4/25/14: 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 Gillette, D’Angelico Guitars, FEC-USA. Facebook, and Amazon.

From Kyle Stock: Gillette’s New Razor Could Overturn Its 100-Year-Old Business Model

“The Wall Street Journal got its hands on some secret documents that show a relatively standard face trimmer mounted on an orange ball bearing. Dubbed the ProGlide FlexBall, the unit will sell for between $11.50 and $12.60 when it hits shelves in June, according to the Journal. The company is touting ‘optimized stiffness’ and just the right amount of ‘damping,’ plus 23 percent more skin contact, specs that suggest the sophistication of a sports car. But here’s the true innovation: Gillette’s new razor will use P&G’s current blades, a total departure from the notorious razors-and-blades model that has characterized the segment since Civil War beards went out of style the first time.”

From Karsten Strauss: How D’Angelico Guitars Is Forcing A Comeback (In Both Music And Business)

“It’s not every day that a storied brand get’s resuscitated after years of slumber. That seems to be what’s in store for D’Angelico Guitars—a much respected American instrument company that’s essentially been in a coma for the past 50 years since its founder’s passing. Now three new owners are seeking to bring it back.”

From Tom Walsh: Executive buys Japanese firm years after it hired, groomed him to lead

“Ron Jaeger began his career at auto supplier FEC in 1983. Nearly 30 years later, Ron and Susan Jaeger bought FEC-USA, now in Shelby Township, from its Japanese owner.”

From Niraj Dawar: Facebook’s Unbundling Strategy Makes Perfect Sense

“Can a company built on the ideas of scale and network effects unbundle its offering into multiple brands and still thrive? Facebook is about to find out.”

From  Greg Bensinger and Laura Stevens: Amazon, in Threat to UPS, Tries Its Own Deliveries

“An Alternative to Shippers Like FedEx and UPS, New Service Could Deliver Goods the Same Day as Purchased”


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