Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What's Cooking in the Incubator?

At the State of the City address in 2012, Mike included as part of his speech the intention to form a "business incubator".

Sounds good on the surface.  With the business community paying the majority of taxes and fees to the City, and a high number of entrepreneurs creating their own jobs, who doesn't want to develop small businesses and help them reach their potential?

I wish I could say there has been progress on this, but the fact is no one knows for sure.   All inquiries into this project - including from people who have worked in these endeavors before and have experience - have gone unanswered.

No one has defined what this "incubator" is specifically going to accomplish, what business sectors are going to be targeted, what time frames are for goals, and especially - where is the money going to come from and how much.

The following commentary regarding business incubators is from a TechCrunch blog.  It specifically discusses IT business incubators but I believe the points can be expanded to any business field.

It's important because there is a perception that money is getting thrown around like confetti on non-priorities  with no reason or end in sight.  The last thing the City needs is an ultra-high-risk project with no definitions corralling it and no information distributed.

90% Of Incubators And Accelerators Will Fail And That’s Just Fine For America And The World

Key excerpts below.  Entire article in the link above.

I would like to present the claim that 90 percent of incubators will fail. By “failing,” I mean they don’t return (or don’t exceed) the money that was put into them. On what basis do I make my claim? Well, the hundreds of incubators are really startups, and the oft-cited rule of thumb is that 9 out of 10 startups fail.\ 
Is there any reason why incubators would be different from other startup spaces? Just as we’ve seen with daily deals, mobile apps and games, it’s clear only a few (maybe four or five) will become leaders in the category. The rest will absorb more capital than they can return, shut down, or pivot into something else. 
1. Too Many Companies, Too Little Mentorship
2. No Clear Funding Path After The “Program”
3.  Lack Of Business Development Resources

So - what exactly is the status of Dunwoody's proposed "incubator"?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


January 8 story here.

UPDATE:  the break has been patched to some degree and the crew is finishing their cleanup as of now (10:15 PM)  Tilly Mill Road is back open.  There was no service  shutoff and no boil water advisory.  Dodged a big bullet there.  There's going to be some big metal plates in the road.  Heads up for those if you're passing through during tomorrow's traffic.

That growing lake at Briers North Drive is not the result of our subdivision rehearsing for Halloween.

Some time around 9 or 10-ish this morning a major water line broke under the street  just south of Briers North on Tilly Mill Road.

Tilly Mill Road is closed and Briers North Drive is closed to all non-residents.

There is no boil water advisory however if you live in the area, fill your bathtubs and stock up on drinking water.  They're expecting  repairs to be ongoing "through the night".

Just got pictures....

When we left for Mass this morning, this stream was  a small enough puddle that we thought a neighbor accidentally left their garden hose on.  Apparently not.

DeKalb County sent a crew out and they are working here to find the valve  (one of several required) to stop the water flow.  What's that in the background behind the crewman's right shoulder?

Oh, that's just the GEYSER created when the backhoe was brought in to dig into the street and find the leak.  It started as a slow-ish trickle up through a buckle somewhere down the asphalt.

Yes, this is real and when these pictures were taken was at least 20 feet high.  The water exploded through the concrete when the crew started digging for the leak.  This is at the Madisons subdivision.  Tilly Mill road is closed to all non-residents from Eidson  up to about Laurelwood.

Thank you, DeKalb on-call crew.

The scary part.  When the water burst through the paving, it literally RAINED chunks of concrete.  Right onto the crew trucks.  This windshield didn't survive.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

UPDATED How NOT to add pedestrian islands and other niceties on Dunwoody streets

"Harry Pothole" has broadcast a couple of features regarding "pedestrian improvements" on streets around Atlanta.

In the clip below, the pedestrian island made the street so narrow that it was difficult for vehicles to navigate turns.  Another similar story aired today at 5 PM but isn't available on cbsatlanta.com at the moment.

Don't let this be one of the infamous "unintended consequences" of streetscaping here in Dunwoody.

CBS Atlanta 46

UPDATE:  Found it!  CBS Atlanta just posted the video from the other day.  The construction project in Midtown is *intended* to create a happy "pedestrian-friendly" streetscape.  But the construction has removed turning lanes and made the street so narrow that it is difficult to navigate.

Don't let this happen in Dunwoody.

(Here's the link in case the video doesn't appear below.)

CBS Atlanta 46