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Stanford Pair Win Nobel For Economic Ideas Driving Ebay, Cellphone Spectrum Sales

Stanford Pair Win Nobel For Economic Ideas Driving Ebay, Cellphone Spectrum Sales

by Erik Sherman

Going once, going twice—the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences are two Stanford economists whose work lets the world make mobile phone calls, switch on a light, and buy and sell on eBay.

Robert Wilson and Paul Milgrom, are famous for their groundbreaking work on auction theory. They took the 2,500-year-old practice of selling goods to the highest bidder and transformed how they worked and how the world looked at a result.

One of the major areas they developed was analysis of how the rules that govern auctions affect the efficiency of the outcomes—how bidders get the value they want, sellers maximize their income, and the process can happen more easily and quickly. Then they found ways to move beyond the fast-talking and gavel-banging stereotype of an auction and into many new types that new rules could enable.

“Sometimes the invisible hand of the market needs help,” said Scott Kominers, an associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. “Historically, [economics has] been a social science that’s deeply concerned with the real world but often not directly practical. They were real visionaries in understanding how economics could play this role.”

“Their work was absolutely pivotal,” said Brennan Platt, an associate professor of economics at Brigham Young University. The two are described as brilliant and more than one person told Zenger News that each of them could have conceivably won a Nobel for his other work.

A fundamental problem of auctions is that much important information is invisible. Bidders

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Ways small shops shifting holiday sales amid COVID-19

Ways small shops shifting holiday sales amid COVID-19

Watty Brooks Hall, the owner of the Brooks Collection, plans to keep her iPhone charged and ready for more FaceTime calls this holiday season.

Her Collierville, Tennessee gift shop introduced virtual shopping for consumers who don’t feel comfortable coming inside but want to see the pottery, gifts and home goods up close. Hall also plans to post more photos on Instagram and Facebook where engagement has been up since the pandemic.

Texas-based Stag Provisions also is engaging more with shoppers on social media. It will also stock more comfortable clothes such as t-shirts and sweatpants this holiday season as people continue to spend a lot of time at home. 

And Gibson’s Bookstore, New Hampshire’s oldest independent book shop established in 1898, hopes to drive online sales with its new curbside pickup option.

Small retailers across the country have had to get creative to keep the lights on after dealing with temporary closures and restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now they’re preparing for a holiday shopping season unlike any they have ever experienced.

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National retailers are amping up the pressure with earlier promotions to spread through the season, but small stores may benefit because of their size and ability to personalize the shopping experience.

“We deliver. We ship. We do curbside,” Hall said, adding her shop near Memphis doesn’t sell merchandise on its website. “It’s just trying to keep a small business alive is what it boils down to.”

COVID-19 relief needed: Your favorite restaurant or small business – as many as 36,000 – face closure without coronavirus relief

Small business advice: Not all business changes need to be big, sometimes a good pivot is small, thoughtful and consistent

The Brooks Collection introduced virtual shopping

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How to find and land new business and make sales in a virtual world

How to find and land new business and make sales in a virtual world

  • Now that the pandemic’s thrown a wrench in meetups and in-person gatherings, businesses will have to adjust their plans to find and pitch customers from home.
  • Seven business owners and coaches shared tips with Business Insider on successfully growing a business remotely.
  • You can start by tapping into your existing network or revisiting connections you’ve lost along the way.
  • Offer free time and resources to struggling clients — being generous during a difficult time deepens relationships and referrals. 
  • If you’re looking to add to your clientele, interact with potential clients in online communities and home in on a compelling, tight pitch to immediately capture interest. 
  • This article is part of a series called Resources for Resilience, focused on providing tips and inspiration for small businesses who are learning how to survive and thrive in today’s economy.

When all the spring conferences, trade shows, and networking events were canceled, it was undoubtedly a blow to small business owners looking to connect with new customers — but we all figured we’d make up for lost time with a networking marathon in the fall. 

Now that it’s looking like in-person events won’t be a thing for quite a while, it’s time to adjust our plan and figure out what business development looks like in a totally virtual world. 

To get you started, Business Insider gathered tons of ideas from business owners and coaches on how to successfully find and pitch potential customers while working from home. 

Tap the people who already know you

If you’re finding it harder to make new business connections because you’re stuck on your couch, turn to the ones you already have. It could take the form of an email you send out to all your current and past clients and other professional connections reminding them what you have

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