The Year of the Lego

November 11, 2013

The Year of the Lego

Posted by Ted Trautman

Earlier this year, Lego overtook Hasbro to become the world’s second-largest toymaker, after Mattel. It was more than just one company outperforming another—it was Lego’s one brand generating more revenue than Hasbro’s sixty-eight brands, which include G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Mr. Potato Head. While Hasbro and Mattel have grown by creating and acquiring a diverse array of toys, Lego has adopted the opposite strategy: focus on the one, iconic product, but get more kids to play with it. There is little room left for Lego to grow in the United States, where it already controls eighty-five per cent of the construction-toy sector, besting imitators like Mattel’s Mega Bloks and has-beens such as Lincoln Logs and Erector sets. Lego’s revenue of nearly two billion dollars in the first half of 2013—compared with $1.43 billion for Hasbro—was boosted in large part by its growth of seventy per cent in China. That country, where parents are increasingly seeking out educational toys, has become the world’s second-largest toy market. The Asia-Pacific region will likely overtake North America as the largest regional toy market sometime next year. Read more of this post

Winning a Job at Lego: Aspiring Designers Build Sets Under Pressure; Lego has an unusual method of hiring designers. Rather than conducting formal interviews, the Danish company invites the most promising applicants build sets under pressure

Winning a Job at Lego: Aspiring Designers Build Sets Under Pressure

JENS HANSEGARD

Nov. 13, 2013 7:11 p.m. ET

BILLUND, Denmark

James Colmer, 46 years old, had a reason for spending two days building Legos in Denmark, leaving behind his kids in Australia. He was applying for a job. Mr. Colmer was one of 21 men and women who came from around the globe to the small town of Billund last month to compete for a job as a Lego designer. The Danish company has an unusual method of filling this position. Rather than conducting formal interviews, Lego invites the most promising applicants to its headquarters to sketch and build Lego sets in front of a panel of senior designers. Read more of this post

What I’d tell my teenage self: Life and career advice from the TED staff

What I’d tell my teenage self: Life and career advice from the TED staff

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick
November 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm EST

Four hundred middle and high school students will fill the TEDYouth auditorium this Saturday – and many of them will be put straight to work. Students who’ve expressed interest in cinematography will shadow our video production team, students who want to be event planners will hang out with our producers, and those interested in journalism will shadow the TED Blog team. So this felt like a good moment to ask these assorted staffers: What advice would you give your teenage self? Read more of this post

High-Stakes Decisions Are Rarely Dispassionate

High-Stakes Decisions Are Rarely Dispassionate

by Phil Rosenzweig  |   12:00 PM November 13, 2013

One day this month, the first Tuesday of November, brought plenty of news for students of decision-making to ponder. There were big election results in the US:  new mayors in New York and Boston, one governor newly elected in Virginia and another re-elected in New Jersey.  Meanwhile, in business, BlackBerry’s CEO stood down as an offer to rescue the ailing company fell through, while a high-profile investor, Bill Ackman, posted strong returns even as one of his most notable investments — taking a short position on the nutrient supplier Herbalife — garnered controversy. Read more of this post

The resilient Filipino spirit

The resilient Filipino spirit

GO NEGOSYO By Joey Concepcion (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 14, 2013 – 12:00am

We all are saddened with the severe devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda. Prior to the weekend, I was taking an international flight to Manila with my family and I do have the habit of monitoring the weather in typhoon2000.com which has provided me the most reliable weather information for many years now, since we love the sea and do go to the many beautiful islands to scuba dive as a family on a boat. So we always are mindful of weather, tide and current. Read more of this post

Why every decision about employees should also be about culture

James Thomson Editor

Why every decision about employees should also be about culture

Published 14 November 2013 00:44, Updated 14 November 2013 11:09

Phil Di Bella has a message for any leader who is setting out to write a “culture statement” for their business – don’t bother. “You don’t make your culture from the top. When a customer walks in and tells you over a cup of coffee what your culture is, that’s your real culture,” he says. Read more of this post

An Entrepreneur Who Manufactures Entrepreneurs; A personality test is the first step for a student applying to the Founder Institute, which offers a kind of entrepreneurial immersion education

Please check this site for more information:

http://www.resourcesunlimited.com/DiSC-Personality-Profile-Test-to-Improve-Productivity.asp)

November 13, 2013

An Entrepreneur Who Manufactures Entrepreneurs

By IAN MOUNT

Conventional wisdom holds that some 90 percent of start-ups fail. After years of observation, Adeo Ressi — a serial entrepreneur who founded TheFunded.com, an online community where entrepreneurs rate investors; Methodfive, a website developer; and Total New York, which became AOL Digital Cities — concluded that the high failure rate was the result of the wrong people starting businesses and not getting the right training. Read more of this post

List of the 40 best performing S&P 1500 and S&P 500 since the bull market began on March 9th, 2009

If You Like 10-Baggers…

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2013 AT 09:43AM

Below is a list of the 40 best performing S&P 1500 (current members) stocks since the bull market began on March 9th, 2009.  If you like looking at big winners, this list is for you.  As shown, all 40 stocks are up more than 1,400% (a “14-bagger“), and 24 are up more than 2,000% (a “20-bagger”).  There are even three stocks up more than 5,000% (a “50-bagger”)! The best performing stock currently in the S&P 1500 since the bull market began is Select Comfort (SCSS), which is up 7,864%.  As shown, on 3/9/09, SCSS closed at $0.25.  Today it is at $19.91. CalAmp (CAMP) is up the second-most with a gain of 5,888%, followed by 3D printing company 3D Systems (DDD) at 5,615%. The list above includes largecaps, midcaps and smallcaps, but below is a list of just the best performing largecaps (current S&P 500 members) since the bull market began.  As shown, there are 13 current S&P 500 members that have been “10-baggers” (gained more than 1,000%) since March 9th, 2009.  Regeneron (REGN) is up the most with a gain of 2,197%, followed by Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) at 2,030%.  CBS is up the third most with a gain of 1,796%.  On 3/9/09, CBS was a $3 stock — now it’s at $58.60. Some of the more notable name on the list below include priceline.com (PCLN) with a gain of 1,301%, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) at 1,263%, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) at 987%, Ford Motor (F) at 858% (F was at $1.74 on 3/9/09!) and Netflix (NFLX) at 763%.

bestspr bestspx111213

Jeff Bezos Believes AWS Could Be Amazon’s Biggest Business; AWS is five times bigger than the other 14 companies combined

Jeff Bezos Believes AWS Could Be Amazon’s Biggest Business

Posted 6 hours ago by Alex Williams

In a press conference today, Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President Andy Jassy said that CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos believes AWS could be the company’s largest business. Amazon reported $61 billion in revenues  for the 2012 fiscal year. The company does not report revenues for AWS but it is widely believed to be a $3.5 billion business and growing rapidly. Read more of this post

Singaporean marketplace app Carousell snags $800K funding, sets sights on Malaysia and Indonesia

Singaporean marketplace app Carousell snags $800K funding, sets sights on Malaysia and Indonesia

November 13, 2013

by Vanessa Tan

C2C-Marketplace-Carousell-Raises-S1-million-funding-720x371

Singapore-based marketplace mobile app Carousell has successfully raised S$1 million ($800,000) seed funding led by Rakuten, with follow-on investments by Golden Gate Ventures500Startups, and a few other angel investors such as Danny Oei Wirianto and Darius Cheung. For those who are not familiar with Carousell, it is a mobile C2C marketplace where you take a photo of your pre-loved or new items, list them on Carousell, then sell them. The new money in its pockets will aid in the expansion of both its product development and community teams, particularly its efforts within Southeast Asia. According to Carousell, it will focus on both Malaysia and Indonesia first. Users love Carousell, open app 10 times and spends 25 minutes on it daily Read more of this post

Botched bathroom renovation led to Kluje, a platform for finding home contractors

Botched bathroom renovation led to Kluje, a platform for finding home contractors

November 14, 2013

by Terence Lee

Singapore expatriate Jamey Merkel felt like he was taken advantaged of after a bathroom refurbishment gone wrong. Following hours of searching for a contractor, he received wildly different quotations ranging between $5,000 to $15,000 for the exact same job. “A quote was given on the phone even without even a visit,” he said. And when a contractor was finally secured, it didn’t do its job properly — measuring some custom glass panels incorrectly. The mistake cost Jamey extra money to fix. That was when he felt a pressing need to start Kluje, a web platform for home contractors to bid for jobs. Jamey’s decision was backed up by numbers too: Complaints against home renovation contractors have been on the rise in Singapore, jumping to 1,532 in 2012. Kluje was launched to the public this month, and it has already registered over 9,000 contractors while listing another 4,000 contractors that did not sign up with the platform. Read more of this post

No Stores? No Salesmen? No Profit? No Problem for Amazon. Amazon’s massive investments in technology shape the future for retailers everywhere

No Stores? No Salesmen? No Profit? No Problem for Amazon.

Amazon’s massive investments in technology shape the future for retailers everywhere.

By George Anders on November 7, 2013

Amazon is forcing every retailer in the world to reconsider how it does business.

Highly engineered:Boxes are swept along a conveyor at Amazon’s one-million-square-foot fulfillment center in San Bernardino, California.

Why do some stores succeed while others fail? Retailers constantly struggle with this question, battling one another in ways that change with each generation. In the late 1800s, architects ruled. Successful merchants like Marshall Field created palaces of commerce that were so gorgeous shoppers rushed to come inside. In the early 1900s, mail order became the “killer app,” with Sears Roebuck leading the way. Toward the end of the 20th century, ultra-efficient suburban discounters like Target and Walmart conquered all. Read more of this post

MakerBot aims to put a 3D printer in every school, and wants you to help pay for it

MakerBot aims to put a 3D printer in every school, and wants you to help pay for it

By Carl Franzen on November 12, 2013 05:40 pm 

MakerBot, the Brooklyn-based company that makes a variety of desktop 3D printers, accessories and associated software, announced a new plan today designed to put one of its signature devices into every school in America. Called the “MakerBot Academy,” the new effort relies on DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding website designed specifically for budget-strapped teachers, which lets them post requests for specific supplies online and solicit donations to help pay for the costs. Read more of this post

Vinod Khosla bets big on big data

Vinod Khosla bets big on big data

By Michal Lev-Ram, writer November 13, 2013: 5:48 PM ET

The Silicon Valley startup Ayasdi is just the beginning, the Sun Microsystems co-founder says.

FORTUNE—Last year, entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist Vinod Khosla made waves when he said technology would someday replace 80% of doctors. This morning, at a Menlo Park, Calif.-based event hosted by one of his firm’s portfolio companies, Ayasdi, Khosla reiterated his belief that computational power–not people–will bring about massive improvements in nearly every field, particularly healthcare. Read more of this post

Why Snapchat wasn’t crazy to rebuff Facebook

Why Snapchat wasn’t crazy to rebuff Facebook

By Dan Primack November 13, 2013: 2:33 PM ET

Snapchat turned down a $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook. And that’s okay.

FORTUNE — When word came last month that Snapchat had turned down an acquisition offer from Facebook (FB), I wrote the following in the Term Sheet email: Most interesting is the question of how Facebook’s interest is impacting Snapchat’s plan to raise new capital at a big valuation (a deal that likely will include more founder liquidity). One theory is that it’s an effort to make Zuckerberg increase his offer, by showing that others believe the company is far more valuable than his opening volley. An alternate – and more likely – theory is that this raise is to eliminate any temptation to sell the company, both for the founders and early investors (who may also get some cash back). Well, it seems to have been the latter. Read more of this post

Good Eggs, a Virtual Farmer’s Market, Delivers Real Food; The website and delivery service lets you order products online from local farmers and artisanal food producers

November 13, 2013

Good Eggs, a Virtual Farmer’s Market, Delivers Real Food

By JENNA WORTHAM

When I was growing up, my father was fond of ordering steaks through the mail. When they arrived, my sister and I gleefully danced around the icy packages and argued over who got to open them. I can still remember marveling at the novelty of meat arriving in the same pile as regular letters, and our amazement that it tasted as good as — if not better than — the beef we purchased in the supermarket. Read more of this post

The Rise of Mobile Messaging Service as Game Distributor

The Rise of Mobile Messaging Service as Game Distributor

By Ben Chiang on November 13, 2013 

Kakao Talk and Line’s latest financial results epitomized the success of building profitable business upon mobile messaging platform. In-game purchases contributed more than half (about 53%, or US$ 53.7 million) to Line’s revenue in Q2 of this year while KakaoTalk announced earlier this year that its game platform generated US$ 311 million for the first half of this year. It seems Asian messaging services now find a new and rosier revenue source in addition to the ‘traditional’ sticker business. Read more of this post

Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands

Why Facebook pages are a bust for brands

BY JOSEPH PIGATO 
ON NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Converse are the top three brands on Facebook, combining for more than 150 million fans. It’s a staggering figure, but they really can’t afford to have any fewer, given that only one out of every 15,000 fans responds to posts — slim odds. That is why Facebook pages, along with other obligatory social strategies, have largely been a bust for meaningful, two-way interactions between brands and consumers. They’ve just become a place where brands collect their customers to ignore them, right alongside the people who just wanted that free iPad. Facebook brand pages are not built to engage more than a tiny fraction of fans, and marketers need to understand this isn’t likely to change. Read more of this post

Bitcoins being used in the Shanghai property market

Bitcoins being used in the Shanghai property market

Staff Reporter

2013-11-14

Three buildings on a 700,000 square-meter plot of land in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China look just like any of the other buildings in the city. What makes them different, however, is that space in these buildings can be purchased using bitcoins, a digital currency that is circulated on the internet and functions without the intermediation of a central authority. Read more of this post

China owns 7% of the arable land in the world, but it uses 35% of the total amount of chemical fertilizer and pesticide used in the world

China using 35% of the world’s chemical fertilizer

Staff Reporter

2013-11-14

The excessive use of chemical fertilizer needs to be curtailed to improve China’s soil quality, said Mao Yushi, a Chinese economist, at a conference on ecology and agriculture held in Beijing on Nov. 9. “Our country has the highest concentration of chemical fertilizer use, which has a seriously damaging effect on the soil,” said Mao in a Beijing Times report. Statistics presented during the conference show that the number of patients with chronic diseases in China has been growing annually by 3 million. Some experts regard food safety problem to be the main cause. Read more of this post

China’s logistics companies leaking customer data; One express sheet could be sold for 0.3 to 0.5 yuan (US$0.06-$0.16). A box containing 1,000 sheets could get 300 to 500 yuan (US$50-$80)

China’s logistics companies leaking customer data

Staff Reporter

2013-11-14

Single’s Day, which fell on Nov. 11, was a major shopping holiday for China’s e-commerce marketplaces and consumers, marking a peak season for express deliveries. Before the day arrived, Shanghai-based YTO Express, a major logistics company, had to apologize to its clients for privacy breaches leading to leaked personal data general chaos, according to the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald. Read more of this post

Swatch leaves luxury watchmakers in a quandary

Swatch leaves luxury watchmakers in a quandary

November 13, 2013: 8:18 AM ET

A court ruling in Switzerland is shaking up the centuries-old, multi-billion dollar watch industry.

By Lynnley Browning

FORTUNE — Inside a white chalet in the tiny village of Magglingen, tucked into the Jura mountains in the northwest corner of Switzerland, skilled artisans create luxury watches like the Dentelle et Diamants et Roses, an 18-carat gold confection with 101 pink and white diamonds that fetches up to $89,100. But the establisseurs, or assemblers, at Delance SA, one of dozens of tiny firms in this cradle of Swiss mechanical watchmaking, are not feeling Delance’s motto of “audacious, erotic, feminine, and powerful” these days. Read more of this post

Korea FSS reports financial CEOs’ pay; Average compensation for top 28 executives a cool $1.9 million a year

FSS reports financial CEOs’ pay

Average compensation for top 28 executives a cool $1.9 million a year

LEE EUN-JOO [angie@joongang.co.kr]

Nov 14,2013

While much attention has been given to exactly how much the heads of financial institutions are paid, a study by the country’s financial regulator shows that average annual compensation for the highest-paid 28 executives is 2.1 billion won ($1.96 million). According to the Financial Supervisory Service yesterday, chief executives at 65 financial institutions – financial holding companies, banks, investment companies and insurance companies – received an average of 850 million won in compensation last year, including regular bonuses, while financial group chiefs earned the most. Bank presidents received 1.8 billion won in compensation annually, while the heads of investment firms got 1.6 billion won and chiefs of insurance companies received 2 billion won. Read more of this post

Not so happy birthday: Abenomics ages, challenges remain

Not so happy birthday: Abenomics ages, challenges remain

9:15pm EST

By Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) – A year after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took financial markets by storm with promises to revive the moribund Japanese economy, data showed growth slowed sharply and that his “Abenomics” policy mix is yet to secure a durable recovery. Growth in the world’s third-biggest economy decelerated in the third quarter after leading the Group of Seven industrial powers in the first half of the year, as capital spending, personal consumption and exports moderated. Read more of this post

To farmers, WCB dairy deal is not just about the money

To farmers, WCB dairy deal is not just about the money

PUBLISHED: 12 HOURS 38 MINUTES AGO | UPDATE: 5 HOURS 13 MINUTES AGO

Murray Goulburn’s sweetened $9-a-share bid for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter may be far higher than any other offer in the three-way fight for the Victorian dairy company. But in this remarkable $505 million takeover ­battle it is not just about the money. Many farmers who spoke to The Australian Financial Reviewsaid they would consider a lower bid – even from a foreign predator – if they believed it would better serve the state’s dairy industry. Read more of this post

Mahathir: Malaysia has potential in aircraft manufacturing

Updated: Thursday November 14, 2013 MYT 7:33:06 AM

Mahathir: Malaysia has potential in aircraft manufacturing

By LOSHANA K SHAGAR

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the potential to expand into the aircraft manufacturing industry by producing the parts and components at a low cost, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Now that we have a national automotive industry, we can expand into aircraft; not by making our own but by producing parts, which we can do at a cheaper rate than Europe,” he said at the 4th Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference here yesterday. Read more of this post

Malaysia has highest level of English proficiency in Asia, overtaking Singapore who fell behind to 12th position

06 November 2013| last updated at 05:00PM

Malaysia has highest level of English proficiency in Asia

By A. Azim Idris

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has the highest English language proficiency level in the entire Asian region, according to a latest research by Swiss-based international education company EF Education First (EF).

The nation also climbed two notches higher to 11th place from 13th position last year in the EF English Proficiency Index which saw over 60 countries being surveyed. The results revealed that Malaysia, which was placed in the ‘High Proficiency’ category, had overtaken Singapore who fell behind to 12th position in the world ranking. Malaysia scored 58.99 points in the survey while neighbouring Singapore received a 58.92 score. Read more of this post

How to copy a hedge fund billionaire’s investment plan

How to copy a hedge fund billionaire’s investment plan

By Tim Fernholz @timfernholz 7 hours ago

I realized the pop culture phenomenon that is the activist investor had taken a new turn when a friend showed me an iPhone app at a party. iBillionaire lets you track the investments of “billionaire investors” whose names you know (Carl Icahn, David Loeb, David Tepper and David Einhorn among them) and compare them to your own feeble portfolio. Read more of this post

Ateliers Pleyel—one the world’s oldest manufacturers of pianos which has built instruments for composers from Chopin to Stravinsky—said that it was ceasing production

French Piano Maker Pleyel Plays its Final Tune

Company to Cease Production, Lay Off Its 14 Remaining Staffers

NADYA MASIDLOVER

Updated Nov. 13, 2013 2:06 p.m. ET

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An employee of Ateliers Pleyel works on a piano assembly line in Saint-Denis, Paris in this December 2010 file photo. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

PARIS—More than 200 years of French piano-making history is reaching its finale. Ateliers Pleyel—one the world’s oldest manufacturers of pianos—said late Tuesday that it was ceasing production at its workshop in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. France’s only remaining piano maker, which has built instruments for composers from Chopin to Stravinsky, said it would lay off its 14 staffers because of “recurring losses and weak business.” Read more of this post

Building a better income statement; If neither companies nor investors find GAAP reported earnings useful, it’s clearly time for a new approach

Building a better income statement

If neither companies nor investors find GAAP reported earnings useful, it’s clearly time for a new approach.

November 2013 | byAjay Jagannath and Tim Koller

A company’s annual income statement should be a transparent disclosure of its revenues and expenses that investors can readily interpret. Most aren’t, largely because income and expenses classified according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) can be difficult to interpret. In fact, many sophisticated investors tell us they have to reengineer official statements to derive something they’re comfortable using as the starting point for their valuation and assessment of future performance. In response, many companies—including all of the 25 largest US-based nonfinancial companies—are increasingly reporting some form of non-GAAP earnings, which they use to discuss their performance with investors. Read more of this post

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