Discussion of long-term trends that seem to be emerging. This forum encompasses political, economic and industry micro-trends.

10 Benefits of $4 Gas

There is an article in this week's Time magazine, 10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas that seems to predict an America that acts more - well, European. It projects that urban sprawl stawls, four-day workweeks increase, public transportation speeds along, and obesity loses. These are "positive" trends that $4 per gallon and climbing brings.

Time reports, ""You suddenly are reminded how the economy works," says Eric Roston, author of a new book about energy, The Carbon Age. "Nobody wants high prices for oil. But there's also no faster mechanism to change behavior." The suffering will go on. But the story, like any good tragedy, is not without redemption.

A question or two of our experts and readers.

  • What do you think of Time's prognostication?
  • In copying Time to look at the bright side of soaring food and energy costs, does anyone see a positive trend that soaring gas prices will have on the food industry?
on July 2nd, 2008

High Fuel Price and the Impact on Delivery Services

If you raise the price of gas enough, I say our pizzarias will look like Japanese pizzarias. Think scooters for delivery instead of cars. Routes and deliveries will be managed with more effiency too.

If that doesn't work, pizzarias will start sponsoring marathon events and hiring the best marathon runners so that they can get killer workouts every day.

With its new army of marathon running deliverymen (and women), Domino's will switch its promise of delivering pizza within 30 minutes to 6 hours.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut will scoff at Domino's for going too far to the extreme. The company will require of its franchise network to buy an armada of bicycles and hire an army of Lance Armstrong biking champ wannabees instead. Part of their pizzarias will co-brand as a four-star bicycle training camp. Company strategists are now meeting in the corporate war room to think of the brand name for this future franchise chain.

That's my prediction. What's yours?

on July 2nd, 2008