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November 14, 2006

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/14/06

Former Trade Exchange Owner Ray Bastarache Scores Again...Turning $50,000 Into $5.2 Million

Our cover story of BarterNews Issue #20, published in 1989, was about Ray Bastarache, the young, ambitious, and extremely focused 28-year-old founder of BarterNetwork Inc. (BNI).

My visit to Milford (CT), where I spent three days with Bastarache, was a most noteworthy one. For the first time, I became aware of how the second generation of exchange owners...the younger ones...were different than their predecessors.

It was Bastarache who first suggested that his generation would be the ones to truly tap the potential and riches of the commercial barter industry.

And it was a decade later that Bastarache did so, selling his company to the first of the dot-com venture capital firms? (The sale was announced at the IRTA convention in Vancouver, Canada, and reported on in Issue #51.)

In that sale Bastarache, unlike his peers, again showed wisdom beyond his years, when he chose to take all cash, rather than the promise of a greater return in stock and options. (Which in retrospect was the right move, as BarterTrust ultimately filed bankruptcy.)

Never satisfied, he was involved in other business ventures while running BNI. Among his most profitable moves was the purchase of a large Milford downtown office building in 1992. He picked it up from the FDIC in a foreclosure sale, for $50,100.00.

I vividly remember our phone conversation after the deal was completed, when he ecstatically explained that he had negotiated to lease some of the spaces in the underground parking garage back to the city, which would cover most of the amortization of the building?s loan he had just finalized. Quite an accomplishment for a young man in his thirties!

Bastarache quickly took action, making necessary improvements and turning the vacant shell into commercial offices. He then moved BNI into the building and leased out the remaining space. Much of the improvements were done on trade.

Last week Bastarache, who now lives in Massachusetts, sold the Harbor Towers Building at 1 New Haven Avenue for $5,225,000...100 times the amount he paid for it.

Active International Appoints Thomas Ruderman

Forty-eight-year-old Thomas W. Ruderman has been appointed chief human resources officer of Active International, a corporate barter and global marketing company.

Ruderman?s experience is impressive. His 20 years of human resources experience include more than 15 years with General Electric Company and most recently as senior vice president of HR with Citigroup?s credit card business. Prior to that he was vice president of HR for CIGNA Health Services.

Author/Speaker Uses & Promotes Barter (ITEX) On His Web Site

In his new book, ?MORE Business Lessons For Entrepreneurs: Volume 2,? Mark Csordos continues to deal with the mental and emotional aspects of starting and running a business. The book is a sequel to ?Business Lessons For Entrepreneurs: 35 Things I Learned Before The Age Of Thirty.?

In his most recent book, Csordos has a chapter on the use of barter. On his web site,, he actively promotes his use of ITEX and sells his books and other programs on trade.

The Internet Pales In Comparison To The Innernet

What is the most complex network yet developed? If you guessed the world wide web, guess again.

The human brain, with its electrochemical matrix of over one hundred billion neurons, makes the internet look like a fancy spider?s web. Within the brain, each neuron is linked to about 50,000 other neurons...making a total of one hundred trillion connections.

The Future Is Bright For Boomers Becoming Entrepreneurs

According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, adults ages 55 to 64 have been the group most likely to start a new business in the past decade. Older entrepreneurs often tap their 401(k) or home equity for working capital, but, surprisingly, banks are interested in later-life entrepreneurs.

Why? They have networks and experience, and their kids are out of the house. Indeed, strong networks are what separate thriving retiree entrepreneurs from all the rest. In short, boomers who learned how to win friends and influence people have a bright future.

Some Manufacturing Leaving China For Less-Expensive Locations

The lowest-end production is starting to migrate away from China to areas that can offer even less-expensive conditions than China. Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Vietnam, have become the new hot spot for manufacturing.

In a way, China has become a victim of its own success. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, a group that has collectively been a bigger investor in China than either the U.S. or the European Union, decreased total investment 6.5% in 2005...but in the first half of 2006 plunged 31%.

Home Builders Actions Showed Good Insight

As the housing market recedes, the recent reports on builders who used options when buying land, to reduce their exposure to the growing uncertainties of the real estate market, reflected their wisdom.

According to a report by Credit Suisse, builders have reduced their exposure by using more options on land, so they can walk away from deals. The report says that at the end of last year, 46% of such options contracts were utilized in 2005, 42% in 2004 and 12% in earlier years.

All back issues of "From the Desk...? can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a ?box? at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)

Don?t Take Entrepreneurs? Accomplishments For Granted

Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism says we all tend to take today?s accomplishments and opportunities for granted, whereas our ancestors could not have imagined what we all now have.

In the last 100 years more wealth has been created than in the previous 100,000 years, and it is not because we work more. It?s new ideas that have made it possible for us to work smarter and find easier ways to satisfy our needs and demands.

Who should we thank? According to Norberg it?s the innovators and entrepreneurs. Those who venture into uncharted territory and open up new routes...people who find new markets, create new products, organize work in new ways, design new technology of new medicines.

Although these problem-solvers who search out inefficiencies constantly revolutionizing our economy have made it possible for average people to live longer and healthier lives, with more access to technology than the kings had in previous generations, they just don?t get the credit.

Radical improvement by entrepreneurs have never gotten the acclaim deserved. If such improvements had been accomplished by political leaders and central planning, it would have been celebrated as humanity?s greatest achievement.

But that?s not how entrepreneurs have been perceived for all of their achievements. Luckily for us, the creative ability of the entrepreneur will continue and all of us will be the beneficiaries.

New Business Model For Private Aviation

Fractional jet companies, like Warren Buffett?s NetJets (they lost $80 million last year), may have major competition from a new business model in the form of Blue Star Jets. Blue Star owns no aircraft and needn?t worry about costs like pilot training and maintenance.

The firm is a broker between people who want to charter a plane or helicopter, and the owners or managers of some 4,000 aircraft. They are already profitable, with sales of over $100 million and the exclusive brokership for Donald Trump?s online travel agency.

Co-founders and owners of Blue Star, Todd Rome and Richard Sitomer (both 37), pay salespeople on commission with top earners reportedly making more than $1 million a year. They spend as much as a million a month in marketing, buying ads in luxury magazines, spending $200,000 to host an annual society event at Rome?s Hampton estate, and developing partnerships with Canyon Ranch Spas.

New Service Could Provide An Assist For Private Jet Flights

If you know where to look, you will find deep discounts on typical private-jet rates by hooking up with empty seats on flights that are booked for one-way trips. (Most available flights have either just delivered a customer or are en route to pick up a customer.)

A search engine titled Empty Legs is offered by OneSky Jets, a private jet company, at Of the nearly 2,700 private jets flown every day, an estimated 40% fly empty legs, according to OneSky.

Here?s an example of what you could expect. A typical charter for eight passengers from Seattle to Las Vegas might cost $20,000, a recent flight on empty Legs went for just over $6,000. A one-way first-class ticket for the same route runs close to $400.

Online Travel Giant Expedia, Launches Loyalty Program For Travel Bookings

Expedia has announced that it will work with one of the biggest names in credit cards to persuade customers to spend more money with them.

The huge online travel giant is launching its first loyalty program but instead of inventing its own points for people to collect, it will give them ?ThankYou? points, a currency that 10 million Citigroup customers already accumulate.

Expedia?s move is seen as an example of how online travel services are seeking to increase customer loyalty, in a young industry where customers are fickle and eager to try the latest new booking tool.

The link-up with Expedia marks the first time that a large outside partner has offered Citigroup?s points as its own de facto loyalty program.

Hotel General Managers

Here?s The Easiest $100,000 You?ll Ever
Bring To The Bottomline!

Collect cash, as usual, from the guest accounts staying at your facility that require the use of professional AV services. And rather than shouldering your ongoing employee costs, or your current vendor?s cash agreement for AV services, here?s a much better alternative:

Work with a proven national vendor (a sterling 25-year track record) who will provide all of the AV services for your hotel on a 100% TRADE BASIS! (Payment to be in the form of hotel rooms and/or trade dollars.)

Your hotel?s annual AV billings must be a minimum of $200,000, and this offer is available only in the continental United States.

For a confidential introduction contact Bob Meyer via e-mail: (Please type in AV Services On Trade in the subject line of your e-mail.)

Attention Trade Exchange Owners:

If your member hotel(s) have a minimum of 10,000 sq. feet of meeting space and annual billings of at least $200,000 for AV services this is a great opportunity to earn substantial cash service fees on the hundreds of thousands of trade dollars your hotel member will be paying the vendor. Contact Bob Meyer at the above e-mail.


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today?s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital?which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our ?Secondary Capital Section.? Check it out...

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