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jerryking : specialization   11

Target Revamps Staffing for Grocery Business - WSJ
By KHADEEJA SAFDAR
Updated Sept. 7, 2016

The stakes are high for Target to improve groceries, which account for about a fifth of its revenue. Fewer shoppers visiting stores to buy its perishable foods has been a drag on profits at a time when the retailer is facing declining sales.

Since taking over in 2014, CEO Brian Cornell has tried to make Target a more compelling destination for groceries. The former Safeway Inc. and PepsiCo Inc. executive has changed leadership in the category, added more organic items to the assortment and invested in store design.
grocery  supermarkets  Target  merchandising  specialization 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive - NYTimes.com
By J. PEDER ZANEMARCH 19, 2015

Artists from Picasso to Bob Dylan and entrepreneurs including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs changed the world by finding “radically new ways of looking at old problems,” Mr. Galenson said. “They cut through all the accumulated stuff — forget what’s been done — to see something special, something new.”

It is why, Mr. Galenson added, the historian and physicist Stanley Goldberg said of Einstein, “It was almost as if he were wearing special glasses to make all that was irrelevant invisible."
polymaths  Renaissance  information_overload  fresh_eyes  specialization  sense-making  reconceptualization  Pablo_Picasso  Bob_Dylan  billgates  Steve_Jobs 
march 2015 by jerryking
Private equity looks to differentiate
November 21-December 4, 2005 | Chemical Market Reporter | Joseph Chang.

WHILE PRIVATE-EQUlTY will always seek to buy assets cheaply and sell them at high prices, the role of private equity is changing. Larger and more players are entering the game, and as competition increases, financial buyers must differentiate their strategy to create value.
"About 60 percent of the value from private­equity deals cornes from buying low and selling high." said Timothy Walsh. partner at JPMorgan Partners, at the Competitive Chemical Enterprise Conference held in New York last week. "The other 40 percent-improving the business­is becoming much more important."
JPMorgan Partners looks for speciality businesses that are on the verge of commoditization, where it can improve operations.
"We in private equity are price takers-so how do we create a return?" asked Walsh. ln the case of silicas firm PQ Corp. JPMorgan Partners brought in an experienced management team and enhanced focus on cost structure and processes.
Over the past few years, private-equity funds have gained in size and number. The number of funds over S1 billion
has grown from just five in 1989 and eight in 1994 to 97 today, Walsh noted. "The numbers and size will continue to grow," he added.
private_equity  chemicals  differentiation  commoditization  specialists  specialization  value_creation  financial_buyers 
january 2013 by jerryking
Managing Risk In the 21st Century
February 7, 2000 | Fortune | By Thomas A. Stewart.

Take risk management, a responsibility of the treasury function. Most risk managers haven't begun to cope with the real threats 21st-century companies face. Like the drunk in the old joke who looks for his lost keys under the streetlamp because the light is better there, risk management is dealing with visible classes of risk while greater, unmanaged dangers accumulate in the dark.

Risk--let's get this straight upfront--is good. The point of risk management isn't to eliminate it; that would eliminate reward. The point is to manage it--that is, to choose where to place bets, where to hedge bets, and where to avoid betting altogether. Though most risk-management tools--insurance, hedging, diversification, etc.--have to do with reducing loss, the goal is to maximize the gains from the risks you take (alpha? McDerment?)

So where should we look for these new risks?

--Your reputation or brand. When a bad batch of carbon dioxide in Coca-Cola sickened some Belgian children last summer, Coke's European operating income fell about $205 million, and Coca-Cola Enterprises, the bottler, incurred $103 million in costs. What about the cost to brand equity? One highly imperfect proxy: Coke's market capitalization fell $34 billion between June 30 and Sept. 30, 1999.

--Your business model. Asset-free, knowledge-intensive competition is to entrenched business models what the Panzer was to the Maginot Line. MP3s changed the music business more fundamentally than anything since radio. E*Trade, 18 years old, forced Merrill Lynch, 180, to change its way of doing business. Yet the new guys' very nimbleness creates its own risks, which traditional risk management can't help. You can protect the hard assets of a brick-and-mortar mall. Click-and-order stores are much more exposed: Cash flow is just about all they've got.

--Your human capital. The obvious human-capital risk is flight--especially in a tight labor market--but it's only part of a larger, subtler problem. When the CEO intones, "People are our most important asset," he's wrong, even if he's sincere. People are your most important investors. Your stock of human capital matters less than your flow of it. Any turbulence--and is there anything but turbulence these days?--can disrupt the flow, damaging your ability to attract human capital or people's desire to collaborate. Says Thomas Davenport, a partner at Towers Perrin: "Uncertainty is a real enemy of human capital. People rebalance their ROI by cutting back the investment."

--Your intellectual property. Many risks to intellectual property--theft, for example--can be dealt with in obvious, if sometimes onerous, ways. Here's the cutting-edge question: How do you manage risk in the process by which new intellectual property is created? How do you cope with the fact that the safer a given R&D project is, the less likely it is to be a big-money breakthrough? How do you balance the virtues of specialization against those of diversification?

--Your network. No company is an island, entire of itself; odds are your business is embedded in a network you do not control. It's not just that AOL might crash and cost you a few days' sales; your whole business may depend on tangible and intangible assets that belong to outsourcing partners, franchisees, sugar daddies, or standard-setters.
There are a couple of patterns here. First, an ever-greater part of business risk comes from sources your company can't own--people, partners, environments. Second, volatility isn't just a currency or stock market risk anymore. Labor markets, technologies, even business models oscillate at higher frequencies--their behavior more and more resembling that of financial markets.

In those patterns are hints of how to manage intellectual risks--which we'll examine next time.
risk-management  21st._century  risks  Thomas_Stewart  reputation  branding  business_models  financial_markets  talent_management  intellectual_property  networks  human_capital  turbulence  uncertainty  volatility  instability  nimbleness  labour_markets  accelerated_lifecycles  intellectual_assets  e-commerce  external_interaction  talent_flows  cash_flows  network_risk  proxies  specialization  diversification  unknowns  brand_equity  asset-light  insurance  hedging  alpha  Michael_McDerment 
june 2012 by jerryking
Critics urge Toronto board to move ahead with special-program schools - The Globe and Mail
KATE HAMMER — EDUCATION REPORTER
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2011
education  TDSB  specialization  schools 
april 2011 by jerryking
Start-Up Programs Find Niche - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SARAH E.
NEEDLEMAN. Some business incubators—programs designed to support
early-stage companies—are going niche, specializing in industries like
fashion, food and design. These programs are focusing on entrepreneurs
in emerging fields or areas that require expensive resources to get
started.
Sarah_E._Needleman  start_ups  incubators  specialization  fashion  food  design  early-stage 
november 2010 by jerryking
American Dream is Changing | Nye - Gateway to Nevada's Rurals
Oct. 31, 2010 | Nye Gateway | by Fareed Zakaria. What can
you do to make yourself thrive in this new global economy? (1) Be
unique. Try to do something that is a specialized craft or art,
something that is as much art as craft, something that feels more like
artisanship than routine work, things that are custom & custom-made
still survive. (2) Go local. Do something that can’t be outsourced,
jobs involving personal face-to-face contact will never go to India. (3)
Be indispensable. Can everyone become indispensable? Well, no, but if
you learn a difficult craft and are good at it, if you can collaborate
well, synthesize well, put things together, work with others and work
well across countries and cultures, you will have a leg-up. (4) Learn a
foreign language (e.g. Spanish or Mandarin or Hindi). (5) Excel at
mathematics, able to manipulate data, algorithms, symbols, graphs,
balance sheets and all of these skills are the essential skills for a
knowledge-based economy.
Fareed_Zakaria  21st._century  ksfs  indispensable  specialization  local  languages  mathematics  organizing_data  advice  new_graduates  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  bespoke  quantitative  global_economy  digital_economy  knowledge_economy  the_American_dream  in-person  face2face  uniqueness 
october 2010 by jerryking
10 Search Engines You Don't Know About -- bMighty.com | 10 Search Engines You Don't Know About
January 31, 2008 | InformationWeek | By Laura Tiffany. Go
beyond Google and get vertical. These specialized search sites will help
you find the business information you need -- fast.
search_engines  specialization  SIC_code  Google 
july 2010 by jerryking
Too many pots
Sept. 2003 | Profit. | by Rick Spence. Abel and Cain fell
into a common trap: targeting the broadest market possible. By trying to
please too many people at once, they were unable to make deep
connections with customers and event sponsors. Sure, their potential
market was huge, but as Abel admits, "We weren't providing enough
value." Niche markets pay better than mass markets; it's a classic
entrepreneurial lesson, but one that many people learn the hard way. If
one were starting a beverage company today, find the niches Pepsi and
Coke don't own - as Cott Corp. did with bargain-priced house brands.
Unlike the markets Cain and Abel had previously wooed, the people who
attended these events had pressing information and self-development
needs, and were willing to pay for events that fulfilled those needs.
"Specializing opened up markets that we could never reach before," says
Abel. "There turns out to be no shortage of niche markets. The closer
you look, the more you see."
ProQuest  Rick_Spence  entrepreneur  market_segmentation  specialization  targeting  lessons_learned  partnerships  value_propositions  niches  Pepsi  Cott  Coca-Cola  customer_segmentation  mass_markets  emotional_connections  market_intelligence  private_information 
february 2010 by jerryking

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