InCommN this Week

February 10–14, 2014

Mack the Knife“Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”

—Bertolt Brecht, German poet, born February 10,

Still tickets available for the Ken Burns Benefit in Shelburne Falls for the Arms Library "Put A Roof On It" campaign. Mr Burns will show excerpts from his forthcoming documentary about the Roosevelt family. And yes, the beautiful library building really needs a new roof. Please help. If you can't come to the benefit, consider a contribution to the fund

Congratulations to Valley Venture Mentors! The $150,000.00 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Cooperative will support expansion of the good work that VVM does working with startups. If you haven't been to a Valley Venture Mentors meeting, the monthly meeting is next Wednesday, February 12 at 5:15PM in Springfield. Come and have a look. (Full disclosure: Rick Plaut, Rick Feldman and I are all Facilitators, and Rick F serves on the VVM Board of Directors.) 

The Online Learning Materials offered by Common Capital are the work of our friends Angela Lussier, Thom Fox, and Nunzio Bruno of The BrunoFox Group. Check them out; these folks know their stuff. Nice work by Common Capital to provide this opportunity. 

We're excited about the return of passenger rail to Western Massachusetts. Here's an update

All that is solid melts into the air: Shopping Malls are going extinct. I grew up with downtown department stores, so I'm well aware that vast, apparently permanent industries aren't eternal. (By the way, visit Wilson's in Greenfield sometime for a taste of the real thing.)

It can't be that much fun being a post-doc and working in a lab contributing to somebody else's research. Do It Yourself Bio (DIYBio) is now inexpensive enough that some very sophisticated young scientists are opting out of academia and into biohacking. We've already seen what nearly forty years of Do It Yourself Computing has contributed to the world. Get ready for change.

Quit utilizing stale, clichéd business-speak and come resonate with us next Wednesday for the all-new, best-of-breed, state of the art, Don't Eat Lunch Alone: Industrial Strength in Holyoke. Be proactive, reach out, soothe your lunchtime pain-point, and bring your lunch to the table. (FYI, Chinook Jargon was a trade pidgin used in the Pacific Northwest in the 19th Century. It contributed the useful term "high muckamuck" to English, among other words. That's not the kind of jargon we're talking about here.)

Don't Eat Lunch Alone (DELA)

"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something."

—Thomas A. Edison, American inventor, born February 11, 1847

Don't Eat Lunch Alone: Industrial Strength

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Universal Quality Machine, LLC
650 Beaulieu Street
Holyoke, MA

Don't Eat Lunch Alone Holyoke

This week in #westernma

Visit the InCommN Business Calendar for more opportunities to learn and network in Western Massachusetts

8:00-9:00AM Westfield Westfield Chamber Mayor's Coffee Hour
7:00PM Easthampton Nerd Nite 4
8:00AM Agawam MarketRight
5:00-7:00PM East Longmeadow Professional Women's Chamber of Western Massachusetts Free Networking Event
6:00-8:00PM Westfield Plug Into the Creative Valley
6:30-8:30PM Agawam Advanced Quickbooks Workshop
6:30PM Indian Orchard The Geek Group of Western Mass
7:15-9:00AM Hadley Amherst Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
11:30AM-1:00PM West Springfield Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield Lunch and Learn
5:00-7:00PM Northampton Northampton Chamber Arrive at 5
5:00-7:00PM Westfield Westfield Chamber After 5 Connection
5:15-7:30PM Springfield Valley Venture Mentors
6:00-7:30PM Shelburne Falls What You DON'T Know About Your Business (And How to find It!)
8:30-10:30AM Holyoke Chamber Table Top Workshop: “How to Get People’s Attention and Attract Them to Your Table
5:00-8:00PM Amherst Northampton Area Young Professionals Networking Social
5:00PM Holyoke Purchasing Management Association Dinner Meeting

InCommN Recommends

“Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.”

—Sinclair Lewis, American novelist, born February 7, 1885

Ken Burns Benefit in Shelburne Falls

Arms Library Roof, Shelburne Falls, MA"The Arms Library Association has a treat for anyone who loves history, PBS, the Roosevelt Family or Ken Burns. Mr. Burns will be on stage in Shelburne Falls on February 12th to preview his upcoming documentary "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History". Tickets go on sale January 8th for this very special fundraising event to raise $750,000 plus for the first phase of a multi-year project to restore the historic Pratt Memorial Library Building home of the Arms Library.

"Mr. Burns’s new seven-part, 14-hour documentary about the Roosevelts will air September 2014 on PBS. The film tells the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.

"Mr. Burns will show clips from the documentary and reveal what went into the making of it and others of his famed productions.

"There will be a Q&A following the preview.

“Tickets for the screening, which starts at 7:00 PM, are $25 each for seating at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls.”

Arms Library Ken Burns Benefit

On-Demand Business Learning from Common Capital

“With these online tools, whether it’s a video or presentation or blog, you can learn at your own pace….We understand you are very busy and need convenient access to information. From the comfort of your home or business, you can access videos, podcasts and articles that we have developed.”

Online Learning for Business Owners at Common Capital

“State of the Art” Just Jumped the Shark

"3. Balls in the air. Sound less like a carnival act and more like a business professional by saying that you are busy or have several projects underway….

"12. Deck. Some people know that a deck is a slide presentation. Everybody else will think you’re not playing with a full one….

"22. Jump the shark. If a business or product is past its prime and grasping at straws to stay relevant, it has jumped the shark. The metaphor is past its prime; grasping at this straw makes your writing suck….

“43. State of the art. This phrase used to be state of the art … but now lets customers know your product has jumped the shark (see jump the shark). Better to avoid superlatives and describe it as your latest model, or having the latest technology.”

50 More Business Jargon Fixes for Bloggers and Content Writers

Valley Venture Mentors Awarded 150K

“We’re excited to share that Valley Venture Mentors was awarded nearly $150,000 this week to support and expand its mentorship program under the Massachusetts Innovation Mentoring Initiative. This highly competitive grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will increase the number of active start-ups VVM can serve, while providing us the resources to improve the quality of new enterprises and build out programs to support the innovation economy in the Pioneer Valley.”

VVM Awarded Mentoring Grant

I Hear That Train a-Comin

Union Station, Springfield, Massachusetts"In the first quarter of 2015, train travel through Western Massachusetts should look very different than it does now, said Timothy W. Brennan, a rail booster and executive director of the Springfield-based Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

"Lots of work is expected to be completed in 2014 on tracks and rail platforms, as well as the massive Union Station project in Springfield.

“Brennan said barring unforeseen complications Amtrak will move the Vermonter train through Western Massachusetts over to its main rail line during that quarter.”

Western Mass. Rail Travel Expansion, Springfield Union Station Project, On Track For 2014

Do It Youself Bio Bolsheviks

"When we started BioCoder, we assumed that we were addressing the DIYbio community: interested amateur hobbyists and experimenters without much formal background in biology, who were learning and working in independent hackerspaces.

"A couple of conversations have made me question that assumption — not that DIYbio exists; it’s clearly a healthy and growing movement, with new labs and hackerspaces starting in most major cities. But there’s another group mixed in with the amateurs, with a distinctly different set of capabilities and goals. DIYbio doesn’t mean exactly what we thought it did.

“That group is what I broadly call ‘disaffected grad students and postdocs.’ They’ve got training, loads of it. But they’ve spent the last few years working in a laboratory under a faculty member, furthering that faculty member’s agenda. They have their own ideas and their own research projects, but they can’t work on them within the context of academic biology. They’re funded by a grant, and the grant will only pay for certain things. And, as Anthony Di Franco points out in ‘Superseding Institutions in Science and Medicine’ (in the current issue of BioCoder), grants are primarily given to people who already know what they’re going to find, and that is not how you get truly innovative and creative research.”

Academic Biology And Its Discontents

I love the smell of commerce in the morning. — Mallrats, 1995

"Don Wood, the CEO of Federal Reality Investment Trust, has said the process of knocking down or converting a mall could take as long as two decades.

“‘It’s really going to be hard in the next 10 years to knock down that mall and rebuild it into something better because the economics just don’t work,’ Wood said at a conference in June 2012, according to The Wall Street Journal. A failing mall in a non-affluent market ‘most likely will just stay there and get worse and worse over the next 20 years.’”

“What will eventually replace these ghost malls are community colleges, business offices, and health care facilities, according to Green Street Advisors.”

Shopping Malls Are Going Extinct

William Tecumseh Sherman“I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.”

—William Tecumseh Sherman, American soldier, born February 8, 1820

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