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jerryking : high-cost   10

The High Cost of Raising Prices - WSJ
By Andy Kessler
July 30, 2017

The more prices rise, the more customers bolt. It’s like running up a down escalator and never getting to the top. With the stock market hitting highs just about every day, investors need to be wary of companies that raise prices to make their numbers. These stocks make for spectacular sell-offs on even the slightest earnings miss......I had a friend who worked at General Electric for decades. He told me that in strategy sessions with his management, Jack Welch would constantly berate them, saying, “Any idiot can raise prices.” Except he used a stronger word than idiot to coax them into squeezing out costs, adding features, improving services and generally delighting customers. Contrast this with Berkshire Hathaway . Vice Chairman Charlie Munger found that with See’s Candies “we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire.” .........There’s a long list of price bumpers. Walk down any supermarket aisle. Kellogg’s prices constantly snap, crackle and mostly pop. Procter & Gamble toothpaste sizes shrink faster than my cavity count, always less for the same price. Now private-equity firms are circling P&G. Same for Nestlé . Expect rising beer and liquor prices soon....Empires are lost on rising prices. Until recently, rather than innovate in mobile or cloud computing, Microsoft kept raising the price of its Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Tablets and phones ate their lunch. Fees rose at eBay until Amazon took its growth away. .........Increasing prices attracts others to attack your market. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos warns: “Your margin is my opportunity.”....Competition solves much of this problem. Investors love protected businesses, but eventually relentless price increases kill them all. Consumers are the kangaroo at the bar in the old cartoon: The bartender says, “Say, we don’t get a lot of kangaroos in here.” The kangaroo replies, “No, and with these prices, I can see why!” Call me a kangaroo, but I prefer to invest in companies that lower prices and offer more.
Andy_Kessler  pricing  price_hikes  drawbacks  margins  Charlie_Munger  CPG  shareholder_activism  P&G  Nestlé  Kellogg  Jack_Welch  GE  large_companies  cost-cutting  Amazon  Jeff_Bezos  staying_hungry  delighting_customers  high-cost 
july 2017 by jerryking
How Technology Will Solve Cities’ Parking Nightmare - The Experts - WSJ
By JASON BORDOFF
Apr 21, 2017

as Prof. Donald Shoup has explained in his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, city officials dramatically underprice public parking relative to its market value, leading people to drive when they might otherwise have taken mass transit, walked, cycled or carpooled. San Francisco in 2010 had nearly 450,000 parking spaces, over half of which were free street spots. Free or low-cost street parking, either metered or permitted for residents, effectively subsidizes driving.

Underpricing parking not only leads to more car use, but also to more driving as people cruise around looking for parking, contributing to pollution, traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. .....The coming revolution in autonomous cars can accelerate this trend. As Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden recently explained at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, displacing the need for drivers will make it far more economical to move about with self-driving shared cars than to own a car—and that does not include the opportunity cost of driving, as riders will be able to use time en route to work, read or sleep.

Technology can also make carpooling far more efficient by better connecting riders going to and from the same place, further reducing cars on the road. Roughly 50% of Uber’s rides in San Francisco and 25% globally are now Uber Pool, according to Mr. Holden. Combining ride sharing with car sharing could cut the number of cars on the road—and that need to be parked—by 80% in major cities such as New York, according to MIT research.

With shared autonomous vehicles, there would be little need to park cars in downtown urban areas. Rather, autonomous vehicles could travel to garages on the outskirts of town to be recharged, cleaned and maintained.
parking  cities  Uber  UberPool  underpricing  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  opportunity_costs  autonomous_vehicles  high-cost 
april 2017 by jerryking
The high cost of low food prices - The Globe and Mail
Sylvain Charlebois

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jan. 06 2014
food  pricing  retailers  consolidation  Loblaws  Wal-Mart  Sylvain_Charlebois  high-cost 
january 2014 by jerryking
Rooftop gardening provides environmental benefits in urban areas
By David Runk
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Manufacturers, meanwhile, often have large, unused flat roofs but little land to spare.

Moxlow, who grew up gardening, built a plastic-covered greenhouse, known as a hoop house, on a stretch of his company's flat roof and used forced air and a hot-water heater to keep it warm during the winter. But he has designed and is testing a system to harness heat from the forging operation that would otherwise be wasted.

The forge heats metal to between 1,600 and 1,800 degrees. After pieces are formed, they are put into big bins and set outside to cool. Moxlow's system would roll some bins under a 4,000-gallon tank inside the plant to heat water to warm the greenhouse. In northern states where greenhouses often shut down for the winter because of the high cost of heating, the system could make year-round growing more practical, he said.... Designed for roofs of at least 10,000 square feet, its systems would use solar panels to heat greenhouses where plants grow in water. The greenhouses should lower buildings' utility costs by absorbing sunlight in the summer and providing additional insulation in the winter, the company says.
manufacturers  greenhouses  green_roofs  urban  gardening  farming  high-cost 
april 2013 by jerryking
The High Cost of the Gender Gap - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 21, 2011 | WSJ | By REBECCA BLUMENSTEIN.

The High Cost of the Gender Gap
Dominic Barton, Geena Davis and Debra Lee on why CEOs need to focus more on women.
By REBECCA BLUMENSTEIN
Viacom  BET  McKinsey  actors  gender_gap  Dominic_Barton  CEOs  women  executive_management  high-cost 
december 2011 by jerryking
Pity the high cost of being a Canadian millionaire
February 11, 2005 | Globe & Mail Pg. B13 | ANDREW WILLIS.
Here's the good news: The ranks of Canadian millionaires are swelling.
Unfortunately, the rising cost of being rich is taking a lot of the fun
out of it. Survey this country from coast to coast, as consulting firm
Capgemini just did, and you'll find Canada is home to 450,000 folks with
more than a million bucks of invested assets. The $5-million club has
just over 54,000 members and the seriously wealthy, with more than
$20-million, number about 7,000. Most of these millionaires are
grey-haired -- 72 % are over the age of 50....Aging boomers are an
enormous opportunity for wealth management companies...In 10 years time,
Capgemini estimates the number of millionaires in Canada will soar
20-fold, to more than eight million people. This will take place in step
with an unprecedented intergenerational transfer of wealth, as 32 % of
our millionaires are over age 70..
Andrew_Willis  high_net_worth  statistics  surveys  Canadian  income_distribution  generational_wealth  high-cost  wealth_management  wealth_transfers 
october 2010 by jerryking
Financial Adviser: Family Offices Turn 'Multi-Family' - Financial Adviser - WSJ
September 28, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by Kevin Noblet.
"Faced with shrunken portfolios and high costs, many families with these
dedicated investment offices are joining forces with other families, or
outsourcing certain functions, or turning over their entire operation
to a bank or brokerage house. "
wealth_management  family_office  high_net_worth  financial_advisors  high-cost 
september 2009 by jerryking

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