January 25, 2019

Since launching in 2016, the group video chat app Houseparty has attracted a dedicated userbase of young people looking to talk with their friends wherever they please. “Houseparty is basically the third place for Generation Z and young millennials,” said co-founder Sima Sistani. “What they’re doing there is hanging out in the way we used to in the backyard, the basement, or in my case — the Waffle House.” And unlike many other Silicon Valley startups, Houseparty doesn’t plan to Continue reading

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January 24, 2019

For luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, maintaining an image of elegance and sophistication is essential for success. After all, high-end consumers might not be willing to hand over huge amounts of cash to a company that has fallen out of fashion. In order to remain in control of its image, Louis Vuitton has often been quick to file lawsuits against knockoff businesses that place its signature logo onto poorly made items. Along with targeting bootleggers, however, the company also has Continue reading

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January 18, 2019

For many shoppers, a “buy one, get one free” deal is often too good to pass up. As this video shows, though, “BOGO” promotions aren’t as special as many consumers perceive them to be.

Questions:

  1. How do “buy one, get one free” deals sometimes deceive customers?
  2. Why do retailers like Amazon show customers a product’s original list price along with the discounted price?
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January 17, 2019

Nearly four years ago, we published a blog post centered on companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat who claimed to be creating the future of food. Both of these startups developed plant-based alternatives to meat that looked and tasted similar to the real thing, an idea which seemed straight out of science fiction at the time. Fast forward to 2019, though, and now consumers can purchase Beyond Meat’s burger patties at any Whole Foods location that manages to keep Continue reading

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January 15, 2019

Back in 2016 we took a look at the enormous legal fight surrounding talcum powder produced by Johnson & Johnson. At the time, a judge ruled that the company had to pay $72 million to a group of 60 plaintiffs who said they contracted ovarian cancer from using J&J baby powder. But that settlement was far from the end of the pharmaceutical giant’s problems as it continues to face thousands of talc-related lawsuits all over the country.

In fact, Continue reading

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December 7, 2018

The video game industry has grown into a global juggernaut. Last year, consumers around the world spent more than $100 billion on games, more than double the amount spent on movies. As this in-depth video shows, however, some video game companies have started to earn all that money by operating like casinos. From examining the business model of “loot boxes” to the ways that video games track customer data, this long but fascinating video provides an excellent assessment of an Continue reading

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December 4, 2018

A couple of years ago, a pair of video game developers received a deeply worrying email from the British Red Cross. “It has been brought to our attention that in your game ‘Prison Architect’ a red cross emblem is displayed on vehicles,” read the email. “Those responsible may be unaware that use of the red cross emblem is restricted under the Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims.” Little did the two developers know, but their placement of a Continue reading

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November 16, 2018

In 2001, a company called Segway introduced a two-wheeled “personal transporter” that it claimed would revolutionize how people traveled in big cities. 17 years later, though, and the Segway is mainly a vehicle for security guards and tourists. Along with chronicling the ways that the company failed to live up to expectations, this video also looks at how Segway could still leave a big impact on the transportation industry.

Questions:

  1. Why did Segway fail to connect with consumers in the Continue reading
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November 15, 2018

Last year, Amazon announced that it would build a second headquarters somewhere in the United States. Known as “HQ2,” the project generated instant interest among dozens of cities that wanted to attract the e-commerce giant to their communities. After all, Amazon said the headquarters would bring in at least 50,000 high-paying tech jobs, which could have a significant economic impact anywhere in the country. Cities then offered generous benefits and tax breaks in an effort to woo the company. While Continue reading

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November 13, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, more than 20,000 Google employees staged a walkout to protest the search giant’s handling of sexual harassment claims. Along with demands to improve the process for reporting harassment, the protesters also called for Google to end forced employee arbitration. This controversial tactic requires staffers to settle any legal disputes out of court, usually through an independent arbitrator rather than a judge and jury.

Critics of the policy say that this system protects serial harassers by Continue reading

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