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links for 2009-01-15 January 15, 2009

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links for 2009-01-02 January 2, 2009

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  • The brand myth made marketing about something classier and groovier than actually selling stuff. It turned selling into a gentleman's art, and, by separating it from the drabness of actual products, made it seem like an engaging pursuit for the well-educated grad who didn't want to go to law school, something to add to the dinner-party chatter.

links for 2008-12-27 December 27, 2008

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  • It's a schedule he started as a 22-year-old student at Columbia University in New York, and it immediately transformed him. In his 1995 autobiography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama said he was a casual drug user and an underachiever until he decided to start running three miles each day. He stopped staying out late, fasted on Sundays and became a voracious reader, spending most of his time alone in his apartment reading classic literature and philosophical texts. Physical fitness yielded mental fitness, Obama decided, and the two concepts have been married in his mind ever since.
    (tags: Obama fitness)

links for 2008-12-23 December 23, 2008

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links for 2008-12-18 December 18, 2008

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  • The losses in a scheme like Madoff's do not simply stay where they seemed to lie at the end of the game: They have to be traced back through years of redemptions.

    The consequence of this is that any longtime Madoff investors who'd gotten suspicious could very well have seen that publicizing their suspicions and outing Madoff's scam would not have saved their money but actually exposed them to greater losses. As the law stands, post-Bayou, a major fund company that finds itself entangled in a scam like Madoff's has every incentive not to out the fraud but, rather, to keep its fingers crossed and maybe hope that the whole thing can be written off as just another multibillion-dollar stock market blowup. Now that the scam's been revealed, for Madoff, it's the end. But for the grand saga of litigation that will pit Madoff's hapless investors against each other and probably make Charles Dickens' Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce look like days in small-claims court, this is just the beginning.

links for 2008-12-17 December 17, 2008

Posted by arikjohnson in Uncategorized.
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  • Not only is Jobs not coming to MacWorld, after 2009, Apple won't either:

    Apple has also been scaling back from industry conferences, preferring to hold its own events instead. This year, Apple held two press events in the fall to announce its new iPod and MacBook products. "We will continue doing those as regularly as we have in the past," Steve Dowling, an Apple spokesman, said.

    (tags: Apple strategy)
  • This statement from Bernie Madoff's website should make us all concerned about anybody who professes their ethics a little TOO much:

    "In an era of faceless organizations owned by other equally faceless organizations, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC harks back to an earlier era in the financial world: The owner's name is on the door," the company's Web site said. "Clients know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished record of value, fair-dealing, and high ethical standards that has always been the firm's hallmark."

links for 2008-12-16 December 16, 2008

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links for 2008-12-15 December 15, 2008

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links for 2008-12-10 December 10, 2008

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links for 2008-12-07 December 7, 2008

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  • A mypoic focus on eking out a certain profit margin can be death on a toy brand, especially when the company has certain assumptions. Mattel didn't think it could sell a lot of dolls for $20 or $30 like the Bratz did, so it focused on manufacturing the chintziest, most disposable stuff ever. Conventional wisdom is that Bratz succeeded because the dolls themselves are so visibly utterly unredeeming, like the rest of vapid oversexed tween culture. And while that is somewhat true, the Bratz probably wouldn't have prevailed had it not been for the little details: cloth handbags with piping unlike the plastic purses Barbie got; elaborate ensembles that managed to incorporate fishnet, lace, and lame; rhinestone detailing on real denim jackets that in Mattel's world would have been downgraded to cheap cotton dyed pathetically to look like stonewashed denim. Look, it does not give me any great pride to tell you I have noticed these things, but if I have, I am pretty sure your customers have.
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