recentpopularlog in

jerryking : experimentation   84

« earlier  
For Sephora, the store is core to its beauty
July 24 2019 | | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew and Hannah Copeland in Paris.

**Sephora stores focus on experience, allowing consumers to test products digitally on a virtual mirror for instance or personalise products **

Like its stores in New York’s Times Square and Dubai Mall in the Middle East, Sephora in La Défense has recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The investment reflects how bricks and mortar and experiential retail are key to Sephora’s growth. The LVMH-owned group, which stocks about 300 brands alongside its own label, has increased sales fourfold in the past eight years, fuelled by a booming beauty market........“A lot of people are scared of the retail apocalypse so they’re not investing in stores, and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said chief executive Chris de Lapuente in an interview on the shop floor. “We’re investing in our stores, taking our top 100 stores in the world and renovating them to the best possible standard.”....Mr de Lapuente says one attraction of Sephora is that consumers “discover brands they can’t find anywhere else”, noting that about a third of its offerings are exclusive to Sephora, and it acts as an incubator for upcoming or niche brands....Exclusivity might be with Huda, which began selling false eyelashes in Dubai and subsequently developed a collaboration with Sephora; pop star Rihanna’s cosmetics brand Fenty, which is on track for €500m sales this year; or an exclusive collaboration with Dior for the Dior Backstage range of make-up.

Pointing to the beauty bar where customers can get a free makeover, Mr de Lapuente added: “Experiential retail is crucial to our success. Sephora is a place where people come for advice, they come to listen. We teach, inspire and play . . . You’re not going to get this online. Online you can do your research . . . here you can come and experiment.”

Mr Fujimori agrees, saying Sephora “successfully combines experiential retail with a leading ecommerce presence, leveraging digital technology to enhance the shopping experience in-store and online”......
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. The challenge now for Sephora is to stay ahead in a world where there are more make-up and beauty brands than ever, and social media has lowered barriers to entry and boosted the speed to market. Meanwhile, Amazon last month announced the launch of its professional beauty stores, aimed at the mass market.

“Amazon is just another one of the many choices out there,” said Mr de Lapuente. “They have a strong e-commerce offering. They don’t have stores. We love that consumers love to shop online and in store.” He says that customers who buy both on- and offline tend to purchase three times more than those who buy using just one channel. Ecommerce represents an average of 20 per cent of sales in each country for Sephora, which uses influencers to build its community. “Amazon just forces us to raise our game.”....

The pressure is on to keep on innovating. “Beauty is so fast-moving, you can’t cruise,” said Mr de Lapuente. He says innovation will come both from new products (citing untapped potential in haircare and wellness), and from the way in which brands reach consumers. He sees opportunities in areas like voice-activated ordering through home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, and social commerce through platforms like China’s WeChat.

But despite such technological developments, for Mr de Lapuente, the store has a robust future.

At La Défense, customers are returning to work with Sephora’s distinctive striped bags modelled on the black and white stripes of Italy’s Siena Cathedral. “Is physical retail alive or dead?” mused Mr de Lapuente among the throng of shoppers. “It looks pretty alive to me. The store is where the magic happens.”
Amazon  beauty  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  cosmetics  digital_influencers  e-commerce  experimentation  experiential_marketing  high-end  in-store  incubators  innovation  LVMH  makeup  millennials  omnichannel  refurbished  renovations  Sephora  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
Bezos on why failure is not failure
April 11, 2019 | By | FT Alphaville : Izabella Kaminska

According to Bezos no customer was asking for Echo before it was launched, thus Amazon's foray into listening tech was definitely them wandering. And yet, if they'd listened to market research (a firm no thank you!) they'd have lost out on more than 100 million sales of Alexa-enabled devices. So there.
Alexa  Amazon  Amazon_Echo  AWS  big_bets  experimentation  failure  Jeff_Bezos  large_companies  market_research  scaling 
april 2019 by jerryking
Every Company Wants to Become a Tech Company–Even if It Kills Them
March 8, 2019 | WSJ | By John D. Stoll.

Wall Street loves a good reinvention story. The tough part is finding a happy ending.

All the plots seem to go something like this: Every company wants to convince us it’s becoming a tech company–even if it kills them..... an increasing number of companies are at least dabbling in new tech ventures to improve operations......The boom in vendors offering affordable ways to crunch data or utilize cloud computing, for instance, unlocks new strategies for companies across a wide variety of industries........Planet Fitness Inc. is one of the interested companies. The gym boasts 12 million members but CEO Chris Rondeau admits the company knows relatively little about them.

“Besides checking in the front door, we don’t know what members do,”.....The company is spending millions to retool certain treadmills and cardio equipment to better collect data as people exercise, commissioning a new smartphone app, and wants to tie into its customers’ wearable technology....many other CEOs aren’t convinced they have the luxury (of time to take things slowly). Even if it is hard to figure out what to do with all the data gathered and tools employed in the course of regular business, paralysis is not an option. Like a shark, they feel they need to keep swimming or die....... Nokia Corp., the Finnish company, started as a pulp mill in the 19th century and then branched off into various industries, including a successful venture into rubber boot making, ditched its failed mobile handset unit in 2013 to focus on a networks business that was thriving under the radar. Today, it’s locked in a high-stakes race to deploy 5G technology......In 2000, Major League Baseball owners committed $120 million to fund MLB Advanced Media. It aimed to infuse technology into the game and resulted in initiatives like online ticket sales and expanded radio coverage. The gem of that initiative, however, was a streaming television network launched in 2002...... it has attracted outside clients, such as ESPN, the WWE Network, Playstation Vue and HBO. The Walt Disney Co. acquired control recently for nearly $3 billion.... Dunnhumby Ltd., the data and analytics consultancy owned by European grocery chain Tesco PLC. Tesco bought Dunnhumby after it created the chain’s loyalty-card program. Dunnhumby ballooned into a storehouse of information and amassed clients and partners...Searching for the next BAMTech or Dunnhumby is now a religion at many companies......Walmart Inc., which has already heavily invested in e-commerce, wants to take its technology, marry it with everything the world’s largest retailer knows about us and use it to get into the advertising business......“Everyone’s thinking ‘we’ve got a ton of this stuff (data), how do we use it,’” Executives are trying to answer that question by hiring outside firms to analyze trends or setting up in-house units for experimentation.

Walmart is dumping digital-marketing agency Triad, a unit of WPP PLC, and will try its hand at selling advertising space. Armed with a trove of shopper data and connected to a chain of suppliers wanting to place ads in stores and on websites, Walmart hopes to challenge Amazon.com Inc. on this new front......At Ford Motor Co. , CEOJim Hackett envisions a day when automobiles roam streets collecting data from the occupants and the cars’ behavior like rolling smartphones. This is part of that “mobility as a service” vision car makers peddle.......“Corporations tend to reward action over thinking,”“But the truth is…you’ll find the companies that didn’t do the deep thinking and acted quickly have to redo things.
BAMTech  digital_savvy  Dunnhumby  experimentation  Ford  in-house  Jim_Hackett  massive_data_sets  MLB  Planet_Fitness  reinvention  Wal-Mart  mobility_as_a_service  technology  under_the_radar 
march 2019 by jerryking
Ikea looks to launch sales platform that would include rival products
February 12, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne in Almhult.

Ikea is exploring the launch of an online sales platform offering furniture not just from the famous flat-pack retailer but also from rivals as part of its big transformation...........

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, added: “It is also about how you connect. If you take home furnishings, for instance — how you connect communities, how you connect knowledge, how you connect the home. It’s not only furniture, it’s paintings, it’s the do-it-yourself part. There are many different constellations that can and will evolve over the years to come.”
Alibaba  Amazon  brands  clothing  e-commerce  experimentation  fashion  furniture  home-assembly  Ikea  leasing  opportunities  platforms  retailers  third-party  Zalando  rivalries  digital_strategies  Torbjörn_Lööf  coopetition 
february 2019 by jerryking
Japan gears up for mega hack of its own citizens
February 5, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leo Lewis.

Yoshitaka Sakurada, Japan’s 68-year-old minister for cyber security, stands ready to press the button next week on an unprecedented hack of 200m internet enabled devices across Japan — a genuinely imaginative, epically-scaled and highly controversial government cyber attack on homes and businesses designed as an empirical test of the nation’s vulnerability. A new law, fraught with public contention over constitutionally-guaranteed privacy, was passed last May and has just come into effect to give the government the right to perform the hack and make this experiment possible. The scope for government over-reach, say critics, cannot be overstated. Webcams, routers and other devices will be targeted in the attacks, which will primarily establish what proportion have no password protection at all, or one that can be easily guessed. At best, say cyber security experts at FireEye, the experiment could rip through corporate Japan’s complacency and elevate security planning from the IT department to the C-suite.

The experiment, which will run for five years and is being administered through the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, is intended to focus on devices that fall into the broadly-defined category of “internet of things” (IoT) — anything from a yoga mat that informs a smartphone of your contortions, to remotely controlled factory robots. And while cyber experts say IoT security may not be the very top priority in the fight against cyber crime and cyber warfare, they see good reasons why Japan has chosen to make its stand here.....warnings that the rise of IoT will create a vast new front of vulnerability unless the security of, for example, a web-enabled yoga mat is taken as seriously by both manufacturers and users as the security of a banking website. The big cyber security consultancies, along with various governments, have historically relied on a range of gauges to calculate the scale of the problem. The Japanese government’s own National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) uses scans of the dark web to estimate that, of the cyber attacks it detected in 2017, 54 per cent targeted IoT devices.
C-suite  cyberattacks  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  dark_web  experimentation  hacks  Industrial_Internet  Japan  overreach  preparation  privacy  readiness  testing  vulnerabilities  white_hats 
february 2019 by jerryking
Ghost kitchens : the next disruption in the restaurant industry ?
8 Jan, 2018 | intotheminds | Posted By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab.

(1) https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/operations/ubereats-nudges-operators-toward-virtual-restaurants
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/28/deliveroo-dark-kitchens-pop-up-feeding-the-city-london#img-3

ghost kitchen make perfect economic sense : margins are thin in the restaurant industry, driven by high employees-related costs, rent, expensive equipment and variability in demand. Setting up a restaurant is a bet with a 5 to 20-year time horizon depending on myriad factors : your positioning, the location, and many exogenous factors out of your control. Eliminating all those risks seems like a logical move :

how to make a restaurant less location-dependent ?
how to adapt quickly to demand ?
how to reduce fixed costs (renting and equipping a place) ?
The bright sides : 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens

**The 3 major advantages of ghost kitchens are their answers to the 3 problems listed above :

the restaurant is not location-dependant anymore. If there is an event likely to generate massive flow of potential customers, you can move
ghost kitchens can adapt quickly to demand : the standardized kitchen unit just has to be multipled, which is not possible with street food vans unless you own several of them (which brings us to the 3rd advantage).
ghost kitchens, because they are rented from online platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, transfom fixed costs into variable ones. This is great to test your idea and is a cheap way to do market research and test traction on a market.

** The dark sides of Uber’s and Deliveroo’s ghost kitchens
1. Why would one still rent a place to operate a restaurant ?
Good question indeed. If all hurdles and risks of operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant can be removed, why would you still want to rent a place (fixed costs), buy the equipment (fixed costs), hire employees (fixed costs) and wait on patrons to come in (variable revenues) ? If a platform like Uber or Deliveroo can provide you with customers’ orders, the need to have a brick-and-mortar place would vanish.
But if every single restaurant owner adopts that posture, how will city centers look like on the long run ?

2. Dependence towards platforms
What happened with the hospitality sector may well happen on the middle-term in the restaurant industry too. Uber eats, Deliveroo have disrupted the way we consume food. This is a new societal change that is most to be felt in Europe (urban Americans use already to get food delivered to their homes, most restaurants in US cities proposing at home delivery) : it has become easier than ever to get food delivered at home.
If enough restaurant owners make a significant percentage of their revenues through those platforms, they will eventually become dependent on them and will struggle like hotels are now struggling with Booking.com. Using platforms is a wise strategy to grow revenues but it can also become a very dangerous one if your dependence to them increases.
beyond_your_control  commercial_kitchens  disruption  fixed_costs  food_delivery  kitchens  platforms  restaurants  variable_costs  Deliveroo  Uber  asset-light  event-driven  experimentation  test_marketing  pop-ups  cold_storage  on-demand  dark_side  virtual_restaurants  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2019 by jerryking
The rise of chef ‘supergroups’ means more creative and experimental kitchens across the country - The Globe and Mail
Behind the restaurant’s unassuming façade is a powerhouse of some of Canada’s most talented and successful restaurateurs. The team behind the Joe Beef empire, Frédéric Morin, David McMillan, Allison Cunningham, as well as Marc-Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic (Mon Lapin, Vin Papillon), Chris Morgan and James Simpkins (Liverpool House) have teamed up with chef Derek Dammann (Maison Publique) to create a kind of culinary supergroup – the Traveling Wilburys of rotisserie chicken......Somewhat counterintuitively, then, comradery, and perhaps a survivors' bond over having made it in an industry known to chew cooks up and spit them out, is bringing chefs together. McKiernan is just one example of chefs partnering with their would-be competitors to open places where the whole is, hopefully, greater than the sum of its parts......
chefs  collaboration  restaurants  restauranteurs  kitchens  cold_storage  commercial_kitchens  experimentation 
november 2018 by jerryking
Walmart tells investors to expect more risk-taking
October 16, 2018 | Financial Times | Alistair Gray and Pan Kwan Yuk in New York.

Doug McMillon said at an investor meeting on Tuesday that the Arkansas-based company was experimenting with technology ranging from floor-cleaning robots to augmented reality and biometrics as he urged Wall Street to “challenge your thinking about Walmart”.

Walmart superstores have transformed shopping habits and became a dominant force in American retail. The bricks-and-mortar model, however, has been upended in by the rise of ecommerce.

“Looking back, we had a proven model, and we naturally focused on execution. As the numbers grew, we . . . unintentionally became risk averse,” Mr McMillon said at a meeting for investors.

“But today we’re getting to reimagine retail and our business. To do that we take risk — try quite a few things and learn from our failures. That type of behaviour’s in our DNA, and we’re waking up that part of our culture.”.....Online sales, in which Walmart has been investing aggressively as part of its response to Amazon, are expected to increase around 35 per cent for the fiscal 2020 year, compared to the expected 40 per cent for 2019.

Walmart also on Tuesday struck a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, allowing it increase its presence in the car parts business. Under the tie-up the companies will offer home delivery, same-day pick up at each other’s stores and installation of some parts.
Amazon  e-commerce  experimentation  failure  innovation  retailers  risk-taking  Wall_Street  Wal-Mart  augmented_reality  auto_parts  biometrics  bricks-and-mortar  home-delivery  same-day  shopping_habits 
october 2018 by jerryking
Want to See What’s Up Amazon’s Sleeve? Take a Tour of Seattle
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Karen Weise.

Amazon uses Seattle as a living laboratory, trying out new retail and logistics models.

Some trials never leave the city. But others, like the use of independent contractors to deliver packages, have found their ways to the rest of the country and abroad. The pilots point to a company, with ambitions that at times can seem boundless, investing deeply in figuring out its physical footprint and how to provide convenience at a lower cost.....In 2015 when Amazon first tested the Treasure Truck, a decorated vehicle that drives around and sells a daily deal like smart watches or plant-based burger patties, it delayed the public debut at least twice before finally going live. .....
Amazon  Amazon_Books  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Go  bookstores  business_models  cashierless  experimentation  new_businesses  Seattle  pilot_programs  product_returns  delivery_services 
september 2018 by jerryking
Using Digital Tools to Move a Candy Company Into the Future - The New York Times
As told to Patricia R. Olsen
Sept. 21, 2018

explore the ways in which we can take advantage of new technologies and tools, such as artificial intelligence; how we should experiment; and whether we are even looking at the right problems. Mars is based in McLean, Va.,...... Part of my work involves prototyping, such as growing peanut plants in a fish tank using digital automation — without human intervention. To do this, I worked with a few colleagues in Mount Olive, N.J., a unit that I’m part of, though I don’t work there all the time. We implemented an automated watering and fertilizing schedule to see how the plants would grow.

We don’t only produce candy. We also offer pet care expertise and produce pet food and human food, like Uncle Ben’s Rice. With the peanut plants, we wanted to see if we could learn anything for partnering with our farmers, everything from how we might use technology to how a team comes together and tries different ideas.
career_paths  digital_strategies  Mars  women  CPG  confectionery_industry  artificial_intelligence  experimentation  howto  pets  problem_framing  problem_definition  prototyping  future  automation  human_intervention  worthwhile_problems 
september 2018 by jerryking
No lines, no registers, no fun: Amazon Go’s sterile future - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH RENZETTI

there's only one Amazon Go, located in the bottom of the company's Seattle headquarters, but you can bet more are on their way – especially since Amazon now owns the retail chain Whole Foods. The expansion of a chain of cashierless stores, whose shelves will one day likely be stocked by robots, raises many good questions about what kind of work we value and want for the future. Amazon's opaque data-collection procedures raise other important questions about privacy and information security..... We already know that, in the West, we suffer from a crisis of social isolation – what used to be called loneliness – that is so acute it is becoming a public-health crisis. Social interactions, even small and seemingly meaningless ones, can have great benefit to people who feel disconnected and adrift. A smile from a cashier or a commiseration from a fellow shopper could be the highlight of someone's day. ....."The more contact we have with other human beings, the better the world is, even if it's just a gas station attendant or a store clerk," Dr. Yarrow said. "This is how we form communities, in these seemingly inconsequential interactions."....But community-building isn't the buzzword of the moment – "seamlessness" is. That is, all experiences are meant to be as convenient as possible, requiring the least number of clicks, human interactions, waiting times. Friction is the enemy. Bumps are the enemy, and so, I gather, are sidesteps and interruptions and serendipity. I'm not sure if the proponents of seamlessness have ever listened to Leonard Cohen, or they would have heard the master's wisdom: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
Amazon  Amazon_Go  retailers  e-commerce  experimentation  soulless  Communicating_&_Connecting  sterile  loneliness  cashierless 
february 2018 by jerryking
Singapore experiments with smart government
January 22, 2018 | FT | by John Thornhill.

Singapore has a reputation as a free-trading entrepôt, beloved of buccaneering Brexiters. ....But stiff new challenges confront Singapore, just as they do all other countries, in the face of the latest technological upheavals. Is the smart nation, as it likes to style itself, smart enough to engineer another reboot?.....Singapore is becoming a prime test bed for how developed nations can best manage the potentially disruptive forces unleashed by powerful new technologies, such as advanced robotics and artificial intelligence...Naturally, Singapore’s technocratic government is well aware of those challenges and is already rethinking policy and practice. True to its heritage, it is pursuing a hybrid approach, mixing free market principles and state activism.

Rather than passively reacting to the technological challenges, the island state is actively embracing them....“The real skill of Singapore has been to reverse engineer the needs of industry and to supply them in a much more cost-effective way than simply writing a cheque,” says Rob Bier, managing partner of Trellis Asia, which advises high-growth start-ups...To take one example, the country has become an enthusiastic promoter of autonomous vehicles. The government has created one of the most permissive regulatory regimes in the world to test driverless cars.....GovTech’s aim is to help offer seamless, convenient public services for all users, creating a truly digital society, economy and government. To that end, the government is acting as a public sector platform, creating a secure and accessible open-data infrastructure for its citizens and companies. For example, with users’ permission, Singapore’s national identity database can be accessed by eight commercial banks to verify customers with minimal fuss. A public health service app now allows parents to keep check of their children’s vaccinations.

By running with the technological wolves, Singapore is clearly hoping to tame the pack.
Singapore  autonomous_vehicles  dislocations  traffic_congestion  aging  smart_government  disruption  robotics  automation  artificial_intelligence  test_beds  reboot  city_states  experimentation  forward-thinking  open-data  privacy  reverse_engineering 
january 2018 by jerryking
Why Trying New Things Is So Hard to Do - The New York Times
By SENDHIL MULLAINATHAN DEC. 1, 2017

Experimentation is an act of humility, an acknowledgment that there is simply no way of knowing without trying something different.

Understanding that truth is a first step, but it is important to act on it. Sticking with an old habit is comforting, but one of these days, maybe, I’ll actually buy a bottle of generic soda.
experimentation  habits  choices  personal_payoffs  decision_making  novelty 
december 2017 by jerryking
Innovation: less shock and more awe
And al­though people say they like new things, often what they want is mere­ly for existing things to work better.

Innovations must be bought repeatedly if they are to succeed commercially. As Simon Roberts, an anthropologist and director of Stripe Partners, an innovation agency in London, puts it: “Businesses often look on innovations as ‘new things’. But to understand how new things become part of the everyday, it’s more helpful to think of them as skills and habits consumers ac­quire.”

Innovations that fit current circumstances may stand a better chance of bedding in than those that tear up the rule book.

How to turn an innovation into a consumer habit

●Respect social norms and work around any existing infrastructure. Even disruptive innovations need to fit into the world as it is – at least initially.

●Choose your words Analogies can help people grasp how innovations work and by referencing familiar things make the unfamiliar less daunting – for instance using “checkout” for online shopping.

●Show, not tell Bombarding people with data rarely helps. Concentrate instead on creating opportunities for people to experiment with innovations first hand.

●Engage the senses Building prompts and cues into new technologies – the swoosh signifying a text message has been sent, the artificial shutter click on digital cameras – is reassuring for novices.

●Get verbal Names that sound good as verbs − as in Skyping or Googling − encourage consumers to think of innovations as things others are embracing, which they should perhaps do too.
adaptability  analogies  anthropologists  automation  autonomous_vehicles  creating_opportunities  cues  cultural_divides  customer_adoption  digital_cameras  experiential_marketing  experimentation  habits  innovation  haptics  prompts  robotics  senses  skills  social_norms 
november 2017 by jerryking
With Deal-Making in the Doldrums, Goldman Tries Something New - The New York Times
OCT. 11, 2017 | WSJ | By JOHN FOLEY.

Goldman Sachs is trying to extricate itself from a box by thinking outside it. The Wall Street firm has set up a small team in what’s known internally as the Innovation Lab, to cook up supposedly clever ideas for big clients. The resulting acquisitions may end up destroying value for the shareholders of the companies involved, but Goldman’s own investors should be pleased the investment bank is trying new things.
innovation  Goldman_Sachs  idea_generation  experimentation  trading  Wall_Street  investment_banking 
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
I see history as my root and my illumination
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.

Sir, I am a bit perplexed at how Henry Mance can assert that history is “rarely instructive” (“ ‘Dunkirk’ shows that the past is not an open book”, July 29). At Stanford University, I was particularly attracted to history because Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised it as “philosophy learnt by example” [ Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus.]. Even to this day, such study helps me heed the counsel of the dead and marshal the strength of my own mind.

I see history as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. I see history as my root and my illumination, as the road from whence I came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide me into the future.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.” (i.e. my take is that being able to draw on 3,000 yrs. of living is the definition of wisdom).
========================================

Comment:
Gene 4 days ago
History is the great uncontrolled experiment on human behavior. Lessons should be drawn from it with caution (as history shows).
letters_to_the_editor  history  quotes  tools  hand-to-mouth  Greek  lessons_learned  skepticism  experimentation  wisdom  human_behavior  the_counsel_of_the_dead  foresight  Kwame_Nkrumah 
august 2017 by jerryking
Now at Saks: Salt Rooms, a Bootcamp and a Peek at Retail’s Future - The New York Times
By DAVID GELLES AUG. 4, 2017

Venerable department store was dealing with the upheavals throttling the retail industry. As stores around the country reckon with Amazon.com, discount chains and changing consumer habits, they are turning to “experiential” offerings that entice people to enter their doors..... “Selling stuff in stores is not the answer,” he said. “You have to build an emotional connection with them. Where else can you take a fitness class and buy a Chanel handbag?”

It isn’t clear how many of Saks’s discerning clientele are actually interested in getting a lemon scrub after purchasing a $5,100 Alexander McQueen dress. During multiple visits over the past week, The Wellery was sparsely populated.
retailers  Saks  shareholder_activism  future  department_stores  experiential_marketing  wellness  Nordstrom  Macy's  emotional_connections  experimentation  bootcamps  Amazon  shifting_tastes  contra-Amazon  dislocations 
august 2017 by jerryking
We Survived Spreadsheets, and We’ll Survive AI - WSJ
By Greg Ip
Updated Aug. 2, 2017

History and economics show that when an input such as energy, communication or calculation becomes cheaper, we find many more uses for it. Some jobs become superfluous, but others more valuable, and brand new ones spring into existence. Why should AI be different?

Back in the 1860s, the British economist William Stanley Jevons noticed that when more-efficient steam engines reduced the coal needed to generate power, steam power became more widespread and coal consumption rose. More recently, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-led study found that as semiconductor manufacturers squeezed more computing power out of each unit of silicon, the demand for computing power shot up, and silicon consumption rose.

The “Jevons paradox” is true of information-based inputs, not just materials like coal and silicon......Just as spreadsheets drove costs down and demand up for calculations, machine learning—the application of AI to large data sets—will do the same for predictions, argue Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, who teach at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Prediction about uncertain states of the world is an input into decision making,” they wrote in a recent paper. .....Unlike spreadsheets, machine learning doesn’t yield exact answers. But it reduces the uncertainty around different risks. For example, AI makes mammograms more accurate, the authors note, so doctors can better judge when to conduct invasive biopsies. That makes the doctor’s judgment more valuable......Machine learning is statistics on steroids: It uses powerful algorithms and computers to analyze far more inputs, such as the millions of pixels in a digital picture, and not just numbers but images and sounds. It turns combinations of variables into yet more variables, until it maximizes its success on questions such as “is this a picture of a dog” or at tasks such as “persuade the viewer to click on this link.”.....Yet as AI gets cheaper, so its potential applications will grow. Just as better weather forecasting makes us more willing to go out without an umbrella, Mr. Manzi says, AI emboldens companies to test more products, strategies and hunches: “Theories become lightweight and disposable.” They need people who know how to use it, and how to act on the results.
artificial_intelligence  Greg_Ip  spreadsheets  machine_learning  predictions  paradoxes  Jim_Manzi  experimentation  testing  massive_data_sets  judgment  uncertainty  economists  algorithms  MIT  Gilder's_Law  speed  operational_tempo  Jevons_paradox  decision_making  steam_engine  William_Jevons 
august 2017 by jerryking
Big Prize in Amazon-Whole Foods Deal: Data - WSJ
By Laura Stevens and Heather Haddon
June 20, 2017

The deal for Whole Foods Market Inc., which people familiar with the matter said came together quickly, presents Amazon with several potential gains. It could use the stores as distribution hubs to build out its online grocery-delivery business. Amazon also could stock gadgets such as its Kindle e-readers and Echo speakers, as well as goods from its burgeoning private label.

The bigger opportunity, though, is data.

Amazon for years has been looking for more ways to gather information about how consumers shop. It has long been rumored to be on the prowl for a breakthrough deal, even as it set up its own much smaller Amazon Go and AmazonFresh Pickup stores as experiments.

If the deal goes through, the combination likely will be powerful. Amazon and Whole Foods can join their online and in-store knowledge to better predict what goods to carry in each store, said James Thomson, a former senior manager in business development at Amazon and now partner at the brand consultancy Buy Box Experts.....One enticing aspect of a deal between Amazon and Whole Foods is the significant overlap, analysts say, between the companies’ traditionally loyal customer bases.

A Morgan Stanley survey shows about 62% of Whole Foods shoppers are members of Amazon’s Prime service, opening the door for cross-sell promotions to entice customers who shop at both to spend more.

Amazon, though, doesn’t know how those customers shop in stores—a gaping hole in data about its more than 300 million shoppers.....Amazon has had a more difficult experiment with Amazon Go, its convenience-style store in which customers scan their phones as they walk in, pick up items to purchase and exit without a traditional checkout. The public opening has been delayed, in part because of technological hurdles and Amazon’s limited experience in managing the flow of customers and products in a physical space....

.......The data Amazon collects will likely help it decide which of its growing roster of private-label brands to expand and which new ones to launch, especially when it comes to consumables and food. Whole Foods already has a large private-label business...Bringing together online and offline data can help Amazon learn how to entice customers to make more impulse purchases online, according to analysts and retail consultants.
data  omnichannel  Amazon  Whole_Foods  physical_space  private_labels  impulse_purchasing  Amazon_Go  AmazonFresh  experimentation  cashierless  Amazon_Prime  cross-selling  in-store 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Mall of the Future Will Have No Stores - WSJ
By Esther Fung
June 12, 2017

As retailers close bricks-and-mortar stores at an accelerating pace, shopping-center landlords like Starwood Capital are facing a vexing question: What to do with all this empty space?

Their solutions are varied but all have a common element: reducing, or even eliminating, retail from the equation.

Some landlords plug empty spaces with churches, for-profit schools and random enterprises while they figure out a long-term plan. Others see a future in mixed-use real estate, converting malls into streetscapes with restaurants, offices and housing. And some are razing properties altogether and turning them into entertainment or industrial parks......A construction binge in the 1980s and ’90s left the U.S. oversaturated with malls. Growth in online sales and declining demand for full-priced goods are causing retailers to shrink their store fleets and divert resources to e-commerce platforms.....Many mall owners are trying to liven up the experience, bringing more dining and entertainment tenants and eschewing the traditional mix of middling food courts, fashion retailers and department stores.

“The appetite for experimentation is there,...but Sometimes developers conclude that the only way to save a dying mall is to level it and start over.
shopping_malls  landlords  retailers  trends  future  randomness  experiential_marketing  e-commerce  store_closings  experimentation  property_development  physical_space  oversaturation 
june 2017 by jerryking
How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis - The New York Times
By LAURA M. HOLSONMAY 11, 2017

Much has been written about the crisis in retail, with shoppers deserting department stores for e-tailers and fast fashion, if they shop at all. The beauty business, though, has not had the same fate. Prestige beauty sales in the United States rose 6 percent in the 12 months ending in February, tallying $15.9 billion, according to the market research company NPD Group. Makeup alone is up 11 percent, totaling $7.3 billion. But that industry, too, is in the midst of its own upheaval, driven in part by the success of stores such as Sephora, the No. 1 specialty beauty retailer in the world....Bloggers and YouTube stars, Instagram videos and virtual assistants are replacing department store sales clerks, whose customers now know as much as they do (or more) about mermaid eyes and ombré lips. Brand loyalty is out, replaced by Sephora’s try-more-buy-more ethos. Friends hold as much sway these days as trained experts....two out of five women between ages 18 and 54 wear five or more makeup products every day. “It defines the selfie-obsessed, image-driven culture of our time,” .... There are more voices. And we are trying to cut through the confusion,” in part by allowing customers to try before they buy.....“It is easy to kill time, play around with things and then spend more money than I should,” ...“I am experimenting a lot, trying to figure out what I like.” She doesn’t shop at department stores. “I don’t associate [Sephora] with makeup,”....In 2015, Sephora opened its Innovation Lab in a converted warehouse in San Francisco to experiment with ways to combine mobile apps and in-store shopping into a cohesive experience. As a result of their efforts, customers can have as little or as much personal contact they want in stores ...Now department stores are scrambling to follow suit.
Sephora  beauty  retailers  crisis  LVMH  Instagram  brands  millennials  social_media  digital_influencers  experimentation  time_sink  play  Macy’s  Bloomingdale’s  cosmetics  makeup  customer_experience  experiential_marketing  image-driven  self-absorbed  fast_fashion  in-store 
may 2017 by jerryking
Amazon’s Living Lab: Reimagining Retail on Seattle Streets
FEB. 12, 2017 | The New York Times | By NICK WINFIELD.

While Amazon has never articulated the grand strategy behind its expansion into physical stores, analysts and tech executives believe its goal is to capture a bigger share of some forms of shopping — food being the biggest — that may never move entirely online....the most obvious reason the company tries out new ideas in its own backyard is that it makes life easier for corporate leadership to see them in action without having to get on planes. Executives closely scrutinize how customers use new stores and tweak them as they gather data....Amazon Go customers enter the store through a gate with a smartphone app and simply walk out with their goods when they’re done.....Seattle has long been receptive to new ideas in retail. REI, Costco Wholesale and Nordstrom are among the store chains that got their start here.....One of Amazon’s more puzzling retail experiments in Seattle is the Treasure Truck, a roaming delivery truck retrofitted with carnival-style lights and signs, from which customers can pick up items offered during flash sales through the Amazon mobile app. The truck, which seems like the offspring of a billboard and an ice cream truck, has sold wild mahi-mahi steaks, paddle boards and Nintendo game consoles.
Seattle  Amazon  retailers  reimagining  convenience_stores  flash_sales  AmazonFresh  BOPIS  pop-ups  Starbucks  Amazon_Go  bricks-and-mortar  bookstores  experimentation  e-commerce  cashierless 
february 2017 by jerryking
Fast Response to ‘Brexit’ News: A Pop-Up Paper Finds Success in Britain - The New York Times
By NICOLA CLARK SEPT. 13, 2016 | NYT |

“It kind of dawned on me: Here was an audience that was so clearly identifiable and passionate,” said Mr. Kelly, a longtime British newspaper executive who is now chief content officer of Archant, a large British newspaper group. “If there ever was a time for launching a new newspaper, this is it.”

Less than two weeks later, in early July, The New European, a weekly print newspaper, hit newsstands nationwide. The paper, conceived as a finite, monthlong experiment, is now going into its 11th week after proving a surprisingly profitable hit with readers.....Some midsize publishers have focused on portfolios of smaller-scale titles that can be produced using the same infrastructure of presses, distribution and marketing networks. Those economies of scale can significantly reduce the marginal costs — and the risks — of developing new print products....earlier experiments, aimed at general-interest audiences, failed to capture enough demand from readers and advertisers to justify their publishers’ relatively modest initial investments....The New European was conceived as a niche publication--the 48 % of Britons who voted on June 23 to stay in the European Union Since it was meant to be short-lived, Archant avoided spending huge sums on market research or publicity campaigns. “We never set out to actually create a long-term brand,” “The way we structured it was to make money on a four-week run.....successful pop-up titles could be linked to popular political or social movements, or major sporting events like last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
pop-ups  newspapers  digital_media  Brexit  experimentation  new_products  product_launches  United_Kingdom  economies_of_scale  epiphanies  event-driven  events  social_movements  contextual  cost-structure  print_journalism  short-term  niches  short-lived  sports 
september 2016 by jerryking
An Old-Media Empire, Axel Springer Reboots for the Digital Age - The New York Times
DEC. 20, 2015 | NYT | By NICOLA CLARK.

When Axel Springer CEO, Mathias Döpfner, and a handful of his top managers first set their sights on the US three years ago, it was with notebooks in hand, rather than checkbooks.

A decade after taking the helm in 2002, Mr. Döpfner had already made significant strides in revamping Germany’s largest print publishing group for the digital age. ...Still, Mr. Döpfner, 52, worried that the company’s management culture was too hierarchical and risk-averse, leaving it vulnerable to challenges from nimbler American technology companies like Google and Facebook, as well as rising digital media brands like BuzzFeed and Vice....“It was very clear to me that we needed to accelerate our cultural transformation"...instead of enlisting an army of high-priced consultants, Mr. Döpfner opted for the corporate equivalent of electroshock therapy. In the summer of 2012, he sent three of Axel Springer’s most senior managers to California (Silicon Valley) for nine months. ...Digital activities now generate more than 60% of Axel Springer’s revenues and just over 70% of its operating profit. Mr. Döpfner’s boldest pursuit in the last year was one that ultimately failed. Over the summer, Axel Springer lost out in a bid to acquire The Financial Times, beaten in the final stages by a $1.3 billion offer from the Japanese publisher Nikkei.... the recent scramble among the world’s big media groups for new — and in many cases, unproven — digital companies has driven up valuations, and some analysts warn that Axel Springer’s investment-led strategy represents a potentially high-cost gamble....“Digital companies today are selling for huge multiples, but they also have a high failure rate. Many are literally fireflies.”...
digital_media  Axel_Springer  Silicon_Valley  publishing  newspapers  failure  sclerotic  Airbnb  experimentation  organizational_culture  Germany  German  digital_disruption 
december 2015 by jerryking
In business and government, think differently - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL SABIA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 16 2015

here’s the paradox. At a time when creativity is relentlessly driving change in so much of our world, many would limit governments to managing their way through, rather than working with others to solve problems.

It started in the 1980s and ’90s, when we decided governments needed to become “more like businesses,” adopting the metrics – and vocabulary – of corporations. Citizens became “clients.” Compliance replaced creativity.

The job of government was defined in terms of its “efficiency,” and the emphasis was placed on the minimal “must do” instead of the aspirational “can be.”

Of course, governments have to demonstrate good stewardship of public resources. But if all they do is count change, it limits their ability to effect change. The fact is when big problems arise – whether it’s a financial crisis like 2008 or a tragedy like Lac-Mégantic – people’s first instinct is to look to government for a solution.

Yet opinion researchers tell us that people are increasingly disappointed with our collective response to the issues that matter most: income inequality, health care for the elderly, climate change and so on....It’s about different government. This is about government moving away from a manager’s obsession with doing things better to a leader’s focus on doing better things. Think of fostering innovation, being open to new ideas, encouraging experimentation, rewarding risk-taking. And, frankly, accepting failure as a condition precedent to success.
business  businessman_fallacy  CDPQ  CEOs  compliance  creativity  disappointment  effectiveness  efficiencies  experimentation  failure  government  innovation  leadership  Michael_Sabia  open_source  public_sector  risk-taking  stewardship  thinking  think_differently  trial_&_error 
may 2015 by jerryking
Finding Success, Well Past the Age of Wunderkind - NYTimes.com
MARCH 20, 2015 |NYT| By ABBY ELLIN.

In his book, “Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity,” David W. Galenson, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, argues that there are two kinds of practitioners in most given fields: conceptual and experimental. Conceptual minds tend to be younger and typically better with abstractions. Experimental minds, on the other hand, take longer to gestate, working by trial and error. This helps explain why, for example, conceptual artist Pablo Picasso produced his greatest work at age 26, whereas Paul Cézanne created his at 67. “To say every discipline has its peak age is wrong,” Mr. Galenson said.
Second_Acts  retirement  books  Pablo_Picasso  aging  experimentation  wunderkind  late_bloomers 
march 2015 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: The Marvel of American Resilience - WSJ
By BRET STEPHENS
Dec. 22, 2014

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.

A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.
resilience  Bret_Stephens  hydraulic_fracturing  flexibility  experimentation  failure  adaptability  autocracies  strengths  innovation  risk-taking  Cambrian_explosion 
december 2014 by jerryking
The Single Worst Marketing Decision You Can Make
Oct 29 2014 | LinkedIn | Ryan Holiday, Founder, Partner at Brass Check

Make something people want.

—Paul Graham

Growth hackers believe that products—even whole businesses and business models—can and should be changed until they are primed to generate explosive reactions from the first people who see them. In other words, the best marketing decision you can make is to have a product or business that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real and defined group of people—no matter how much tweaking and refining this takes...Some companies like Airbnb and Instragram spend a long time trying new iterations until they achieve what growth hackers call Product Market Fit (PMF); others find it right away. The end goal is the same, however, and it’s to have the product and its customers in perfect sync with each other. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch publicly with what we think is our final, perfected product...marketers need to contribute to this process. Isolating who your customers are, figuring out their needs, designing a product that will blow their minds—these are marketing decisions, not just development and design choices.

The imperative is clear: stop sitting on your hands and start getting them dirty.
business_models  coding  data_driven  delighting_customers  experimentation  good_enough  growth  growth_hacking  hacks  iterations  lean  marketing  minimum_viable_products  Paul_Graham  product_launches  product-market_fit  Ryan_Holiday  start_ups  visceral 
october 2014 by jerryking
Ad executive Winston Binch preaches the importance of invention - The Globe and Mail
May. 15 2014 | The Globe and Mail | SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER.

Q: You spoke about the way advertising is migrating more toward inventing things – a big trend for advertisers looking to get noticed.

A: Agencies have been making products for a long time. Alcohol brands have been invented by plenty of agencies, for example. But it used to be an idea and you’d outsource the production. What’s different now is a lot more of it is technology, it’s digitally based. That requires new people in the building. ... There’s a lot of talk about invention right now in advertising. It’s startup culture."....The difficult thing is selling [invention/innovation] to clients. A lot of our clients all know they need to do it, and they want to, but it’s hard to find room for it given the demands of their businesses, particularly the Fortune 500s. ... They’re more concerned with short term than long term. Innovation is seen as a long-term thing. And also hasn’t been in marketing organizations; usually IT, product design and R&D, not the marketing side. How do we sell more invention products to our clients?
Susan_Krashinsky  inventions  advertising  advertising_agencies  hard_to_find  data_driven  digital_media  long-term  innovation  ideas  storytelling  experimentation  Fortune_500  product_development  large_companies 
may 2014 by jerryking
Is Stanford Too Close to Silicon Valley? :
APRIL 30, 2012 | The New Yorker | BY KEN AULETTA.

"Kathleen Chaykowski, a junior, was a premed and an engineering major who switched to English, and last year was the editor-in-chief of the Stanford Daily. She spoke about the risk-taking that is integral to Silicon Valley. “My academic adviser said, ‘I want you to have a messy career at Stanford. I want to see you try things, to discover the parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed.’ ”"
education  experimentation  Stanford  Silicon_Valley  academia  innovation  intellectual_exploration  technology  messiness  risk-taking  self-discovery 
may 2014 by jerryking
Disruptive entrepreneurs: An interview with Eric Ries
April 2014 | McKinsey & Company |

All of our process diagrams [in major corporations] are linear, boxed diagrams that go one way. But entrepreneurship is fundamentally iterative. So our diagrams need to be in circles. We have to be willing to be wrong and to fail. But modern management says, “Failure means you get dinged.”

For example, one of things I’ve tried to do is to tell companies, “Put on your employees’ performance evaluation a concept we call productive failure: ‘How many productive failures did you have this year?’ If someone comes to you and claims that they didn’t fail this year, you know one of two things: they’re either lying to your face or they were incredibly, unbelievably conservative.”

In both cases, it’s actually not a positive attribute. You want to say, “Show me a time when you failed but learned something really valuable, or were able to pivot from something that didn’t work to something that did.” I have a lot of examples now where it’s possible to say: “You saved the company an incredible amount of money, because instead of spending $10 million on something, we spent $100,000 and did an experiment that proves conclusively there ain’t no business here.”
Eric_Ries  lean  open_data  innovation  experimentation  entrepreneurship  McKinsey  disruption  failure  linearity  iterations  performance_reviews 
april 2014 by jerryking
Start-Up America: Our Best Hope
FEB. 15, 2014 | NYT |Thomas L. Friedman.

What they all have in common is they wake up every day and ask: “What are the biggest trends in the world, and how do I best invent/reinvent my business to thrive from them?” They’re fixated on creating abundance, not redividing scarcity, and they respect no limits on imagination. No idea here is “off the table.”

Silicon Valley: where ideas come to launch. Washington, D.C., where ideas go to die. Silicon Valley: where there are no limits on your imagination and failure in the service of experimentation is a virtue. Washington: where the “imagination” to try something new is now a treatable mental illness covered by Obamacare and failure in the service of experimentation is a crime. Silicon Valley: smart as we can be. Washington: dumb as we wanna be.
Tom_Friedman  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  ideas  Washington_D.C.  abundance  experimentation  imagination  Cambrian_explosion 
february 2014 by jerryking
Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News
October 20, 2013 |- NYTimes.com | By DAVID CARR

Silicon Valley and its various power brokers — some who had roles in putting the news business in harm’s way to begin with — are suddenly investing significant sums of money in preserving news capacity and quality. ... Next-generation news companies including Vice, Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider have all recently received significant investment. (In addition, Jeff Skoll, another eBay alum, backed Participant Media and now the TV channel Pivot, to make “socially relevant” films and television.)

The list goes on, but the trend is clear: quality news has become, if not sexy, suddenly attractive to smart digital money.....It does not take an M.B.A. to understand that the ability to capture consumers’ attention and move them around a platform, all the while extracting value, might come in handy in the media business. ITunes used cheap, uniformly priced content to animate the sales of devices like the iPod; Amazon used cheap devices like the Kindle to push lucrative content sales. EBay reduced the friction and suspicion between buyers and sellers of all kinds of goods. ...The willingness to answer bedeviling old questions in new ways does not ensure success, but it creates remarkable possibilities. “Both Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar have a hacker’s ethos, a willingness to engage in lateral thinking to solve problems in a nonconventional way, to reject what has been taken for granted and MacGyver their way to solutions (aka mental_dexterity),” suggested Shane Snow, a founder of Contently, a marketplace for content creators.

Consider Amazon’s ability to lead consumers through a highly personalized array of choices.

“If you have a story that is read by a million people, that’s great, but how do you get those million people to read another story?” said Henry Blodget of Business Insider. “Amazon is extraordinary at customizing its site for every visitor. They do endless testing and understand stickiness and relevance in a way few media companies do.”

One of the secrets of Amazon (and Netflix) is that it never offered one site, but millions of customized sites. It is not hard to envision a carefully measured invitation at the bottom of a highly trafficked news article: “People who read this story are also reading ...” .
value_extraction  news  Silicon_Valley  moguls  entrepreneur  David_Carr  digital_media  Amazon  Second_Acts  disruption  Pierre_Omidyar  Jeff_Bezos  websites  personalization  Netflix  customization  testing  experimentation  growth_hacking  stickiness  relevance  newspapers  content  problem_solving  unconventional_thinking  smart_people  attention  Henry_Blodget  Contently  content_creators  power_brokers 
october 2013 by jerryking
Boss Talk: A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can
June 4, 2013| WSJ |By ANNIE GASPARRO.

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

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

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

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

WSJ: Do you expect a shakeout in the industry?

Mr. Shaich: There's always a continual shakeout going on; this is a dynamic industry. The reality is, what was good enough yesterday will not be good enough tomorrow.
fast-casual  restaurants  CEOs  Panera  innovation  experimentation  Detroit  good_enough  competitive_landscape  menus  new_categories  Chipotle  Starbucks  loyalty_management  shakeouts 
june 2013 by jerryking
Right Questions
New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different management approach.Experimentation is only the first step in an extended, multistage process of business development. Each stage
introduces a different set of questions and challenges. (See the exhibit "The Right Questions.").Each stage also demands different talents and perspectives, and new leaders usually have to be brought in as businesses progress. The visionary who is well suited to leading a new business through its early experimental
stages is often poorly equipped to guide the venture through the expansion and integration stages, when sales and organizational skills become more important than bold thinking and creativity. Nor can performance measures remain immutable. Because new businesses are seldom profitable in their early, formative years, financial metrics
make little sense as a starting point for evaluation. Instead, milestones of various sorts-the number of prototypes in customers' hands; the number of times analysts mention a hot, new technology; the number of salespeople bringing in leads-are more useful indicators of early progress. During expansion, measures of market penetration and market share become important; as the business becomes established, traditional financial measures can be
installed.
asking_the_right_questions  start_ups  lean  experimentation  metrics  measurements  questions  new_businesses  Michael_McDerment 
december 2012 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
Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing | @andrewchen
The rise of the Growth Hacker
The new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

This isn’t just a single role – the entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than a VP of Marketing with a bunch of non-technical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers. The process of integrating and optimizing your product to a big platform requires a blurring of lines between marketing, product, and engineering, so that they work together to make the product market itself. Projects like email deliverability, page-load times, and Facebook sign-in are no longer technical or design decisions – instead they are offensive weapons to win in the market.

The stakes are huge because of “superplatforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers
These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to 10s of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox. New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular. Whereas the web in 1995 consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.

Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development. Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passe. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.

Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids have emerged.
growth  marketing  hacks  blogs  Silicon_Valley  executive_management  virality  experimentation  trial_&_error  coding  platforms  executive_search  CMOs  measurements  growth_hacking  APIs  new_products  lagging_indicators  offensive_tactics 
december 2012 by jerryking
Clear Conscience -- Clear Profit - WSJ.com
September 29, 2006 | WSJ | By N.R. NARAYANA MURTHY.

Our experience has shown there are five elements of success in today's global marketplace:

(1) Listen to other people's ideas, especially those of the younger generations. Devise ways of management to tap the brilliance of young minds. Some of our best ideas grew from monthly "Ideation Days," brainstorming sessions led by employees under 30. Keep doors open. Let young workers walk into senior managers' offices to present their ideas without going through "proper channels." Retire early enough to give younger people a chance to take responsibility while still enthusiastic.
(2) Maintain meritocracy. Build a company where people of different nationalities, genders and religions compete in an environment of intense competition and total courtesy. Do this by using data to decide which ideas are adopted. Our motto: "In God we trust. Everyone else brings data to the table."
(3) Benchmark yourself against internal and external competitors to make sure you are doing everything faster today than you did yesterday, or last quarter.
(4) Continue to develop better ideas. Build something great, and then break it to build something better. Never fear being insufficiently focused on a single core business. As long as your most brilliant people are continuously experimenting with the best services to provide to customers, the results will turn out right in the end.
(5) Maintain pressure to implement the best ideas with ever-higher levels of excellence.

Leadership is key to inspiring employees to make these elements part of their daily lives. The golden core of leadership is the ability to raise aspirations. Aspiration doesn't just build companies, it builds civilizations. It changes a set of ordinary people into a team of extraordinary talents, empowering them to convert plausible impossibilities into convincing possibilities.
aspirations  benchmarking  brainstorming  CEOs  data_driven  experimentation  globalization  ideas  ideation  idea_generation  India  Infosys  ksfs  leadership  listening  meritocratic  millennials 
november 2012 by jerryking
Lesson in the black-school debate is when the system isn't working - experiment
January 31, 2008 | Globe & Mail | John Barber.

Do we have theories and convictions about education? More than enough! So why not test them? The point is not who's right, but what works. In pursuit of educational and social equity. The price of one experiment’s failure will always be negligible compared to the ongoing cost of trying nothing. One side talks about Martin Luther King Ir. The other side champions the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In practical terms, the school board's narrow vote in favour of a black-focused school tipped when trustee Michael Couteau, who is black, changed his views in response to pressure from constituents.
Afrocentric  experimentation  education  testing  constituencies  Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms 
august 2012 by jerryking
Strategic Innovation: Dr. David Dunne Outlines the Potential of "Disruptive" Technologies
June 2004 | GFTC-Newsletter | David Dunne.

“Innovation is essential, and must be a central mission in any firm which hopes to succeed,” says Dr. Dunne. “And it’s easier for some, like food retailers, than for others,like food manufacturers. It makes sense for manufacturers to see what it is that retailers are doing, and learn from that example.”.....It takes about 3000
new ideas to generate only four reasonably viable products, only one of which will be truly innovative --and generating those 3000
new ideas requires constant effort.”....."Examining product experiments to see what was supposed to happen and what actually did happen can also provide a wealth of knowledge and new ideas. Finding inadequacies in underlying processes and finding ways to address those inadequacies can be fruitful, as can taking advantage of demographic changes, new knowledge, and changes in perception, mood, and fashion.”
disruption  innovation  private_labels  experimentation  new_products  CPG  manufacturers  food  agribusiness  Rotman  grocery  supermarkets  change  ideas  lessons_learned  retailers 
july 2012 by jerryking
The search for dark secrets - FT.com
November 28, 2005 | Financial Times | By Jeremy Grant

With the premium end of the US chocolate market growing at an annual compound rate of 15 per cent compared with 3 to 4 per cent for standard chocolate, Mars believes there is scope to sell high-quality chocolates in a café setting to a target group of relatively affluent people aged from 25 to 39.

Focus group work, and the number of young mothers visiting the Chicago stores with prams and strollers, tells Mars that most will be women. It is perhaps no coincidence that the name Ethel – that of the wife of Mars company founder and inventor of the Milky Way, Frank Mars – was chosen.
CAGR  cafés  chocolate  confectionery_industry  CPG  experimentation  gourmands  gourmet  high-end  high-growth  high-quality  market_research  Mars  niches  retailers  Starbucks  upscale  women 
july 2012 by jerryking
Exploring the Market With a Start-Up Firm - WSJ.com
July 19, 2005 | WSJ | By PAULETTE THOMAS | Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
THE LESSON: Don't lock into a business concept until you have tested the market.
small_business  case_studies  Sodexho  hospitals  dvds  experimentation  testing  explorations 
may 2012 by jerryking
Lean Start-Ups Reach Beyond Silicon Valley’s Turf - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
December 5, 2011

The newer model for starting businesses relies on hypothesis, experiment and testing in the marketplace, from the day a company is founded. That is a sharp break with the traditional approach of drawing up a business plan, setting financial targets, building a finished product and then rolling out the business and hoping to succeed. It was time-consuming and costly.

The preferred formula today is often called the “lean start-up.” Its foremost proponents include Eric Ries, an engineer, entrepreneur and author who coined the term and is now an entrepreneur in residence at the Harvard Business School, and Steven Blank, a serial entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford.

The approach emphasizes quickly developing “minimum viable products,” low-cost versions that are shown to customers for reaction, and then improved. Flexibility is the other hallmark. Test business models and ideas, and ruthlessly cull failures and move on to Plan B, Plan C, Plan D and so on — “pivoting,” as the process is known.
Steve_Lohr  entrepreneurship  start_ups  lean  experimentation  speed  business_models  pivots  minimum_viable_products  testing  Plan_B  culling  flexibility 
december 2011 by jerryking
Ten ways to become a tenacious marketer -
Sep. 16, 2011 | G & M | RYAN CALIGIURI.

Here are 10 ways to become a more tenacious marketer:
(1) Test and benchmark. test different strategies and gauge what works best. One technique is called split testing.
(2) Always have a strategy. A strategy pts. you in the right direction & ensures your actions build to something.
(3) Always be on the lookout for revenue-generating opportunities.
(4) Be direct-response driven
(5) Get personal
(6) Get more out of a website.
(7) Deliver more value
(8) Show commitment
(9) Be driven by referrals
(10) Focus on the most likely buyers
direct-response  marketing  tips  experimentation  benchmarking  trial_&_error  strategy  commitments  opportunistic  websites  referrals  JCK  growth_hacking  Ryan_Caligiuri  strategic_thinking  tenacity  revenue_generation  overdeliver 
september 2011 by jerryking
How to Be Like Apple - WSJ.com
AUG. 29, 2011 | WSJ | RACHEL EMMA SILVERMAN. Driving
Innovation: Mgmt. experts say there are specific ways firms can generate
and execute new ideas. Solicit input. Great ideas come from all levels
of the organization, not just the top. Provide workers time for
"unofficial activity," set time to work on creative ideas. Executing
ideas is often tougher than generating them. Companies need a clear
process to prioritize, resource & test ideas quickly and cheaply, so
that they can afford to experiment...Observation can help companies
understand not just what people say they want, but what they really
need. Clay Christensen says P&G's new-product success rate in recent
yrs. came from observing that people were concerned about how their
clothes smell (Febreze) & were always looking for simpler ways to
clean the floor (Swiffer.). P&G overhauled its new-biz strategy
after realizing that just 15% of its ideas, developed in more of an
ad-hoc approach, were meeting revenue & profit targets.
Apple  innovation  execution  Vijay_Govindarajan  P&G  business_development  Clayton_Christensen  new_products  kill_rates  success_rates  systematic_approaches  ad_hoc  new_businesses  slack_time  companywide  observations  experimentation  primary_field_research  large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  unarticulated_desires  Michael_McDerment  ideas  idea_generation  process-orientation 
august 2011 by jerryking
The Montessori Mafia - Ideas Market - WSJ
April 5, 2011 | WSJ | By Peter Sims (the author of Little
Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries). We can
change the way we’ve been trained to think. That begins in small,
achievable ways, with increased experimentation and inquisitiveness.
Those who work with Mr. Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask “why
not?” or “what if?” as much as “why?” to be one of his most
advantageous qualities. Questions are the new answers.
education  creativity  creative_thinking  learning  parenting  experimentation  innovation  schools  teaching  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  google  books  Montessori  questions  thinking  breakthroughs  inquisitiveness  curiosity 
april 2011 by jerryking
Lean start-up thinking that works for all
Oct. 26, 2010 / FT/ Philip D. Broughton. The classic method is
to look at the mkt. for an opportunity, establish a business case,
develop a product, test, validate & finally launch. At each stage,
you gather resources, establish criteria for the next step and try to
adjust as you go. The challenge, though, is that technology &
customer tastes move so fast that the classic method is
inadequate....Rather than wait until all your ducks in a row, iterate
early & often by finding customers willing to help you refine your
product & even buy it in its most primitive form. Don't waste $ by
investing in an unproven product, but rely on customer feedback to tell
you where to spend. The ideas owe much to "agile software development",
an adaptive process that values customer collaboration, responsiveness
& individual input over strict product road maps, tools & mktg.
plans. For traditionalists, agile development may smack of
ill-discipline, when in fact it is just a different kind of discipline.
ProQuest  Philip_Delves_Broughton  start_ups  lean  experimentation  criteria  iterations  early_adopters  Michael_McDerment 
november 2010 by jerryking
Up, up and away; Pop-ups
Nov 6, 2010 | The Economist | Independent galleries, theatres,
bars (not always licensed) & front-room restaurants, all with
intentionally short lifespans, have been popping up suddenly, often
overnight, in the hipper parts of British cities for several yrs. The
exigencies of the recession encouraged retailers to emulate them: the
previous govt. set up a £ 3m fund to fill empty shops; landlords became
willing to sign short-term leases. Last yr. the people behind an
ice-cream brand named The Icecreamists ran a pop-up shop, complete with
in-house band & catwalk shows, inside Selfridges in London.The
brand's slogan-- to "liberate the world one lick at a time"--wouldn't be
out of place at Banner repeater. Founder Matt O'Connor says his 1st
pop-up let him launch his brand for a 1/10th of the normal cost, while
testing product ideas. For established brands, the format provides a
direct way of interacting with customers, turning each day's trading
into a consumer focus group.
ProQuest  marketing  trends  United_Kingdom  branding  market_research  product_launches  focus  retailers  experimentation  pop-ups  ice_cream 
november 2010 by jerryking
IDEO's Axioms for Starting Disruptive New Businesses | Co.Design
August 24 | Fast Company | by Colin Raney who leads the
Business Design Community within IDEO. TAKE ACTION: Designing for Life's
Changes

1. Go early, go often
Building experimentation into your business is harder than you think.
Start small and stay focused. Try everything, but don’t try it all in
one prototype.

2. Learning by doing
Build value for the business as you prototype. If you fail, what will
you have learned? What will you salvage?

3. Inspiration through constraint
Don’t exhaust yourself searching for money and resources. The tighter
your constraints, the more creative your prototypes will be.

4. Open to opportunity
Look for unanticipated ways customers are using your offering. Their
improvisations may be the future of your business.
lessons_learned  food_trucks  start_ups  tips  rules_of_the_game  ideo  experiential_learning  prototyping  design  disruption  experimentation  new_businesses  constraints  unanticipated  improvisation  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  value_creation  unarticulated_desires 
september 2010 by jerryking
How to Innovate After a Recession -
Sept. 7, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Vijay Govindarajan who
outlines a 3-pronged plan for making innovation flourish in a
post-recession environment. Why can't organizations execute innovation,
especially Fortune 500 companies which have such vast resources and
capabilities? (1) The true challenge: execution. Business organizations
are not built for innovation, but for efficiency. Organizations today
are only modestly more prepared for the challenges of innovation than
they were 50 yrs. ago. While most companies have plenty of creativity
and technology, they lack the managerial skills to convert ideas into
reality.(2) Building a special project team. To be successful in
execution, each innovation initiative needs a special kind of team and a
special kind of plan.(3) Conducting the innovation experiment (i)
Formalize the experiment. (ii) Break down the hypothesis.(iii) Seek
the truth.
innovation  recessions  economic_downturn  Vijay_Govindarajan  experimentation  execution  Fortune_500 
september 2010 by jerryking
You Can Ignore 5 of These Trends: But Only 5 - Adam Smith, Esq.
24 August, 2010 | Adam Smith .
* Trend 1: Distributed cocreation moves into the mainstream
* Trend 2: Making the network the organization
* Trend 3: Collaboration at scale (jk: economies_of_scale)
* Trend 4: The growing 'Internet of Things'
* Trend 5: Experimentation an big data
* Trend 6: Wiring for a sustainable world
* Trend 7: Imagining anything as a service
* Trend 8: The age of the multisided business model
* Trend 9: Innovating from the bottom of the pyramid
* Trend 10: Producing public good on the grid
trends  McKinsey  Bruce_MacEwen  economies_of_scale  public_goods  Industrial_Internet  massive_data_sets  experimentation  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid 
august 2010 by jerryking
Gary Hamel Sees “More Options… Fewer Grand Visions”
October 6, 2009 | World Business Forum — Presented by Shell.
"...A second critical principle is variety. As the world becomes more
uncertain, it’s harder to see farther ahead. You can’t make 10- or
20-year strategies. What becomes more important is trying lots of new
things — experimenting in low-cost ways continuously — and seeing what
works and what doesn’t. So more options, more experimentation, fewer
grand visions, fewer strategies would be the second principle."
experimentation  Gary_Hamel  low-cost  optionality  options  variations  variety  uncertainty 
may 2010 by jerryking
RETHINKING EVERY RULE OF REINVENTION
May 1, 2006 | Advertising Age | by Scott Bedbury. Great
brands like Nike and Starbucks have transcended the commodity nature of
their categories and become global brand leaders. Essential to both
brands is a nontraditional view toward marketing, particularly in the
area of consumer research, and a cultural commitment to risk taking and
the inevitable mistakes that happen through continuous innovation. For
these brands reinvention is not a one-time event but an ongoing
commitment. Here are four things to keep in mind as you consider ways to
reinvent your brand: 1. Study your competition above all else. 2. Test
your way into it. 3. Think in terms of current distribution. 4. Avoid
mistakes.
consumer_research  branding  risk-taking  incrementalism  innovation  reinvention  Nike  Starbucks  organizational_culture  brands  experimentation  trial_&_error  competition  distribution_channels 
january 2010 by jerryking
Bridging exploration and exploitation
November 24, 2009 | Report on Business | SIMON HOUPT.
Interview and book review by Simon of Roger Martin's latest book, The
Design of Business. In his latest book, Roger Martin advocates the
importance of innovation for companies - or the risk of irrelevance.
Why do successful companies wither and die? Martin suggests that too
many companies are too comfortable with merely exploiting their
innovations rather than engaging in the necessary work of innovation and
exploration. There are two solitudes: exploration and exploitation.
Exploration being highly creative people in various kinds of creative
organizations that have a heck of a time turning their ideas into
something that allows them to continue their creative activities
sustainably. Exploitation being people in the business world who are
honing and refining, running their algorithms, wondering why they slowly
expire.
innovation  design  Roger_Martin  creativity  book_reviews  Simon_Houpt  experimentation  explorers  exploitation  obsolescence  complacency  bridging  creative_types  irrelevance  exploration 
november 2009 by jerryking
How Technology Is Changing the Face of Innovation - WSJ.com
AUGUST 17, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by ERIK BRYNJOLFSSON
And MICHAEL SCHRAGE. Technology is transforming innovation at its
core, allowing companies to test new ideas at speeds—and prices—that
were unimaginable even a decade ago. They can stick features on Web
sites and tell within hours how customers respond. They can see results
from in-store promotions, or efforts to boost process productivity,
almost as quickly.
unimaginable  innovation  science_&_technology  Markiter  experimentation  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Michael_Schrage  books  accelerated_lifecycles  in-store 
august 2009 by jerryking
EXPERIMENT
Ian Ayres, Barry Nalebuff. Forbes. New York: Sep 3, 2007. Vol. 180, Iss. 4; pg. 130
competingonanalytics  experiential_learning  experimentation  Barry_Nalebuff 
august 2009 by jerryking
"Start-a-Business": an experiment in education through entrepreneurship
2008 | Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development Vol. 15, Iss. 2; pg. 274 | Paul S. Vincett, Steve Farlow.
entrepreneurship  experiential_learning  Colleges_&_Universities  students  experimentation 
august 2009 by jerryking
How Hard Could It Be?: Start-up Static | Printer-friendly version
March 2009| Inc. Magazine | Joel Spolsky

A new business is like a shortwave radio. You have to fiddle patiently with all the dials until you get the reception you want.
morale_management  failure  start_ups  Paul_Graham  new_businesses  pattern_recognition  tinkering  Joel_Spolsky  Y_Combinator  experimentation  trial_&_error 
april 2009 by jerryking
« earlier      
per page:    204080120160

Copy this bookmark:





to read