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jerryking : high-quality   34

Meg Whitman: ‘Businesses need to think, who’s coming to kill me?’
January 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rana Foroohar 7 HOURS AGO.

Whitman has just launched Quibi, a $1bn start-up of which she is chief executive (entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, her co-founder, is chairman). The venture, backed by a host of entertainment, tech and finance groups including 21st Century Fox, Viacom, Alibaba, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, has the lofty aim of becoming the Netflix of the mobile generation, offering high-quality, bite-sized video content for millennials (and the rest of us) hooked on smartphones......Whitman's experience has left her with plenty of advice for chief executives struggling with nearly every kind of disruption — technological, cultural and geopolitical. “I think every big business needs to be thinking, ‘Who’s coming to kill me?’ Where are the big markets that for regulatory reasons, or just because things are being done the way they always have been, disruption is likely? I’d say healthcare is one,” ...... a “Quibi”, is the new company’s “snackable” videos, designed to be consumed in increments of a few minutes....“You have all these in-between moments, and that’s what inspired the length of the content,” she says. “Very few people are watching long-form content on this device,” she says, holding up her iPhone. “They’re spending four to five hours a day on their phones, but they’re playing games, watching YouTube videos, checking social media, and surfing the internet. And although [people] pick up their phones hundreds of times a day, the average session length is 6.5 minutes.”.......Whitman’s hope is that just as people now binge on hour-long episodes of The Crown or House of Cards at home, they’ll do the same on their smartphone while in the doctor’s office, or commuting, or waiting for a meeting to start. As Whitman puts it, “every day you walk around with a little television in your pocket.” She and Katzenberg are betting that by the end of this year, we’ll spend some of our “in-between moments” watching micro-instalments of mobile movies produced by Oscar winning film-makers or stars ... interviewing other stars. ....The wind was at her back at eBay, where she became president and chief executive in 1998, presiding over a decade in which the company’s annual revenues grew from $4m to $8bn. “It’s hard to change consumer behaviour. We did that at eBay. We taught people how to buy in any auction format on the internet, how to send money 3,000 miles across the country and hope that you got the product.”

Quibi, she believes, doesn’t require that shift. “People are already watching a lot of videos on their phones. You just need to create a different experience.” She lays out how the company will optimise video for phones in ways that (she claims) will utterly change the viewing experience, and will leverage Katzenberg’s 40 years in the business.

..
CEOs  disruption  Meg_Whitman  Rana_Foroohar  start_ups  women  bite-sized  Hollywood  Jeffrey_Katzenberg  mobile  subscriptions  web_video  high-quality  Quibi  smartphones  advice  large_companies  large_markets  interstitial 
28 days ago by jerryking
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  brands  competitive_advantage  core_competencies  future-proofing  high_net_worth  high-quality  luxury  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  sustainability  vertical_integration  vineyards 
november 2018 by jerryking
Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,”...like labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality 
july 2018 by jerryking
Silicon Valley disrupts your light switch on its return to the smart home
OCTOBER 27, 2017 | Financial Times | Tim Bradshaw in Los Angeles.

Noon’s $400 “smart lighting system” is one of those hoping to tap into Amazon’s Alexa platform. Its “Room Director” incorporates an OLED display — the same kind of touchscreen technology used in the new iPhone X — and bulb-detecting algorithms to create “layered lighting”, with an array of scenes and moods. 

Noon’s $50m funding is large for a company that, until Thursday’s debut in US stores, had not begun to sell any products. Its backers argue the sum reflects the capital costs of building a high-quality consumer product, as well as the scale of the opportunity: 144m residential light switches are sold every year, Mr Charlton notes. 

“It is one of these unloved, overlooked products that has relatively boring incumbents that haven’t paid attention to the needs of the market,” says Rob Coneybeer, partner at Shasta Ventures, one of Noon’s earlier investors. “You probably hit a light switch at least 10 times a day. The only other product that has that level of engagement in your life is your smartphone.” 

There are few simpler technologies in the home than the humble light switch, which for most people works reliably without the addition of WiFi or Bluetooth. 
smart_homes  Amazon_Echo  Nest  Silicon_Valley  disruption  Google_Home  in-home  unglamorous  smart_lighting  obscure_markets  overlooked  high-quality 
november 2017 by jerryking
Why traditional retail hasn’t hit rock bottom — yet
October 4, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | ERIC REGULY.
.....it's fashionable—and not wrong—to blame Amazon for most of the retailers' woes, other factors, from stale retail formats to the new anti-stuff movement, are at play too. Put together, the financial and cultural forces battering the retailers seem relentless.

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

But I don't shop much for general merchandise any more, because I am sick of clutter and, with university fees for my kids, don't have the spending power for non-essential items..... blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress........ blamed shifting consumption patterns for much of the old-style retailers' distress...money spent on smartphones and wireless services is unavailable to be spent on T-shirts and shoes.....middle-class incomes have stagnated, healthcare costs have climbed, and highly leveraged consumers are more interested in paying off debt than buying new TVs. Something had to give, and it was the department stores, whose shares are down by 40% or more in the last year or so (Macy's, J.C. Penney)......Amazon's endless virtual aisles sells Fiat cars in Italy, Nike shoes and and Sears' Kenmore appliances. Amazon recently bought Whole Foods and dropped its prices, which put the mainstream supermarkets into a panic........ 55% of product searches start on Amazon, far more than the 28% that start on search engines. The popularity of Amazon Prime (which provides free, two-day delivery as well as TV and movie video streaming) and the construction of massive warehouses have accelerated its growth. .....captures an estimated 40% of every shopping dollar spent online and is already the second-biggest apparel seller in the U.S., behind Wal-Mart. No wonder the traditional retail sector is in free fall.
And here's another question: As traditional retailers weaken or go out of business, and anchor stores disappear from North America's crazily over-malled shopping geography, can the real estate investment trusts be far behind? Betting against Amazon seems a fool's game.......
Eric_Reguly  retailers  decline  bricks-and-mortar  shifting_tastes  Amazon  REITs  shopping_malls  bankruptcies  department_stores  seismic_shifts  high-quality 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Dying Art of Disagreement
SEPT. 24, 2017 | The New York Times | Bret Stephens.

The title of my talk tonight is “The Dying Art of Disagreement.”.......But to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin; Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky — such are the ranks of those who disagree......The polarization is geographic.......The polarization is personal........Finally the polarization is electronic and digital, .......What we did was read books that raised serious questions about the human condition, and which invited us to attempt to ask serious questions of our own. Education, in this sense, wasn’t a “teaching” with any fixed lesson. It was an exercise in interrogation.

To listen and understand; to question and disagree; to treat no proposition as sacred and no objection as impious; to be willing to entertain unpopular ideas and cultivate the habits of an open mind ....uChicago showed us something else: that every great idea is really just a spectacular disagreement with some other great idea....to disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say........there’s such a thing as private ownership in the public interest, and of fiduciary duties not only to shareholders but also to citizens. Journalism is not just any other business, like trucking or food services. .....But no country can have good government, or a healthy public square, without high-quality journalism — journalism that can distinguish a fact from a belief and again from an opinion; that understands that the purpose of opinion isn’t to depart from facts but to use them as a bridge to a larger idea called “truth”; and that appreciates that truth is a large enough destination that, like Manhattan, it can be reached by many bridges of radically different designs. In other words, journalism that is grounded in facts while abounding in disagreements.

I believe it is still possible — and all the more necessary — for journalism to perform these functions, especially as the other institutions that were meant to do so have fallen short. But that requires proprietors and publishers who understand that their role ought not to be to push a party line, or be a slave to Google hits and Facebook ads, or provide a titillating kind of news entertainment, or help out a president or prime minister who they favor or who’s in trouble.

Their role is to clarify the terms of debate by championing aggressive and objective news reporting, and improve the quality of debate with commentary that opens minds and challenges assumptions rather than merely confirming them.

This is journalism in defense of liberalism, not liberal in the left-wing American or right-wing Australian sense, but liberal in its belief that the individual is more than just an identity, and that free men and women do not need to be protected from discomfiting ideas and unpopular arguments. More than ever, they need to be exposed to them, so that we may revive the arts of disagreement that are the best foundation of intelligent democratic life.
civics  dangerous_ideas  identity_politics  polarization  free_speech  liberalism  Colleges_&_Universities  disagreements  Bret_Stephens  demagoguery  uChicago  the_human_condition  journalism  critical_thinking  dual-consciousness  open_mind  high-quality 
september 2017 by jerryking
Canada needs an innovative intellectual property strategy - The Globe and Mail
JAMES HINTON AND PETER COWAN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 19, 2017

Canada has never before had a national IP strategy, so getting it right will set the stage for subsequent innovation strategies. Here are some factors that our policy makers must take into account:

(1) Canadian innovators have only a basic understanding about IP

Canadian entrepreneurs understand IP strategy as a defensive mechanism to protect their products. In reality, IP is the most critica

(2) Focus on global IP landscape, rather than tweak domestic IP rules

Canada’s IP regime, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, needs a strategy that reflects global norms for IP protection, protects Canadian consumers and shrewdly supports Canadian innovators.l tool for revenue growth and global expansion in a 21st-century economy.

(3) Canadian businesses own a dismal amount of IP

Although IP has emerged as the most valuable corporate asset over the past two decades, it is overlooked by Canadian policy makers and businesses.
(4) Building quality patent portfolio requires technically savvy experts

A high-quality patent portfolio needs to include issued and in-force patents, including patents outside of Canada in key markets such as the United States and Europe. Strong portfolios will also have broad sets of claims that are practised by industry, spread across many patents creating a cloud of rights with pending applications.
(5) IP benefits from public-private partnerships are flowing out of country.

Canada’s innovation strategy must consider ownership and retention of our IP as one of its core principles. Are we satisfied with perpetually funding IP creation while letting foreign countries reap the benefits?
intellectual_property  digital_strategies  Canada  Canadian  patents  high-quality 
may 2017 by jerryking
Washington Post, Breaking News, Is Also Breaking New Ground - The New York Times
Common Sense
By JAMES B. STEWART MAY 19, 2017
Scoops — and high-quality journalism more generally — are integral to The Post’s business model at a time when the future of digital journalism seemed to be veering toward the lowest common denominator of exploding watermelons and stupid pet tricks.

“Investigative reporting is absolutely critical to our business model,” Mr. Baron told me. “We add value. We tell people what they didn’t already know. We hold government and powerful people and institutions accountable. This cannot happen without financial support. We’re at the point where the public realizes that and is willing to step up and support that work by buying subscriptions.”.........Mr. Huber noted that given the winner-take-all nature of the internet, the sources of scoops are gravitating toward just a few news outlets led by The Times and The Post. Sources (and people who want to “leak”) go to a publication with the most impact; opinion makers and influencers seek the publication with the most sources and scoops — hence the “network effect” so coveted in technology circles, and one well understood by Mr. Bezos.

When I asked Mr. Baron to name one thing that has driven the turnaround, his immediate answer was Mr. Bezos — and not because of his vast fortune.

“The most fundamental thing Jeff did was to change our strategy entirely,” Mr. Baron said. “We were a news organization that focused on the Washington region, so our vision was constrained. Jeff said from the start that wasn’t the right strategy. Our industry had suffered due to the internet, but the internet also brought gifts, and we should recognize that. It made distribution free, which gave us the opportunity to be a national and even international news organization, and we should recognize and take advantage of that.”.....“Today you have to be great at everything,” Mr. Hartman said. “You have to be great at technology. You have to be great at monetization. But one thing I think we’re proving is that if you are, great journalism can be profitable.”
journalism  investigative_journalism  WaPo  scoops  informants  winner-take-all  network_effects  sources  leaks  opinon_makers  digital_strategies  NYT  WSJ  Jeff_Bezos  subscriptions  paywalls  high-quality 
may 2017 by jerryking
Whole Foods to Close All Three Regional Kitchens - WSJ
By ANNIE GASPARRO and JESSE NEWMAN
Updated Jan. 25, 2017

Whole Foods Market Inc. is closing its three commercial kitchens, where it makes ready-to-eat meals for stores, including one location which received a regulatory warning about food safety violations last year.

The decision to outsource the food preparation, which was announced to employees last week, comes as Whole Foods works to cut costs by centralizing certain functions and reducing its workforce. ...to streamline operations, we have decided to leverage the expertise of our supplier network to create some of the high-quality prepared foods sold in our stores...Supermarkets across the sector are offering more prepared meals, with some even opening sushi restaurants and wine bars inside their stores. Fresh prepared foods generated $15 billion in sales in supermarkets in 2005, a figure that has nearly doubled to about $28 billion last year, according to Technomic, a food industry research firm.

But the explosion of prepared meals has brought new food-safety issues.
Whole_Foods  grocery  commercial_kitchens  supermarkets  food_safety  product_recalls  Outsourcing  prepared_meals  FDA  centralization  high-quality 
january 2017 by jerryking
Laszlo Bock on the Future of Hiring - WSJ
July 7, 2014

"Technology will also enable employers to find the most talented people in the world's seven billion. Every company that's growing will want high-quality people, but if you just look at traditional qualifications, we'll run out of people to hire. Clever organizations will cast a much wider net for the most in-demand skills. It's going to be easier, eventually, to find the brilliant top 5% of the world than taking 50th-percentile performers and turning them into top-five-percentile performers."

— Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google Inc.
future  hiring  Google  talent  war_for_talent  high-quality  Laszlo_Bock 
august 2014 by jerryking
Buyers and Brands Beware in China - WSJ
July 24, 2014 | WSJ | Editorials.

...Husi's behavior is a classic case of "quality fade," a term coined in the mid-2000s by China manufacturing expert Paul Midler. Companies often start out supplying high-quality products, and Husi enjoyed a top hygiene rating. But they start to cut corners in alarming ways, such as the 2007 scandal of cheap lead-based paint in children's toys.

This is especially likely to happen when customers demand lower prices but don't take an interest in how those savings are achieved. ...Lack of trust is the hallmark of life in China today, which is one reason many rich Chinese choose to move abroad....New supreme leader Xi Jinping's anticorruption campaign may bring some temporary improvement. But if he doesn't build government institutions with integrity, the cheating will resume as soon as the campaign is over.....The lesson for managers is that they must always distrust and verify what their suppliers tell them. Regularly scheduled inspections are useless as the factory will be spruced up for their visit. Surprise visits and spot checks are the only defense against fraud and fakery. In the wild west of the China market, caveat emptor is the only reliable law.
brands  caveat_emptor  China  food_safety  KFC  McDonald's  scandals  trustworthiness  lessons_learned  editorials  product_recalls  skepticism  cost-cutting  quality  high-quality 
august 2014 by jerryking
Statement Socks | Dapper Discourse
keep in mind these few rules-of-thumb for sock buying and care:

-First and foremost: Don’t buy cotton. Either buy wool or a synthetic blend. Cotton is moisture-absorbant, which dampens the socks and increases the rate of wear (Not to mention the inevitable foot odor).

-Wool has the advantage of being moisture-wicking. Also, throw the notion of wool being a “winter-only” material out the window, it’s dated thinking. Modern advances in the textile industry provides us with high-quality, fine/ultrafine wool that won’t choke your feet. Itchy wool is just cheap wool.

-Despite popular belief, socks aren’t actually one size fits all. They are typically 1 or 2 sizes larger than your shoe size. Poor fit will wreck your socks so mind the fit. Additionally, poor shoe fit can actually ruin your socks quicker as well.

-Always hang dry your nicer socks. The heat from the dryer will wreck the elastic and will unravel the knit. For ultimate longevity, hand wash them as well.
socks  accessories  mens'_clothing  blogs  stylish  one-size-fits-all  high-quality 
july 2014 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria: ‘There is a market for intelligent discussion on television’ - The Globe and Mail
JAMES BRADSHAW
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 16 2014

How would you describe the tenor of international political debate on television today, whether on your network, CNN, or Fox or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

It doesn’t take much observation to see that we unfortunately do not have a serious conversation about international affairs on television. I think that, in the media in general, it’s pretty high-quality, if you look at print, if you look at the new websites, some of which are really very good. Television, for some reason, has not been able to sustain that. Obviously, it’s different in Canada – CBC, I think commendably, does it.

What’s dramatic is the complete collapse of foreign news in network news. When you look at what NBC was doing in foreign coverage, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had 30 to 40 times as much in the 1980s as they do now. That’s the real drawdown.

Your show gets credit for trying to have sophisticated discussions. Is there a market for that in the U.S., or is your international audience creating the appetite?

We get a good audience in the United States. We don’t get a big blowout audience or anything, but it’s a very loyal audience. We are one of the most DVR-ed shows on CNN, so we are appointment viewing in a way that very few shows are on news channels because news is perishable by nature. I think there is a market for intelligent discussion on television. Television has a kind of haiku-like precision, if you use it well. You don’t have a lot of space – the entire transcript of my show would fit on one page of The New York Times. It can be incredibly powerful, and it’s incredibly exacting.
Fareed_Zakaria  television  salons  CNN  public_discourse  international_affairs  drawdowns  sophisticated  high-quality 
may 2014 by jerryking
When Diamonds Are Dirt Cheap, Will They Still Dazzle? - NYTimes.com
APRIL 19, 2014| NYT | ROBERT H. FRANK.

In many domains, perhaps even including signed baseballs, it’s becoming possible to produce essentially perfect replicas of once rare and expensive things.

That’s true, for example, of diamonds and paintings. Renowned art originals will always be scarce, and so will high-quality mined diamonds, at least while De Beers holds sway. But what will happen to the lofty prices of such goods if there is an inexhaustible supply of inexpensive perfect copies? Economic reasoning can help answer this question. It can also shed light on how new technologies might alter traditional ways in which people demonstrate their wealth to others, or might change what society embraces as tokens of commitment and other gifts....Not even perfect replicas, however, will extinguish strong preferences for original paintings and mined diamonds. In the short run, price premiums for such goods are likely to persist, as collectors scramble for certificates of authenticity.

Longer term, those premiums may prove fragile
...Tumbling prices will transform many longstanding social customs. An engagement diamond, for instance, will lose its power as a token of commitment once flawless two-carat stones can be had for only $25.

Replication technologies also raise philosophical questions about where value resides.
...Technology won’t eliminate our need for suitable gifts and tokens of commitment, of course. And such things will still need to be both intrinsically pleasing and genuinely scarce. But technology will change where those qualities reside.
art  De_Beers  collectibles  artifacts  collectors  authenticity  inexpensive  replication  scarcity  valuations  digital_artifacts  high-quality 
april 2014 by jerryking
Toronto café and coffee-shop boom about to go bust?
Feb 22, 2012 | The Grid |BY: David Sax
Since 2008, an estimated 100 new independent cafés have opened in downtown Toronto, offering premium espressos at premium prices—usually within bean-throwing distance of five or six other coffee shops. How the hell do they all stay in business?
coffee  Toronto  profitability  high-quality  Independents  cafés  David_Sax  bubbles 
may 2013 by jerryking
Need a Job? Invent It
March 30, 2013 | NYTimes.com | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.

Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, describes his job today, he says he’s “a translator between two hostile tribes” — the education world and the business world, the people who teach our kids and the people who give them jobs. Wagner’s argument in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.” ... I asked Wagner, what do young people need to know today?

“Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need [transferable, hard & soft] skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”...Reimagining schools for the 21st-century must be our highest priority. We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.” ...We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”

What does that mean for teachers and principals?

“Teachers,” he said, “need to coach students to performance excellence, and principals must be instructional leaders who create the culture of collaboration required to innovate. But what gets tested is what gets taught, and so we need ‘Accountability 2.0.’ All students should have digital portfolios to show evidence of mastery of skills like critical thinking and communication, which they build up right through K-12 and postsecondary. Selective use of high-quality tests, like the College and Work Readiness Assessment, is important.
Tom_Friedman  books  students  education  life_skills  innovation  teaching  teachers  high_schools  K-12  motivations  play  passions  purpose  transferable_skills  mindsets  intrinsically_motivated  high-quality  young_people 
march 2013 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.
confectionery_industry  market_research  Mars  retailers  chocolate  gourmands  CPG  high-end  gourmet  upscale  Starbucks  experimentation  stores  niches  high-quality 
july 2012 by jerryking
Taking One for the Country - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 30, 2012

"I found myself applauding for Chief Justice Roberts the same way I did for Al Gore when he gracefully bowed to the will of the Supreme Court in the 2000 election and the same way I do for those wounded warriors — and for the same reason: They each, in their own way, took one for the country.

To put it another way, Roberts undertook an act of statesmanship for the national good by being willing to anger his own “constituency” on a very big question. But he also did what judges should do: leave the big political questions to the politicians. The equivalent act of statesmanship on the part of our politicians now would be doing what Roberts deferred to them as their responsibility: decide the big, hard questions, with compromises, for the national good. Otherwise, we’re doomed to a tug of war on the deck of the Titanic, no matter what health care plan we have. "...Our newfound natural gas bounty can give us long-term access to cheap, cleaner energy and, combined with advances in robotics and software, is already bringing blue-collar manufacturing back to America. Web-enabled cellphones and tablets are creating vast new possibilities to bring high-quality, low-cost education to every community college and public school so people can afford to acquire the skills to learn 21st-century jobs. Cloud computing is giving anyone with a creative spark cheap, powerful tools to start a company with very little money. And dramatically low interest rates mean we can borrow to build new infrastructure — and make money.
Tom_Friedman  John_Roberts  U.S._Supreme_Court  judges  politicians  statesmanship  hydraulic_fracturing  natural_gas  cloud_computing  smartphones  robotics  software  interest_rates  infrastructure  automation  constituencies  low-interest  compromises  blue-collar  manufacturers  hard_questions  high-quality 
july 2012 by jerryking
Grateful Student Returns the Favor - New York Times
By ROBERT JOHNSON
Published: August 7, 2005

Peter A. Georgescu whose "The Source of Success" (Jossey-Bass, $27.95) is being published this month, retired as chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam in 2000. The book aims to explain what Mr. Georgescu views as the two major challenges facing America: economic competition from the emerging economies of China and India and a need to foster more creativity within American companies.

"The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."

===============================
See also Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.

============================================
See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
advertising_agencies  book_reviews  Daniel_Pink  Young_&_Rubicam  CEOs  Tom_Friedman  creativity  competitiveness_of_nations  design  imagination  education  high-touch  innovation  talent  developed_countries  idea_generation  books  high-quality 
may 2012 by jerryking
Innovation and the Bell Labs Miracle
By JON GERTNER
February 25, 2012

Why study Bell Labs? It offers a number of lessons about how our country’s technology companies — and our country’s longstanding innovative edge — actually came about. Yet Bell Labs also presents a more encompassing and ambitious approach to innovation than what prevails today. Its staff worked on the incremental improvements necessary for a complex national communications network while simultaneously thinking far ahead, toward the most revolutionary inventions imaginable.

Indeed, in the search for innovative models to address seemingly intractable problems like climate change, we would do well to consider Bell Labs’ example — an effort that rivals the Apollo program and the Manhattan Project in size, scope and expense. Its mission, and its great triumph, was to connect all of us, and all of our new machines, together....Consider what Bell Labs achieved. For a long stretch of the 20th century, it was the most innovative scientific organization in the world. On any list of its inventions, the most notable is probably the transistor, invented in 1947, which is now the building block of all digital products and contemporary life. These tiny devices can accomplish a multitude of tasks. The most basic is the amplification of an electric signal. But with small bursts of electricity, transistors can be switched on and off, and effectively be made to represent a “bit” of information, which is digitally expressed as a 1 or 0. Billions of transistors now reside on the chips that power our phones and computers.

Bell Labs produced a startling array of other innovations, too. The silicon solar cell, the precursor of all solar-powered devices, was invented there. Two of its researchers were awarded the first patent for a laser, and colleagues built a host of early prototypes. (Every DVD player has a laser, about the size of a grain of rice, akin to the kind invented at Bell Labs.)

Bell Labs created and developed the first communications satellites; the theory and development of digital communications; and the first cellular telephone systems. What’s known as the charge-coupled device, or CCD, was created there and now forms the basis for digital photography.

Bell Labs also built the first fiber optic cable systems and subsequently created inventions to enable gigabytes of data to zip around the globe. It was no slouch in programming, either. Its computer scientists developed Unix and C, which form the basis for today’s most essential operating systems and computer languages.

And these are just a few of the practical technologies. Some Bell Labs researchers composed papers that significantly extended the boundaries of physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. Other Bell Labs engineers focused on creating extraordinary new processes (rather than new products) for Ma Bell’s industrial plants. In fact, “quality control” — the statistical analysis now used around the world as a method to ensure high-quality manufactured products — was first applied by Bell Labs mathematicians.
innovation  history  AT&T  Bell_Labs  R&D  lessons_learned  incrementalism  breakthroughs  quality_control  inventions  moonshots  trailblazers  digitalization  high-quality 
february 2012 by jerryking
We Need a Second Party - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: February 11, 2012

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries).

===============================
Link to Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.
===============================
See Peter A. Georgescu. "The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."
Tom_Friedman  GOP  design  imagination  education  high-quality  innovation  talent  developed_countries  Daniel_Pink  high-touch  developing_countries 
february 2012 by jerryking
Did your adviser get a million-dollar bonus? - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Dec. 06, 2010

With an aging population, a hot equity market and a plethora of
investors looking for advice in the wake of the financial crisis, Canada
is ripe for wealth management services.

There’s just one problem: There are only so many high-quality advisers
to go around.

The competition to attract those top advisers is heating up, pitting
independent investment dealers against the big banks in the race for
Canadians’ $1.7-trillion in investable assets. Signing bonuses for elite
advisers can now easily exceed a million dollars.
financial_advisors  high_net_worth  Canaccord_Genuity  Richardson_GMP  Macquarie  wealth_management  high-quality 
april 2011 by jerryking
A sporting chance
April 30, 2010| Glove Advisor | John Lorinc
How can Canadian manufacturers survive in a ruthlessly low-cost world?
The sports industry shows that a high-quality niche is not just
defendable-it's exportable

John Lorinc
John_Lorinc  manufacturers  sports  kayaking  bicycles  mountaineering  sportswear  hockey  high-quality 
april 2011 by jerryking
Verizon Wireless Enrolls at Valemont U - BusinessWeek
October 12, 2009 | Buisness Week |
Big backing for a Web series set on a fictional college campus may
breathe new life into the budding industry for producing high-quality
online programming
web_video  high-quality 
august 2010 by jerryking
So Long, and Thanks - Opinionator Blog
June 29, 2010 | NYTimes.com | By OLIVIA JUDSON. "Writing in
this space is the most gratifying job I’ve ever had, but also the
toughest. It’s like owning a pet dragon: I feel lucky to have it, but it
needs to be fed high-quality meat regularly . . . and if something goes
wrong, there’s a substantial risk of fire." For me, ideas are
capricious. They appear at unpredictable (and sometimes inconvenient)
moments — So it’s important to catch them when they do appear: to that
end, I have a list. It’s not well-organized...To tempt ideas to arrive, I
talk to people and I read a lot: the press releases from Nature,
Science Daily. Colleagues reliably alert me to interesting papers. This
gives me a sense of what’s out there. But having an idea is one thing;
developing it is another. Some ideas look great from the bathtub, but
turn out to be as flimsy. Others are so huge they can’t easily be
treated in 1,500 words or less. Still others are just right. I can’t
tell which without investigation.
ideas  idea_generation  writing  Olivia_Judson  farewells  high-quality 
july 2010 by jerryking
Chef’s recipe: Honey-garlic-rosemary ribs
May. 18, 2010 | Globe and Mail | David Lee

according to the sort of people who debate about ribs – people who tend
to live in the Southern United States – in order to cook ribs you need
indirect heat and you need smoke. But you do not need a smoker. I get by
fine using my Big Green Egg with high-quality charcoal and apple wood
chips, and I imagine that any decent charcoal grill would work too.
recipes  ribs  rubs_sauces_marinades  BBQ  grilling  David_Lee  high-quality 
may 2010 by jerryking
Chinese Officials Attack Quality of Foreign Luxury Goods - WSJ.com
MARCH 17, 2010, | Wall Street Journal | by SKY CANAVES. An
attack by Chinese provincial officials on foreign luxury brands,
including Hermès, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger underscored the
vulnerability of the luxury brands in one of their most important
markets....The targeting of foreign designer brands for defective
products is the latest wrinkle for foreign businesses in China. It comes
as Google Inc. is preparing to shutter its Chinese language search
business and as Hewlett-Packard Co. came under scrutiny from Beijing for
problems in some of its laptops sold in China... "consumer rights are
an important part of the national competition strategy." One of the
weakest aspects of China's economic development has been its failure to
build its own brands. With a few exceptions, such as Tsingtao beer and
Haier white goods, Chinese brands are virtually unknown in Western
markets.
Hermès  luxury  branding  China  fashion  clothing  product_quality  brands  high-quality 
march 2010 by jerryking
The Best Way to Shorten the Sales Cycle - Sales Strategies - Selling Skills
Aug 1, 2007 | Inc. Magazine | By Jeff Thull.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
To shorten the sales cycle, we must bring clarity to our customers. There are three
challenges to address if we want to shorten the sales cycle time. (1)
The "decision" challenge. The customer must have a high-quality decision
process with which to make this type of decision.(2) Is the customer
really ready to address the issue of "change."? (3) Can the customer
measure the "value" /impact of your solution? Does the customer have
enough knowledge or a method to measure the value your solution will
provide pre-sale, and worse, left on their own, are they able to measure
the value they have received from your solution post-sale?
buyer_choice_rejection  clarity  decision_making  high-quality  measurements  ROI  sales  sales_training  sales_cycle  selling  think_threes 
march 2010 by jerryking
The 60-second book
Aug 2, 1999 | TIME Vol. 154, Iss. 5; pg. 73, 1 pgs | Walter
Kirn. Thanks to a bold new publishing technology known as Print on
Demand, budding authors can publish their own book and market it through
on-line bookstores for less than $400. Details on this new technology
are presented.OD turns upside down the traditional economics of the
$27.5 billion publishing industry by allowing books to be produced and
sold in small quantities-even one at a time-almost instantly. No longer
will publishing require behemoth offset presses, hangar-size warehouses
and fleets of trucks. With POD the book is digitized and stored until it
is ordered by a customer. At that point a whiz-bang
printing-and-binding machine whirs into action, creating a slick,
high-quality paperback ready for shipping. Indeed, such machines may
soon be coming to the bookstore down the block, where they will be able
to spit out a new thriller in the time it takes to froth a cappuccino.
PoD  publishing  Gadi_Prager  high-quality 
november 2009 by jerryking
The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine
08.24.09 | WIRED | By Robert Capps. The world has sped up,
become more connected and a whole lot busier. As a result, what
consumers want from the products and services they buy is fundamentally
changing. We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over
features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now
is more important than having it perfect. These changes run so deep and
wide, they're actually altering what we mean when we describe a product
as "high-quality."

And it's happening everywhere. As more sectors connect to the digital
world, from medicine to the military, they too are seeing the rise of
Good Enough tools
cheap_revolution  Clayton_Christensen  disruption  business_models  good_enough  high-quality 
october 2009 by jerryking
Water for Profit
November/December 2002 Issue| Mother Jones | By Jon R. Luoma.
Private water providers have positioned themselves as the solution to
the developing world's water problems, notes Hugh Jackson, a policy
analyst at the advocacy group Public Citizen. "But it's a lot harder for
them to make the case when here, in the world's center of capitalism,
cities are delivering tremendous amounts of high-quality, clean,
inexpensive water to people."
water  PPP  privatization  Suez  Vivendi  infrastructure  high-quality 
august 2009 by jerryking
ScienceDirect - Journal of Business Venturing : Penurious strategies for parsimonious research: “Little guy” alternatives for “big-buck” research*1
Entrepreneurship research is in a transition stage. New research and policy vistas have been opened up by the very recent emergence of big-science, "big-buck" databases. In the past 12 months, physics had 2 remarkable jolts: 1. The federal government made an unprecedented financial and technological commitment to develop the superconducting supercollider in Texas. 2. Chemists Pons and Fleischmann reported creating cold fusion in a low-cost experiment. In entrepreneurship research, large nonrepresentative samples generally are samples of convenience, drawn from trade or industry groups, because they were readily available to the researcher. These data can suffer from self-selection. The guiding principle for penurious strategizing in entrepreneurship research is to explicitly consider quality in the design of research. Two beliefs regarding this principle are: 1. It is possible to do high-quality work by building on the high-quality works of others. 2. There are questions of tremendous significance that can be addressed by low-cost research methods.
research  small_business  strategies  market_research  parsimony  low-cost  high-quality 
june 2009 by jerryking

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