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jerryking : luck   18

Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
SEPT. 18, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEVIN ROOSE.

Here are the keys to Best Buy’s turnaround, according to Mr. Joly:

1. Price, price, price

The most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” .....To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Mr. Joly announced a price-matching guarantee....Price-matching costs Best Buy real money, but it also gives customers a reason to stay in the store, and avoids handing business to competitors.

2. Focus on humans

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service & customer experience....Best Buy fixed its internal product search engine. It also restored a much-loved employee discount that had been suspended and embarked on an ambitious program to retrain its employees so they could answer questions about entirely new categories of electronics, such as virtual reality headsets and smart home appliances.....Customers had always loved Best Buy’s Geek Squad.....sometimes, people needed help before they bought big and expensive gadgets. So it started an adviser program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about what product they should buy, and how it should be installed....a pilot program last year, the service is now being rolled out nationwide.

3. Turn brick-and-mortar into showcase-and-ship

Best Buy’s online ordering system was completely divorced from its stores. If a customer placed an order on the website, it would ship from a central warehouse. If that warehouse didn’t have the item in stock, the customer was out of luck.....Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 % of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store.

Best Buy also struck deals with large electronics companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft to feature their products in branded areas within the store. Now, rather than jamming these companies’ products next to one another on shelves, Best Buy allows them to set up their own dedicated kiosks. (Apple’s area inside a Best Buy, for example, has the same sleek wooden tables and minimalist design as an Apple Store.) It’s a concept borrowed from department stores, and it’s created a lucrative new revenue stream. Even Amazon has set up kiosks in Best Buy stores to show off its voice-activated Alexa gadgets.

4. Cut costs quietly

Almost every business turnaround plan includes cutting costs. Best Buy has used the scalpel as quietly as possible, gradually letting leases expire for unprofitable stores and consolidating its overseas divisions, trimming a layer of middle managers in 2014, and reassigned roughly 400 Geek Squad employees within the company. No public rounds of layoffs, which can crater employee morale and create a sinking-ship vibe.

Best Buy has also found more creative penny-pinching methods. Once, the company noticed that an unusually high number of flat-screen TVs were being dropped in its warehouses. It revamped the handling process, reducing the number of times TVs were picked up by a clamp lift and adding new carts to prevent TV boxes from falling over. The changes resulted in less broken inventory and bigger profits.

5. Get lucky, stay humble and don’t tempt fate

It’s lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It’s lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it’s lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets.

“They’re at the mercy of the product cycles,” said Stephen Baker, a tech industry analyst at NPD Group. “If people stop buying PCs or they don’t care about big-screen TVs anymore, they have a challenge.”

Mr. Joly knows that despite Best Buy’s recent momentum, it’s not out of the woods yet. To succeed over the long term, it will need to do more than cut costs and match prices. Walmart, another big-box behemoth, is investing billions of dollars in a digital expansion with the acquisition of e-commerce companies like Jet and Bonobos, and could prove to be a fierce rival. Amazon has been expanding into brick-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and is moving into Best Buy’s home installation and services market....
“Once you’ve had a near-death experience,” he said, “arrogance, if you had it in your bones, has disappeared forever.”
Amazon  Best_Buy  big-box  CEOs  turnarounds  pilot_programs  nationwide  contra-Amazon  brands  kiosks  cost-cutting  luck  Wal-Mart  Jet  Bonobos  pricing  showrooming  price-matching  customer_service  search_engines  in-home  BOPIS  Samsung  Apple  Microsoft  store_within_a_store  consumer_electronics  product_cycles  customer_experience 
september 2017 by jerryking
Infosys: foundering on the rocks
August 2017 | Financial Times LEX
Founders of well-run companies tend not to believe in luck. Commercial success to them comes from hard work and smart thinking, usually from the founder. In time, some pass the management of their enterprises on to others, recognizing a need for a change.
hard_work  Infosys  boards_&_directors_&_governance  artificial_intelligence  luck  chance  contingency  founders  succession 
august 2017 by jerryking
David Chilton’s rise from The Wealthy Barber to The Wealthy Dragon - The Globe and Mail
IAN MCGUGAN
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 23 2015,

Clips from the Wealthy Barber

On luck: “I’ve been incredibly lucky in life, and my health is my greatest gift. I don’t work out much, I love Nibs and Diet Pepsi, but I’m never sick a day, I never get a cold, I hardly ever sleep, and it’s all from my mom and dad. They’re in their early 80s and still have crazy energy.”

On the economy: “I try to be optimistic but you have to be concerned about debt levels just about anywhere in the developed world. I think governments are making promises they may not be able to keep. It would not shock me to see another financial crisis at some point over the next three to five years.”

On investing: “It’s shocking how badly many people manage their own investments. Mutual fund fees and expenses are part of that, but we also appear to have mastered the art of buying mutual funds that are just about to underperform.”

On mutual funds: “Paying 2 per cent [in mutual fund fees] doesn’t sound like much, because we still relate things to our high school marks. Losing 2 per cent off a mark of, say, 70 per cent is no big deal. But with mutual funds, you’re talking about losing two percentage points of an estimated 8 per cent or so return. That’s a quarter of your expected gain.”

On alternative investing: “If you’re going to get involved with hedge funds, don’t invest in them, run them.”

On entrepreneurship: “A lot of the people we see on Dragons’ Den have the naive idea that the biggest challenge in business is getting their product on the shelves. It’s not – it’s getting it off the shelves. Once it’s in the store, how do you create demand, how do you make it stand out among the competition?”

On perseverance: “No author in history did more interviews about a single book than I did about The Wealthy Barber. I did hundreds of interviews a year. For years and years and years.”
creating_demand  personal_finance  personal_branding  angels  entrepreneurship  luck  fees_&_commissions  perseverance  debt  investing  writers  authors  developed_countries 
january 2015 by jerryking
Eight ways to become the most proactive person you know - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL MOGILL
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Tuesday, Dec. 09 2014

It’s all about you. No one else is going to get you where you want to go – it’s up to you.... Take ownership of your problems, and realize that nobody else is going to solve them for you.

Be solution-focused. ...The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time, so focus on what you can control with the final outcome.

Be accountable. Set your clearly defined, quantifiable goal and then work backwards from that goal to establish metrics to track and evaluate it.

Use “SMART” goals. S: Specific (Pick something particular instead of using a broad category.) M: Measurable (Choose something you can quantify.) A: Attainable (You should actually be able to reach this, and it may just require the right steps.) R: Realistic (Be honest – it’s probably unrealistic to say you will go from making $10,000 to being a billionaire in one year.)T: Timely (Give each goal a timeframe to create a sense of urgency.)

Make your own luck. Being successful ... is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward trajectory. Make a blueprint and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes, or you are not going to hit your goal. Things do not come to fruition just because you really, really want them to happen. You have to make them happen.

Be consistent. Ultimately, success is not about getting everything right. It is about being consistent. Are you consistently and persistently taking steps every day to steadily move toward your goal?

Find the right people. Surrounding yourself with driven, effective people is a proven way to help you succeed.

Honesty is the best policy. Busywork is not effectiveness/progress. At the end of the day, if you don’t hit your goals, you are only doing a disservice to yourself. You cannot get better if you tell yourself, “Oh, it’s okay, I’m fine where I am.” (There has to be a certain element of sustained dissatisfaction).
proactivity  productivity  GTD  problem_solving  beyond_one's_control  Managing_Your_Career  ksfs  luck  books  JCK  indispensable  goal-setting  consistency  self-starters  accountability  affirmations  honesty  busywork  dissatisfaction  span_of_control  restlessness  solutions  rainmaking  character_traits  effectiveness  intrinsically_motivated  blueprints  thinking_backwards  chance  contingency 
december 2014 by jerryking
5 Things Super Lucky People Do
Mar 17, 2014 | Inc. Magazine | BY Kevin Daum.

1. Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don't do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2. Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they're reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren't lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn't to follow it no matter what, it's to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

3. Start early. Some people seem to have more hours in the day. I myself don't need more than six hours of sleep and am constantly finding ways to be more efficient. I use that extra time to start my projects well in advance. My rewards aren't dependent upon the time of day that I take action. (This column is being written at 3 a.m.) But it does matter that I'm beginning to explore projects I expect to complete months or years from now. So many people only want to put their energy into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted seeds early and now reap that harvest of happiness.

4. Connect with as many people as possible. The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you're influential, people will come and bring opportunities to you. The bigger your following, the more powerful your influence. The only way to build a big following is to provide value to many people. You have to provide the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts far and wide, attributing credit to you when they do. Are you creating that kind of value? If not, figure how you can.

5. Follow up. Opportunities often come and go because people don't respond in a timely manner. I'm always amazed when people ask me for something and I respond only to never hear from them again. Three months ago, a young woman asked me if I hire interns or assistants. I replied immediately saying I'm always willing to consider hiring people who bring value to my work. I asked her how she thought she could enhance what I could do. I never heard from her again. Perhaps she now considers herself unlucky that opportunity doesn't come her way. I believe that following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.
tips  luck  Communicating_&_Connecting  opportunities  JCK  partnerships  focus  preparation  value_creation  networking  following_up  self-starters  overachievers  high_achieving  strengths  affirmations  forethought  weaknesses  individual_initiative  unprepared  chance  contingency 
march 2014 by jerryking
Also Stalking the Fund Industry: Obsolescence - WSJ.com
Dec. 10, 2003 | WSJ | Holman W. Jenkins.

Quiz for economists: Suppose you have a competitive, transparent industry that one day begins acting in a more short-sighted, exploitative way towards its customers. What's really going on?

Here's a hint: Think of the gradual slide toward sleazier marketing by the traditional long-distance companies. When your business has a future, you invest in customer relationships. When you see your future going away, you milk them like the wasting assets they are. Big swaths of the fund management business are behaving exactly like an industry in decline...Mutual funds exploded in the 1990s, growing from less than $2 trillion in assets to $7 trillion. A long bull market helped to conceal the fact many of these entrants brought no value to the table. Their managers were, on average, merely as lucky as everyone else to be standing in the right place at the right time.
mutual_funds  Holman_Jenkins  Eliot_Spitzer  industry_analysis  obsolescence  customer_satisfaction  financial_services  luck  short-sightedness  sleaze  customer_relationships  exploitation  bull_markets  imposters  decline  '90s  cash_cows 
december 2013 by jerryking
10 Things They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com
April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. ...One of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings....think "firendships.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. ... no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. .... don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up.

4. Marry up

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction.

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. ...

9. It's all borrowed time. Take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow. ....the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
commencement  Colleges_&_Universities  public_speaking  luck  beyond_one's_control  speeches  Communicating_&_Connecting  new_graduates  self-doubt  failure  risk-taking  discomforts  marriage  obituaries  Theodore_Roosevelt  happiness  friendships  arms_race  personal_connections  advice  affirmations 
april 2012 by jerryking
Luck Is Just the Spark for Business Giants - NYTimes.com
By JIM COLLINS and MORTEN T. HANSEN
Published: October 29, 2011
Jim_Collins  luck  moguls 
november 2011 by jerryking
Chance Favors the Connected Mind
September 27, 2010 | Jam Side Down | by Marty Manley. This
weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a very insightful article by
Steve Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You, which argues
that video games and TV shows are actually making us smarter and The
Ghost Map, which chronicles the heroic efforts of John Snow to prove
that London's terrifying 19th century cholera epidemics were water
borne, not airborne as widely believed.

The article is condensed from Johnson's forthcoming Where Good Ideas
Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, which describes the
conditions under which "ideas have sex" and multiply. He has also
released a YouTube video that is both a captivating summary and a
brilliant piece of media.
book_reviews  books  innovation  YouTube  Steven_Johnson  interconnections  contingency  ideas  idea_generation  luck  chance  information_spillover  ideaviruses  connected_learning  collective_intelligence  19th_century  virality 
october 2010 by jerryking
Messy Times for Ben Bernanke and the Fed - NYTimes.com
May 14, 2010 | New York Times | By SEWELL CHAN. "we had neither
the mandate nor the tools to be the financial system’s supercop. "
Notes: (1) read “The Great Contraction, 1929-1933,” in which Milton
Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwartz blamed the Fed’s failure to expand
the money supply for the Depression’s severity and duration. (2)
“Because I appreciate the role of chance and contingency in human
events, I try to be appropriately realistic about my own capabilities. I
know there is much that I don’t know.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 22, 2009
(3) “Keep a ‘gratitude journal,’ in which you routinely list
experiences and circumstances for which you are grateful.”

— Ben S. Bernanke, May 8, 2010
economists  Benjamin_Bernanke  frequency_and_severity  U.S._Federal_Reserve  economic_history  gratitude  messiness  pretense_of_knowledge  Great_Depression  Milton_Friedman  humility  unknowns  chance  luck  contingency  books  economics 
may 2010 by jerryking
Chances Are - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
April 25, 2010 | New York Times | By STEVEN STROGATZ. NOTES:

1. For a good textbook treatment of conditional probability and
Bayes’s theorem, see:
S.M. Ross, “Introduction to Probability and Statistics for
Engineers and Scientists,” 4th edition (Academic Press, 2009).
4. For many entertaining anecdotes and insights about conditional
probability and its real-world applications, as well as how it’s
misperceived, see:
J.A. Paulos, “Innumeracy” (Vintage, 1990);
L. Mlodinow, “The Drunkard’s Walk” (Vintage, 2009).
statistics  mathematics  books  probabilities  risks  luck  chance  contingency  innumeracy 
may 2010 by jerryking
Behind all successes are a series of failures
Mar 31, 2010 | Financial Times. pg. 18 | Luke Johnson. while
improvement is essential, it pays to keep blame in proportion. Chance
plays a huge role in life, so do not torture yourself unnecessarily in
the wake of a mistake. And by the same token, try to avoid making so
many excuses that you sound as if you're in denial. Honestly analyse the
reasons why things did not go your way, and then move on.
ProQuest  Luke_Johnson  resilience  bouncing_back  failure  setbacks  sense_of_proportion  luck  chance  contingency  self-analysis  blaming_fingerpointing 
april 2010 by jerryking
Follow successful investment managers, you'll learn from them
August 13, 2005 | Globe & Mail ROB pg B7 | by Ira Gluskin.
"The first question that you should ask is why does anyone in the
investment industry want to be interviewed or quoted?...A tip to
facilitate your newspaper reading productivity... The most important
articles to read are by, or about successful investment managers.
Articles by or about investment executives and corporate executives come
next. Research analysts should be read afterwards. The last experts to
rely on are economists, with one notable exception. Jeffrey Rubin of
CIBC.".......Avoid all the articles interviewing Mr. and Mrs. Average Canadian who want to share their investment expertise with us. Certainly there are many astute investors out there in the real world, but the real world is full of experts on sports, movies and politics as well. However, the editors of these sections do not choose to air these amateur views like they do in the financial section. I repeat that I recognize that there are brilliant investors out there, but they don't have the discipline of achieving reported performance numbers like myself. This lack of discipline prevents the reader from knowing whether they are dealing with lucky or smart people.
Ira_Gluskin  investment_advice  Jeffrey_Rubin  Gluskin_Sheff  smart_people  luck  money_management  wealth_management  high_net_worth  Toronto  Bay_Street  reading  productivity  howto  economists  investment_research  equity_research  research_analysts  worthiness  discernment 
october 2009 by jerryking
How To Make Your Own Luck
December 19, 2007 | Fast Company | By Daniel H. Pink. Lucky
people think differently from unlucky people in different ways. One way
is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines.
When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people
always want something new. They're prepared to take risks and relaxed
enough to see the opportunities in the first place.
Daniel_Pink  personal_growth  career_paths  innovation  strategic_planning  luck  chance  contingency  risk-taking  howto  routines  rainmaking  open_mind  curiosity  think_differently 
june 2009 by jerryking
Practically Speaking - Creative People Say Inspiration Isn’t All Luck - NYTimes.com
Published: October 22, 2008 | New York Times | By MICKEY MEECE

Serendipity often plays a role in generating big ideas...inspiration,
but equally as important is having an open mind — especially in
tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there--if you
are looking for them.

2008 IdeaFestival was created by Kris Kimel whose own “Aha!” moment
occurred after attending the Sundance Film Festival and wondering about
hosting a diverse festival that celebrates ideas. In 2000, he helped
create the IdeaFestival, which brings together creative thinkers from
different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design,
business, film, technology and education. The goal is to promote
“out-of-the-box thinking and cross-fertilization as a means toward the
development of innovative ideas, products and creative endeavors.”
creativity  small_business  entrepreneurship  science_&_technology  Mickey_Meece  ideas  idea_generation  conferences  TED  ideacity  luck  chance  contingency  inspiration  cross-pollination  creative_types  open_mind  out-of-the-box 
april 2009 by jerryking
Luck Isn't Lucky At All - Brian Babcock
February 20, 2004| First published in the Globe and Mail| By BRIAN BABCOCK

start to anticipate.
Brian_Babcock  introspection  self-analysis  Managing_Your_Career  anticipating  luck  chance  contingency  self-awareness  self-assessment 
april 2009 by jerryking

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