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  • Are personal computers dead?

    An article on cnn.com pronounces that the personal computer is dead. Year-to-year sales have fallen by 14% and hence the grim prognosis.

  • What can we learn from J.C. Penney''s firing of its CEO?

    J. C. Penney fired its CEO Ron Johnson earlier this month and brought back the former CEO.  The firing is not surprising given J.C. Penney’s performance slide in the past year. Johnson, the architect of Apple retail stores, was never able to replicate his magic at J.C. Penney’s. Now J.C.Penney’s survival is at stake.

  • P&G is customer-centric but what about the rest of the detergent industry?

    There is a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about the shrinking laundry soap industry (h/t: Surajit Dutta, EMBA 2014). The significant decline is attributed to P&G’s new laundry product—Tide Pods capsules with fixed detergent quantities and hence prevent customers from over-pouring detergents. As a result, detergent manufacturers are upset with P&G about the sales decline and wonder whether the new product is worth it if it hurts the whole industry. Retailers are also not too thrilled because the margins on the Tide pods are lower than liquid laundry and hence success of Tide pods is equated with shrinking retailer revenues.

  • End of Saturday postal service may be good for Netflix

    Netflix stocks reacted positively to the news that the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be cutting its mail service from six days a week to five days a week. The rationale presumably is that the cuts in postal delivery could result in subscribers watching fewer DVDs thereby resulting in lower costs for Netflix.

  • Innovative Leadership through Connected Commerce: Lessons from eBay

    John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, delivered the Hallene Lecture at the University of Illinois campus at Champaign last week. Mr. Donahoe, a native of Illinois, was previously managing director at Bain and Company before moving to eBay in 2005. In February, Fortune magazine named eBay in its list of most admired companies in the world.