Monthly Archives: December 2013

Advertising Where There Are No Customers?

Here’s a conundrum: What does it mean when a company advertises for customers… in a place where almost none of its customers exist? Better yet, what if that location is particularly expensive? A friend of mine recently told me that … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

It Is Always About the Profit… but Depends on the Currency

In my last article, I looked at how the attempt to increase profits motivates people. Sometimes it leads to the wrong behaviour, but most of the time, especially in a competitive environment where customers have real choices, it leads to … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

The Profit Motive… Motivates

It is finally happening. American universities and colleges, long an upward funnel of spending, are cutting back. The WSJ reports in its Boxing Day edition that many institutions, facing the inability to raise prices any more – well, they could, but … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

It’s a Matter of Trust

With due respect to Billy Joel, this article is not about music, but about buying music – or anything else – without getting your credit card information stolen. Over a period of more than two weeks, data thieves stole more than … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

AT&T Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

For years – since the dawn of the American mobile industry – carriers have sold subsidized phones in exchange for multiyear contracts. Instead of paying $500 for a phone, you pay $100 or $200, and commit to staying on their … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

Feedback is Only Good If You Use It

Why do companies that are good at getting feedback often fail at actually improving? Yesterday, Harvard Business Review published a great article by Rob Markey, where he pointed out five top reasons why companies fail to make good use of … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

Making the Right Amount of Investment in Technology

So it happened again. A company underinvested in technology, the numbers looked great for years, and then it came back and bit them in the rear…. hard! RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland), the British bank, had a major failure that … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off

CEOs Must Know Their Products (or, It Isn’t Just About Numbers)

Last week, HP announced its fourth-quarter results. Apparently, they were better than expected, but revenue still fell. It says a lot that a company can have falling revenue, and still beat expectations. What does it say about HP when analysts expect … Continue reading

Posted in business | Comments Off