What’s next for Apple?

Description: Analyst Gene Munster says new versions of the iPhone and iPad are key. He also expects a new Apple TV to be launched.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: July 25, 2012

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2012/07/25/t-apple-tv-next-few-years.fortune/

Questions for Discussions:

  • What are the projections for Apple and competitors in this business?
  • What product do you think will be the next great success with consumers?

Your credit card costs small biz thousands

Description: Retail merchants get charged a fee when you use plastic and recent reforms don’t seem to be reducing the burden on small businesses.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: July 20, 2012

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/smallbusiness/2012/07/19/sbiz-credit-card-costs.cnnmoney/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Describe how cash, credit and debit card processing affect the operations of retailers.
  • Do you think these costs fairly reflect the value of services that card companies provide?
  • Should rates be left to the market to decide or should they be legislated?
  • What alternative payment systems might be able to compete?

Dating Sites Aim for a Novel Idea: Actual Dates

Description: New Yorkers—wait for it—like to dine at trendy restaurants on a first date. In Detroit, they prefer to do the serving themselves via volunteer work. Singles living in sunny Los Angeles are apt to be sporty and hit the hiking trails for a first outing together, according to data collected by the website HowAboutWe.com, a startup that offers a platform to suggest first dates.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: July 27, 2012

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-27/dating-sites-aim-for-a-novel-idea-actual-dates

Questions for Discussions:

  • What distinguishes this site from the competition?
  • What does it say about consumer behavior in this area?
  • What other variations on dating sites would succeed?

Andalusia’s small business crushed by Spanish slump

Description: Andalusia’s sunny beaches, shady plazas and flamenco dancing attract millions of northern European visitors each year but the southern region has become symbolic of Spain’s decline and its small businesses are paying the price.

Source: Reuters.com

Date: July 26, 2012

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/us-spain-andalusia-idUSBRE86P0WZ20120726?type=smallBusinessNews

Questions for Discussions:

  • Summarize and explain the highlights in this report.
  • How can small businesses in this region manage the crisis?

Facebook Falls After Report Fails to Quell Concerns Over Growth

Description:  Facebook Inc. (FB) plunged to a record low after its first earnings report as a public company showed a slower sales gain and narrower profit margins, failing to allay concerns over growth that have dragged down the shares.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: July 27, 2012

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-27/facebook-falls-after-report-fails-to-quell-concerns-over-growth.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why has the stock fallen in price?
  • What are the marketing, managerial, and financial concerns for the company?
  • How does the emerging “mobile” environment conflict with the current Facebook business model?
  • Do you believe Facebook will succeed in the emerging mobile environment?

Kayak sails into the market

Description: Co-founders Steve Hafner and Paul English discuss the future of the online travel website on the day of its IPO.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: July 20, 2012

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/markets/2012/07/20/investing-kayak-ipo.cnnmoney/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Describe how Kayak works.
  • How is it better than other online travel websites?
  • How would you design an app for the mobile user?
  • How would you market this brand?

Ireland Bulldozes Ghost Estate In Life After Real Estate Bubble

Description:  Ireland is opting for bulldozers rather than bankers as it starts to clear the legacy of the housing boom whose collapse brought the economy to its knees.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: July 19, 2012

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-19/ireland-bulldozes-ghost-estate-in-life-after-real-estate-bubble.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • How did over-supply undermine the real estate market?
  • Who is to blame for this fiasco?
  • How can this be prevented in the future?
  • How did the collapse affect banks, governments, economic growth, and currency?

Yahoo: Help Us, Marissa Mayer. You’re Our Only Hope

Description: The Yahoo! (YHOO) board of directors was leaving nothing to chance. The Internet company is known throughout Silicon Valley as a leaky ship whose internal deliberations often turn up on blogs or in other media outlets. So when the company’s four-member chief executive search team met Google (GOOG) veteran Marissa Mayer for the first time last month, their precautions evoked a John le Carré novel. No one inside Yahoo was told, and the interview was conducted 10 miles away from headquarters in the Palo Alto offices of law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: July 18, 2012

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-18/help-us-marissa-mayer-dot-you-re-our-only-hope

Questions for Discussions:

  • What is Mayer’s mission, according to the report?
  • Do you think she can succeed?
  • Is her gender an important factor in this management role? Explain your thinking.

Social Media Usage Plateaus Among Marketers

Description: Mobile and location-based marketing are newer growth areas

Source: eMarketer.com

Date: July 18, 2012

Link: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009197&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4#P11cIZjFmqFpWRvW.99

Questions for Discussions:

  • Summarize and explain the highlights in this report.
  • How do you think these trends will perform over the next five years?

It doesn’t add up, but shoppers are suckers for bonuses

Description:  A recent study in The Journal of Marketing shows that “buy one, get one free” promotions are more enticing to shoppers than, say, a 50-per-cent discount on a single item, even if that shopper doesn’t need two of what’s being promoted in the first place. In other words, bonuses are more attractive to shoppers than sales, even if they don’t equal a better deal.

Source: GlobeandMail.com

Date: July 17, 2012

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/it-doesnt-add-up-but-shoppers-are-suckers-for-bonuses/article4420287/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why do you suppose consumers behave this way?
  • Do you think there are other illogical behaviors, with respect to price?

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