Apple’s Giant Cash Pile

Did you know Apple makes more money than any company has ever made? In fact, this profit monster has a growing pile of cash that is now more than $200 billion. But the weird thing is, Apple isn’t returning its own cash to shareholders, it’s borrowing to pay them back. So, does Apple have too much cash on hand and what should it do with all that money? More about “a good problem to have”.

Customers Who Are Happy to Pay More for Less

Most brands spend countless hours on pricing strategies, but often neglect to reconsider package or serving sizes. Many products, such as your standard butter packet, once had regulated sizes, but not anymore. Today, there are a number of reasons why customers would be willing to pay more for smaller sized items, such as the rise in single person households, the perception of luxury, or even for portion control! Should you consider downsizing?

Eric Schmidt Explains How Alphabet Will Emulate Berkshire Hathaway And Warren Buffett

Alphabet was created to help Google scale, it allows the organization to get into lines of business not aided by an association with search, and insulates the core business and experiments from one another. More autonomy allows these businesses to develop independently and with their own identities. Building Alphabet.

The Network Man: Reid Hoffman's Big Idea

The founder of LinkedIn has ambitious goals for the economic world and its marriage with social media. With top Silicon Valley innovators, he has bounced ideas off of Obama to use social networks not only to source information, but also to empower political action. Think Kickstarter as a platform for campaign fundraising, and the like. These ideas about how the world will change are super meta.

Luxury Brands Are Poaching Mass Market Talent

As luxury brands struggle to stay relevant and appeal to the growing “new-age affluent” class, they are looking to learn from the those who have helped brands like Old Navy and Apple achieve mass-market success and master omnichannel retail. Because who do you think is winning the battle for Millennials’ hearts (and wallets): the Zara's and H&M's, or the Ralph Laurens and Gucci's of the world? The answer is obvious.

Why McDonald’s All-Day Breakfast Was Years in the Making

It takes a lot more effort than you might think to align a brand and its marketing efforts with its franchise operations. Before McDonald’s was able to officially launch and support the all-day breakfast, years of effort and planning had to be ironed out in preparation for execution. It’s an incredible feat to get 3,000 franchise owners on the same page with HQ, especially when they need to pony up $5,000 (on top of the $500,000 it costs to own a franchise). Think outside the wrapper: It’s not just about the marketing, folks!

For First Time in U.S., Uber Is Now More Popular Among Business Travelers Than Taxis

Taxis are losing business travelers to ride-hailing services like Uber. In the three months ended in June, Uber overtook taxis as the most expensed form of ground transportation, according to expense management system provider Certify. That’s a big jump from just the beginning of the year, when taxis still enjoyed a significant lead. In its hometown of San Francisco, 79 percent of rides expensed through Certify during the second quarter were for Uber. “Established travel providers will need to adapt quickly or face further market share erosion to the sharing economy.”

Could Airbnb Help Solve The Problem Of Vacant Housing?

Six years after the foreclosure crisis started, nearly 18 million houses are sitting vacant in the U.S. Could some find new life as Airbnb businesses? In Akron, a group of citizens wants to revive empty homes and offer them as a place to stay. The business will double as a cultural center for a local refugee population: "When people come to Akron—what I look for when I travel, and what many people look for, they're not looking for a stale, generic hotel branch, people are looking for a unique experience," says Jason Roberts, founder of Better Block. Read about the project on FastCo

There’s an Uber for Everything Now

A concierge economy is sprouting up on phones, appealing to our desire for efficiency and convenience to create previously unheard-of services. Relying on temporary workers who get paid by the interaction, these businesses take advantage of previously underused resources like empty parking spots and negotiated bulk rates. Everyone values time differently, but at what point does luxury become extravagancy? How many of these on-demand businesses can survive outside of tech outposts like San Francisco and LA? Apps do your chores: shopping, parking, cooking, cleaning, packing, shipping and more

Americans Subscribe to the Sharing Economy

Americans have embraced the sharing economy, according to a new report from PwC. That’s good news for an industry based on trust. Still, consumers surveyed expressed concerts the consistency of sharing economy experiences, and 69% said they’re concerned about placing their trust into these types of services. The implication is clear: sharing companies need to alleviate consumer concerns through smart service design, seamless customer service and brand messaging that speaks to these fears. See the key findings at PwC

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