Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 2/6/15

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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 IBM, Shake Shack, Apple, Billy Sims BBQ, and Medtronic

From Andrii Ivanenko and Christian Westlye Larsen: Could IBM Become the Nokia of Supercomputers?

“Supercomputing is being squeezed by new cloud computing competitors and more expensive component suppliers. How will the likes of IBM adapt to this hostile environment?”

From Venessa Wong: Shake Shack’s Modest Growth Plan

“Today’s IPO of trendy burger chain Shake Shack attracted as much attention as it did money. Shares opened at $47, vs. the IPO price of $21 per share. That’s a huge jump, and far more dramatic than the one consumers are likely to see in the company’s U.S. footprint in the near term. The chain of 63 restaurants—roughly half of which are in the U.S.—plans to open just 10 or more domestic stores per year to a target of more than 450 U.S. locations, by a date it has yet to specify.”

From the Economist: Apple: iThrone

“Apple reigns supreme when it comes to making money, but now faces even greater expectations.”

From Frank Witsil: After struggles, Billy Sims’ barbecue business running strong

“Billy Sims, the former Detroit Lions running back who cofounded a barbecue chain bearing his name, has had his ups and downs.”

From Joe Carlson: Up next for Medtronic: Changing the whole health care system

“Someday soon, Brazil may decide to hire a private company to improve how heart-care patients are diagnosed and treated in its state-sponsored hospitals. Medtronic wants to be that company.”


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