David Gutterman is a professor at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. We met six years ago, serving together on the board of Oregon Humanities. I got to know him as the soft-spoken guy at meetings whose questions and considerations brought a clarity of purpose to the proceedings. Invariably, for days following, I’d marvel at some lucid, compassionate point he’d made.
At Willamette, David teaches and studies in the fields of religion, politics, gender and race. …
Amanda Oborne is Vice President of Food & Farms at Portland, Oregon-based Ecotrust, “a catalyst for radical, practical change.” Fast Company recently named her one of the most creative people in business.
And me? I could use some help making sense of the world.
I’ve been interviewing people professionally for twenty years. It’s the part of my job I like best. So why not find smart people and ask them to share an insight that experience has given them, something important that I probably wouldn’t know, or think about.
Thoughtful people. All sorts. Like a team of advisors. To help me, and hopefully you, more capably contend with timely, complex issues and ideas. …
Last week, Amazon introduced its Prime Now app to Portland. My city joins 10 more where Amazon Prime members can place free, 2-hour delivery orders at popular local businesses — in Portland, participating stores include New Seasons Market, Uwajimaya, World Foods, and Cupcake Jones. And when you simply can’t wait for your Kombucha, cupcakes, and organic dish soap, a $7.99 fee buys you delivery within the hour.
The announcement spun me back a decade — to my years as the director of marketing and development at Powell’s Books, to the time when we went into business with Amazon.
By the early 2000s, Powell’s already had a business relationship with Amazon; like many booksellers, we posted our inventory on secondary sales platforms such as Alibris, eBay, and Amazon Marketplace. Then news came through back channels that Amazon didn’t know what to do with its overstock. Up in Seattle, they were sitting on thousands of recently published books that hadn’t turned out to be quite as popular as the company’s buyers had hoped. Apparently Amazon had better things to do with its warehouse space than store surplus copies of The South Beach Diet Cookbook. Powell’s did not. …