• ALL CHANGE MEETS RESISTANCE and “when the rate of change inside a company becomes slower than the rate of change outside, the end is insight.” [Jack Welch CEO, General Electric] Resistance typically begins with response from key managers who will be personally affected. They are too busy; it will be too expensive and no budget; we tried this before without success; no personal time to handle; it isn’t broken – why must we bother?; and so forth. Overcoming resistance begins with leaders recognizing that: (1) Over-focusing on resisters can derail efforts, but change does not initially require everybody on board – only proof of concept from early positive results which will then attract the naysayers; (2) So showing surprise, disappointment or frustration is futile and only usurps your energy while generating team negativity. Expect resistance, anticipate objections and remain positive; (3) Critical focus should be toward intelligent strategy and persistent communication about the benefits of changing and risks of resisting. DCG has decades of experience in transition planning & implementation; let us help.  [JRNL OF ACCOUNTANCY – Feb 20, 18]
  • ALL ONLINE BUSINESSES FACE THREATS TO THEIR REPUTATION which can scare off prospects, cause longtime customers or clients to question loyalty, impact revenue and, if not counteracted, even be fatal to survival. Threats come from four arenas: unhappy customers, ex-employees, competitors (who want to drive your rating below theirs), and name confusion. Surveys suggest that 93% of online buyers now consult Reviews before a purchase decision, 78% of internet searches are driven by product research, and each one-tenth of a ‘star point’ impacts 1% of revenue – e.g. a 4.5 star rating will generate 10% more revenue than 3.4 stars, other factors being comparable. So ‘Reputation Management’ has become a critical risk factor in online business strategy. DCG can help. [THE CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER.COM – Dec 4, 17]
  • ONE OF THE APPEALING ASPECTS OF CRYPTOCURRENCY IS ITS PRESUMED ANONYMITY, but be aware that pseudonyms can be and do get linked to actual identity. Accordingly, even though tax regulations in the crypto arena are still fuzzy, it’s unwise to presume that if you bought & sold cryptocurrency last year, transactions can or should escape reporting on 2017 tax returns. Technically, ‘virtual currencies’ are treated as ‘property’ for federal tax purposes and subject to capital gain reporting rules, unless traded for equal value of another crypto-coin as a ‘like-kind exchange.’ The area is murky but be aware that IRS does ‘follow the money’ (particularly with Bitcoin) through many avenues – watching for laundered funds and concealed income. It’s always wisest to keep clear records of transactions and provide them to your tax preparer. Call us for more guidance.
  • RIDE-SHARING IS INCREASINGLY MAKING STREETS MORE CONGESTED – versus the expectations and representations of UBER, LYFT and other companies heading toward planned fleets of self-driving vehicles. Studies by U.C.-Davis and the Boston Metropolitan Area Planning Council, involving over 5000 adults in seven cities, found that up to 60% of journeys “would have been made by foot, bike, public transportation, or not at all if ride-sharing services weren’t available.” [FUTURISM.COM – Feb 27, 18]   AND EXPECT THIS TO GET WORSE. After some five-million miles of real-road testing, WAYMO (the autonomous car division of Google’s parent Alphabet) plans to launch a taxi service this year with thousands of self-driving vans. For knowledge of how this works and the experience of what it will feel like in the back seat: https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/28/waymo-360-degree-vr-self-driving-car-demo/

     Every year, over a billion dollars of Food Stamps – issued from federal funds for nutrition of poverty-level-defined Americans – are fraudulently redeemed for cash (or non-food items like alcohol, cigarettes, supplies, etc.) by retailers who take or buy them at a discount, according to the latest report from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

     Jurassic Park is coming closer to fruition, “gradually and certainly.” Harvard University scientists have actually “recreated a nearly complete genome” of a bird that went extinct more than 700 years ago by “reconstructing” DNA from the toe bone of a museum specimen. Next step is to insert that genome into the eggs of a living species, and de-extinct the species.”

     Any expectation of prompt scalability in U.S. armed forces has been a bit tarnished by a recent think-tank study finding that three-quarters of Americans aged 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service – because they’re too fat, have criminal records, or didn’t graduate from high school.

     “Failure is a steppingstone to greatness.” Walt Disney was fired by the Kansas City Star because his stories “lacked imagination”; Steven Spielberg was twice rejected from the USC School of Cinematic Arts; early in his career, a studio executive took Harrison Ford aside and said “You’ll never make it in this business.”