Why big media is a ‘Game of Thrones’

Description: Bigger, bigger, bigger: that’s the battle cry of today’s media corporations. Brian Stelter maps out the war between the entertainment producers and the cable distributors. But who will sit on the Iron Throne?

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: August 06, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/media/2014/08/06/why-big-media-is-a-game-of-thrones.cnnmoney/

Questions for Discussions:

  • Describe the changing relationship between content creators and distributors.
  • What do you think the industry will look like in ten years?

Lululemon seeks a leg up on knockoffs

Description: Lululemon Athletica Inc. has filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court in Illinois targeting a sealed list of unidentified defendants that it says are China-based knockoff artists selling fake versions of its ubiquitous yoga pants and other merchandise online.

Source: BNN.com – video report

Date: July 19, 2014

Link: http://www.bnn.ca/News/2014/7/19/Lululemon-seeks-a-leg-up-on-knockoffs.aspx

Questions for Discussions:

  • After watching the video and reading the article, how would you describe the leadership and management culture at Lululemon?
  • How can management deal with knockoff artists selling fake versions online, other than through the courts?

Arrogance Is Good: In Defense of Silicon Valley

Description: Sam Altman sits behind his desk with his knees pulled up to his chest, eating dried apricots. He’s 29, but even the most laissez-faire bartender would card him. His hand is forever grabbing his hair while he thinks, making it stick up in Einsteinian tufts.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: August 07, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-07/silicon-valley-tech-entrepreneurs-behind-the-stereotype#p1

Questions for Discussions:

  • What does this article say about management styles and success?
  • Do you agree with the arguments presented?

Big-box stores may see dark days ahead

Description: Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) gained dominance by offering everything from groceries to children’s toys, often putting smaller, local stores out of business in the process. Now, it’s the revenge of the smaller retailers.

Source: CBSNews.com

Date: July 19, 2014

Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/are-there-dark-days-ahead-for-big-box-stores/?tag=nl.e713&s_cid=e713&ttag=e713&ftag=TRE4cf7aca

Questions for discussion:

  • What is happening in retailing today that is reflected in the issues facing Walmart and Target?
  • Do you think changes to management will have a positive effect on these firms?
  • What would you recommend these firms do as the marketplace continues to evolve?

A Growing Challenge for Germans Who Live by Bread Alone

Description: SCHOPFHEIM, Germany — On Sunday mornings, the line at the backdoor of Fritz Trefzger’s bakery snakes through the courtyard as customers wait for their chance to step into the inner sanctum of his kitchen.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: June 03, 2014

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/04/world/europe/a-rising-challenge-for-germans-who-live-by-bread-alone.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=WO_AGC_20140605&bicmp=AD&bicmlukp=WT.mc_id&bicmst=1388552400000&bicmet=1420088400000&_r=2

Questions for discussion:

  • What does this article say about small business and changing social behaviors?
  • Do you think that Fritz Trefzger’s approach to confronting competition will grow in popularity?

The Derelict Car is a $1m Modern Ride in Desguise

Description: Classic-car restorer Jonathan Ward kept hearing the same thing from customers: Can’t we get the vintage look without the vintage technology? So he founded Icon, a Chatsworth, CA–based company whose cars appear vintage but they are decked out with the latest engines, brakes, interiors and sound and navigation systems. Bloomberg heads to Icon’s shop to see how it’s done. (Source: Bloomberg)

Source: Bloomberg.com – video report

Date: May 29, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/this-derelict-car-is-a-1m-modern-ride-in-disguise-6eUgHNSXQaKSi~CzWv6qJg.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Who do you think the target market is for this sort of car?
  • How would you go about marketing these cars?

Top 5 reasons why your CEO just got a big fat raise… and 5 reasons why you didn’t

Description: WASHINGTON — Pay for globe-trotting CEOs has soared to new heights, even as most workers remain grounded by paychecks that are barely budging.

Source: NationalPost.com

Date: May 27, 2014

Link: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/05/27/the-ceo-of-your-company-just-got-a-huge-raise-you-didnt-heres-why/

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the overall explanation provided in this report for the wide gap in pay.
  • Do you agree?
  • Should anything be done about the gap?
  • How do you think this situation affects motivation of those directly employed?

French don’t pan baguette vending machine

Description: A new vending machine serves hot baguettes, and even the fussy French approve.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: May 23, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/05/23/n-french-baguette-vending-machine.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to a baker who chooses to install this machine?
  • Do you think the installation of the machine would affect customers who prefer direct contact with employees?
  • Besides bakeries, where else would this machine likely improve sales of baguettes?

Building a better egg (with no chicken)

Description: Hampton Creek Foods is trying to build a more environmentally friendly egg that looks, tastes and has the nutrition of a regular egg. But unless it’s cheaper, can they beat the egg?

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: May 19, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2014/05/19/t-better-egg-hampton-creek-foods-josh-tetrick.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Do you think price is the most important factor that determines consumers’ purchases of egg and egg substitute?
  • If the taste of prepared foods such as mayo is the same for both products, do you think consumers will quickly adopt the product?

McDonald’s and America’s new low-wage economy explained

Description: Who owns your local McDonald’s or builds your cell phone tower does not matter much to consumers. But it has huge implications for workers.

Source: Fortune.com

Date: May 23, 2014

Link: http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/05/23/mcdonalds-and-americas-new-low-wage-economy-explained/?iid=SF_F_River

Questions for discussion:

  • How are wages determined?
  • In your opinion, what are the social responsibilities of the large corporations in this matter?

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