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Business Development Not-to-Do #5: Live In the Past | JD Supra Perspectives -
April 21, 2017 | JDSupra | by Mike O'Horo, co-founder of RainmakerVT. O'Horo has trained 7000 lawyers in firms of all sizes and types, in virtually every practice type. They attribute $1.5 billion in additional business to their collaboration. His latest innovation, Dezurve, reduces firms’ business development training investment risks by identifying which lawyers are serious about learning BD.]

If you’re seeing more competition for each engagement, greater pressure on rates, more involvement by professional buyers in the Purchasing Dept., and perhaps worst of all, longtime clients putting out RFPs for “your” work, your work has reached the Maturity stage of its Product Cycle. If you fail to change, you’ll ride a downward spiral until you can no longer make money on that work.

What is the product cycle?  Introduction ->Growth -> Maturity -> Decline. Revenue and profit follow a fairly predictable path through this cycle. Most buyers understand that, among the three forms of value -- Good, Fast, Cheap -- they can only have two. During the Introduction and Growth phases, they opt for Good and Fast. At Maturity, they favor Good and Cheap. At Decline, they may demand all three......

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Defending market share becomes the chief concern.
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At the maturity stage, sales growth has started to slow and is approaching the point where the inevitable decline will begin. Defending market share becomes the chief concern. Most lawyers don’t know how to do that other than by reducing their price to try to hold on to the work. Additionally, more competitors have stepped forward to challenge you for every engagement, and offer a lower price. This can touch off price wars. Lower prices mean lower profits, which will cause some wise lawyers to discontinue offering that service altogether. The maturity stage is usually the longest of the four life cycle stages, and it is not uncommon for a service to be in the mature stage for several decades. Whatever you’re experiencing now is also the future.

For quite awhile, lawyers who thought about this at all could be forgiven for believing that legal services were immune from this. After all, for more than 20 years, buyers and work were plentiful, and clients accepted annual rate increases of 6-10%. All that meant, though, was that legal services had a longer Growth phase than is normal. Even during that 20-year boom, many legal services declined in value and pricing power, to the point that many lawyers lost that business to lower-cost competitors, off-shoring, or to in-house legal staffs.
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You can’t justify investing in a declining asset.
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The symptoms cited in the opening paragraph are reliable indicators that it’s time to begin reducing your dependence on that work. You can’t justify investing in a declining asset.......One of the big factors causing price pressure in mature categories is decreased risk. The first time a company tackles a type of legal matter, the perceived risk is high. They want to get it done right, and quickly, so they’re less sensitive to cost and place greater value on expertise as a way to reduce risk.

After something has been done a number of times, the risk of getting it done right goes way down, so the perceived value of the service declines, and they no longer feel the need to pay the top lawyer in the game.......

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When risk and business impact declines, so does your access...
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Once the recipe is known, the risk declines and, along with it, the buyer’s willingness to pay a premium for the wizard practitioner.

When risk and business impact declines, so does your access. While the top people pay attention to unfamiliar matters with potentially high stakes, once the risk goes down, they delegate downward and move on to emerging issues that have greater risk and impact.
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associate yourself with a business problem that triggers demand for your expertise, and opens doors to those experiencing that problem.
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Just as it’s imprudent to invest in declining categories of legal matters, it’s a bad idea to hitch your wagon to a declining industry (unless you do Bankruptcy or Restructuring). Clients in mature industries experience the same increased competition, price pressure, and shrinking margins as you do. They’ll opt for Good and Cheap.

To avoid suddenly realizing that you’re in a tough spot such as described in the opening paragraph, focus on an industry. Become an industry expert, knowledgeable about their challenges and opportunities, and keep yourself well informed so you can recognize the early signs that your Door-Opener (the problem that drives demand for your service) is maturing and declining in significance. If you know what’s going on in the industry, you’ll know which problems to shift your association toward.

Always invest in emerging issues, preferably in robust, growing industries
cash_cows  decline  industry_analysis  law_firms  lawyers  life_cycle  industry_expertise  professional_service_firms  product_cycles  obsolescence  price_wars 
7 weeks ago by jerryking
Thanks to a billionaire, Detroit is new and improved – but for whom?
November 18, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ADRIAN MORROW, U.S. CORRESPONDENT

Detroit's urban renaissance has also drawn tough criticism. For one, Quicken and Bedrock are accused of building an affluent island in the centre of a low-income city. While Dan Gilbert’s spending has revitalized the central business district, much of Detroit remains economically distressed with neighbourhoods full of boarded-up businesses and burnt-out houses. Detroit’s racial divides factor in, too: Recent developments have tended to concentrate in the whiter neighbourhoods of a city where 79 per cent of the population is black. For another, Bedrock and its related companies have received US$767-million worth of government subsidies and tax breaks since 2010. To some, this is an egregious use of funds when Detroit’s schools and transit system are struggling. Mr. Gilbert’s critics argue a man with a net worth Forbes estimates at US$6.8-billion has no need for government assistance.
Whether Mr. Gilbert is the hero Detroit needed to pull it back from the precipice or an unaccountable billionaire wielding an uncomfortable amount of civic power, his rise represents an extraordinary moment in U.S. urbanism. The rapid rebirth and future of one of the country’s greatest and most troubled cities rests largely in the hands of one man and his corporate empire, which is both animating the metropolis with its workforce, and directly shaping the look and feel of its streets and buildings........the subsidies have been “necessary,” but the city and state have done too little to extract benefits such as affordable housing and heritage preservation in exchange. Rather than a divide between downtown and neighbourhoods, or Mr. Gilbert and community bootstrappers, she argued, all of these elements have to work together.
anchor_tenants  Dan_Gilbert  decline  Detroit  downtown_core  gentrification  hollowing_out  income_inequality  moguls  property_development  Quicken_Loans   racial_disparities  refurbished  rejuvenation  revivals  subsidies  tax_subsidies  urban_renaissance  urban_renewal  white-collar 
november 2019 by jerryking
The last days of the middle-class world citizen
October 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.
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what I think Janan Ganesh is talking about; the divide between the globally mobile elite and the locally restricted peasantry is getting increasingly stark, and the middle class is being hollowed out.
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'10s  Big_Tech  climate_change  decline  deglobalization  disposable_income  downward_mobility  dystopian_futures  frictions  future  globalization  Janan_Ganesh  lifestyles  middle_class  millennials  pessimism  societal_choices  subtractive  The_One_Percent  thought-provoking  travel 
october 2019 by jerryking
Opinion: My declining years – and yours
JULY 5, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by MARGARET WENTE

According to the experts, certain parts of my brain responsible for cognitive function are literally shrinking. My brain’s blood flow is slowing down, just like the rest of me. The inescapable result is lapses in the synapses. I’ve always thought that the worst threat to my vanity was advancing wrinkles. But now I know it’s cognitive slippage.

Perhaps it’s some consolation that my friends are getting dotty, too. Sure, they’re working gamely to keep their brains in tip-top shape. They do word puzzles, or try to learn a language. They take supplements and eat more leafy greens. Good luck to them. So far, nobody has figured out how to turn back the neurological clock.

The more I learn about brain aging, the more obvious it is that the kids really are smarter than we are. “The data are shockingly clear that for most people, in most fields, professional decline starts earlier than almost anyone thinks,” writes Arthur Brooks (no cognitive slouch himself) in a new essay for The Atlantic. He found that most of us reach our mental peak around 20 years after the start of our careers. We do our best work in our 40s and 50s and it’s all downhill from there.

People in different types of work peak at different ages, just as athletes do. Those who rely heavily on fluid intelligence – the ability to reason, think fast and solve problems in unique and novel situations – peak much younger than average. Mr. Brooks says his line of work is a good example. (He has just retired as the head of a well-known U.S. think tank.) “The most profound insights tend to come from those in their 30s and early 40s.”

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, chess grand masters and nuclear physicists are even more precocious – which means they burn out early. By the time they hit their 30s they’re already in creative decline. By contrast, lawyers, judges and professors draw more on what’s called crystallized intelligence – a stock of knowledge built up over time.They can coast on that knowledge well into their 60s. For most of us, however, cognitive decline begins in middle age.
aging  Arthur_Brooks  cognitive_skills  decline  elderly  elder_wisdom  journalism  Margaret_Wente  mental_dexterity  precociousness  retirement 
july 2019 by jerryking
‘Math men’ not mad men rule advertising’s data age, says Lévy
May 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Anna Nicolaou.

Maurice Levy: 'The future [of advertising] is based on data. It is not based on any mass media.' We know that mass media is [declining] every day,” “And if an advertising agency wants to have a future, data is absolutely indispensable.”

the advertising industry was undergoing a “metamorphosis” that required big bets.......As consumers shift attention away from pricey television commercials and towards the internet, where Facebook and Google dominate, the industry is more “math men” than mad men......In light of digital disruption Publicis, the world’s third-largest advertising agency by revenues, has made a big bet on data. In April the company made its largest acquisition with the purchase of Epsilon, a digital marketing company owned by Alliance Data Systems......Like its rivals WPP and Omnicom, Publicis is under pressure as Facebook and Google have disintermediated the traditional agency model. The two tech groups account for two-thirds of digital advertising sales in the US.....The industry has been consolidating as traditional agencies look to position themselves as data analytics gurus who can help brands target shoppers online. Last year Interpublic bought data business Acxiom for $2bn, while just last month buzzy agency Droga5 sold itself to Accenture......Despite lingering fears that an economic slowdown is looming, “the situation is much better now,”.... making the Epsilon decision easier. “The fastest-growing segment in our industry is data, technology, internet. Period. All the rest is suffering.”
advertising  advertising_agencies  analytics  big_bets  data  decline  disruption  disintermediation  Epsilon  Facebook  Google  Interpublic  Mad_Men  marketing  mass_media  mathematics  Maurice_Lévy  Omnicom  Publicis  WPP 
may 2019 by jerryking
Polaroid. Walkman. Palm Pilot. iPhone?
Jan. 11, 2019 | WSJ | By John D. Stoll.

The iPhone is arguably the most valuable product in the world, representing the backbone of Apple Inc.’s AAPL -0.98% half-trillion-dollar hardware business and undergirding its software-peddling App store. It remains the envy of consumer-product companies world-wide.

If history is any indication, though, America’s favorite handheld device will someday take up residence with the digital camera, the calculator, the pager, Sony’s Walkman and the Palm Pilot in a museum. Although it’s hard to imagine the iPhone dying, change can sneak up rapidly on contraptions that are deeply entrenched in American culture......“Over time, every franchise dies,” said Nick Santhanam, McKinsey’s Americas practice leader in Silicon Valley. “You can innovate on an amazing mousetrap, but if people eventually don’t want a mousetrap, you’re screwed.” Kodak, Polaroid and Sears are all examples from the recent past of companies that held too tightly to an old idea.....Apple, for the better part of the 2000s, was the master of the next big thing: the iPod, the MacBook Air, the iPad, the iPhone. Apple wasn’t always first, but its products were easier to use, thinner, cooler.

With the success of the iPhone since it arrived on the scene, the next big thing has been harder to find. Apple has had no breakthrough on TV, a modest success with its watch, a stumble in music and a lot of speculation concerning its intentions for autonomous cars or creating original programming. Can Apple’s greatest strength could be its biggest weakness?.....Whatever shape it takes, Apple’s evolution will be closely watched if only because reinvention is so hard to pull off. A decade ago, Nokia’s dominance in handheld devices evaporated after executives failed to create a compelling operating system to make their pricey smartphones more user-friendly. Finnish executives have told me on several occasions that Nokia knew it needed to rapidly change, but lacked the urgency and resources to do it....The Model T almost entirely underpinned Ford Motor Co.’s rise a century ago, when the Detroit auto maker owned roughly half of the U.S. car market. ....Both Ford and Microsoft adapted and survived. Iconic vehicles like Ford’s Mustang coupe or F-150 pickup prove companies can live a productive life after the initial hit product fades. Microsoft’s transition to cloud computing with its Azure product, meanwhile, has vaulted the company back near the top of the race for the title of world’s most valuable company.
Apple  change  CPG  decline  Ford  iPhone  Microsoft  Nokia  reinvention  Tim_Cook  inventions  rapid_change  next_play  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Real China Challenge: Managing Its Decline - The New York Times
By Bret Stephens
Opinion Columnist

Nov. 29, 2018

.Bret Stephens read a deeply reported and thought-provoking series in The Times about another country of the future: China. The phrase “rise of China” has now become so commonplace that we treat it more as a fact of nature than as a prediction of a very familiar sort — one made erroneously about the Soviet Union in the 1950s and ’60s; about Japan in the ’70s and ’80s; and about the European Union in the ’90s and ’00s.....Beijing has ignored orthodox economic nostrums about the need for ever-greater market liberalization and fewer state controls while still managing to thrive. ....cruelty.... forced laborers....Tyrannies do not work in the long run....capital flight.... 46 % of wealthy Chinese wish to emigrate, most of them to the U.S.....individual rights, democratic choices, rule of law, competitive markets, high levels of transparency, low levels of government corruption, independent news sources, and freedoms of thought, conscience and speech are assets beyond price.....If you define power as the power to attract and not simply compel [jk: that is, soft power], then Beijing — with its dystopian vision to fully surveil and rate all citizens by 2020 — isn’t a rising power at all. It’s a collapsing one.......What about the skyscrapers of Guangzhou? What about the world-beating test scores of students in Shanghai?.....China’s rise is not some kind of mirage. But what matters is the future, not the past, and whether a nation built on constraining the freedoms granted to ordinary people can outpace, outsmart, and outlast another nation built on defending and broadening those freedoms....American policymakers and pundits often talk about the challenge of managing China’s rise. They had better start thinking instead of the challenge of managing its decline, beginning at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend. Japan and Europe went gently into eclipse, and the Soviet Union surrendered without a fight (at least until its current revanchist phase).

Will China’s current leadership accept the possibility of their own decline so philosophically, after having convinced themselves of their rapid rise to primacy? Nobody should bet on it. A wounded tiger is rarely a placid one.
Bret_Stephens  capital_flight  China  China_rising  clichés  counterintuitive  decline  institutional_integrity  op-ed  rule_of_law  soft_power  thought-provoking  U.S.-China_relations 
november 2018 by jerryking
Inside the Decline of Sears, the Amazon of the 20th Century - WSJ
By Suzanne Kapner
Oct. 31, 2017 1:48 p.m. ET
186 COMMENTS
Shoppers hunting for this holiday season’s hot toy, the L.O.L. Surprise, may have trouble finding it at Sears or Kmart stores. Worried about the financial health of the retail chains, the company that makes the toy, a ball that children unwrap to reveal small dolls, has reduced shipments to Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD -5.75%

“We cut their credit line and shortened payment terms,” said Isaac Larian, chief executive of toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. “If they pay one day late, we will cut them off.”

Sears once dominated American retailing and helped build famous brands, including Whirlpool appliances, Craftsman tools, Schwinn bicycles and Allstate insurance. Now, bleeding cash and losing shoppers, the 124-year-old company is scrambling to keep suppliers—the lifeblood of any retail chain—from bolting.

To guarantee shipments from LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. , Sears is paying them cash up front for some goods, said people familiar with the matter. Levi Strauss & Co. has stopped supplying women’s jeans to the chain, said another person. At Clorox Co. , “We have certainly adjusted our payment terms,” said CEO Benno Dorer.

A monthslong feud between Sears and Whirlpool Corp. burst into the open last week when the sides couldn’t agree on terms to keep their century-old partnership going. Earlier in 2017, Sears sued two longtime manufacturers of its Craftsman tools to keep them shipping merchandise to stores.
retailers  Sears  Kmart  brands  decline  payment_terms  Whirlpool  Levi_Strauss  Allstate  Schwinn  Craftsman  supply_chains 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why traditional retail hasn’t hit rock bottom — yet
October 4, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ERIC REGULY.
.....it's fashionable—and not wrong—to blame Amazon for most of the retailers' woes, other factors, from stale retail formats to the new anti-stuff movement, are at play too. Put together, the financial and cultural forces battering the retailers seem relentless.

The outlook is so grim that Bespoke Investment Group of Harrison, New York, invented a "Death by Amazon" list of 54 retail stocks that it thought would get whacked by Amazon and other forces conspiring against the sector......Traditional retailing, of course, is not entirely doomed because only the brave or bone-headed would buy some expensive items—diamond earrings, high-end suits, musical instruments, mattresses, Persian carpets, prescription sunglasses—without hands-on examination. And some shoppers, me among them, like the pleasure of propping up independent stores that sell high-quality goods.

But I don't shop much for general merchandise any more, because I am sick of clutter and, with university fees for my kids, don't have the spending power for non-essential items..... blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress........ blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress...money spent on smartphones and wireless services is unavailable to be spent on T-shirts and shoes.....middle-class incomes have stagnated, healthcare costs have climbed, and highly leveraged consumers are more interested in paying off debt than buying new TVs. Something had to give, and it was the department stores, whose shares are down by 40% or more in the last year or so (Macy's, J.C. Penney)......Amazon's endless virtual aisles sells Fiat cars in Italy, Nike shoes and and Sears' Kenmore appliances. Amazon recently bought Whole Foods and dropped its prices, which put the mainstream supermarkets into a panic........ 55% of product searches start on Amazon, far more than the 28% that start on search engines. The popularity of Amazon Prime (which provides free, two-day delivery as well as TV and movie video streaming) and the construction of massive warehouses have accelerated its growth. .....captures an estimated 40% of every shopping dollar spent online and is already the second-biggest apparel seller in the U.S., behind Wal-Mart. No wonder the traditional retail sector is in free fall.
And here's another question: As traditional retailers weaken or go out of business, and anchor stores disappear from North America's crazily over-malled shopping geography, can the real estate investment trusts be far behind? Betting against Amazon seems a fool's game.......
Eric_Reguly  retailers  decline  bricks-and-mortar  shifting_tastes  Amazon  REITs  shopping_malls  bankruptcies  department_stores  seismic_shifts  high-quality 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Not-So-Glossy Future of Magazines -
SEPT. 23, 2017 | The New York Times | By SYDNEY EMBER and MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM.

Suddenly, it seemed, longstanding predictions about the collapse of magazines had come to pass.

Magazines have sputtered for years, their monopoly on readers and advertising erased by Facebook, Google and more nimble online competitors. But editors and executives said the abrupt churn in the senior leadership ranks signaled that the romance of the business was now yielding to financial realities.

As publishers grasp for new revenue streams, a ‘‘try-anything’’ approach has taken hold. Time Inc. has a new streaming TV show, “Paws & Claws,” that features viral videos of animals. Hearst started a magazine with the online rental service Airbnb. Increasingly, the longtime core of the business — the print product — is an afterthought, overshadowed by investments in live events, podcasts, video, and partnerships with outside brands.

The changes represent one of the most fundamental shifts in decades for a business that long relied on a simple formula: glossy volumes thick with high-priced ads.

“Sentimentality is probably the biggest enemy for the magazine business,” David Carey, the president of Hearst Magazines, said in an interview. “You have to embrace the future.”.......experiments are part of an industrywide race to find some way — any way — to make up for the hemorrhaging of revenue.

Hearst recently introduced The Pioneer Woman Magazine, a partnership with the Food Network host Ree Drummond that was initially sold only at Walmart. Its new travel publication, Airbnbmag, is geared toward customers of the do-it-yourself online rental site, with distribution at newsstands, airports and supermarkets. Meredith has started a magazine called The Magnolia Journal with the HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.

Even Condé Nast, the glitzy purveyor of luxury titles, has recognized the advantages of outside partnerships....debuting a quarterly print title for Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, with a cover featuring a topless Ms. Paltrow submerged in mud from France.
magazines  generational_change  brands  Vanity_Fair  print_journalism  churn  events  partnerships  sentimentality  digital_media  journalism  Hearst  Meredith  publishing  advertising  decline  experimentation  trends  Condé_Nast  resignations  exits  popular_culture 
september 2017 by jerryking
Don't be daft, London is still a world-class city -
August 28, 2017 | The Globe and Mail| by Marcus Gee.

Are London's glory years coming to an end? Don't bet on it. In fact, its recent troubles may turn out to be no more than a blip in its dazzling rise......Despite the sixties upswing symbolized by Twiggy, Carnaby Street and the Beatles, London was a city in decline. Crime was on the rise. Many Londoners were fleeing to the suburbs or leaving the country altogether. The city's population fell by two million between 1939 and 1979, reports Tom Dyckhoff in his recent book The Age of Spectacle. From 1961 to 1971 alone, London lost 600,000 residents. Jobs fled, too, as the docks declined and manufacturers left for greener pastures......then something unexpected and quite wonderful began to happen. Middle-class people attracted to the charm of the old began to move into beat-up parts of the city. Boutiques started popping up in rundown districts such as Covent Garden. A wave of financial deregulation made London a hub for banking and other financial services, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and drawing people from Europe and around the world. Governments started investing in the city again. The Tube network was expanded and refurbished. The glorious St. Pancras Station, once threatened with demolition, was made over as a glistening portal for rail travellers. Foreign money flooded in.

The past 20 years have transformed London from the decaying capital of a clapped-out postimperial power to a humming world city where Land Rovers roam the avenues, tourists flock to ride the London Eye and Russian oligarchs build swimming pools under their Georgian townhouses......Prime Minister Theresa May [is attempting] to come up with a coherent plan to do the impossible: keep the advantages of belonging to the EU without actually being a member......The city still boasts many advantages. Not least of them is the fact that it is, well, London.

As its former mayor (now Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) Boris Johnson puts it in his book The Spirit of London, the city is a global brand. Its pull is magnetic, its resilience famous. "It is plainly a city that can come back from almost anything – massacre, fire, plague, blitz."

There are practical reasons to bet on London, too. As much as Londoners complain about it, the public transportation system in the birthplace of the subway is a wonder. Looking to the future, the city is bulking up with the huge Crossrail project, designed to link the city's east and west.
Marcus_Gee  world-class  London  Brexit  decline  '70s  deregulation  revitalization  cities  books  financial_services 
august 2017 by jerryking
As Black-Owned Banks Withdraw, Community Sounds Alarm - WSJ
By Sharon Nunn
Aug. 6, 2017

The number of black-owned banks operating in the U.S. has been dropping steadily for the past 15 years and fell to 23 this year, the lowest level in recent history, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That has left many African-American communities short of access to capital and traditional financial services, according to some banking experts....The 2008 recession hit the black banking sector especially hard, and if the current rate of closures of about two a year, as well as the industry-wide reluctance or inability to start banks, continues, black-owned banks could disappear entirely within the next eight to 12 years. The trend is worrisome to some analysts who argue fewer banks serving low-income, minority groups could expand “financial deserts”—communities with few or no banking institutions—and increase the likelihood that black and Hispanic communities could become susceptible to redlining, a discriminatory practice that excludes poorer minority areas from financial services....... [black-owned community banks were] the first bank some African-Americans had access to, making it a symbol of black enterprise and economic development, .......A survey of entrepreneurs by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2014 found that 47% of black business owners had gotten got the full amount of funding requested from banks, credit unions or other financial institutions, compared with 76% of whites.

That survey also showed fear of rejection was the top reason cited by black business owners who chose not to seek needed capital at all.
black-owned  banks  African-Americans  trends  decline  FDIC  financial_services  redlining  low-income  community_banks 
august 2017 by jerryking
The Decline of the Baronial C.E.O. - The New York Times
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZJUNE 17, 2017

General Electric is just the latest storied name in corporate America to show its leader the door. Ford’s chief executive, Mark Fields, had been in the job for less than three years when he was fired in late May. Two weeks earlier, Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel abruptly stepped down. With these departures, the American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.....Jeffrey Immelt tried to change G.E., yet couldn’t react quickly enough to the forces affecting companies like his......[(Amazon + Whole Foods) shows how] the digital age has upended the competitive landscape, pitting companies in vastly different industries against one another.

These include the rising power of activist investors, who buy up stakes in companies and then demand changes. Activists are now hunting much bigger game, demanding double-digit annual earnings growth in a stagnant economy. Or else.....Boards, too, have changed, evolving from country-club-like collections of the same familiar faces into a much more diverse and demanding constituency.....for most of the Fortune 500, the unquestioned power and perks, the imperviousness to criticism from the likes of shareholders, and the outsize public profile that once automatically came with the corner office have gone the way of the typewriter and the Dictaphone.....[today] ...wading into bitterly partisan public debates offers little upside for corporate leaders, and risks damage to their company’s reputation.

As a result, while companies in many ways have more economic and political power than ever, “chief executives now shy away from weighing in on the policy level or broader societal issues,” Mr. Sharer said. “They’re more focused on running their companies.”......Mr. Immelt’s exit leaves a void at the intersection of business and public policy,.....“If you start fooling around in Washington with the Business Roundtable or writing op-eds, activist investors will ask what you’re doing,”....[GE] became a natural target for activist investors. One of those was Nelson Peltz, a onetime corporate raider who relied on Michael R. Milken’s junk bonds for financing back in the 1980s.
CEOs  GE  executive_management  shareholder_activism  digital_disruption  Jeffrey_Immelt  disruption  technological_change  decline  Vijay_Govindarajan  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
june 2017 by jerryking
Sorry, we’re closed: The decline of established American retailing threatens jobs | The Economist
May 13th 2017 | New York

Therein lies the problem for America’s retailers. Not every mall or shop is dying. For now, store-occupancy rates are healthy. Nor have consumers stopped shopping. But they are spending money in new ways to the benefit of other businesses, such as restaurants, hotels and e-retailers, in particular Amazon. As a result, a giant established industry is descending into crisis.

Last year about 4,000 shops closed their doors for good. In 2017 more than twice that number may shut, says Credit Suisse, a bank. Consumer confidence is strong and unemployment is at its lowest level in a decade, yet S&P Global Ratings expects retailing defaults this year to surpass those in 2009 when the economy was in the depths of a recession.

The most important question is how far and how fast the industry might sink. This has implications not only for retailers and retail-property companies but also the financial firms that have given them money, from banks to life-insurance companies.
Amazon  decline  e-commerce  shopping_malls  retailers  dying  reboot  commercial_real_estate  store_closings 
may 2017 by jerryking
Looking Death in the Face -
DEC. 26, 2016 | The New York Times | by John Kaag and Clancy Martin.

Shelley’s poem, “Ozymandias,”, tells us, nothing remains of this pharaoh's works or of him, despite his status as the king of kings. All that remains is sand.

The poem’s message is perennial: All of this will be over soon, faster than you think. Fame has a shadow — inevitable decline. The year 2016 has delivered a string of deaths that serve as bracing reminders of this inevitability: Prince, Nancy Reagan, David Bowie, Elie Wiesel, Bill Cunningham, Muhammad Ali, Gordie Howe, Merle Haggard, Patty Duke, John Glenn....The year’s end is a time to take account of kingdoms built, but also the sheer rapidity of their destruction. It is a chance to come to terms with the existential fragility that is overlooked in most of our waking hours and that must be faced even by the greatest among us....the scariest thing about death: coming to die only to discover, in Thoreau’s words, that we haven’t lived....Dying, of course, corresponds exactly with what we prefer to call living. This is what Samuel Beckett meant when he observed that we “give birth astride the grave.” It is an existential realization that may seem to be the province of the very sick or very old. The elderly get to watch the young and oblivious squander their days, time that they now recognize as incredibly precious....The trick to dying for something is picking the right something, day after week after precious year. And this is incredibly hard and decidedly not inevitable....
dying  howto  Egyptian_Empire  history  worthiness  discernment  overlooked  perennial  timeless  poems  decline  mybestlife  deaths 
december 2016 by jerryking
For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance
JULY 13, 2016 | - The New York Times | By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE.

The resentment among whites feels both old and distinctly of this moment. It is shaped by the reality of demographic change, by a decade and a half of war in the Middle East, and by unease with the newly confident and confrontational activism of young blacks furious over police violence. It is mingled with patriotism, pride, fear and a sense that an America without them at its center is not really America anymore.

In the months since Mr. Trump began his campaign, the percentage of Americans who say race relations are worsening has increased, reaching nearly half in an April poll by CBS News. The sharpest rise was among Republicans: Sixty percent said race relations were getting worse.

And Mr. Trump’s rise is shifting the country’s racial discourse just as the millennial generation comes fully of age, more and more distant from the horrors of the Holocaust, or the government-sanctioned racism of Jim Crow.
Campaign_2016  Patrick_Buchanan  decline  deindustrialization  multiculturalism  globalization  race_relations  Donald_Trump  resentments  grievances  political_correctness  white_identity  identity_politics  bigotry  race_card  birthers  Colleges_&_Universities  whites  working_class  blue-collar  racial_resentment 
july 2016 by jerryking
Twilight of the Brands
FEBRUARY 17 & 24, 2014 | - The New Yorker | BY JAMES SUROWIECKI.

It’s a truism of business-book thinking that a company’s brand is its “most important asset,” more valuable than technology or patents or manufacturing prowess. But brands have never been more fragile. The reason is simple: consumers are supremely well informed and far more likely to investigate the real value of products than to rely on logos. “Absolute Value,” a new book by Itamar Simonson, a marketing professor at Stanford, and Emanuel Rosen, a former software executive, shows that, historically, the rise of brands was a response to an information-poor environment. When consumers had to rely on advertisements and their past experience with a company, brands served as proxies for quality; if a car was made by G.M., or a ketchup by Heinz, you assumed that it was pretty good. It was hard to figure out if a new product from an unfamiliar company was reliable or not, so brand loyalty was a way of reducing risk. As recently as the nineteen-eighties, nearly four-fifths of American car buyers stayed loyal to a brand.

Today, consumers can read reams of research about whatever they want to buy. This started back with Consumer Reports, which did objective studies of products, and with J. D. Power’s quality rankings, which revealed what ordinary customers thought of the cars they’d bought. But what’s really weakened the power of brands is the Internet, which has given ordinary consumers easy access to expert reviews, user reviews, and detailed product data, in an array of categories.
James_Surowiecki  brands  Lululemon  books  GM  Heinz  customer_loyalty  J.D._Power  Consumer_Reports  new  Achilles’_heel  decline  information-poor  information-rich  fragility 
february 2016 by jerryking
The Decline of ‘Big Soda’ - The New York Times
OCT. 2, 2015 | NYT | Margot Sanger-Katz.

The obvious lesson from Philadelphia is that the soda industry is winning the policy battles over the future of its product. But the bigger picture is that soda companies are losing the war.

By the end of this decade, if not sooner, sales of bottled water are expected to surpass those of carbonated soft drinks.
Even as anti-obesity campaigners like Mr. Nutter have failed to pass taxes, they have accomplished something larger. In the course of the fight, they have reminded people that soda is not a very healthy product. They have echoed similar messages coming from public health researchers and others — and fundamentally changed the way Americans think about soda.

Over the last 20 years, sales of full-calorie soda in the United States have plummeted by more than 25 percent. Soda consumption, which rocketed from the 1960s through 1990s, is now experiencing a serious and sustained decline.
calories  beverages  sugar  diets  water  eating_habits  Coca-Cola  Pepsi  obesity  decline 
october 2015 by jerryking
A crisis for many years, and many reasons, to come - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Sep. 05, 2015

The reasons are easy to identify, the consequences extremely difficult to assess, the solutions complicated and uncertain.

Europe is politically stable and prosperous; Africa and the Middle East are not. Europe’s population is steady or declining; Africa and the Middle East have exploding numbers. Europe’s geography is not seriously affected by climate change; parts of Africa and the Middle East, already dry, are getting drier and therefore less fertile.

War is all but unimaginable in Europe; military conflict is a fact of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya. Human rights are respected throughout Europe (with a few exceptions); human rights are systematically abused by authoritarian and theocratic regimes in some African and many Middle Eastern countries. Women have made startling advances in almost every walk of European life; women are still discriminated against in too many parts of Africa and the Middle East.

These pressures pushing or enticing large numbers of people toward Europe will not disappear. If anything, they will intensify as the years go on, because climate change, demographic pressures, fierce intrareligious rivalries, the lack of respect for pluralism and a host of other entrenched realities will not bend to moral entreaties or military interventions from Western countries.
mass_migrations  refugees  crisis  Europe  failed_states  Jeffrey_Simpson  root_cause  Non-Integrating_Gap  Functioning_Core  emerging_countries  developed_countries  demographic_changes  decline  climate_change  religious_intolerance  migrants  human_trafficking 
september 2015 by jerryking
Obama Gives Emotional Farewell Speech at Holder Event
Feb 27, 2015 | WSJ | By BYRON TAUand ANDREW GROSSMAN.

Mr. Obama pointed to “hundreds of terrorism convictions, the largest mafia take down in history, billion dollar financial fraud cases, long overdue reforms to our criminal justice system” as just some of Mr. Holder’s accomplishments in office.

“Thanks in part to Eric’s leadership, the overall crime rate and overall incarceration rate declined together for the first time in 40 years,” the president said. He also identified the Justice Department’s focus on civil rights, voting rights, hate crimes and human trafficking as notable areas of accomplishment.
Obama  Eric_Holder  Aretha_Franklin  Department_of_Justice  exits  incarceration  decline 
february 2015 by jerryking
The End of the Impulse Shopper - WSJ
Nov. 25, 2014 | WSJ |By SHELLY BANJO and SARA GERMANO.

An endangered species in the retail landscape is the ''impulse buy''...grocery shoppers are becoming more intentional and this is paving the way for more innovation in physical and digital merchandising.....Many Americans have the money and the will to spend. But they are time-pressed and deal savvy, visiting stores only when they run out of items like cereal or toilet paper and after doing extensive research on purchases online and with friends. They buy what they came for—and then leave. Those habits threaten more than just gum sales at checkout. Impulse is why stores offer deep discounts on loss leaders, why they put the milk in the back corner and why marketers spend heavily to pile up products in displays at the ends of the aisles. If shoppers just target the deals and don’t let their eyes wander, long cherished models for boosting sales fall apart...the symptoms of the industry’s malaise are clear enough: extended declines in shopper traffic, weak sales growth, and a discount-driven race to the bottom that is sapping pricing power.
impulse_purchasing  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  habits  discounting  shopping  shopping_experience  Turnstyle  intentionality  discretionary_spending  loss_leaders  foot_traffic  merchandising  frugality  decline  symptoms  endangered  time-strapped 
january 2015 by jerryking
Canadian patent applications in steady decline: study - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE MCKENNA
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 28 2014
patents  decline  Canada 
november 2014 by jerryking
Retail reboot: How e-commerce is forcing an industry transformation - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 14 2014

The Future Shop store reinvention is part of a wider retail reboot sweeping through the industry as retailers and malls are being forced to adapt amid the relentless surge of e-commerce. Shopper traffic in stores is in decline. At the same time, e-commerce is soaring and has never been more competitive.

Meanwhile, consumers expect more for less, as retailers increasingly lure them with a variety of new ways to shop in person and online, with added bonuses such as free shipping.

It all adds up to intensifying competition ahead for an industry already at war as big new entrants in Canada battle with established players to win over fickle consumers.
retailers  e-commerce  Marina_Strauss  reboot  expectations  foot_traffic  decline  shopping_malls  new_entrants 
november 2014 by jerryking
The riddle of black America’s rising woes under Obama - FT.com
October 12, 2014 4:54 pm
The riddle of black America’s rising woes under Obama
By Edward Luce

Without Mr Obama’s efforts, African-American suffering would have been even greater. He has fought Congress to preserve food stamps and long-term unemployment insurance – both of which help blacks disproportionately. The number of Americans without health insurance has fallen by 8m since the Affordable Care Act came into effect. Likewise, no president has done as much as Mr Obama – to depressingly little effect – to try to correct the racial bias in US federal sentencing. Bill Clinton was once termed “America’s first black president”. But it was under Mr Clinton that incarceration rates rose to their towering levels.
By no honest reckoning can Mr Obama be blamed for the decline in black America’s fortunes. Yet the facts are deeply unflattering. Since 2009, median non-white household income has dropped by almost a 10th to $33,000 a year, according to the US Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances. As a whole, median incomes fell by 5 per cent. But by the more telling measure of net wealth – assets minus liabilities – the numbers offer a more troubling story.
The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 – almost a fifth lower than it was when Mr Obama took office. White median wealth, on the other hand, has inched up by 1 per cent to $142,000. In 2009, white households were seven times richer than their black counterparts. That gap is now eightfold. Both in relative and absolute terms, blacks are doing worse under Mr Obama.
Why then do African-Americans still give him such stellar ratings? To understand, listen to the dog whistles of Mr Obama’s detractors. The more angrily the Tea Party reviles Mr Obama, the more ardently African-Americans back him. When Newt Gingrich, the former Republican leader, described Mr Obama as a “food stamp president”, the subtext was plain. It was too when Joe Wilson, a Republican lawmaker, interrupted Mr Obama’s address to Congress to call him a liar – an indignity none of his predecessors suffered.
Likewise, no president has been forced to authenticate that he was born in the US (rather than Kenya). Donald Trump then demanded proof that the president had attended Harvard. How could a black man get so far without cheating? That at least is what many black Americans heard.
African-Americans  Obama  racial_disparities  legacies  generational_wealth  indignities  Donald_Trump  Tea_Party  bigotry  disproportionality  decline  Edward_Luce 
october 2014 by jerryking
What a 94-year-old track star can teach us about aging - The Globe and Mail
BRUCE GRIERSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Jan. 11 2014

four tips for staying mentally sharp:

Play games

The brain isn’t a muscle, but it works like one in its use-it-or-lose-it dimension. Our brains are way more plastic than we used to think, and a challenged brain can grow new neural connections quite deep into old age. Olga is crazy for Sudoku, the Japanese number game, and she does the hard ones. In pen.

Learn another language

Olga’s Ukranian is a little rusty but it’s there – so she discovered when global interest in her grew and Ukrainian news teams came knocking. A 2013 study by the Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India – the largest of its kind to date – found that having a second language delays the onset of dementia by around four-and-a-half years, on average.

Make a mistake, then take notes

To speed up learning, of any skill or subject, we need immediate and specific feedback on our performance. Champion chess and backgammon players promptly review the game they just lost, just as top students promptly review and correct errors. Olga actually happens to have a gene linked to learning from your mistakes. But it’s likely her habits, more than her genes, that are driving the bus here. Very little she does escapes her own immediate and systematic appraisal. In her bowling league, for example, “When I get a strike, I take note of where I was standing and how hard did I throw it,” she says, “and then try to duplicate those conditions.”

Exercise

Better even than mental activity is exercise combined with it. Exercise comprehensively it beats back cognitive decline as we age. Exercise grows the hippocampus, the brain region associated with making and consolidating memories; it’s what you want to lean on when you start misplacing your glasses, or worse.
aging  howto  cognitive_skills  decline  error_correction  human_errors  journaling  lessons_learned  mistakes  postmortems  systematic_approaches 
september 2014 by jerryking
Today’s Titans Can Learn From Fall of U.S. Steel - NYTimes.com
JULY 3, 2014 | NYT |By FLOYD NORRIS.

it was the run-up to that strike, as well as the eventual terms of the settlement, that paved the way for the decline of the company and the industry it led. The episode opened the door for surging imports and eventually for wage increases that the companies could ill afford...The United States economy is no longer so dependent on heavy manufacturing, a development that would have taken place even if the men running U.S. Steel had far more foresight than they did. But they might have coped with it far better than they did. They might have found a way to better use newer technology that enabled companies like Nucor, which remains in the S.&P. 500 and whose market value is four times that of U.S. Steel, to prosper making steel.

More broadly, the descent of U.S. Steel from all powerful to also-ran might be worth contemplating by those who now seem to be astride the world economy, a list that could include companies in Wall Street, Silicon Valley and China.

Michelle Applebaum, a now-retired steel analyst whom I have relied upon for insights since the 1980s, when she was at Salomon Brothers, says that one reason the 1959 strike proved disastrous for the big steel companies was that it showed customers they had choices...When the strike did end, workers received minimal wage increases, but they also obtained a cost-of-living provision to ensure that wages and benefits kept up with inflation. That would prove to be valuable for them in later years. Steel users had learned how to deal with imported steel, a lesson they did not forget.
steel  lessons_learned  '60s  unions  labour  S&P  JFK  strikes  history  Salomon_Brothers  U.S._Steel  cost-of-living  Nucor  imports  research_analysts  foresight  decline 
july 2014 by jerryking
Venezuela’s declining fortunes a lesson in mismanagement - The Globe and Mail
GWYN MORGAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Feb. 23 2014

The fact that Canadian oil production, which faces much greater technical challenges than in Venezuela, has grown steadily over the same period offers some fundamental lessons.

The first is that building a business requires reinvestment. Siphoning off cash to shareholders or governments stymies growth. The second lesson is that skilled people are always in demand, either in another company or another country. Without them, the only direction is down.

The third lesson is that, sooner or later, state-owned enterprises will be doomed by cronyism and dysfunction. The idea that it is up to government to set the rules, and business to hit the ball, separates free-market capitalism from command-and-control socialism. Which leads to a key lesson for those who cling to socialist philosophies: Distributing wealth, before creating it, impoverishes everyone. Only free-enterprise countries have managed to build strong and prosperous societies.
command-and-control  free-enterprise  Gwyn_Morgan  reinvestment  socialism  Venezuela  PDVSA  oil_industry  mismanagement  SOEs  human_capital  cronyism  dysfunction  decline 
may 2014 by jerryking
On a milestone of misrule, Mugabe fumes as Zimbabwe falls apart
Apr. 21 2014 | G&M | GEOFFREY YORK.

Mr. Mugabe’s rule is unchallenged these days, after a landslide victory in a 2013 election that was widely seen as tainted and rigged. But while he dominates the country, the Zimbabwean economy is continuing to slide towards disaster – even though Western sanctions on the Mugabe regime have been largely eliminated.

Consumer spending fell by 30 per cent in February (the most recent data available); government revenue dropped by 10 per cent in the same month; civil-service wages have been delayed because the government cannot pay them; and dozens of factories have shut down in recent months, eliminating more than 9,000 jobs at a time when unemployment is already estimated at about 60 per cent...Just 14 years ago, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest economies in Africa. Today it has fallen into the bottom half of the continent’s economies. Mr. Mugabe’s misrule has cost Zimbabwe about $96-billion (U.S.) in those 14 years, according to an analyst at the U.S.-based Centre for Global Development. The country’s GDP would be more than twice as big today if it had followed the growth pattern of neighboring Zambia in that period, he noted.

“Mugabe has the ignominious distinction of being the only African head-of-state to preside over an average decline in both economic output and life expectancy since 1980,”
Zimbabwe  Robert_Mugabe  Geoffrey_York  indigenization  tyrants  misrule  misgovernance  mismanagement  poor_governance  decline  GDP  life_expectancy 
april 2014 by jerryking
Storied law firm Heenan Blaikie sunk by a shifting legal landscape - The Globe and Mail
JANET McFARLAND, JEFF GRAY, KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON AND SEAN FINE

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Feb. 05 2014

National law firm Heenan Blaikie LLP is closing after 40 years in operation, marking the largest failure of a law firm in Canada....An array of problems contributed to its demise, from new pressures on mid-sized law firms to a long decline in major corporate deals and demands from clients for lower billing. Some clients have abandoned traditional loyalty to a single firm and have been using smaller ones that offer deep discounts on routine work.
law_firms  Bay_Street  dissolutions  Heenan_Blaikie  winner-take-all  decline  mid-sized  Jeff_Gray  barbell_effect 
february 2014 by jerryking
Also Stalking the Fund Industry: Obsolescence - WSJ.com
Dec. 10, 2003 | WSJ | Holman W. Jenkins.

Quiz for economists: Suppose you have a competitive, transparent industry that one day begins acting in a more short-sighted, exploitative way towards its customers. What's really going on?

Here's a hint: Think of the gradual slide toward sleazier marketing by the traditional long-distance companies. When your business has a future, you invest in customer relationships. When you see your future going away, you milk them like the wasting assets they are. Big swaths of the fund management business are behaving exactly like an industry in decline...Mutual funds exploded in the 1990s, growing from less than $2 trillion in assets to $7 trillion. A long bull market helped to conceal the fact many of these entrants brought no value to the table. Their managers were, on average, merely as lucky as everyone else to be standing in the right place at the right time.
mutual_funds  Holman_Jenkins  Eliot_Spitzer  industry_analysis  obsolescence  customer_satisfaction  financial_services  luck  short-sightedness  sleaze  customer_relationships  exploitation  bull_markets  imposters  decline  '90s  cash_cows 
december 2013 by jerryking
The decline and fall of Canada’s global corporate superstars - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Eric Reguly.

Here’s a depressing exercise: Scan the upper reaches of the Top 1000 companies in the July-August issue of Report on Business magazine and try to spot Canada’s global winners.

You could call them Canada’s corporate ambassadors, if they existed.

The short list is exceedingly short:
...Why does Canada, a Group of Seven country that encourages open markets, celebrates innovation and risk-taking, pumps fortunes into R&D, votes in business-friendly governments, is blessed with skilled workers and globally competitive tax rates and sits on the doorstep of the world’s largest market produce so pathetically few global corporate superstars?....It can take decades, a century even, to build a company like Inco or Dofasco. Don Argus, the former chairman of BHP Billiton of Australia, the world’s largest mining group, was right to denounce Canada’s sellout culture. “Canada has lost more head offices than any other country,” he said in 2008, at the height of the resources’ buying and selling spree. “Canada has already been reduced to an industry branch office and is largely irrelevant to the global mining stage.”

Of course, BlackBerry doesn’t really play into the hollowing out story. In retrospect, it should have foisted itself on Microsoft, Nokia or Amazon shortly after it became apparent to investors and tech geeks, if not to the deluded executives at BlackBerry itself, that the iPhone was here to stay. BlackBerry’s value destruction since then has been awe-inspiring. Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Balsillie were superb entrepreneurs, but failed at keeping the company competitive.

So why does Canada lack global champions? Don’t blame government policies. Blame the sellout culture, nice-guy directors with a propensity to protect the wrong executives at the wrong time and Canada’s classic lack of corporate self-confidence. The upshot is a country that turned into a one-trick pony – oil sands – with a few decent, protected banks and insurers at its side. If Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden can churn out global champions, Canada should be able to at least double the rate. The next BlackBerry is not just around the corner.
Blackberry  boards_&_directors_&_governance  brands  branch_plants  competitiveness_of_nations  decline  Eric_Reguly  G-7  global_champions  head_offices  hollowing_out  large_companies  multinationals  oil_sands  sellout_culture  superstars  value_destruction 
august 2013 by jerryking
Shelby Steele: The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment - WSJ.com
July 21, 2013 | | WSJ | SHELBY STEELE.

The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment
Black leaders weren't so much outraged at injustice as they were by the disregard of their own authority.
Shelby_Steele  Trayvon_Martin  civil_rights  African-Americans  injustice  decline 
july 2013 by jerryking
A Turnaround Job Can Make Your Career If You Choose Wisely
Sep. 19, 1995 | WSJ | HAL LANCASTER.

It's an age-old dilemma: Saving a sinking ship can make a career; but some ships can't be salvaged, and a high-profile failure can scuttle a promising career. (Yes, I know failures aren't supposed to be fatal any more because companies realize what valuable learning experiences they are. If you want fairy tales, you'll have to look elsewhere.)

So when is it prudent to take on a tough turnaround assignment? ... And how would she advise others weighing the risks of a turnaround assignment? Research, research and research, she says, and then go with your gut instinct. ``There's a point at which you have enough information to act,'' she says. ``If you wait to get everything, you're too late.''

If that philosophy doesn't work for you, try this one, from Gen. Colin Powell's list of rules to live by, which Ms. Lewis keeps on her office wall: ``Don't let adverse facts get in the way of a good decision.''
career-defining_moments  career_ending_moves  Colin_Powell  collectibles  decline  due_diligence  failure  gut_feelings  Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  risks  turnarounds  women 
february 2013 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
Operational Expertise Makes the Difference
Fall 2004 | The Journal of Private Equity | Peter L. Tourtellot

In the last decade, companies in need of innovative change-agents learned to look outside their industries for new chief executives. These leaders were just what the companies needed: outsiders with a fresh perspective that
encourage strategic and organizational change. When a company is in distress. it needs to make drastic changes An industry outsider. with a wide range of operational experience is in the best position to get a handle on the root causes of trouble and identify applicable solutions from other industries that may never have occurred to the faltering company. Simply put. the need for industry experience in a turnaround situation is a myth. An industry outsider is the best source for the out-of-the-box thinking needed to reverse a company's decline.
turnarounds  execution  CEOs  private_equity  change_agents  industry_expertise  expertise  operations  outsiders  decline  out-of-the-box  fresh_eyes 
august 2012 by jerryking
How We Built a Strong Company in A Weak Industry
February 2001 | HBR | Roger Brown.

The chairman and founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions heeded the wisdom of visionary real estate developer James Rouse: Make your passions central to your life. By doing that, she has created a highly successful company with employees who are driven by its mission to give children the best possible start in life.
children  HBR  SWOT  micro-markets  microtargeting  daycare  mission-driven  decline  visionaries 
august 2012 by jerryking
Sites Like Groupon and Facebook Disappoint Investors - NYTimes.com
By JAMES B. STEWART
Published: August 17, 2012

Every company has its own story, but the euphoria over social media companies as a group was rooted in what economists call the network effect. The more users a site attracts, the more others will want to use it, which creates a natural monopoly and a magnet for advertisers.

Facebook has been a classic example. If your friends, colleagues or classmates are all on it, you’re all but compelled to join. But evidence that the network effect is working requires rapid growth in users and revenue, especially during the early stages of a company’s public life. So far, social media has failed to deliver the kind of growth that would bolster investor optimism, let alone euphoria.

The network effect is a double-edged sword, Ken Sena, a consumer Internet analyst at Evercore, told me this week.

“The network effect allowed these companies to grow so fast, but the decline can be just as ferocious,” Mr. Sena said. “If any of them misstep with users, they can leave, and the network effect goes into reverse.” The textbook case is Myspace, once the most visited social networking site, that is now a shadow of its former self.
networks  network_effects  Facebook  Groupon  LinkedIn  Larry_Summers  decline  missteps 
august 2012 by jerryking
Wondering How Far Magazines Must Fall
August 12, 2012 | NYT | By DAVID CARR.

Because of changes to the informational ecosystem, weeklies have been forced to leave behind the news and become magazines of ideas. Ms. Brown understood that; it’s just that some of her ideas weren’t always very good...The problem is not Tina Brown or her conceptual obsessions, or even the calcified formula of the weekly magazine.

The problem is more existential than that: magazines, all kinds of them, don’t work very well in the marketplace anymore.

Like newspapers, magazines have been in a steady slide, but now, like newspapers, they seem to have reached the edge of the cliff. Last week, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported that newsstand circulation in the first half of the year was down almost 10 percent. When 10 percent of your retail buyers depart over the course of a year, something fundamental is at work....It’s not just consumers who are playing hard to get: advertising is down 8.8 percent year to date over the same miserable period a year ago, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. With readership in such steep decline and advertising refusing to come back, magazines are in a downward spiral that not even their new digital initiatives can halt.
reinvention  magazines  David_Carr  future  digital_media  Tina_Brown  ideas  newsstand_circulation  advertising  downward_spirals  structural_change  print_journalism  seismic_shifts  newspapers  decline  digital_disruption 
august 2012 by jerryking
12.11: The Decline of Brands
November 2004 | Wired |By James Surowiecki.

Americans have become less loyal. Consumer-goods markets used to be very stable. If you had a set of customers today, you could be pretty sure most of them would still be around two years, five years, ten years from now. That's no longer true. A study by retail-industry tracking firm NPD Group found that nearly half of those who described themselves as highly loyal to a brand were no longer loyal a year later.

Sure, there are more brands than ever. But they're taking a beating - or, even worse, being ignored. Who's to blame? A new breed of hyperinformed superconsumers. (That's right - you!)
James_Surowiecki  brands  branding  decline 
july 2012 by jerryking
Prophet of Decline - WSJ.com
June 23, 2005|WSJ| By TUNKU VARADARAJAN
Islam  decline 
july 2012 by jerryking
POWER INC - David Rothkopf - Penguin Books
Only about thirty countries possess the powers usually associated with sovereign nations. The rest can’t actually defend their borders, govern their finances independently, or meet the basic needs of their people. In this provocative and persuasive new book, David Rothkopf calls these others semistates and argues that they’re much less powerful than hundreds of corporate supercitizens.

A multitude of facts demonstrates the reach of the modern corporation. Walmart has revenues greater than the GDP of all but twenty-five nations. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, controls $3.3 trillion, almost as much as the currency reserves held by China and Japan combined. Corporations in Third World countries routinely hire mercenary armies to enforce their will, and in some cases (such as Shell in Nigeria), they control the politicians as well.

Striking a balance between public and private power has become the defining challenge for all societies. In Power, Inc., Rothkopf argues that the decline of the state is irreversible. The way forward is to harness corporate resources in the service of individual nations to forge a radically new relationship between the individual and the institutions that govern our lives.

David Rothkopf

David Rothkopf is the author of Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. He is the president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm. He teaches international affairs at Columbia University.
books  NSC  Wal-Mart  BlackRock  asset_management  multinationals  David_Rothkopf  decline  statelessness 
july 2012 by jerryking
Arabs and free trade -
13 May 2003 |The Globe and Mail A.18 | editorials

The decades-old Arab economic boycott of Israel is a "cut off your nose to spite your face" kind of measure -- hurtful to Israel's Western-oriented economy but equally damaging to Arab economies, which would benefit from trade with the Middle East's strongest player.

In a sense, though, the boycott is standard fare among Arab countries. They don't simply close their borders to Israeli products; they close them to each other's products, too. Arab states have some of the global economy's highest tariff barriers, averaging 20 per cent or more. Many, including Saudi Arabia, are not even members of the World Trade Organization.

It has been almost 30 years since the oil embargo against the West, which proved to be the high-water mark for Arab economic influence. Since then, Arab countries have failed to diversify, even into oil-related products such as petrochemicals. Dependence on fluctuating oil revenues has only grown. Meanwhile, according to the International Monetary Fund, many Arab countries maintain greater state control over their economies than existed in the old Soviet bloc.

Per-capita incomes, unsurprisingly, are declining. The gross domestic product of the entire Arab world is less than Spain's, and only four-fifths of Canada's. Last year, Arab countries received less foreign investment than did Sweden.
ProQuest  editorials  Middle_East  Arab-Muslim_world  boycotts  decline  global_economy 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Decline of U.S. Naval Power - WSJ.com
March 2, 2011 |WSJ|By MARK HELPRIN

The Decline of U.S. Naval Power
Sixty ships were commonly underway in America's seaward approaches in 1998, but today there are only 20. We are abdicating our role on the oceans.
U.S._Navy  maritime  America_in_Decline?  decline 
june 2012 by jerryking
The West Must Act Now or Rue the Day - WSJ.com
August 29, 2006 | Letters to the editor

"What we have in the Middle East is not a clash of civilizations but a maelstrom of irrationalism. The West has been incapacitated by appeasement, corruption and denial because many people suffer from an aversion to conflict. On the other hand, you have an Islamic world in decline where its most anti-social elements project on to others their feelings of inadequacy while denying any guilt of their own for the situation their culture is in. Unfortunately, these radicals have intimidated the majority of Muslims into acquiescence for their terrorist views and actions."
letters_to_the_editor  Shelby_Steele  Middle_East  guilt  decline 
june 2012 by jerryking
Cometh the Hour . . . - WSJ.com
October 14, 2003| WSJ | By HAROLD BLOOM.

I have been rereading Edmund Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which I recommend to anyone in search of wisdom relevant at this moment. Gibbon attributes decline and fall to many varied factors, but the characters of specific Roman emperors -- good, bad and indifferent -- are viewed by him as crucial in the self-destructiveness of Rome. It is not at all clear whether we are already in decline: Bread is still available for most and circuses for all. Still, there are troubling omens, economic and diplomatic, and a hint or two from Gibbon may be of considerable use.
books  leadership  Wesley_Clark  Romans  Edmund_Gibbon  America_in_Decline?  self-destructive  decline  multiple_stressors 
may 2012 by jerryking
Newt Gingrich wants you to make him run for president
February 5, 2007 | Fortune | Nina Easton.

Has anyone revitalized or created a bright spot in a flat or declining industry?
At the Tempe conference, Gingrich politely listens to such proposals as applying Toyota-style production-control techniques to the health system - and then slices through them with an alternative mantra of competition, deregulation, modernized information systems, and personal responsibility. ...In other words, in Gingrich's world consumer health care should look more like Travelocity...Instead, the Center for Health Transformation offers policy ideas to companies that want to get health-care costs off their backs but oppose government-imposed, universal-health-insurance plans as costly and burdensome. The center's roster of 75 clients is impressive, including insurers Blue Cross & Blue Shield and GE Healthcare, providers like the American Hospital Association, and employers like GM (Charts) and Ford (Charts). Clients pay fees ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 a year....Gingrich's own epiphany about a presidential run dates back three years, when he picked up Harold Holzer's "Lincoln at Cooper Union." The book tells the story of how Lincoln's lengthy 1860 speech in New York City - an intellectually rigorous rebuttal of slavery's legal grounding - wowed the Eastern establishment and transformed a gawky, badly dressed Western politician into a leading presidential candidate. Gingrich saw himself in this story of the underestimated outsider making good, despite the seeming hubris of comparing himself to Lincoln, and it now underpins his unorthodox quest for the presidency...Gingrich also says things like "If you want to shape history, it's useful to actually know history" without a hint of self-consciousness...Of the other Republican contenders for President he says, "We're not in the same business. They are running for the White House. I am trying to change the country."..."My planning horizons are 17 years. I want to give you a sense of scale," he explains, as if helping me focus on his long view of things. "I also do what I think the country needs. I don't operate under personal ambition." ...."There are 3,300 counties, 17,000 elected school boards, 60,000 cities and towns, 14,000 state legislators, 50 governors, and 535 elected federal legislators," he says.
profile  historians  healthcare  lean  books  Six_Sigma  innovation  best_practices  change_agents  long-term  unorthodox  decline  competition  deregulation  information_systems  personal_responsibility  underestimation  outsiders  Abraham_Lincoln  personal_ambition  intellectually_rigorous 
may 2012 by jerryking
Get mad, we're bein' had, gangsta rap's really bad
Margaret Wente. The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Ont.: Dec 1, 2005. pg. A.31Among the fiercest critics of hip-hop culture is John McWhorter, a black American academic. Two years ago, he wrote a blistering essay called "How hip hop holds blacks back," in which he traced the decline of rap from happy party music to the ugly glorification of thug life, bling, easy money, fast cars and woman-bashing. "Of course, not all hip hop is belligerent or profane," he wrote. "But it's the nastiest rap that sells best, and the nastiest cuts that make a career." Today, hip hop is a billion-dollar industry, and stars such as 50 Cent and Cam'ron Giles are extremely rich.

Mr. McWhorter argues that the attitude and style expressed in the hip-hop "identity" keep blacks down. "Almost all hip hop, gangsta or not, is delivered with a cocky, confrontational cadence that is fast becoming a common speech style among young black males. . . . The problem with such speech and mannerisms is that they make potential employers wary of young black men and can impede a young black's ability to interact comfortably with co-workers and customers. The black community has gone through too much to sacrifice upward mobility to the passing kick of an adversarial hip-hop 'identity.' "
Margaret_Wente  ProQuest  music  hip_hop  decline  John_McWhorter  thug_code  misogyny  sexism  youth 
november 2011 by jerryking
Companies close to home need your help
Nov. 2, 2011 | The Financial Times p12.| Luke Johnson.

Two recent books, independently published on either side of the Atlantic, have each drawn parallels between the "slow food" movement and the idea of investing locally. The slow food concept was pioneered in Italy in 1986, to champion small-scale producers and regional ingredients, as a backlash against global fast-food operators such as McDonald's. Now this philosophy is being extended to the financial sector.

The British title is Slow Finance: why investment miles matter by Gervais Williams,
The US book is Locavesting: the revolution in local investing and how to profit from it , by Amy Cortese.

the City of London is largely failing as a provider of capital for British business. The new-issue market for domestic companies has almost disappeared in recent years - all the activity is in trading second-hand shares and floating overseas companies like mining concerns from Africa or Russia. So if mainstream investing institutions such as pension funds are not backing British enterprise, then individuals should look to channel their savings directly into local ventures. For just as a society that won't reproduce commits a form of suicide, so if we fail to invest in our own industries, then we face inevitable economic decline.
local  locavore  investing  books  crowd_funding  Luke_Johnson  microproducers  slow_food  backlash  investors  economic_decline  London  small-scale  finance  funding  fin-tech  decline 
november 2011 by jerryking
A Canada more strong and free
14 Apr 2005 | The Globe and Mail Pg.25 | by Mike Harris, Mike; and Preston Manning.

Canada's declining status as a leader on the world stage can be attributed to the substitution of rhetoric about Canadian values for action to advance Canada's economic and humanitarian interests, the failure to properly fund and equip Canada's armed forces, and the failure of Canada's political leadership to retain a position of influence with the United States. Dramatic action is required to rebuild Canada's sovereignty and security.

we focus on four priorities.

Improving health care
Raising income and job prospects
Increasing democracy
Advancing trade and security
ProQuest  Preston_Manning  priorities  Michael_Harris  decline  world_stage 
october 2011 by jerryking
Is Canada a country in decline?
November 30, 2001 | National Post pg. A.18 | Michael Bliss. . Nov
ProQuest  Canada  Conrad_Black  productivity  Michael_Bliss  national_identity  decline 
october 2011 by jerryking
Oil Industry Braces for Drop in U.S. Thirst for Gasoline - WSJ.com
APRIL 13, 2009 | WSJ |By RUSSELL GOLD and ANA CAMPOY. Declining gasoline-tax revenue is forcing local and federal governments to search for new sources of funding. Oil refiners, which for decades focused on bringing U.S. drivers more gallons of gasoline, are retooling their businesses. Some have said they could shut down some of their refineries entirely, along with thousands of small gas stations. Oil companies are beginning to invest in biofuels and battery technology.
oil_industry  Exxon_Mobil  economic_downturn  recessions  retailers  gas_stations  decline  oil_refiners 
october 2011 by jerryking
The decline of optimism in America -
Oct. 09, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | GWYN MORGAN.

I have always admired the resiliency of corporate America. Even at the bottom of the worst recessions, the private sector’s entrepreneurial energy has returned the country to economic growth. In more than a hundred visits over three decades, I have never seen that great economic engine so demoralized and less willing to bet shareholders’ savings on the country’s future.

And never has that “Welcome home” from a smiling Canadian customs officer felt so good.
Gwyn_Morgan  America_in_Decline?  demoralization  crossborder  decline 
october 2011 by jerryking
Think Globally, Deal Locally - NYTimes.com
September 28, 2011,
Think Globally, Deal Locally
By BEN PROTESS

forging deals in developing regions comes with a unique set of uncertainties, including political, economic and regulatory risks. Wal-Mart Stores pulled out of Moscow late last year, citing an inhospitable climate for acquisitions. Ikea, fed up with corruption in Russia, suspended further investments there in 2009.

In Brazil, rising inflation has spooked investors, contributing to a 26 percent decline this year in the MSCI Brazil index.
private_equity  emerging_markets  decline  deal-making  globalization  Indonesia  investment_banking  risks  frontier_markets  uncertainty  political_risk  regulatory_risk  economic_risk 
september 2011 by jerryking
Drugs That Are as Smart as Our Diseases | Mind & Matter - WSJ.com
SEPT.17, 2011 | WSJ | By MATT RIDLEY. The very opposite of
Moore's Law is happening at the downstream end of the R&D pipeline.
The number of new molecules approved per billion dollars of
inflation-adjusted R&D has declined inexorably at 9% a year and is
now 1/100th of what it was in 1950....

Drugs must be designed to nudge whole networks rather than single
targets. e.g., to develop a treatment for the hospital infection
Clostridium difficile, e-Therapeutics drew a sort of spider's web of how
all the proteins on the outside of the bacterium interacted. From that
web, they identified crucial nodes in the network and, by trial and
error, selected a combination of molecules that could attack those
nodes.

A similar approach is showing promise for cancer and even neurological
disease. It means hitting multiple targets simultaneously, the targets
chosen by network analysis. Where diseases are complex, the cures will
be complex, too.
drugs  pharmaceutical_industry  R&D  decline  research  cancers  networks  complexity  disease  biochemistry  Moore's_Law  molecules  trial_&_error  multiple_targets  Clostridium_difficile 
september 2011 by jerryking
Hispanic Families, Isolated and Broke - NYTimes.com
By DOUGLAS S. MASSEY
August 4, 2011

ACCORDING to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Hispanic families
saw the largest decline in wealth of any racial or ethnic group in the
country during the latter half of the last decade: from 2005 to 2009,
their median wealth fell by an astounding 66 %. The reason? The
implosion of the housing market, where Hispanic families had invested
much of their wealth....Yet subprime lending affected both blacks and
Hispanics and, if anything, predatory lenders went after the former more
than the latter. So why did Hispanics suffer more?

The answer is simple: over time more and more Hispanics had become
economically vulnerable and eminently exploitable, a fact attributable
in large part to American immigration policy.
Hispanic_Americans  immigration  policy  subprime  decline  generational_wealth 
august 2011 by jerryking
Pundit Under Protest - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
June 13, 2011
The 2012 election is about how to avert national decline. All other
issues flow from that anxiety....The Republican growth agenda — tax cuts
and nothing else — is stupefyingly boring, fiscally irresponsible and
politically impossible... Republicans have taken a pragmatic policy
proposal from 1980 and sanctified it as their core purity test for
2012....Democrats, they offer practically nothing. They acknowledge huge
problems like wage stagnation and then offer... light rail! Solar
panels! ...Democrats dream New Deal dreams, propose nothing and try to
win elections by making sure nobody ever touches Medicare....a
Hamiltonian Party would offer a multifaceted reinvigoration agenda,
grabbing & blending growth ideas from all spots on the political
spectrum...This reinvigoration package would have four baskets.(1) an
entitlement reform package (2) a targeted working-class basket (3) a
political corruption basket. (4) a pro-business basket.
Alexander_Hamilton  America_in_Decline?  David_Brooks  decline  Democrats  elections  GOP  multifaceted  pro-business  wage_stagnation 
june 2011 by jerryking
For innovation success, do not follow the money
07-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Michael Schrage "There is
no correlation between the percentage of net revenue spent on R&D
and the innovative capabilities of an organisation – none,"...Just ask
General Motors. No company in the world has spent more on R&D over
the past 25 years. Yet, somehow, GM's market share has
declined....R&D productivity – not R&D investment – is the real
challenge for global innovation. Innovation is not what innovators
innovate, it is what customers actually adopt. Productivity here is not
measured in patents granted but in new customers won and existing
customers profitably retained...A successful innovation policy is a
competition policy where companies see innovation as a cost-effective
investment to differentiate themselves profitably. If a 1 % R&D
intensity buys market leadership, more power to them; if 15 % is what it
takes to keep up with the competition and satisfy customers, that is
fine, too.
Michael_Schrage  innovation  R&D  productivity  measurements  metrics  ROI  customer_acquisition  correlations  customer_adoption  customer_profitability  GM  decline  competition_policy  innovation_policies 
october 2010 by jerryking
Open Canada to the world’s new ways
June 9, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Edward Greenspon. "As
Canada moves down the ranks, from the world’s seventh-largest economy to
10th and lower, it must navigate the rise of Asia, the relative decline
of the U.S. and the sudden creation of a new multilateralism, among
other game-changers. How do we play this once-in-a-century period of
global disruption?
The Canadian International Council asked a panel of Canadians, a
post-Cold War digital generation largely in its 30s and 40s, to come up
with a new blueprint. Our report, Open Canada: A Global Positioning
Strategy for a Networked Age, offers bold and original policies and
strategies within the realm of the possible. " We call our report Open
Canada because we think we can prosper by being the most open country in
the world: open to ideas and investment; open to newcomers and new
ways; open to partnerships and networks at home and abroad; open to
competition and the uncompromising pursuit of excellence.
borderless  policy  Canada  Canadian  foreign_policy  Edward_Greenspon  openness  decline  America_in_Decline?  one-time_events  blueprints  game_changers  multilateralism 
june 2010 by jerryking
How to Flee an Ailing Industry - WSJ.com
JUNE 5, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by DIANA MIDDLETON.
Redeploy your current skills. But, be willing to learn new skills – in
new locations. Build a network outside your industry.
Managing_Your_Career  job_search  career  howto  networking  career_paths  decline  abandoned_fields  off-trends 
february 2010 by jerryking
What Color Is Your Poinsettia? - WSJ.com
December 14, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | By BART ZIEGLER.
Classic Red Christmas Plant, Gets a Psychedelic Makeover, Driving Some
Purists Batty. This year, big-box stores, independent garden centers
and supermarkets are offering poinsettias -- the potted plants long
associated with Christmas -- that have been sprayed with pigments or
dyes, dusted with glitter and even coated with metallic effects. These
treatments, said to be harmless to the plants, turn the normally red,
pink or white leaves into a riot of purple, blue, fuchsia, yellow,
orange, silver or gold....industry's chief problem: a decline in
interest in gardening and plants among younger consumers.
Sheridan  nurseries  horticultural  big-box  supermarkets  decline  innovation  competition  gardening 
february 2010 by jerryking
Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, Accessories: The Changed State of Luxury
September 9, 2009 | WSJ. Magazine | By Lisa Bannon.
World-wide accessories sales, the engine driving the explosive growth of
the luxury-goods industry over the past decade, are projected to
decline 10 percent in 2009, according to Bain & Co., the first real
decline since Bain began tracking the sector in 1995. “Consumers have
lost 40 to 60 percent of their assets broadly in the U.S. Long-term,
they’ll start spending again, but not at the levels they spent before,”
luxury  accessories  economic_downturn  Bain  decline 
december 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Companies / Retail - Ducati cuts production and salaries
August 11 2009 | Financial Times | By Vincent Boland. Mr Del
Torchio said Ducati’s objective in 2009 was to reduce its inventory –
the stock of motorbikes held at the plant and by dealers – while
production was reduced to about 34,000 bikes. Last year it sold 42,800
bikes.At the same time, the decline in the market for luxury bikes was
allowing Ducati to raise its market share from about 5.5 per cent to
roughly 7 per cent.
Ducati  motorcycles  Italian  decline  inventories 
december 2009 by jerryking
Find Your Business Life Cycle: The Seven Stages of Business Life
By Darrell Zahorsky, About.com. 1. Seed Stage; 2. Start-Up
Stage; 3. Growth Stage; 4. Established Stage; 5. Expansion Stage: 6.
Decline Stage; 7. Exit Stage:
life_cycle  business  growth  decline  stages_of_life 
october 2009 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The New Untouchables - NYTimes.com
October 20, 2009 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. The
economic downturn has coincided with an education breakdown on Main
Street — precisely as a 'Flat World' enables so many more people to
compete with Americans for middle-class jobs. "“... education failure is
the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s
global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges,”
"...those [professionals] who have the ability to imagine new services,
new opportunities and new ways to recruit work [will be] retained. They
are the new untouchables." .......A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables...........Survival means actively engaged in
developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking
about what new customers want......those who have some interpersonal skills — the salesperson who can deal with customers face to face or the home contractor who can help you redesign your kitchen without going to an architect — have done well.”.....Just being an average accountant, lawyer, contractor or assembly-line worker is not the ticket it used to be. As Daniel Pink, the author of “A Whole New Mind,” puts it: In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.
interpersonal_skills  Tom_Friedman  Daniel_Pink  schools  education  individual_initiative  decline  non-routine  Managing_Your_Career  imagination  skills  special_sauce  idea_generation  Flat_World  unarticulated_desires  middle_class  new_thinking  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  entrepreneurship  innovation  creativity  Lawrence_Katz  mental_dexterity 
october 2009 by jerryking
How the mighty fall, in five stages -
Jun. 18, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER. A
book review of How The Mighty Fall By Jim Collins HarperCollins, 222
pages, $31.50
Harvey_Schachter  failure  book_reviews  Jim_Collins  decline  books 
june 2009 by jerryking
How does U.S. democracy survive without its newspapers?
Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | by John Ibbotson.

The Globe has also still been spared the savage budget cuts that eviscerated so many once-great American newspapers as the recession accelerated chronic declines in readership and advertising revenue.

But in the U.S., it's time to ask: How will the seemingly inevitable extinction of many metropolitan daily newspapers influence politics and political culture there?

The answer isn't entirely grim. Some newspapers are bound to survive in print form, at least for a few more years, as competition thins and enlightened corporate owners recognize that laying off half their reporters is the surest way to destroy the only thing of value a newspaper has: the reputation behind its name.....there is another, very disturbing, trend. A recent survey by The Pew Center for the People and the Press reported that "a new Washington media have evolved, but they are far from the more egalitarian or citizen-based media that advocates of the digital age might imagine. Instead, this new Washington media cohort is one substantially aimed at elites, often organized by industry, by corporate client, or by niche political interest."

These publications may have an audience of a few thousand, or even a few hundred, willing to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for specialized coverage. "These are publications with names like ClimateWire, Energy Trader, Traffic World, Government Executive and Food and Chemical News," the Pew study says. They are proliferating, and hoovering up reporters and editors who have lost their jobs in mainstream media. "Today, it is the niche, not the mainstream, media that [provide]blanket coverage of Congress and other important arms of the federal government," the Pew report concludes.

The collapse of print journalism - network newscasts are also in terrible shape - threatens to bifurcate the public square. Those who know the power of information will pay to obtain it, and use that knowledge to influence the agenda.

Those who lack the means or interest will depend on blogs, social networking and whatever information they choose to look for online. How does democracy survive on that?
brands  budget_cuts  commonwealth  decline  democracy  engaged_citizenry  influence  information_sources  Inside_the_Beltway  John_Ibbitson  local_journalism  magazines  mass_media  market_intelligence  newsletters  newspapers  niches  political_culture  politics  print_journalism  reputation  sophisticated  Washington_D.C. 
june 2009 by jerryking
For Jim Collins, No Question Is Too Big - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: May 23, 2009
Now the stages of decline that he maps out in the book — hubris born of
success; undisciplined pursuit of more; denial of risk and peril;
grasping for salvation with a quick, big solution; and capitulation to
irrelevance or death — offer a kind of instant autopsy for an economy on
the stretcher. Jim Collins method: approach every aspect of life with
purpose and intensity. Mr. Collins also is quite practiced at saying
“no.”
capitulation  decline  failure  gurus  intensity  Jim_Collins  management_consulting  mybestlife  Peter_Drucker  purpose  time-management  say_"no" 
may 2009 by jerryking
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