Malcolm Gladwell, management conference habitue and author of the Tipping Point, recently examined why mustard changed radically, but ketchup has not. Here is his case study of innovation and what it takes to kickstart innovation.
Michael Moore, the portly documentarian, has been quoted as saying he is fine if everyone downloaded his movie, Farenheit 911, so bloggers have taken him at his word and are offering it almost everywhere. So this is one of those win-win situations. If you hate Moore's rantings, you can deprive him of money by downloading it. If you like Moore's political take, you can download it and enjoy.
In Los Angeles, it is a time-honored practice to disrupt the shooting of a movie or commercial on a public street to see what money you can extort from the movie makers. Stereo, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers. All work well. Here is the story of someone who tried that and won. Kinda. And here is a little commentary on the incident from MarginalRevolution.
You'll believe the growth of online commerce is slowing only if you don't understand retailing today. Forrester Research is projecting that online sales will reach 13.2 billion this year, up 20 percent from last year. The year before it grew 31 percent. But the nature of theWeb has shifted so that it serves as another sales channel for traditional retailers, which should do $220 billion in business. Says eWeek:
It's the store's virtual front door, and it's the way consumers research. The Web site must represent the entire retail operation and not merely online, so online managers must be encouraged to think of other company units.
Now a San Francisco startup is selling tones that you play in the middle into conversations, so your calls can sound like a Marx Bros. movie. Laugh, says Cnet, but you laughed at ringtones too. The first tranche of Razz tones from PhoneBites include the always-popular Bushisms. (Long-winded flipflops aren't as conducive to cellphones.)
Sales of handheld devices continue to slide, down 8.7 percent YOY, according to a study by market analysts IDC. Take it with a grain of salt, though. Cnet notes:
IDC's data differs somewhat from a report released in July by research company Gartner, which said handheld sales rose in the second quarter. The difference is that Gartner included the BlackBerry, Research In Motion's wireless device, in its computations, and IDC did not.
Dell, HP, and Mitac all saw strong increases in sales in the third quarter.