Posts Tagged ‘ business models ’

Sustainability and chocolate

April 8, 2014
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Sustainability and chocolate

Chocolate has long been a staple in our diets, either for medical or pure pleasure reasons. Recent reports indicate that there is a growing shortage of the cocoa bean used to make chocolate.  Current and futures pricing are rising, as demand increases and availability decreases due to disease, climate changes, agricultural production inefficiencies, and the…

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Sustainability and the business model

April 8, 2014
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Sustainability and the business model

A certified B Corporation, Sustainability describes itself as “a think tank and strategic advisory firm, working to catalyze business leadership on sustainability.”  Begun in 1987, the company now has offices in Washington, DC, London, San Francisco, New York, and New Delhi. In this sixty two page report, authors Lindsay Clinton and Ryan Whisnant explore business model innovation as…

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Oysters and business models―the loss leader pricing strategy

March 12, 2014
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Oysters and business models―the loss leader pricing strategy

Oyster farms populate nearly all of the US states that have access on the salty waters of the oceans and gulfs.  These farms replace the wild oyster beds that no longer have enough output to meet consumer demand, due in part to human destruction of their environment.  Oysters grow in the brackish waters of estuaries. …

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Coffee standoff―Tim Hortons vs. Starbucks

February 10, 2014
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Coffee standoff―Tim Hortons vs. Starbucks

Tim Hortons and Starbucks are two coffee purveyors with somewhat similar backgrounds and now find themselves in direct competition in Canada and the USA. Both companies built their business around coffee.  Starbucks, founded in 1971 in Seattle, WA, opened as a coffee-bean roaster and began surving brewed coffee in the 1980s. Tim Hortons, founded in…

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The Lean Start-Up Strategy

November 1, 2013
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The Lean Start-Up Strategy

In the May 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Steve Blank discusses the lean start-up approach to launching companies. Using the business model canvas to sketch out hypotheses, he suggests that lean start-ups first search for business models before building elaborate business plans.  These models are hypothesis driven and depend upon experimentation and feedback…

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Office supply marketplace gets a Fall cleaning

November 1, 2013
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Office supply marketplace gets a Fall cleaning

According to industry news reports, on October 21 of this year the FTC will approve the proposed acquisition of Office Max by Office Depot.  The newly combined company is expected to provide a global office solutions company that will be better positioned to compete against the current market leader, Staples.  Additional competitors in this market…

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Walgreen’s sells customers value

November 1, 2013
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Walgreen’s sells customers value

Creating value for customers means many things to Walgreen’s.  Innovating new ways to improve value through processes and technology permits Walgreen’s to jump ahead of its competition in a very tight competitive market space.  Elizabeth Stiller, Walgreen’s group vice president of category planning, formats and innovation, discusses how the company has made changes to improve its…

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November classroom―looking forward

November 1, 2013
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November classroom―looking forward

Any of the completed work from these activities can be converted to face-to-face discussion.   Try adapting the content to your specific course format. Using your classroom teams in their online Wiki sites, have students conduct the following studies: Evaluate the Boeing pipeline from the perspective of one important supplier.  Does the supplier provide after-market products…

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Historical perspectives for better strategic thinking

October 1, 2013
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Historical perspectives for better strategic thinking

On a recent trip to Cumberland, MD, I had the opportunity to visit some of the regional historical sites that date back to the Colonial era, when early European settlers pushed out the local Native Americans and established a new trading post.  Disputes between the British and French traders lead to the necessity to defend…

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Challenging the traditional business model

October 1, 2013
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Challenging the traditional business model

Two rivals in short-term property rentals, HomeAway and Airbnb, present the traveling consumer with alternative lodging offers.  For property owners, each provides a different model for interfacing with consumers. This brief interview with HomeAway CEO, Brian Staples, gives a good overview of the differences.  HomeAway brings the consumer and property owner together, but does not…

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