April 30, 2014

In our increasingly connected world, people are constantly generating new data about themselves. While social networks collect a record of one’s feelings, sensors that measure sleep patterns and Wi-Fi-enabled scales can keep track of vital statistics. To tech experts, all this seemingly vain information may actually lead to the next great innovation: predictive computing. Soon enough our gadgets will know us so well that they won’t just store our to-do lists, they might actually write the lists themselves.

Many smartphone Continue reading

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April 21, 2014

When it comes to entertainment, kids today have more options than ever before. Increasingly, though, they’ll opt to play a game on a mobile device like a smartphone or iPad. This is bad news for toy makers, who have watched a large amount of their market share shift to gadgets. Except for Lego, that is. The Danish stackable bricks brand reached a low point in 2003 after experimenting with the design of some of its products. Since then, Lego’s focus Continue reading

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April 16, 2014

If there’s one snack Americans love, it’s chips and dip. But more than a few snackers would be turned off if they found a big bowl of hummus next to their tortilla chips. That’s because 80 million people in the U.S. have no idea the popular Mediterranean chickpea dip even exists. Over the last few years the food company Sabra has been trying to change that fact by making hummus more accessible to American palettes. After all, with only 26 Continue reading

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April 13, 2014

In the days before the Internet, consumers had two choices if they wanted more information about a product: either ask a friend or consult the item’s marketing. And since people in those days weren’t able to stay in constant communication with everyone they knew, most had to opt for the latter. Nowadays, though, consumers have no shortage of options available when they want to shop around. Studies commissioned by Google show that consumers consult an average of 10.4 sources before Continue reading

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April 7, 2014

Over the years, thousands of brands have established pages on Facebook in order to reach the social network’s hundreds of millions of users. Although companies can purchase banner ads or sponsor certain posts, many prefer to use the service’s free features to reach consumers organically. But as Facebook becomes stuffed with content, fewer and fewer posts pop up in a user’s feed. In October 2013, just 12 percent of a page’s content reached people who had “liked” that page. By Continue reading

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April 3, 2014

 

Although Americans love sports, they’ve never quite warmed up to soccer the same as with other pastimes. But interest in the world’s most popular game has been growing steadily as more TV stations pick up games from top-flight European leagues. However, some Americans are busy building their own soccer culture. The Portland Timbers, for instance, have sold out every Major League Soccer home game since their founding four years ago. Thanks to a clever launch and solid marketing, the Continue reading

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March 26, 2014

For many people, learning a second language is often a necessary step to take in order to climb up the career ladder. Of the 1.2 billion people across the world currently learning a foreign language, more than 800 million are studying English to get a better job. But language learning is such a time-consuming and expensive enterprise that many people are forced to end their instruction before reaching fluency. Even alternatives to personal tutoring, such as the popular software line Continue reading

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March 15, 2014

At first glance it may be difficult to figure out what a tech giant like Google shares in common with the women’s feature-smoothing undergarment line Spanx. Although they may seem like completely different operations, both companies share one crucial element: they each have memorable founding stories. With Google, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page hammered out their first search engine while holed up in a friend’s garage. Meanwhile, Sara Blakely demonstrated the power of Spanx by using a pair of Continue reading

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January 24, 2014

Over the past few decades farming towns across America have seen populations drop as more young people leave their rural homes behind in favor of big cities. However, urban living today doesn’t present as many opportunities as in the past. Not only do cities demand a higher cost of living, but also chances for career advancement can diminish given the large talent pool.

That’s the situation systems manager Wallace Harwood encountered at his job with an energy company in Lexington, Continue reading

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January 23, 2014

As emerging markets like India and Brazil continue to grow, more and more of their citizens will enter the middle class. This relatively untapped consumer group presents plenty of lucrative opportunities for companies across the globe. However, finding the right products to sell to this expanding class is not so simple, even for companies operating in their home countries. For instance, Tata Motors launched its ultra-cheap Nano model as an introductory vehicle for Indian consumers. But with a price tag Continue reading

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