Barbie. So not hot right now

Description: Toy maker Mattel’s earnings disappoint investors as a drop in Barbie sales cuts into revenue.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Mar 30, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/investing/2014/04/17/investing-buzz-mattel-barbie-toys-stock-down.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why has Mattel stock price fallen?
  • Do you think this is temporary and a good opportunity to buy the stock?

Pop-up shops are becoming more permanent

Description: In brand strategy, short-term retail may not be so temporary after all.

Source: Fortune.com

Date: Apr 18, 2014

Link: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/18/pop-up-shop-storefront/?iid=SF_F_River

Questions for Discussions:

  • Describe the business model of short-term retail rentals.
  • For which businesses does this service make sense? Why?

Gillette’s New Razor Could Overturn Its 100-Year-Old Business Model

Description: Procter & Gamble (PG), which hasn’t done a whole lot on the innovation front since the Swiffer in 1999, has a new Gillette razor in the works.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: Apr 18, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-18/gillettes-new-razor-could-overturn-its-100-year-old-business-model#r=hp-lst

Questions for Discussions:

  • What is so significant about the latest business model?
  • Do you think this strategy will pull customers back from the competition?

Why Facebook bought Oculus

Description: Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe tells CNNMoney’s Laurie Segall why Facebook became interested in buying his company.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Apr 11, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2014/04/11/t-oculus-facebook-brendan-iribe.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why did Facebook buy Oculus, according to this report?
  • How necessary was the financial input of Facebook money for Oculus to move forward?
  • How important will Facebook management and marketing be for Oculus?

Toyota’s Three-wheeled Car Gets Tested on the Hill

Description: Toyota invited members of Congress and Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly out for a test drive of the I-Road — its answer to zero-emissions urban driving.

Source: Bloombergcom – video report

Date: Mar 30, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/toyota-s-three-wheeled-car-gets-tested-on-the-hill-5UEm~Uo0SJu2tfYmzqTWjA.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Do you think this car will succeed with urban drivers?
  • Could a car sharing program work better with this vehicle?

Convertible Car Sales Have Plunged as Image of Fun and Freedom Dims

Description: Convertibles, such as the Ford Thunderbird in the 1991 film Thelma & Louise, have epitomized the promise of freedom that’s long fueled the popularity of the automobile. From James Dean’s Porsche (PAH3:GR) 550 Spyder to Steve McQueen’s Jaguar (TTM) XKSS, ragtops have been associated with rebels of all stripes. Nowadays, however, a sport-utility vehicle with a big sunroof is more likely to be the object of desire as wind-in-your-hair motoring becomes passé.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: Apr 10, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-04-10/convertible-car-sales-have-plunged-as-image-of-fun-freedom-dims#r=hpt-fs

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why have sales of open-roof passenger vehicles dropped, according to the report?
  • Do you agree with this assessment?

Is VR really the next big thing?

Description: Call it arrested development: Virtual reality technology has been in development for decades, but it’s hotter than ever with Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR. Should it be?

Source: Fortune.com

Date: Apr 11, 2014

Link: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/11/is-vr-really-the-next-big-thing/?iid=SF_F_River

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why has there been such slow development of VR?
  • Do you see a connection between VR and social media?

Walmart to Sell Organic Food, Undercutting Big Brands

Description: Walmart plans to announce on Thursday that it is putting its muscle behind Wild Oats organic products, offering the label at prices that will undercut brand-name organic competitors by at least 25 percent. The move by Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and grocer, is likely to send shock waves through the organic market, in which an increasing number of food companies and retailers are seeking a toehold.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Apr 10, 2014

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/business/walmart-to-offer-organic-line-of-food-at-cut-rate-prices.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=BU_WTO_20140410&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2

Questions for Discussions:

  • How significant is it that Walmart is aggressively entering this line of business?
  • How do you expect the industry to react?

Is the U.S. stock market rigged?

Description: Steve Kroft reports on a new book from Michael Lewis that reveals how some high-speed traders work the stock market to their advantage

Source: CBSNews.com – video report

Date: Mar 30, 2014

Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged

Questions for Discussions:

  • Explain how high-speed traders were able to exploit the trading environments.
  • How was the problem solved?
  • How should government regulators have handled the problem?

Tesla and SpaceX: Elon Musk’s industrial empire

Description: So many children dream of fast cars and rocket ships, but few actually grow up to build them — and change the world in the process

Source: CBSNews.com – video report

Date: Mar 30, 2014

Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/tesla-and-spacex-elon-musks-industrial-empire

Questions for Discussions:

  • Do you think the Tesla will succeed?
  • How does Elon Musk compare to the textbook description of an entrepreneur?

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