How to successfully launch a new product; Three entrepreneurs explain how they approach innovation and product development

How to successfully launch a new product

Three entrepreneurs explain how they approach innovation and product development.

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Miranda and Roland Ballard started their burger business in 2008 with £60,000 they’d originally saved as a deposit on a flat.

By James Hurley

6:46PM BST 15 Aug 2013

DO GO CHANGING

Mark Adams, chief executive of furniture manufacturer and retailer Vitsoe, is tired of hearing the word “innovation” used as a synonym for invention. His London-based company prefers “better over newer”. “Everyone has got hooked on the new – we’d all be much happier if we lost our attachment to novelty.” Vitsoe, which is projecting sales of £5.8m this year, was founded in 1959 to market a shelving system invented by Dieter Rams, the German industrial designer renowned for the gadgets he produced with Braun. The shelves still form the heart of the business – but that doesn’t mean nothing has changed. “People look at us from the outside and think we’re boring. In fact, we’re innovating every minute. You’re constantly taking the original idea and making it better. It’s just like evolution – small steps, not a new species every year. Our shelving system is 50 years old and we’re still developing it. That’s what design is all about – you have to keep it moving.” Read more of this post

Good Leaders Get Emotional

Good Leaders Get Emotional

by Doug Sundheim  |  12:00 PM August 15, 2013

Much of what comes out of people’s mouths in business these days is sugar-coated, couched, and polished. The messages are manufactured, trying to strike just the right tone. Genuine emotion stands in stark contrast. It’s a real person sharing a real feeling. When we hear it, we’re riveted — for one because it’s rare, but also because it’s real. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable and a little messy. But that’s what makes it powerful. No one is trying to hide anything.

We hide emotions in an attempt to stay in control, look strong, and keep things at arm’s length. But in reality, doing so diminishes our control and weakens our capacity to lead — because it hamstrings us. We end up not saying what we mean or meaning what we say. We beat around the bush. And that never connects, compels, or communicates powerfully. Read more of this post

At 127, Xinjiang woman is China’s oldest person

At 127, Xinjiang woman is China’s oldest person

2013-08-16 02:54:13 GMT2013-08-16 10:54:13(Beijing Time)  Shanghai Daily

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Almehan Said was born on June 25, 1886, during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in a village in Shule County of the northwest China region. She was the second oldest person in the country on a list issued by the Gerontological Society of China in 2010. A WOMAN from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been named the oldest person in China — at age 127 — following the death of the previous holder in June, officials said. Almehan Said was born on June 25, 1886, during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in a village in Shule County of the northwest China region. She was the second oldest person in the country on a list issued by the Gerontological Society of China in 2010. Read more of this post

Lewis Kornfeld, Made Radio Shack an Early Player in PCs, Dies at 97

August 15, 2013

Lewis Kornfeld, Made Radio Shack an Early Player in PCs, Dies at 97

By DANIEL E. SLOTNIK

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Lewis Kornfeld, left, became the chain’s president in 1970 and retired in 1981.

Lewis Kornfeld, who as president of Radio Shack helped the company become a major player in the early personal computer market in 1977 by releasing the TRS-80, one of the first mass-market and relatively affordable computers, died on Sunday in Fort Worth. He was 97. The cause was complications of lymphocytic leukemia, his wife, Rose Ann Kornfeld, said. When Radio Shack unveiled the TRS-80, personal computers mainly came in kits for aficionados to cobble together. Mr. Kornfeld presented a finished product that consumers could just plug in and use. The market for home computers was virtually untested at the time, but Mr. Kornfeld prided himself on having recognized their potential. Read more of this post

Should Creationism Be Controversial? Why are some people drawn to origin narratives like in Genesis, and others to the scientific story?

UPDATED AUGUST 15, 2013 5:27 PM

Should Creationism Be Controversial?

INTRODUCTION

Last week Steven Pinker made the case for scientific thinking outside the “sciences,” and he annoyed some critics. But a recent essay againstscientific thinking (even about scientific questions) prompted a louder outcry. After Virginia Heffernan, a technology journalist, wrote “Why I’m a Creationist,” the condemnations were swift and harsh. Is it really so controversial to believe in biblical creation? Why are some people drawn to origin narratives like in Genesis, and others to the scientific story? Read more of this post

How the wealthy keep themselves on top; The more unequal a society, the greater the incentive for the rich to pull up the ladder behind them

August 15, 2013 6:43 pm

How the wealthy keep themselves on top

By Tim Harford

The more unequal a society, the greater the incentive for the rich to pull up the ladder behind them

When the world’s richest countries were booming, few people worried overmuch that the top 1 per cent were enjoying an ever-growing share of that prosperity. In the wake of a depression in the US, a fiscal chasm in the UK and an existential crisis in the eurozone – and the shaming of the world’s bankers – worrying about inequality is no longer the preserve of the far left. There should be no doubt about the facts: the income share of the top 1 per cent has roughly doubled in the US since the early 1970s, and is now about 20 per cent. Much the same trend can be seen in Australia, Canada and the UK – although in each case the income share of the top 1 per cent is smaller. In France, Germany and Japan there seems to be no such trend. (The source is the World Top Incomes Database, summarised in the opening paper of a superb symposium in this summer’s Journal of Economic Perspectives.)

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Roger Mugford is the founding father of British pet psychology; Mugford is in demand as more people want pets but lack the skills to look after their wellbeing; The world market for pet accessories and products is projected to reach $17.2bn by 2015. 10.7m dogs in the US – or up to 17 per cent – suffer from separation anxiety.

August 15, 2013 4:57 pm

Bad dogs and the Englishman who calls them to heel

By Emma Jacobs

Creature comfort: Roger Mugford is in demand as more people want pets but lack the skills to look after their wellbeing

Bella is panting with happiness. The epitome of exuberance. But she has one weakness: sheep and wildfowl. She cannot stop herself sinking her teeth into them. Last month, on a summer stroll at Hampton Court, the royal palace once inhabited by Henry VIII, she grabbed a swan by its wing, chasing it into the river Thames, filmed by a boatful of tourists.

Consequently Bella, a cross bet­ween a Staffordshire bull terrier and a Rhodesian ridgeback, is a source of joy and stress to her owner Mark Reeves. His favourite pastime – country walks – is no longer relaxing because he is on constant alert for sheep or deer. After all, a farmer is allowed to kill a dog that worries livestock. Read more of this post

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