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Sotheby's and Christie's Race to Find New Art Collectors - WSJ
By KELLY CROW CONNECT
July 31, 2014

If you're even remotely curious about starting a blue-chip art collection, there's a good chance the world's biggest auction houses already know who you are, and exactly how much you might spend to own a masterpiece. Gone are the days when auctioneers simply mailed sale catalogs to strangers after reading reports of their newfound fortunes. Today, climbing art values and an influx of new international collectors have thrown Sotheby's BID -1.32% and Christie's into a global frenzy of research and genuflection. They've dispatched armies of experts to identify potential bigwigs, and satisfy their ever-expanding art whims.

A third of Sotheby's 1,550 employees are assigned to look after at least 9,000 top collectors, a job that entails everything from researching bidders' financial standing to digging through catalogs for objects that might intrigue them...Behind the scenes, auction houses say they are ferreting out collectors by teaming up with insurers to offer art appraisals. In India, Christie's joined with a luxury hotel chain to tap its Rolodex two years ago, in exchange for giving occasional art lectures at several hotels.
Sotheby's  Christie's  art  collectors  auctions  insurance  art_appraisals  whims  blue-chips 
july 2014 by jerryking
Historical Recipes Are the Next Big Thing - WSJ.com
Dec. 13, 2013 |WSJ| By Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn.

In a culinary landscape filled with Szechuan pastrami and cronuts, it can feel like our chefs are slaves to novelty, forever breaking with traditional foodways in favor of dishes inspired by artistic whims and enabled by modern technology. But look past the clamor of innovation and you'll find some of the country's most gifted toques quietly engrossed in old cookbooks, viewing the historical record as a treasure trove of ingenious techniques and preparations.
recipes  cookbooks  pasta  history  puddings  oxtail  whims 
december 2013 by jerryking
Amazon's Greatest Weapon: Jeff Bezos's Paranoia - WSJ.com
Nov. 13, 2013 | WSJ | By Farhad Manjoo.

What could Mr. Bezos possibly have to fear? Impermanence. Mr. Bezos is in an industry, retail sales, in which every innovation is instantly pored over and copied, in which (thanks partly to him) margins are constantly driven to zero, and in which customers are governed by passing fancy and whim. Being online confers fantastic advantages to Amazon, but it also comes at a deep cost: Very little about its business is burned into customers' minds.

Hence, frenzy: Amazon is in a race to embed itself into the fabric of world-wide commerce in a way that would make it indispensable to everyone's shopping habits—and to do so before its rivals wise up to its plans
Amazon  contra-Amazon  e-commerce  Fedex  habits  impermanence  Jeff_Bezos  network_effects  paranoia  retailers  shopping_experience  speed  staying_hungry  tradeoffs  transient  UPS  USPS  whims  shopping_habits 
november 2013 by jerryking
Cinderella Dreams, Shoestring Budget? No Problem - WSJ.com
* FEBRUARY 16, 2011, By COLLEEN DEBAISE.

If consumers can rent a movie by mail, or wheels on a whim, why not a
couture gown should the occasion strike? That's the concept behind Rent
the Runway, a website launched in November 2009 that promises to give
"every woman the opportunity to be Cinderella for the night," says
co-founder Jennifer Hyman. Customers can choose from an array of
designer duds for one-time wear at a fraction of the frocks' retail
price tag. (A little black dress worth $1,250, for instance, rents for
$150, plus shipping and $5 insurance.) Returns are as simple as dropping
the Dolce & Gabbana or Diane von Furstenberg into a pre-paid
mailing envelope. To date, Rent the Runway appears to be leading a
charmed life of its own, signing up 800,000 members, growing February
sales at 10 times last year's rate, securing $17 million in venture
capital and becoming cash-flow positive in under a year.
10x  rentals  fashion  start_ups  women  entrepreneur  business_models  Netflix  second_hand  whims  haute_couture 
march 2011 by jerryking

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