerry, tablets and laptops
Wireless Range: 33 feet
Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
This review is for model IMW577. See more here about IMW575.
Below is an interesting video about ‘ruggedness’: