Expecting to Die on Your First Job
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Expecting to Die on Your First Job
Monday, December 28, 2020
|Harbor Seal off Salisbury Beach, checking me out|
Hosting 365(ish) species annually, Plum Island/Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is usually ranked in the top 5 birding locations in America. An 11-mile long barrier island, it's a collection of beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes and pannes, freshwater impoundments, and maritime forests. It's bonkers during spring and fall migration, a good spot to see Snowy Owls and Rough-legged Hawks in the winter, and a breeding area for the endangered Piping Plover.
Salisbury Beach State Reservation sits across the mouth of Merrimack River from Plum Island. It's another site ideally suited for birdwatching, though (for me), a preferred cold-weather site after the RVs have disappeared. Great rafts of Eiders and Scoters float around harbor seals. Snow Buntings practice their takeoffs and landings. In irruptive years like 2020, flocks of Crossbills feast in the pines. And, like Plum Island, Salisbury can host Snowy, Saw-whet, Long-eared Owls, and Eagles . . .
|Salisbury is where I saw the Eagle surfing an ice floe from the Atlantic down the Merrimack River in December 2019.|
My home base for birding is the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Mass Audubon's largest sanctuary and part of the Eastern Essex County Interior Forest Important Bird Area. Its magnificent 2,800 acres are also the hub for a collection of sanctuaries that, though I'll spare you the details, made getting out during COVID not just possible but pleasurable. (One of these sanctuaries, Rough Meadows, took me back to my business school days and one of business history's greats, Professor Alfred Chandler. I wrote about my visit to that sanctuary here.)
Monday, December 7, 2020
|Thomas Nast's famous "Merry Old Santa|
Claus" from the January 1, 1881 edition
of Harper's Weekly
Thursday, October 8, 2020
[Author’s note: This essay was intended for Innovation on Tap but was cut for length—and as part of a (losing) debate I had with several editors who did not see Charles Beard as an entrepreneur. I took the position that if Lin-Manuel Miranda is an entrepreneur, attracting a new audience to Broadway by combining the Founding Fathers with rap, then Charles Beard was an entrepreneur by selling a boatload of books to Americans who never thought to measure the creation of the Constitution against economic interest and greed. I continue to believe that intellectual innovation is as important as social or technological innovation, but that belief didn’t do much to get Beard his own chapter in Innovation on Tap.]
In a nation whose sense of identity comes not from geography, ethnicity, or religion but from a set of ideals, history is a high-stakes proposition.
Even today, America’s Founding Fathers sit in influential positions. Twenty-first-century citizens wonder, for example, what Jefferson and Hamilton might think of our national debt, campaign finance laws, and healthcare reform. Would Washington endorse military activity in the Middle East? Would Madison allow handguns on the streets of Manhattan?
Invoking the voices of 250 years ago is a business fraught with peril because challenging America’s Founders tend to challenge Americans’ sense of identity.
That makes what Columbia University historian Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948) brought to market in 1913 not just an important innovation, but perhaps the most influential history book ever written in America.
Monday, August 17, 2020
Andrea grew up in Cancun and loved Ben & Jerry's ice cream so much that he "wrote to them (in my 7-year-old nonnative-English) to let them know I had the best idea: They could add chocolate syrup in a little plastic bag to their ice cream."
Much to Andrea's surprise, the company responded, saying his "idea sounded delicious, but not great for the environment. They taught me a great lesson," Andrea added, "(and gave me coupons!). Such a lovely company and lovely people, caring for all their customers, even if they lived in other parts of the world, or were 7-year-olds."
Thirty years later, Andrea credited Ben & Jerry's with encouraging him to think about corporate values and the environment.