Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 9/19/14

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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 Banco Santander, Southwest Airlines, Amazon, Sidewalk, RadioShack, and

From Wharton: Banco Santander Prepares for Tomorrow

“The chairman of Banco Santander, Emilio Botin, died on September 10 at age 79. Over the past few decades, he was a key force that transformed the Spanish lender into one of Europe’s largest banks. In a second, not entirely unexpected event, Botin’s daughter has been named as his replacement: Ana Patricia Botin, 53, had been head of Santander in the U.K. She becomes the fourth generation to head up the bank over more than 100 years.”

From Justin Bachman: Southwest Airlines: No Longer the Low-Cost Leader

“Southwest Airlines (LUV) rolled out a corporate rebranding and new paint jobs for its fleet on Sept. 8, part of a freshening up to coincide with its integration of AirTran Airways—the largest acquisition in Southwest’s history—and the launch of international flights. The famously informal carrier that started from a business plan scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin has been quick to describe the redo with the phrase ‘New look, same heart.’ Yet there’s a less-heralded, but far more important, change at the carrier credited with bringing affordable air travel to the masses: It’s no longer the industry’s low-cost leader.”

From Ian Mount: How an upstart survived a battle with Amazon

“In a conversation that has been condensed and edited, Martin, 35, talked about how he had survived the fight with Amazon, why he is still at war with much of the publishing industry and why a company created to disrupt the industry now thinks that campus bookstores are the place to be.”

From Steven Davidoff Solomon: A History of Misses for RadioShack

“In an alternate universe, RadioShack would rule the world, supplying all of your electronics needs from computers to cellphones, and even making them. But in this world, RadioShack is almost bankrupt, having missed almost every opportunity to be the center of the technology revolution.”

From Matt Ehrlichman: CEO Matt Ehrlichman reveals Series A funding round on one-year anniversary

“CEO Matt Ehrlichman has kept quiet about a $27.6 million Series A round of financing until now, the first anniversary of the service. Ehrlichman shares with Upstart Business Journal in an exclusive post why he kept that news to himself while he lays out his ‘business-first’ strategy.”

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