Category Archives: Business

ReThink: Old Books

Knowledge is power, or so the saying goes. And where does knowledge lay dormant, ready to empower minds to change the world? In books, of course! Better World Books knows that books are a key part of making the world, well, a better place, and they are doing something to make that happen. Starting from a college dorm room (because what worthwhile venture doesn’t have such humble beginnings?), Better World Books has grown to be a powerful force in promoting literacy worldwide. Through reclaiming and selling used books, donating books, recycling worn-out books, donating to literacy advocation programs, and more, the company is making huge strides towards putting books, and knowledge, in the hands of all people. Kind of makes you want to go grab a book, doesn’t it?

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ReThink: Composting

For people who live in the sticks, composting is a no-brainer: food scraps and other organic material can go right on the compost pile outside. For those of us who don’t live in the countryside, however, composting can be more tricky, messy, and work-intensive than it’s worth, especially in cities that do not allow it. Thankfully, a Grand Rapids-based company has found a way around all these issues. By offering regular curbside collection like any other waste company, Organicycle allows anyone to divert more of their waste from landfills and incinerators to a sustainable, energy-reclaiming practice that benefits not only waste producers, but the users of the end products as well. Individuals, businesses, schools, and even whole municipalities can take advantage of the opportunities offered by composting, both in reducing the impact of their waste and reaping the benefits of reclaiming the potential of organic waste. One potato peel at a time, Organicycle is rethinking our relationship with the environment.

ReThink: Publishing

Writing is not an easy profession. After months and even years of hard work, writer’s block, and no income, the final product (and ultimate success) is often at the mercy of the publisher. However, not all publishers are alike, and one example is rethinking the publishing paradigm. Splattered Ink Press┬ánot only allows writers to self-publish, but offers coaching, editing, formatting assistance, design help, and ebook conversions, among other services, to help authors get their writing onto the page. Focusing on fledgling authors, Splattered Ink helps new writers establish themselves in their local bookstores and works with local publishers to print books, helping authors to develop relationships that can carry them forward as they continue to write. One book at a time, Splattered Ink is putting new thought into an old industry.

ReThink: Accounting (Again)

Here at UnConventional, we believe that rethinking is a never-ending process. You might have noticed, therefore, that we rethink some things two or three or ten times, because one good idea deserves another. Today, we’re again rethinking accounting and taking a look at a company taking the next step in making accounting easier, simpler, and more user-friendly.

The reality of cloud computing is well upon us, and this holds no less true in the realm of accounting. Most new accounting products are in fact web-based programs that operate independently of any one computer. Xero is every bit in line with this new paradigm, but they have taken things a step further. Now, not only is keeping the books simple, intuitive, and manageable from any computer, it’s manageable from anywhere. Xero has unleashed the power of our mobile devices in the pursuit of cleaner, simpler accounting. No more receipts, no more missed transactions, and no more surprises. It’s one step closer to a world without clutter, confusion, and complexity, leaving our hands and minds free to work in our business, not in our accounting.

ReThink: Branding

No business can grow and prosper without an identifiable brand. However, branding is an expensive and time-consuming process, something that small companies cannot afford to do well, if at all. Now, thanks to Brands for the People, branding is simple, inexpensive, and attractive, making branding a snap. Focusing primarily on startups, Brands for the People allow clients to submit their product or business to multiple brand designers, who then propose different brand ideas. Clients simply select the branding they like best, and presto! the brand is created. And because Brands for the People requires their clients to be companies dedicated to doing good, the brands created do anything but add to the noise of modern, invasive, degrading branding. No fluff, no fat, no nonsense; it’s branding the way it should be.

(Note: Despite the high-quality video on their homepage, Brands for the People has decided to limit its exposure by not allowing it to be embedded in other websites. Hence, the above, dated, lower-quality video will have to suffice.)

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