Starbucks regularly launches products before they’re perfect. Why does such a risky approach to innovation work so well?

RISKY INNOVATION: WILL STARBUCK’S LEAP OF FAITH PAY OFF?

THE WORLD’S LARGEST COFFEEHOUSE CHAIN REGULARLY LAUNCHES PRODUCTS BEFORE THEY’RE PERFECT. WHY DOES SUCH A RISKY APPROACH TO INNOVATION WORK SO WELL?

BY: AUSTIN CARR

In late March, as Starbucks was preparing to introduce its first offer on Groupon, the daily-deal service, the coffee chain’s chief digital officer, Adam Brotman, realized he had no clue whether the gambit would pay off. The discount wasn’t for anything crazy like bungee jumps or skydiving lessons–it was for 50% off a $10 Starbucks Card eGift–but to Brotman, the deal was just as risky because of how the company would be offering it. His team had to integrate Starbucks’s eGift platform with Groupon’s system for the one-off promotion, and it was about to go live to the world. “They’d never done deals at the scale we were offering, and we had never put our [eGift] platform through that type of pressure test,” Brotman says. “But we didn’t have the luxury to say anything other than, ‘We think we got this right, so let’s see what happens.’ There are times when we just completely don’t know how things are going to work.” Read more of this post

Strategies for playing at war: World of Tanks revenues have soared from €18m in 2011 to €218m last year

June 4, 2013 4:42 pm

Strategies for playing at war

By Jan Cienski

World-of-Tanks-11

Tanks for the memories: Victor Kislyi turned to the history on his Minsk doorstep for inspiration

To the dismay of wives and mothers the world over, huge numbers of men and boys adore powerful vehicles and big guns. If you put the two together, you have tanks. This insight has help­ed Victor Kislyi build one of the world’s fastest-growing computer game developers.

Mr Kislyi’s Belarus-based Wargaming.net is the creator of World of Tanks , the online game in which players get to drive a second world war-era tank and engage in team battles on an accurately depicted terrain or in city streets, using detailed and realistic maps. Read more of this post

Truly global vocabulary needs ‘untranslatable’ Chinese terms; Most people believe that the secret to promote Chinese culture is to have as many foreigners as possible studying the Chinese language. There is a better way.

Truly global vocabulary needs ‘untranslatable’ Chinese terms

Created: 2013-6-3 0:34:04

Author:Thorsten Pattberg

20130603_532077_01

MOST people believe that the secret to promote Chinese culture is to have as many foreigners as possible studying the Chinese language. There is a better way.
The difference between promoting and inhibiting one’s culture often lies in “translation.” All writers should be aware of the unwritten law of “cultural property rights”: WHEN to translate, WHAT translation does, and WHERE to avoid it.
The English language is often hailed as the “international language,” but it is not the global language. In fact, the global language will have to adopt tens of thousands of non-European concepts from China, India, and Japan. The list goes on.
As I write this, great efforts are made by Chinese scholars to promote East Asian terms into the global lexicon – Chinese words like tianxia, shengren and junzi, and even the mythical long.  The reason is simple: Scientists so far may have indexed the animal and plant kingdoms, and the material world. But the taxonomization of culture has only just begun. Read more of this post

Directors’ duty is not just to investors: There is too much focus on noise in markets and not enough to operational performance

June 4, 2013 6:10 pm

Directors have a duty beyond just enriching shareholders

By John Kay

There is too much focus on noise in markets and not enough to operational performance

Do companies have a duty to their shareholders to minimise the amount of tax they pay? Even if this involves engaging in complex and artificial schemes that shift profits to jurisdictions in which little or no tax is payable?

Under the 2006 Companies Act, directors of British companies are required to promote the success of the business for the benefit of its members (the shareholders). In doing so, they must have regard to six specific factors: the long-term consequences of their decisions, the interests of employees, relationships with suppliers and customers, the impact of corporate activities on the community and the environment, the company’s reputation for high standards of business conduct and the need for fairness between different members of the company. Read more of this post

Maverick Internet tycoon Takafumi Horie, who was jailed for accounting fraud, back in business; Horie said he had got involved in around 30 start-ups since being released from prison three months ago

Japan dotcom jailbird back in business

Horie said he had got involved in around 30 start-ups since being released from prison three months ago. -AFP
Wed, Jun 05, 2013
AFP

JAPAN-CRIME-IT-COMPANY

TOKYO – Maverick Internet tycoon Takafumi Horie, who was jailed for accounting fraud, said Wednesday Japan’s online landscape was prime territory for his aggressive style of business. Horie said he had got involved in around 30 start-ups since being released from prison three months ago, having served nearly two years for hiding losses on the balance sheets of his Internet service provider Livedoor.

Read more of this post

Chipping Away at Success: Litigation as strategy isn’t unfamiliar in the competitive high-tech world, where trampled companies turn to courts to slay the enemy

June 4, 2013, 4:47 p.m. ET

Chipping Away at Success

Litigation as strategy isn’t unfamiliar in the competitive high-tech world, where trampled companies turn to courts to slay the enemy.

By DAVID KANSAS

Hector Ruiz opens his memoir with a prologue that is intended to read like the first pages of a thriller. Mr. Ruiz, the chief executive officer of Advanced Micro Devices until 2008, brings us into a 2005 board meeting. Curt exchanges, dire threats, doubt and debate fill the air. Given that Mr. Ruiz is a sharp engineer, one would expect the argument to be about some vital aspect of technology. Instead, it’s all about suingIntelINTC +0.48% AMD’s giant market foe.

Seeing AMD as David to Intel’s Goliath, Mr. Ruiz code-named the suit “Slingshot,” the title of his book. He knew a thing or two about slingshots, having used them in his hardscrabble youth in a Mexican town on the U.S. border. Read more of this post

Taoist abbot Yuan Zhihong has a complicated attitude toward money: He knows his temple needs funds to make ends meet, but the commercialization of religious venues is affecting their sacred status

Taoist leaders focus on preserving values

Updated: 2013-06-05 02:02

By An Baijie (China Daily)

Taoist abbot Yuan Zhihong has a complicated attitude toward money: He knows his temple needs funds to make ends meet, but the commercialization of religious venues is affecting their sacred status.

“At some public memorial ceremonies, people have paid more than 1 million yuan ($163,000) to light the first incense stick,” he said. “The religion has become too secular in many places.” Read more of this post

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