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jerryking : digital_revolution   15

The dumb-bell economy: inside the booming business of exercise
FEBRUARY 9, 2018 | FT | Jo Ellison.

Where once consumers looked for acquisitions to express their status, our spending habits are shifting towards more holistic expenditures. In the past 20 years, the leisure industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic, disruptive and fashionable of forces. It’s all part of a new focus on the “lifestyle experience”, a trend that has possessed consumers and found luxury brands spiking with sporty new offerings — sneakers, leggings, apps and accessories — designed to harness the burgeoning market. As Harvey Spevak, the executive chairman and managing partner of the Equinox group, likes to say: “Health is the new wealth.”
.....2019 will see the first Equinox hotel opening in New York’s Hudson Yards, the first in a rollout of Equinox hotels earmarked for billions more in investment. The hotels will be founded on the same full-service ideal as the clubs. “Our vision for the hotels is to cater to the high-performance traveller,” says Spevak, “and we think about it as we do, historically, from a science perspective. We call it MNR — movement, nutrition and recovery — where a high-performance lifestyle and a healthy lifestyle is a three-legged stool.”.....as our lives have become busier, atomised and more urban, the gym has emerged as the new place in which to gather: to be part of a community....not only are millennials more likely to buy gym memberships, they’re driving the boutique business as well. The rise of the group workout, club membership and all of the attendant accessories that come with it have become part of the new language of “wellness”......Where you work out, who you work out with, and what you wear to work out in have become totems of fashionability. Spevak traces the first shoots of the wellness trend to 9/11, when he saw a jump in the number of people becoming focused on holistic health and taking care of themselves.
....But more than anything, the fitness boom must be a corollary of a digital revolution in which working out has become a ubiquitous feature of our online life; ....Minton agrees that a gym’s success depends on cultivating this tribal loyalty, delivering a unique experience and then selling product that marks its members out. “Some of the most interesting clubs are those that are expanding into less obvious areas,” he says. “We now have over 600 boutiques across the UK and they are growing faster than traditional gyms as they have a smaller footprint and can take pop-up spaces.......The experiential market is throwing a lifeline to retailers, as well. “The fashion link is growing,” adds Minton. “Fitness apparel brands like Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, Reebok, Nike all now offer free in-store workouts, which provide them with an opportunity to market their brand lifestyles more directly and forge a connection with the consumer.”.......“The demise of retail is a permanent shift,” says Spevak. “It doesn’t mean retail’s going to go away, but it’s going to look very different. The consumer, in my opinion, will continue to buy nice things for themselves, but I think in the scheme of priorities the experience is more important than the handbag.”
fitness  exercise  London  United_Kingdom  gyms  wellness  rollouts  strength_training  boutiques  leisure  Equinox  millennials  experiential_marketing  small_spaces  pop-ups  non-obvious  upscale  retailers  in-store  digital_revolution 
february 2018 by jerryking
Auction houses embracing digital technology to sell to the new global rich
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 by: John Dizard.

....The auction houses have been under pressure to adapt to this changing universe. While the most visible aspect of the houses’ digital revolution may be their online auctions, the most essential is in the systematising and networking of their customer, market and lot information. Without that, the auctioneers would lose control of their ability to charge gross margins in the mid-teens as intermediaries of the $30bn global art auction market....Within the quasi-duopoly of Christie’s and Sotheby’s at the top of the auction world, Christie’s has now moved to implement what it calls its “digital strategy”....Christie’s now has James Map (as in founder James Christie), a sort of private internal social network that allows specialists, client service staff, support staff and executives to see what is known about a client and his tastes. Past auction records, relatives’ purchases and sales, statistical inferences on how likely clients are to move from buying an expensive watch online to participating in a high-end evening sale – it all can be in the mix.

The idea, Murphy explains, was “to create an internal app that spiders into our database of information and brings up on our internal [screen] environment lots of connectivity. This is faster and better than the email chains [that it replaced].”....This summer, Sotheby’s announced a partnership with eBay, the online auction giant. While the details of the partnership are still being developed, it is understood eBay will distribute live Sotheby’s auctions to its global audience of 150m buyers.

Ken Citron, Christie’s head of IT

The digital strategy is also making it easier to take part in auctions. Even with all the unseen know-your-customer checks now required by financial supervisory agencies, it has become much faster and easier to register as an auction house client. About half now do so online.

But while the online revolution may have left some auction houses behind, for others it is generating new business. Auction houses used to regard the sale of smaller, cheaper objects from, for example, estate liquidations as an annoying loss-leader business that just wasted their specialists’ time. Now, however, many are making money selling objects for $2,000-$3,000; it’s just a matter of cutting transaction costs. “We have a new app with which you can take a picture, push a button, and it goes to a specialist, with a description. Then the specialist can decide if it might fit into an auction,” says Citron.
auctions  Sotheby's  Christie's  data  art  collectors  high_net_worth  partnerships  eBay  duopolies  digital_strategies  CRM  IT  margins  intermediaries  internal_systems  loss_leaders  transaction_costs  cost-cutting  know_your_customer  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  estate_planning  liquidity_events  online_auctions  digital_revolution 
november 2016 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data 
april 2016 by jerryking
It’s the P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as the I.Q. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 29, 2013

If America is to sustain the kind of public institutions and safety nets that we’re used to, it will require a lot more growth by the private side (not just more taxes), a lot more entrepreneurship, a lot more start-ups and a lot more individual risk-taking — things the president rarely speaks about....Facebook, Twitter, cloud computing, LinkedIn, 4G wireless, ultra-high-speed bandwidth, big data, Skype, system-on-a-chip (SOC) circuits, iPhones, iPods, iPads and cellphone apps, in combination, have taken us from connected to hyperconnected.... the old average is over. Everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value better than the new alternatives....Indeed, when the digital revolution gets so cheap, fast, connected and ubiquitous you see this in three ways, Brynjolfsson added: those with more education start to earn much more than those without it, those with the capital to buy and operate machines earn much more than those who can just offer their labor, and those with superstar skills, who can reach global markets, earn much more than those with just slightly less talent....How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative...more of the “right” education than less...develop skills that are complementary to technology rather than ones that can be easily replaced by it... everyone needs to be innovating new products and services to employ the people who are being liberated from routine work by automation and software. The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
career_paths  entrepreneurship  innovation  network_density  risk-taking  Tom_Friedman  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Andrew_McAfee  MIT  curiosity  passions  semiconductors  automation  software  new_products  life_long_learning  Pablo_Picasso  individual_initiative  safety_nets  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  Cambrian_explosion  superstars  cheap  fast  ubiquity  digital_revolution 
january 2013 by jerryking
Tech drives nails into coffins of Europe’s weak economies
Nov. 30 2012 | The Globe and Mail | by ERIC REGULY.

Technology is having a devastating effect on employment, which in itself is not new. What is new is that the job destruction everywhere among low-skilled workers seems on the verge of being repeated among white-collar jobs. That is the theory of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, digital economy specialists at MIT and authors of Race Against the Machine, a book about the digital revolution and how it is reshaping employment and entire economies.

Technology has been displacing jobs since the Industrial Revolution, but the lost jobs were more or less replaced with new jobs
Eric_Reguly  Europe  EU  debt  Erik_Brynjolfsson  technological_change  Andrew_McAfee  digital_economy  MIT  Greece  technology  job_destruction  job_displacement  automation  white-collar  low-skilled  weak_economy  digital_revolution 
december 2012 by jerryking
A good PR consultant is worth paying for: The Entrepreneur
08 Dec 2010 | FT| Luke. Johnson. Having owned PR firms, I
know it can be an attractive investment. Clients are on contracts with
monthly retainers, so no feast & famine of advertising campaigns.
Expenses are staff & premises. A consumer PR agency should generate
20 % net profit margins on revenue; a financial PR agency 30 %.

PR is one of the few segments of the marketing services industry that
has benefited from the digital revolution. Most participants, including
advertising agencies, media buying shops and design houses, have
suffered, as spend on traditional media such as TV and press has been
squeezed....The growing importance of PR in business and society is
exemplified by the power of kings of the trade such as Alan Parker at
Brunswick and Roland Rudd at Finsbury. Both have incredible connections
in the City, Wall Street, industry & politics. The sector has moved
on from spin to embrace communications with investors, regulators,
politicians and other discreet audiences.
Luke_Johnson  public_relations  ProQuest  mass_media  Finsbury  Wall_Street  professional_service_firms  margins  Communicating_&_Connecting  investors  regulators  politicians  financial_communications  digital_revolution 
august 2011 by jerryking
Mobile telecoms in Africa: Digital revolution | The Economist
Apr 7th 2011 | DAR ES SALAAM

Whether on mobile phones or tablets, being online is rapidly becoming
the norm in Africa. That will boost the continent’s information and
entertainment business and allow African media houses such as the Nation
Media Group (in the east) and Media24 (in the south) to expand their
businesses around digital content tailored to local languages and
markets. Western content-makers will no doubt worry about the increased
risk of piracy, but if they get their offerings right Africa will be a
huge new market for their wares too.
mobile_phones  smartphones  tablets  Africa  Nokia  Huawei  mobile  digital_revolution 
july 2011 by jerryking
Digital Revolution Shakes Foundations of Book Retailing - WSJ.com
MAY 21, 2010 | WSJ | By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG. The digital
revolution sweeping the media world is rewriting the rules of the book
industry, upending the established players which have dominated for
decades. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an
estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating
the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors
and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully
crippled....Even more problematic for brick-and-mortar retailers is the
math if sales of physical books rapidly decrease: Because e-books don't
require paper, printing presses, storage space or delivery trucks, they
typically sell for less than half the price of a hardcover book. If
physical book sales decline precipitously, chain retailers won't have
enough revenue to support all their stores.
competitive_landscape  e-books  retailers  digital_disruption  Barnes_&_Noble  Ron_Burkle  pricing  books  e-readers  bricks-and-mortar  digital_revolution 
june 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: From the Roman Codex to the iPad - WSJ.com
JANUARY 31, 2010, | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. " Apple's tablet reminds us there is a digital revolution
redefining the book. Books in their emerging forms make the best example
so far of using print for what it does best, digital for what it does
best, and both together for a dramatically new experience"...See also
Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard library, author of "The Case for
Books: Past, Present and Future" (Public Affairs, 2009)...."The history
of communication is that new technologies reinforce rather than
displace the old" ""Every age is an information age," Mr. Darnton says.
"It's just that information is organized in different ways." "
L._Gordon_Crovtiz  iPad  Apple  future  books  displacement  digital_revolution 
february 2010 by jerryking
Book Review: "The Laws of Disruption" - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 12, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by JEREMY PHILIPS who
reviews The Laws of Disruption, By Larry Downes
Basic, 298 pages, $26.95. The central thesis of "The Laws of
Disruption" is that "technology changes exponentially, but social,
economic and legal systems change incrementally." When it comes to the
digital revolution, Mr. Downes says, our laws have not kept pace with
the changes that it has brought about. Downes counsels that authorities
(regulators and judges) use a light touch--as opposed to introducing
ever new laws and regulations --because the rapid pace of change makes
it impossible to predict the course of technology.
book_reviews  disruption  innovation  Internet  technological_change  intellectual_property  structural_change  regulation  competitive_landscape  incrementalism  regulators  books  digital_disruption  digital_revolution 
october 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Companies / US & Canada - The digital revolution transforms learning
October 26 2006 03:00 | Financial Times pg. 16|By Andrew
Edgecliffe-Johnson, Media Editor. Digital tools that can quickly assess
individual students' weak spots, offer tailored exercises to improve
them and produce a mass of data for teachers and school boards are
rapidly gaining market share.
tools  education  digital_media  school_districts  teaching  data_driven  competingonanalytics  digital_revolution 
march 2009 by jerryking

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