business | WAMC

business

Book cover for "The Devil's Playbook" by Lauren Etter - red background, vapor from an ecig, and ecig, and the title of the book and author's name
Crown / Crown

Since its founding in 2015, Juul has exploded into the highest-selling e-cigarette on the market. It made its founders billionaires and has become the face of the youth vaping crisis. In 2018, the Surgeon General declared the staggering rise of e-cigarette use among teens an epidemic: data that year showed that more than 3.6 million teens, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 and 20 middle school students, used e-cigarettes.

The following year, a series of deaths and severe lung injuries tied to vaping sounded even more alarm bells; and while we are now more aware of its threat, the vaping epidemic still rages.

In "The Devil's Playbook: Big Tobacco, Juul, and the Addiction of a New Generation" award-winning Bloomberg journalist Lauren Etter reveals the story of the business’s unprecedented boom and the staggering damage it caused.

Book cover for "How to Resist Amazon and Why"
Microcosm Publishing

Danny Caine, owner of Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas has been an outspoken critic of the seemingly unstoppable Goliath of the bookselling world: Amazon.

In his book, "How to Resist Amazon and Why," he lays out the case for shifting our personal money and civic investment away from global corporate behemoths and to small, local, independent businesses. His tale covers the history of big box stores, the big political drama of delivery, and the perils of warehouse work.

He shows how Amazon's ruthless discount strategies mean authors, publishers, and even Amazon themselves can lose money on every book sold. And he spells out a clear path to resistance, in a world where consumers are struggling to get by.

On Tuesday night at 7 p.m. he will part of a virtual event with Suzanna Hermans – Owner of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton, New York.

Book cover for "Hot Seat"
Avid Reader Press / Avid Reader Press

In September 2001, Jeff Immelt replaced the most famous CEO in history, Jack Welch, at the helm of General Electric. Less than a week into his tenure, the 9/11 terrorist attacks shook the nation, and the company, to its core. GE was connected to nearly every part of the tragedy-GE-financed planes powered by GE-manufactured engines had just destroyed real estate that was insured by GE-issued policies. Facing an unprecedented situation, Immelt knew his response would set the tone for businesses everywhere that looked to GE-one of America's biggest and most-heralded corporations-for direction.

Over the next sixteen years, Immelt would lead GE through many more dire moments, from the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis to the 2011 meltdown of Fukushima's nuclear reactors, which were designed by GE. 

In "Hot Seat," Immelt offers a rigorous, candid interrogation of himself and his tenure, detailing for the first time his proudest moments and his biggest mistakes.

Donald Trump did not sell his business when he took office, nor did he give it away. By holding onto his empire, he launched an unprecedented experiment: What happens to a multi-billion-dollar business when its leader ascends to the presidency of the United States? And more importantly, what happens to the United States?

Upon the bombshell of Trump’s taxes, journalist Dan Alexander’s new book, "White House, Inc.," lasers in on a five-year period from Trump’s first days on the campaign trail in 2015 to the ramp up of his reelection bid in 2020. For the first time, readers can see how much money is flowing into Trump’s coffers, how much of that turns into profit for the president, and what it all means for American democracy.

Dan Alexander is a senior editor at Forbes, where he leads the magazine's coverage of Donald Trump.

In the spring of 2017, award-winning journalist Heather Cabot was surprised to learn that several women in her network were investing in cannabis companies. That realization led to the new book, "The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream."

The book is a timely and objective look at nothing less than an astonishing rebranding. To report the story, Cabot traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, managing to get exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in the world of cannabis.

The marquee outside Proctors in Schenectady (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The Capital Region could enter Phase Two of reopening as early as next Wednesday. As WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports, businesses are sharing their stories of how they pivoted to stay afloat during the pandemic.

State lawmakers representing the Capital Region say it will be long way back for local businesses now that phase one of reopening has begun.

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson
City of Johnstown

Johnstown Mayor Vern Jackson is focused on bringing business into the Fulton County city. Economic development is a central part of his 2020 vision as outlined in his State of the City address this week. Jackson, a Republican elected as mayor in 2016, told WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard about a recent business symposium that showed a growing interest among entrepreneurs looking to Johnstown.

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

Since 1985, the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region has loaned more than $61 million and leveraged more than $218 million for equitable economic development in the Capital Region. The organization provides low-cost/no-cost trainings to help entrepreneurs get started. Training workshops cover financial planning, branding and marketing, legal issues, insurance, payroll and HR, and more. Community Loan Fund has launched a new online training platform aimed at minority and women owned businesses and is working to expand its Business Incubator.

We learn more from Executive Director of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region Linda MacFarlane; Board Member of the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region Louise McNeilly; Molly Belmont director of community relations and development; and owner of The Hat Boutique Ethel Walker. The Hat Boutique is located at the Community Loan Fund incubator at 255 Orange Street in Albany, New York.  

A former aide to Robert F. Kennedy and senior official in the Clinton administration, Peter Edelman has devoted his life to understanding the causes of poverty.

In one of the richest countries on Earth it has effectively become a crime to be poor. For example, in Ferguson, Missouri, the U.S. Department of Justice didn’t just expose racially biased policing; it also exposed exorbitant fines and fees for minor crimes that mainly hit the city’s poor, African American population, resulting in jail by the thousands. As Peter Edelman explains in "Not a Crime to Be Poor," in fact Ferguson is everywhere: the debtors’ prisons of the twenty-first century.

Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center.

Safi Bahcall received his BA summa cum laude in physics from Harvard and his PhD from Stanford. After working for three years as a consultant for McKinsey, he co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama's council of science advisors (PCAST) on the future of national research.

In "Loonshots," Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Today’s leaders are grappling with the pace and complexity of change, the challenge of supporting healthy collaboration and alignment among teams, and the resulting stress and burnout. The practice of mindful leadership may be one of the most important competencies in business today if leaders are to move beyond fear, anxiety, nagging self-doubt, and the feeling of constant overwhelm.

Marc Lesser has taught his proven seven-step method to leaders at Google, Genentech, SAP, Facebook, and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies for over twenty years and has distilled a lifetime of mindfulness and business experience into the book, "Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen."

Roger McNamee is former mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then reluctantly became a critic of the way big tech companies like Facebook and Google are abusing their users’ trust.

His new book is: “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.”

At nineteen, Brian Scudamore pioneered the industry of professional junk removal with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. He then scaled that success into three more home-service brands, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, You Move Me, and Shack Shine.

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of trial and error, laughter and tears, confusion and triumph. In WTF?! (Willing to Fail), serial entrepreneur Brian Scudamore takes you on an adventure that will convince you once and for all that you have exactly what it takes to succeed.

Paul Jarvis left the corporate world when he realized that working in a high-pressure, high profile world was not his idea of success. Instead, he now works for himself out of his home on a small, lush island off of Vancouver, and lives a much more rewarding and productive life. He no longer has to contend with an environment that constantly demands more productivity, more output, and more growth.

In "Company of One," Jarvis explains how you can find the right pathway to do the same, including planning how to set up your shop, determining your desired revenues, dealing with unexpected crises, keeping your key clients happy, and of course, doing all of this on your own.

After decades covering war and disaster, bestselling author and acclaimed satirist P. J. O’Rourke takes on his scariest subjects yet: business, investment, finance, and the political chicanery behind them in his new book, "None of My Business."

P.J. began writing funny things in 1960s “underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble-spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other “Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries. He’s written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. And he is a regular panelist on NPR’s "Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me."

In Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, “Lake Success,” he tells the story of a hedge fund manager who throws in the towel and flees on a Greyhound bus for a simpler life with his childhood sweetheart. On the road, he looks to flee his problems and search for many things, including himself.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning as we discuss tech trends.

Jesse Feiler is an app developer, author, and consultant specializing in small business and nonprofit organizations. His most recent books are “The Nonprofit Risk Book: Finding and Managing Risk in Nonprofits and NGOs” written with Gail B. Nayowith and “Learn Computer Science with Swift.” His most recent apps are “CyberContinuity,” a free app to learn about your vulnerabilities and “The Nonprofit Risk App,” a companion to the book.

The global advertising industry, the invisible fuel powering media and commerce, is in crisis. Of all the industries impacted by the digital age, few have changed as dramatically as advertising and marketing.

Today’s consumers are distracted, glued to mobile devices, and accustomed to dodging ads. And those vying for their attention, advertising agencies, tech companies, and clients of both, have formed a web of frenemies that compete, cooperate, and distrust one another all at the same time.

As Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley wrangle for influence, bestselling author and veteran New Yorker columnist Ken Auletta lifts the veil on this industry in flux. "Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else)" is the story of a world whose fate is imperiled and why that fate matters to us all.

Ken Langone started as a hard-working teenager who dug ditches and collected used cardboard. Now, he’s a billionaire and business icon: a co-founder of Home Depot, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange, and a world-class philanthropist.

It wasn’t easy for an Italian-American kid from a blue-collar family to break into the clubby, WASP-dominated world of Wall Street in the late 1950s. But Langone pulled it off as he explains in his new book, "I Love Capitalism!: An American Story."

Even with Congress’s failure to officially repeal the Affordable Care Act, our healthcare system is desperately broken. No proposed reforms have addressed the fact that the cost of medical care in the U.S. has grown far beyond what most people can afford, and pharmaceutical giant CVS’s recent acquisition of Aetna only underscores what Americans have known for years: Our healthcare system is now in the money-making business and not the healing one.

As a Harvard-trained medical doctor and veteran journalist, first with the New York Times and now as editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal has witnessed firsthand how healthcare has become a business. Her new book is: "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back."

Brew Your Business

Jan 11, 2018

Craft beer culture and industry have recently grown exponentially with over 4000 craft brewers operating in the United States alone.

The new book: "Brew Your Business: The Ultimate Craft Beer Playbook" incorporates cultural, legal, business, public relations, management, science, networking, and brewing experience into one easily accessible book for everyone wanting to know more about craft beer brewing, tasting, and selling.

Karen McGrath has been researching, writing, and teaching for over 30 years, and has co-authored a book with Regina Luttrell entitled "The Millennial Mindset: Unraveling Fact from Fiction." Sean McGrath is a committed homebrewer with over 20 years of experience and many more years of enthusiasm regarding craft brews.

Regina Luttrell spent the first half of her career managing high-level public relations and marketing activities for Fortune 500 companies, governmental entities, as well as non-profit organizations. She now teaches public relations and social media at Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School. Todd Luttrell is a craft beer enthusiast and an accomplished scientist and business professional with nearly 20 years of discovery and leadership experience.

We’re also joined by Mike Wenzel Co-owner and Head Brewer at Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company.

Thomas A. Kochan, is the George M. Bunker Professor of Work and Employment Relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management and Co-Director of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research.

"Shaping the Future of Work" lays out a comprehensive strategy for changing the course the American economy and employment system have been on for the past 30 years. The goal is to create more productive businesses that also provide good jobs and careers and by doing so build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. This will require workers to acquire new sources of bargaining power and for business, labor, government, and educators to work together to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation workforce.

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to set us straight on online collaboration tools and teleconferencing.

Jesse Feiler is an app developer, author, and consultant specializing in small business and nonprofit organizations. His most recent books are “The Nonprofit Risk Book: Finding and Managing Risk in Nonprofits and NGOs” written with Gail B. Nayowith and “Learn Computer Science with Swift.” His most recent apps are “CyberContinuity,” a free app to learn about your vulnerabilities and “The Nonprofit Risk App,” a companion to the book.

Family Photos
Composite photo by Dave Lucas/WAMC

In an era of online shopping, bare downtowns and big box stores, Albany County Legislators and local leaders gathered Tuesday to honor a brick-and-mortar business celebrating its 150th year in Albany.

The culmination of nearly 30 years of reporting on Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, David Cay Johnston, takes a revealingly close look at the mogul's rise to power and prominence in his new book, "The Making of Donald Trump."

Covering the long arc of Trump’s career, Johnston tells the story of how a boy from a quiet section of Queens, NY would become an entirely new, and complex, breed of public figure. Trump is a man of great media savvy, entrepreneurial spirit, and political clout. Yet his career has been plagued by legal troubles and mounting controversy.

SPARCC business roundtable on addiction
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In a major speech this afternoon President Donald Trump will direct his Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. That will allow changes such as expanded access to medical services in rural areas.  The addiction crisis is affecting all sectors from emergency, health and law enforcement to families and counselors.  Recently the Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery of Clinton County coalition held a roundtable to discuss the impact of the crisis on business.

Capitalism has been a fundamental part of the American story from the very beginning, when the country became a place for people to dream, invent, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life.

In the new book, Americana, author Bhu Srinivasan explores four hundred years of the American spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things—the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward—from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, and radio to banking, flight, suburbia, and cellphones.

Bhu Srinivasan is a media entrepreneur whose career has spanned digital media, pop culture, technology, publishing, and financial content. 

Red Teaming is a revolutionary new way to make critical and contrarian thinking part of the planning process of any organization, allowing companies to stress-test their strategies, flush out hidden threats and missed opportunities and avoid being sandbagged by competitors.

Bryce G. Hoffman is a bestselling author, speaker and consultant who helps companies around the world plan better and leaders around the world lead better by applying innovative systems from the worlds of business and the military. Before launching his international consulting practice in 2014, Hoffman was an award-winning financial journalist who spent 22 years covering the global automotive, high-tech and biotech industries for newspapers in Michigan and California. He writes a regular column on leadership and culture for Forbes.com and regularly appears on television and radio shows in the United States and around the world.

In his book, Red Teaming, Hoffman shows how the most innovative and disruptive companies, such as Google and Toyota, already employ some of these techniques organically.

The Airbnb Story

May 5, 2017

Fortune editor Leigh Gallagher explores the success of Airbnb along with the more controversial side of its story. Regulators want to curb its rapid expansion; hotel industry leaders wrestle with the disruption it has caused them; and residents and customers alike struggle with the unintended consequences of opening up private homes for public consumption.

Gallagher's book is ​The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions ... and Created Plenty of Controversy.

Pages