24593
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  brands  competitive_advantage  core_competencies  future-proofing  high_net_worth  high-quality  luxury  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  sustainability  vertical_integration  vineyards 
yesterday
Learning to Attack the Cyberattackers Can’t Happen Fast Enough - The New York Times
By Alina Tugend
Nov. 14, 2018

CyLab Security and Privacy Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The center was created by Professor Savvides, who is a widely recognized expert in biometrics — the science of measuring and identifying people using facial and iris recognition systems. On any given day, the high-tech space is crowded with computers, robots, and other machines and populated with doctoral students working with him.

CyLab, which includes the center, was founded in 2003 to expand the boundaries of technology and protect people when that technology — or the people using it — poses a threat.

Based in the university’s 25,000-square-foot Collaborative Innovation Center, CyLab works in partnership with roughly 20 corporations — like Boeing, Microsoft and Facebook — and government agencies to do research and education in internet privacy and security.
biometrics  cyberattacks  cyber_security  Carnegie_Mellon  Colleges_&_Universities  offensive_tactics 
yesterday
Walmart and Amazon in acquisition shopping spree | Financial Times
The move reflects the realities of the grocery business, analysts say. “In no sector is physical footprint more important than food,” says Charlie O’Shea from Moody’s. “Dairy has to be delivered quickly. Just like what Walmart did last year in buying Jet.com, Amazon recognises that it’s more effective to buy it than build it.” 

Amazon may use Whole Foods’ stores to beef up its offerings in ordering, pick-up and delivery, or use its distribution centres to deliver products for AmazonFresh trucks, says Mr Huang. “Building a cold supply chain with refrigerated trucks is not easy or cheap to do,” he says. 
Wal-Mart  Amazon  grocery  supermarkets  cold_storage 
2 days ago
JPMorgan Invests in Startup Tech That Analyzes Encrypted Data - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By Sara Castellanos
Nov 13, 2018

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has invested in a startup whose technology can analyze an encrypted dataset without revealing its contents, which could be “materially useful” for the company and its clients, said Samik Chandarana, head of data analytics for the Corporate and Investment Bank division.

The banking giant recently led a $10 million Series A funding round in the data security and analytics startup, Inpher Inc., headquartered in New York and Switzerland. JPMorgan could use the ‘secret computing’ technology to analyze a customer’s proprietary data on their behalf, using artificial intelligence algorithms without sacrificing privacy.......One of the technological methods Inpher uses, called fully homomorphic encryption, allows for computations to be conducted on encrypted data, said Jordan Brandt, co-founder and CEO of the company. It’s the ability to perform analytics and machine learning on cipher text, which is plain, readable text that has been encrypted using a specific algorithm, or a cipher, so that it becomes unintelligible.

Analyzing encrypted information without revealing any secret information is known as zero-knowledge computing and it means that organizations could share confidential information to gather more useful insights on larger datasets.
algorithms  artificial_intelligence  encryption  JPMorgan  start_ups 
3 days ago
A New Breed of Innkeepers for the Airbnb Era - WSJ
26 COMMENTS
By Amy Gamerman
Nov. 8, 2018

To compete in the Airbnb era, a new breed of innkeepers are ditching the needlepoint pillows and potpourri in favor of free Wi-Fi and vegan breakfast sausage. “Bed-and-breakfasts were getting a bad rap for the doilies. The modern B&B doesn’t look like grandma’s house,” said Heather Turner, marketing director for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.

There are about 17,000 bed-and-breakfasts nationwide, according the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, a nonprofit trade group with 625 members that was founded three years ago—partly in response to the rising number of mid-career professionals who have taken up innkeeping.

“They’ve had another career as a teacher, lawyer or doctor—they want to be in the hospitality business,”
Airbnb  bed-and-breakfast  Facebook  home_based  hospitality  Instagram  Second_Acts 
4 days ago
Clik Clak
Candy at RetailLoco Chicago
LBMA  confectionary 
5 days ago
US fast-food chains struggle as poorer consumers tighten belts
November 11, 2018 | Financial Times | by Alistair Gray in New York.

The robust US economy is failing to boost the fast-food industry as chains grapple with a saturation of retail outlets, consumer demands for deep discounts and declining footfall.

Numbers visiting US fast-food outlets in September dropped 2.6 per cent from a year ago, according to restaurant industry data provider MillerPulse, a steeper decline than the 0.8 per cent year-on-year drop recorded the previous month.

Industry executives and consultants cited a series of factors, including consumer demand for healthier alternatives to burgers and pizzas and lower construction activity, which means fewer building workers are picking up fast food on lunch breaks.

The tough landscape has taken its toll on several operators. Last week, the New England-based owner of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches filed for bankruptcy protection.
bankruptcies  fast-food  low-income  QSR  restaurants  store_closings  oversaturation 
5 days ago
Cold storage: Planning for unpredictability
July 2, 2018 | - Modern Materials Handling| By Josh Bond, Senior Editor.
cold_storage  unpredictability 
8 days ago
How do hedge funds learn new industries quickly? - Quora
Quickly' is very subjective and remember funds(hedge,mutual,pension,etc) do not need to know everything about a industry only to understand the drivers of what moves the stock. That is a massive difference between how a student approaches learning and a analyst, analysts aren't trying to know everything only what can make them money.

Exceptional People
They are used to covering certain sectors some may come from the sell side and covered maybe 15-30 stocks or the buy side and covered 40-60 stocks. Regardless of where they came from they are used to tracking and getting alot of information very efficiently. They are also willing to put in long hours and read/study anything that is needed. After a while(if they don't burn out) they become masters are managing huge information bandwidth.

Tools/Data
For accounting and raw data there are plenty of tools. Bloomberg is quite widely used and with a few commands/clicks you can have a excel sheet with all the data you can want about a companies financials.

Sell side
If you have a large enough fund and relationships on the sell side then they'll do all they can to get you up to speed very quickly. The sell side will have a team of analysts covering a industry/sector your intrested in and if your a good client then they'll spend time and teach you want you want to know.

Reduce noise/Very focused:
Great analysts are masters are reducing the amount of noise that comes there way. They filter emails and calls like crazy so there are less distractions. If your ideas don't make them money they will ignore you(regardless of how smart you are). If they are really good they won't even open your emails if you have not proven you add value to them.
hedge_funds  ideas  learning_curves  new_industries  noise  signals  Quora 
9 days ago
The rise of chef ‘supergroups’ means more creative and experimental kitchens across the country - The Globe and Mail
Behind the restaurant’s unassuming façade is a powerhouse of some of Canada’s most talented and successful restaurateurs. The team behind the Joe Beef empire, Frédéric Morin, David McMillan, Allison Cunningham, as well as Marc-Olivier Frappier and Vanya Filipovic (Mon Lapin, Vin Papillon), Chris Morgan and James Simpkins (Liverpool House) have teamed up with chef Derek Dammann (Maison Publique) to create a kind of culinary supergroup – the Traveling Wilburys of rotisserie chicken......Somewhat counterintuitively, then, comradery, and perhaps a survivors' bond over having made it in an industry known to chew cooks up and spit them out, is bringing chefs together. McKiernan is just one example of chefs partnering with their would-be competitors to open places where the whole is, hopefully, greater than the sum of its parts......
chefs  collaboration  restaurants  restauranteurs 
9 days ago
Cold calling - The Forecast 2018 - Magazine | Monocle
We seldom stop to think about how our food gets from its source to our plates but, when we do, we realise the mammoth effort involved. Luckily technology is revolutionising the industry and temperature-controlled cargo is going places like never before.
cold_storage  logistics  magazines 
10 days ago
Lowe’s to close 27 stores in Canada as housing markets slow - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS
NICOLAS VAN PRAET QUEBEC BUSINESS REPORTER
TORONTO AND MONTREAL
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 5, 2018

Lowe’s Cos. Inc. is shutting 27 stores in Canada, mostly under the Rona banner, as well as offices and plants as the U.S. home-improvement retailer grapples with an overcrowded market and a cooling housing sector......In an increasingly tight home-improvement retail landscape, Lowe’s faces tougher competition from incumbents and emerging e-commerce players such as Amazon.com Inc. as well as reduced home sales.......While the home-improvement industry has enjoyed sales lifts over past years, that growth is moderating as the housing market loses steam, Mr. McLarney said. Many young consumers cannot afford to buy homes, while baby boomers are downsizing, resulting in fewer purchases for home improvements, industry observers say.

Home-improvement retail sales climbed 5 per cent last year to $48.2-billion, but are expected to pick up by only about 4 per cent in each of 2018 and 2019, according to Hardlines......Alex Arifuzzaman, founder of retail real estate adviser InterStratics Consultants, said consumers increasingly can buy many of the items home-improvement stores carry more conveniently online. At the same time, more people are moving into condominiums that don’t need as many renovations or repairs. “The profit model in the future is going to be different," he said.

Lowe’s said on Monday that of the 27 under-performing stores in Canada it will close by the end of January, nine are in each of Quebec and Ontario, while six are in Newfoundland and Labrador, two are in Alberta and one is in British Columbia.
Amazon  home-center_industry  home-improvement  Lowes  Marina_Strauss  Quebec  retailers  Rona  store_closings 
11 days ago
Opinion | How Love Changes - The New York Times
the most important aspect of relationships? People change! One might find the “perfect” soul mate today and a few years later, or even sooner, that person changes, becomes less sharing, turns into a slob, finds a love of gambling or no longer enjoys going to the flea market in Connecticut on Sundays.

Searching for the perfect lifelong mate is a noble goal, but a fool’s errand. During the 60 years that my wife and I have been married, we have both been several different people. Working through those changes is no guarantee of a forever relationship, but thinking that all you need to do is make a good first choice is foolish.
relationships  marriage  romantic_love  letters_to_the_editor  soul_mates 
11 days ago
Beware these management myths
November 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail HARVEY SCHACHTER
goals  Harvey_Schachter  myths 
12 days ago
Turn! Turn! Turn! — The Byrds’ 1965 hit used lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years — FT.com
Nick Keppler OCTOBER 30, 2018

The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” has been used in films and TV shows to evoke collective memories of the 1960s — starting in 1970, when Homer, one of the first coming-of-age films about a Vietnam war soldier, featured the song on its soundtrack. Since then, the unmistakable chord progression and chorus have ceaselessly popped up in 1960s period pieces: More American Graffiti, Heart Like a Wheel, Forrest Gump, TV’s The Wonder Years (in three episodes) and Ken Burns’s documentary series The Vietnam War.

The song reached number one in the US in December 1965. That year, American ground troops arrived in Vietnam, men on campuses burned their draft cards, black civil rights activists withstood fire hoses and police dogs, and President Lyndon Johnson promoted his “great society” reforms. A chorus of shaggy-haired young men pressed the nation to “turn, turn, turn” and accept that change is inevitable, history is a cycle, strife is temporary, and to everything there is a season.

The song also carries the sonic imprints of the era: Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn once called the chord structure “Beatley” and said they borrowed the drum beat from Phil Spector. But the song itself was concocted by the leader of American folk music’s old guard using lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years.

Pete Seeger composed “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in 1959 in response to a letter from his publisher. “Pete,” it read, “can’t you write another song like ‘Goodnight, Irene'? I can’t sell or promote these protest songs.” ("Goodnight, Irene” was actually written/adapted by Lead Belly, but Seeger had popularised it with The Weavers.) The response from the rabble-rousing troubadour was predictably defiant. “You better find another songwriter,” Seeger wrote. “This is the only kind of song I know how to write.”

He turned to his pocket notebook, where he jotted down pieces of text for recycling. He found parts of the Bible he had copied, “verses by a bearded fellow with sandals, a tough-minded fellow called Ecclesiastes”, Seeger recalled.

Specifically, it was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, from one of the “wisdom books” of the Old Testament, collections of truths and sayings. The words attributed “a season” to a series of opposing actions: “A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal,” etc. Seeger took the text almost verbatim. He added the “turn, turn, turn” to build a chorus and tacked on his own hopeful concluding line for cold war audiences: “A time of peace; I swear it’s not too late.”
'60s  Beatles  biblical  folk  hits  music  protest_movements  songs  sonic  soundtracks 
12 days ago
Squirrel? We must zero in on improving our attention management - The Globe and Mail
Here’s what I discovered along the way:

Being distracted isn’t our fault (it’s the way we’re biologically wired).
Deliberately letting our mind wander is one of the best ways to become more creative.
When our attention is at rest, we think about our goals 14 times as much as when we’re focused.
We accomplish our intentions more often by taming distractions ahead of time. A few ways to do this: Use your phone’s greyscale mode, which turns your screen black-and-white and makes apps far less engaging; enable e-mail notifications for VIP contacts only; and have no-phone dinners with your family.
The most significant idea I encountered was a simple one, but with profound implications: The state of our attention determines the state of our lives. The moments in which we’re distracted accumulate – day by day, week by week, year by year – to create a life that feels distracted and overwhelming.

On the other hand, when we focus for longer periods on what’s productive and meaningful – important conversations, big work projects and experiences with loved ones – our lives improve by virtually every measure. We get more done, dive deeper into our experiences and notice more meaning around us, because we process the world with greater intention.
attention_spans  distractions  interruptions 
13 days ago
What the lessons of 1918 can teach today’s world leaders
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper.

The Armistice of 1918 is a model for how not to treat other countries. The historian Margaret MacMillan points out that Germany’s humiliation didn’t mechanically cause the second world war: there were 20 years in-between. Still, visiting Compiègne, you inevitably think of contemporary parallels. Here are some lessons for world leaders gathering in Paris next week to commemorate 1918:

• In international relations, treat even your opponents like long-term business partners.
• Nationalist passions are easy to excite and hard to put back in the bottle.
• A humiliated country will look for scapegoats — and some people will jump from angry words to violence.
• Prosperity is fragile.
• Wars beget wars. Foch helped beget Hitler; the Middle Eastern borders drawn at Versailles helped beget today’s conflicts in the region; the Korean war isn’t dead yet either, and the American civil war lives on as a north-south culture clash....Still, peace in the region cannot remain the EU’s selling point. Precisely because Europeans have come to take peace for granted, they now (rightly) ask: “What have you done for me lately?”
• Absence of war is always a political achievement.
anniversaries  Brexit  humiliations  leaders  lessons_learned  Margaret_McMillian  Simon_Kuper  WWI  Armistice 
13 days ago
Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  competence  cynicism  government  Michael_Lewis  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  sovereign-risk 
15 days ago
Michael Ovitz, Hollywood super-agent, on ‘winning at all costs’
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 | Financial Times | by Matthew Garrahan.

In Ovtiz's 20 years at CAA, it assembled hit after hit, including Jurassic Park, Tootsie, Goodfellas and Dances with Wolves. He talks about the agency as though describing a military campaign (he is a keen student of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War). “When I was at CAA, I had a singular mission, which was to win at all costs,” he says. “We were ultra-competitive and we were in a service business but my thesis was that we weren’t selling a product. We were selling and putting together people’s dreams . . . if we showed a weak link then we would be vulnerable. Vulnerability was a sin.”....Ovitz explains that the memoir evolved from an earlier idea about a book on deals. He played a leading role in the arrival of Japanese companies in Hollywood three decades ago, advising Sony on its 1989 purchase of Columbia Pictures and the sale a year later of Lew Wasserman’s MCA (later renamed Universal, and now part of Sky’s new owner Comcast) to Matsushita. Advising Japanese buyers was a strategic move, he explains. “If the studios are in trouble and going to go out of business, we lose leverage and our clients lose jobs. But if we can bring people in to buy the studios, not only do clients continue to get jobs but we’re the people talking to the owners.”...Ron Meyer and Ovitz
slowly built an empire, starting in television and moving into films, with the aim of representing every significant writer, director and star in town: “no conflict, no interest” was his mantra. It was a radically different model to what had come before. “Agents traditionally fielded orders, so if I was your agent and someone had a job, they’d call me and ask for you,” he says. “Or they’d tell me they had an assignment and, if you happened to be available, I’d pitch you.” Agencies were like “clearing-houses”.....that was archaic. You’re a writer, you’re loaded with ideas . . . why don’t we take those ideas and add elements to them and then sell the whole thing and let you control it? Why would we just wait to answer the phone?”.....Agents took on a more central role in Hollywood after CAA’s rise to power, assembling the composite parts of a film or television project before taking the “package” of script, star and director to the studios....."[Endeavour's] thesis is very similar to the thesis we had [at CAA], which is to expand into new areas that can service clients.”
actors  books  CAA  creating_valuable_content  dealmakers  deal-making  Hollywood  memoirs  Michael_Ovitz  professional_service_firms  Sun_Tzu  talent_management  talent_representation  vindictiveness 
17 days ago
Why Some Companies Succeed in Declining Industries - WSJ
By Rick Wartzman and Lawrence Crosby
Oct. 29, 2018
decline 
17 days ago
50 Years Later, a New Spin on the Beatles’ ‘White Album’ - WSJ
By Darryn King
Oct. 30, 2018

The new album was chaotic where “Sgt. Pepper” was kaleidoscopic. Acoustic ballads (“Blackbird,” “Julia”) alternated with scorching rock (“Helter Skelter,” “Yer Blues”). The playfulness of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Honey Pie” and “Piggies” contrasted with the extended, serious-minded sound experiment “Revolution 9.”

Over the years, the patchwork nature of the album has led to speculation that it chronicled the discord among the band members. But new special-anniversary editions, to be released on Nov. 9, may dispel that idea.
anniversaries  Beatles  music  George_Martin  1968  '60s 
17 days ago
China’s New Billionaires Are Young, Fast Workers With an Appetite for Risk
Oct. 29, 2018 | The New York Times |

Technology is helping to line the pockets of many new Chinese billionaires — including Zhang Yiming of the video-sharing app ByteDance and Wang Jian, the co-founder of the Shenzhen-based gene sequencing company BGI. China is now producing almost as many unicorns, or companies worth at least $1 billion, as the United States.

But China’s billionaires differ markedly from their global peers. With an average age of 55 years, they are almost a decade younger. They create wealth faster and take their companies public earlier; 17 percent of China’s new billionaires founded their businesses within the last ten years, more than twice as many as in the United States.
China  high_net_worth  moguls  wealth_creation 
18 days ago
The scoop on frozen desserts | Canadian Grocer
By Chris Powell  |  June 14, 2017

Though it’s still a beloved summer treat, ice cream is travelling a bit of a rocky road in Canada. According to Mintel, 90% of Canadians consume single-flavoured ice cream during the summer months, contributing to annual sales of $284 million. (Mintel pegs the value of the entire frozen desserts category—including frozen yogurt, gelato and sorbet—at $409 million.)

But while penetration remains high, the market research firm also says Canadians’ enthusiasm for ice cream seems to be cooling: annual consumption has fallen from 7.7 litres per person in 2008 to 6.8 litres in 2015, with an older population creating “headwinds” for the category.
frozen_foods  desserts  ice_cream  Canadian  statistics 
20 days ago
Five trends affecting Canada’s frozen dessert industry - Restobiz
Five trends affecting Canada’s frozen dessert industry
By Camille Bedu
July 24, 2014
desserts  frozen_foods  trends  Canada 
20 days ago
Roaring Out of Recession
Ranjay GulatiNitin NohriaFranz Wohlgezogen
FROM THE MARCH 2010 ISSUE
HBS  economic_downturn 
20 days ago
Sweet Dreams at Gelato School - WSJ
By Aaron Maines
Updated Dec. 29, 2010 12:01 a.m.
gelato  ice_cream 
21 days ago
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