Readings: Innovation / Entrepreneurship
5G will be great for streaming video but will also enable a new world of connected cars, drones, and robots. The future cellular networks will generate $3.5 trillion in economic output.
Using a tiny camera at the end of an elongated needle, the Mi-eye2, the only product of Trice Medical, can enter into an injured joint and provide superior visual information about the type and extent of the injury. This allows the proper type of treatment to be determined without the degree of risk of orthoscopic units as well as the superior imaging than MRIs can provide.
AI technology can do more than recognize cats in YouTube videos. It's now used to power Echo and Tesla's self-driving cars.
Data mining by traditional brick-and-mortar fashion retailers is not a new thing, but third party data tracking in the internet era is creating advantageous data that can lead to better targeting. Le Tote, a fashion rental service that uses products from such traditional retailers as the French Connection, collects data on the level of satisfaction of their customers (who pay a fee for their service) and now partners with the retailers to help meet the needs of consumers in a tailor-made way.
E-commerce companies are tapping data for clothes and other goods. Old-school retail rivals want them, too. In the U.S., French Connection is tweaking its clothing based on feedback supplied by mail-order styling services.
Techies are getting more political with a range of websites that walk visitors through, among other things, complaints to Congress. A series of quickly-made websites provide shortcuts to constituent calls and other forms of civic engagement.
A computer beat top poker players. Is this the first of many wins for the computer?
Consumers have been frustrated with slow Wi-Fi issues, particularly in the home. With gaming, appliances, and information-oriented products vying for access, it has been a frustrating constraint for service providers such as Comcast. Innovative new firms have begun to incrementally improve this environment and seem to be establishing a great deal of value by doing so.
Ex-employees of JPMorgan describe the push to sell the bank's own products to rich clients. A review of company filings and transcripts of investor calls indicates that JPMorgan has been the only big bank to break out revenue figures tied to cross-selling. JPMorgan says that its in-house options serve both bank and client.
Snap’s culture of secrecy may be consistent with the ethos of its original Snapchat app and its CEO’s leadership style, but it may not be helping the company's IPO plans. Snap’s upcoming IPO is testing this culture. If Snap remains unwilling to provide information about its vision and strategy, it runs the risk that investors may shy away from the IPO.
Airbnb and Uber are two relatively young companies that have had to overcome strong institutional barriers to entry but have managed to do so by garnering support from their customers and their partners to establish a strong position in their respective markets. What crucial battles were necessary for their founders to win and realize their dreams?
The printed book is dead, long live the printed book. Bertelsmann is betting that print books will continue to be good business as it moves to take 100 percent ownership of Penguin, the world’s largest book publisher.
Tokyo company Jeplan wants your used clothing. Another fuel alternative may be on its way.
Snap Inc. is hoping to convince analysts and public market investors it’s worth upwards of $20 billion in an impending IPO by stressing that its users' "engagement" is more important to its valuation than monthly growth in active users. But its secrecy on what the engagement metrics are is making investors nervous.
Analytics startups help manage companies’ server needs. About 1 in 5 businesses that rent computing capacity through the cloud now use specialized software to keep better tabs on costs. Companies such as Cloudability, CloudHealth, Cloudyn and Cloud Cruiser do face two serious risks.
Mark Zuckerberg’s image in the digital domain needs to be controlled. There are more than a dozen Facebook employees writing Mark Zuckerberg’s posts or scouring the comments for spammers and trolls.
Bringing insurance to the world's poor would seem to be a difficult proposition. Blue Marble Microinsurance, backed by industry giants like American International Group, is starting with crop insurance, which could be a key to agricultural development and longer term emergence of other insurance markets.
The on-demand economy is changing consumer behaviors and business models. It is also creating challenges for classifying workers as employees versus independent contractors. Uber and other well-known enterprises continue to grapple with this issue, but Handy, a less well-known startup, is proposing legislation that could create a compromise offering workers limited benefits without full employee rights.
It is difficult for ex-convicts to get solid jobs after they have served their time. Defy Ventures, a nonprofit started by Catherine Hoke, believes that one way for them to find jobs is to start their own company. Using money and expertise from some of the largest tech-industry experts, Defy Ventures provides training while the inmates are finishing up their sentences. Their ideas are then considered for funding, and thus far, more than 150 have received support for their startups. Most importantly, their recidivism rate is 3 percent. This is dramatically lower than the normal rates.
Fintech upstart Paytm is leveraging an anti-corruption campaign to establish itself as India's dominant digital payments player. It wants to be India's first $100 billion company by value.
Interestingly, a strong long-term mutual fund performance record is not enough to hold on to investors. A long-term shift from active to passive funds affects even managers with outstanding records.
Netflix has been gradually building a subscriber base in Central and South America. A key step in attracting customers to its subscription video service was to help develop the infrastructure that facilitated high-speed streaming. Netflix has also developed original content specifically for South American consumers.
Defy Ventures is giving parolees a second chance. It seems to be working.
A drone to stifle other drones by capturing them in a net. How much of a market is there, and how long will it last?
German music streaming service SoundCloud is in trouble despite having about 175 million users and the adoration of both artists and fans. Pandora and Spotify face similar problems as they continue to lose money while record labels get most of the streaming revenue.
Aristotle, help the baby go back to sleep. Help for parents is on the way.
Sales of makeup aimed at the Muslim market are growing fast. The trend “carries a certain stigma with the average American.”
SunEdison founder Jigar Shah estimates that $10 trillion in financing is needed to wean us off fossil fuels with existing technology. His new startup, Generate Capital, hopes to play a significant role in that financing while avoiding the debt problems that put SunEdison into bankruptcy.
Generate Capital, a startup venture fund specializing in green infrastructure projects, has obtained $500 million in investor funds to foster new green technologies and facilitate their adoption into mainstream use. Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison, started Generate Capital with a couple of McKinsey consultants under the notion that the $1 Trillion market would not be a few huge players, but many smaller players that gain market access and proof of design and value.
From her own experience as a high school student, Cindy Mi realized that teachers can have a huge influence, good and bad, on a student's attitude and success. She worked for a time at her uncle's school doing tutoring before starting her own company. Recognizing the desire of Chinese parents to have the best education possible for the child, including English language instruction, and the relatively low pay of teachers in North America, she started a company for online tutoring that pairs Chinese youth with North American teachers.
Will climate change still be an issue? Some say that the technology is already available to combat it.
Storing data on "the cloud" cheaply is an enticing proposition for those with huge storage needs, but security of that data is becoming a focus of attention for IT professionals. A company started in 2007 named Guardtime has begun to sell security software that can detect breaches of data security. They started in Estonia, one of the first countries to place an emphasis on e-government and systems.
Blockchain-style ledgers can log changes to files stored online. Employee-owned Guardtime, whose software is rooted in blockchain, is the Pentagon’s early leader for cloud security.
Startup Livestream is selling preachers, wannabe stars, and ExxonMobil on tools to improve their online video broadcasts. It buys display ads on websites that just show a customer’s stream, a service it calls “audience booster.”
Two tech entrepreneurs have launched a property insurance startup called Lemonade, seeing insurance as a huge industry that's been "unspoiled by innovation." Behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely helped them reimagine what home insurance could be and come up with a business model that changes the incentives on both sides.
Despite a more than $27 billion bid, Actelion Ltd.'s founders want to stay put. "It's not a question of money," says CEO Jean-Paul Clozel. "We have enough money."
Regulatory changes and technological advances have led to major reductions in the number of trading and investment banking jobs; the biggest global firms have shed almost 10,000 of these jobs in the past five years. Experienced brokers and traders have lost their jobs, and many have struggled to find job opportunities in finance. TJM Institutional Services, however, has taken advantage of the flood of talent on the job market and is growing its business by finding a way to monetize the experience of these industry veterans.
Nintendo is pushing its new iOS game, Super Mario Run, instead of a new console.
For owners Comcast, Fox, Disney, and Time Warner, the Internet streaming service Hulu has been their beachhead in the increasingly popular world of video streaming. Now Hulu plans to offer live TV to strengthen its position against leaders Netflix and Amazon but may simultaneously continue to erode their owners’ cable TV businesses.
By combining the logic of Peter Thiel's foundation, which eschews formal higher education, with the idea that there are some college students who are potential entrepreneurs and who have an entrepreneurial spirit, Danielle Strachman and Mike Gibson have ventured out with their own venture called the 1517 Fund. With funding from Peter Thiel and other highly successful entrepreneurs, the fund now offers gifts, loans, and access to a network of successful entrepreneurs who hope to regain their investments through connections with entrepreneurs heading up early stage ventures.
Facebook, the Internet’s No. 2 ad business, has a growth problem. The social media company is working with A&E and a streaming startup to tailor more conventional commercials for viewers.
Video ads on Facebook are here. The company is testing you.
Leading apparel retailer Zara rejects the label fast fashion because of the company's focus on design. Yet its designers are driven by sales and consumer data as they deliver fresh styles to stores twice weekly.
A unique management formula may be why Inditex’s revenue growth—up 11 percent in the first half of 2016—far outpaces its rivals. The biggest fashion retailer is thriving as rivals falter. It has virtually no ad budget apart from social media marketing.
Chewy, a pet supply store that specializes in creating a superior customer service experience online by sparing no expense, has developed into an $880 million revenue company. Unfortunately, its expenses have exceeded its revenue, but the company has solid financial backing and dreams of becoming even larger.
As competitors struggle, Zara continues to thrive. It's known as a fast-fashion company supported with a supply chain that allows quick turnarounds. Some facets of Zara’s business model may be imitable, but its approach to management, unique decision-making process, and organizational culture may be able to sustain the company's success.
Inditex's business model for fast fashion allows it to frequently update its inventory and adapt its offerings to different tastes in different countries. Rather than rely on lead designers to try and predict or create fashion trends, the company uses data and a team of designers to continually shift production at its factories. Since a large portion is produced near the Inditex's headquarters in Spain, new designs can move quickly into production and onto store shelves in Europe.
Chewy has a new strategy for selling pet supplies. You may just end up with an oil painting of your pets.
To figure out the true price of a business degree, you have to factor in the opportunity cost. Unfortunately the formula is not perfect (e.g., it does not factor in financial aid or scholarships).
Investments in clean power by major U.S. corporations are expected to increase in pace despite the election of climate change denier Donald Trump. The business case for renewables is positive despite threats to reverse Obama’s commitments to the Paris climate accord and the Clean Power Plan.
The semi-unanticipated results of the past Presidential election have sent shock waves through the political/economic sectors that did not have a favorable outcome. One such area is that of technology sectors focused in Silicon Valley. The availability of talent from Asian countries is perceived to be in jeopardy. Will this create a international competitive disadvantage for the United States?
U.S. tech companies are facing new challenges in recruiting talent due to uncertainty about future U.S. immigration policies following the election of Donald Trump. Xenophobia may make the U.S. less attractive to new immigrants. Some foreign-born tech workers who are already working in the U.S. are putting plans on hold; others are planning to leave the U.S.
Porsche plans to have a high powered all-electric coupe out by 2019, just in time for the EU’s tough new carbon emission standards for 2020. Porsche’s Mission E will also growl like a Porsche.
You may soon be able to shop via Instagram. The company is poised to become more than a photo-sharing app.
With so many smart devices being routed wirelessly in our homes and businesses, they have become a prime target for cyberattacks. John Wu, a veteran in the W-Fi arena at the age of forty-two, has come up with a router that can stop attacks at the entry level, thereby protecting the devices.
Despite its expertise in software and data centers, Google is struggling to catch cloud services market-leader Amazon. Some analysts say working with chief information officers is just not in Google's DNA.
University of British Columbia students wasted a lot of plastic while making prototypes for robotics classes but addressed this problem by developing the ProtoCycler, a desktop machine that converts plastic waste into 3D-printer filament. While this is good for the environment, the recycled filament may also have a cost advantage over premade filament.
Hawkers, a Spanish sunglasses brand, has become a Facebook and Twitter case study. It illustrates that you do not need lots of money to spread the word. Saldum Ventures, the parent company of Hawkers, has sold 3.5 million pairs of sunglasses in three years with guerrilla marketing and heavy promotion on social media.
Credit cards may not be the only plastic used for purchases. Money itself may be going plastic as well.
The ability to store huge troves of data in the public cloud has created a burgeoning industry, but now, some companies are starting to want some degree of separation from the risks of public cloud storage. To that end, a sector called private cloud storage has found root as a sub-industry.
Uber has unveiled the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) to address driver concerns and pressure for unionization. Uber's partner behind the IDG has agreed not to seek unionization, at least until 2021.
Uber is funding an Independent Drivers Guild for drivers. While this quasi union is providing benefits to Uber drivers, it has also promised not to strike.
The Bloomberg Businessweek article "Innovation Fighting Hearing Loss" (October 31−November 6, 2016) assesses several potential solutions seeking to resolve hearing loss in patients.
Two of the top names in entrepreneurship have squared off in the suborbital space race. Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are competing to become both the first and the best in suborbital tourism, which will carry a hefty price tag for early travelers. Recent successes have given Bezos a slight lead.
After five years of rapid growth, solar rooftop installations are expected to be flat overall this year, while declining in some markets. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that growth will resume and says a year or two of stagnation is “an overwhelmingly positive outcome.”
China's domestic smartphone makers are gaining worldwide market share. While the growth of Apple and Samsung in worldwide markets has slowed, Vivo, Oppo, TCL and Xiaomi are all growing. These companies are not just counting on growing sales in China, however, but also have their sites set on India and other growing markets.
A growing number of retailers look to strengthen ties with customers by combining convenient payment and rewards. Mobile wallets are the new loyalty program.
The European Union has put the brakes on a number of U.S.-based technology companies this year. Apple has been informed that it owes over $14 billion to the Irish government due to a sweetheart tax deal, and other governments are also looking into whether this tax deal meant that the company did not pay appropriate taxes in their countries. Google has also faced a number of inquiries into its business model, with different countries having slightly different regulations that limit the services it can offer.
While the U.S. investment market appears to have found a little stability in level, the uncertainty about the quality of the entrepreneurial endeavors has brought a new level of risk expectations into the market and this makes the probability of a downturn amp up. It is noteworthy that there are huge caches of cash that have been raised to fund new ventures, however, the risk profile of these investments appear to contain potential for loss context.
Anne French, president of Dear North, a collaborative effort between Huna Totem (a Native Alaskan-owned company focused on tourism) and Ammunition (a company known for designing Beats, the popular headphones), dreamed of exporting consumer products that captured the Alaskan allure. The company has begun producing first product: salmon jerky. It aims to sell to the Lower 48 states, be in 700 outlets by the end of the year, and earn $1 million in its first year.
Workaholic Americans accumulate hundreds of hours of unused leave. Recognizing this issue, a startup company hopes to redefine the vacation-leave benefit. PTO Exchange is building a business that provides innovative options for unlocking the value of employees’ unused vacation time.
Jack Dorsey has been working for the past year to restart growth at Twitter without success. Against his wishes, the board is now looking at being acquired as the share price declines. Investors are hoping for a turnaround.
Sororities are a lucrative market for a fashion brand. It’s a natural human thing to want to belong. Win the sorority girl, win the American wardrobe. Companies such as Kendra Scott, Lilly Pulitzer, and upstarts like Southern Tide see half a million potential in customers ready to spend.
Google's new high-end Pixel smartphones will compete directly with Apple's iPhone, but also with Samsung and HTC and the rest of Google's Android partners. Google says it will treat its new hardware division just like the other Android partners and is confident it can keep it all together.
Some wireless carriers are wary of Google's retail ability. Google sees software as its edge, rather than retail distribution and customer service.
At the time Cheng Wei and colleagues were starting the Didi ride-hailing service in China, they faced a number of domestic competitors. Their model, unlike Uber, was based on the U.K.'s Hailo. After beating out their Chinese competitors, they recently reached an agreement with Uber.
Carpooling service Amovens has added a peer-to-peer car-rental option by which car owners can rent out their personal vehicles. The business model is being used by thousands of car owners across Europe, where people are trying to make car ownership more affordable.
The purchase of Autonomy by Hewlett-Packard (HP) was a boon for co-founder Mike Lynch, but a boondoggle for HP. It has bred animosity and lawsuits between the participants. Lynch is not awaiting the results of these matters; he has used his wealth to create a new venture capital fund that both supplies money and borrows talent from his Autonomy management cohort to bring the incubated firms up to speed rapidly.
It was bound to happen, and it was likely that Apple would be one of the pioneers. Attaching collection and connectivity to health data as a repository for tracking patient conditions is now becoming a real possibility, with the company leading the charge.
Food, on average, makes up only about 15 percent of a consumer’s budget. Walmart effect combines with deflation to eat away at margins. Grocery stores are trying to compete on price through digital coupons and promotions.
With the upscale Australian department store chain Myer, EBay created a Virtual Reality Department Store, giving away 20,000 "shopticals" that let shoppers browse merchandise via augmented reality. Differentiating EBay from Amazon is the centerpiece of CEO Devin Wenig’s strategy.
Canadian auto parts supplier Magna International is developing a concept car with autonomous driving and emissions-free technologies. It is positioning itself to be the contract manufacturer for automakers, old or new, seeking to introduce such vehicles.
Although Tencent Holdings is now one of China’s largest public companies, it maintains a start-up mentality and uses internal competition to spur innovation. Employees at all levels compete against each other to win funding for projects. In this competitive culture, ideas often come from the bottom up, and the company’s executives actively engage with rank and file employees.
Any company considering entry into the auto industry will likely be in contact with Magna International. Magna makes a variety of components that go into most autos, and operates assembly lines that produce cars for certain auto companies. It is currently exploring how it might create a platform that companies considering entering the auto industry could use as the basis for their vehicles.
While difficult to fully ascertain once in the product, Egyptian cotton commands a premium price in the fabric markets. Media stories of fake goods sold claiming this expensive fabric but really using less expensive and inferior cotton have given consumer confidence a negative hit. Using DNA testing technology, it is now possible to validate samples to alleviate the concerns. A small company operating from a business incubator in New York is specializing in this process.
House flippers turn to the crowd for quick cash. What could go wrong? Wall Street is not as interested in financing single-family developments in smaller and medium-sized deals, making crowdfunding a better way to fund such projects.
The tables have turned. A football team is now watching you.
Amazon has been building up its same-day delivery system for several years and recently began leasing airplanes. The idea that Amazon could challenge FedEx seems "fantastical" to FedEx CEO Fred Smith, but Amazon has been expanding into delivery in a big way with AmazonFresh, Prime Now, and Amazon Flex.
Hundreds of wealthy homeowners are taking the riskier route by auctioning their home in lieu of listing it. The client base has shifted from people who are selling their third, fourth, or even fifth homes, to older people who are downsizing.
Those attending church regularly have declined dramatically in recent years, while those who never attend have increased. It would appear that the target of those who attend occasionally may provide an opportunity for survival, but will it look the same?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been trying to create a massive repository that would track stock and options trading from exchanges and broker-dealers on a daily basis. This repository of securities transactions could be world’s largest and help the SEC to look back at unusual market events. Tech firms such as Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Amazon are bidding to help SEC with data storage in clouds.
Older workers are having problems in Silicon Valley. What should they do?
Hospitals are using virtual reality (VR) to take patients' minds off their pain or relieve their boredom. VR has been shown to swamp the brains sensory capacity, affecting its ability to create as many pain signals. As the cost of hardware and software come down, it is becoming a consideration for longer term treatment.
After a number of failed ventures, Raj Bhakta’s “boutique” rye whiskey endeavor is a hit. But success is leading to conflict, as his partners and investors want to cash out, but he wants to build a family business. Bhakta’s personality and vision may have been key factors in WhistlePig’s success, but also may explain foibles that his partners cite in pending litigation.
Ad Magic has become the go-to maker for Kickstarter games. Ad Magic’s revenue has quadrupled since the company was hired to produce the popular Cards Against Humanity.
Venture capitalists and/or investors sometimes lose their confidence in their startups and are reluctant to put more money into the venture. This leaves the entity in a spot where they are unable to attain the necessary growth to succeed. Tracxn Technologies, an Indian firm, posts a list of struggling startups that still show potential for investors to try and facilitate a match.
After burning billions of investor dollars to attract users and grow market share, mergers and acquisitions among China’s on-demand service providers promise to create dominant players and bring profits. The question is will Chinese users continue to call without the steep discounts.
Although executive compensation at public companies is increasingly reliant on stock-based compensation and long-term incentives, these approaches may not be optimal. Behavioral economists argue that increased reliance on carefully crafted short-term incentive pay could incentivize executives more cheaply and effectively. Mandated compensation disclosures that increase transparency, however, may actually be impeding change and experimentation that behavioral economists believe could improve the effectiveness of executive compensation.
Business incubators, accelerators, innovation labs, and a smorgasbord of other entities exist to create or jumpstart entrepreneurial endeavors, but a recent trend of note is to help existing small businesses take their goods and services to the next level.
An unexpected occurrence offered the founders of Yasso, a five-year-old company with an already established market in the northeastern United States, an opportunity along with a decision to expand. The business now earns $50 million in sales.
Uber is putting driverless cars in its fleet in downtown Pittsburgh this August and wants to replace its one million drivers as soon as possible. While most companies and analysts are still working on the science, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick says, “We are going commercial.”
As big investors take a hard look at fees, hedge fund manager Steve Eisman offers a cheaper way to invest. Facing the likelihood of only modest gains, one easy way for investors to preserve profit is to cut what they pay money managers.
A lock that can be opened using smart device codes that are single use opportunities can lower the risk of general codes for building managers and their tenants. The device also allows for coordination with video devices that can assure security with multiple deliveries or pickups.
Delivery personnel can be given access to your front door. Latch's digital lock makes it possible.
IDI has already built a profile on every American adult, including young people. Its database service, idiCORE, combines public records with purchasing, demographic, and behavioral data. IDI is the first to centralize and weaponize all that information for its customers.
A new IT platform will catch the carrier up to its rivals and could boost profits by $500 million. It will be critical for Southwest to strike the right balance between its brand and its finances.
Research, particularly such things as bio-medical research, is extremely expensive and involves many technologies to accomplish an adequate study. One simple facet, such as running out of a supply required to maintain the integrity of the study, can lose valuable time and money for the project. With all of the equipment involved being manufactured by a variety of companies running on proprietary software, it can become quite difficult and time-consuming for the scientist to keep track of the needs. Now they are working on an "App for that!"
Amazon gains on Flipkart in India. Hobbled by self-inflicted wounds and a price war, the Indian e-commerce company is girding for battle with a deep-pocketed rival.
Local TV news viewership is falling, but broadcasters are adding hours anyway to chase campaign ad revenue. Not all campaign consultants are sold on the idea that more local news is better.
In the shadow of an environment that represents repression and stagnation spanning centuries, entrepreneurs in Germany are trying to develop the next Silicon Valley. How is Berlin working to establish a profitable haven for innovators and investors?
The drone market continues to grow. DJI already owns half the U.S. market but is looking to expand.
In Silicon Valley, Kaiser Permanente is testing new hardware and software. Kaiser says its San Leandro test facility is helping it design the hospital systems of the next decade.
With technology stocks, IPO valuation is not necessarily related to current or past profitability. This is evident in the estimated IPO value of Spotify, the online music streaming service with 30 million users and $2.2 billion in revenues.
Mapping technology brings back Pokemon via Pokémon Go. It is now one of the most popular downloads.
Detroit Bikes is helping to bring manufacturing back to motor city. But the economics of making bicycles in the U.S. are challenging.
As Verizon’s president of product innovation and new businesses, Marni Walden has a high-risk, high-reward position: Walden is charged with leading Verizon’s transformation into a digital information company. Transformational change can be a test of leadership. Verizon’s future may be on the line as Walden auditions for the role of Verizon’s next CEO.
Connectivity in your automobile will be convenience, or an intrusive nightmare. Today's sensor-laden cars collect huge amounts of data for which marketers may pay dearly. Automakers want to control such sales.
While live streaming capabilities have attracted even greater use from their core, Facebook is now struggling with what that means for them in terms of infrastructure investment and their responsibility to the public. Also of importance: does it lead to greater profits?
Single-family landlords have been losing renters to homebuying. Blackstone Group LP’s Invitation Homes is selling in Arizona and California. Financial landlords look to profit from renters with dreams to buy.
Worldwide salmon production is down, and prices are up. As salmon farming has become big business, regulations have increased, and obtaining permits has become more difficult. In response, producers are working on new technologies and techniques to lessen the environmental impact of salmon farming and reduce the incidence of natural parasites.
While typical exit strategies for tech startups involve large payouts when the company is taken public, investors seem to be intrigued by Kickstarter's payment of a dividend over the spring. They do not seem to be totally against it, but it does seem to be pushing their risk limitations.
Kickstarter just did something tech startups never do: it paid a dividend. The company quietly made the first payment this spring and continues to say that it has no plans to go public.
A cheaper brand of single-serve pods gets increasing attention. Nestlé's coffee business is competing with itself.
By 2018, Tesla will need to double the annual global production of lithium ion batteries. In moves reminiscent of Ford’s River Rouge, Tesla has integrated battery production and is making moves to control supply of the minerals needed.
Historically, Comcast has not been one of America’s most loved companies, and it had a reputation for providing clunky cable boxes and poor customer service. But Comcast is changing and wants to be loved. Instead of simply providing cable boxes and access to ever-changing lists of television channels, Comcast wants to make the TV the home’s command center. In doing so, Comcast needs to change its corporate culture to be more like a cool technology company and less like a regulated utility monopoly.
While PC manufacturers tend to compete in almost a perfect competitive environment, those that focus on giving gamers a small advantage and the ability to adapt are reaping strong profits relative to the enhanced price.
Around a third of foreign students studying in U.S. universities are Chinese, and after graduation many take a job working in the U.S., but after a few years, some return home to help create technologies and companies in China. In Chinese, these professionals are referred to as hai gui, or "sea turtles" that come come home after a long journey.
The first U.S. foreign direct investment in Cuba is a startup that will make tractors for small farmers. The international new venture could solve a significant problem in Cuban agriculture, if the farmers can afford to buy them.
Six people that tinker in their garage searching for solutions to technological problems and opportunities.
These five substances offer opportunities for secondary innovations that can make a myriad of products perform better.
Economists are moving into the private sector. Companies want them for their tech skills.
While Cuba has significant agricultural potential, one of the things holding back agricultural production is a lack of modern farm equipment. Now two U.S. entrepreneurs are hoping to change that by operating the first U.S.-owned manufacturing facility in Cuba. The tractors will be of a simple and adaptable design and targeted for operations on the relatively small farms of Cuba and other developing nations.
Using cheap sensors and monitoring devices, coupled with in-depth software, Vium, a company with $30 million in venture capital investment, is hoping to speed up the animal tests sector of the FDA process to provide its users with better inputs into the viability of human testing.
Perfumers want your signature scent to be a mix of fragrances that can run $295 each. Perfumers embrace perfume “wardrobing.” Customers can mix colognes to create a more distinctive trademark, much like you’d mix pieces of clothing to form a one-of-a-kind ensemble.
Yandex can lay claim to running Russia's most successful search engine, as well as Moscow's largest ride-sharing service. In doing so, it has beat out, or at least garnered a strong head start, on Google and Uber. Now it is attempting to do the same with online retailing, offering an Amazon-like marketplace while Amazon has yet to offer its service in Russia.
It's time to take humans out of the mice labs. Vium, a Silicon Valley startup, wants to automate the process.
Nervve is the company that cracked image recognition. Its image-recognition software is used by everyone from the NBA to U.S. intelligence agencies. Sports teams and leagues are using Nervve’s software to assess the value of in-game advertising.
Kelly Slater Wave Company has figured out how to build the longest, most perfect, surfing wave on the planet. Can he can build a business around it?
Importing pigs that are considered delicacies in Spain but relatively unknown in the United States can be a bit of a risky proposition. Two men in Texas believe that it is worth investing $3 million of their money to build a specialty market for these cured hams.
NBA jerseys are getting a new look. Advertisements may now become part of the uniform.
Blockchain is the technology created to support bitcoin, but it may soon surpass the crypto-currency in importance. Investment in startups commercializing blockchain technology has eclipsed that in bitcoin-only companies.
Starship Technologies has built a robot capable of making deliveries to your house or business. Is this a viable market for robotics?
A Google-backed startup is building a volunteer network in the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. It is bringing 911 service to the developing world with smartphones and motorcycles.
NASA isn’t launching many satellites, but commercial launches are expected to increase in the next few years. Satellite launches generate billions for the industry, but most of the revenues come from services that provide communications such as TV, cellular calls, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
That background music heard in restaurants and shops could come from a variety of sources, some of which might be infringing on copyrights. Soundtrack, a firm out of Sweden, aims to unseat leader Mood Music with its cloud-based service streaming background music to businesses.
Atlassian, a software company from Australia that makes popular project-management and chat apps, sold $320 million worth of business software last year without a single sales employee. Everyone in the industry noticed.
Trek Medics is training volunteer medical technicians and providing free phone plans to bring rural emergency services to countries where such offerings are rare. Trek has been able to build a volunteer network of about 200 people with a shoestring budget.
Apple, along with the smartphone industry, and its suppliers, are facing a maturing market with recent declines sales and stock values. They are trying to diversify through innovation but there doesn’t yet appear to be a next big thing.
Space in space is a precious commodity. Bigelow Aerospace has created an expansion kit that compresses down to 127 cubic feet for launch, but is inflatable to almost 5x that size for functional space on the international space station.
Residents' monthly costs at Midtown assisted living building top $20,000. An owner of assisted living facilities is looking to get in on New York's luxury housing boom.
Purchasers of Tesla's electric vehicles are often looking to spend $40,000 or more on a car. In surveys of Tesla shoppers, the other brands they were most likely considering were BMW, Toyota, Audi, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz. U.S.-based brands such as Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jeep, and Dodge appeared far less often on the shopping lists of Tesla customers.
Investments in energy efficiency can take years to pay back from cost savings so are often rejected by CFOs. But framing them as a portfolio with returns of over 20 percent convinced Adidas to invest millions per year.
An Environmental Defense Fund program recruits and trains MBA students to use traditional financing metrics and techniques to motivate companies to increase fuel efficiency. One of these students was ultimately able to use traditional financial measurements and objects to support capital investment in fuel efficiency projects at Adidas. Applying techniques from finance to sustainability matters can be important in attracting interest in energy efficiency projects.
Germany's Borgward auto company was founded in 1924 and at one point was responsible for 60 percent of the country's auto exports. By 1961, however, it had gone out of business. Now the brand is being revived in China, with a Borgward SUV being manufactured by Chinese truck-maker, Beiqi Foton.
Startups pitching so-called AI assistants, which took in $50 million in investment in two years, tend to require human assistance. Behind the artificial intelligence personal assistants and concierges are actual people, reading e-mails and ordering Chipotle.
Keeping up to date on your kids' day is only an app away now. Apps that digitize updates from preschools and day cares are becoming popular perks for parents.
You can watch your kids at daycare and preschool now. Yes, there's an app for that.
Increased competition leads to more—and nastier—ads. Competition for clients is pushing up lawyer ad spending, which jumped to $823 million in 2015.
Mobility services, think Uber with self-driving cars, have the potential to disrupt the auto industry model of individual car ownership. So Detroit is seeking alliances with the tech companies and car sharing services behind that threat to strengthen their position.
Cotopaxi is an outdoor recreation products company with a social mission rather than a more common environmental one. Even though it is a B Corp that gives a share of revenue to humanitarian organizations, it has attracted venture capital funding.
For many workers, it is straightforward that they be classified as employees, and for others it is equally clear that they are independent contractors. With the former, all sorts of state and federal regulations then influence pay and benefits, as well as rights to organize and become members of unions. With independent contractors, employers have fewer obligations, and workers have more flexibility. But it is not clear how some workers, such as Uber drivers, should be classified.
Making a non-dairy cheese has proven to be a difficult task to do well enough to please the discriminating palate. Lyrical Foods and its investors think they may have it and at just the right time.
Founding a business and developing its brand is a lifetime task for many entrepreneurs. Letting go and passing it on to family is sometimes a far more difficult task.
NAV CANADA's software guides the skies over nine countries. The success of Canada’s system had led some U.S. lawmakers to push for partial privatization of the FAA’s air traffic division.
Gap returns to t-shirts in yet another bid for growth. Can the slumping company Gap figure out what shoppers want to wear?
The Impossible Project aims to revive the business of making instant film and cameras that once put Polaroid at the top of the tech world.
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Avinger has created a laser that can guide cardiologists as they navigate the complex system of arteries when operating to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The technology replaces external X-rays, which are more cumbersome and not as clear.
What is the ancestry of your dog? Embark Veterinary wants to help you find out.
Google helped invent the cloud, but it’s still playing catch-up. It is building data centers and recognizing mistakes. Its cloud chief Diane Greene is quadrupling data centers and adding features to better compete with Amazon and Microsoft.
Tesla has busily developed a defensible position in high-end, electric-powered automobiles. With an inelastic demand curve as it relates to oil price fluctuations, their resilience is sound in that sector, but now they have to deal in a sector that is more affected by oil prices. Chevy is also interested in the sector, adding to the complexity in behavioral competitive issues.
Twitter is one of the most recognized brands in the social media market even though it is yet to turn a profit. Co-founder and past (and again) CEO Jack Dorsey is not necessarily reflecting on the past of Twitter except to the extent it can guide the future into profitable domains to leverage the brand.
While some states are eager to put Google’s autonomous cars on their roads, others, like California, are proposing stiffer regulations. Google is lobbying Congress for uniform national rules it hopes will be more favorable.
Scandinavian-style co-housing is gaining traction among boomers. The U.S. is home to more than 150 co-housing communities, with 14 more planned exclusively for seniors.
Sri Lanka is working with Google to provide Wi-Fi service country-wide. As part of the system, Google is launching Wi-Fi equipment that is attached to balloons that can provide service to remote locations. Providing Wi-Fi will help more residents get online, but the next challenge is providing sufficient capacity of high-speed internet connections to and from the island nation.
Are you ready for driverless cars? It could come down to state versus federal government.
Jeff Immelt wants General Electric's new digital division to be a top-10 software company by 2020. Early developments for the Internet of Really Big Things suggest it might really work.
A decade after taking over General Electric, Jeff Immelt’s long bet on the Internet of Really Big Things seems to be paying off. But competitive challenges still exist.
Under previous CEO Jack Welch, General Electric was highly successful as a diversified conglomerate. Jeff Immelt, who took over in 2001, has shifted the company's focus from financial services and home appliances to industrial products and associated software. He also has implemented cultural changes.
Half of U.S. business schools may not be operating in 10 to 15 years, according to an industry source. With U.S. enrollment down, B-schools are wooing foreigners; in 2015, international candidates accounted for 58 percent of the applicant pool at full-time MBA programs.
Customers hate delivery fees, so Instacart went to retail partners to help. The grocery delivery startup says ads from General Mills, PepsiCo, and other consumer companies account for 15 percent of revenue.
Robots may be able to help the elderly, and Europe is testing the idea. By one estimate, 32,500 robots designed to help care for the elderly and disabled will be sold from 2015 through 2018.
MSC Cruises is developing a $200 million private island in the Caribbean, part of an industry push to provide the perfect vacation. Carnival spent $85 million developing its private cruise getaway.
Despite the signs of economic recovery (or at least stabilization), the money market for startups has actually tightened over the past several years. This tightening has been both in terms of number of deals and the amounts of funding.
The Kucuk brothers have helped turn a French fashion retailer into a multinational company focused on conservative fashions for observant Muslims. Their chain, LC Waikiki, now has over 600 locations, with about a third outside Turkey. LC Waikiki tries to have a great range of stylish apparel for "covered women."
Automakers are targeting elderly drivers eager to retain their mobility as lifestyle leaders of a new technology. Google thinks self-driving cars will be great for stranded seniors.
For decades, Intel has had a dominant position in microprocessors while Samsung has had a strong position in memory chips. Now the two firms are positioning themselves to take bites out of each other’s primary chip markets.
Nearly all supermarket chains lose money in India. However, D-Mart woos Indians with promises of all-year discounts and its cheap grocery prices fuel sales of higher-margin goods.
There is nothing like the threat of hypothermia to get an entrepreneur to cut to the chase when pitching their product or service. Using frigid water as a timer, a European elevator-pitch competition offers an $11,000 reward to the winner.
Apple is well known for its differentiation on design and software. Less well known is that Apple spends billions to design its own chips for the iPhone and iPad.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a crash test dummy that measures 7 times as many variables as the current standard. Not only that, there is an implication that it can also provide more accurate measurements as well. They sent out for bids to produce this test dummy, and the winner was Humanetics Innovative Solutions. The contract could be quite lucrative, at $400,000 per unit.
With an eye on millennials, Verizon Communications goes big on mobile streaming. It’s counting on its new Go90 service to pull in ad revenue.
Although tech companies from Apple to Google have for years fought patent wars over smartphone features, search technology, and computer chips, banks largely ignored the patent office and gained a reputation for keeping their internal processes to themselves. Now, the biggest U.S. banks and payments networks are applying for more patents than ever before.
When some industry lifecycles begin to accelerate toward decline, the pace of change has altered the macroeconomic environment. As sectors such as energy production move into more volatile cycles, workers are displaced, but some of them are capable of making a profitable transition.
Amazon may start competing with FedEx and UPS. The company might be launching a global shipping and logistics operation.
Sometimes all the infrastructural elements are in place for leading industry transformation, allowing entrepreneurs to enter a market. It's also possible that some sociocultural (as well as economic) structural impediments keep the obvious from taking place, at least in the short run.
Entrepreneurs and venture capital see an opportunity in storage. The $33 billion industry is still growing, and new on-demand business models look promising.
The storage businesses will generate $33 billion in 2016, estimates research firm IBISWorld, up from $24 billion in 2010. More than 50,000 self-storage facilities are in the United States. Startups are trying to carve out a slice of the expanding storage industry by offering on-demand pickup and delivery.
Bombardier's goal of competing with Boeing and Airbus in the market for 100-plus seat aircraft has fallen short of expectations. While Bombardier has received orders and is getting ready to deliver its first aircraft, its order book is much weaker than it anticipated. With its stock trading below a dollar and the company operating at a loss, the Quebec and Canadian governments may need to step in to provide financial backing (and save jobs).
Warren Buffett’s utility NV Energy is winning the battle with Elon Musk’s SolarCity by getting the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules making rooftop solar panels unattractive. NV Energy prefers deals with concentrated solar farms to meet renewable energy targets.
The olive oil industry is based around the Mediterranean Sea. Tunisia, Spain, and Italy are the world's largest producers. While the United States is far behind in terms of production volume, California producers are taking a much more scientific approach to growing, harvesting, and processing olives.
Rarely do you think of going to pick up coffee with pricey brews made from the digestive results of a cat-like animal, but that's what Afineur is hoping people will do.
Have you ever misplaced your keys? Help is now available and more sophisticated than ever.
Real estate agents turn to Uber-driving amid prolonged property slump. Cars for hire increased 51 percent in the first half of 2015.
The second amendment to the constitution and protection of the public interest square off. Creating safety devices to limit misuse of constitutional rights seems like it might be a profitable realm of technology development, but beware of consumer demands.
Facebook sees India as a market with great potential, but many potential customers have limited internet access. In India, Facebook has teamed up with mobile service provider Reliance to offer free access to a focused and simple version of Internet access at reduced download speeds. The goal is to get new consumers interested in Internet access, and then be able to sell them full service options (around 40% upgrade within 1 month). The service has critics, however, who don't like how this contradicts net neutrality.
After experimenting with a variety of business models for its meal delivery business, Munchery has settled on one that gives it greater control of operations and customer experience, but with high fixed costs. This could give it a more sustainable competitive advantage.
Asian shipbuilders have experienced canceled orders and a significant slowdown in new orders due to falling oil prices and slower growth in commodity demand from China.
A tiny patch designed by Pierre-Henri Benhamou of DBV Technologies, a French firm, has shown promise in helping its users overcome one of the most widespread and dangerous food allergies: peanuts.
Apps have made it relatively common to have remotely controlled systems in the home. Unfortunately, these systems can be hacked, creating massive losses both financially and even physically. Dojo, a cybersecurity system domiciled in Israel and designed to pick up on hacking attempts on home systems, has garnered over $1 million in seed money for their solution to this problem.
Canada's investment in neural network technology has helped its universities develop significant expertise in artificial intelligence. Technology firms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have hired Canadian artificial intelligence experts, and/or purchased companies and the technology they helped develop. While there is some concern regarding a brain drain with these high skilled employees moving to the U.S., it is helping the government and universities realize that they need to do more to help retain and attract this human capital in Canada.
WhatsApp is being used to help women trapped in human trafficking. Women are being given information to help them escape.
A comprehensive virus test that can eliminate the need for iterative process of elimination tests can save time and money, both of which are critical in health care. This experimental test, developed by a professor at Columbia, could bring this to fruition in the near future.
Amid anxiety over mass killings, arms and ammo keep selling. America's gun king, Walmart, is geared up for the holiday rush.
Peruvian banks are trying to get money moving through cell phones. The mobile payment system, Bim, was launched on Dec. 15.
Swatch has filed smartwatch-related patents in recent years, even though CEO Nick Hayek has been dismissive of the devices. Swatch has been burned by earlier forays into new technologies.
For shareholders of Hamamatsu Photonics KK, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Apart from helping to advance our understanding of the universe, the company’s sensors play important roles in everything from X-ray machines to DNA sequencers. Hamamatsu has a 90 percent global market share in the devices known as photomultipliers and a stock price that’s jumped more than four-fold since early 2009.
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has diligently cultivated the medical diagnostic company over the past 12 years and is just now hitting the mainstream of her target market. However, both she and the company face stiff challenges.
Elizabeth Holmes, founder of blood test pioneer Theranos, faces challenges to the credibility of her firm. Theranos products offer the potential of radically reducing the cost of medical diagnostics and have attracted a top-tier corporate board.
Writing insurance policies for the possessions of the 1 Percent is a $40 billion business. Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, which specializes in insuring the ultrarich, has seen its business grow least 40 percent a year since 2006.
Taiwanese bike maker Giant Manufacturing's U.S. sales grew 13.8 percent in the first half of 2015, as it pushed higher-end products. The firm is looking to aggressively expand its market presence in the U.S.
For decades, sewage has been treated and used for irrigating crops, parks, and golf courses, but making it fit for human consumption requires advanced filtration technology. Dow Chemical’s process helps tackle drought and beyond -- and comes up smelling like roses.
Four-year-old nonbank lender Social Finance is out to kill banks. CEO Mike Cagney is betting that by making millennials feel as if they belong to an exclusive club, he can turn an entire generation into lifelong customers. So far he has lent $6 billion to SoFi's "members" while avoiding federal regulations.
Both Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are building companies in the business of launching people and goods into space. Will they compete head to head or carve out separate niches in space travel?
Google, Microsoft, and Comcast are fighting a Verizon-led push into unlicensed spectrum. Moreover, some of tech’s biggest names are squaring off over a new cellular technology that may wreck Wi-Fi networks.
Banking and lending seem to be divided across several dimensions of strategic groupings. Social Finance (SoFi) has managed to take specific needs of millennials, such as targeting student loans for those exiting college, and turn them into an open door to offer additional services typically provided by large banks.
M-Kopa, a Kenyan company in the solar power business, plans to be a $1 billion firm by selling solar panels to rural residents -- and providing them with credit. M-Kopa's typical customer lives on less than $2 per day, but is willing to purchase a $200 power system in order to save money on kerosene and electricity.
Using discount legal advice or algorithms, several new apps have helped beat thousands of parking tickets. These new discount legal service apps are sure to change the landscape of the $25 billion legal service market for years to come.
There may be a new way to get out of your traffic ticket without paying the high cost associated with typical legal fees. A variety of new apps can now help you get legal assistance at an affordable price.
British singer Adele and Sony Music Entertainment are betting fans will show up at record stores and on iTunes to buy a copy rather than stream it on Apple Music and Spotify. The initial sales data suggests they are right. There are questions if this phenomenon will slow the growth of streaming services.
Masayoshi Son, Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank, hired Nikesh Arora from Google to help the company invest $3 billion per year in promising startups with high end potential. Unlike most pools like this, they are not using a shotgun approach with the money, rather they are going to focus huge amounts of cash on around 10 startups. This Bloomberg Businessweek article gives personal insight into Arora and his frame of mind as well as his philosophies on risk.
Some countries are trying to decrease electoral fraud. A new software company, Scytl can be used for online voting and tallying and claims it can help stop electoral fraud.
The attorney general of the State of New York is threatening the fantasy football industry. The top three competitors are responding very differently, but the primary concern is that other states will follow suit and substantially change the laws that govern fantasy football.
Airbnb has caused a stir similar to Uber as the company uses technology to bring small businesses into markets formerly the domain of larger, entrenched competitors. However, it's also prompting the creation of service providers unique to its industry.
Companies now offer DNA testing directly to consumers, but how reliable is genetic analysis?
The pet foodie movement is surging. Premium pet food now accounts for more than half of the $23.7 billion market, and new entrants with innovative products are taking a big chunk.
Entrepreneurial businesses are sometimes like trying to climb a rock wall, but in this case the business IS creating and manufacturing the rock walls.
Startup Common is offering co-living apartments. Everything is done online, and no realtors are involved.
The “eat-like-your-owner” strategy appears to be paying off for entrepreneurial high-end pet food manufacturers. Sales of premium dog food have surged 45 percent to $10.5 billion in the U.S. since 2009 and now account for more than half of the market. But is this a sustainable marketing strategy?
Indoor rock climbing gyms are being opened worldwide, and the world's largest builder (Walltopia) comes from an unlikely location - Bulgaria. Two and a half hours outside Sofia, in the small town of Letnitsa, is a factory that has supplied walls to gyms in more than 50 countries. Through a combination of cheap labor, innovative designs, and willingness to develop custom walls for clients, Walltopia has gained a loyal worldwide customer base for their climbing walls.
For some companies, 2016 is shaping up to be a momentous year. Bloomberg analysts identified 50 companies that face unusual challenges or have standout products or technologies that make them worth watching in 2016.
Internet video economics will increasingly favor original, higher-value productions. Call it the "Netflix effect."
Microsoft has made a push to engender fuzzier feelings -- and it's working. Since 2013, Microsoft has risen from seventh place to third in WPP's annual consumer survey on brands, now ranking just behind Apple and Google.
Original content has become a key success factor for video streaming services that want to compete with Netflix and Amazon. The revenue generated by subscription and rental fees is fueling higher-quality productions than the ad model.
Renewable energy innovators throughout Europe and the U.S. used to be able to count on significant public investments from their governments. But now the U.S. is following some European countries by cutting back on tax credits for wind and solar.
Digital video continues to be a growing market. Some are calling the phenomenon the "Netflix effect."
A Taiwanese manufacturer and a Canadian toy executive joined forces to make a low-price surfboard that’s a best-seller in the U.S.
In the world of artificial intelligence innovation, does secrecy hurt? Many talented researchers in this field are turned off by the limitations that Apple places on participation in AI-related professional and academic conferences.
There now exist dozens of startups running websites and apps that promise cheaper, easier ways to transfer money abroad. These digital remittance startups undercut banks and couriers; online remitters charge about 1 percent, compared with an average of 8 percent for traditional services.
Weather Modification Inc., a North Dakota-based company, has built a global business in cloud seeding. While its pilots and planes fly all over the world doing cloud seeding, it also offers consulting services to help governments and local contractors develop their own ability to stimulate precipitation.
According to drug manufacturer Elanco, the world’s growing demand for meat, milk, and eggs is a more urgent priority than American consumers’ desire for food that is organic, antibiotic free, or pasture-raised. Elanco's answer is the use of antibiotics and growth hormones to increase food production. But is it safe?
You no longer have to pay high fees to send money abroad. Transfer prices have gone down thanks to new online money transfer startups.
Wavestorm surfboards, which launched in 2007 and are sold for $99.99 exclusively through Costco, are now the leading surfboard brand, selling five times more than the closest competitor.
Fantasy sports sites claim that they're not gambling sites, but states are moving to regulate them like casinos. The most recent round of investigations follows allegations of cheating at two of the leading sites, DraftKings and FanDuel. Who will win this game?
Microsoft tries to salvage respect in an environment that doesn't tremble at the company's name and might. While unarguably a key player in the gaming industry, it has most certainly not taken the dominant position in the game console market that it has in the computer software realm. Microsoft is banking on its new Halo release to at least maintain its stake and maybe further it in the near future.
Roku is not for gamers. CEO Anthony Wood believes that Xbox and Playstation consoles will continue to win over the gaming elite, Apple has too much power and presence in the mobile area, and Roku is choosing to stay clear. Is it a wise strategy?
Apple, Amazon, and Google all think there is an opportunity to stream games over their new streaming devices. Roku is listening to game makers and gamers who disagree.
Keeping production cost low is important for any firm, but inbound and outbound logistics within the linked value chain have powerful impacts as well. Infrastructural components can create advantages and disadvantages in the global market.
Skin care in South Korea is big business, with skin-care rituals sometimes taking an hour a day. Products made from natural ingredients such as snail mucus (slime), donkey's milk, and bee venom have had a place in skin care for centuries. Now Korean firms are seeking to take advantage of the export potential, as well as setting up retail outlets overseas.
Oyo Rooms is a hotel-booking app for India's hotels. Room seekers can choose a room based on their required standards.
Apple claims 90 percent of the smartphone industry’s profits. Although other firms offer very competitive phones, so far they seem to be eroding one another's positions -- not Apple's.
Cloud startups are selling computing power and storage for prices at or below Amazon’s and Google’s rates. DigitalOcean has raised almost $200 million in venture funding while Backblaze has raised $5.3 million and doesn’t need further funding because it’s profitable, with sales of more than $10 million in 2014.
Cloud services, an industry developed by IT giants for IT giants, is finally seeing a few startups enter its realm. The startups have managed to underbid the giants in certain markets by keeping expenses relatively low.
Canada is becoming an increasingly attractive location for software companies, as employment in the Canadian hardware industry drops. Canada’s venture funding has doubled in five years, to $2.4 billion.
Apple reigns supreme in terms of profit share in the smartphone industry. However, if the worldwide market shifts to lower-priced models, as expected, it is uncertain whether the firm's high profit margins can be sustained.
Apple’s utter dominance of the money-making end of the smartphone industry leaves many Android makers scrambling to create less expensive phones. Are the margins for these low-cost smartphones sufficient to support this strategy?
Burger King is relying more heavily on data to make sure its marketing is cost-effective as it reaches customers through digital and social media. Franchisees say the resulting buzz has translated into higher restaurant sales, and the company is doing it for about one fourth of what McDonald’s spends on advertising.
The deadline to have all credit and debit cards chip-equipped has passed. Many cards still use magnetic strips that aren't as secure.
A new spinal insert can enhance the outcomes of spinal damage victims.
The small file-sharing company is leaning on big partners. Box is trying to win business with big companies to offset its $200 million in projected annual losses.
Mutant flowers sounds like a great start to a horror flick, but in this case it may well turn into a business bonanza for the founder of Farmacy.
New Israeli ride-hailing service La’Zooz is a cooperative that relies on volunteers for coding. Riders pay with bitcoin-like tokens that can be earned by giving rides or working on the app. A bitcoin developer says La’Zooz has the potential to “eat Uber and Lyft.”
Netflix continues to reshape the movie business and the release of “Beasts of No Nation” gives the company a chance to win its first Academy Award. The goal is clear: to increase its 65 million-plus worldwide subscribers.
Ad-blocking appears to be on the rise. How will advertisers respond?
Stop the bleeding is always the first priority in an accident. Sunaris, a three-year-old company headed up by Joe Landolina, has found a way to inject the bleeding area with a mesh-type material that dramatically reduces bleeding time. The product is currently finding success in the veterinary market. It uses an algae base that creates a scaffold to which the blood coagulates. The product is said to be the only of one its type to stop arterial bleeding. Sunaris will start human testing soon and see no reason why its product will not be available within the next few years.
Apple’s design team focuses on how it can make products more intuitive and easy to use. The company does not believe in using focus groups to tell the designers what customers want, but believes the skills and instincts of designers will be able to provide software and hardware that customers will want to use.
Chobani's founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, helped the company bring Greek yogurt to the U.S. market. The company has weathered struggles with meeting production demands and quality control during a period of rapid growth. While some expected Ulukaya to be ousted, he remains CEO. Ulukaya has learned, however, that the company needs an executive with managerial skills that differ from his own.
The once-famous Stetson hat company is struggling. To keep the company relevant, CEO Izumi Kajimoto is no longer relying on cowboy culture. Instead, Stetson is pursuing the hipster market by offering an eclectic, trendy mix of hats.
Bollywood film studio Eros hopes to build a strong enough position in video streaming to fend off Netflix and Amazon when they enter India. With a large library of its own films, original programs, music videos, and a head start, Eros wants to be the dominant streaming service in India.
One of Bollywood's biggest studios, Eros, is betting it can win the online streaming race. The idea is to use the Mumbai studio’s bulging catalog of more than 2,000 films and new, exclusive series to build a critical mass of devoted users before Netflix and Amazon plant their flags in the world’s second-most populous country.
Understanding and maximizing the touch response of an iPhone screen can cost millions (or billions) of dollars, as Apple found out in building 3D Touch.
Daily fantasy sports sites are exempt from restrictions on sports betting. Instead, they are considered games of skill and not gambling. FanDuel and DraftKings, the two main services, will bring in a combined $60 million in entry fees in the first week of the NFL season. Sports books in Las Vegas, by contrast, are expected to handle about $30 million.
The Affordable Care Act created an opening for new health insurance companies to enter the market by lowering some of the barriers. But well-funded startup Oscar is losing a lot of money while it tries to reach scale and a competitive cost position.
Hampton Creek’s Josh Tetrick is taking a stand against the FDA. The FDA issued a warning letter listing a number of rule violations related to the company’s Just Mayo product. Among these violations is the company’s use of the term “mayo” in the product’s name and the image of an egg on its label. The FDA asserts this is a violation if its standard-of-identity rules and can be misleading, since the product is eggless. Tetrick ‘s defiant stance stems from more than financial incentives; it is rooted in the company’s commitment to make the global food system more sustainable by developing plant-based substitutes for animal proteins. Thus, the regulatory dispute has issues of principle and may have implications for the evolution of the food industry.
Shoemaking companies in Portugal are performing well financially as they move up-market. While they can not compete on price with Asian manufacturers, they can compete on quality and have found a profitable market position between high-end Italian shoes and lower-priced Asian models. Some have also added their own brands while continuing to operate as contract manufacturers for more famous labels.
Oscar, a startup healthcare insurance provider designed for individual customers, is losing money rapidly. Instead of folding, though, the company is expanding.
Netflix has been a Western phenomenon. Betting that streaming will become a global phenomenon, Netflix will expand to more than 150 countries by the end of 2016.
Regardless of where innovation is generated, it will seek its highest potential returns wherever they may exist across the globe. Due to revenue constraints, British healthcare innovators are beginning to seek and find funding (as well as markets) in the United States before looking at home.
Is Cuba now a capitalist or socialist society? Although 201 categories of work are now open to entrepreneurs in the country, the state still dominates the economy.
The comparison-shopping website PolicyGenius sells policies from 26 insurers. More than half of its customers are millennials who prefer to shop online and believe that the insurance industry is out of step with the times.
Overproduction combined with an FTC investigation caused Skechers’ Shape-ups shoes to go from fad to fiasco. But the company rebounded. Skechers’ valuation has risen from $600 million at the end of 2011 to about $8 billion today.
Do you think you can fool your teacher when you’re not paying attention? Think again. Plans are in place for as many as 1,000 schools in North America to use a technology that monitors student’s emotions. This market could reach $10 billion worldwide by 2020 and raises questions about privacy.
Your emotions can be electronically tracked, and your facial expressions are being analyzed for consumer marketing.
Unregulated supply chains and poor record keeping make it easy for counterfeit drugs to find their way into stores in many developing countries. MPedigree, a Ghana-based company, works with manufacturers to place scratch-off security codes on drug boxes to help consumers find out if the product is legitimate.
Counterfeit drugs are a critical issue in many developing countries, as unregulated supply chains and poor record keeping make it easy for bootleggers to slip fake products into supply chains. The results can be life-threatening for customers who rely on the efficacy of drugs.
Salesforce.com's revenue has grown from $4.1 billion to $5.4 billion in Keith Block’s first two years with the firm, and estimates are that the company’s share of the market for customer relationship management software has risen from 14 percent to 18 percent. How has Block managed this change?
With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to turn around a two-year slide in operating system revenue, dropping from $19 billion to $15 billion. Microsoft’s CEO appears more focused on the company’s future beyond Windows.
With operating system revenue falling from $19 billion to $15 billion over the last two years, Microsoft is trying to turn around this slide with the introduction of Windows 10. On July 21, the company announced a record $3.2 billion quarterly loss on $22.2 billion in revenue. Infamous for disastrous OS introductions, will Windows 10 be the success Microsoft needs?
Microsoft tries to win fans and improve its bottom line with a Windows operating system redo and ventures into non-OS products and services.
As the demand for streaming media content grows, television companies are moving quickly to develop online streaming platforms. The urgency to build these platforms has forced most television companies to outsource streaming-service development.
The development of new drugs is a long process, requiring years of research and testing before products can be released. New companies require significant capital to carry them through years of expenses before they generate revenue. In Europe, more firms are now turning to initial public offerings, and investors are more willing to provide capital with the hope that a new drug will pay off big.
Google is known for innovation and a freewheeling culture that has contributed to its consistent record of growth. And as long as ad revenues have continued to grow, so has spending. Ruth Porat, who became CFO in May, is now trying to bring financial discipline and efficiency to Google without stifling its creative culture.
Google has brought in Ruth Porat, an almost 30-year veteran of Wall Street, as its CFO. Under her stewardship, expenses are leveling off and Google's stock price is on the rise.
Digital shelf displays continue to blur the lines between shopping online and in a store as retailers embrace both “bricks and clicks” to compete with Amazon and online retailers. As Amazon continues to grow, will this technology provide a competitive edge for brick-and-mortar stores?
Digital price displays are giving brick-and-mortar retailers a weapon against online rivals like Amazon. However, going digital isn't cheap.
E-Nable designs 3D-printed prostheses for children older than 3 and shares its blueprints so they can be made for as little as $30. This way, the prostheses can be easily replaced as the kids outgrow them.
The Food and Drug Administration may now review Google searches to find information on the side effects of drugs. This information would add to what it already collects from patients, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies.
YouNow is banking on the digital tip jar in lieu of advertising to make profits from live-stream exhibitionists. Some analysts say an ad-free YouNow may have trouble growing and keeping people on its platform.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is shifting gears in terms of the firm's strategy. Out is Ferrari and in is Maserati, which Marchionne envisions as the linchpin of his $52 billion plan to turn Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Jeep into global brands and boost net income fivefold.
Rather than sell ads, YouNow, a live-streaming app, has shunned them to create its own strange, tip-based economy. Can it be profitable?
Ferrari, Fiat’s top luxury brand, is being spun off. Fiat is planning to fill the vacuum of the iconic Ferrari brand with Maserati. One of the challenges for Maserati is finding a way to broaden its appeal without chipping away at exclusivity.
Only a few thousand mobile apps -- out of several million -- have links that enable their content to be searched, as coders are resistant to use deep links in apps. However, Google and Facebook claim the links create more traffic to the apps.
Disney is applying what it learned from the problems it had establishing a park France as it develops the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland. The goal is to build something that is authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese. The demographics are quite different, and adult visitors may outnumber kids four to one. Will Disney’s largest foreign investment to date pay off?
As legislators in various markets come to grips with the lost revenue within the taxi service sector due to Uber and Lyfts, the business model is now shifting to avoid these issues and it is not being accomplished by the incumbent firms, but by other startups. One major player is Bla-Bla Car, which uses a ride-sharing model versus a ride-for-hire model.
The armed forces are recruiting hackers for cyberwar. The recruits use open source software such as Metasploit.
A pioneering startup accelerator is building businesses in one of the world’s toughest places. The drive and focus of the citizens in the Gaza Strip is helping create a tech hub there.
Rare-earth prices jumped as much as sixfold in 2011. However, they crashed soon after, leading to the bankruptcy of U.S. miner Molycorp. The rare-earths commodity bubble burst when their scarcity was short-lived.
McDonald’s uses its franchising system to deflect charges that it pays workers too little. But the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is going after them anyway to get fast-food workers organized and get them higher pay.
It's all about the base. Or is it?
Gilead Scienceâ€™s value-based pricing for its new cure for Hepatitis C may be more than the market can bear.
The company selling a costly breakthrough to millions of hepatitis C sufferers thinks price is the wrong thing to talk about.
Seeking romance and love in modern day China. There has to be an app for that. Or two or three.
Bolt Threads expects products made with its yeast cell-based silk to be available in 2016.
Is thinner better even if it's more expensive?
Law firms are using Facebook and other data to track down medical victims.
Having a bestseller on the Mac App Store may not exactly set a developer up for retirement.
Astrobotic Technology's Griffin is a leading contender in Google's XPrize lunar mission competition.
Coke offers small restaurants in Germany access to an app that will facilitate online ordering of food and beverages.
Snapchat SEO Evan Spiegel says he has a better way for advertisers to reach millennials and teens than TV or social networks.
Is WeWork a real estate company with a tech-bubble valuation, or a brilliant new office space?
The Dubai International Airport seeks new ways to handle more superjumbo jets to cope with increased passenger traffic
Fewer than 20 percent of large banks worldwide are connecting their ATMs to the cloud.
Zenefits has raised almost $600 million for its centralized small business HR software.
A century-old retail business lays the groundwork for succession.
Sales growth at established Whole Foods stores has slowed to 3.6 percent, far below the pace of organics overall. Who is eating their organic lunch?
Daimler's self-driving trucks are now being tested in Nevada.
Can we all just be friends?
The cost of legal sales of marijuana—does it sometimes leave opportunity for illegal entrepreneurs?
Oil companies can use geothermal energy from drilling wastewater as a source of power.
YouTube holds the lead in the $7.8 billion U.S. market for online video ads, but the chase is on. Multiple rivals are attempting to steal market share from the online video giant. Will the giant fall?
Pick a pic made easier and better.
Twitter’s new Highlights feature will simplify the experience as it pushes the service toward a Facebook-like experience in an effort to boost flagging user growth. Is this a step forward or a strategic blunder?
Let's just borrow money from 20,000 small lenders rather than a bank.
Is creating opportunities for a few individual small businesses at the same time we create huge benefits to large businesses overseas a solid strategy for entrepreneurial proponents?
Dominating a small but lucrative niche, WebBank made $15.5 million last year with just 38 employees.
Three-year-old Teespring sold 7 million shirts in 2014, largely on the strength of social media microtargeting.
Teespring uses social media to sell more than 7 million shirts a year.
Learning guitar is easy when you can see the music.
France's attempt to make money selling nuclear power plants has fallen flat.
Pharmaceutical companies' patent tactics face legal scrutiny.
Commercial drones are still mostly illegal in the U.S., but the industry and NASA are working to keep them from colliding.
NASA-backed software could orchestrate urban skies.
With $1.5 billion in annual revenue, Buffalo Wild Wings is breaking records in the casual-dining category.
Will we soon be sharing air space with drones?
Sometimes conventional wisdom can take an unconventional turn.
Startup VarageSale competes with Craigslist by focusing on mobile and has raised $34 million in venture funding.
Can we really watch TV on Snapchat?
The world of driverless vehicles is coming, and automakers are eager to test their self-driving robot cars in the $6.5 million “M City” facility at the University of Michigan.
The Internet shoved aside the Yellow Pages. A Swedish startup aims to do the same regarding the White Pages.
Investing’s old guard gets its algorithm on.
Two inventors found it easier to build $7,900 bike wheels than to sell them.
Coke and Pepsi may be allies in the latest battle to win back consumers.
U.S. cola consumption is falling by about 4 percent a year. Soda makers are seeking new sweeteners to reverse the trend.
After fortunes have been made, the push to stop deforestation in the palm oil industry has moved other big companies to follow suit. Is this a legitimate campaign or a sustainability stunt?
China may prove to the big market for Apple's most expensive watches.
You can resume your game after the advertisement is complete.
Automated high-frequency trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange has forced most human traders out of their jobs.
New audio technology manufacturers are trying to break into the $6 billion hearing-aid market.
A new specially designed drone can safely bounce off obstacles and people without damage or injury.
Despite the brand's melancholy theme, the founder of Stutterheim’s trendy raincoats has nothing to be depressed about.
Celebrating a melancholy mood helps Stutterheim sell high-priced Swedish raincoats.
Drugmakers are enjoying a rush of new medicines, but their high costs threaten the pace of innovation.
Big Pharma companies are competing to produce breakthrough drugs that no one can afford.
User-ranked listings site Product Hunt attracts venture capitalists.
The company is spending billions on factories and state-owned rivals.
It's a dog-eat-dog world in publishing, but that's not a bad thing for this company.
In Africa, Pizza Hut can't be the cheapest or the first pizza chain, so it wants to be the best.
About 300 million Chinese play basketball, and the NBA hopes to use that fan base to someday eclipse soccer’s popularity. With that dream be realized?
Do consumers really want to know the price they're paying?
Gallium nitride promises to replace silicon as the semiconductor of choice in transistors.
The booming market for autos in China has caused automakers to expand capacity faster than the demand warrants.
Two academics have created a security system that is practically impossible to evade.
Facebook and other big companies are moving into the most secret area of the Internet.
All is not lost. That engagement ring is still worth something.
Startup Sprayable seeks to take customers from wide awake to deep sleep.
Both Uber and Lyft are testing carpool services that could take more cars off the road.
As Uber and Lyft are introducing true ride-sharing services, social and environmental benefits may follow.
An engineer has created a temporary tattoo that can monitor your blood sugar without needles.
Are Uber and Lyft finally carpooling?
How much does genealogy matter in entrepreneurial endeavors?
Starbucks' flat white is being introduced in the U.S. after successful runs in Australia and Britain.
Xiaomi, which raised $1.1 billion in December, is pouring money into its own investments.
With transactions staying below $55,000 a day, companies are looking at Bitcoin as a money transfer technology.
Despite a significant drop in worldwide PC shipments over the last year, Apple is gaining in the category.
With beef prices soaring, cheap chicken nuggets are the latest weapon.
Members-only online discount retailer, Jet.com, will launch this January and compete on price with industry giants Amazon and eBay.
If you can't have everything between your ears, you can at least have it all in your ear.
Nairobi is a vibrant environment for young expat entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
Dating app Blued and its backers are targeting an affluent minority.
Data from MS sufferers could help Biogen prove the value of its medications to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.
Creating value and getting wealthy are not necessarily connected.
Will electric vehicles become a thing of the past? Toyota has a vision that its hydrogen vehicle will become the first mass-market hydrogen car.
Zara Home is helping propel growth at the world's largest retailer.
How can hospitals stop infecting patients?
German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp will soon introduce the first fleet of cable-free cars that can move sideways.
Can console-gaming survive?
Travel expenses made easy and hopefully cheaper.
Medical data analytics will surpass $10 billion in annual revenue by 2020. A new technique allows advertising to know exactly which drugs you're taking and to share it on the Internet. With everyone.
Howard Schultz had to create a coffee culture in the United States in order for his company to thrive.
We are all entrepreneurs at varying levels.
Some fans thought it meant the end of baseball. But free agency proved to make baseball fairer . . . and maybe even a little more interesting.
Where did it start, and where are we now? The history of DNA.
Chevron continues to spend large sums on R&D and the marketing of its fuel additive Techron although the competition has similar additives and consumers are more focused on price.
Is there a prejudicial element in gender-based assistance programs for agricultural improvement?
The restaurant industry grew less than 4 percent in 2013 and needs a boost. Can mobile order-ahead apps help to increase traffic and sales?
I need my coffee now, please.
Uber is using its $17 billion valuation to raise capital and finance rapid growth internationally.
An engineer has developed a 3D-printing plastic he claims can be used to print electronics.
Entering the makeup market from the blogosphere.
Returns cost retailers up to an estimated $20 billion a year and merchants are turning to technology to bolster holiday profits.
Entrepreneurs prefer to list their companies' shares in the U.S.
Bargain-hungry shoppers can't stop clipping.
Keyssa is trying to bring a new level of wireless transfer speed to consumer phones, laptops, and home appliances.
A great innovative company doesn't rely on its early success for extension; it leans on its brand reputation.
Organic sales are up, and Wal-Mart is expanding its selection of organic foods with the promise to sell them at the same price as nonorganic food. How can Wal-Mart still make its margins?
Is there hope for the struggling newspaper industry? Article-selling startup Blendle reports 129,000 users in six months with growth expectations ahead.
I love success, but what do I do now?
Registers across America will soon accept Apple Pay. The next trick will be getting people to use it.
Six startups are competing to sell women a better bra.
Once the market leader in both China and India, Samsung phones are losing marketshare to cheaper models.
Cheaper smartphones eat away at the South Korean company's lead.
Mobile food startups are moving beyond delivery into food prep.
Interana's software tries to organize info more efficiently.
Android Lollipop and new Nexus devices will have trouble drawing buzz away from Apple.
Does coffee have a new competitor?
Husband-and-wife startup Interana is applying lessons from Facebook to join the $38 billion data-analysis market.
Can anyone really compete with Apple?
Most cream liqueurs draw female customers, but 47 percent of RumChata drinkers are men.
An Israeli startup is courting Wall Street clients with a service that aggregates patient conversations about drugs.
More and more people are using Bitcoin for common transactions.
A simple blood test may screen for a wide variety of cancers at extremely early stages.
Fiat CEO Marchionne says his expanded company will boost sales 60 percent by 2018. Analysts are doubtful.
Thync will soon launch a device to relax or energize you via small jolts of electricity to your brain.
Thync lets you give your mind a jolt.
Intel wants to make sure it's part of the “Next Big Thing,” which may be the “Internet of Things.”
Intel can now be found inside a urinal.
We have an algorithm that will solve your problem.
Jeff Bezos helped give Pro.com its start, and he may be positioning Amazon to compete with it.
Does Amazon win everything in the Internet marketing wars?
Drizly has an interesting business model to offer alcohol sales and delivery online.
Bring me another bottle of vodka. I live at ______________.
Are you buying your craft beer from a local source? You may be surprised. Brew Hub plans a five-brewery network that craft brands can use to grow the business far, far away from home.
Purchases of pay-per-view events for Ultimate Fighting Championship matches have fallen by one third since 2010. The response to this decline is to attract more women to the “human cockfighting” sport with a reputation for domestic violence. The effort will be a challenge.
All you have to do is wave my business card next to your tablet or laptop to find out all about my business.
After success in Scandinavia and Britain, Netflix sets its sights on Germany and France.
How much would you pay to help your child gain admission to a top college?
U.S. industries have a shot at creating their own “iPhone” by advancing their hardware and software in tandem.
How have tax incentives and labor costs affected the location of new manufacturing plants in the South?
Remind, an educational-messaging tool, is among the hottest apps in Apple’s App Store.
The indoor-tracking equipment is in less than 1 percent of U.S. stores.
Apple’s year-old indoor-tracking technology hasn't broken out from its pack of rivals.
Remind pushes smartphone messages to students and parents.
New tracking software and services are reshaping the market for search and display advertising online.
Does having Google in your city stifle entrepreneurism?
India’s largest maker of two-wheeled vehicles is investing $25 million in Erik Buell’s latest bike venture.
Still in beta, address-book app Humin has enjoyed shortcuts to mass adoption through its founder’s contacts. Humin is a free app that turns your phone’s alphabetical contact list into a more intuitive searchable database.
Toyota and Tesla had high hopes for their jointly developed electric RAV4. But they’ve sold fewer than 2,000 of the SUVs. Toyota, whose homegrown electric RAV4 was discontinued in 2003, is distancing itself from Tesla’s focus on all-electric vehicles and embracing fuel cells, a technology Tesla founder Elon Musk ridicules.
GE’s new FastWorks program could enable it to do business faster, cheaper, and better and make lean startup the next big management innovation.
Is Silicon Valley arrogance good, evil, or a bit of both?
Maybe it's sometimes "all in the family."
Can an entrepreneur find adequate impetus to start a new endeavor after "failing" another startup but ending up with a net worth of $400 million-plus?
A former research engineer at NASA has created a plastic helmet that can limit hair loss using laser technology.
Xiaomi's smartphones emphasize technology over marketing, and are making inroads in Asian markets.
Another smartphone maker goes after iPhone.
Microchips for cars are a large market poised for strong growth, but big chipmakers like Intel and Qualcomm are just getting started.
It's not just thieves who want to break into your cars.
Just as some big brewers have found that microbrews have bigger than microprofits, now a multinational spirits company is trying to capitalize on some consumers' preference for locally made vodka.
Despite trade restrictions that bar foreign retailers, Amazon and EBay have entered the Indian market and are about to overtake Flipkart, the Indian market leader.
Despite mounting losses, Sony is increasing spending on R&D and releasing new products like the SmartBand, which it hopes will be the next big thing.
Sony lost $1.3 billion last year and continues to spend on research and development. Are Sony’s actions a testimony to a long-term vision or a design for short-term collapse?
Researchers are using cloud networks to help robots teach each other skills faster than humans can.
Inventors and tinkerers are gathering with government support.
Volvo owner Zhejiang Geely is investing $11 billion to revive Volvo’s popularity, especially in the U.S. where sales fell 55 percent in the past decade.
Cheap smartphones running Firefox's mobile OS are beginning to spread into emerging markets.
The past decade’s shift of power from hardware to software companies has limited the development of computers.
Cheap smartphones running Firefox’s mobile OS are beginning to spread into emerging markets.
Will Firefox be the new OS for our smartphones?
A simple operating system for simple phones has caught the attention of phone makers and network operators in developing markets.
How do we avoid drone crashes? There's no clear answer yet, but they're coming anyway.
Will electricity become part of our cable bundles?
Streaming music services are having a difficult time capturing any value for themselves or their music suppliers.
Abercrombie is hoping to bring back teens who’ve left the mall and are shopping with their smartphones.
Is Pinterest too American?
Was Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven a copy?
DJI’s early lead in the drone industry may put it at the center of the debate over regulation and privacy.
An estimated 300 million people play the game and 1 billion people watch it. Soccer represents a growing global market and Nike wants to take it over.
What can social media posts tell us about prescription drugs?
How does Stihl help small hardware stores stay in business?
Consumers, particularly Millennials, do not want to miss out on a conversation. Twitter’s lackluster growth after its initial public offering has been buoyed by ad sales team-ups with TV programmers.
A shot in the dark? Fireball Cinnamon Whisky has become one of the most successful liquor brands in decades, with annual sales now exceeding $80 million.
Where do your clothes come from? Startup clothing retailers are answering this question and urging customers to pay more and buy less.
Last year, more than 1,100 workers died in the collapse of a Bangladeshi clothing factory. A handful of startup online retailers are taking action by selling direct and offering ethically manufactured, higher-quality products.
Is gambling revenue a dependable source of income for state governments?
Amazon has stepped into the living-room turf war with its streaming Fire TV, but it’s in for a tough fight.
Fiat is planning to relaunch Alfa Romeo as an Italian brand to rival BMW and Audi.
Just when you thought online buying couldn't get any more convenient, Amazon has stepped into the living-room turf war with its streaming Fire TV. But acquiring market share is not going to be easy.
Amazon wants time in your living room.
First Book Marketplace accounted for 2 percent of all juvenile books sold in the United States last year to an unlikely audience at a surprising price. Why is everyone involved winning?
Publishers profit when they work with First Book to make deeply discounted books available to children from low-income homes.
P&G lab churns out 150,000 diaper models a year, including many that won’t come to market for a decade.
How has Pandora’s slowing sales growth affected its stock price? And will it be able to control royalty expenses?
Pampers brand is especially important to P&G because it lets the company forge ties with moms, the company's "core customer."
Procter & Gamble is trying to create a Pampers diaper that has zero leakage, ultimate dryness, and an ideal fit -- and is investing millions to do so.
Mickey is tracking your every move. Disney is betting a billion dollars that RFID wristbands will create a better experience. Will it work?
Rolls-Royce is developing cargo ships that sail without crews, which account for 44 percent of operating costs.
Investors are putting money into telehealth services used to treat common ailments.
Customizing IKEA furniture for individual and local tastes creates business opportunities.
Do you want your cable company to be bigger and have more control over what you watch and how you get online access? Comcast does, and it's spent more than $75 billion in acquisitions to make that happen.
What can you get for free at the Dallas Museum of Art?
As incomes rise among tens of millions of consumers across Asia, so does the number of low-fare airlines competing for their business.
Big brother is going global.
Climate change and other factors are endangering the Arabica coffee bean. Starbucks’ response is to buy a Costa Rican coffee farm and share research on coffee plants and sustainable farming methods.
Microsoft has lacked a leader willing to kill some sacred cows and redefine the company. The new CEO, Satya Nadella, hopes to do just that.
How $1 in damages paid to Google is a win for the company.
Sony has revived a record label for jazz, a genre that sold 14 million albums in 2007 but only 5 million albums in 2013. Is the jazz audience still willing to pay to listen?
Cold weather and inexpensive electricity attract data centers to Scandinavia.
Servers, smartphones, and tablets have helped boost Lenovo’s stock price 53 percent in the past six months. After the IBM acquisition, Lenovo will be the third-largest server brand, up from number six, with a 14 percent market share.
As glaciers melt, ski resorts are using new snowmaking technologies to keep operating. But solving one of the problems created by global warming may contribute to the problem of global warming itself.
Although many people think the return of lost manufacturing jobs is just what the United States needs, most experts would disagree. Across richer countries, growth has been accompanied by a decline in the number of manufacturing jobs and a rise in the number of service jobs.
Regulations prevent foriegn-backed firms from operating retail facilities in India, but Amazon and EBay have managed to gain a small foothold by providing the "marketplace" for local firms to sell using the American companies' websites and warehouses.
Blogger Brian Krebs, who broke the Target hack, is often ahead of network security pros and the authorities.
Will legalization of marijuana provide abundant profits and investment opportunities?
A former reporter's talent for exposing the weaknesses in online security has earned him respect in the IT business and loathing among cybercriminals.
Why are investors so crazy for an alternative currency?
Big-box retailers are encountering new challenges as they downsize stores to accommodate population shifts.
Norwegian Air Shuttle is looking to bring low costs to long-haul flights.
Samsung has captured worldwide market share in appliances, with the goal of being No. 1.
Samsung’s goal for your kitchen is simple: It wants to own it by 2015.
Why ignore the biggest communication network in the world? The fastest and largest network is the one we have all been building together, router by router. It's changing the face of the wireless industry.
Costly conventional cell networks can be largely replicated by existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.
The number of Chinese students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities has more than tripled in the last decade, and many spend big bucks on cars while they are stateside.
Would you like to cut down your Christmas tree or just click to get it? Online Christmas tree sales are booming worldwide.
GM's first female CEO is taking over at a time when the company is in better shape than it has been in years.
Soundhawk's new Bluetooth-style device could assist up to 900 million people who don’t qualify as hearing-impaired.
Don't wireless phone carriers want to stop smartphone theft? Maybe not.
Amazon is changing the physics of distribution.
Since the 1993 introduction of the Airbus A340, soaring oil prices have dried up demand for the large capacity plane with four Rolls-Royce engines. Airbus took a big risk by guaranteeing the plane's resale value, a move that is coming back to haunt the company now.
GE is making a game-changing investment in 3D printing, helping to bring the technology to more assembly lines.
Kill as many people as you can with your infectious disease.
Are chemical and seed companies prioritizing public health as they develop new crop varieties?
Jumia wants to be the Amazon.com of Africa. Although Jumia and local rival Konga.com have taken a page from the playbook of Amazon.com, their deliveries are made with even more of a personal touch. You can take delivery by motorbike and pay in cash.
Scented vapors with my nicotine, please.
Microsoft’s Xbox One has the hope that games and entertainment will collide into something even bigger and better. Will it make a difference in the decline of console purchases?
Online retailing and delivery has to adapt to Nigerian's skepticism and roadway realities.
After some false starts, the next revolutionary shift in payments is gathering momentum.
Fast food companies are working together to find ways to make their food healthier.
The new wave of mobile payments is almost here -- and doesn’t look anything like it did even a few years ago.
ZARA's fast-moving supply chain quickly allows it to get new designs to stores worldwide.
Netflix shares have had a tremendous run this year. Are growing earnings fueling their rise in price?
Lego, which controls about 60 percent of the construction-toy business, is wooing older children with a $350 robot set.
Can Etsy still claim to be “your place to buy and sell all things handmade”?
Dell is pursing retail sales, and opening up stores, to build market share in China.
Would you like condoms, cigarettes, or a chicken burrito? With traditional grocery stores sales falling, Tyson Foods now wants to leverage the marketing channel power of the more than 149,000 convenience stores in the United States.
Fast food without the drive-through—it isn’t rocket science.
Drones are helping keep Kenyan elephants away from poachers. They can’t help with Kenya’s booming population.
Using plastic to pay at retailers is growing, but still a novelty in Myanmar.
Getting more personalized retail offers based on your preferences and shopping history is closer than you think.
Apple is quietly seeding its mobile devices with iBeacon, which provides impressive location-based tracking. Why is the company being so quiet about this new technology?
Online questionnaires and games allow hiring managers to compare applicants with their star employees.
Raj Date’s startup hopes to profit from non-conforming mortgages and other types of consumer loans. But Does Date’s former role at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau make his involvement in this market sector improper?
Promoting the mantra “Keep Calm and Chive On,” TheChive.com is a tacky little frat-boy-like site –- with an annual revenue stream approaching $100 million.
In Russia, cash is king, with many consumers looking to e-cash rather than banks or credit cards to pay their bills.
The Irish drug company Shire is finding it more difficult to sell an ADHD drug when you can’t convince the target market that the condition it treats even exists. Shire wants that to change.
While many still see shale oil as the path to U.S. energy independence, there are signs that it may not be an easy or inexpensive path.
Sing your way to social media.
Guess where your Facebook data lives? Inside the Arctic Circle. Facebook’s publication of the designs for its cheap, cool data centers has put pressure on established companies to adapt.
By freely sharing innovations implemented in its Swedish data center, Facebook is conserving resources and helping to revolutionize the data center industry.
Not for women only: Sales of men’s grooming products—from exfoliating scrubs to self-tanning creams—are expected to rise 5 percent this year, building a $17.5 billion industry.
More ads coming your way.
IRII is using celebrity backing to bring change to Haiti's apparel industry and the lives of its workers.
Who is the target market for Google Glass? Glass may be able to find traction in the workplace and government agencies regardless of a lackluster consumer reaction.
They can see you even better now.
A no-fat, high protein food fight: Danone’s Oikos aggressive brand campaign has slowed the growth of its competitor and market leader Chobani in the $7.6 billion Greek-style yogurt U.S. market.
Just like an old car, you can repair or trade in your smartphone.
Scrap wire and metal from the U.S. are being shipped to China for recycling and reuse.
RadioShack, with sales down 32 percent since 1996, is cutting the number of products in its stores by a quarter.
Will Amazon's warehouse strategy be effective?
Biometrics companies are benefiting from a potential iPhone fingerprint scanner.
In order to extract hard-to-get oil reserves, Mexico needs the expertise of foreign oil companies.
In which direction is the U.S. automobile leasing market going?
Mobile apps are a powerful component of marketing strategy. Mobile users may soon make up half of ModCloth's visitors, spending more per purchase than other customers.
What would it mean to pay an extra dollar for a Big Mac?
In order to capture market share in cloud computing, Germany's SAP is making acquisitions in California.
With a goal of promoting meaningful stories, Upworthy reconsiders the nature of viral content.
Canonical’s founder Mark Shuttleworth has crowdfunded millions of dollars to develop a super-superphone: a single device with phone and tablet capabilities that mimics all the functions of a PC. Will the numbers work?
Let's optimize presentation and see what happens.
Will Barnes & Noble remain in the e-reader market?
Car navigation makers struggle to cope with free smartphone-based systems.
Can built-in navigation systems compete with smartphones?
Makers of hummus are modifying traditional recipes to suit American tastes. Will it be the next salsa?
Around 90 percent of the world's oceangoing vessels that move freight are propelled by bunker fuel. It is relatively cheap, but it also has a sulfur content seven times higher than regulations will allow in 2020. Sail hasn't dominated freight hauling since the mid-1800s, but the wind may be returning.
Using your smartphone as a DVR?
Activision Blizzard's stock is up 40 percent this year, but its top game is losing market share in one of its largest markets: China.
Using the fulfillment software as its secret sauce to combine orders placed at different times and fill them from different stores, an Amazon veteran is trying to take his online grocery startup, Instacart, national with $8 million from Sequoia Capital.
Can a grocery store app survive?
Can the McWrap bring back the 18- to 32-year-olds who want fresher, healthier offerings? No longer on the millenial generation's top 10 list of favorite restaurant chains, McDonald’s launches the new “Subway buster” product for that demographic.
Can anything save the Nintendo Wii U?
Banks are investing in new ATMs for the first time in years, adding features that work like tablet and smartphone apps.
Europe's No. 2 fashion apparel chain will now give you a discount if you bring in your old castoff garments.
H&M's new program offers discounts to customers who bring in used clothing. Sustainable genius or greenwashing?
Can Dunkin’ Donuts compete with Starbucks by remodeling their stores? Are other restaurants such as Wendy’s going to follow suit?
Online payment companies and credit bureaus are trying to use information social media users voluntarily share to verify identities, detect true financial positions, and help reduce online fraud.
Can you refer someone to me?
After taking over the mobile world, Android is becoming the standard operating system for the "Internet of things."
How are revenues and profit margins for theme parks holding up in these weak economic times?
Android versus Apple - is it even a competition anymore?
A look inside Google's secret lab.
As a result of lower mail volumes and increased competition for package business, less than 20 percent of the nation's post offices generate enough business to cover costs.
Microsoft dominates console wars and now it wants the rest of your family’s TV time.
Xbox isn't just for gamers anymore.
Systems based on anonymous employee phone calls may be able to help Western companies monitor and improve working conditions in factories across the globe.
Facebook scrambles to make money from mobile. Does it have a plan to make it profitable?
Can sensors really help us with traffic congestion?
How has Netflix rebounded from the massive subscriber losses it suffered eighteen months ago? What do they plan to do in the future?
Two years ago Wal-Mart rolled out its "simplified" Ad Match Guarantee. The program is proving to be anything but simple to execute consistently across all stores and could even create a consumer backlash.
Can the garage developer survive the branded app?
With a dedicated user base regularly spending big money, mobile gamemaker Supercell turned a 58 percent operating margin last quarter.
TV networks are investing in an app that keeps viewers subsidizing the TV ad model even while glancing down at their phone.
To catch up with e-tail, retail managers use tools to track shoppers and buying behavior in the store.
What do you in a struggling economy? H&M says raise prices as it opens new upscale stores as a way to expand into Europe’s fast-growing market for shoes and accessories.
We're now being tracked offline as well.
Americans are eating healthier foods at home but not when they dine out. America’s fast-food industry has embraced rich, fatty, gooey extreme foods to grab diners' attention, and the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich is just one example.
Does a hacking technique with an Android smartphone pose a flight safety concern?
Tata Motors' Nano was supposed to appeal to the masses by being the lowest-priced car. As it turns out, the "cheap car" image has not been the magic marketing approach Tata expected.
Lack of information creates opportunity for Green Depot’s environmentally friendly building products.
The economic incentives for developing orphan drugs may be changing as governments face budget pressures.
At less than $3,000, the Tata Nano may be too cheap.
What does a 37-year-old beer taste like? New Albion Ale has been resurrected with the help of Boston Beer and their runs of 6,000 barrels exceed its total sales in the 1970s.
Samsung is now the top seller of smartphones, the number one manufacturer of LCD televisions, the seller of more flash memory and RAM chips than any other company, and passed Nokia to become the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer. What next?
You make the call. Are China's Internet companies imitators or innovators?
When David Einhorn talks, the markets listen — except when he talks about Apple.
Why has Google’s stock been outperforming Apple in the last year?
Netflix's latest innovation is to allow their 33 million online subscribers to view and comment on videos seen by their Facebook friends. Is this a promotional dream come true?
Can Apple design something else that consumers didn’t even know they needed: a smart wristwatch? Apple needs a boost, and the company hopes it's time for the smartwatch to give them a hand.
Apple sells a lot of electronics, but can it sell the iWatch?
Pepsi is investing in healthy (and not so healthy) foods in the former USSR, while adapting products to local tastes.
Computers may have feelings after all.
A new kind of university?
Will Obamacare make you more reliant on your tax adviser? How might tax advisers be impacted when Obamacare is finally fully implemented?
“The Jetsons” are here. The smart home-automation envisioned in the show's scenarios are finally possible. SmartThings wants to make household devices talk to each other.
Is the automated home the next great technology?
Is the battery dead on your phone? Switch to your PC and continue the fun.
Most wine exported from Australia now ships in container-sized plastic bladders, to be bottled after the ocean journey.
Snapchat allows users to share photos while keeping better control of their own cyber personas.
Severe storms cost insurers a record $25.9 billion in 2011, so they are studying risks in greater detail.
BlueStacks’ App Player software could mean that mobile apps can be used on any device or operating system. A gamer’s dream come true -- and more.
Web browsers’ looks and functions are changing as companies such as Microsoft and Google tie them into their operating systems.
Quicken’s $25 billion in home loans during the fourth quarter made it the No. 3 lender, but can it hold on as refinancings dry up?
Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant, is an billion dollar American success story. Chobani’s payroll has almost doubled in the past year with plants in Idaho and Australia, and more growth is on the horizon. Can the yogurt be that good?
Are you ready for an office update?
So what makes for a good bus product in London? Operators, weigh in.
Free money from Washington! Believe it. Some companies and their workers have already benefited.
U.S. production of light, sweet crude is increasing dramatically because of fracking. However, imports of heavy crude from Canada are likely to remain high because of capital investments by large U.S. refineries to enable processing of heavier crude oil. The good news is that the increase in light, sweet supply is sure to drive world prices down.
Venture capitalists are investing in companies that create sustainable versions of eggs, meat, and other foods.
Sales of bottled water in China are strong, as consumers question drinking tap water.
Can you taste the difference?
Can operations managers save money by conducting their own recruiting?
With disappointing sales, the Chevy Volt has not been much help to GM's objective of achieving an image of technology leadership. Enter Cadillac.
Economics is pushing the field salesperson online with impressive savings. Will this transition come at a cost?
Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company, is finding that doing the right thing environmentally can sometimes be a challenge. The company has put itself at a considerable cost disadvantage by using low-sulfur fuel at Hong Kong's very busy and very polluted port.
Are TVs making a comeback?
Italy has turned out to be a great market for QVC, with the company's average tele-shopper spending around $1,900 a year.
China is now the world’s largest smartphone market and home to Lenovo, the world’s biggest PC vendor. In 2013, Lenovo is working to get every phone sale possible. Look out Apple?
Growth can be expensive. Competition is tough for Pandora Media, which pays more than 50 percent of its revenue toward royalty payments for artists, while its rivals pay far less. Will the equation change?
Sales of Uggs footwear fell 12 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Can Decker Outdoor survive?
Since 1999, Lincoln has gone from being the top-selling luxury brand in the United States to number six out of six. Ford is spending $1 billion to revamp Lincoln’s lineup in a bold attempt to move out of last place.
Can Windows 8 enable Microsoft to reposition itself in its desperate fight for relevance? With broken partnerships in its wake, the stakes for Microsoft have never been higher.