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How to Navigate Investing in A.I., From Someone Who’s Done It
March 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Katie Robertson.

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn and a prominent venture capitalist, said at The New York Times’s New Work Summit in California that he looked very carefully at A.I. ventures to see how they were making new, interesting things possible and how he could bet on them early. He said current machine learning techniques, which are transforming fundamental industries, gave an amazing glimpse of the future.

“My ideal investing is stuff that looks a little crazy now and in three years is obvious or five years is obvious,” Mr. Hoffman said.....voiced some concerns around how A.I. could transform the global landscape, likening it to the shift from the agricultural age to the industrial age.

“You’ll see enormous changes from where the bulk of people find jobs and employment,” he said. “The first worry is what does that transition look like. That intervening transition is super painful.”....Mr. Hoffman recently released the book “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies,” which details his theory that the rapid growth of a company — above almost all else — is what leads to its success.
artificial_intelligence  blitzscaling  books  competitive_landscape  machine_learning  Reid_Hoffman  scaling  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  vc  venture_capital 
march 2019 by jerryking
Apple’s Executive Shake-Up Readies Company for Life After iPhone
Feb. 18, 2019 | WSJ | By Tripp Mickle.

Apple Inc. is shaking up leadership and reordering priorities across its services, artificial intelligence, hardware and retail divisions as it works to reduce the company’s reliance on iPhone sales......The primary reasons for the shifts vary by division. But collectively, they reflect Apple’s efforts to transition from an iPhone-driven company into one where growth flows from services and potentially transformative technologies......Apple has also trimmed 200 staffers from its autonomous-vehicle project, and is redirecting much of the engineering resources in its services business, led by Eddy Cue, into efforts around Hollywood programming......The competitive landscape could complicate Apple’s efforts to diversify beyond the iPhone. Media services like Netflix Inc. and Spotify Technology SA have a head start and more subscribers; Google’s autonomous-vehicle initiative has logged more miles on the road; and Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo speakers have put Alexa into millions of homes.

Apple spent $14.24 billion on research and development last year, a 23% increase from the year prior........Though the iPhone still contributes about two-thirds of Apple sales, the company has encouraged investors to focus on a growing services business, which includes streaming-music subscriptions, app-store sales and mobile payments.....The services business also is key to preserving iPhone loyalty. Just as Amazon has used media and music offerings to increase the value of Prime membership, Apple executives view its mobile payments, music service and coming video offering as ways to encourage current iPhone owners to buy future Apple handsets.....Apple is also expected to lean on its artificial-intelligence team to personalize the services on people’s devices.
actors  Apple  App_Store  Apple_IDs  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  celebrities  competitive_landscape  hardware  Hollywood  iPhone  leadership  mobile_payments  overreliance  priorities  R&D  retailers  services  smart_speakers  streaming  subscriptions  Tim_Cook 
february 2019 by jerryking
Technology has upended the world’s advertising giants - Mad men adrift
March 31st, 2018 | The Economist |

The world’s advertising giants are struggling to adapt to a landscape suddenly dominated by the duopoly of Google and Facebook. Some of their biggest clients, such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Unilever, are also being disrupted, in their case by smaller online brands and by Amazon. They are cutting spending on advertising services, and also building more capabilities in-house. Consultancies with digital expertise such as Deloitte and Accenture are competing with agencies, arguing that they know how to connect with consumers better, and more cheaply, using data, machine learning and app design.......This month Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of P&G, criticised their (i.e. the ad giants) model as a “Mad Men” operation that is “archaic” and overly complex in an era when campaigns and ads need to be designed and refined quickly across lots of platforms.

Technological forces are buffeting this model.

(1) The first big challenge is disintermediation. Despite the growing backlash against the tech giants, Google and Facebook make it easy for firms big and small to advertise on their platforms and across the internet via their powerful ad networks.
(2) The second headache is the rise of ad-free content for consumers, especially on Netflix, and the corresponding disruption of ad-supported television, which has declining viewership globally.
(3) Third, Amazon’s e-commerce might, and the growing clout of internet-era direct-to-consumer upstarts, have weakened the distribution muscle and pricing power of the advertising giants’ biggest clients.....cost discipline among clients is driven partly by the influence of thrifty private-equity investors like 3G, the Brazilian owner of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer......Sir Martin argues that the budgetary pressures that have forced his clients to cut back on advertising are a cyclical problem, not like the structural challenges posed by technological disruption.

In private, however, a senior executive at a rival ad-holding firm rejects much of this optimism. Technological disruption and disintermediation, he says, will only deepen. The efficiency of targeted digital ads means companies can spend less for the same outcome in branding. ....The advertising firms are responding by hiring away talent, acquiring businesses (in 2015 Publicis bought Sapient, a digital consultancy, for $3.7bn) and gradually changing how they make money. Their plans mostly boil down to two things: investing in digital services and consolidating their collections of businesses so that they can provide a range of services to one client more cheaply under one account.
advertising  economics  marketing  advertising_agencies  Martin_Sorrell  digital_strategies  WPP  Google  Facebook  Amazon  competitive_landscape  P&G  Unilever  disruption  Deloitte  Accenture  Publicis  Omnicom  via:sparkey  ad-tech  programmatic  direct-to-consumer 
april 2018 by jerryking
The Retailers That Can Resist the Amazon Onslaught
AUG. 28, 2017 | The New York Times | By JENNIFER SABA.

The Amazon vortex won’t suck in everyone. That’s the verdict of investors in the retail sector.

Among potential competitors to the e-commerce juggernaut founded by Jeff Bezos, some – including Ross Stores, Home Depot and AutoZone – may have the wherewithal to withstand Amazon. The market is conferring on them valuations commensurate with, or better than, the one accorded to Amazon.........The auto-parts chain AutoZone may represent another retail slice that is somewhat resistant to Amazon. The $19 billion company trades at 1.5 times 2020 sales, a recognition that it has created a supply chain that minimizes inventory without crimping a timely ability to fulfill customer orders.

Even in apparel, there are bright spots. At 1.4 times projected 2020 sales, Ross Stores, which sells reasonably priced clothing through more than 1,500 outlets, fetches an enterprise valuation close to Amazon’s. TJX Companies, operator of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, lingers at 1.1 times sales. That’s below Amazon but well above peers like Macy’s and Kohl’s. Bargain hunting may offer some respite from online price choppers...........Once he is done crushing the grocery business, Mr. Bezos may seriously set Amazon’s sights on car parts, cheap clothes and home-improvement accessories. For now, though, the market is betting on a few pockets of calm.
retailers  e-commerce  Whole_Foods  competitive_landscape  contra-Amazon  apparel  Home_Depot  AutoZone  valuations  Amazon  home-improvement 
august 2017 by jerryking
Diversification key for mall developers as retail landscape evolves
Feb. 7, 2017 | Retail Dive | by Kenneth A. Rosen and Eric S. Chafetz.

Traditional anchors like Sears/Kmart and Macy’s are beset by competition from all sides, from freestanding big-box outlets (think Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond), to stores attracting fashion-forward yet price-conscious consumers (Target and Kohl’s) to mounting online competition from Amazon and others.

This is leading to the loss of mall tenants, especially anchor tenants, which are major drivers of all-important foot traffic.....Mall owners are (or should be) rethinking the very definition of a mall. New tenants such as high-end restaurants, amusement parks, spas, health clubs, online pickup locations at traditional retailers and upscale movie theaters increasingly are essential components........Reshaping malls into mixed-used developments might run counter to a business model that worked for decades, where mall owners and developers could simply be mall owners and developers. However, these entities must realize that the need for new thinking and investment in new types of amenities and features is greater than ever to drive foot traffic......Technology is also key, with some mall owners now allowing customers to text them questions and get real-time answers. Other malls have implemented mobile apps to provide turn-by-turn navigation from store-to-store in a mall and directions to their parked cars. ........Consider a successful shopping center developer, in this case seeking opportunities for growth. The developer might look to acquire store leases at malls owned by competitors where an anchor has closed and redevelop the space into a cluster of smaller stores or into a mixed-use property (restaurants, movie theaters, urgent care centers, spas, etc.)......The transformation of malls will continue, and usher in changes that would have been unfathomable a decade ago. Last year, two mall owners — Simon Properties and General Growth Partners — teamed up with Authentic Brands and a few inventory liquidators to purchase hundreds of Aeropostale stores out of bankruptcy. The justification from the mall owners was that they were not merely trying to save a tenant, but based on the bargain basement price that they paid, believed they could make a profit. As 2017 unfolds with the expectation of additional retail Chapter 11s and store closures, mall developers and owners also may look at their competitors with an eye toward new opportunities.
diversification  redevelopments  shopping_malls  REITs  department_stores  big-box  cost-consciousness  e-commerce  Amazon  foot_traffic  reinvention  competitive_landscape  mapping  retailers  store_closings  offensive_tactics  transformational 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy - The New York Times
Neil Irwin @Neil_Irwin JUNE 16, 2017

The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — is a tiny battle in a war to dominate a changing global economy.

And for companies that can’t compete on price and technology, it could cost them the shirt off their backs.....[Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods places it] on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.

Each one is trying to become more like the other — Walmart by investing heavily in its technology, Amazon by opening physical bookstores and now buying physical supermarkets. But this is more than a battle between two business titans. Their rivalry sheds light on the shifting economics of nearly every major industry, replete with winner-take-all effects and huge advantages that accrue to the biggest and best-run organizations, to the detriment of upstarts and second-fiddle players.....in turn...this has more worrying implications for jobs, wages and inequality.

Amazon vs. Walmart

Both want to sell everything!!!!

Walmart is buying Bonobos, an omnichannel innovator. Its website and online customer service are excellent, and it operates stores in major cities where you can try on garments and order items to be shipped directly. Because all the actual inventory is centralized, the stores themselves can occupy minimal square footage. The acquisition helps Walmart build expertise in the very areas where it is trying to gain on Amazon.

Walmart and Amazon have had their sights on each other for years, each aiming to be the dominant seller of goods via omnichannel.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods helps it to understand the grocery business which has a whole different set of challenges from the types of goods that Amazon has specialized in heretofore.

A Positive Returns-to-Scale World
The apparel business has long been a highly competitive industry in which countless players could find a niche.....any shirt-maker that tried to get too big rapidly faced diminishing returns.It would have to pay more and more to lease the real estate for far-flung stores, and would have to outbid competitors to hire all the experienced shirt-makers. The expansion wouldn’t offer any meaningful cost savings and would entail a lot more headaches trying to manage it all....in the digital economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players. That tends to tilt markets toward a handful of players or even a monopoly....The apparel industry...is moving in the direction of being like the software business (high fixed costs, zero variable costs, enormous returns to scale)..... the reason why Walmart and Amazon are so eager get into the shirt business is because retailers know that they need to figure out how to manage sophisticated supply chains connecting Southeast Asia with stores in big American cities so that they rarely run out of product. They need mobile apps and websites that offer a seamless user experience so that nothing stands between a would-be purchaser and an order....Larger companies that are good at supply chain management and technology can spread those more-or-less fixed costs around more total sales, enabling them to keep prices lower than a niche player and entrench their advantage....large companies will invest in automation/robotics...the future of clothing/apparel might be a handful of companies with the very expensive shirt-making robots---and everyone else shut out in the cold.

What It Means for the Economy

A relative few winners are taking a disproportionate share of business in a wide range of industries....in turn may help explain why the income gap has widened in recent years. How much on income inequality is driven by shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.
increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  fixed_costs  variable_costs  Amazon  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods  retailers  economics  Bonobos  shirts  mens'_clothing  omnichannel  apparel  digital_economy  automation  robotics  competitive_landscape  market_concentration  barbell_effect  income_inequality  antitrust  market_power  corporate_concentration  grocery  fresh_produce  supermarkets  large_companies  UX  inventory-free  global_economy 
june 2017 by jerryking
If you want a good PR person, hire a soccer player -
AUGUST 26, 2014 | PRConsultants Group| By Margaret Nathan, Partner at Strategic Communication, Inc.

"...the best PR people are always the ones who know the playing field cold, the ones who know where all the bodies are buried and who can feel the space and timing of a great opportunity or a good story, who know the best people in the company from whom to get information and how not to hide, but to explain.

As Critchley writes, “Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” A good PR person or public relations firm operation is the same.

I frequently get asked from clients why isn’t my acquisition, my product, my company front-page news. Well now I can explain it. If you have the “product” and your company runs the “right formations to control the space” and your competitors are in awe, you probably have a great story.

Good PR people should be able to help your company run the “right formations” and structure the right timing and space around the company and then always be able to provide three to four options for the company to run with. While baseball is also a team sport, it is primarily driven by individual achievement. “The team who performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game,” according to Brooks. But the question is can they win it for the long haul.

“Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning,” said Brooks.

So I would encourage everyone who is hiring a Public Relations firm to ask yourselves are these guys’ soccer players or a baseball team? If the PR firm or the PR person is not constantly re-evaluating your business, introducing you to new ideas and people to drive your business then go find someone who will. Go find a soccer player.
spatial_awareness  soccer  public_relations  wisdom  collective_intelligence  sophisticated  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  professional_service_firms  long-haul  Simon_Critchley 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Evolving Automotive Ecosystem - The CIO Report - WSJ
April 6, 2015| WSJ | By IRVING WLADAWSKY-BERGER.

An issue in many other industries. Will the legacy industry leaders be able to embrace the new digital technologies, processes and culture, or will they inevitably fall behind their faster moving, more culturally adept digital-native competitors? [the great game]

(1) Find new partners and dance: “The structure of the automotive industry will likely change rapidly. Designing and producing new vehicles have become far too complex and expensive for any likely one company to manage all on its own.
(2) Become data masters: “Know your customers better than they know themselves. Use that data to curate every aspect of the customer experience from when they first learn about the car to the dealership experience and throughout the customer life cycle. Having data scientists on staff will likely be the rule, not the exception.
(3) Update your economic models: “Predicting demand was hard enough in the old days, when you did a major new product launch approximately every five years. Now, with the intensity of competition, the rapid cadence of new launches, and the mashup of consumer and automotive technology, you may need new economic models for predicting demand, capital expenditures, and vehicle profitability.
(4)Tame complexity: “It’s all about the center stack, the seamless connectivity with nomadic devices, the elegance of the Human Machine Interface.
(5) Create adaptable organizations: “It will take a combination of new hard and soft skills to build the cars and the companies of the future. For many older, established companies, that means culture change, bringing in new talent, and rethinking every aspect of process and people management.
Apple  automotive_industry  autonomous_vehicles  ecosystems  Google  know_your_customer  adaptability  CIOs  layer_mastery  competitive_landscape  competitive_strategy  connected_devices  telematics  data  data_driven  data_scientists  customer_experience  curation  structural_change  accelerated_lifecycles  UX  complexity  legacy_players  business_development  modelling  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  SMAC_stack  cultural_change  digitalization  connected_cars  the_great_game 
april 2015 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
Peak Google |
October 22, 2014 | stratechery | by Ben Thompson
advertising  search  Google  IBM  Microsoft  competitive_landscape 
october 2014 by jerryking
As Michael Bloomberg Returns to Run His Firm, Landscape Has Shifted - WSJ
By LUKAS I. ALPERT CONNECT
Sept. 4, 2014

Bloomberg LP now has 321,000 subscribers for its $20,000-a-year terminals, which supply a range of financial information, and is expected to generate $9 billion in revenue this year, making it the largest such data company in the world.

But while Bloomberg's annual growth has averaged nearly 6% over the past five years and it now controls 32% of the financial-data market, the company faces several challenges. Technological advances have made it easier for smaller firms like FactSet and Markit to compete against the financial-data giants, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters Corp. TRI -0.03%

Also, some U.S. banks have cut back in recent years on the number of data-terminal subscriptions. Bloomberg has targeted emerging markets to sustain its growth. The company is also expanding beyond terminals into data feeds and back-office operations that make up the plumbing of the banking system.

"When [Mr. Bloomberg] left, 90% of their revenue came from their terminal business, but with terminal subscriptions shrinking they have had to grow their business in other directions," said Doug Taylor, an analyst at Burton-Taylor International Consulting.
Michael_Bloomberg  Bloomberg  Second_Acts  back-office  moguls  financial_data  competitive_landscape  data  Wall_Street 
september 2014 by jerryking
When Media Mergers Limit More Than Competition - NYTimes.com
James B. Stewart, a columnist for The New York Times, explores the antitrust concerns related to a potential deal between Time Warner Inc. and 21st Century Fox. Publish Date July 25, 2014.
antitrust  consolidation  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  deal-making  regulation  21st_Century_Fox  competitive_landscape 
july 2014 by jerryking
Baseball or Soccer? - NYTimes.com
JULY 10, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks
Is life more like baseball, or is it more like soccer?

Baseball is a team sport, but it is basically an accumulation of individual activities. Throwing a strike, hitting a line drive or fielding a grounder is primarily an individual achievement. The team that performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game.

Soccer is not like that. In soccer, almost no task, except the penalty kick and a few others, is intrinsically individual. Soccer, as Simon Critchley pointed out recently in The New York Review of Books, is a game about occupying and controlling space. If you get the ball and your teammates have run the right formations, and structured the space around you, you’ll have three or four options on where to distribute it. If the defenders have structured their formations to control the space, then you will have no options. Even the act of touching the ball is not primarily defined by the man who is touching it; it is defined by the context created by all the other players.
“Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” Brazil wasn’t clobbered by Germany this week because the quality of the individual players was so much worse. They got slaughtered because they did a pathetic job of controlling space. A German player would touch the ball, even close to the Brazilian goal, and he had ample room to make the kill....Most of us spend our days thinking we are playing baseball, but we are really playing soccer. We think we individually choose what career path to take, whom to socialize with, what views to hold. But, in fact, those decisions are shaped by the networks of people around us more than we dare recognize.

This influence happens through at least three avenues. First there is contagion. People absorb memes, ideas and behaviors from each other the way they catch a cold....Then there is the structure of your network. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. People with vast numbers of acquaintances have more job opportunities than people with fewer but deeper friendships. Most organizations have structural holes, gaps between two departments or disciplines. If you happen to be in an undeveloped structural hole where you can link two departments, your career is likely to take off.

Innovation is hugely shaped by the structure of an industry at any moment. ...Finally, there is the power of the extended mind....our very consciousness is shaped by the people around us. Let me simplify it with a classic observation: Each close friend you have brings out a version of yourself that you could not bring out on your own. When your close friend dies, you are not only losing the friend, you are losing the version of your personality that he or she elicited....Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning.

Second, predictive models will be less useful. Baseball is wonderful for sabermetricians. In each at bat there is a limited range of possible outcomes. Activities like soccer are not as easily renderable statistically, because the relevant spatial structures are harder to quantify.
David_Brooks  baseball  bridging  career_paths  Communicating_&_Connecting  soccer  social_networking  strategy  spatial_awareness  fingerspitzengefühl  innovation  negative_space  predictive_modeling  job_opportunities  job_search  competitive_landscape  think_threes  large_companies  opportunities  contextual_intelligence  wisdom 
july 2014 by jerryking
Wal-Mart makes gains in cutthroat grocery sector - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 15 2014

Wal-Mart executives “will use their deep pockets and low-cost structure to outlast the competition until somebody else blinks,” said Jim Danahy, program director of the centre of excellence in retail leadership at York University’s Schulich School of Business and CEO of consultancy CustomerLAB.

At the same time, Loblaw and Sobeys, the country’s largest and second largest grocers, respectively, are aggressively seeking savings from their recent mergers, he said. Loblaw acquired Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. and Sobeys’ parent Empire Co. bought Safeway Canada.
retailers  Marina_Strauss  Wal-Mart  e-commerce  grocery  supermarkets  Loblaws  competitive_landscape 
may 2014 by jerryking
Retailers warn of spreading ‘bloodbath’ - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 17 2013| The Globe and Mail | MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER.

The added stress is felt acutely in Canada’s grocery industry, which is the victim of an essentially “zero-sum game,” Perry Caicco, retail analyst at CIBC World Markets, said in a recent report. He projects that sales will pick up by about $1.6-billion this year – with little or no inflation – but that sales tied to the expansion of retail floor space “will eat up most of the sales growth.” As a result, grocers can expect almost no real sales increases this year or next at stores open a year or more, a critical retail measure, he warned.

“The market is not easy,” said Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., which this summer unveiled its massive $12.4-billion deal to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. to help take on rivals.

“This generates pressure in the market because you have a consumer who spends less,” Mr. Trius said.....Retailers are also teaming up with others to gain economies of scale and round out their businesses. About a month before Loblaw announced its deal for Shoppers, Sobeys said it would buy Safeway Canada for $5.8-billion to help bolster its foothold in Western Canada.
competitive_landscape  retailers  Marina_Strauss  Loblaws  Wal-Mart  Costco  Target  Rona  slow_growth  economies_of_scale  zero-sum_game  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A 
september 2013 by jerryking
How Not to Stay on Top - NYTimes.com
By JOE NOCERA
Published: August 19, 2013

Was BlackBerry’s fall from grace inevitable? When you look at the history of dominant companies — starting with General Motors — it is easy enough to conclude yes. There are companies that occasionally manage to reinvent themselves. They are nimble and ruthless, willing to disrupt their own business model because they can sense a threat on the horizon. But they’re the exception.

Wang Laboratories is the rule. And so is BlackBerry.

Wang went from an 80% market share in word-processing among the top 2,000 corporations to bankruptcy in about a decade, and BlackBerry of course went from inventing the cellphone and wireless email category, and utterly dominating it, to a a shadow of its former self today, with a “for sale” sign on outside corporate headquarters and a 2.7% global smartphone market share. What happened?

To rudely condense history, IBM’s PC happened to Wang and the iPhone happened to BlackBerry. At a somewhat more nuanced level, however, what happened to both Wang and BlackBerry is that when the storm clouds appeared they did not take their competitors seriously, they failed to understood what their customers wanted on the new landscape, and finally and most unforgivably they thought they knew what was best for their customers better than the customers themselves. More specifically, both firms thought their core customers were mistaken—wrong—to express a preference for the new, inferior arrival.
competitive_landscape  Wang_Labs  BlackBerry  blindsided  RIM  disruption  reinvention  failure  GM  IBM  iPhone  market_share  disproportionality  nimbleness 
september 2013 by jerryking
Boss Talk: A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can - WSJ.com
June 4, 2013 | WSJ | By ANNIE GASPARRO.

A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can

WSJ: How has the competitive landscape changed in the fast-casual area?
Mr. Shaich: We were clearly the first people out there in the space. For at least five years, in the mid '90s, my stock was flat. I couldn't get anybody to see a place that existed between fast food and fine dining.

Basically, fast casual is us, Chipotle and Starbucks . Probably between the three of us, we represent 95% of the sales that are considered fast casual.
Panera  fast-casual  CEOs  restaurants  loyalty_management  pricing  competitive_landscape  baked_goods 
august 2013 by jerryking
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation - The Globe and Mail
Grocery wars spur industry consolidation Add to ...

MARINA STRAUSS

RETAILING REPORTER — The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013
Target  Sobeys  Loblaws  Shoppers  Metro  grocery  supermarkets  competitive_landscape  consolidation 
august 2013 by jerryking
Loblaw’s timely acquisition amid rivalries
Jul. 24 2013 | The Globe and Mail |MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER




Published
Wednesday, ,
Loblaws  Shoppers  Marina_Strauss  Target  Wal-Mart  supermarkets  grocery  competitive_landscape  retailers 
august 2013 by jerryking
Sanofi head sees cures for what ails Canada’s pharma sector - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 16 2013 |The Globe and Mail | SOPHIE COUSINEAU.

Canada and Quebec, where the country’s pharmaceutical R&D is concentrated, must also adapt quickly to the downsizing of in-house research.

“The business model has changed not only for financial considerations, but because the science has shifted,” he said. “It has become so complex that no single organization has all the disciplines to be successful.”

The collaborative approach that Mr. Viehbacher has tried to instill at Sanofi since he took over the company in late 2008 relies on creating an ecosystem like the one found in Boston, where the company acquired rare-disease specialist Genzyme Corp. for $20.1-billion (U.S.) in 2011.

In Boston, researchers from universities, biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies often work together from the get-go, in a public-private partnership, or PPP, culture. Big pharma doesn’t wait around to pick the biotech fruits when they are ripe. “We can accelerate the development or, in certain cases, kill a project earlier, so that resources can go elsewhere,” Mr. Viehbacher explained.
pharmaceutical_industry  Montreal  CEOs  Sanofi  accelerators  kill_rates  competitive_landscape  patents  intellectual_property  PPP  partnerships  Sophie_Cousineau 
june 2013 by jerryking
Boss Talk: A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can
June 4, 2013| WSJ |By ANNIE GASPARRO.

Amid increasing competition, Panera's co-Chief Executive Ron Shaich has stepped up spending on marketing, added new menu categories like pasta and developed a vast loyalty program.

But perhaps the chain's biggest recent innovation was opening pay-what-you-can cafes—there are no set prices, just suggested donations—in markets that are struggling economically, such as Detroit and St. Louis. Three years into the experiment, the company now is testing one pay-what-you-can item—turkey chili in a bread bowl—at for-profit St. Louis stores, in hopes the idea will expand to all of its 1,700 outlets....
...WSJ: How has the competitive landscape changed in the fast-casual area?

Mr. Shaich: We were clearly the first people out there in the space. For at least five years, in the mid '90s, my stock was flat. I couldn't get anybody to see a place that existed between fast food and fine dining.

Basically, fast casual is us, Chipotle and Starbucks SBUX +1.09% . Probably between the three of us, we represent 95% of the sales that are considered fast casual.

WSJ: Do you expect a shakeout in the industry?

Mr. Shaich: There's always a continual shakeout going on; this is a dynamic industry. The reality is, what was good enough yesterday will not be good enough tomorrow.
fast-casual  restaurants  CEOs  Panera  innovation  experimentation  Detroit  good_enough  competitive_landscape  menus  new_categories  Chipotle  Starbucks  loyalty_management  shakeouts 
june 2013 by jerryking
Going small the best route for cash-rich Metro
January 30, 2013 | G & M pg. B2 |by Sophie Cousineau.

Metro is a great operator with an outstanding track record. Its first-quarter results, which on Tuesday reported first-quarter profit of $121.4­ mil1ion compared with $103.7 ­million in the year earlier period, prove it yet again. Yet the Quebec grocery chain has had it relatively easy in recent years. Its main competitor, Loblaw, was its own worst enemy, struggling with its merchandising and its computer systems. Metro dominates the Quebec market with an estimated market share among conventional food distributors.

But the market is changing. WalMart Canada is expanding unreand Target is emerging as a formidable foe from the ruins of Zellers. To say that the competition is heating up is an understatement. These American retailers are shaking a Tabasco bottle over the Quebec and Ontario markets, dotting these provinces with super-sized stores and bountiful grocery aisles.

Target is not considered as serious as a menace as Wal­Mart. Many of Target's stores are located in shopping malls where Metro has exclusivity rights on the sale of food. Wal-­Mart, which started sending out food flyers to Quebec homes, is another story.
But even with an acquisition as important and as as Safeway’s, Metro could never “outscale” or even come close to it. And while Metro has two discount banners. its namesake stores don"t venture into price wars nor would they want to
go on the American retailers' turi war. By putting the accent on the freshest fruits and vegetables and the best shopping experience, Metro is taking a different tack from its American competitors.
Getting scale in the pharmacy business would make a lot more sense for Metro. As a pharmaceutical distributor and a drugstore operator under the Brunet banner, Metro is a regional Quebec player. Yet for there to be an acquisition, Metro needs a seller. While Jean Coutu Group Inc. is aging, the Coutu family has nevel expressed the slightest interest ir selling the business they control through multiple voting shares. Moreover, they are focusing their energy on Canada after retreating from the American market.
supermarkets  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  retailers  price_wars  pharmacies  grocery  ethnic_communities  scaling  Jean_Coutu  Wal-Mart  Target  Metro  competitive_landscape  Sophie_Cousineau  merchandising  shopping_malls 
january 2013 by jerryking
In Mobile World, Tech Giants Scramble to Get Up to Speed - NYTimes.com
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and SOMINI SENGUPTA
Published: October 22, 2012

Intel made its fortune on the chips that power personal computers, and Microsoft on the software that goes inside. Google’s secret sauce is that it finds what you are looking for on the Internet. But the ground is shifting beneath these tech titans because of a major force: the rise of mobile devices.
Enlarge This Image
Isaac Brekken for The New York Times

These and other tech companies are scrambling to reinvent their business models now that the old model — a stationary customer sitting at a stationary desk — no longer applies. These companies once disrupted traditional businesses, from selling books and music to booking hotels. Now they are being upended by the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets.

“Companies are having to retool their thinking, saying, ‘What is it that our customers are doing through the mobile channel that is quite distinct from what we are delivering them through our traditional Web channel?’...Yet the world’s shift to computing on mobile devices is taking a toll, including disappointing earnings reports last week from Google, Microsoft and Intel, in large measure related to revenue from mobile devices....Making money will now depend on how deftly tech companies can track their users from their desktop computers to the phones in their palms and ultimately to the stores, cinemas and pizzerias where they spend their money....Still, mobile provides huge opportunities for these businesses, industry analysts say. That is largely because people reveal much more about themselves on phones than they do on computers, from where they go and when they sleep to whom they talk to and what they want to buy....one of Google’s biggest challenges is tracking whether people make a purchase after they see a mobile ad. Unlike online, where Google knows if someone buys a camera after searching for it, the company does not know if someone searches for a Thai restaurant nearby and then eats there. That is why it is trying to follow people into the physical world, ...For investors and others trying to solve the riddle of making money on mobile users, Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist, extolled the virtues of the mobile era this way: “We’re going to know a tremendous amount about people.”
mobile  mobile_phones  location_based_services  cyberphysical  disruption  competitive_landscape  large_companies  Intel  Microsoft  Google  Marc_Andreessen  mobile_first  reinvention  physical_world  information_gaps  special_sauce 
october 2012 by jerryking
As Netflix’s plot thickens, CEO strives to hone an edge
Sep. 10 2012 |The Globe and Mail | OMAR EL AKKAD - TECHNOLOGY REPORTER.

While such expansion helps to quickly build Netflix's customer base, it tends to hammer the bottom line. The company's business model relies on paying for content licenses up front, and then slowly making its money back through customer subscription fees. However, that means Netflix is currently losing money in many of its overseas markets – about $100-million a quarter from its United Kingdom and Latin America operations. Even in Canada, where Netflix constitutes the biggest single use of consumer Internet bandwidth, Netflix is only now starting to break even.
Netflix  Reed_Hastings  licensing  licensing_rights  subscriptions  streaming  web_video  challenges  opportunities  piracy  Omar_el_Akkad  competitive_landscape  digital_media  slight_edge 
september 2012 by jerryking
Fundamental Forces Affecting U.S. Fresh Produce Growers and Marketers
Fundamental Forces Affecting U.S. Fresh Produce Growers and Marketers
Roberta L. Cook
JEL Classifications: Q13, L10, L22, M21
Keywords: Competitiveness, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Fresh Produce, Market Forces, Porter's Five Forces, Shipper, Structural Change
competitiveness  fruits  vegetables  Five_Forces_model  shippers  structural_change  Roberta_Cook  agribusiness  agriculture  farming  fresh_produce  competitive_landscape 
june 2012 by jerryking
Google's Turn to Quake? - WSJ.com
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | By ROBERT HAHN.

Google's Turn to Quake? IBM and Microsoft fought antitrust authorities on multiple continents, even as they lost their fleeting dominance....Antitrust policy is built on the notion that market concentration, collusion or nasty behavior toward rivals undermines efficiency by allowing producers to charge more and to block innovation. That's not a bad rule of thumb for "old economy" industries. Before Japanese auto makers broke through the barriers, Detroit charged too much, divvying up most of the surplus between workers and managers. Worse—much worse—auto industry technology and productivity stagnated, as stakeholders sheltered their pockets of privilege from the winds of change.

But high-tech industries in general, and information technology industries in particular, are an entirely different sort of beast. Market concentration and huge profits are typically a consequence of economies of scale and returns to intellectual property, not monopoly power. (It costs no more to produce 10 million copies of Microsoft Office than 10 copies.) And while the management of the current crop of winning companies may be as eager as monopolists of yore to bar the doors to rivals, rapid technological change denies them the opportunity.
Google  IBM  Microsoft  antitrust  competition  competitive_landscape  increasing_returns_to_scale  collusion  market_power  corporate_concentration  monopolies  economies_of_scale  intellectual_property  automotive_industry  productivity  winner-take-all  market_concentration  technological_change  returns_to_intellectual_property 
april 2012 by jerryking
Category Creation: Building Businesses That Turn Entire Industries On Their Heads | Fast Company
Krishna 'Kittu' KolluriThu Jan 19, 2012

Fundamental, revolutionary innovation--creating an entirely new category of product or service that didn’t exist before, or disrupting a category in a way that completely changes the game moving forward.

Play the Name Game - you have an adjacent category that is well established, the differentiators for your category must be clear. The importance of positioning cannot be overemphasized. How you communicate what sets your business apart must be an integral part of your market strategy, and naming your category--especially in the enterprise space--is a key part of that strategy.

Turn On the Customer Channel - Turn your best customers into spokespeople for the product by making them delighted evangelists for your vision--whether it’s a service, a product, or a transformation within a sector.
Play Well With Others - how do you carve out a niche--inspire, delight and build a loyal following--without inciting the predatory characteristics of adjacent players?

One approach is to create a go-to-market ecosystem that involves key technology partnerships. In most cases, your product will be part of the solution, but not all of the solution. Determine what it will take to build it out, and recruit other vendors who can participate. Form alliances so you can interoperate with those vendors and those products. Create partnerships to leverage sales channels, like OEMs or value-added resellers.

Be Your Brother’s Keeper (Sometimes)- toss around a competitor’s name in conversation. Sometimes it is more important to: (a) promote and evangelize your category than your company; and (b) give a nod to the competition. Why? Because the sandbox is more interesting if more than one person is playing in it.
competitive_landscape  disruption  ecosystems  innovation  game_changers  change_agents  evangelists  Flybits  new_categories  new_businesses  delighting_customers 
january 2012 by jerryking
"Structural Breaks" and Other Timely Phenomena -
December 12, 2008 |Adam Smith, Esq.|Bruce MacEwen.

Finally, some words about strategy in the midst of a structural dislocation. Times like these—especially times like these—call for coherent responses on behalf of your firm to the challenges out there in the marketplace. This, rather than any tepid or hypocritical "mission statement" or allegedly scientific market segmentation analysis that will be overtaken by events before it can be bound and distributed,, is the type of strategy that actually has traction today.

And the essence of such a strategy is a thoughtful and reflective view on the marketplace forces at work, and how they'll affect your firm, your talent pipeline, your geographic centers of gravity, and your client base. To produce a coherent, nuanced, and dynamic view of what's happening, there's no substitute for the hard work of thinking about this multi-dimensional chessboard, with almost daily midcourse corrections based on new data points and new conversations, essentially incoming at you all the time.
Bruce_MacEwen  McKinsey  financial_history  simplicity  ratios  strategic_thinking  talent_pipelines  structural_change  howto  customers  Five_Forces_model  competitive_landscape  situational_awareness  course_correction  disequilibriums  accelerated_lifecycles  dislocations  hard_work  dynamic 
november 2011 by jerryking
An Infographic about the Online Advertising Landscape
Sep.28, 2010 |in Online Advertising|by Terence Kawaja

An infographic about the internet advertising landscape has been created
by Terence Kawaja of LUMA Partners. The graphic is showing the
value-added chain of advertising starting with ad agencies and adserver
providers followed by various value added service providers like ad
optimization companies and ad exchanges to the end of the chain reaching
the audience. It is a nice overview illustrating both the market
participants and the processes within the online advertising market. You
may download the infographic here or access it by the following
article, which includes an interview with the creator.
advertising  value_chains  infographics  digital_media  ecosystems  competitive_landscape  online_advertising 
september 2011 by jerryking
Upside: Is It Time to Look Beyond Apple? - WSJ.com
JUNE 11, 2011 By DAVE KANSAS. A battle is brewing covering
online commerce, cloud computing and devices. Apple's commerce business
is expanding quickly. Google's Android operating system is driving a
bunch of devices that compete with Apple. Amazon is weighing a branded
tablet. ....Amazon, Google and Apple already are competing hard in music
and other digital-media commerce. Both Google and Amazon beat Apple to
the consumer cloud business. Apple is expected to launch a business
cloud-computing offering that would compete with Google and Amazon in a
field Amazon pioneered with its Web Services unit.
Apple  competitive_landscape  Google  Amazon  iCloud  cloud_computing  Android  product_launches 
june 2011 by jerryking
Indigo's Heather Reisman faces digital reckoning - The Globe and Mail
Apr. 08, 2011 Globe and Mail MARINA STRAUSS
Indigo has now arrived at its Starbucks moment, and Ms. Reisman knows
it. The wave of digital adoption that swept through music and video
retailing, decimating them, is now hitting book sellers, forcing them to
redefine their business model.
Indigo  Marina_Strauss  retailers  Starbucks  Heather_Reisman  digital_disruption  disruption  competitive_landscape 
april 2011 by jerryking
The grassroots threat to cable TV revenue - The Globe and Mail
FABRICE TAYLOR | Columnist profile
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 7:38PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010
Fabrice_Taylor  CATV  threats  substitution  Apple  disruption  competitive_landscape  television 
april 2011 by jerryking
Document Page: The Evolving Mission Of Google
Carr, David
The New York Times
03-21-2011
"There is no doubt in my mind they are becoming a media company," said
Mike Vorhaus, the president of the media consulting firm Magid Advisors.
"They are providing content to consumers and selling ads against it --
sounds like a media company to me."

So what, you might ask. What difference does it make what occupation
Google writes down on its driver's license?

For starters, being in the media business means looking at media a
little differently. Google has been spending a lot of time and some
significant money trying to help traditional media businesses stay in
business, in part because Google does not want its search engines to
crawl across a wasteland of machine-generated info-spam and amateur
content with limited allure.
Google  Hal_Varian  Netflix  competitive_landscape  mass_media  media  YouTube  strategy  sports  content  David_Carr  digital_media  layer_mastery 
march 2011 by jerryking
Social Intranet Platforms | IT-baseret kommunikation
Social Intranet Platforms
Posted on January 7, 2011 by larshaahr by Toby Ward
Igloo  Gartner  competitive_landscape  social_media  platforms 
january 2011 by jerryking
Mass confusion in ventureland
15 October 2010 | Wellington Financial Blog | Mark McQueen
The Canadian VC industry has been in crisis for several years, and folks
have started to notice, even if the market has only gotten worse, as
this week’s sale of VenGrowth demonstrates.
Canada  venture_capital  vc  competitive_landscape  Canadian  start_ups 
november 2010 by jerryking
Currents: Tim Wu on Communication, Chaos, and Control
October 11, 2010 | : The New Yorker: | Jeffrey Toobin talks
with Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and the author of “The
Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires,” about how
forms of communication, from the telephone to the Internet, are
eventually controlled by monopolies; the battle between Apple and
Google; and the future of information technology.
web_video  interviews  monopolies  future  Tim_Wu  Information_Rules  competitive_landscape 
november 2010 by jerryking
Legal Rebels - 5 Business Model Innovations Solos Need to Truly Compete with BigLaw
With the financial crisis of 2008-2009, every part of this old model has come under scrutiny, even in a traditionally high-end field like IP litigation. Specifically:

Leverage. Leverage, or the associate-to-partner ratio within a firm or practice, is good for reportable profits per partner. But it is not necessarily good for clients. As clients push to cut litigation costs, leverage declines. This trend favors solos and less-leveraged practices.

Within One Firm. Historically, the transaction costs associated with assembling a team of lawyers not located under the same roof made it prohibitive to build a competitive litigation team from a network of solos. But the rise of Web 2.0 is changing that. With my LinkedIn/Facebook/Outlook network of colleagues, I can identify, customize and assemble a team in less time than it used to take to walk the halls of my old BigLaw firm. But we need innovation in the areas of contractual arrangements and the laws governing lawyers to fully deliver on the promise of the ad hoc, Web 2.0, virtual law firm.

Customized. In most areas of law practice, as the field matures, more and more aspects of the discipline become standardized.

Off the shelf. The opposite of build-it-by-hand-from-scratch-every-time. Compared with some other fields of law, IP litigation has been fairly slow to progress in this manner. It has therefore remained—relatively speaking—profitable custom work. But we are starting to see some indications that aspects of IP litigation are being made more routine, even standardized. This is a good development for the solo IP litigator. As formerly labor-intensive-but-routine pieces of IP litigation evolve into off-the-shelf modules, we are freed up to apply our creativity and good judgment to the more strategic aspects of the case, with a diminished need to spend time supervising large teams as they custom-polish a third set of interrogatories or research for the nth time how to apply the Brown Bag Software case to a two-tiered stipulated protective order. Innovation in off-the-shelf litigation modules is starting to arrive, and more is needed.

Billable hours. It has been proclaimed and repeated that the billable hour is dead. Well, maybe not quite. But it is certainly open to competition from alternative fee arrangements. We have enough data and experience now that we can start to accurately predict IP litigation costs. And we can bill a la carte, charging fixed fees for different pieces of litigation. A menu might include one fixed fee for pleading-through-pretrial conference, a per-deposition fee, a per-custodian document discovery fee and so on. Models continue to evolve. Clients want their lawyers to share the risk—to have some “skin in the game”—and to have incentives for efficiency. Innovative billing models are coming.
solo  business_models  law_firms  leverage  competitive_landscape  BigLaw  off_the_shelf  billable_hours  transaction_costs  LinkedIn  Facebook  networks  JCK  Michael_McDerment 
october 2010 by jerryking
When Being First Doesn't Make You No. 1 - WSJ.com
AUG.12, 2004|WSJ|CRIS PRYSTAY.In Jan. 2000--almost 2 yrs.
before Apple.'s iPod hit the mkt.--Singapore-based Creative Tech.
unveiled a similar prod.: an MP3 player w. a tiny hard drive that stored
hundreds of hrs. of music. In biz., though, being 1st doesn't always
make you No. 1. Creative is best-known for its Sound Blaster audio cards
for PCs, a product category it pioneered & dominates. But it's
still a niche player; annual sales are a tenth of Apple's. Apple ran
mktg. rings around Creative even in its own backyard. For iPod's
Singapore launch in late 2001, Apple plastered the CBD with funky
posters & ran a hip ad blitz in movie theaters.Creative's response
finally came last month, when it began sponsoring a children's TV show
& running its 1st-ever TV ad campaign--but only in Singapore.
"There's been a big shift in our biz, & right now, our biggest
challenge is mktg.," concedes founder/CEO, Sim Wong Hoo. "But I'm
stingy. I don't want to waste $ unless I know it's going to work."
branding  Xerox  Ricoh  image_advertising  Apple  iPODs  competitive_landscape  product_launches  Singapore  first_movers  fast_followers  consumer_electronics  marketing  new_products  new_categories  category_killers 
october 2010 by jerryking
Netflix Faces New Competition in Streaming - NYTimes.com
Sept. 26, 2010 | NYT | VERNE G. KOPYTOFF. Netflix faces a no.
of well-financed & innovative companies e.g. Apple, Amazon, Google
as well as the CATV providers. This war will not be won by perfecting
the logistics of moving DVDs, but by whoever can best negotiate with
Hollywood studios..The weakness of the streaming service is movie
selection. Netflix’s catalog of 20K streaming movies does not include
many recent Hollywood hits because Netflix has been unable to negotiate
rights from all the studios....The industry is still very young &
many companies are experimenting with business models & expanding
their video libraries. Streaming requires less infrastructure &
therefore has lower barriers to entry than a system built on sorting
machines & distn. or even brick- &-mortar stores. Netflix earns
less $rev./cust. as streaming catches on because customers are
subscribing to less expensive plans, with fewer discs and unlimited
streaming. But the company is gaining subs. @ nearly 50 %/yr.
Netflix  Reed_Hastings  Hollywood  studios  competitive_landscape  streaming  licensing  business_models  YouTube  licensing_rights 
september 2010 by jerryking
Provide true value or advisers are 'toast'
April 12, 2010 | G & M | DAN RICHARDS. "punctuated
equilibrium" is working its way through the fin. industry. The late
scientist, Stephen Jay Gould, identified this concept. His insight was
that while change is a constant, the pace of change isn't - for
millennia, species have gone through centuries of slow, almost
imperceptible change, interspersed with short periods of incredibly
rapid and intense shifts. In the last 30 yrs, most industries have had
to adapt to an entirely new set of rules. Change agents like Wal-Mart,
Costco, & Amazon.com have reshaped retailing. Mfg has been
transformed by globalization & China. The Web has decimated the
traditional biz model for newspapers. Svcs. have seen the effects of
off-shoring. The investment industry is going through that same epochal
transformation. Defining tomorrow's winners is their ability to
demonstrate clear, compelling, discernible value: not a plan itself, but
what a plan accomplishes, and the communication of what the plan achieves.
financial_advisors  Dan_Richards  indispensable  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  adaptability  Charles_Darwin  evolution  value_creation  theory_of_evolution  financial_services  disequilibriums  change_agents  constant_change  value_propositions  Communicating_&_Connecting  accelerated_lifecycles 
august 2010 by jerryking
Research post: local search - Yelp [Archive]
05-04-08 | Studentwebstuff Forums | by CCambronne. According
to an article by Jeffrey M. O’Brien, in Fortune (July
2007), Yelp is effecting a business paradigm shift. The site has had a
major impact on Christopher Hall, the owner of Splitends, a hair salon
in Orange County, California. Ever since one of his clients wrote about
his business in
Yelp.com, Hall has described his business as having a “logroll” of new
clients. To illustrate the difference between his traditional
advertising and Yelp, Hall points out that he had taken out 10 ads in
the local weekly over the year and received maybe one call, after Anita
Lau a prolific reviewer on Yelp gave him five stars, he gets between 5
and 15 calls a day from yelpers who in turn write more reviews.
Describing Yelp, Hill says, “It’s its own little biosphere. It feeds
itself.” (O’Brien)
Yelp  competitive_landscape  local_advertising  search  local  City_Voice 
july 2010 by jerryking
Google's search for superiority
June 19, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Omar El Akkad. "For the
first time since Google began eviscerating the competition in the search
market a decade ago, a new crop of sites are threatening its position.
Millions of users are turning to sites ranging from Twitter to Facebook,
Amazon to eBay, to look for breaking news, restaurant recommendations
or shoes for sale. Apple is starting to leverage its massive mobile
applications ecosystem to run an advertising business aimed squarely at
taking revenue away from Google’s search advertising. Suddenly, Google’s
list of potential competitors has exploded."
Google  search  Apple  Twitter  Facebook  Amazon  eBay  competitive_landscape  Omar_El_Akkad 
june 2010 by jerryking
Spill could be ‘game changer’ for oil
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Nathan VanderKlippe. The
Deepwater Horizon spill could become a global oil “game changer” by
spurring a deep and potentially costly rethink of the rules needed to
keep offshore drilling safe.
oil_spills  oil_industry  competitive_landscape  game_changers  environmental_disasters  Deepwater_Horizon 
june 2010 by jerryking
Digital Revolution Shakes Foundations of Book Retailing - WSJ.com
MAY 21, 2010 | WSJ | By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG. The digital
revolution sweeping the media world is rewriting the rules of the book
industry, upending the established players which have dominated for
decades. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an
estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating
the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors
and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully
crippled....Even more problematic for brick-and-mortar retailers is the
math if sales of physical books rapidly decrease: Because e-books don't
require paper, printing presses, storage space or delivery trucks, they
typically sell for less than half the price of a hardcover book. If
physical book sales decline precipitously, chain retailers won't have
enough revenue to support all their stores.
competitive_landscape  e-books  retailers  digital_disruption  Barnes_&_Noble  Ron_Burkle  pricing  books  e-readers  bricks-and-mortar 
june 2010 by jerryking
globeandmail.com: All's fair in love and war, but hard to measure in business
April 26, 2010 | Globe & Mail | GEORGE STALK JR. "These
laws also mean that the informational "glue" that defined the boundaries
of industries and companies is dissolving, enabling industries to be
redrawn again and again. Companies can no longer rest comfortably in a
market position but must continually cannibalize their own and their
competitors' positions; incumbents must go on the attack to remain
viable....These competitors will not target product-market niches, but
instead define their business as the layers of events and processes that
produce a product or service, as Microsoft and Intel have. This will
happen not only in high-tech and communications but also in industries
such as biotech, media and retail. We already see successful strategies
of "layer mastery" in payments processing, contract electronics
manufacturing, and aircraft leasing. Industries and markets will be
redefined in ways that will make the traditional assessment of "fair"
increasingly difficult.
George_Stalk_Jr.  competitive_landscape  competitive_strategy  Intel  Microsoft  Google  Moore's_Law  Gilder's_Law  Metcalfe's_Law  Coase's_Law  complacency  layer_mastery  boundaries  offensive_tactics  BCG  kaleidoscopic  informational_advantages  product-market_fit 
may 2010 by jerryking
Toys 'R' History - WSJ.com
AUGUST 31, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | by CLAYTON M.
CHRISTENSEN and SCOTT D. ANTHONY. Today, Wal-Mart is going one better
than Toys "R" Us. With its mammoth stores, diverse array of products and
super-efficient supply chain, Wal-Mart can provide consumers good
quality, high levels of choice and convenience, and rock-bottom prices.
It has shifted the "basis of competition" from convenience to price.

So what can a company like Toys "R" Us do when signs emerge that the
basis of competition has shifted decisively in ways that make a
previously successful strategy ineffective? The truth is, if a company
facing this situation has not acted proactively before the signs become
conclusive, it is already too late. A company must sow the seeds of its
new growth business before the game palpably changes.
Clayton_Christensen  Scott_Anthony  Innosight  Toys_"R"_Us  Wal-Mart  growth  embryonic  emerging_markets  competitive_landscape 
january 2010 by jerryking
Google, the great disruptor, takes aim ... at everything - The Globe and Mail
Omar El Akkad and Iain Marlow

From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Jan. 08, 2010 9:32PM
EST Last updated on Saturday, Jan. 09, 2010.

A decade ago, the Web company made its name by helping people find
things on the Internet. But Google no longer believes the future of the
Web is on the personal computer. Instead, the company predicts most
people will soon be connecting to the outside world through mobile
devices. If that prediction is right, it means that's where advertising
dollars are going too.

Today, Google is expanding into more areas than at any time in its
history: smart phones, e-readers, operating systems, on-line stores. Its
unveiling this week of the first Google-branded phone running on the
Android system, the Nexus One, was just the latest such expansion.

And in almost every sector it touches, Google is disrupting the
ecosystem, creating a new wave of winners and losers in its wake.
Google  disruption  structural_change  competitive_landscape  expansions  ecosystems  Omar_El_Akkad  Iain_Marlow 
january 2010 by jerryking
The Uber Mentor, Mentors Article
Sept. 1, 2002 | Inc. Article | By Elaine Appleton Grant.
If you needed life-changing advice and could make only one phone call,
who would be on the other end? For some, the answer is Peter Drucker.
He listens carefully and asks a lot of questions.
He brings a wealth of knowledge to bear in conversations with his
advisees. He's a Renaissance man who is incredibly well-read, draws upon
an enormous breadth of experience, and has an astonishing memory. He
both defines the landscape and identifies what Buford calls "the void"
in that landscape -- what is needed now. Finally, he works only with
those people who take his counsel seriously and act on it.

He encourages people and helps them believe in themselves. A Drucker
truism: a good mentor or manager builds on people's strengths and helps
them make their weaknesses irrelevant.
advice  competitive_landscape  life-changing  mentoring  opportunities  Peter_Drucker  questions  Renaissance_man  voids  weaknesses 
december 2009 by jerryking
Survival of the Fittest?
Nov 3, 2008 | Electronic Engineering Times | by Howard Slater,
Azim Nakhooda. What impact should the technology sector and startups
expect? Technology companies with strong balance sheets will use this
time to expand market share, acquire weaker competitors and reinvent
themselves to rise out of the recession even healthier than before.
Startups will put initial public offerings on hold, revisit private
equity deals, scale back expansion plans or, in many cases, die of
financial starvation. These are harsh realities, but also natural
components of capital-based market cycles. Ultimately the sage advice to
"ride it out" is fair, as this too shall pass. However, the technology
landscape may be forever altered by the financial sector, as only a
survival of the fittest will live on to carry the technology torch
forward.
economic_downturn  start_ups  competitive_landscape  Charles_Darwin 
november 2009 by jerryking
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