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Showing posts from January 17, 2017

Start thinking like a startup

Shifts in a rapidly changing retail world and dramatic changes in consumer behavior continue to be a challenge for some traditional retailers. Legacy retailers that have remained stagnant with their old-guard ways are struggling to maintain sales and stay relevant with today’s consumer.

The successful brands all have one thing in common: They don’t fear change.

The companies that continue to thrive are agile, they change with the times, they embrace new ideas. Brands like Zara, H&M and Nike have adopted this mentality — shedding their old-school skin and stimulating sales, providing customers with expediency, convenience and high satisfaction.
Bottom line: They’re thinking like startups.

Companies that ratified this model early on are the ones up-selling the competition, and for legacy brands to keep up, they’ll need to start doing the same. They can do this by better leveraging their data to understand what customers want and altering their modeling approach to susta…

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries

We have long been told a compelling story about the relationship between rich countries and poor countries. The story holds that the rich nations of the OECD give generously of their wealth to the poorer nations of the global south, to help them eradicate poverty and push them up the development ladder. Yes, during colonialism western powers may have enriched themselves by extracting resources and slave labour from their colonies – but that’s all in the past. These days, they give more than $125bn (£102bn) in aid each year – solid evidence of their benevolent goodwill.

This story is so widely propagated by the aid industry and the governments of the rich world that we have come to take it for granted. But it may not be as simple as it appears.

The US-based Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics recently published some fascinating data. They tallied up all of the financial resources that get transferred betwe…

The bizarro big business of Mark Wahlberg and national tragedy

In 2017, Mark Wahlberg is the perfect muse for a certain sort of creative. As the star of Lone Survivor (based on a true story of tragedy in Afghanistan), Deepwater Horizon (based on a true story of tragedy at sea), and now Patriots Day (based on a true story of tragedy in Boston), he’s the poster boy for films about needless violence against American bodies — an affectless prism through which viewers can project their own pre-conceived (and carefully catered to) notions of American heroism. This isn’t a designation that came to him easily or quickly, but now he’s settled into it like a second skin.
At another time, you might have thought Wahlberg was destined to be any number of things, none of them what he is now. As a teenager he was a criminal and a violent racist, arrested for the attempted murder of two Vietnamese men. In his twenties he was a white rap star and a Calvin Klein model. At the start of his film career he had the potential to become a high-brow Oscar re…

Rogue One's reshoots show how Disney saved the first standalone Star Wars movie

Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been out in theaters for a month, the veil of secrecy has been lifted and we’ve learned quite a lot about about how the film came together. This is pretty typical for most movies, save for the fact that Rogue One went through some extensive reshoots to tighten it up.
Disney put an enormous amount of effort into Rogue One, bringing in writer and director Tony Gilroy in June to help fix up the film by writing new dialogue and directing some additional scenes, earning a screenplay credit for the film and a reportedly hefty $5 million paycheck for his efforts.
Looking over the wealth of information that’s come out about Rogue One, one can glean some interesting details about the production and how it could affect future installments of the franchise. Some spoilers ahead for Rogue One. Visualizing the film
Gareth Edwards appears to have taken an unorthodox approach to filming Rogue One. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, one of the fil…

SpaceX Launches Rocket, Its First Since Explosion on Launchpad

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A Falcon 9 rocket roared into the sky on Saturday carrying 10 communications satellites — a return by SpaceX and its billionaire leader, Elon Musk, to the business of launching satellites to orbit.

But financial details disclosed this past week about the company overshadowed the successful liftoff, raising questions about the viability of Mr. Musk’s long-range plans for SpaceX and his vision of sending people to Mars.
SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., has been set back since September, when a different Falcon 9 caught fire and exploded on a launchpad in Florida, destroying the rocket and its payload, a $200 million Israeli satellite that Facebook had planned to lease to expand global internet services. The company’s rockets had been grounded since then. An internal investigation concluded that a failure of a helium vessel in the second stage liquid oxygen tank had led to the conflagration.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which reg…