Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 8/7/15

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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 Perdue, Microsoft, Got Laundry, Converse, and Cisco.

From Stephanie Strom: Into the Family Business at Perdue

“‘We now have four of what we call G4s in the business’ — members of the family’s fourth generation, Jim Perdue said, and they spent time in other companies.”

From Jack Torrance: Can Satya Nadella make Microsoft great again?

“MT’s recent visit to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, didn’t begin smoothly. Just minutes into the first of a series of talks by executives and engineers, the tour had already run into technical difficulties. Despite the efforts of more than one techie, Microsoft couldn’t get the audio to play on a video running through its own programme, Windows Media Player.”

From Michael Hinkelman: They want you to kiss your washer and dryer goodbye

“RAY AND TAKIYAH WALL, 41 and 35 respectively, of Lansdowne, are CEO and vice president of Got Laundry?, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning pickup-and-delivery service in the Philadelphia area. The couple started the business in 2009, offering a typical two-day turnaround for laundry but also next-day and same-day service.”

From Jeff Sommer: Converse Treads Carefully in Updating Well-Worn Chuck Taylor Brand

“The classic All Star has been a boon to Nike, which bought Converse in 2003. But as the shoe gets an update, the company is being cautious not to damage its appeal.”

Wally’s Comment: Since I was serious about playing basketball, I saved up to buy my own Chuck Taylor All Stars. They were like the picture of the 1960 high tops, which is right about when I bought mine.

From Pete Carey: Q&A: Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco Systems

“Cisco was born in the mid-1980s as a company that made routers, a piece of networking gear that proved to be an essential component of the Internet, which was just then taking off. By the tail end of the dot-com boom in 2000, Cisco briefly was the world’s most valuable company with a stock market capitalization of more than $550 billion. Now a changing marketplace created by new technologies, cloud services and the Internet of Things is a challenge and an opportunity for all networking companies.”

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