GOOD

I’m on a narrow road punched with potholes and uneven gravel. To both sides of me are fields of water stretched to the far edge of the horizon. If I were on an airplane looking down, I’d see a gorgeous mosaic of mirrors, silvery and still, divided into perfect rectangles.

Rice farmer Charley Mathews Jr.’s family has been working the land in California’s Sacramento Valley since the late 1800s. We’re standing near the water-swollen paddies that populate his 700-acre farm in Yuba County, an hour north of Sacramento proper. The soil is compacted, and the hardpan, a few feet beneath the surface, restricts fluid percolation. This is a good thing. The land, once regarded as wasteland, is perfect for rice farming, turning fields into giant bathtubs. Mathews’ great-grandfather, who came to California from Ireland, started his business growing produce to feed the miners in the gold fields. “Miners, all they had was gold dust. They were starving,“ Mathews says.

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Six Gifts for Creativity, Sustainability, and Giving Back

GOOD has assembled a holiday shopping guide for those looking to gift something a little different or support those in need.

It's about that time of year when we're all frantically trying to hunt down those last-minute gifts for our loved ones. To help guide you to some gifts off the radar, here is a short list of some inspiring products and services that we discovered at GOOD.is this past year.

1. A Shirt That Kids Can Play With—The Itty Bitty Project

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How Patience Was the Key to Building Our Business

Since we started Apolis in 2004, we have learned some valuable lessons about running a business.   Don't worry if everyone is moving faster...

Since we started Apolis in 2004, we have learned some valuable lessons about running a business.

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In recent years, some of the best products and businesses have been created when local concerns are met with sophisticated solutions. There seems to be a magic formula developing: when city-based designers with an aptitude for technology can identify a unique concern of their neighbors and set out to develop a tailored solution, a beautiful invention is delivered. These advancements eventually spread, and are useful for society at large. For example, prototypes for low-cost DIY geiger counters appeared in Japan only weeks after the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. Similar sensors made their way into start-up Lapka’s product: a cord of sensors that plug into your iPhone for measuring radiation, humidity, temperature, and other conditions.
Technology development has become democratized and localized. No longer are tech devices the domain of corporate R&D houses inside Apple, Samsung, or Nokia. In fact, most of what we’ve seen in the past few years in New York City are city-based startups developing and selling their own hardware devices. Since these entrepreneurs and their development teams are embedded in the context and user-base they’re designing for, the process is quite focused, lean, and iterative.

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You've Proven Your Start Up Can Work; Now What?

The Boba Guys evaluate their food start up after six months of iteration.

The past six months since launching Boba Guys have been a blast for us. As we wrote this post, we were reminiscing about the long nights of tastings, running around the city trying to find straws, and chance encounters with fellow food entrepreneurs. To say that this experience has been a dream come true would be an understatement.

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