Saving the Rain Forest One Glass of Orange Juice at a Time

I was drinking Tropicana orange juice this morning. They've got a clever marketing campaign. If you go to their website and type in the code on the Tropicana carton, they will set aside 100 square feet of Rain Forest to preserve on your behalf.

The Great Giveback

Whatever we end up calling this recession/depression, I think we can safely name one small part of it: The Great Giveback. There seems to be a rebate fever among firms trying hard to keep their customers happy, or keep their customers at all. JetBlue just announced it will give full ticket refunds to customers who […]

Judging Book Covers

The Book Design Review has released its picks for the best-designed book covers of 2008. We’re a little disappointed not to see any economics books on the list. In the category of excellent cover design for an economics book, we’d like to nominate Robert Shiller‘s The Subprime Solution, Michael Heller‘s The Gridlock Economy, and Loretta […]

Does the New iPhone Have Amazon.com Dumping Its GPS Stock?

Mere hours after Apple’s announcement of a new GPS-enabled iPhone, I received this e-mail from Amazon.com: Is this in response to the new iPhone? Wouldn’t surprise me. Amazon.com never ceases to amaze me in its responsiveness, flexibility, and willingness to try new things — even if a lot of them fail. Experimentation is so cheap […]

The Perils of Free Coffee

As prices go, “free” is an interesting one. Dan Ariely plays with the idea in his book Predictably Irrational, as does Seth Godin — and Chris Andersen has gone so far as to suggest that “$0.00 is the Future of Business.” There are, of course, a lot of different kinds of “free.” Giving away a […]

FREAK-TV: What Your Band’s 8″-By-10″ Glossy Says About You

Video My first job in journalism was as an editorial assistant at New York magazine, writing up the back-of-the-book culture listings. This meant that I received a lot of promotional mailings from movie studios, PR firms, etc. I was consistently surprised by the 8-by-10 promo pictures sent out for young female classical musicians: they were […]

Environmentalism Run Amok

An e-mail just turned up in my in-box. It was clearly selling something, and the text ended with the following thoughtful note: Please consider the environment — do you really need to print this e-mail? And what, you ask, was the e-mail selling? Private jet travel. Like the man said: please consider the environment.

Organic Beef Jerky?

I saw some “organic beef jerky” at the grocery store today. Are there actually people who eat beef jerky who care whether it is organic? Next up we’ll have organic chewing tobacco and organic Pringles.

A New Prediction Market for the Masses

For those of you who love prediction markets (a variety of which we’ve written about in the past), there’s a new site that looks to be as vast, inclusive, and user-friendly as anything I’ve seen: Predictify. You can wager on standing bets (who will be the Yankees’ next manager, e.g.) or “tap collective wisdom” (I […]

An Earthquake Hits Amazon’s Sales Ranking

Anyone who’s ever written a book — and these days, who hasn’t? — can tell you that watching your sales rank on Amazon.com can be a pretty fun sport. But something happened recently that made it a lot more fun for some people, and a lot less fun for others. I noticed the change the […]