Today’s Idea Machine topic is to list 10 companies that I use often and find out if they are publicly-traded on a stock exchange.
This topic seems a bit random, so I’m guessing it will come up again at some point later in the book. Perhaps as the basis for coming up with ideas of businesses I could start to offer a product or service that competes with these companies. Maybe James Altucher is doing market research, but that’s less likely to be the motivation for this topic since most people probably aren’t blogging about their ideas.
Backstory: I’m blogging my way through Claudia Altucher’s book, Become an Idea Machine [Amazon affiliate link]. Here’s why I’m publishing these random ideas posts to the Ben Franklin Follies.
Publicly-Traded Companies I Do Business With Each Day
By “do business” I mean I use their product or service. I’m excluding Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter since Claudia said to go with the non-obvious publicly-traded companies that I use daily.
1. Alabama Power: The Southern Company
I need electricity and this is the only way I can get it.
I need natural gas for hot water heater and and this is the only source available to me.
Perhaps solar will someday be an option to replace Alabama Power and Alagasco, at least most of the time, but for now it’s not a viable option for me, due to cost of installation and inability to sell my excess solar capacity back to the grid (thank you Alabama Power and the coal industry for preventing that).
3. Ford Motor Company
I drive an 2003 Ford Explorer. Why? I like it and it’s the most reliable American-made auto in my budget and I need an SUV-size truck. I have almost always driven a Ford vehicle. My father and grandfather were employed by Ford Motor Company before the company closed the plant after the tax incentives expired.
In a perfect world I would drive a hybrid or electric vehicle in town (or have fast, clean and reliable public transportation) and have a high-speed rail system to make longer trips. But I live in Alabama and neither are options.
I need phone service and I like T-Mobile better than the others. I’ve been using T-Mobile since it acquired Voicestream/Powertel, the provider I was using back in the 90s. I don’t like Verizon or AT&T and I was happy with T-Mobile’s customer service I like the fact that T-Mobile provides a modicum of competition to the bigger fish in the market and by staying with T-Mobile I’m at least fighting against the monopolization of mobile in the US.
5. Nestle: Purina
Most of the time, I feed my cats Purina Beyond. It’s the best quality grain-free cat food in my budget.
6. Publix and Whole Foods
I buy a lot of fresh produce and fresh meats so I tend to stop by one of these two stores pretty regularly. Not daily, but I’m one or the other at least twice each week. Aldi is my other preferred grocery source but it’s not publicly-traded.
My first choice for produce and meats are the farmers markets, but we don’t have any open for 4-5 months out of the year.
My current mobile phone is an HTC One.
My refrigerator, washer and dryer are all manufactured under the Whirlpool brand. I chose those because of good ratings in Consumer Reports.
I use my Nikon DSLR camera daily. I chose Nikon because of its stellar reputation among professional photographers.
I need InDesign and/or Photoshop to teach the classes I teach and to complete many of my projects. I need those because they are the current industry-standard software for page design. I could probably get by without Photoshop, using alternatives, but InDesign really has no competition that I have identified.