Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/10/14

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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 CNN, EV Fleet, Proto Labs, Hewlett-Packard, and, Tesco.

From Emily Steel: At Crossroads, CNN Seeks to Reassert Itself

“Nearly two years after taking over one of the most prominent news brands, Jeff Zucker is still trying to define CNN’s place in a world of unlimited, real-time information.”

From Jonathan McFadden: Charlotte startup rides electric-vehicle wave

“Agnew, 60, recently debuted the Condor 2015, an all-electric pickup truck designed to haul fleet and deliveries, conserve energy and save buyers thousands in fuel costs. Capable of hauling 1,000 pounds and reaching up to 80 miles per hour, the truck was produced in Charlotte by EV Fleet Inc., a manufacturing startup Agnew formed this year to assemble and sell electric pickups.”

From Neal St. Anthony: Three generations of entrepreneurs

“David Cleveland, 81, the retired Minneapolis community banker and successful entrepreneur, helped his son, Brad Cleveland, invest in a start-up called Proto Labs in 2001 that became one of Minnesota’s best-performing publicly held companies of the last generation.”

From Quentin Hardy and David Gelles: Hewlett-Packard Announces Breakup Plan as Technology Landscape Shifts

“The Silicon Valley pioneer said it would divide in two, with one company for its data businesses and another focusing on PCs and printers.”

From John Wells: Why Tesco’s Strengths Are No Longer Good Enough

“Troubles at Tesco, the UK’s leading retailer, are mounting. If round after round of profit warnings was not enough – group operating profits fell 20% between 2011 and 2013 and are likely to fall another 30% in 2014 — the company recently announced it had overstated its first-half profit by about $400 million. The ‘accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs’ undoubtedly flatters short-term results, but it soon catches up with you, as four suspended senior executives have found out. Tesco, the success story of the British retail scene for the last 20 years, has suddenly fallen from grace. How did this happen?”

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