March 23, 2014

Modern tech startups tend to be stereotypically categorized as venture capital-driven social media companies. But while popular websites like Facebook and Twitter receive loads of attention, the sheer number of users they need to drive their businesses sets them apart from other startups. As a result, many entrepreneurs are steering clear of heavily hyped social media startups in favor of more traditional enterprises, such as business-to-business (B2B) sales.

Sure, it’s unlikely that any B2B company will grow to the point 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 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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January 1, 2014

This video takes a look at how BlackBerry went from the hottest smartphone on the market to a victim of its own success.

 

http://nyti.ms/1kRYQDu

 Questions:

  1. What’s the important lesson to be learned from this video?
  1. What does it mean that Blackberry failure was due to “commitment escalation?”

From The New York Times

 

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December 3, 2013

Research and development has long been an expensive element of the auto industry. For decades devising even the smallest addition to an engine could cost millions of dollars and take as long as eight months to accomplish. But thanks to advances in technology over the last five years, engineers can now test dozens of designs within a virtual environment. As a result, automakers are at last seeking affordable innovations in fuel efficiency and overall vehicle performance.

For instance, in 2010 Continue reading

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November 30, 2013

 

People today are becoming less and less dependent on cash, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at most vending machines. More than 40 percent of American adults said in a recent survey that they could go a week without paying for something in cash. Meanwhile, many of the nation’s vending machines continue to accept only bills and coins. This reluctance to change likely led to the vending industry’s 18.3 percent drop in sales between 2007 and 2011. When Continue reading

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November 24, 2013

Coming up with innovative products and services is no simple task for companies to accomplish. After all, most new item that businesses roll out takes years of research and development, a costly investment that’s not guaranteed to succeed. In order to avoid R&D burnout, many companies have held competitions in the hopes of finding a great idea from outside the organization. And according to a new MIT study, this might just be the most efficient way for companies to innovate. Continue reading

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November 19, 2013

 

For many image-conscious consumers, product customization provides a way to stand out from the crowd without searching high and low for something totally unique. At Big Shot Bikes, for instance, customers can choose the color and shape of up to 10 parts of the Colorado company’s fixed gear bikes. Once customers select their preferences, Big Shot assembles the bicycles and ships them to the buyers for under $500. With such a relatively reasonable price tag, the company wants consumers Continue reading

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November 13, 2013

As Americans become more health conscious, food companies have had to come up with increasingly creative ways to keep people snacking. In fact, just last month we featured an article in the newsletter about how smaller packaging can lead people to eat more than they normally would. But for a growing number of consumers, fatty snacks like candy and potato chips are to be avoided no matter how they’re packaged. That’s why a number of niche brands have popped up Continue reading

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