Starbucks Links Coffee Makers to Web Fueling $27B Market

Starbucks Links Coffee Makers to Web Fueling $27B Market

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), famous for giving away Wi-Fi that links customers to the Internet, now wants to apply Web technology to its own operations by networking coffee makers, refrigerators and other appliances. Over the next year, Starbucks said it plans to double the number of its Clover coffee-brewing machines, which connect to the cloud and track customer preferences, allow recipes to be digitally updated and help staffers remotely monitor a coffee maker’s performance. Also in the works: connected fridges that indicate when a carton of milk has spoiled. “We are investing in different technologies to make it easier for our baristas,” Marianne Marck, a senior vice president for the Seattle-based company, said in an interview. Read more of this post

HTC Said to Plan Smartwatch as Cher Wang Rallies Workers

HTC Said to Plan Smartwatch as Wang Rallies Workers

HTC Corp. (2498) is developing a smartwatch that uses Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android software and can take pictures, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cost, functions and sales strategy for the watch are still to be decided before it’s released by the second half of 2014, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Chairwoman Cher Wang gathered workers at a town-hall style meeting today to tell them the Taiwanese smartphone maker needs to improve its customer focus, Chief Marketing Officer Ben Ho said in an interview. Read more of this post

Beijing May Make ABCs Less Important After English-Training Boom

Beijing May Make ABCs Less Important After English-Training Boom

China’s capital city of Beijing proposed reducing the importance of English in education by cutting the language’s weighting on college-entrance tests in favor of the nation’s own tongue. English would count for 100 points, down from the current 150, out of the maximum score of 750 starting in 2016, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday, citing the Beijing Education Examinations Authority. The possible score in Chinese would rise to 180 from 150, Xinhua said. The local government said English programs currently stress examinations over mastery of the language, according to Xinhua. Read more of this post

How Wall Street Fed Puerto Rico’s $70 Billion Borrowing Binge

How Wall Street Fed Puerto Rico’s $70 Billion Borrowing Binge

Seven years ago, in the wake of a government shutdown caused by a $740 million budget deficit, Puerto Rican officials vowed to fix the island’s finances by 2010. Now investors are calling their bluff. In the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market, Puerto Rico and its agencies more than doubled their borrowing since 2004 to $70 billion this year. Even as the island’s population shrank and the economy contracted 16 percent since 2004, the government kept selling enough bonds to saddle each man, woman and child with $19,000 in debt. Read more of this post

“An entrepreneur has to tell a story that’s a prophecy that we feel will definitely come true.” How Screenwriting Guru Robert McKee Teaches Brands To Tell Better Stories; If you want everyone from customers to colleagues to believe in your mission, you need to tell them a story, not make an argument.




It’s hard not to refer to Robert McKee as a “guru.” And why not? McKee, who has been teaching a seminar on screenwriting for 30 years and has written the field’s holy text, has become a foundational necessity to making it in movies, with alumnae including Peter Jackson, Julia Roberts, and John Cleese, and with 50-some Academy Award winners and 170 Emmy Award winners. McKee, who’s worked with brands likeMicrosoft, Nike, and HP to craft their stories, is now also teaching a Story-in-Business seminar. I had lunch with McKee and his wife, Mia, in Manhattan last week to talk about why brands need narratives. Here, we present an edited portion of our conversation.

To me, “story” is a fundamental. When people say story or whatever, they immediately begin to think of Hollywood and/or maybe the theater and novels, history, biography, autobiography. To me, they think about those big narrative forms and they call it the story, or they think in those terms. To me, the heart of it is a story, a mode of thought in direct opposition to other modes of thought that business tends to favor. Read more of this post

Berkshire Beats Apple as Favorite Stock of Tiger 21 Group

Berkshire Beats Apple as Favorite Stock of Tiger 21 Group

By Margaret Collins  Oct 22, 2013

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) regained its ranking as the favorite stock pick among U.S. and Canadian multimillionaires, beating Apple Inc. (AAPL) and fending off the increasing preference for exchange-traded funds. Members of Tiger 21, a New York-based group of wealthy investors, selected Berkshire in an annual survey of preferred investments scheduled to be released today. Apple, which had held the No. 1 spot the last two years, slipped to No. 2. “The bloom is off of Apple,” Michael Sonnenfeldt, founder and chairman of Tiger 21, said in an interview. “For people who held Berkshire Hathaway it’s held its appeal, but for Apple, a lot of people who were on that ride have realized that perhaps the best days are behind it.” Read more of this post

You’ll never be a Yale superman: How Yale’s influential endownment fund and its CIO are reining in their ambitions

You’ll never be a Yale superman

Dan McCrum

| Oct 22 12:02 | 4 comments | Share

David Swensen is an investing superman. His pioneering use of alternative investments after he took over the Yale endowment in 1985 prompted a thousand imitators and created an industry. Indeed, the Yale model became the endowment model, so widely was it embraced. Then, with alternative investments legitimised as suitable for big investors, pension funds began to follow his lead, albeit tentatively. Yet you can never be David. Or rather, you can never match up to the myth that Mr Swensen’s performance has become. Consider the recent decision by the $21bn Yale endowment to cut its allocation to private equity for the first time in eight years, to 31 per cent from 35 per cent. That shift may simply reflect a lack of opportunities at present, but note the long-term return target which Yale expects its private equity investments to deliver. Read more of this post

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