Is Culture Orange and Bitcoin a Bad Investment?

Have you come across any interesting posts or new stories that make you stop and think? Often I find so many interesting business topics that it is hard to choose which one to focus on for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz. However, this week we are going to borrow from those talk shows that move from topic to topic and see what big ideas are popping up. So, check out these stories and bring your own this Friday to the live Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am

What is culture really about?

Orange? Really? In a post on Fast Company, the focus is on Avalara which is a sales-tax assisting company. Tax compliance is certainly not the most shiny or sexy thing you could do and Scott McFarlane readily acknowledges that and sales tax? Well, for some people, it is a lot of work keeping track of the various rates in various locales around the world. According to their site, Avalara takes care of the accounting and filing.

It is certainly not some crazy cool techology or even a remarkable social idea but they found something that communicates who they are with the color orange. When all is said and done, communicating culture is about symbols. The use of certain colors, offering perks to employees (game rooms, yoga classes, monetary incentives, etc.) and corporate behavior are symbols that communicate the organizational story.

Has Bitcoin peaked?

Bitcoin is an intriguing idea. Given how much of our life is spent in the digital world, it seems to follow that there would be a virtual currency. There are certainly groups of people who would be interested in a form of money that could not be tracked or taxed. On the other hand, you do need real money to buy Bitcoins and then there are limited places (even the illegal ones) that will accept this virtual currency. The Atlantic has an explanation as to why you should stay away from Bitcoin altogether.

Bitcoin presents some interesting points. There are a limit of Bitcoins and there will be no more Bitcoins after 2040. Unlike most conventional currencies, Bitcoins are supposed to increase in value because there is only so much of it. According to The Atlantic, the Winkelvoss twins have filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission  “to launch an exchange-traded-fund (ETF) that would trade like a stock, and track the price of Bitcoin — and only Bitcoin.” The post goes on to point out that there are some problems with investing in Bitcoin with the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust:

  • it is a volatile currency
  • the Trust could be hacked and all your investment could disappear
  • there is illegal and undesirable activity paid for by Bitcoin (drugs and pornography) which is generally avoided by mainstream investors

There may be another issue with Bitcoin not noted in The Atlantic post and that is that Thailand declared the virtual currency illegal. It seems pretty obvious that there are plenty of questions to ask about Bitcoin and the idea of a virtual currency.

What headlines have caught your attention?

So, here is your invitation to bring an interesting blog post or news story to the chat. The culture and Bitcoin topics are just conversation starters. Join  us Friday, August 2, 2013 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT as we look at interesting topics from around the web.


How do companies communicate their culture?

Is it more important to communicate your culture internally or externally? Why or why not?

To what degree do customers really care about your corporate culture?



How does a virtual currency fit into the current global economy?

How valid are the concerns put forth in The Atlantic post?

What is your analysis of Bitcoin’s future performance and/or value?