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  • How Women and Men Use Social Media and Mobile

    The inforgraphic above gives us insight into gender differences in the use of social media and mobile. How has using your smartphone changed you? What do you differently now than you did before owning a smartphone? Could you give up your smartphone? Explain. How can knowledge of social media and mobile use give managers insights about customers and employees?
  • Pizza Hut's Interactive Concept Table

    In this video, Pizza Hut , with the help of Chaotic Moon Studios , considers an interactive concept table. The table functions like a giant tablet app. Consumers order pizza in-store by building their pizza from the crust to the toppings right from their tabletop. Restaurant News reports, "While customers wait for a pizza at the interactive tables, they can play several games accessible from a screen that pops up after an order is placed." The article mentioned that consumers could pay at the table. Do you eat pizza in a restaurant? If not, why? If so, what do you do while you wait for your order? Could this be the future of the dine-in ordering experience? How might this change the need for hiring staff? Which jobs might be eliminated? Which jobs might be created? In what other businesses could this technology be used?
  • Trade-offs on Minimum Wage

    The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but in his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed an increase to $10.10 per hour. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported, "Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly." Managers may decide to use more technology to reduce labor costs. For example, you can order a product and never talk to a person. You use your iPad, computer, or telephone. Raising the federal minimum wage would have advantages and disadvantages. What impact might a higher minimum wage have?
  • Google Glass Etiquette Guide

    Google just released the first official etiquette guide for Glass , a wearable computer. In the "Don'ts" below, Google admits that some users have been creepy or rude. Thus, Google is training those wearing the glasses. DO’S Explore the world around you . Glass puts you more in control of your technology and frees you to look up and engage with the world around you rather than look down and be distracted from it. Have a hangout with your friends, get walking directions to a fantastic new restaurant, or get an update on that delayed flight. Take advantage of the Glass voice commands . Glass can free your hands up to do other things like golfing, cooking, or juggling flaming torches while balancing on a beach ball (but also see Don’ts #2). This is great for looking up how many ounces in a cup while you cook, or taking a one-of-a-kind photo from your unique perspective. Ask for permission. Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends (see Don’ts #4). The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others. Use screen lock . Glass screen lock works like your smartphone’s screen lock: it passcode-protects your device to help prevent others from using it. If you ever lose your device or have it stolen by a budding online resale entrepreneur, you can turn off Glassware and perform a remote wipe (e.g. factory reset) of the device, removing all your information from the device. All you need to do is go to your MyGlass page on your browser, or the MyGlass App on your phone. Be an active and vocal member of the Glass Explorer Community . The Explorer Program was created in order to have a place where our Explorers can give feedback, share content and communicate with the Glass team. It’s been hugely successful over the past year and this is due to our wonderful group of Explorers. They are constantly sharing their worlds with us and with each other, allowing us to hear and work on all the great feedback and stories our Explorers give us (and, wow, do they give us a lot!). DON’TS : Glass-out . Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you. So don’t read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens. Rock Glass while doing high-impact sport s. Glass is a piece of technology, so use common sense. Water skiing, bull riding or cage fighting with Glass are probably not good ideas. Wear it and expect to be ignored . Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions. Be patient and explain that Glass has a lot of the same features as a mobile phone (camera, maps, email, etc.). Also, develop your own etiquette. If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag. Be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”) . Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers. How might managers and their employees use Google Glass? For example, managers could video factory inspections and share audio and video communications in training.
  • CEOs Foresee Technological Changes

    Top managers use conceptual skills to scan the external environment. They think about how the political, economic, social, and technilogical elements that might affect their businesses. A December 2013 survey of US CEOs conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that 86% of those surveyed believed that technological advances would transform their businesses the most. See the graphic below. CEOs are investing in technologies in order to help drive growth. See the graphic below. Read more at In the video below, Tom Archer, US Technology Industry Leader, shares PwC's point of view relative to the technology trends. Mr. Archer says that the technology trends are in the cloud, social, and mobile. How are these technologies "rewriting the rules of business"? Do you agree with Mr. Archer that "every business is becoming a technology company"?
  • Bill Gates Welcomes Satya Nadella as Microsoft CEO

    In this video, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates welcomes Satya Nadella as the company's new CEO. Mr. Gates says that "Microsoft has a long history of innovation." He goes on to talk about what Microsoft has done in the past. Mr. Gates will be a technology adviser to Mr. Nadella. In an email sent by Mr. Nadella to Microsoft’s nearly 130,000 Microsoft employees, he wrote, “We need to prioritize innovation.” Innovation has Latin roots meaning "new creation." Some businesses think innovation means to adapt. What do you think innovation means to Microsoft? Why is innovation so important to Microsoft?
  • Technology in 2014

    15 Tech Companies That Will Define 2014 from The Motley Fool Managers don't control the external environment, but elements in the external environment influence the decisions of managers. An easy way to remember the external environmental elements is to think PEST or STEP. The external elements might be a threat (PEST) or an opportunity (STEP). P is for Political/legal; E is for economic; S is for social/cultural; and T is for Technology. In the slideshare above, The Motely Fool, looks at 15 technology companies that they think will be successful in 2014. Read through the slideshare above. How might the technologies be threats or opportunities for existing businesses?
  • 2013 The Year of Social Media

    The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion The notable social media moments of 2013, month by month, are noted in the infographic above. Most important for managers is to note that people preferred their mobile devices (such as smart phones and tablets) over their computers. How should managers plan for this change in behavior? Would you agree that 2013 was the year of social media? What do you think was the most notable social media moment in 2013?
  • BlackBerry Shifts Focus from Hardware to Software

    BlackBerry interim CEO John Chen said that the company's new strategy will focus on developing software instead of hardware. Chen was appointed interim CEO in November 2013. At one time, BlackBerry was the dominant smart-phone company. The BlackBerry phone was so popular that the company changed its name from Research in Motion to BlackBerry to reflect the popularity of the phone. Apple and Samsung now dominate the smartphone consumer market. BlackBerry has a reputation for security that comes embedded in its software. Thus, this change in strategy capitalizes on a core competency. BlackBerry, a Canadian company, will outsource its hardware production to Foxconn, a Taiwanese company. Foxconn will make BlackBerry phones for overseas markets, with an emphasis on emerging smartphone markets. BlackBerry's focus shifted from its customers to its product. Instead of thinking of what the customer wanted, the company focused on the product. BlackBerry was product oriented, not customer oriented. Why did BlackBerry's managers fail to see the impact of a changing environment on its future? Why did BlackBerry's managers lose sight of underlying customer needs and only focus on existing wants?
  • The Pop Dongle by Pop Secret: The First-Ever Smellable Mobile Game

    Pop Secret's mobile game for iPhone and iPod Touch, Poptopia , has a mobile phone attachment, Pop Dongle, that emits the sweet-and-salty smell of popcorn every time a player swipes the butter inside the game. When players pop corn kernels, the Dongle will emit a spritz of popcorn scent. The dongle plugs into the audio jack, so the game emits a certain frequency signaling it to go ahead and spread the smell. Managers know that appealing to the senses helps sell products. In this game, players see movement, hear sounds, touch buttons, and smell popcorn. What would happen to sales if consumers could smell products on TV? on computer? Would sales increase? What disadvantages are there to smelling products? Visit , What are some more exciting product ideas?
  • Will a robot take your job?

    Technology, computers, and robots are doing the jobs of secretaries, administrative workers, repairmen, and manufacturing workers. In "Dancing with Robots" (see attached) "economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane point out that computers replace human workers only when machines meet two key conditions.First, the information necessary to carry out the task must be put in a form that computers can understand, and second, the job must be routine enough that it can be expressed in a series of rules" (Farhad Manjoo, " Humans 1, Robots 0 ," The Wall Street Journal , October 6, 2013). View the video above. How do real-life robots differ from robots in TV and movies? Farhad Manjoo reports that software developer Martin Ford said that in the future, " all but the most non-routine-type jobs " will cease to exist. Read the attached article. What can you do to keep robots from taking your job?
  • Elements of Disruptive Innovation

    Entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft, have brought us products that reduce costs and improve quality. Yet, even though the United States leads the world in health care innovation, no entrepreneur has appeared. Why not? Disruptive innovation, also known as cost-cutting innovation, is described in The Innovator's Prescription by Clayton Christensen, Jerome Grossman, and Jason Hwang. The professors explain that cost-cutting innovation comes from the supply side, not the demand side. The elements of disruptive innovation can be seen in the graphic below. The entrepreneur understands what consumers want. But, many times, consumers can't describe these wants. Who among us visualized using a personal computer, smart phone, or tablet computer? In the video below, Jason Hwang talks about disruptive innovation in health care. He is co-author with Clayton Christensen and Jerome Grossman, of The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care . In the regulation of healthcare, Robert F. Graboyes, senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center and professor at George Mason University writes, "Medicare's reimbursement formula muffles prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect prices and distorts resource allocation in ways that affect private insurance. Tax laws effectively bind employees to their employers' health plans. State regulations protect insiders through scope-of-practice regulations, protectionist licensing, and certificate-of-need requirements" ( Robert F. Graboyes, " Where are the health care innovators ?"). How can managers influence the external environment of political/legal/regulations? How can managers drive costs down while increasing quality?
  • Bill Gates admits "Control+Alt+Delete" was a "mistake"

    In this discussion at Harvard on Sept. 21, Bill Gates talks about the rise of Microsoft, his current philanthropic efforts, and his friendship with Warren Buffett. Around 16:30 in the video, he admits "Control+Alt+Delete" command was a "mistake." "We could've had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn't want to give us our single button." . . . "When you turn your computer on, you're going to see some screens and eventually type your password in, you want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signaling to a very low level of the software – actually hard-coded in the hardware – that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect." His goal was "a computer on every desk running our software." But, his company didn't make computers. What was so visionary about this goal?
  • Yahoo! Updates Logo

    The managers at Yahoo! decided to update the logo, which was revealed this week. Yahoo! quickly grew into a large company mainly by word of mouth. They offered a unique experience that was gained partly by being one of the first search engines. But, today, Google is the best known search engine. In her blog post announcing the new logo, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote , "We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo - whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud." Yet surveys revealed that Internet users prefer Yahoo's old logo to the new logo. In general, it is inefficient for the same company, selling the same product, to change its logo. Martin Bishop, director of brand strategy for Landor Associates , told Mashable , "It's increasingly typical for there to be a loud and often negative reaction and even more so for anyone who doesn't have a good reputation," noting that Yahoo isn't necessarily perceived as "cutting edge" anymore. What exactly is the purpose of Yahoo? Should the managers have spent more time telling us the company's purpose? How could Yahoo do a better job of verbalizing how they satisfy their customers?
  • Ads for IBM Help Neighborhoods

    IBM's slogan or tag line is to "build a smarter planet." They want their customers to use their services to turn data into valuable insights about customers, operations, and pricing. Instead of making decisions on instinct, IBM wants managers to make decisions using analytics. Cities are an important market segment for IBM. In addition to IBM helping cities ( People for Smarter Cities ) get smarter when using computers and data, it has aligned its outdoor advertising to do the same. As seen in this video, o utdoor ads function as a bench, a shelter and a ramp over stairs. FastCompany reports, "The goal of this campaign, created in collaboration with Ogilvy & Mather France, is to encourage forward-thinking citizens and local leaders to consider how to make their neighborhoods "smarter" and, therefore, better. What type of ideas to improve neighborhoods might citizens suggest? How could your neighborhood be "smarter"? What would improve your neighborhood?