Tag Archives: regret

From a “Still Skeptical” post: Founding a Business

10 Jun

Check the date! This post was written over two years ago, in fact almost three. In it I outline accurately plans I still have to this day.

Founding a Business
I have been thinking a lot lately about the plan of what I want to do after college. And things may be coming together quite interestingly. There are big changes happening in agriculture, especially toward sustainable farming. Some ideas I have:

Found a non-loss, non-dividend Social Business.
Goal: Get organic into the lives of all rural families living below the poverty line for self-sufficiency and empowerment.
2. Market and sell organic produce in the US to ensure that small producers always have an outlet for excess production.
3. Research and disseminate best techniques for high-yield organic small farms.

Dealing in: high yield, direct trade, commercial organic fruits, vegetables, commodities, and herbs: banana, pineapple, cotton, corn, coffee, sugar cane, plantain, cocoa, dairy, livestock, name (root), noni (experimental), oregano, basil, etc.

Direct Trade: Microsupply/Microdemand.
Imagine buying a pack of bananas (organic and directly benefitting farmers and the environment, etc), from 4 different farms (individual farmer here could== coop region) in different regions/countries/local varieties. Say that bananas are not a uniform taste, as the clone seeds are—designed to be big and yellow on the outside and distributed by a single company. But organic actually taste better. How much better? You decide. Vote thumbs up or thumbs down on our website to let us know for each one, and look for your favorite in singles next time you go to the supermarket.
–> Some types sell out quicker and are higher rated… stores notice and request more from that farmer. Farmer can produce more funded by higher price. Exceptional examples could hit a “genetic jackpot” and maintain exclusive or sell seed.
–> Range of sticker prices based on ratings, with the best taste costing more and the low-range still a few cents higher than standard quality plantation banana.
–> Would give local farmers incentive to experiment, they may strike it rich! Would lend itself to organic non-gm farming, which already represents a large benefit to family ownership/livelihoods. With many small plots, could even find out what your farm is best at producing by rating against other small farmers.
–> New market for seeds can be grassroots-based in constant evolution and locally variant. Microsupply, microdemand for seed market as well driven by the larger research farms.

How? The internet can manage this quantity of data!

Local Campaign:
-With organic farms can do Community Shared Agriculture shares to benefit from added diversity of production, for any size farm even those that can’t make it international.
-Uncertified organic “gardens” can be grown in backyard for family or market, if seed is made available that doesn’t need fertilizers or pesticides. Reduce dependence on (costly, external) food and boost family income.
-“Preserve your environment and stand up for your livelihood because their economics is not working.” Support local farmers. Support organic. Organize and lobby for fair laws (while using the existing ones)
-Once you’re big enough, join your local coop for shared investments and shipments. Coops can work with us for finding buyers, brokering deals, farmer education, flyers etc.

Scattered, and still some things to work out, but well on the way to becoming the material and flesh of venture capital. Just need a team of impassioned individuals– consider this an invitation to ask more.

Posted by HP at 9:40 PM

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How Amish Choose to React to New Technology

28 May

It’s not that the Amish shun all technology, in fact more accurate would be that they are selective adopters of technology. For example, they do not use electricity but what they can get out of a 12V battery. When a new innovation becomes available, certain early adopters pick it up (eg. a Cell Phone). The community watches closely, some others pick one up, and then decides based on a three-step decision.

1. Does this technology bring us to be more connected with the outside world?
2. Does this technology weaken community?
3. Does this technology create a sense of pride in people who use it?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” that is a negative thing for the Amish. Knowing this now, how do you evaluate the technology in your life?

Happiness theory

15 Aug

A philosophy of happiness. My dad´s response to my left me thinking hard about said happy and what that means. If we search for happiness like we do money, that is very significant. It seems it isn´t guaranteed by financial or material well-being, but your life situation has a big part to deal with it. If you say it´s entirely an inner state the discussion enters the field of self-help and spirituality. I´ve found a lot of truth in improving both areas, but it´s a lot to keep track of! Do you approach life with defined goals and morals, or just slow down and let life’s balance catch you? Over the summer I have been developing this philosophy. Thank you for reading and your comments. Please share url: https://eddiemill.wordpress.com/2009/08/13/happiness-theory/

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My “Fake” Resume

30 Nov

When I think about this past year, and think ahead to success and what that is going to mean, I inevitable arrive at the conclusion that life experience is critical in forming new expertise. Leaders are created, not born. Up to now I have only one regret: in not taking advantage of an opportunity with Trader Joe’s last year, I have given up a few very real losses that I can only hope to some day rectify. Here, then, is my “fake” resume, as it could be.

1. Trader Joe’s, Crew member and Regional supervisor
Trader Joe’s is a wonder to most people who shop there. How, they ask, can TJ’s afford to price higher-quality, better-sourced food at 30% off of a supermarket? The answer to this involves direct supply chains, and store brand (Trader Giotto’s Italian food?) that cut out that crucial middle man. It also involves catering to amazing customers, and moving twice as much per store area as most supermarkets do. I “worked” here from Fall 2007 to early February, 2008 and was a part of this movement as it quadrupled profits and expansion through that time.

2. The Food Project, Summer trainings supervisor
With my experience at Trader Joe’s and a good understanding of sustainable food chains, I put in an application to be Intern at the Food Project (I actually did, barely missed the opportunity). The Food Project is the best regional example of farms creating thoughtful and productive community, especially with young people as full partners in food creation. This was a summer advising position to local area youth, to grow chemical-free food for markets and local food banks. Gave an understanding of a working farm and market flows.

3. Nourish International, Founder
Nourish International is another application I just missed. This position was head of a club to raise funds towards implementing a sustainable development project in a developing country. Together with peers, we raised $10,000 through school lunches, poker tournaments, and the Equal Exchange fundraiser towards a project that I design in Costa Rica Spring ’09. As a second part of the club, we “travelled” there to actually implement the design and improve the lives of an entire community. As leader and founder, I look forward to next year to implement bigger projects.

This has been a vision of what could have been. It’s painful to see an alternative less than this visionary path, and know that it was within reach. Rather than continue to lament the loss, I had to write this down. Research can somewhat make up for lost opportunity, but I have to question what could have been if there hadn’t been a casually dismissive comment one fall day from a friend I really value…