Lady Legos make their professional debut

Description: Lego debuts a set of professional women characters after receiving criticism from a 7-year-old for gender bias.

Source: CNNMoney.com – video report

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Link: http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2014/08/19/professional-women-legos.cnnmoney/index.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Why do you think it took this long for Lego management to introduce modern role models for girls?
  • What other strategic changes might result in dramatic improvements to sales?

Hanx writer: Tom Hanks’ Typewriter App

Description: Hitcents Co-Founder Ed Mills discusses how Tom Hanks turned his love of typewriters into an iPad app. He speaks on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Source: Bloomberg.com – video report

Date: August 06, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/hanx-writer-tom-hanks-turns-love-of-typewriters-into-an-app-kDBabQrIS_~ujzLoSsVEZQ.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • Explain the success of this idea?
  • How important is Tom Hanks to the success of sales?
  • What other apps could you imagine launched in association with celebrities?

Too Much Corn With Nowhere to Go as U.S. Sees Record Crop

Description: The ripening corn and soybean fields stretch for miles in every direction from Dennis Wentworth’s farm in Downs, Illinois. As he marveled at his best-yielding crops ever, he wondered aloud where the heck he’ll put it all.

Source: Bloomberg.com

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-22/too-much-corn-with-nowhere-to-go-as-u-s-sees-record-crop.html

Questions for Discussions:

  • How does this article illustrate the forces of supply and demand in the marketplace?
  • How would you expect the marketplace to deal with the excess supply “problem”?

Jay-Z Gives Nike a Deadline for Kevin Durant

Description: An interesting two-on-one is shaping up in the basketball sneaker game: Jay-Z and Kevin Durant vs. Nike (NKE). Durant, who is represented by Mr. Z’s Roc Nation, has given Nike until Wednesday to match a 10-year sponsorship offer from Under Armour (UA), according to ESPN. The deal is worth between $265 million and $285 million.

Source: Businessweek.com

Date: August 22, 2014

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-08-22/jay-z-gives-nike-a-deadline-for-kevin-durant#r=hp-ls

Questions for Discussions:

  • What does this article say about negotiation strategy?
  • How would you represent the firm in these situations?
  • How would you represent the athletes?

What 13 successful people do before going to sleep

Description: Morning routines are important — but bedtime rituals can have a serious impact on your success. That’s because the very last thing you do before bed affects your mood and energy level the following day, since it often determines how well and how much you sleep. Knowing that, we decided to find out how the most successful spend their nights before surrendering to sleep.

Source: FinancialPost.com

Date: Aug 22, 2014

Link: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/08/23/what-13-successful-people-do-before-going-to-sleep/

Questions for discussion:

  • What does this report have to say about the connection between successful people and their behaviors?
  • Do you think this all makes sense?
  • How does your behaviour compare to successful people in this article?

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?

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