Monday, December 18, 2017

Finding SWOTs

SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These are great reports that discuss competition, product development, regulation (important to drug companies among others) and the macroeconomic picture that might affect a company.

Recommended databases:

Business Source Complete – from the main page, scroll down and choose SWOT analyses on the right side and search your company

Marketline Advantage - Type in your company name, get results and then select SWOT on the right side of the screen.

ABI Inform (keyword search your company and the word SWOT)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

San Marcos (or anywhere else) on American Factfnder

U.S. Census Breakdown on San Marcos demographic and economic information

This page starts you off with demographics, but there's tons of economic data on the left side of the screen. I think it's the single best source of information for this kind of information.

Of course, you can change your county, city, zip code and more geographic parameters to search for other locations. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sanborn Maps

Sanborn maps are a great way to study the historical layout of a town. Originally conceived as fire insurance maps, Sanborn Maps have proven to be of use to local historians, civic planners, real estate developers and sometimes small business people (just got a question that involved using Sanborn maps).

Sanborn maps cover the years 1867-1970 - and they do include small to middle sized towns, as well as large cities.

We have a Sanborn Maps Database.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Wall Street Journal

Here's how you find the Wall Street Journal. You could get a paper copy on the third floor in periodicals. The most recent edition is kept at the periodicals desk.

Or, you can read the Journal online in ABI Inform. You can browse a daily edition by setting the date to one day only.

Older editions (1889-1995) are available fulltext online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Here's a complete list of our Wall Street Journal links.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Offbeat Subject Headings for Marketing or Advertising

Ah, here's some cool subject headings for the marketers and advertisers:

Influence, Social Influence, and Persuasion. These are interesting - and dark - books about how humans think and are influenced by others.

Many of these books are written with marketing and consumer persuasion in mind....

Hey, there's a whole movie about this stuff called The Joneses. Funny premise: a family moves into a high end subdivision and starts trying to convince the neighbors to buy certain products...

Book Review: The Wisdom Of Psychopaths

OK, this is sort of a fun book review.  Would you be more successful if you were cooler under pressure, didn't worry about consequences, had unlimited faith in yourself, and could read people's minds? What if you were also a gifted conversationalist and were a master of romance?

Perhaps you should be more like a psychopath.  At least that's the amusing conceit of this book, which one imagines is written partly in jest.

But here's the serious idea: what if psychopaths aren't really evil, just hyper-intelligent people who don't believe in our hypocritical and illogical morality? 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Amazon's New Headquarters Quest

What Really Happens When Amazon Comes To Your Town

I'm actually fairly confident it's going to be Austin. The article above talks about the two-tier inequalities and skyrocketing house prices that follow. We shall see.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sell a % of Your Future Income for Cash Now


You can sell a % of your future income to rich backers in exchange for college tuition now.

From Time:

Upstart encourages students to go their own way. This is how it works: Beginning in the spring of their junior year, college students or recent grads—anyone from a poet who wants to start a literary magazine to a business major looking to build a boutique hotel in Brazil—can apply to be an “upstart”. The applicant is screened to make sure they are who they say they are and the company predicts how much money they will make over the next decade. That information becomes their funding rate, which helps determine how much they can borrow and how much they will need to repay. On average, for every $6,000 a student wants to borrow, they must pay back 1% of their income. (Right now, Upstart is very selective about the students it accepts—they want people with high-quality profiles and clear goals—but in the future Girouard says they would like less of the arbitrar of who is funded, so long as a set of minimum requirements are met, and let the marketplace decide.)