Guitar Smash Turns Into Sour Note for United

Still not sure about this social media thing and how it might have an impact on your business? While there are positive stories (and many more to come), read on about how airline arrogance came back to haunt United — thanks to a video message and blog.

With a smashed $3,500 guitar by United baggage handlers and a frustrating customer experience involving denied resolution, country singer Dave Carroll got innovative.

Thanks to digital production capacity and some remarkable creativity, Carroll and his band put together a finely tuned video message chronicling the debacle. The four-minute and 37-second video subsequently went viral and so far has attracted no less than 4.5 million views on YouTube.

Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove wrote: “United is [now] feeling the wrath of citizen journalism, the social Web and the millions of airline travelers who can identify with Carroll’s experience.” columnist Michael Snyder of The MEK Group has the full story.

A More Robust Recovery Here at Home

Two Michaels (or Mikes in the less formal approach) combine to offer an interesting and refreshing take on our current economic status. Michael Snyder, principal of The MEK Group (a business development consulting firm), also writes a weekly column for Michael Hicks, the director of Ball State’s Center for Business & Economic Research, is a leading state economist.

In an interview with Snyder, Hicks presents an uplifting — but still realistic — view of the downturn and the prospects for when the turnaround will occur. Some economic indicators are starting to turn, Hicks says, and an official end to the recession may be closer than what many think. The practical recovery, unfortunately, takes a while longer.

Hicks also offers that the competitive advantage Indiana has built up in recent years will pay strong dividends in the revival phase. Some former Hoosiers with that entrepreneurial spirit might well find it a good time to come back home.

Read the full story. And thanks to both Mikes for their continuing efforts.

Lilly’s Future: Not a Bad Economic Club Start

If you weren’t paying attention to John Lechleiter’s Economic Club of Indiana speech on Wednesday about the future of Eli Lilly and Company, you appear to have been one of the few.

More than 800 people attended the season-opening event at the Indiana Convention Center. Media coverage was far and wide, especially when it was anticipated that Lechleiter would deliver a hard-hitting commentary on the company’s future direction. He delivered.

Industry innovation, the company’s staggering stock price and the negative pharmaceutical image are the "800-pound gorillas" awaiting action. Lilly, like it has during its long history, has a plan and is implementing it. Will it mean fewer jobs in the future? Likely. Will the company remain a local, state, national and international powerhouse? We hope so.

Michael Snyder, principal of The MEK Group, writes an informative weekly column for Check out his summary for a good review of what Lechleiter had to say.

Next up for the Economic Club: William Kristol on October 27, eight days before the election. Sounds like another great one.