jerryking + in-house   21

Every Company Wants to Become a Tech Company–Even if It Kills Them
March 8, 2019 | WSJ | By John D. Stoll.

Wall Street loves a good reinvention story. The tough part is finding a happy ending.

All the plots seem to go something like this: Every company wants to convince us it’s becoming a tech company–even if it kills them..... an increasing number of companies are at least dabbling in new tech ventures to improve operations......The boom in vendors offering affordable ways to crunch data or utilize cloud computing, for instance, unlocks new strategies for companies across a wide variety of industries........Planet Fitness Inc. is one of the interested companies. The gym boasts 12 million members but CEO Chris Rondeau admits the company knows relatively little about them.

“Besides checking in the front door, we don’t know what members do,”.....The company is spending millions to retool certain treadmills and cardio equipment to better collect data as people exercise, commissioning a new smartphone app, and wants to tie into its customers’ wearable technology....many other CEOs aren’t convinced they have the luxury (of time to take things slowly). Even if it is hard to figure out what to do with all the data gathered and tools employed in the course of regular business, paralysis is not an option. Like a shark, they feel they need to keep swimming or die....... Nokia Corp., the Finnish company, started as a pulp mill in the 19th century and then branched off into various industries, including a successful venture into rubber boot making, ditched its failed mobile handset unit in 2013 to focus on a networks business that was thriving under the radar. Today, it’s locked in a high-stakes race to deploy 5G technology......In 2000, Major League Baseball owners committed $120 million to fund MLB Advanced Media. It aimed to infuse technology into the game and resulted in initiatives like online ticket sales and expanded radio coverage. The gem of that initiative, however, was a streaming television network launched in 2002...... it has attracted outside clients, such as ESPN, the WWE Network, Playstation Vue and HBO. The Walt Disney Co. acquired control recently for nearly $3 billion.... Dunnhumby Ltd., the data and analytics consultancy owned by European grocery chain Tesco PLC. Tesco bought Dunnhumby after it created the chain’s loyalty-card program. Dunnhumby ballooned into a storehouse of information and amassed clients and partners...Searching for the next BAMTech or Dunnhumby is now a religion at many companies......Walmart Inc., which has already heavily invested in e-commerce, wants to take its technology, marry it with everything the world’s largest retailer knows about us and use it to get into the advertising business......“Everyone’s thinking ‘we’ve got a ton of this stuff (data), how do we use it,’” Executives are trying to answer that question by hiring outside firms to analyze trends or setting up in-house units for experimentation.

Walmart is dumping digital-marketing agency Triad, a unit of WPP PLC, and will try its hand at selling advertising space. Armed with a trove of shopper data and connected to a chain of suppliers wanting to place ads in stores and on websites, Walmart hopes to challenge Amazon.com Inc. on this new front......At Ford Motor Co. , CEOJim Hackett envisions a day when automobiles roam streets collecting data from the occupants and the cars’ behavior like rolling smartphones. This is part of that “mobility as a service” vision car makers peddle.......“Corporations tend to reward action over thinking,”“But the truth is…you’ll find the companies that didn’t do the deep thinking and acted quickly have to redo things.
BAMTech  digital_savvy  Dunnhumby  experimentation  Ford  in-house  Jim_Hackett  massive_data_sets  MLB  Planet_Fitness  reinvention  Wal-Mart  mobility_as_a_service  technology  under_the_radar 
march 2019 by jerryking
Brands Invent New Lines for Only Amazon to Sell WSJ
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Annie Gasparro and Laura Stevens.

Amazon gets exclusive products, while brands receive faster customer feedback, marketing support and increased sales.......To build a big line of exclusive products on its site, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.95% is pushing other brand manufacturers to do most of the work.

The online retail giant is asking consumer-goods companies to create brands exclusively for Amazon after finding that developing them on its own is too costly and time-consuming.....Amazon’s initiative is the latest example of the e-commerce giant flexing its muscles in order to offer the lowest prices and widest selection, as it seeks to cut into the market share of big-brand manufacturers.....Manufacturers generally benefit from selling their products through a range of retailers. Also, they risk cannibalizing higher-margin sales of their main brands by offering comparable products under different labels. But those entering deals with Amazon view the arrangement as a golden opportunity.

In exchange for creating exclusive products, the brands get help launching their products on Amazon.com, faster customer feedback when testing new products, marketing support, and, of course, revenue from the sales. They also can appear at the top of search results—a big draw given that Amazon’s platform lists an estimated 550 million items......Speed was paramount. “We had to take what would normally be 12 to 24 months of development to 90 days,”....Amazon, on its own, has been quietly adding to its in-house brands in recent years. Analysts estimate the site now offers more than 100. ....Amazon sometimes promotes its own brands higher in search results on its site, like “Amazon’s Choice” and sponsored items, or as default results in voice searches using Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

In-house brands often generate a higher profit margin for retailers, including Amazon, and can draw in customers because they can’t find those brands elsewhere. But developing a new brand and formulating products takes time..... the program offers manufacturers a way to “launch brands and products directly to Amazon customers.”

Amazon is increasingly important for consumer-product manufacturers. It now accounts for roughly half of all sales online,.....Amazon’s program also can be used for “orphan brands” that manufacturers have stopped selling or that never made it to market.....Amazon has no issue going full-court press on private label, and pursuing all these brands. If the quality and pricing architecture don’t fit and they have to pivot, they’ll do so,” said Todd Mitchell, president of Compass Marketing Inc., which works with Amazon. “They’re not limited to the constructs of shelf space.”
accelerated_lifecycles  Amazon  brands  cannibalization  CPG  e-commerce  exclusivity  fast-paced  in-house  manufacturers  new_products  orphan_brands  private_labels  product_development  product_launches  shelf_space  speed 
january 2019 by jerryking
It’s Time for Apple to Go Hollywood - WSJ
By Steve Vassallo
June 20, 2017

Apple’s hires, however, appear to be another in a series of plodding steps. It’s been a wildly successful slough, but there’s a palpable sense that the company is losing momentum with its testudine gait—that it’s been taken over by bean counters and no longer has the nerve or verve to “think different.”

Apple could change that impression and supercharge its video play by doing something that would make the Whole Foods deal look like small potatoes: buy Netflix .

It would cost several times the Whole Foods deal to buy Netflix, but with almost $260 billion in cash reserves, Apple can afford it. (Full disclosure: my firm was an early investor in Netflix but no longer holds any shares in the company.)

Purchasing Netflix would give Apple three critical things it needs to succeed.

• Content creation. As Apple learned from “Planet of the Apps,” its failed reality TV series about iPhone app developers (really), producing original programming is difficult. With all due respect to Messrs. Erlicht and Van Amburg, simply adding a couple of studio execs probably won’t be enough. In acquiring Netflix—which has produced an endless string of award-winning hits, from “House of Cards” to “Stranger Things”—the iPhone company would gain instant credibility and proven expertise in creating premium content at scale.

• Vertical integration. Apple is the most successful walled garden in history. Taking video creation and distribution in-house would satisfy that longstanding business model.

• International expansion. Content providers now have to think and act globally.... Netflix is available in more than 190 countries. Buy it, and Apple owns the world’s first truly global TV network.

One more thing, to quote the man in the black turtleneck. In addition to content, another enormous asset Apple would get from buying Netflix is its CEO, Reed Hastings. Without a clear successor to Tim Cook on the horizon, it would be malpractice if Apple’s board didn’t have some names in mind.
Apple  Netflix  economies_of_scale  M&A  Hollywood  content_creators  vertical_integration  in-house  Reed_Hastings  international_expansion  think_differently  original_programming 
june 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
The Mayor’s Geek Squad
By ALAN FEUER
Published: March 23, 2013

Data — or Big Data, as quantitative analysts will call it — is the tool du jour for tech-savvy companies that have realized that lurking in the vast pools of unprocessed information in their networks are solutions to some of today’s most pressing and convoluted problems. A few years ago, Google, for example, took the 50 million most common keywords that Americans typed in search bars and tried to figure out, by comparing them with federal health statistics, where the H1N1 flu virus was to likely strike next.

According to a new book, “Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think,” the enormous quantity of information whirling through the ether can affect and enhance our quality of life. As the authors put it, “The change of scale has led to a change of state.”

Now the city has brought this quantitative method to the exceedingly complicated machine that is New York. For the modest sum of $1 million, and at a moment when decreasing budgets have required increased efficiency, the in-house geek squad has over the last three years leveraged the power of computers to double the city’s hit rate in finding stores selling bootleg cigarettes; sped the removal of trees destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; and helped steer overburdened housing inspectors — working with more than 20,000 options — directly to lawbreaking buildings where catastrophic fires were likeliest to occur.
massive_data_sets  New_York_City  mayoral  data_driven  targeted_enforcement  government_2.0  gov_2.0  cities  geeks  in-house  books  hit_rates  unstructured_data  H1N1  flu_outbreaks  Michael_Bloomberg  quants 
march 2013 by jerryking
Unforeseen consequences - FT.com
May 24, 2007 | Financial Times |By Robert Matthews.

The Germans have a word for it: Schlimmbesserung - literally, a "worse improvement". You may not recognise the word, but you'll know plenty of examples of what it means: efficiency drives that reduce efficiency, cost-cutting measures that prove punitively expensive, software upgrades that cause months of downtime.

All businesses can fall victim to such "revenge effects"....

Edward Tenner, a visiting scholar in the department of history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Why Things Bite Back, the classic study of the phenomenon first published in 1996, believes there are several measures that businesses can take. Indeed, he has given lectures at Microsoft, Intel and AT&T on the subject.

Ensuring there is in-house expertise that can spot emerging revenge effects and deal with the consequences is crucial, Mr Tenner says. "Many companies fail to deal with revenge effects because they are 'outsourcing their brains'," he says. "Lean organisations are supposed to be more flexible, but they may also be giving up a lot of their capability to respond to change."

According to Mr Tenner, businesses can keep a constant watch for reports of potential revenge effects in news and research findings. This has never been easier, thanks to online tools such as Google news alerts and RSS (really simple syndication) feeds.

Even so, revenge effects have a nasty habit of affecting businesses in unexpected ways. "The precondition of vigilance is the selection and development of ability at all levels,"

thinking about the downside to new developments can save a lot of heartache. "Excessive optimism risks revenge effects," he says. "You have to be prepared to work in Murphy's Law mode - and to consider that every possible thing that can go wrong will go wrong."
unintended_consequences  books  limitations  in-house  specificity  outsourcing  unexpected  revenge_effects  Murphy's_Law  thinking_tragically  lean  adaptability  flexibility  responsiveness  change  downtime 
june 2012 by jerryking
Sell the Mailroom - WSJ.com
November 15, 2005 | WSJ | By PETER F. DRUCKER.

Peter F. Drucker died on Friday. The following article ran in The Wall Street Journal on July 25, 1989.

"The people running in-house support services are also unlikely to do the hard, innovative and often costly work that is required to make service work productive. Systematic innovation in service work is as desperately needed as it was in machine in the 50 years between Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1870s and Henry Ford in the 1920s. Each task, each job, has to be analyzed and then reconfigured. Practically every tool has to be re-designed. . . .

The most important reason for unbundling the organization, however, is one that economists and engineers are likely to dismiss as "intangible": The productivity of support work is not likely to go up until it is possible to be promoted into senior management for doing a good job at it. And that will happen in support work only when such work is done by separate, free-standing enterprises. Until then, ambitious and able people will not go into support work; and if they find themselves in it, will soon get out of it."
back-office  in-house  Outsourcing  Peter_Drucker  process_innovation  productivity  profit_centers  unbundling 
may 2012 by jerryking
Cut the Law Firms, Keep the Lawyers - WSJ.com
AUGUST 12, 2011
Cut the Law Firms, Keep the Lawyers
By VANESSA O'CONNELL
lawyers  in-house 
august 2011 by jerryking
Home & Garden | Apps for taking inventory, tracking your stuff at home
March 31, 2011 | Seattle Times Newspaper | By FARHAD MANJOO.
There are lots of bad, a few so-so, and some great computer programs to
help you organize your belongings, and even the best ones require some
work. Look at this for Aunty Joan.
mobile_applications  productivity  in-house  Farhad_Manjoo 
april 2011 by jerryking
Some Considerations for Commercializing In-House Software
6/27/2007 | McGuireWoods LLP | Co authors are Derek Roach, Stephen Gold and Michael Hepburn.
in-house  software  commercialization  hospitals 
april 2010 by jerryking
The Real Cost of Information Technology
March 2, 1998 | JBA International |

The price per user (price per seat) of an application package can easily
be read from a vendor's price list. The real costs of in-house
developed software are not as easily available. For example, the Gartner
Group suggest, "a fully loaded cost of user development can be as high
as $3,140 (across the entire user base) per user, per annum." The pros
and cons of the package or in-house development route need to be
examined very closely with this in mind.
in-house  software  hospitals  user_bases 
april 2010 by jerryking
hattrick: you, me, and google...: Meet my customer's customers!
Technology today is so much easier to use that developing
in-house applications is more and more doable HOWEVER, the problem is
that in-house developed software needs to be documented,
software  in-house  business_planning 
april 2010 by jerryking
IT Forecast for 2010 | XMLToday.org
"making money off of in-house developed software is usually more of a pipe dream than not."
hospitals  software  business_planning  in-house 
april 2010 by jerryking
UH developing cancer treatment software
Jan 28, 2000 | Pacific Business News Vol. 37, Iss. 47; pg. 24 | by Jacob Kamhis.
ProQuest  hospitals  software  commercialization  marketing  in-house 
april 2010 by jerryking
Hospitals implement new buy decision software marketed under joint venture ProQuest
Apr 2006 | Hospital Materials Management |

ProQuest (hospital w/20 (commercialize w/8 software))
ProQuest  proposals  hospitals  software  business_planning  in-house 
april 2010 by jerryking
Virtual you
Jan 1998 | Inc. Vol. 20, Iss. 1; pg. 84, 2 pgs | by Joshua
Macht . For years large companies have poured millions into employee
education and in-house corporate universities. But small companies have
been at a disadvantage. Distance learning with new technologies is
gaining credibility. However, it takes more than a modem to make
distance learning work. Not all distance-learning models are predicated
on complete isolation, though. Pat Schramm participates in a Wisconsin
distance-education pilot program that also has live class meetings once
every other month in 72 sites around the state.
corporate_universities  Freshbooks  pilot_programs  executive_education  distance_education  size  small_business  large_companies  in-house 
november 2009 by jerryking
Partnerships Based on Service, Not Size - NYTimes.com
By MICKEY MEECE
Published: April 29, 2009
major corporations, at some point, have a need for new, innovative
products and services because they can’t develop them all in-house,”
said John Howard, vice president for business development at eXpresso,
which offers an online service that allows people to store, edit and
share Microsoft Office documents.

“They look to start-ups for the next great things they want to add to
their product offerings.”Procter & Gamble, an $83.5 billion company,
began its Connect and Develop program about eight years ago, according
to Jeff LeRoy, external relations manager.
P&G  innovation  partnerships  small_business  large_companies  size  collaboration  joint_ventures  start_ups  in-house 
june 2009 by jerryking
Partnerships Based on Service, Not Size - NYTimes.com
By MICKEY MEECE
Published: April 29, 2009
major corporations, at some point, have a need for new, innovative
products and services because they can’t develop them all in-house,”
said John Howard, vice president for business development at eXpresso,
which offers an online service that allows people to store, edit and
share Microsoft Office documents.

“They look to start-ups for the next great things they want to add to
their product offerings.”Procter & Gamble, an $83.5 billion company,
began its Connect and Develop program about eight years ago, according
to Jeff LeRoy, external relations manager.
P&G  innovation  partnerships  small_business  large_companies  size  collaboration  joint_ventures  start_ups  in-house 
june 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Companies / Technology - Make sense of the in-house data mountain
November 22, 2006 | Financial Times | By Tom Braithwaite. With
swaths of unstructured data lying in corporate servers, whether in the
form of e-mails, PowerPoint presentations or TV images, companies are
increasingly seeking the means to sift through the in-house information
mountain.
search  in-house  databases  information_overload  haystacks  massive_data_sets  data_mining  unstructured_data  sense-making 
june 2009 by jerryking

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