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


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 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

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November 13, 2013

An Entrepreneur Who Manufactures Entrepreneurs


Conventional wisdom holds that some 90 percent of start-ups fail. After years of observation, Adeo Ressi — a serial entrepreneur who founded, 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

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