In an earlier issue of the newsletter, we took a look at the methods that Chinese authorities use to curb the production of counterfeit merchandise. For the most part, these measures focused on reporting knockoffs of big names like Nike and Gucci. But combating pirated products isn’t solely the problem of multinational brands. For instance, in 2012 Jeff Sasaki took his iPhone accessory company Element Case to a Hong Kong trade show. When he arrived at the convention, he found Continue reading

Continue reading...

Even though the effects of the recession have eased in the last few years, some small businesses still can’t find banks willing to lend them money. After all, many financial institutions are looking to invest in established companies with little to no risk involved, qualities that most small businesses simply do not have. That’s where OnDeck Capital comes in. This lending startup touts itself as a disruptive financial force that can make loan assessments and send cash to companies within Continue reading

Continue reading...

 

When the stock market collapsed in 2008, the government deemed Wall Street’s ailing banks “too big to fail” and provided them with a multi-billion dollar bailout. The emergency loan ultimately saved the banks, but has provided no shortage of controversy ever since. To the financial sector’s critics, many of the problems caused by these banks stemmed from their enormous size. In fact, nothing much has changed since the financial collapse: the same five banks that dominated bond underwriting and Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 26, 2015

As the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America, Hershey is always reshaping the way it does business in order to remain at the top. Technology especially helps the Pennsylvania-based company improve in a number of key areas. For instance, the prevalence of online shopping and self-checkout lines are hurting Hershey’s sales from impulse buyers. To encourage more “unplanned purchases,” the company plans to add small kiosks near self-checkout machines and curbside pickup stations that will give customers one last chance Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 21, 2015

 

California’s Silicon Valley is known the world over as a hub of technological innovation. Along with established giants like Google and Facebook, the Bay Area suburb is home to countless startups hoping to launch the next big social network or app. But not every entrepreneur in the Valley is a code-focused Mark Zuckerburg-type. In one burgeoning industry, scientists at several startups are cooking up revolutionary ways to use plants as meat substitutes in food.

These aren’t like the bean Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 15, 2015

The mission of marketers is to make a product appealing to customers. To accomplish this task, ads often depend on eye-popping visual imagery or memorable music in order to form a quick impression. But as many marketers are beginning to realize, consumers have three more senses to stimulate besides sight and sound. Anything from a pleasing smell to a feeling of warmth can make people more receptive to buy, leading a number of companies to ramp up their sensory marketing Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 13, 2015

 

Americans may differ from one another in innumerable ways, but there’s at least one thing that unites most of us: our phones. Ninety-one percent of adults in the U.S. used a mobile phone in 2013, including 77 percent of Americans older than 65. Furthermore, people from around the globe are just as attached to their phones as we are. All told, the estimated number of mobile subscribers worldwide hovers somewhere around 4.5 billion people. In fact, mobile penetration is Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 11, 2015

Although the TV viewing habits of Americans have changed many times over the years, the statistics company Nielsen has remained a prime mover in the industry since the 1950s. The service uses various methods to measure the popularity of television shows, allowing media companies to come up with appropriate prices to charge advertisers for airtime. Each year, Nielsen provides the data that ultimately determines the allocation of more than $100 billion in ad spending.

With the rise of digital video Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 5, 2015

Each year the pharmaceutical industry develops new drugs that go a long way towards fighting some of the world’s worst diseases. For instance, Bristol-Meyers Squibb recently received FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval for Opdivo, a drug that significantly boosts the survival rate for sufferers of advanced melanoma. However, one major obstacle stands in the way of Opdivo’s ability to help patients: price. One year of treatment with the drug costs $150,000 per patient, an impossibly tall order for many Continue reading

Continue reading...

April 2, 2015

To many amateur investors, a company that brings in more than $1 billion in annual sales would seem like a pretty safe bet. But these numbers didn’t impress Wall Street hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson when he noticed them in a report about Lumber Liquidators. From his professional perspective, this small flooring retailer should not have been enjoying such large profit margins. Suspecting that the company was cutting corners in some way, he advised his clients to sell the company Continue reading

Continue reading...