How LEGO Became the Apple of Toys Fast Company details LEGO's near collapse and subsequent rise.
The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming. At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.[more inside]
Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
For the first time in Kitchen Nightmares history, British chef Gordon Ramsay walks off his own show. In the segment that aired this week, the difficult owners of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ - Samy and Amy Bouzaglo - are shown stealing tips from their waitstaff, admitting to firing more than 100 employees over a one year period, firing a waitress for asking a question, telling a customer who had been waiting over an hour for his food to go fuck himself (yes, the police were called during filming), and passing off frozen, pre-made raviolis and desserts as if they were homemade. The couple was so resistant to criticism that even the typically steadfast Ramsay decided he couldn’t help them and shut the show down before beginning the rehab phase. [more inside]
For WIRED magazine's 20th anniversary, they've "gathered stories for, by, and about the people who have shaped the planet's past 20 years—and will continue driving the next."
Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? [more inside]
“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world” — Jack Welch, 2009. As GE’s CEO in the 80s, however, Welch championed corporate focus on shareholder returns. “Converts to the creed”, the Economist summarizes, “had little time for other ‘stakeholders’: customers, employees, suppliers, society at large and so forth.” What went wrong? Steve Denning describes how such a stance is counterproductive, creates turmoil in capitalism and fosters an environment in which “CEOs and their top managers have massive incentives to focus most of their attentions on the expectations market, rather than the real job of running the company producing real products and services.”
"A ballet dancer needs a mirror to perfect her style, her technique. A singer needs the same -- an aural mirror."In 1950 and '51, Japan’s first reel-to-reel tape recorders, the "G-Type" (for gov't use) and the "H-1" (for home use) were released by a company named Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. Music student Norio Ohga was unimpressed by the wobbly sound of "Talking Paper," so he wrote a note complaining to the firm's founders, who hired him. Mr. Ohga never achieved his original dream of becoming a baritone opera singer, but the future President of TTK, (later renamed Sony,) would still make an indelible, global impact on the world of music -- including the development and introduction of the compact disc. Mr. Ohga died on April 24, 2011. [more inside]
Edward Mike Davis was the owner or Tiger Oil, an oil company operating in Houston during the 1970's. His irascible memos have been an Internet sensation for the past few years. Good things are not meant to last forever, and in 1980, Tiger Oil filed bankruptcy. Davis' hatred of people did not confine itself to the office, as this case shows. Tiger Oil was in litigation in relation to the bankruptcy filing as late as 1989.
Cupidtino is a "new social dating website exclusively for Apple fans" which launches in June. If your Cupidtino Appleationship works out, you could have a magical Apple Store Wedding! Via "Oh God No." [more inside]
Museum archivist, exploring Henry Ford's office records, stumbles into the interesting world of commercial telegraphic code.
This video about the history of petroleum industry propaganda used old archived footage found on the WayBackMachine. It shows some ridiculous propaganda videos from the past and leads us to the campaigns that the oily, slick PR-types and marketers are using today. It's hard to believe that companies like Ford Motor Company and ExxonMobil still get away with funding these industry front groups.
The Insect Company: "Over 6,000 listings with more than 1,600 life-size reference photographs."
Instant Design at the touch of a button More good news for designers -- not only has the ad market bottomed out, now this software from move design spits out instant layouts. Just add the text you want, choose the style, and hit Ctrl-G. The results are surprisingly tasteful. Is this the end of design as we know it, or just a toy for generating new ideas? Would you like fries with that?