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 QVC, HP, Fresh & Easy, and Lexus.
“That attention to data may also explain why the 24/7 pageant of panini makers, flameless candles, anti-aging creams and ankle boots has, despite QVC’s fusty reputation, quietly outmaneuvered other retailers in remaking itself for the digital era.”
“FOUNDED by two tech guys in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939, the giant created by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard is remembered as Silicon Valley’s original startup. In its heyday, its flair for innovation was unrivalled, and it devised technologies that shaped people’s work and personal lives, from calculators to cameras to computers. Today it is regarded as a has-been: a reminder of Silicon Valley’s past but not a beacon of its future.”
“When Fresh & Easy was taken over by investor Ronald W. Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. in 2013, it seemed as if the money-losing grocery chain would finally get a chance to turn things around. After all, the onetime box boy made his fortune in the supermarket industry, handling leveraged buyouts of chains such as Food 4 Less and Ralphs. If anyone could save the struggling company, analysts said, it would be a man known as the supermarket billionaire.”
“Starting the new Lexus plant in Georgetown, Ky., meant introducing autoworkers to the brand’s methods, some of which call for a quiet assembly line.”