February 12, 2016

alphabetIn October 2015 Google underwent a thorough restructuring and emerged as Alphabet, a multinational corporate parent for the tech giant’s many enterprises. After all, Google has explored a variety of different fields in its 18-year history, including recent forays into self-driving cars and home automation. As these projects stacked up, however, managing them all under the Google name became difficult both for operational and marketing reasons. Now, separate companies working under Alphabet’s umbrella manage all these outside ventures. For instance, Continue reading

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February 8, 2016

Aside from being an exciting night for Denver Broncos fans, Super Bowl 50 didn’t exactly provide viewers with much entertainment on the field. In fact, the 63 commercials that aired nationally during the big event may have generated more online conversation than the game. But the impact of this year’s ads can’t be attributed solely to some sloppy play on the gridiron. After all, many brands now hype their ads with the same gusto as the NFL’s pregame festivities.

For Continue reading

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February 5, 2016

In Silicon Valley’s immensely competitive entrepreneurial environment, many startups end up failing shortly after they launch. But among these many fallen firms stand a few “unicorns,” or private tech companies with valuations worth more than $1 billion. At these lucky startups, the strategy is to increase the firm’s value as much as possible until it can be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does such a sale grant enormous payouts for founders and investors, it can also enrich regular Continue reading

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February 3, 2016

For almost a decade, the Brooklyn chocolate company Mast Brothers seemed to embody the New York borough’s newfound artisanal spirit. Touting their product as handcrafted “bean-to-bar” chocolate, founders Rick and Michael Mast took center stage in marketing campaigns that celebrated their candy’s quality and authenticity. Dressed in antiquated suits and sporting long Civil War-era beards, the pair soon became just as famous for their appearance as their $9 candy bars. But this meticulously crafted image may have been spoiled for Continue reading

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February 1, 2016

For many inventors, creating a machine that’s functional as well as popular can feel like striking gold, even if the actual material reward for their work isn’t exactly golden. That’s the situation Shane Chen found himself in since inventing the “hoverboard,” a two-wheeled, Segway-like vehicle that doesn’t quite float but has nevertheless been flying off the shelves. Unfortunately for Chen, many consumers are buying hoverboards from companies that have not paid him for his patented design. Instead, consumers are taking Continue reading

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January 29, 2016

Chipotle enjoyed years of rapid growth thanks in part to its heavily marketed commitment to fresh ingredients. However, that established image has crumbled over the last few months as the burrito chain grapples with a major E. coli outbreak at its restaurants. Chipotle’s problems began in summer 2015 when customers began falling ill in California and Washington. Attention then shifted across the country to more than 140 Boston College students who received food borne noroviruses from a local Chipotle. By Continue reading

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January 25, 2016

In 2014 more than three hundred million Indians were regular users of the Internet, representing nearly a quarter of the country. With that number expected to double by 2020, India is the fastest growing online market outside of China. However, there’s a crucial difference in the way these two Asian nations use the Web. While China’s government prohibits foreign digital services like Facebook from setting up shop, India welcomes them.

At least that’s the way it works in theory. After Continue reading

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January 22, 2016

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the revolutionary smartphone was instantly heralded as the future of mobile technology. The public and media only got more excited as the years went by and the device’s hardware improved with each subsequent generation. Over the last couple of years, however, the hubbub surrounding each new iPhone’s launch has died down significantly. After all, smartphones have been around for nearly a decade, making people so familiar with them that the incremental improvements made Continue reading

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January 20, 2016

Last year we featured a post about the unfortunate case of Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer. In need of a better truck for his business, he took his old Ford F-250 to a local dealership and traded it in for a newer model. The plumber didn’t give the transaction a second thought until about a year later when the complaints started rolling in. Due to the extraordinarily complicated nature of the global auto resale market, Oberholtzer’s truck somehow ended up in Continue reading

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January 18, 2016

For years the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza known as Black Friday commanded the attention of the nation. Even if people didn’t leave the comfort of their couches, they likely watched in awe as a procession of news reports detailed the long lines forming outside of stores and the chaos that ensued when they opened. But these once standard scenes of retail madness are becoming increasingly rare. Although Americans’ love affair with holiday shopping shows no sign of stopping, customers may have Continue reading

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