Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 4/10/15

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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 Microsoft, Mahisha Dellinger, Pirch, Athways, and Apple.

From the Economist: Opening Windows

“A once-dominant software giant is determined to prove that life begins again at 40”

From Hilary Burns: How she turned 3 rejections from Sally Beauty into a spot on the shelves of the nation’s largest retailers

“Sally Beauty rejected her products three times. It was hard to swallow. Mahisha Dellinger invested $30,000 into the launch of her own hair product line for natural, curly hair. She chose an apt name: CURLS. And at the time, more than a decade ago, there weren’t a ton of hair products on the market for ethnic women. Dellinger says the category was ‘stale’ and ‘needed to be refreshed.’ But Dellinger’s products were unknown back then. Sally wasn’t going to take a risk on her. Not yet, anyway. Dellinger was going to have to prove herself first.”

From Robin Lewis: Pirch – The “Third Place” For Kitchen and Bath Lovers

“Who would have thunk that hanging out in a kitchen and bath appliance store could replicate the Starbucks experience for coffee aficionados and Apple for computer lovers? Well, thunk again. Pirch, as in perching, or sort of feathering your nest in a totally fun and interactive experience, is the reason consumers will flock (pun intended) to Pirch as a ‘third place’ to hang (work, home and Pirch). Just as Starbuck’s and Apple disrupted how coffee and computers were sold and consumed, Pirch is disrupting the appliance world with a fundamentally new and co-created experiential model.”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer: Training athletes remotely, tracking performance in real time

“Daniel Reardon, 21, of University City, a senior at Wharton, is co-founder and CEO of Athways, which provides a Web and mobile platform for coaches to create, distribute and track personalized team workouts. It can be used by coaches to bridge the training gap between workout knowledge and execution.”

From Robert Hackett: The Apple Watch: A gateway drug for Swiss horology

“Pateks won’t tell you the weather, but they have something smart watches don’t.”

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