Bundling, Unbundling and Ebook Subscription Services

August 5, 2014

How to Succeed in Business by Bundling – and Unbundling is a thought-provoking interview with Marc Andreessen and Jim Barksdale online at the Harvard Business Review. Marc Andreessen was the co-founder of Netscape. Jim Barksdale is a veteran of IBM, FedEx and AT&T Wireless “brought on a few months after Netscape’s founding to provide adult supervision as its CEO.” Both are now tech company VC investors. Barksdale, in his early 70s, is one of those rare executives whose advice reflects a depth of experience, much longed for in this age of the “serial entrepreneur.” (more…)

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Amazon’s Fire Phone is Mainly for Amazon’s Customers

June 18, 2014

Several journalists took a small segue today in their coverage of the launch of the Amazon Fire Phone to note that Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been extinguished. Or nearly so. Based on IDC’s May report, the Kindle Fire has only 1.9% of worldwide tablet shipments, down 47% year-to-year. (more…)

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The March of the Toy Soldiers

June 1, 2014

Indigo Books and Music reported its 4th quarter and annual sales last week. A few of the news stories reached for an alarmist tone. Canada’s Financial Post headlined its account with “Indigo annual revenue falls for third consecutive year.” Publishers Weekly went for the more startling “Indigo Has Big Fiscal 2014 Loss.” (more…)

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Google to Acquire Twitch for $1 Billion

May 19, 2014

Here’s BBC’s version of tonight’s news story about Google’s proposed $1 billion acquisition of Twitch; you can find many more stories of equally pricey deals during the last few years.

There’s no point in pontificating about a new Internet bubble. The maneuvering of high tech firms is so unusual this time around that “bubble” doesn’t begin to describe the shape. (more…)

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Pomegranate Juice and Publishing Standards

April 26, 2014

My favorite news story last week concerns a lawsuit that has somehow reached the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of how much pomegranate juice needs to be in a bottle before you can call it “pomegranate juice.”

Remarkably, Coca-Cola, through its Minute Maid brand, sells a juice called “Pomegranate Blueberry” which contains just 0.3 percent pomegranate juice and 0.2 percent blueberry juice. The rest is apple and grape juice and dark purple dye. Pom Wonderful, which in 2002 launched the current craze for pomegranate juice, and sells a product that’s 100% pomegranate juice, is understandably upset by Coca-Cola’s claims. (more…)

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