This Month in Review! March 2014

Tuesday, April 01 2014

Don't be surprised if the films contending for next year's Oscars are based on the events of this March. It has been a dramatic month, including a Cold War sequel (Crimean Conflict), A Titanic-like storytelling of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 and even the heartbreaking story of the victims of the natural catastrophe, the Oso Mudslide. Luckily it was also Women's History Month, and the uplifting stories of women have been breaking the mold will also give you something to smile about.

march-review-news-obama-putin-faceoffReality is stranger than fiction
The month began with the 86th Annual Academy Awards for Motion Pictures, where 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, Cate Blanchette (Blue Jasmine) for best Actress and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) for Best Actor. Not surprisingly, though the real-life drama provided by the news has quickly overshadowed the Oscars.

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Russian President, Vladimir Putin, not content with the attention garnered during the Sochi Winter Olympics, has begun to stir Cold-War anti-Russian sentiment by performing his role of the perfect Russian villain. While the rest of the world was celebrating Ukraine's new independence from former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, Russia was building its backing among Russian-speaking citizens of the Crimean Peninsula  which borders both the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
True to military drama style, Russian troops seized control of the region after a referendum in which Crimean citizens voted to be re-annexed to Russia. The international community has been up in arms, US President Obama met European leaders, excluding Russia from the G-8 now G-7 meeting, and even implementing sanctions so that Russia does not extend its presence in the region. On Saturday news was filled with talk of the direct phone call between Putin and Obama (Vladimir called Barack), to discuss a possible diplomatic solution. Secretary of State, John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Sunday to end the crisis talks. And you thought your relationship was complicated.

On March 8th, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 went missing on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Two weeks later "unidentifiable" objects were spotted by satellites in the Indian Ocean. The Malaysian government has declared that the plane terminated its flight there, however the various international rescue missions have yet to arrive to the search zones due to the extraordinary effort required to navigate such "inhospitable seas" according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abott. Chinese relatives of the missing have traveled to Kuala Lumpur to express their anger at the lack of information surrounding the incident.
Even Bitcoin's corruption scandals were reminiscent of the Wolf of Wall Street.

National politics too deserve an Emmy for the constant finger-pointing and noise over even mundane issues. Obamacare takes the cake – Monday, March 31st is the last day to sign up for the Affordable Health Care Coverage. So far, after President Obama's comedy skit on Zach Galifianakis's "Between Two Ferns" show to drum up noise about the plan, 9.5 million people have signed up. The campaign also demonstrates the social media know-how that the administration is known for.
Sadly, we have also had some natural tragedies to speak of. The search continues for missing people in the Oso, WA Mudslide, where at least 60 people are still missing.

Technology News

  • Yahoo continues its trend of aqui-hires, which has led many to praise the direction set by CEO Melissa Mayer. She has begun a focus on proprietary features and the internet service will no longer allow users to log in with their google or Facebook accounts.
  • Facebook has made it clear that investing in new technologies is important to its strategy. After the purchase of messaging service Whatsapp in February, it has announced the purchase of virtual reality gaming company, Oculus for $2billion.
  • Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Weibo are preparing for their IPO on the NYSE. 
  • An unlikely partnership has hit the market: Office for iPad. It just shows how companies can reinvent themselves.

girlscouts-cookies-salesYou Go Girl!
March was, of course, Women's history month. Despite the disappearance of Flight MH370 decided on International Women's Day, a lot of women came together to celebrate the achievements women have made. There are now more women on the Forbes Billionaire List than ever. To celebrate the event, leading businesswomen and men, including Arianna Huffington, gathered at the OC Business Summit and shared their wisdom on success.

Perhaps the most inspiring news comes not from a ranking of the 1%, but from 12 year old Katie Francis who has broken the record for Girl Scout cookie sales. Her entrepreneurial spirit reflects the mission of the worldwide organization to empower young girl; she is an example of the real everyday successes that young girls and women everywhere can look up to.

This was a busy month for budding entrepreneurs everywhere as they decide how to structure their companies, find financing, and build their teams. If you know how to make stress your ally, you'll learn to see the experience as a game and truly enjoy the creative process of making your dreams a reality. That's the happiest ending we could wish for you.

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