Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 2/13/15

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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 Amazon, Jolly Goods, Pandora, Tommy Bahama, and Radio Shack.

From Wharton: Is Amazon Set to Hit Its Prime?

“Is Amazon on the upswing? According to Wharton management professor Daniel Raff, the company has a lot going for it. He is impressed that Amazon has ‘very deep pockets,’ a CEO in Jeff Bezos ‘who is brilliant … and usually very clear about what he wants to try,’ and a shareholder base that has thus far trusted the company and its senior management. ‘They look for new and interesting things to do,’ he said.”

From Dina Spector: A tiny mail-order company in England is exploding after British chocolate was banned from the US

“When John Barton-Ward, the director of a small chocolate distributor in Liverpool, heard about Hershey’s deal to block British-made Cadbury chocolate from entering the United States, he panicked.”

From J.D. Harrison: When we were small: Pandora

“Tim Westergren and his team had spent years building a technological masterpiece — a software program that could learn your taste in music and recommend new songs you might like. It worked, too. What wasn’t working was their business model. They had been trying to sell the software to companies in the music industry, such as record stores, but it wasn’t catching on.”

From Rachel Lerman: It’s always vacation somewhere: How Tommy Bahama expanded its sales to more than $600 million

“Online sales and a push into colder climates has caused Seattle retailer Tommy Bahama’s business to grow rapidly in the last several years.”

From Warren Shoulberg: Radio Sacked

“We are now in the same mourning period for Radio Shack following its bankruptcy filing last Thursday. Certainly it was the retail demise with the longest build-up and least amount of surprise since the General Store closed in Dodge City.”

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