August 16, 2018

If you live in a large or mid-sized city, you’ve probably noticed a lot of brightly colored bicycles popping up on sidewalks throughout town. Whether they’re green bikes from Lime or Ofo’s yellow models, these two-wheeled vehicles are available to rent for as little as $1 per ride. Bike-share companies claim that this business model provides cities with a wealth of transportation options that both tourists and locals alike can easily access. For communities that have been absolutely flooded with Continue reading

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August 7, 2018

At the beginning of the year, we looked at how MoviePass planned to disrupt the multiplex by allowing subscribers to see as many movies as they liked for just $9.95 per month. Since the company paid theaters directly for every ticket obtained by its members, critics wondered how long MoviePass could operate before it ran out of money. In fact, the company was losing $45 million a month as it tried to amass a large user base. These losses unnerved Continue reading

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August 3, 2018

A few months ago, we looked at why our subject for the Chapter 8 profile in Understanding Business was leaving her position as CEO of the Campbell Soup Company. As the video below shows, however, Campbell’s problems began long before Denise Morrison took the top job.

Questions:

  1. Why has Campbell’s struggled to grow steadily in recent years?
  2. What do you think Campbell’s should do to start winning over young consumers who don’t like canned soup?
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July 31, 2018

Although people sometimes use “vanilla” as a byword for “boring,” the complicated global industry that surrounds this flavor is far from dull. 80 percent of the world’s vanilla crop is grown in Madagascar, which has the perfect climate for vanilla orchids. These plants only bloom one day a year and must be pollinated by hand, followed by another 9 months of waiting for the fruit to mature into pods. Then comes another weeks-long process of curing the plants using steam, Continue reading

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July 27, 2018

From smartphones to electric vehicles, many of today’s most innovative products depend on lithium-ion batteries to function. That’s why every year the tech industry upgrades these portable power sources to hold more and more charge. While this allows them to create better products (at least in theory), it also leads companies to discard a lot of technically obsolete batteries that can still collect energy. For instance, the lithium-ion units that power cars and buses can be used for Continue reading

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July 26, 2018

For the past few years, a number of technology companies have championed self-driving cars as the future of transportation. But recently the concept has received some bad press thanks to a string of accidents involving autonomous vehicles. For instance, last month a Waymo test car made headlines when it ended up in a five-car crash. Meanwhile, several Tesla vehicles in “driver-assist” mode have been involved in collisions, including one fatal incident. As a result, consumers are becoming more wary about Continue reading

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July 10, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup hits the home stretch this week, with the semifinals taking place today and tomorrow followed by the final match on Sunday. While the end of this month-long festival of soccer will be bittersweet for many fans, few people will be sadder to see it go than the people who run the Italian publishing house Panini. The company specializes in making stickers that feature every player in the tournament along with a free booklet to place Continue reading

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Last year, Billboard crowned the laid back party anthem “Despacito” the Song of the Summer as it racked up millions of streams on sites like Spotify and YouTube. And while there are plenty of contenders in the running for 2018’s title, they might not be able to take the same road to success that the makers of “Despacito” did. This video explains how Billboard is changing their rules about streaming platforms and why these changes could affect a song’s journey Continue reading

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In 1873, Colgate got its start by selling toothpaste stored in glass jars. Then about 20 years later the company began using collapsible tubes for storage, making it the first oral hygiene brand to do so. Colgate didn’t change much in the century that followed this revolutionary packaging decision, even after Palmolive purchased the company in the 1950s. And while it has since introduced new products like electric toothbrushes, Colgate’s central mission remains focused on selling as much toothpaste as Continue reading

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June 29, 2018

Along with serving as a hub for the tech industry, San Francisco is also home to some of the country’s best restaurants. Unfortunately, the city’s success has led to skyrocketing rent costs that are pricing out the low-income residents who staff these eating establishments. So with a high demand for fine dining but a small pool of potential employees, local restaurateurs have begun to search for ways to save on service without compromising quality.

The result is that more and Continue reading

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