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jerryking : fast_followers   7

Umbra struggles with copycats worldwide - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN SMITH
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jun. 09, 2015

Umbra sends cease-and-desist orders to manufacturers and vendors around the world who are copying or selling copies of its' designs for household products such as garbage cans, storage devices, kitchen utensils, picture frames and chairs....Protecting intellectual property has always been a concern for companies such as Toronto-based Umbra, but the problem has grown exponentially since manufacturers began making goods overseas to take advantage of lower labour costs. ... By the mid-1990s, half of its production was being done in contract factories in Asia, and some of these factories were copying its leading-edge designs and selling the products on their own.... Umbra's first line of defence is making sure products are made as efficiently as possible and offered at a competitive price. Another way Umbra seeks to remove temptation is to manufacture goods for private labels so that copiers don’t get that business. It has also designed products specifically to serve the discount market, such as the Umbra Loft line sold by Target.
Umbra  design  copycats  households  fast_followers  household_products  patents  intellectual_property  China  retailers  e-commerce  private_labels 
june 2015 by jerryking
Bill McFarland: Why it’s crucial to embed innovation in business plans - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 29 2014,

When it comes to innovation, wouldn’t it be better to be second--to let another company assume the headaches and expense of innovating first?

A lack of drive to innovate or even taking solace in being second best has been a trait of Canada’s business DNA. ... innovation as a means to try out new things, even if they mean going out on a limb, with a greater possibility of failure. But he notes the importance of building innovation into a business plan. Some companies, he said, also reward employees for trying and even failing, setting up a company culture in which not trying is seen as a bigger problem than continual success.
PwC  fast_followers  innovation  business_planning  CEOs  Sobeys  grocery  supermarkets  customer_experience  failure  organizational_culture  mediocrity  Michael_McDerment  messiness 
september 2014 by jerryking
TreeHouse dips into soup
March 13, 2006 | Crain's Chicago Business |By: Julie Jargon
private_labels  soups  fast_followers  TreeHouse  foodservice 
july 2012 by jerryking
The New Old Thing
?? |HBR|
The desire to create the new new thing pervades business today. But while innovation is essential for our economy and our society, is it truly a commercial necessity for individual companies? In 1996, Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt argued compellingly in these pages that the success of most companies hinges more on imitation than innovation. Being a fast follower, he wrote, is a more dependable strategy than being a first mover. What he says about the dangers of our infatuation with innovation may open your eyes.
HBR  innovation  fast_followers  copycats  Theodore_Levitt 
june 2012 by jerryking
Bootstrap Finance: The Art of Start-ups
November-December 1992 | HBR | Amar Bhidé.

(1) get operational fast;
(2) look for quick break-even, cash-generating projects;
(3) offer high-value products or services that can sustain direct personal selling;
(4) don't try to hire the crack team;
(5) keep growth in check;
(6) focus on cash; and
(7) cultivate banks early.
HBR  bootstrapping  hustle  finance  funding  good_enough  start_ups  Amar_Bhidé  fast_followers  copycats  financing  entrepreneur  venture_capital  vc  execution  advice  capital_efficiency  team_risk  market_risk  technology_risk 
june 2012 by jerryking
Schumpeter: Built to last
Nov 26th 2011 | The Economist |

WHY do some companies flourish for decades while others wither and die? Jim Collins got his start as a management guru puzzling about corporate longevity. Given that Mr Collins has remained at the top of his profession for almost two decades, it is worth applying the same question to him.

How has he produced one bestseller after another?...Part of the answer lies in timing....Another part of the answer lies in Mr Collins’s mastery of the dark arts of the management guru. He bases his arguments on mountains of data. His recent books come with several appendices in which he discusses his methodology and challenges possible objections....His central message, which has remained the same through global booms and recessions, is admirably humdrum. He seeks to describe, in detail, how great bosses run their companies....Mr Collins challenges some common beliefs. Do turbulent times call for bold and risk-loving leaders, as so many people think? Probably not. Most of Mr Collins’s leaders are risk-averse to the point of paranoia....A second myth that Mr Collins punctures is that innovation is the only virtue that counts. Mr Collins’s companies were usually “one fad behind” the market.
Jim_Collins  gurus  management_consulting  data_driven  fast_followers  leaders  myths  turbulence  virtues  CEOs 
january 2012 by jerryking
When Being First Doesn't Make You No. 1 - WSJ.com
AUG.12, 2004|WSJ|CRIS PRYSTAY.In Jan. 2000--almost 2 yrs.
before Apple.'s iPod hit the mkt.--Singapore-based Creative Tech.
unveiled a similar prod.: an MP3 player w. a tiny hard drive that stored
hundreds of hrs. of music. In biz., though, being 1st doesn't always
make you No. 1. Creative is best-known for its Sound Blaster audio cards
for PCs, a product category it pioneered & dominates. But it's
still a niche player; annual sales are a tenth of Apple's. Apple ran
mktg. rings around Creative even in its own backyard. For iPod's
Singapore launch in late 2001, Apple plastered the CBD with funky
posters & ran a hip ad blitz in movie theaters.Creative's response
finally came last month, when it began sponsoring a children's TV show
& running its 1st-ever TV ad campaign--but only in Singapore.
"There's been a big shift in our biz, & right now, our biggest
challenge is mktg.," concedes founder/CEO, Sim Wong Hoo. "But I'm
stingy. I don't want to waste $ unless I know it's going to work."
branding  Xerox  Ricoh  image_advertising  Apple  iPODs  competitive_landscape  product_launches  Singapore  first_movers  fast_followers  consumer_electronics  marketing  new_products  new_categories  category_killers 
october 2010 by jerryking

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