Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Other Half

New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and former Times correspondent Sheryl WuDunn published an article on August 17,2009 entitled "The Women's Crusade". Published in the New York Times, this essay was adapted from their book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” which will be released in September.

The main point of the piece - and the book - is that one of the main challenges that the world faces with regards to poverty and peace is the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. Their belief is that the best way to fight this problem is through educating women and helping them unleash their potential as an economic force.

Per Kristof and WuDunn, "With education and with help starting businesses, impoverished women can earn money and support their countries as well as their families. They represent perhaps the best hope for fighting global poverty."

Prendismo was fortunate to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Sheryl WuDunn. In this clip, she discusses why her new book "Half The Sky" is so meaningful.

"In this modern day, we still have the moral issue of not empowering women." - Sheryl WuDunn

To see all the clips from the interview with WuDunn, click here

Monday, August 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home For Entrepreneurs

The August 13, 2009 issue of BusinessWeek featured an article entitled, "Keeping the Faith in Silicon Valley".

The article shared the story behind Silicon Vallley-based incubator, Plug and Play Tech Center. Plug and Play was founded in 2006 when it moved into a 150,000-square-foot former research-and-development facility south of Palo Alto in Sunnyvale, CA.

Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play's CEO and co-founder, set up the incubator to provide startups in the area with everything they need to get up and running quickly: office space, data and telecommunications services, networking events, recruiting services, and most of all, contact with fellow startups and potential investors.

This past June, some 30 startups moved in, bringing the total to more than 220 companies that have collectively raised more than $700 million in funding since Plug and Play began in 2006.

Interested in learning more from the CEO himself?

"The surprise for me has been that there is a formula to this." - Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center

Click here for more comments from Saeed Amidi

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shedding Light On: Failure

Here's a new video showcasing clips from Prendismo's collection on failure.

Interesting in watching more? Visit to access the entire Prendismo library!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Paying for Unpaid Positions

Today, I found myself particularly interested in a New York Times article about the challenges of attaining internships. “Unpaid Work, but They Pay for Privilege” reveals a frustrating situation faced by many college students today. It’s no secret that it’s not easy to get to get a job. The competition is vicious as graduates are put up against peers as well as laid-off employees for paying and nonpaying positions. The fact is if your resume isn’t remarkable, your interview skills aren’t flawless, and you don’t “know the right people”, you’re out of luck. This is the very reason parents are willing to doll out thousands of dollars for services to help their children secure internships.

One organization the article discusses is the University of Dreams. This company is the "largest and most visible player" in the industry and advertises:

“a guaranteed internship placement, eight weeks of summer housing, five meals a week, seminars and tours around New York City for $7,999.”

The money goes to the University of Dreams and middlemen involved in the process. The University of Dreams places 1,600 student interns in 13 different cities. Their staff knows the ins and outs of the business and because of their strong working relationships they know who to call where. The article goes on to discuss how the process is equally attractive to parents who want to secure the success of their child’s future, and employers who have recognized the benefit of using these middlemen to save them a lot of “time and hassle”. In the following Prendismo clip, Marissa Goodman discusses the importance of networking in helping secure a job.

"...people today don't want to waste their time. They want someone to vouch for them and it's a lot easier to get your foot in the door if you have a solid kind of referral from someone who works at the company." - Marissa Goodman, Steve and Barry's

This process of paying for an unpaid position may not only be confusing to many people, but educators and students also argue that these programs put many families at a disadvantage. Not everyone is able to afford to buy his or her internship position. As Eric Normington of the University of Dreams states, “Students don’t have problems finding internships, students have problems getting internships.” Despite their fairness, this is why services such as those provided by the University of Dreams are in such high demand. Internships provide experiences outside the classroom and they give graduates a competitive advantage. In the following Prendismo clip Alissa Livingston discusses the importance of internships.

"Internships are critical both for you in figuring out where your interests lie or your skills lie, but also it's more important because it will make you more competitive." - Alissa Livingston, Merchandise Planner, Ralph Lauren

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Entrepreneurial Alphabet

Do you know your entrepreneurial ABC's? Check out this new video containing 26 words that describe what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It showcases clips and quotes from Prendismo's video library. Agree with our choices for each letter? Let me know at

If you want to watch more videos on business, leadership and entrepreneurship visit

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What's in a Name?

During these difficult economic times companies, with traditionally strong customer loyalty, are looking to take a new approach to marketing. More specifically they’re rebranding, giving their companies a fresh new look.

  • Aside from recently changing their logo, Pepsi launched a "Pecsi" campaign in Argentina, a name which it has been called there for years, due to differences in pronunciation.
  • Starbucks has decided to strip its brand name off remodeled stores, in order to create a “local personality”.
  • Pizza Hut, now serving more than just pizza, will be renamed “The Hut” (on boxes and select stores only)

Rebranding isn’t a new fad. As Paul Farhi of the Washington Post points out, "Cable TV networks have been doing this for years." (The Nashville Network became Spike TV, the SciFi channel was recently changed to SyFy, etc.)

According to an article in USA Today “RadioShack would like you to call it ‘The Shack’” the 88-year-old electronics company is looking to reintroduce itself so as to attract more tech-savvy customers. RadioShack's advertising initiative will focus on the company’s “knowledgeable sales staff and wireless products.”

The article goes on to discuss the dangers as well as benefits of rebranding.

“But Bishop warns of possible trouble. When Federal Express changed its name to FedEx, he says, ‘FedEx had no other meaning than Federal Express. With The Shack, there is a contrived familiarity that I'm not sure is helpful.’ ”

Branding is extremely important and as John Bello, CEO of SoBe Beverage Company said, “If you don’t go out there and make yourself known, your brand will die on the shelf because nobody is going to love you the way you love yourself.” In the following clips from Prendismo's Brand and Branding Collection various entrepreneurs and business people share their thoughts on branding.

"Bad branding to me is something that does not convey the message immediately and clearly." - Barbara Lang, Founder, RTR Ideas

"I think the more creativity you give people and the more ownership you give them of design, the more energy you're going to get around that." -Bill Shore, Founder, Share Our Strength