No. 255: Good boardrooms, better breast surgeries, best way to drink Scotch

Best way to drink Scotch. Slowly.

That’s a wrap: It’s Friday, friends, and the end of another busy week for the Long Island innovation economy. Welcome new readers Betty, Beth and Elizabeth – we assume that’s three people – and please remember to tell your friends all about us.

Please also jeer us, revere us and otherwise keep us in the loop at Remember, it’s your innovation economy – we just chronicle it.

Those were the days: It’s Nov. 3, the 25th anniversary – can you believe that? – of Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton’s 1992 win over one-term President George H.W. Bush. Fair to say presidential politics have changed slightly in the last quarter-century.

Go west, Ernst & Young: The stalwart advisory announced Thursday it was relocating its U.S. headquarters from Manhattan to … Manhattan! Ernst & Young plans to shuffle from Times Square to Brookfield Property Partners’ Manhattan West project, where it will take some 17 floors and 600,000 square feet – and add some 1,000 new jobs, according to company officials.

An ouch upon our innovation: Speaking of EY, the international advisory paired recently with Junior Achievement of New York, the local affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, on an eye-opening survey highlighting National Entrepreneurship Month, which kicked off Nov. 1. Among the findings: 90 percent of parents would support their kids starting a business as adults, but only one in three teens is so inclined. Too risky, they say.

Try launching a news website sometime!


Man (and Superman): Entrepreneur Joshua Darbee has created a temporal disturbance in Port Jefferson, where his startup Red Shirt Comics – yes, Trekkers, those red shirts – is transporting customers back in time.

Happy returns: Sixteen months ago, the Northwell Health Cancer Institute tested out a new wireless-radar tech designed to improve outcomes from breast-cancer procedures. Now it’s everywhere.

To the Max: With “another exceptional quarter” under its belt, Port Washington industrial/tech distributor Systemax is set up for long-term success, according to CEO Larry Reinhold.

Merge ahead (maybe): South Nassau Communities Hospital and the Mount Sinai Health System are still dancing around a possible alliance. But the negotiations haven’t slowed the Oceanside hospital’s ambitious expansion.

About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.


Moustache is growing, We Connect the Dots is STREAMing and the “American diet” is trying to kill you.


Boardrooms slightly less white and male: Women and minorities account for half of the 397 newest independent directors at S&P 500 companies, according to an analysis of 2017 proxy statements by executive search firm Spencer Stuart. That is the highest proportion since the firm began tracking the data in 1998. The firm’s head of the North American board practice says pressure from institutional shareholders accounted for much of the progress.

Fitbit, GoPro Prove Hardware Is Still Hard: Further proof of the saying that “Hardware is hard” – Fitbit reported a net loss of $113 million for the quarter, mostly due to write-downs and other exceptional items. Revenue slumped 22 percent to $392 million, although that was marginally less dismal than the market had expected. Meanwhile GoPro shares fell 12 percent after it forecast a weak holiday season, despite a surprisingly healthy underlying profit in the third quarter.

A phone by any other name: Razer is best known among the video gaming set for its sleek, ultra-high performance PCs and laptops, so why not phones? The company, which plans to go public soon, introduced its first smartphone on Wednesday with plenty of gaming-friendly features like an unusually rapid 120Hz refresh rate display.

The hub next door: Rise of the Rest, an initiative pioneered by AOL co-founder Steve Case in an effort to highlight startups in tech hubs outside of San Francisco, New York City and Boston is raising $100 million for a new seed fund.

To the point: The founders of the Silicon Valley firm that created PowerPoint did not set out to make presentation software, let alone build a tool that would transform group communication throughout the world. Rather, PowerPoint was a recovery from dashed hopes that pulled a struggling startup back from the brink of failure—and succeeded beyond anything its creators could have imagined.

Quip: No, not your typical bon mot, but what you get when you mix industrial designers from New York and the UK: an idea for a better toothbrush and advice from a dentist.

By the numbers: Online holiday sales are predicted to surpass $100 billion for the first time this year, according to Adobe Digital Insights. More than half of retail site visits will come from mobile devices, 32 percent of shoppers will install a new retail app for holiday shopping and 64 percent already have at least one retail app installed.


Social snacking: Does happiness really come from within? Studies show that people who connect with other human beings, even strangers on a train or in the checkout line, report brighter moods.

Something new has been added: Themed boxes for the guys who give a damn. Thoughtful collections of goods from small-batch brands, delivered monthly.

Raising a glass: Drinking Scotch whiskey doesn’t have to be an exercise in stodginess. Here’s how to drink Scotch and have fun doing it.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support awesome firms like the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg. He does IDA deals like nobody’s business.

Compiled by Gregory Zeller and Marlene McDonnell. Thanks for reading.