2/21/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Lego, Crypton, Weight Watchers, WalMart, and Basecamp.

From the NY Times: Lego Builds an Empire, Brick by Brick

“The Lego Group’s venture into films demonstrates the company’s hope to expand its customer base as it faces increasing competition from other construction toy lines, especially in the digital spaces.”

From the Detroit Free Press: Couple creates a solution with space-age fabric

“Twenty years ago, Randy Rubin and her husband, Craig, invented a super fabric to resist stains and make liquids bead and roll off. It was durable, yet still soft, attractive — and good for several commercial applications.”

From the Wall Street Journal: How Weight Watchers Plans to Regain What it Lost

“It’s an achievement anyone on its pound-shedding diets would envy: in a single day on the stock market, Weight Watchers has dropped 27% of its body mass:”

From Chief Executive: New Walmart CEO Faces Desk Full of Challenges

“Doug McMillon, the new CEO of Walmart, barely had time to find the water cooler this week before confronting a huge pile of challenges that awaited on the desk he inherited from retired chief Michael Duke. The transition illustrates a challenge common to most companies: markets and external forces never stand still and the volatile and chaotic times will demand more from boards and company leaders.”

From Ron Ashkenas: Basecamp’s Strategy Offers a Useful Reminder: Less Is More

“Unless you follow tech companies, you might have missed the startling announcement by collaboration and communications software maker 37signals that it has decided to refocus the entire company on a single core product.”

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