Come explore the art of hustle with leading innovators from the black market economy. Former traffickers, drug dealers, smugglers and gang leaders will share their entrepreneurial lessons in conversation with leading start-up founders. This event is the book launch for THE MISFIT ECONOMY, a book by Alexa Clay and Kyra Maya Phillips that explores underground and fringe innovation.

“What do Somali pirates, Amish camel milkers, and gang leaders have in common? They’re all innovative — and successful — misfits in today’s global economy. Think you can’t learn anything from outlaws and provocateurs? This book will make you think again with engaging stories and insightful analysis of how people operating on the fringes create unique business models, and in the process transform the culture around them.” — Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN and DRIVE

“…for those wanting a fresh perspective on business practices or working lives, this is a snappy introduction to a new way of thinking” The Financial Times

“The Misfit Economy helps us to understand the lives of those men and women who have had to depend on illegal enterprise just to get by. In this book you’ll learn how the misfit economies can bring meaning to those who are hopeless, jobless, and hungry for more than a handout. You’ll meet people who are just like everyone else in searching for freedom and opportunity, but aren’t afraid to bend the rules of the system. ”— King Tone, Former Leader of the Latin Kings, a hispanic street gang

About the book

Who are the greatest innovators in the world? You’re probably thinking Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford. The usual suspects.

This book isn’t about them. It’s about people you’ve never heard of. It’s about people who are just as innovative, entrepreneurial, and visionary as the Jobses, Edisons, and Fords of the world, except they’re not in Silicon Valley. They’re in the street markets of Sao Paulo and Guangzhou, the rubbish dumps of Lagos, the flooded coastal towns of Thailand. They are pirates, slum dwellers, computer hackers, dissidents, and inner city gang members. Across the globe, diverse innovators operating in the black, grey, and informal economies are developing solutions to a myriad of challenges. Far from being “deviant entrepreneurs” that pose threats to our social and economic stability, these innovators display remarkable ingenuity, pioneering original methods and practices that we can learn from and apply to move formal markets.

This book investigates the stories of underground innovation that make up the Misfit Economy. It examines the teeming genius of the underground. It asks: Who are these unknown visionaries? How do they work? How do they organize themselves? How do they catalyse innovation? And ultimately, how can you take these lessons into your own world?

A burning desire to take on the establishment. A commitment to the free sharing of information, which can enable collaborative innovation. An itch to fix or improve. An aspiration to gain a deep understanding of a system (and all its components) so it can be rebuilt or enhanced. These are all principles that can be applied to great effect in the formal economy, as we seek to improve the organizations, the systems, and the institutions that surround us.
From The Misfit Economy




Lest we forget, we are the survivors.

We did not die horribly that sad September day.

This song celebrates us, the survivors, while remembering

those who perished in such a horrid manner.

WE THE LIVING (words and music by Kenneth Harper Finton) © 2007 HT MUSIC

On a clear September morning, it happened without warning:

two flights left from Boston to Los Angeles on time,

It was so unexpected; both planes were redirected.

The skyjackers had gained control; death was their unspoken goal.

The passengers would never know … never would know why.

So here’s to the living, for the dead will never know.

We, we the living, are left to choose the road.

And here’s to the safety of the world they left behind …

and here’s to the making of a better world in time.

In that most fatal hour, both planes hit the twin towers,

Where fifty thousand people went about their daily lives.

All who watched were humbled as both great towers crumbled,

Smoke and dust filled up the sky, as thousands of good people died.

All that’s left for you and I … is uncertainty and woe.

So here’s to the living, for the dead will never know.

We, we the living, are left to choose the road.

And here’s to the safety of the world they left behind …

and here’s to the making of a better world in time.


Donald Trump Is the President America Deserves

Donald Trump Is the President America Deserves

by Dan Ozzi


Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States. That is going to happen come November 2016. Once elected, he will install 30-foot-tall gold-plated letters spelling his name on the front of the White House. He will be asked about foreign leaders in globally broadcasted press conferences and he will look directly into the camera with those dead, sunken eyes of his and call them morons and losers. He will blow huge chunks of the country’s budget investing in ideas a 10-year-old boy would concoct, like a giant wall around Mexico to keep the “rapists” out. He will do all of these things as the leader of America and we will deserve every minute of it.

You are laughing. You think Trump is a freak show, a lunatic who stands no chance of actually being elected to a position of power. Buddy, look around you. America is a country that thrives on lunacy, a 3,000-mile bi-coastal freak factory that rewards those who can boil their horrid, myopic opinions down to a four-word slogan, and Donald Trump is their king, the future Bumper-Sticker-in-Chief.

Donald Trump is America’s id personified — a walking, talking middle finger. He is the guy from Jersey in a tank top whose favorite phrase is “Ay, jerkoff, c’mere and say it to my face, eh?” He is the retired uncle in line at Chik-Fil-A wearing a trucker hat that says “One Big Ass Mistake America.” He is the Wall Street executive who dictates his own annual multi-million bonus while opposing a $15 minimum wage. Donald Trump is America.

When Bloomberg Politics recently stuffed Trump supporters into a room and asked them what they like about The Donald, the jowly masses responded:

“He doesn’t care what people think, he tells the truth.”

“He’s in touch with what everybody’s thinking, what everybody wants.”

And the special sauce on the Big Mac…

“He’s one of us. He may be a millionaire, but besides the money issue, he’s still in tune with what everybody wants.”

While the rest of the world views Trump as comic relief in our already laughable political system, the sunburned, overweight mouthbreathers of ‘Murica (whose votes all count equally) have spoken: They like Trump. They think he’s a good guy, a straight-shooter. A regular Joe Dickhead, but you know… also a billionaire. He’s convinced them of the greatest character swindle in American politics: He’s just like you.

It’s the same rhetoric that got George W. Bush elected twice. After all, Bush was just like you, especially if you went to the best schools in Connecticut but for some reason spoke with a Texas accent, and if you owned a baseball team, and if your father was head of the CIA, ambassador to China, Vice President of the United States for eight years, and President for four years. Just like you!

You’re still unconvinced. You grasp firmly to the warm, soothing belief that the political left will prevent the national tragedy of a Trump presidency. But you are wrong. The left will be too busy bickering among themselves, arguing over which social justice issue deserves the most prominence, and as a result, will produce the safest, least offensive, most substance-free candidate. Or worse, Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the intelligentsia interstate, the one with two different Cheesecake Factories bookending a Costco, Trump not only routinely trashes Latinos and/or China every time there’s a microphone pointed at the puckered rectum on his face, but it’s not even treated as a gaffe. In fact, the more hatred and bigotry that spews out of his mouth hole, the more his numbers seem to go up.

Of course the numbers rise. This is a country that leads the world in obesity rates and gun-related murders, but falls way behind in adult literacy. We are a nation of fat illiterates, shooting each other to death with unprecedented proliferance, which might not be an actual word, but hey, say it to my gun, pal.

America is a nation that considers its greatest literary achievement to be a book of cell phone photos that Kim Kardashian took of herself in the bathroom. It’s a country whose surefire cinematic moneymaker is letting Michael Bay smash toy helicopters into toy oil tankers and make ‘em ‘splode real good. It’s a country whose take on foreign cuisine is Olive Garden.

But surely, America wouldn’t be so gullible as to elect a man most notable for wrapping his wrinkly Earth vessel up in a suit, cinching it together with his own (Chinese-manufactured, shhh) neckties, and sitting in front of a TV camera once a week to grunt out his two-word catchphrase which proudly sends someone down the unemployment chute, right? We are above entrusting our highest security details with a pop culture footnote who, on a scale of cultural dichotomy, is slightly above Honey Boo Boo’s mom, but several notches below a Kevin James movie about a talking gorilla with a wish-granting asshole, yeah? But we are not.

Remember Arnold. Remember Jesse Ventura. Remember Ronald Reagan, a man whose greatest career accomplishment was starring opposite a chimpanzee in a movie. Not only did we elect Reagan (twice) but he is so revered as the patron saint of his party that there are millions of Reaganites who, 30 years later, still delude themselves into believing that he was a selfless patriot who didn’t triple the federal budget deficit, expand the government, or repeatedly raise taxes. He did all of those things, by the way.

So when it comes time to cast your vote, do the truly American thing and vote for President Donald Trump. Hail to the Chief, and God bless America.


UnknownNew York City hosted the country’s first official observation of  LABOR DAY in 1882.

LABOR DAY marks the end of summer, the advent of fall and means back to school for all the students.

“Organizers were worried that people might not turn up if it meant missing a day’s pay. At first, it didn’t look good: at the start of the parade route in lower Manhattan, only a handful of workers turned up. Their ranks swelled as they walked uptown and were gradually joined by members of various unions. By the time the parade reached Central Park, 10,000 workers were marching together. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894.”

-The Writer’s Almanac


Kenneth Harper Finton

by Kenneth Harper Finton © 2015


“Did you see what Fred got me for my birthday,” Wilma said. “A brand new pink pistol.”

“You are planning to shoot someone,” Betty replied.

“No, I am not planning to do that.”

“Then what will you do with it?” Betty asked.

“Target practice, I guess. It’s small and fits my purse and hand.”

“Same thing,” Betty said.

img-thing“What do you mean?” asked Wilma.

“Target practice is learning the skills for killing people.”

“Not to me. I enjoy it.”

“What do you think a pistol it for?” Betty asked. “A pistol is for killing people. They aren’t for hunting. Rifles are for hunting. Pistols are made just to kill people.”

“Or target practice,” Wilma reiterated.

“Targets are pretend people. Same difference.”

“Well, I don’t know. Fred got it for me to defend myself.”

5d85615878e42466ab0938cd823f429d“Defend against what?” Betty asked.

“You never know. Maybe a wild…

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Eugene Field

Eugene FieldThe Writer’s Almanac for September 2, 2015

National broadcasts of The Writer’s Almanac are supported by The Poetry Foundation.

American humorist and newspaperman Eugene Field (books by this author), was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1850.

Field claimed two birthdays, September 2 and September 3, telling friends if they forgot him on the first date, they could remember him on the second. Field is best known for his humorous, often sardonic poetry for children, like “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” and “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat.”

Field’s mother died when he was six and his father sent him and his brother to Amherst, Massachusetts, to be raised by a cousin. Field was an exuberant, prankish boy who enjoyed whimsy. He had five chickens in Amherst and named them Winniken, Minniken, Finniken, Boog, and Poog. Fields had no patience for school and spent his youth in and out of boarding schools. He attended four colleges, studying acting and the law, without any success. His father died, leaving Field a small inheritance, which he spent every penny of during six months in Europe.

By 1875, he was back in Missouri, writing for the Saint Joseph Gazette. He fell in love with a 14-year-old girl. When the girl’s father said she was too young to marry, Field replied, “She’ll grow out of it.” They married when she was 16, instead, and had eight children. For the rest of his life, whatever money he earned, he directed it be sent to his wife, because he knew he would spend it frivolously.

Field wrote for newspapers in Kansas City and Denver before settling down in Chicago and writing a humorous column called “Sharps and Flats” for the Chicago Daily News, a position he would hold for the rest of his life. “Sharps and Flats” ran in the morning edition and featured Field’s cutting quips and observations about Chicago, which he called “Porkopolis,” because of its rampant materialism. He enjoyed comparing Chicago to Boston, once writing, “While Chicago is humping herself in the interests of literature, arts, and the sciences, vain old Boston is frivoling away her precious time in an attempted renaissance of the cod fisheries.”

Field enjoyed teasing children, often making faces at them when adults turned their backs. The whimsical, somewhat mean-spirited humor in his book The Tribune Primer (1881) – which suggested that children pat wasps, eat wormy apples, and put mud in a baby’s ears – became sweeter and more nostalgic, as he aged. In “Wynken, Blynken and Nod,” a bedtime story, three children sail and fish among the stars from a boat that is a wooden shoe. The little fishermen symbolize a sleepy child’s blinking eyes and nodding head. The poem became an immensely popular fixture in the cultural lexicon. In the 1960s and ’70s, musicians like Cass Elliott, Donovan, and The Doobie Brothers all sang versions of the song, and in an early version of Lou Reed’s song “Satellite of Love,” the names “Harry, Mark, and John” are sung as “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.”

The three smokestacks at the Lansing Board of Water & Light in Lansing, Michigan, are known locally as “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.”

The popular video game Pac-Man (1980) features four ghosts to be avoided. Their names, “Blinky,” “Inky,” “Pinky,” and “Clyde,” are homage to Field’s poem.

Field’s poetry became a staple of school primers throughout the 20th century. More than 30 elementary schools in the Midwest and Southwest are named for him. About reading, he said: “All good and true book-lovers practice the pleasing and improving avocation of reading in bed […] No book can be appreciated until it has been slept with and dreamed over.”

Wynken, Blinken and Nod
by Eugene Field

Listen Online

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,-
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe;
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew;
The little stars were the herring-fish
That lived in the beautiful sea.
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish,-
Never afraid are we!”
So cried the stars to the fishermen three,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam,-
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home:
‘Twas all so pretty a sail, it seemed
As if it could not be;
And some folk thought ’twas a dream they’d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea;
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:-
And Nod.
“Wynken, Blinken and Nod” by Eugene Field. Public Domain