Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 1/30/15

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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 Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie & Fitch, Jawbone, Blue Run Solutions, and Deus Ex Machina.

From Robin Lewis: Not Your Grandmother’s Neiman’s

“Neiman Marcus is not wasting any time as it marches into the new frontier, or the ‘wild west,’ as many are calling it. And it’s headed right towards the intersection where technology and the Millennials connect.”

From Business Week: How Abercrombie & Fitch and CEO Michael Jeffries Lost U.S. Teens

“Sales at established stores had fallen in five of the past seven years, and 2014 wasn’t looking good, either. Profits were expected to be about $106 million, less than half of what they had been in 2012. Jeffries’s pay had been cut by about 70 percent, he had lost his position as chairman of the board, and his employment contract was expiring in February 2015.”

From Adam Lashinsky: Jawbone: The trials of a 16-year-old can’t-miss startup

“Jawbone, led by charismatic CEO Hosain Rahman, has long captivated some of Silicon Valley’s savviest investors with inspired design and innovative products.”

From Amy Lynch: Jack Warner builds business serving IKEA customers

“Former Purdue University track and field coach Jack Warner is going on a different kind of run. Warner founded Blue Run Solutions in October 2012, after retiring from a 35-year career coaching track and field at the university level. Now, he keeps busy making trips to IKEA in West Chester, Ohio, to pick up and deliver orders to customers in Central Indiana. He also assembles products, if requested”

From Charles Fleming: Deus Ex Machina makes high-end motorcycles and loses money on each one

“When it’s done, the V-twin street racer will cost Bloom $60,000. It will lose money for Woolie’s employer, the lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina. That’s what happened with custom bikes Woolie built for actor Ryan Reynolds and singers Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Jason Mraz.”

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