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Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
SEPT. 18, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEVIN ROOSE.

Here are the keys to Best Buy’s turnaround, according to Mr. Joly:

1. Price, price, price

The most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” .....To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Mr. Joly announced a price-matching guarantee....Price-matching costs Best Buy real money, but it also gives customers a reason to stay in the store, and avoids handing business to competitors.

2. Focus on humans

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service & customer experience....Best Buy fixed its internal product search engine. It also restored a much-loved employee discount that had been suspended and embarked on an ambitious program to retrain its employees so they could answer questions about entirely new categories of electronics, such as virtual reality headsets and smart home appliances.....Customers had always loved Best Buy’s Geek Squad.....sometimes, people needed help before they bought big and expensive gadgets. So it started an adviser program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about what product they should buy, and how it should be installed....a pilot program last year, the service is now being rolled out nationwide.

3. Turn brick-and-mortar into showcase-and-ship

Best Buy’s online ordering system was completely divorced from its stores. If a customer placed an order on the website, it would ship from a central warehouse. If that warehouse didn’t have the item in stock, the customer was out of luck.....Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 % of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store.

Best Buy also struck deals with large electronics companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft to feature their products in branded areas within the store. Now, rather than jamming these companies’ products next to one another on shelves, Best Buy allows them to set up their own dedicated kiosks. (Apple’s area inside a Best Buy, for example, has the same sleek wooden tables and minimalist design as an Apple Store.) It’s a concept borrowed from department stores, and it’s created a lucrative new revenue stream. Even Amazon has set up kiosks in Best Buy stores to show off its voice-activated Alexa gadgets.

4. Cut costs quietly

Almost every business turnaround plan includes cutting costs. Best Buy has used the scalpel as quietly as possible, gradually letting leases expire for unprofitable stores and consolidating its overseas divisions, trimming a layer of middle managers in 2014, and reassigned roughly 400 Geek Squad employees within the company. No public rounds of layoffs, which can crater employee morale and create a sinking-ship vibe.

Best Buy has also found more creative penny-pinching methods. Once, the company noticed that an unusually high number of flat-screen TVs were being dropped in its warehouses. It revamped the handling process, reducing the number of times TVs were picked up by a clamp lift and adding new carts to prevent TV boxes from falling over. The changes resulted in less broken inventory and bigger profits.

5. Get lucky, stay humble and don’t tempt fate

It’s lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It’s lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it’s lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets.

“They’re at the mercy of the product cycles,” said Stephen Baker, a tech industry analyst at NPD Group. “If people stop buying PCs or they don’t care about big-screen TVs anymore, they have a challenge.”

Mr. Joly knows that despite Best Buy’s recent momentum, it’s not out of the woods yet. To succeed over the long term, it will need to do more than cut costs and match prices. Walmart, another big-box behemoth, is investing billions of dollars in a digital expansion with the acquisition of e-commerce companies like Jet and Bonobos, and could prove to be a fierce rival. Amazon has been expanding into brick-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and is moving into Best Buy’s home installation and services market....
“Once you’ve had a near-death experience,” he said, “arrogance, if you had it in your bones, has disappeared forever.”
Amazon  Best_Buy  big-box  CEOs  turnarounds  pilot_programs  nationwide  contra-Amazon  brands  kiosks  cost-cutting  luck  Wal-Mart  Jet  Bonobos  pricing  showrooming  price-matching  customer_service  search_engines  in-home  BOPIS  Samsung  Apple  Microsoft  store_within_a_store  consumer_electronics  product_cycles  customer_experience 
september 2017
Libraries Can Be More Than Just Books - The New York Times
By MATT A.V. CHABAN SEPT. 18, 2017

New York, graced with the generosity of Astor, Tilden and Carnegie, was foundational in the library movement. Today, those foundations are crumbling. Despite their popularity, and because of it, the city’s 212 branches face nearly $1.5 billion in capital needs. And that is simply to reach a state of good repair.

Chipping away at these needs can seem overwhelming. But New York has an opportunity, one shared by cities across the country, to improve library infrastructure while creating badly needed housing. By using aging branches as sites for development, new libraries may rise with affordable apartments on top. The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio should seize the chance at sites citywide to link these crucial needs.......
Libraries have become 21st-century settlement houses, providing a world of resources under one roof. They help bridge the digital divide, invest in early literacy and lifelong learning, increase language skills and serve as civic hubs. Let’s add affordable housing to the list.
affordable_housing  community_development  libraries  moguls  New_York_City  NYPL  partnerships  philanthropy  property_development 
september 2017
Is New York’s Best Pizza in New Jersey? - The New York Times
By PETE WELLS SEPT. 12, 2017

Razza NYT Critic’s Pick ★★★
275 Grove Street
(Montgomery Street)
201-356-9348
razzanj.com
pizza  New_Jersey  restaurants 
september 2017
St. Rose’s Alumni USA honors Minister Hughes, Fly Jamaica • Caribbean Life
September 13, 2017 / People / Guyana / Jamaica
St. Rose’s Alumni USA honors Minister Hughes, Fly Jamaica
By Tangerine Clarke
guyana 
september 2017
What is availability bias? definition and meaning - BusinessDictionary.com
The giving of preference by decision makers to information and events that are more recent, that were observed personally, and were more memorable. This is because memorable events tend to be more magnified and are likely to cause an emotional reaction.

Easy Definition of Availability Bias: Don't think you'll win an argument with one prominent example. If you try that you might be showing Availability Bias.

Geeky Definition of Availability Bias: Availability Bias is the tendency to let an example that comes to mind easily affect decision-making or reasoning. When making decisions or reasoning, the Availability Bias occurs when a story you can readily recall plays too big a role in how you reach your conclusion.

An Example of Availability Bias
She's been smoking since she was nine
Deciding to continue smoking because you know a smoker who lived to be 100 would be a good example of Availability Bias. In this scenario, the story you can recall plays too big a role in your decision to continue smoking. A review of medical statistics on smokers' health ought to be a far weightier factor in the decision process.

Sufferers of the Availability Bias (and that's most of us) will think that the likelihood of an event is proportional to the ease with which they can recall an example of it happening.
Another Example of Availability Bias
Persuading a flight phobic to get on a plane
The root of flight phobics' phobias is likely to be how memorable air crashes are. Often, people who are scared of flying cannot control their Availability Bias. As they're able to recall the crash scenes they've seen on films and the news easily, the idea of crashing becomes a far weightier factor in their decision whether to fly.

This is why telling them that at least 66% of passengers survive plane crashes can be a far more comforting statistic for them than saying only 0.0001% of flights crash (actually, instead of "crash," try saying "incidents classified as a crash" to reinforce the 66% survivability).
A Practical Application for Availability Bias
Win an argument using their evidence
When someone cites a well-known story as an example to support their argument, you can easily and quickly undermine their position by claiming they are showing Availability Bias.

Let's imagine you're contesting someone's claim about great white sharks being prevalent around the United Kingdom.

Them: "Well, what about the great white shark that beached itself in Newquay in the 1960s?"
You: "That's Availability Bias. You can't put too much weight on one well-known story."

Availability Bias is closely related to Attentional Bias. This means you can usually throw Attentional Bias at them too by telling them they're not considering all the times when the event they've highlighted didn't happen (e.g.,, when smokers didn't live to be 100, when great white sharks were not seen). Just by being aware of these two biases, you can accuse them of two biases using their evidence (and all this without expending too many calories on thinking). Even better, your statistics-flavored "attack" will be difficult for your opponent to counter.
availability_bias  recency_bias  amnesia_bias  phobias 
september 2017
Feeding the parking meter a thing of the past - The Globe and Mail
PETER NOWAK
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
SEPTEMBER 4, 2017

Most cities with similar apps have seen adoption levels in the single digits, according to Ian Maher, vice-president of strategic planning and IT for Toronto Parking Authority, which runs the Green P spaces. Toronto's high acceptance is the result of the Green P app being intuitive and easy to use, as well as a general tech-savviness among drivers, he says. "We have a lot of people who are app crazy."

Developed by Charlotte-based Passport Inc., the app has users enter their parking location's numerical code, which is found on curbside meters. They then select the desired amount of time and the corresponding fee is deducted from the money they load into their account via a credit card. The app sends a notification when time is about to expire and allows for extensions if necessary.

On the enforcement side, officers can look up a licence plate number on a hand-held device to see if a car is paid up, or check a location ID for an overall list of authorized vehicles in a specific area.
parking  Green_P  LBMA  location_based_services  mobile_applications  Toronto  TPA 
september 2017
Why we find it hard to imagine and plan for worst-case scenarios
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | WENCY LEUNG.

When it comes to facing the risks of large-scale disasters, whether it’s the threat of nuclear war, a terror attack, a hurricane or raging wildfire, many people have a hard time envisioning – let alone preparing for – worst-case scenarios.

"grab-and-go" bag:

water, space blankets, flashlights and batteries, a hand-crank radio with a charger for her cellphone, a stash of garbage bags ("They can be used for keeping people warm as well, by cutting holes for the heads," she says), first-aid kits, a spare pair of glasses, food packages, waterproof matches, an extra supply of her husband's medication, hygiene products (deodorant, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet liners, dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste), tissues and two decks of cards..... a rope, a shovel and two or three blankets in the car......When it comes to facing the risks of large-scale disasters, whether it's the threat of nuclear war, a terror attack, a hurricane or raging wildfire, many people have a hard time envisioning – let alone preparing for – worst-case scenarios......New Yorker journalist Kathryn Schulz writes in her Pulitzer Prize-winning feature on the likelihood of a large-scale Cascadia earthquake. "Where we stumble is in conjuring up grim futures in a way that helps to avert them." .....research on the evacuation of the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001....workers were concerned about leaving without the approval of their bosses.....delayed vacating the buildings to attend to last-minute tasks, such as gathering their personal items, making phone calls or shutting down their computers,.....people want to make a decision as a group, and then if some people can't join a group, they'll wait for that person, for example."......people can underestimate the danger they face and be overconfident in their ability to overcome it.......In their chapter of Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems...authors Howard Kunreuther, Paul Slovic and Kimberly Olson point out this kind of "availability bias" can make people underestimate the likelihood of a disaster before it occurs, and overestimate it afterward. Such thinking helps explain why people often buy insurance right after a disaster, but then cancel their policies after they've had several loss-free years. It's difficult to convince them that they should celebrate not having suffered any loss and still maintain insurance coverage......Socioeconomic or contextual factors, which include the level of an individual's trust in institutions, also play a role in how they perceive and react to risk..... there's no one-size-fits-all approach to encouraging the public to prepare for a disaster, he says. Warnings and preparedness efforts would be more effective if they were targeted to specific groups, based on the way they perceive risk.
worst-case  disasters  imagination  frequency_and_severity  9/11  denials  optimism_bias  availability_bias  books  one-size-fits-all  overconfidence  risk-perception  improbables  disaster_preparedness  conundrums  Pulitzer_Prize 
september 2017
Foo Fighters Stand Up for the Power of Rock (Again) on ‘Concrete and Gold’
SEPT. 13, 2017 | The New York Times| By JON PARELES.

A turbocharged Foo Fighters blast through “Concrete and Gold,” the ninth studio album by a rock band that has been working since 1994 and can still headline arenas. The album is a tenacious attempt to retain the classic-rock virtues that Foo Fighters cherish while using all the flexibility of a digital era.....In the 1990s, grunge and its radio-friendly “alternative rock” descendants were at the center of both rock and pop. But more recently, the old rock paradigm — a fixed band making albums together, year after year — has been destabilized and pushed aside by the free-floating collaborations of dance music, hip-hop and pop, while the electric guitar was dethroned, to be treated more like an accessory than a cornerstone. What once was a vanguard, and then a mainstream, is now a subset of classic rock. Yet Foo Fighters have been proud to be classicists, keepers of the flame.......On “Concrete and Gold” Foo Fighters reflect the entire timeline of the classic-rock format; there are clear homages to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, glam, thrash and grunge. But the band has a new producer, Greg Kurstin, who has collaborated with Adele, Pink and Beck. And with him, Foo Fighters now shuffle genres, even within songs, more suddenly and whimsically — more digitally — than ever. Previous albums have presented studio-enhanced versions of the band onstage, while on “Concrete and Gold,” Foo Fighters can switch configurations in an instant, from brute-force riffing to platoons of multitracked vocals.
Foo_Fighters  music_reviews  music  Pink_Floyd  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters  singers  classic-rock 
september 2017
Beyond Netflix: Fall’s Must-See Streaming TV - WSJ
By Joshua Fruhlinger
Sept. 14, 2017

+ Acorn TV

If you want more adventurous (and brag-worthy) fall viewing, look beyond the usual suspects to the myriad specialized, niche streaming services offering everything from Korean soap operas to B-horror.

To tune in, you’ll need a smart TV or a streaming device like Apple TV or Google Chromecast. (A game console, like an Xbox or PlayStation, will work, too.) Of course, you can also watch on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
niches  streaming  television  Netflix  HBO_Go  Amazon_Prime 
september 2017
Chicken Alfredo Recipe - Allrecipes.com
+ mushrooms
+ bacon
+ 18% cream (2 boxes)
+ garlic, onions, basil, oregano, chives,
+ broccoli
chicken  pasta  recipes 
september 2017
The Shkreli Syndrome: Youthful Trouble, Tech Success, Then a Fall
SEPT. 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By NOAM SCHEIBER.

Entrepreneurs, it turns out, do not just move fast and break things, as Facebook’s longtime credo put it. They are also more likely than others to cross the line.

According to research by the economists Ross Levine and Yona Rubinstein, people who become entrepreneurs are not only apt to have had high self-esteem while growing up (and to have been white, male and financially secure). They are also more likely than others to have been intelligent people who engaged in illicit activities in their teenage years and early 20s.

And those indiscretions have not been limited to using drugs or skipping school, but have included antisocial acts like taking property by force or stealing goods worth less than $50...... the question is whether youthful rule-breaking might have foreshadowed not only their rise, but also their fall........It is perhaps not surprising that longtime rebels like Mr. Kalanick — who has boasted of being among the first peer-to-peer file-sharing “pirates” when he was in his early 20s — would be inclined toward entrepreneurship. It is a calling that, in the often repeated narrative of the economist Joseph Schumpeter, rewards those who upend the established order......a phenomenon known as “moral disengagement,” in which people rationalize behavior at odds with their own principles. A teenager who steals a pair of sneakers, for example, may tell himself that the manufacturer was overcharging consumers.

Studies have shown that such moral disengagement frequently enables wrongdoing, and that it can survive into adulthood. According to Professor Steinberg, entrepreneurs who are prone to moral disengagement may continue to break actual rules, not just metaphorical ones......These days, many venture capitalists spend as much time assessing what kind of troublemaker an entrepreneur may be as they do assessing a business’s revolutionary potential.

“We do want them to be rule-breakers,” said David Golden, who helps run the venture capital arm of Revolution, the investment firm of the AOL co-founder Steve Case. “We don’t want them to be felons.”
Mark_Zuckerberg  entrepreneurship  founders  piracy  Travis_Kalanick  rogue_actors  rule_breaking  Steve_Case  unconventional_thinking  Joseph_Schumpeter  ethics  troublemakers 
september 2017
Schafer: Retailing's new reality spawns a new metric
JULY 8, 2014 | - StarTribune.com | LEE SCHAFER @LEEASCHAFER.

sales per square foot(print)

There aren’t many retailers left that don’t let customers buy anything online. What if a third of the total sales never go through a store at all? Should those be counted?

By tacking on “print” to foot, Rubin is measuring productivity by calculating total sales on all the selling space the company occupies, its entire real estate footprint.

What selling space should get added to the stores in the calculation? Rubinson decided to include those vast warehouses all of these companies seem to operate. After all, the stuff sold online has to be stored, picked and boxed up someplace before the UPS truck can take it away.
metrics  retailers  e-commerce  sales_per_square_foot  warehouses 
september 2017
In Praise of the Black Men and Women Who Built Detroit
SEPT. 6, 2017 | The New York Times | By THOMAS J. SUGRUE

BLACK DETROIT
A People’s History of Self-Determination
By Herb Boyd
Illustrated. 416 pp. Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers. $27.99

In 29 chapters, spanning more than three centuries, Boyd offers an unusual retelling of Detroit’s past, with black voices on nearly every page. The arc of his narrative is a familiar one in which he traces the transformation of Detroit from a French trading outpost to the world’s automobile production center to a national symbol of urban decline and rebirth. Along the way, Boyd introduces us to some of Detroit’s key social movements: abolitionism, union organizing, civil rights and black power. But this book is not a conventional urban history. Boyd’s purpose is to celebrate the black men and women, the city’s “fearless freedom fighters,” who would otherwise remain on history’s margins.....Today Detroit, with vast sections of its 139 square miles lying in ruin, its black population moving in unprecedented numbers to inner-ring suburbs, its residents struggling with failing schools, joblessness and incarceration, is not a land of hope. Travel reporters highlight Detroit’s thriving art scene, trendy restaurants and influx of hipsters. But those changes have scarcely benefited the working-class and poor black Detroiters who make up more than 80 percent of the city’s residents. There are a lot of reasons to despair about the city’s future. But Boyd remains hopeful.
Detroit  history  African-Americans  books  book_reviews  Black_Power 
september 2017
Nordstrom Tries On a New Look: Stores Without Merchandise - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Sept. 10, 2017

Nordstrom Local, doesn't stock clothes.....it's a new concept as retailers across the U.S. are wrestling with how to best to use their physical spaces and attract customers who are migrating to the web. For department-store chains like Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. , Kohl’s Corp. and Sears Holdings Corp. , one answer has been to shrink their footprint by closing stores or experimenting with smaller ones......consumer habits are changing.....“There aren’t store customers or online customers—there are just customers who are more empowered than ever to shop on their terms,”...Nordstrom Local, scheduled to open Oct. 3 in West Hollywood, Calif., will span 3,000 square feet, far less than the 140,000 square feet of one of Nordstrom’s standard department stores. It will contain eight dressing rooms, where shoppers can try on clothes and accessories, though the store won’t stock them. Instead, personal stylists will retrieve goods from nine Nordstrom locations in Los Angeles, or through its website. The stylists can also pull together looks for shoppers through a “style board” app.

“Shopping today may not always mean going to a store and looking at a vast amount of inventory,” said Shea Jensen, Nordstrom’s senior vice president of customer experience. “It can mean trusting an expert to pick out a selection of items.”..In addition to manicures, Nordstrom Local shoppers will be able to order wine, beer, coffee or juice from an in-store bar, and those who place orders on Nordstrom.com by 2 p.m. can pick them up there that day. They will also be able to return items at the store that they bought online or from other Nordstrom locations. Tailors will be available for alterations or to help members of Trunk Club, an online clothing service that Nordstrom acquired in 2014, select fabrics for custom garments.

Other retailers have experimented with inventory-free stores, including Bonobos, the men’s fashion brand bought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over the summer. Stores such as Pirch, a purveyor of high-end home appliances and decorative plumbing, have taken the experiential route, inviting shoppers to bring bathing suits to test their $1,000 showerheads....the traditional retail store hasn’t changed much over the years. One hindrance, according to Doug Stephens, founder of the consulting firm Retail Prophet, is that Wall Street measures success by sales per square foot and other metrics that are becoming outdated in a world where shoppers still visit stores but increasingly make their purchases online.
Nordstrom  Nordstrom_Local  Macy  personal_stylists  BOPIS  Doug_Stephens  retailers  sales_per_square_foot  physical_space  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  curation  department_stores  inventory-free  e-commerce  store_footprints  downsizing  Bonobos  metrics  in-store 
september 2017
Brother MFC-665CW Unable To Print 51 Error - Solved
Brother MFC-665CW Unable To Print 51 Error – Solved
printers  repairs 
september 2017
Terry's Strategy
After 22 years at Pirate Radio, the voice of the industry is moving on. What's he thinking?

THIS WON'T BE THE FIRST TIME TERRY O'REILLY HAS CHANGED tracks, and if history is any indication, he'll p...
Terry_O'Reilly  radio  CBC_Radio  marketing  advertising  persuasion 
september 2017
15-Minute Recipe: End-of-Summer Gazpacho With Olive-Oil Croutons
Sept. 7, 2017 | WSJ | By Kitty Greenwald.

Gazpacho With Olive-Oil Croutons
Total Time: 15 minutes Serves: 4

2 large, ripe, juicy tomatoes, cored
1 shallot
2 Persian cucumbers, or 1 medium Kirby cucumber, seeded and peeled
1 stalk celery
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1½ cloves garlic
+ 1/2 sweet red onion
1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional
½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cups roughly torn sourdough bread without crust
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil leaves
soups  gazpacho  recipes  summertime  fresh_produce 
september 2017
Using Silicon Valley Tactics, LinkedIn’s Founder Is Working to Blunt Trump - The New York Times
By KATIE BENNER
SEPT. 8, 2017

Reid Hoffman has made venture-style investments include starting a new group, Win the Future, whose self-described goal is to make the Democratic Party relevant again. He also invested $1 million in Cortico, a start-up that encourages online discourse between people with opposing political views. And he invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into Vote.org, which has a goal of getting all eligible Americans to vote; Higher Ground Labs, a start-up for progressive politicians; and the Center on Rural Innovation, which is working for economic improvements in rural areas........politically driven investments can be more successful when they are “treated with the same level of accountability” as traditional venture capital investments.

Mr. Hoffman is motivated by a sense that people are morally obliged to participate in civic society, said Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley investor and a founder of the digital payments company PayPal. Mr. Thiel, a supporter of Mr. Trump, has known Mr. Hoffman since both attended Stanford University in the 1980s.

“I would describe Reid as left of center, with a very strong sense of empathy for those who are less fortunate,” Mr. Thiel wrote in an email. “It’s more of a character trait than an ideological position.”
Reid_Hoffman  Donald_Trump  funding  Silicon_Valley  political_influence 
september 2017
Daniel S. Schwartz of Restaurant Brands International on the Value of Hard Work
SEPT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times| By ADAM BRYANT.

When you think about your leadership style today, do you see their[his parent's] influence?

Probably the biggest influence they’ve had is about always being very respectful of other people. Neither of them led teams or organizations, but there was always this emphasis on kindness and manners and just being a good person.

I always have that in the back of my head, regardless of who I’m talking to. The world’s a small place, life’s short, and so you should only be nice to people. I don’t raise my voice at work. I don’t have tantrums.......Alex Behring, who heads up 3G, gave me some great advice early on. He said that you have to manage the people, not the business. .....What were other early lessons for you?

If you want to change something or if you want to really influence or impact someone, you need to be in that person’s market and be with them face to face. You can’t run a multinational business from your desk. You can’t just get on the phone and tell the people that you need to do things differently.

If you make the trip, that’s a big investment of time for you. People appreciate that, and they’re going to be more open to your feedback. You’ll also have more credibility because you’ve seen their business and been in their market......How do you hire?

I like people who are passionate, who have persevered and who are clearly humble and not arrogant. It’s O.K. to be confident, but not arrogant. I like people who genuinely are looking for a project and not a job.
CEOs  hard_work  Tim_Hortons  Popeyes  Burger_King  hiring  leadership  3G_Capital  RBI  Daniel_Schwartz  lessons_learned  humility 
september 2017
On the money: a history of the Bank of England
SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 by: John Plender, the FT columnist and author of ‘Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets’ (Biteback)

Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013, by David Kynaston, Bloomsbury £35, 896 pages
An enduring theme is the friction that existed from the outset between the Bank and its main client, the government. The Bank’s original charter was granted so that it could provide finance for the Nine Years’ War against France. On each renewal, the terms were the subject of much haggling and in the interim the Bank was constantly pressed to advance more money than it felt prudent. ....Another constant theme is forgery and fraud, with some of the Bank’s most senior employees being caught with their fingers in the till. In marked contrast to today’s post-crisis financial world, punishment was harsh. Many miscreants were hanged at Tyburn while the lucky ones were condemned to transportation.

As the 19th century progresses, Kynaston’s story turns increasingly on the issue that preoccupied great Victorian writers on monetary policy such as Henry Thornton and Walter Bagehot: how to reconcile adherence to the gold standard with financial stability. Numerous financial crises, including those surrounding the rescue of Barings and the collapse of Overend Gurney and the City of Glasgow Bank, are retold here with panache.
Bank_of_England  history  central_banks  book_reviews  books  monetary_policy  slavery  Walter_Bagehot  financial_history  19th_century  Victorian  financial_crises 
september 2017
Water, water, everywhere
Saturday , September /Sunday 3 September 2017 | Financial Times | Sophie Knight.

The Netherlands has been the champion of water management for centuries, battling to keep its low-lying landmass dry. But as extreme weather events and high temperatures outstrip even the most pessimistic predictions, some argue that even the most sophisticated dikes won’t be enough.....
Rotterdam-based architectural studio ZUS, which has developed “Delta 3000”, a plan to transform the lowlands into a hilly sandy landscape. Covering the country in sand would prevent flooding, produce fresh water and create a naturally sustaining ecological system — which ZUS argues is better than the current cost and energy-intensive defence plan against the rising sea. The Netherlands uses a maintenance- intensive system of seawalls, dams, dikes, sluices, pumps and locks to protect the 55 per cent of the country prone to flooding. The government plans to update this system to combat the increased risk of flooding and reduced freshwater availability that they expect to come with climate change.

“[The current system is] artificial and is completely dependent on human intervention and technical adjustments,” says Kristian Koreman, one of the co-founders of ZUS along with Elma van Boxel. “Whereas with the dunes, finally you’re safe: you’re building higher ground.”.....The climate change debate has provoked a paradigm shift in landscape design due to the uncertainties it brings with it. Forced to abandon the notion that nature can be dominated, architects are now seeking to work with nature rather than against it,resurrecting ailing ecosystems or creating new ones to adapt to the future climate. ...
“The only thing that you can know about climate change is that we can’t predict it,” says Koreman. “But what we do know is that the basic codes of the system are not capable of dealing with the new complexity we are dealing with now: more rain, flooding rivers, salinisation, subsidence and migration were not considered when they made the original Delta plan [in the 1950s].”

ZUS’s counter-proposal is to cover the lowlands in sand, with enormous dunes ringing major cities and creating inland beaches next to lakes and canals. The first plan covered the conurbation that includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, but was extended to run up the entire Dutch coast after requests from vulnerable northern provinces.
water  floods  Netherlands  Dutch  water_management  extreme_weather_events  climate_change  resilience  unpredictability  sea-level_rise  human_intervention 
september 2017
Benevolent Bacon? Nestle And Unilever Gobble Up Niche Brands - WSJ
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Sept. 7, 2017

The global packaged-food industry is facing fierce competition from a burgeoning number of small, but high-growth food and beverage brands. These brands have struck a chord with consumers looking for locally produced or more healthy, natural choices.

Amid this shift, sales from traditional players have flagged, spurring consolidation, cost cutting and restructuring.

Unilever fended off an unsolicited takeover by Kraft Heinz Co. earlier this year. Activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund in June disclosed a major stake in Nestlé, calling for changes in strategy to improve shareholder returns. In response, the two consumer-goods firms have focused on cost cutting and promises to boost dividends, while going on the hunt for nimbler food and beverage brands with the potential to accelerate growth.

‘We’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins.’
—Nestlé USA Chief Executive Paul Grimwood
Nestlé’s deal to buy Sweet Earth comes less than three months after it bought a stake in subscription-meals company Freshly, which sells healthy, prepared meals to consumers across the U.S.

Moss Landing, Calif.-based Sweet Earth bills itself as a natural, ethical, environmentally conscious company that substitutes plant proteins for animal ones in meals like curries, stir fries, breakfast wraps, burgers and pasta. Founded in 2011, Sweet Earth is available in more than 10,000 stores in the U.S. It is stocked at independent natural grocers, as well as bigger chains like Amazon.com Inc.’s Whole Foods, Target Corp. , Kroger Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

“We’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins,” said Paul Grimwood, chief executive of Nestlé’s U.S. arm. Plant-based food, as a sector, is growing at double-digit percentages rates, Nestlé said.
Big_Food  brands  CPG  emotional_connections  Unilever  niches  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  Nestlé  shifting_tastes  start_ups  large_companies  Fortune_500  plant-based  healthy_lifestyles  high-growth  gazelles 
september 2017
More Business Travelers Go ‘Rogue,’ Booking on Their Own - The New York Times
By HARRIET EDLESONSEPT. 4, 2017

books his hotel rooms on Priceline.com, on Kayak.com or directly on hotel websites. He tends to book his airline seats on American Airlines’ site.
travel  e-commerce  priceline  kayak  hotels  airline_industry 
september 2017
SEC Chief Wants Investors to Better Understand Cyberrisk - WSJ
Sept. 5, 2017 | WSJ | By Dave Michaels.

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that regulators and Wall Street need to do more to educate investors about the serious risks that companies and the financial system face from cyberintrusions.

Jay Clayton, speaking at an event sponsored by New York University’s School of Law, said investors still don’t fully appreciate the threat posed by hackers. “I am not comfortable that the American investing public understands the substantial risk that we face systemically from cyber issues and I would like to see better disclosure around that,” Mr. Clayton said.
SEC  cyber_security  cyberthreats  cyberrisks  risks  hackers  cyberintrusions  regulators  Wall_Street  data_breaches  disclosure  under_appreciated  financial_system 
september 2017
European Mall Landlords Coping With Online Competition Better Than U.S. Owners - WSJ
Sept. 5, 2017 | WSJ | By Esther Fung.

Malls need to shift emphasis away from department stores and toward retailers that are less susceptible to competition from e-commerce........On average, department stores still occupy about 50% of the gross leasable area of shopping malls in the U.S., while similarly beleaguered apparel and accessory retailers take an additional 29%, said the CBRE report. Retail sectors that are growing, include restaurants, beauty and home furnishings, account for only a small percentage of the typical mall.

The traditional mall model, developed seven decades ago, is heavily dependent on categories that are no longer fast-growing or meeting today’s consumer demands,.....“Converting malls’ tenant bases to include more of the categories that in-person shoppers now favor won’t be an easy or quick fix,” ..... “But it is a necessary evolution for the mall industry to maintain its place as a cornerstone of American retail.”

One of potential obstacles is getting the buy-in of department stores, which usually hold contracts that hinder major changes to malls without their consent.

“Many department store chains gradually have become more accepting of change, but it isn’t a given. Those who reject change may do so at their own peril: There is a growing trend of mall owners buying out department store leases and redeveloping the space into restaurants and specialty stores,”
redevelopments  shopping_malls  landlords  Europe  restaurants  anchor_tenants  department_stores  CBRE 
september 2017
Lego Hits Brick Wall With Sales, Sheds 8% of Global Workforce - WSJ
By Saabira Chaudhuri
Updated Sept. 5, 2017

........Lego said it would cut roughly 1,400 jobs, with between 500 to 600 of these coming from its Billund, Denmark, headquarters alone. It is also working to reduce layers of management and administration to speed product rollout, which Mr. Knudstorp said can involve 20 teams on average before a product is ready for global launch........
Lego  Danish  toys  layoffs  rollouts 
september 2017
Verizon Wants to Build an Advertising Juggernaut. It Needs Your Data First - WSJ
By Ryan Knutson
Sept. 5, 2017

Verizon still wants customers to opt-in to its most comprehensive advertising program, called Verizon Selects. Data collected under the program is shared with Oath, the digital-media unit Verizon created when it bought AOL and Yahoo.

Since access to data from customers could make it easier to tailor ads to their liking, Verizon hopes the information will help it gain advertising revenue to offset sluggish growth in its cellular business. .....Verizon makes it clear during the sign-up process what data consumers are giving up: Information about their demographics and interests, what websites they visit, what apps and features they use, and their location.

The disclaimer quickly drew criticism in the tech world. Adam Levin, a consumer advocate and founder of data-security firm CyberScout, warned in a column on HuffPost that the “hidden cost of Verizon’s ’free’ rewards program is your data.”
Verizon  privacy  loyalty_management  digital_strategies  location_based_services  opt-in  Verizon_Up  subscriptions  advertising  personal_data  Verizon_Selects 
september 2017
How the first 20 minutes of your day can set you up for success
SEPTEMBER 1, 2017 | ENTREPRENEUR.COM via - The Globe and Mail | AHMED SAFWAN.

1. Don't click the snooze button.
2. Do make your bed.
Your room will look cleaner and feel more organized -- both of which train your mind to want to get things done, right away. It's a small win, but you can build on it as your day continues.
3. Visualize your life.
This is probably the best thing you can do in the alpha state. Visualize your life. What will it be in five years, when you've achieved your goal of building your business? How about your relationships? Concentrate on how they'll look in the future and what you need to make them real. Tap into your subconscious mind to request what you want and then make your brain drive your actions.
4. Watch a motivational video.

5. Repeat your affirmations.
6. Keep a journal.
routines  journaling  affirmations  visualization  subconscious  rituals  small_wins  quick_wins 
september 2017
Tornado-Ravaged Hospital Took Storm-Smart Approach During Rebuild - Risk & Compliance Journal.
Aug 30, 2017 | WSJ | By Ben DiPietro.

...................“Preparation for what these events can be–and belief they can actually happen–is important so you make sure you are preparing for them,” ....trying to undertake whatever is your organizational mission in the midst of a tornado or other devastating event is much harder, given the high emotions and stress that manifests itself at such moments.

“Understand the possibilities and pre-planning will make that go a lot better,”

===============================
As Hurricane Harvey has shown, extreme weather events can devastate a region’s infrastructure. Hospital operator Mercy had its own experience of this in 2011 when a tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., killing 161 people and destroying its hospital.

Hospital operator Mercy took the lessons it learned from that tornado experience and incorporated them into the design of the new hospital–and also changed the way it plans and prepares for disasters. The new facility reflects a careful risk assessment, as Mercy took into account not only the physical risk of tornadoes but the risks to power supplies and medical supplies.

“We always prepare, always have drills for emergencies, but you never quite can prepare for losing an entire campus,” ....“Now we are preparing for that…it definitely changed the way we look at emergency management.”

** Protecting What Matters Most **
Mercy took the lessons it learned from that devastating weather event and applied them when it was time to build its latest hospital, which was constructed in a way to better withstand tornadoes while providing more secure systems infrastructure and adding backup systems to ensure operations continued unimpeded, ......Even the way medical supplies were stored was changed; instead of storing supplies in the basement, where they were inaccessible in the immediate aftermath of the tornado, they now are kept on each floor so staff don’t need to go hunting around for things they need during an emergency.....“The first priority is to save lives, the second is to minimize damage to the facility,”

** Focus on the Worst **
many companies worry about low-severity, high-frequency events–those things that happen a lot. They instead need to focus more on high-severity events that can cause a company to impair its resilience. “....identify and work on a worst-case scenario and make sure it is understood and the company is financially prepared for it,”

work with its key vendors and suppliers to know what each will do in the face of a disaster or unexpected disruption. “...large companies [should] know their key vendors prior to any major incidents,” ...“Vendors become partners at that time and you need to know people will do what you need them to do.”

A company needs to assess what is most important to its operations, map who their vendors are in those areas and engage them in various loss scenarios .... It should review its insurance policy language against possible weather events, identify any gaps and either revise policies to fill those holes or to at least make sure executives understand what the risks are of leaving those gaps unattended.
==================================
See also :
What to Do Before Disaster Strikes - WSJ.com ☑
September 27, 2005 | WSJ | By GEORGE ANDERS.
start by cataloging what could go wrong. GM, for example, has created "vulnerability maps" that identify more than 100 hazards, ranging from wind damage to embezzlement. Such maps make it easier for managers to focus on areas of greatest risk or gravest peril.
low_probability  disasters  Hurricane_Harvey  extreme_weather_events  hospitals  tornadoes  design  rebuilding  preparation  emergencies  lessons_learned  worst-case  natural_calamities  anticipating  insurance  vulnerabilities  large_companies  redundancies  business-continuity  thinking_tragically  high-risk  risk-management  isolation  compounded  network_risk  black_swan  beforemath  frequency_and_severity  resilience  improbables  George_Anders  hazards  disaster_preparedness  what_really_matters 
september 2017
John Doyle: This is no time to take a vacation from the news
AUGUST 21, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | JOHN DOYLE .

Today the volume of political news can be overwhelming, with crazy events amping up the news cycles ....There is genuine fatigue – and that's understandable – but it's wrong. The temptation is to twist all Trump-related news into one big tumbleweed of tedious acrimony and let it blow away. At this particular time of the year, a lot of people are on vacation and there is aversion to the ill-temper of it all. Best ignore the news, say many people....ignore it at our peril.....I was put in mind of the late Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor.

Just a few years ago, in this neck if the woods, citizens of Toronto felt they were living in bewildering times. Analysis was beggared by the news as it unfolded – the Rob Ford fandango of revelations, accusations, apologies and freakouts. It was exhausting to watch, let alone cover it. Often, TV and print media covered the Ford situation by relying on the usual menu of some expert pontificating on the marketing and selling of politicians. This was comically useless in the Ford situation. There was no playbook. There were no rules. Does that ring a bell of recognition?....Mr. Ford held sway with his many supporters because, in part, he knew that in the digital age, a portion of the electorate only dips in and out of the news narrative. There's a bunch of people who don't know or care what's real and what's merely sensational half-truths or biased opinion – that became starkly evident during the Ford years in Toronto.

It's important not to be one of those people, not to give in to fatigue and tune out news coverage. If you paid close attention to the Ford phenomenon, you could see what was coming in the politics practised during the digital age. Rob Ford merely insulted the intelligence. Donald Trump is doing far worse than that. Pay attention.
John_Doyle  news  Rob_Ford  Donald_Trump  fatigue  politics  playbooks  pay_attention 
september 2017
The music industry dances to the beat of TV revenue - The Globe and Mail
September 4, 2017 | Globe and Mail | by JOSH O’KANE.

Toronto's Barenaked Ladies first blew up in the 1990s, when CDs were king. But music sales have since collapsed and streaming services such as Spotify have replaced some, but not nearly all, of that revenue. Bands such as Mr. Robertson's have made up for lost sales in large part by touring. As the fall TV season begins – including The Big Bang Theory's season premiere later this month – getting music on a TV show, film or commercial is becoming an increasingly enticing revenue stream for musicians and the businesses that back them.

As streaming-video platforms keep adding new, original shows and films on top of traditional broadcast channels, the opportunities to license music increase as well. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the recorded music industry's global lobby group, reports that in 2016 Canada brought in $7.8-million (U.S.) in "synchronization" revenue for artists and labels from using music in TV, film, ads and video games.

While that represents less than 1 per cent of total revenue, it's a 32-per-cent increase over the previous year, signalling growing attention for recordings' revenue stream. Meanwhile, SOCAN – which collects royalties for songwriters and music publishers in Canada – says more than a third of all of its royalty revenue comes from TV sources.
films  licensing  music  musicians  music_industry  music_publishing  royalties  streaming  songwriters  television 
september 2017
Who we choose to remember – and who we let history forget – defines us
September 2, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ELIZABETH RENZETTI.

An elegant monument to one of the town's great entrepreneurs, a black Loyalist named Rose Fortune.

A freed slave who had arrived with her family in Nova Scotia just before the American War of Independence, Rose became a famous figure in town, using her wheelbarrow to help transport travellers' goods from the wharves to their lodgings. She is also often referred to as the country's first unofficial policewoman, as she enthusiastically applied her baton to keep local rowdy teens in line. Her business grew and prospered, and she became the matriarch of a Nova Scotia transport dynasty. On July 1 this year, Rose's monument, a metal sculpture that also functions as a bench, designed by artist Brad Hall, was unveiled in the garrison graveyard.........
Elizabeth_Renzetti  symbolism  Nova_Scotia  forgotten  African_Canadians  women  history 
september 2017
The young person's guide to extreme success: What I wish I had known when I was 20 - YouTube
Your life is nothing more than a series of choices....you are the compilation of your choices!!
Rule #1: Think carefully about relationships and children.
Rule #2: Learn how to start a business, just in case.
Rule #3: Always think like an investor in every part of your life (investing--Sun Tzu "The battle is won before it begins"; invest your time like its money, learn how to ignore the world when necessary, 1, 3, 5, 10 yr. goals--figure out what you need to do that day, schedule how you will use your time each day)
Rule #4: Educated geeks are now running the world (educational mediocrity is unacceptable); (listen to everybody, stop talking so damn much).
Ruel #5: Protect your mental and physical health [(exercise, keep losers away from the things you value (i.e. mind, body, spirit, family, time, business)] Be miserly with my time.
Rule #6: Stop being normal!!
advice  preparation  life_skills  relationships  parenting  conflict_resolution  Sun_Tzu  owners  self-education  exercise  positive_thinking  affirmations  time-management  Pablo_Picasso  geeks  delayed_gratification  Boyce_Watkins  choices 
september 2017
A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth -
AUG. 30, 2017 | The New York Times | By SEAMUS McGRAW.

Seamus McGraw is the author, most recently, of “Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories From the Front Lines of Climate Change.” He is at work on a new book about water issues in Texas......Haskell Simon...is a man who has, in nine decades in Texas, developed a deep appreciation for the complex interplay between nature and the world we create......The cycles of storms and droughts are...an inevitable fact of life in Texas..... those storms and droughts are still more destructive than they ever were before, simply because there is more to destroy......in the 16 years since Tropical Storm Allison deluged Houston, that city, which famously balks at any kind of zoning regulation, and the surrounding region, which encompasses all or parts of 15 counties, have undergone a period of explosive growth, from 4.8 million people in 2000 to more than 7 million today. Harris County alone, which includes the city of Houston, has grown to 4.6 million, up from 3.4 million.....That’s millions of people guzzling water when times are dry.....A century’s worth of unchecked growth has brought prosperity to many. But it also has altered the landscape in ways that have made both the droughts and the floods more destructive and made that prosperity fleeting. Much of the region sits atop the overtaxed Gulf Coast Aquifer, and though efforts have made over the last 40 years to limit withdrawals from it, enough water has been sucked out of it that the ground still subsides in some places, altering runoff patterns and allowing flood waters to gather.

What’s more, those more than 2 million newcomers to the region are living in houses and driving on roads and shopping in stores built atop what once was prairie that could have absorbed at least some of the fury of this flood and the next. What once was land that might have softened the storm’s blow is now, in many cases, collateral damage in what could turn out to be a $40 billion disaster.....take a moment to consider how best to rebuild, to pause and rethink how and where we build, to reflect not just on whether we’re altering the weather, but whether there is a way to make ourselves less vulnerable to it. Perhaps we could build differently, or set aside land that would both help recharge the dwindling water supplies in times of drought and slow the floods when they come.
adaptability  climate_change  extreme_weather_events  floods  water  resilience  sustainability  Texas  Houston  natural_calamities  disasters  Hurricane_Harvey  land_uses  droughts  books  collateral_damage  buffering  zoning 
september 2017
Amazon’s Alexa allies with Microsoft’s Cortana to take on Google, Siri
AUGUST 30, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | SUPANTHA MUKHERJEE AND MUNSIF VENGATTIL for REUTERS.

Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp have joined forces to let their voice-controlled virtual assistants talk to each other, offering users the ability to seamlessly tap into work, their homes and shop online.

The partnership is the first time two technology companies open up their artificial intelligence-powered virtual aides to each other, and will be aimed at outsmarting rivals Google Assistant and Apple's Siri.

The move in itself is rare as most virtual assistants are known to use data from their own ecosystems and not talk to one another......Not to be left behind, Alphabet Inc said on Wednesday Google Assistant will soon be available on third-party speakers and other home appliances. (http://bit.ly/2vERgEc)

"Starting later this year, with manufacturers like LG, you'll be able to control your appliances, including washers, dryers, vacuums and more from your Assistant on your smart speaker, Android phone or iPhone," Google said.
Siri  Alexa  Cortana  artificial_intelligence  Amazon  Microsoft  Google  Google_Assistant  LG  Apple  partnerships  smart_speakers 
september 2017
Get Ready for Technological Upheaval by Expecting the Unimagined
SEPT. 2, 2017 | The New York Times | By SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN.

New technologies are rattling the economy on all fronts. While the predictions are specific and dire, bigger changes are surely coming. Clearly, we need to adjust for the turbulence ahead.

But we may be preparing in the wrong way.

Rather than planning for the specific changes we imagine, it is better to prepare for the unimagined — for change itself.

Preparing for the unknown is not as hard as it may seem, though it implies fundamental shifts in our policies on education, employment and social insurance.

* Education. Were we to plan for specific changes, we would start revamping curriculums to include skills we thought would be rewarded in the future. E.g., computer programming might become even more of a staple in high schools than it already is. Maybe that will prove to be wise and we will have a more productive work force. But perhaps technology evolves quickly enough that in a few decades we talk to, rather than program, computers. In that case, millions of people would have invested in a skill as outdated as precise penmanship. Instead, rather than changing what we teach, we could change WHEN we teach...... our current practice of learning early [and hopefully] benefitting for a lifetime — makes sense only in a world where the useful skills stay constant. Human capital, like technology, needs refreshing, we have to restructure our institutions so people acquire education later in life. Not merely need programs for niche populations or circumstances, expensive and short executive-education programs or brief excursions like TED talks. Instead we need the kind of in-depth education and training people receive routinely at age 13.
* Social Insurance. Economic upheaval at the macro level means turmoil and instability at the personal level. A lifetime of work will be a lifetime of change, moving between firms, jobs, careers and cities. Each move has financial and personal costs: It might involve going without a paycheck, looking for new housing, finding a new school district or adjusting to a new vocation. We cannot expect to create a vibrant and flexible overall economy unless we make these shifts as painless as possible. We need a fresh round of policy innovation focused on creating a safety net that gives workers the peace of mind — and the money — to move deftly when circumstances change.....current policies do nothing to protect the most vulnerable from the costs of all this destruction. We resist letting factories close because we worry about what will become of the people who work there. But if we had a social insurance system that allowed workers to move fluidly between jobs, we could comfortably allow firms to follow their natural life and death cycle.

.....other ways of preparing for upheaval? We should broaden the current conversation — centered on drones, the end of work or the prospect of super-intelligent algorithms governing the world — to include innovative proposals for handling the unexpected......One problem is that social policy may seem boring compared with the wonderfully evocative story arcs telling us where current technologies might be heading......The safest prediction is that reality will outstrip our imaginations. So let us craft our policies not just for what we expect but for what will surely surprise us.
tumult  unimaginable  unthinkable  expectations  turbulence  Joseph_Schumpeter  human_capital  education  safety_nets  job_search  creative_destruction  lifelong  life_long_learning  surprises  economists  improbables  personal_economy  preparation  unexpected  readiness  innovation_policies 
september 2017
Amazon Plans to Launch Prime Now Service in Canada This Year - WSJ
By David George-Cosh
Updated Aug. 31, 2017
Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 1.34% is working on plans to roll out its one- and two-hour membership delivery service into Canada later this year, a move that marks a broader push into the country by the Seattle-based retailer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Amazon could begin offering its Prime Now service in Vancouver and Toronto in November and January, respectively, under a pilot program that will deliver groceries and other items within a two-hour window, ......Grocery spending in Canada is approximately worth C$103 billion, but just 1.9% of that is spent online, according to Nielsen Co. Online grocery shopping is expected to grow to 5.3% of total spending by 2020, accounting for C$6 billion in sales, Nielsen said.

Any further entry by Amazon into the Canadian grocery-delivery space is expected to weigh on companies such as Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Empire Co. Ltd. as well as the domestic arms of stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. , which all have explored shipping online grocery orders to Canadian doorsteps.......Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, which costs U.S. customers $14.99 on top of annual Prime membership, is not yet available in Canada......it’s unlikely that Amazon will be able to create a comparable temperature-reliant supply chain in Canada for some time. “Amazon is not able to match the Canadian grocers in terms of procurement scale,”
Amazon  Canada  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Prime  pilot_programs  memberships  subscriptions  retailers  cold_storage  same-day 
september 2017
Hard sell for the ad men
| Financial Times |

Consumer goods groups are cutting costs amid slowing growth – the advertising industry is first to feel the pinch
CPG  cost-cutting  shareholder_activism  advertising  Big_Food  advertising_agencies  P&G  bots  marketing  budgets  Unilever  ABInBev  Mondelez  WPP  Interpublic  brands  Nestlé  slow_growth 
august 2017
David Tang, Fashion Retailer and Raconteur, Dies at 63
AUG. 30, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEITH BRADSHER and ELIZABETH PATON.

HK businessman, socialite and the FT's Agony Uncle.
obituaries  retailers  entrepreneur  Hong_Kong  etiquette  David_Tang 
august 2017
An Insider’s Guide to Mexico City - WSJ
Link copied…
By Dyan Machan
Aug. 30, 2017
travel  Mexico 
august 2017
What the left can learn from Bannon
August 2017 | Financial Times | Gillian Tett.

I had a chance to chat with Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist until he was ousted last week. I met him inside his so-called war room at the White House and, like most visitors, I was struck by the battle plans that lined his den: white posters laying out his goals, listed by priority and ticked off (or not).....But Bannon was different: he had four small TVs covering a range of news, and at the centre was a fifth, single big screen. That was not tuned to Fox but to CNN, a channel Trump has repeatedly criticised and dismissed as showing “fake news”. The reason? Bannon apparently likes to “watch the enemy”; not for him the cosy option of staying inside the rightwing echo chamber......Bannon is one of the most fascinating figures I’ve met....Never mind the fact that he is whip-smart and widely read, what is also striking is that he seems to have a quasi-anthropological understanding of the power of symbols and ways of defining identity, which he manipulates to advance his goals. No, I don’t like his promotion of economic nationalism. And I recoil with horror from the alt-right movement and its racist ideology......But the consistency of his beliefs is undoubtedly powerful, particularly given that most politicians seem to lack principle or passion these days. And I admire the fact that he has a clear sense of strategy and wants to watch and analyse the entire ecosystem, even if parts of it, such as CNN, represent everything he loathes......Nor was I surprised when Bannon told Financial Times reporters that he loves reading the FT (there are numerous photos of him carrying the paper under his arm). .......while much of the mainstream establishment wrings its hands, they should also ask themselves if they can learn some useful lessons from Bannon. I am not for a moment suggesting that the establishment embrace his views. But Bannon’s decision to monitor the entire media ecosystem is striking. As I have written in previous columns, the American media these days tend to be tribal. Some liberal media consumers, for example, were trapped in such an intellectual echo chamber that they barely knew about the impact of the alt-right before they saw footage of the neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia.If Bannon’s critics want to fight back, they badly need to get out of their cocoon, and start clicking on to Breitbart News, watching Fox, reading message groups on Reddit and listening to rightwing radio hosts such as Glenn Beck. If that is too hard, they could take a look at the conservative commentaries on mindingthecampus.com, a website that explores the culture wars being waged at universities.....if you don’t like what is happening today, you do at least need to understand it.
Stephen_Bannon  Gillian_Tett  Breitbart  bigotry  Donald_Trump  chauvinism  Fox_News  Fox_TV  economic_nationalism  echo_chambers  alt-right  discomforts  right-wing 
august 2017
Charlie Parker and the Meaning of Freedom
AUG. 29, 2017 | The New York Times | By ARTHUR C. BROOKS.

The jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, also known as Bird, was born on Aug. 29, 1920.

Freedom in Parker’s music was the freedom to work within the melody and chords to make beautiful, life-affirming music. That meant the self-mastery to dominate his craft through years of careful practice, and the humble discipline to live within the rules of the music itself.

Many artists have known this truth. Leonardo da Vinci said, “You can have no dominion greater or less than that over yourself.” But the lesson goes far beyond art. Indeed, this is one of life’s great lessons for all of us......The lesson: To be truly free to enjoy the best things in life, set proper moral standards for yourself and live within them as undeviatingly as Charlie Parker did in his music.
art  Arthur_Brooks  boundaries  constraints  jazz  Leonardo_da_Vinci  musicians  practice  restraint  self-discipline  self-mastery  self-restraint  soul-enriching 
august 2017
5 Powerful Habits of the Wealthiest Salespeople
August 25, 2017 | Entrepreneur Magazine | Marc Wayshak - GUEST WRITER.

1. They sell to the top.
Rich salespeople never waste their time with non-decision makers who don’t have the power or budget to invest in their solutions. .... meeting with a low-level prospect costs you money....If you want to achieve the income levels of truly rich salespeople, stop pitching to mid-level management and only sell to high-level prospects.

2. They make bigger sales, not more sales.
This is, in general, one of the biggest misconceptions about successful salespeople. Most people think that rich salespeople are closing more sales than their competitors, but that’s simply not true. Instead, they’re closing much bigger sales. In fact, top salespeople only go after massive sales at larger companies. Shift your focus to those big deals, and you’ll quickly find that while they take the same amount of work as an average sale, the payoff is exponentially higher.

3. They only focus on money-making tasks.
There are two types of tasks you do each day -- those that make money and those that do not. Rich salespeople are crystal clear on which tasks make money, and they only do those things. They outsource absolutely everything else, such as paperwork, order fulfillment and customer service. Top salespeople focus on prospecting, sales meetings, key customer meetings and the occasional ballgame with critical clients.

4. They know how to get leverage.
When most salespeople make a sale, they pat themselves on the back and go after the next opportunity. Rich salespeople, on the other hand, see today’s sale as a stepping stone to a much bigger opportunity tomorrow. Your new and existing customers can be powerful resources for new business. Rich salespeople understand this and rely heavily on personal introductions to valuable leads.

5. They prioritize outcomes over to-dos.
You probably have 25 to-dos to complete today -- and if you get through all of those tasks, you probably aren’t going to be any richer than you were when you woke up this morning. You also have some key outcomes that you’d like to achieve, such as developing new relationships with ideal prospects, closing large sales and renewing existing accounts. However, you keep letting to-dos you view as “urgent” distract you from those outcomes that matter most. Rich salespeople don’t make that mistake. Toss out your to-do list, and focus on the outcomes that make you money.
habits  salespeople  ksfs  referrals  focus 
august 2017
Whole Foods changes unlikely to spark Canadian grocery price wars
August 29th | The Globe and Mail | by DAVID FRIEND.

The country's biggest grocers are unlikely to play along with deep cuts by Whole Foods' new owner Amazon in the aisles of its 13 locations across Canada. That's partly because the imminent threat of the high-end chain wouldn't justify the financial hit of reacting with deep discounts, suggested Brynn Winegard, a marketing expert at Winegard and Company.

"Places like Loblaws, Sobeys and Longo's won't necessarily be able to afford that," she said.

"But what you will be looking at is a huge market play towards loyalty."

Winegard expects established chains to lean on their reputations – and points-redemption programs – in hopes of keeping customers from straying to competitors in the short term.

Expect better deals on taking home three bottles of spaghetti sauce instead of two, for example, and more appealing bonus point offers designed to get customers back into stores. Both are generally more affordable, and effective, strategies than deep cuts to a wide assortment of products.

Price wars have a long history of offering Canadian grocers little upside, especially if their profit margins are cut to the bone.......Canadian grocers are misdirecting their attention to storefronts, rather than establishing infrastructure that could go head-to-head in the digital world, Amazon's forte.

"Amazon certainly has the capacity, the capability and the website support to do this – the other stores, like Loblaw and Sobeys, aren't really there yet."
supermarkets  grocery  Loblaws  Sobeys  Longo's  Amazon  Whole_Foods  Canadian  price_wars  loyalty_management  oligopolies 
august 2017
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