‘Buy commodities, sell brands’ has long been a formula for business
success,” Mr. Buffett wrote in a recent annual report. Heinz certainly
fits that mold today. The big question is whether it still will once
its balance sheet has been loaded up with debt.
However key elements of the Toyota outsourcing model were not
implemented at Boeing. Toyota maintains tight control over the overall
design and engineering of its vehicles and only outsources to
suppliers who have proven their ability to deliver with the required
timeliness, quality, cost reduction and continuous innovation. As
Toyota works closely with its suppliers and responds to supplier
concerns with integrity and mutual respect, it has established an
impressive level of professional trust and an overriding preoccupation
with product quality. But besides that, totally the same.
How great it will be once all their friends are on it.
Really succinct & poignant list.
“You cannot rely on external confirmation and have a happy life,” he told me. “I don’t rely on external confirmation, and I have a happy life.”
Maciej Cegłowski takes on Argentinean dining:
The afternoon steak is the workhorse steak, the backbone of the day. It’s the steak that gets you around the city, ensures a successful nap, steers you into the bar and (most importantly) gives you the mental clarity to choose the right cut of meat in the restaurant that night. Misorder the first steak and you will either find yourself losing steam by eight o’clock, when no restaurant is open, or scampering to find an awkward third bridge steak, to tide you over until dinner.
Really amazing take on the future of education by Clay Shirky. On massive open online courses:
MOOCs simply ignore a lot of those questions. The possibility MOOCs hold out isn’t replacement; anything that could replace the traditional college experience would have to work like one, and the institutions best at working like a college are already colleges. The possibility MOOCs hold out is that the educational parts of education can be unbundled. MOOCs expand the audience for education to people ill-served or completely shut out from the current system, in the same way phonographs expanded the audience for symphonies to people who couldn’t get to a concert hall, and PCs expanded the users of computing power to people who didn’t work in big companies.
And let’s not forget the absurdity of cost:
In the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs.
It’s easy to look at the Billboard charts and proclaim that negativity in hip hop is selling. Only slightly closer observation reveals that whenever given equal exposure, talent sells even better.
Chris Dixon on agency problems:
As you go higher in the organization, the incentives are more aligned with the firm’s incentives. But knowledge and authority over operations often reside at lower levels. Deciding what level to target involves nuanced trade offs.
While walking in NYC this weekend, I noticed the Camper SOHO store had an incredible hook for bringing people in. This is the street view of the store as you’re walking past it:
No products in plain view. The store view is this:
How freaking cool is that? You get so intrigued by the display you have to go into the store to take a peek. Really cool execution.