Portal:Business

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Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner. (Full article...)

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Odwalla Inc. is an American food product company that sells fruit juices, smoothies and food bars. It was founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 1980 and since 1995 is headquartered in Half Moon Bay, California. Odwalla's products includes juices, smoothies, soy milk, bottled water, organic beverages, and several types of energy bars, known as "food bars".

The company experienced strong growth after its incorporation in 1985, expanding its distribution network from California to most of North America, and went public in 1993. In 2001, Odwalla was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company for US$181 million and became a wholly owned subsidiary.

A period of decline occurred as the result of a fatal outbreak of E.coli-H7 in 1996 that was caused by using bruised fruit that had been contaminated. Odwalla originally sold unpasteurized juices, claiming that the process of pasteurization altered the flavor of the juice. Following the E.coli outbreak, Odwalla adopted flash pasteurization and other sanitization procedures. Odwalla recalled its juices and experienced a 90% reduction in sales following the event. The company gradually recovered and the following year became profitable again.

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A Moorish Bazaar
Photo credit: Genghiskhanviet

A bazaar is a market: a permanent enclosed merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term originates from the Middle Persian word vāzār. Souq is another word used in the Middle East for an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter. The term bazaar is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers, and craftsmen" who work in that area. Although the current meaning of the word is believed to have originated in native Zoroastrian Persia, its use has spread and now has been accepted into the vernacular in countries around the world. The rise of large bazaars and stock trading centers in the Muslim World allowed the creation of new capitals and eventually new empires. New and wealthy cities such as Isfahan, Golconda, Samarkand, Cairo, Baghdad, and Timbuktu were founded along trade routes and bazaars. Street markets and arcades are European and North American equivalents.

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Heroism and the respect it commands is a form of compensation by society for those who take risks for others. And entrepreneurship is a risky and heroic activity, necessary for growth or even the mere survival of the economy.

It is also necessarily collective on epistemological grounds-to facilitate the development of expertise. Someone who did not find something is providing others with knowledge, the best knowledge, that of absence (what does not work)-yet he gets little or no credit for it. He is a central part of the process with incentives going to others and, what is worse, gets no respect.

I am an ingrate toward the man whose overconfidence caused him to open a restaurant and fail, enjoying my nice meal while he is probably eating canned tuna.

In order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using exactly the same logic (the entrepreneur is still alive, thought perhaps morally broken and socially stigmatized, particularly if he lives in Japan.) For there is no such thing as a failed soldier, dead or alive (unless he acted in a cowardly manner)-likewise, there is no such thing as a failed entrepreneur or failed scientific researcher, any more than there is a successful babbler, philosophaster, commentator, consultant, lobbyist, or business school professor who does not take personals risks. (Sorry.)

Psychologists label "overconfidence" a disease, blinding people to the odds of success when engaging in ventures. But there is a difference between benign, heroic type of risk taking that is beneficial to others, in the antifragile case and the nastier modern type related to negative Black Swans, such as the overconfidence of "scientists" computing the risks of harm from the Fukushima reactor. In the case of the former, what they call overconfidence is a good thing, not something to medicate.

Nassim Taleb, Antifragile, 2012

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September 26:

Did you know

  • ...that Valrhona, a company based in the small town of Tain l'Hermitage in the Rhône Valley in France, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality chocolate?
  • ... that Hollywood accounting is the practice of distributing the profit earned by a large project to corporate entities which, though distinct from the one responsible for the project itself, are typically owned by the same people, with the net result of reducing the project's profit by a substantial margin, sometimes even eliminating it altogether.

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