The business landscape in the U.S. is unrecognizable from twenty years ago and I'd argue it's much better in a lot of ways.

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Today, it's imperative that a company large or small have a social mission and a story, not just a product or service. Consumers are far more willing to spend money with a company that is attached to a cause and has a tale to tell than a business with neither.

Companies like Bombas have become world renowned for their charitable work. If you are familiar with the show "Shark Tank" on ABC, you might recognize the name. They sell socks, but for every pair they sell, they donate one to someone affected by homelessness.

It's socially responsible, admirable and smart to position yourself this way. If I have a choice to buy socks from a company that's attached to a cause, and one that is not, I'll pick the charitable company 100% of the time.

We have such a company right in our backyard with all of the modern touch points. There is a wildly successful local company that has a social mission and a fun story, Lesser Evil Snacks out of Danbury, CT.

Lesser Evil's slogan is "simple acts and clean snacks." The company strives for "sustainability, transparency and innovation." They explain their mission in more detail on their website saying:

"We stand for the little things - both in our products and in this life - and it's the simple acts that make this world great.

We believe in a bigger purpose in life. By working on ourselves as a company, we can create the change we want to see in the world.

For us, that means interacting with customers as if they were our family. The care and cost we put into our products reflect our love.

We minimize our footprint by using organic inputs, composting our food waste, and using more environmentally friendly packaging.

We contribute to our community by nurturing our employees and donating our gifts where we can."

They don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. I know first hand that they back this up with action because Lesser Evil has partnered with us on Camping for Cans for years now.

Camping for Cans is an fund/food drive that we do every year to benefit the Hillside Food Outreach, a non-profit charity organization that feeds families in need in our local area. For the past several years, Lesser Evil has pulled one of their money-making trucks off the road for the weekend so we can use it to store and transport the food.

Then, there are the stories that companies use to get your attention, these come in all shapes and sizes. Lesser Evil does this as well, attaching what they call a "guru" to each one of their snack flavors. There is Homer, the face of their organic popcorn who has a very complete backstory. Homer is courageous, too competitive at yoga and loves the movie The Big Lebowski.

Homer is one of an array of gurus like Atlas who is the face of Lesser Evil's Power Curls. Atlas is strong, an expert in harmony and loves to sing "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne. The gurus and stories stretch on with their product line, and are all worth reading about while you eat their snacks. Check out all of their gurus and flavors here.

What does this have to do with the Danbury dog rock? The rock is ripe for the plucking, as the central character for a corporate fable. You can call him Dino the Danbury Dog and make Dino very relatable and lovable.

Dino lost his family at a young age and wandered the Northeast in search of them. Dino was unable to find his family but found a new one here in the Danbury. He's wonderful friends with Harry the Hat City Horse, Catrina the Candlewood Cat and Willy the White Street Wallaby.

Now I'm just giving away valuable intellectual property but as sure as I'm sitting here, this will happen. Someone will open a bakery next to the rock, co-op the story/image and sell muffins or mufflers. That someone should be me, now all I need to do is establish a business, find a charity and secure the financing, it shouldn't be that hard.

As far as I know, there is a real story behind the dog rock but I'm not the person who should tell it. I'm in search of just the right Danbury resident/amateur historian to tell the real story. I can say this much, I've heard that there is a reason behind the dog having two faces.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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When you are headed towards Candlewood Lake the dog is smiling.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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When you are driving away, the dog is frowning and the message is, you are happy when going to the lake, and sad when leaving it. If you are not from Danbury and have never seen the dog rock, go check it out on the corner of Hayestown Road and East Hayestown Road, right next to the Lakeside Pub.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano
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Please don't steal my idea, it's just obnoxious how often that happens.

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