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Bargaining is not negotiating

Sky have been ordered by the media regulator Ofcom to open up their Sky Sports 1 and 2 channels to competitors. But just before the physical sharing is to take place there’s been a typical Murdoch move. The wholesale price Sky can charge its (not so friendly) brethren at BT Vision is linked to their […]

eBay mobile is going BIG

Old news: technology and consumerism are intertwined. Simple example, the cheque book and then the debit card were tech replacements for cash. Today’s smart phones and the rush of tablets we’re about to see really are changing the landscape now, not just tomorrow. Watch Scoble interview the head of eBay mobile, Steve Yankovich to see […]

Ubiquitous Facebook

Go out with a group of friends and notice how many times Facebook crops up. Did you see it on Facebook… don’t put that on Facebook… I read about your holiday on Facebook… are you on Facebook (instead of the hassle of swapping mobile numbers). It really is becoming ubiquitous with socialising. Where there are […]

Nick Clegg

Negotiation 101

Your lecturer this week, Nick Clegg. When in a position of strength: Have Suitor A believe they can be replaced by Suitor B at no cost to yourself; Indicate to both Suitors how good the other is with you and your organisation; Have Suitor A and B both believe they are playing second fiddle to […]

Where there’s muck…

Rebranding is an ugly word. All too often it’s a euphemism for ‘we were rubbish but a cleaner logo and new strapline means you should forgive our history and buy into this new stuff.’ Perversely, not rebranding is one of the reasons Mr Brown is going to be punished so badly on Thursday. But I […]

An evening with Rene Carayol

I was at a Barclays Springboard event with Rene Carayol this week. You’ll have seen him on the box with his shows, Pay Off Your Mortgage In Two Years, and Mind of a Millionaire. What charisma! Watching the guy holding the stage he reminded me of the actor, James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader, […]

New news

You know all too well that traditional journalism has changed. We’ve read the Huffington Post and heard about the Google-Murdoch punch up. The journo genie has left the bottle. So when change has taken place in your industry and the future indicates far more, what are you expected to do? Unsurprisingly Gary Vaynerchuk advocates jumping […]

Steptoe returns in social media

You’re having a conversation with a company Big Wig, perhaps an interview, and she asks, “What do you think of this social media phenomenon?” Well, imagine it’s the 1960s. Horses pull milk floats, colour TV is just around the corner for most households, shillings are in your pocket and the Bay of Pigs has petrified […]

Chocolate’s poacher or gamekeeper?

Unless you’ve been on Mars this week, you’ll know all too well that Kraft have now purchased Cadbury. Well, it now turns out that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and UBS, hired by Cadbury, are – thanks to the purchase – to be paid more than if they’d successfully defended the hostile takeover. It’s easy to […]

What price for postage?

Charging for postage is the perennial debate of e-commerce. I think Amazon’s decision this week to extend its free postage charge trialled before Christmas might favour a good deal more consumers than Amazon serves. I can see other retailers having to follow suit as they look to win a friend and gain a client from […]

Half the battle of business is…

In the movie, The Untouchables, Kevin Costner’s character, Elliot Ness, sits on horseback overlooking the US-Canadian border. He’s there with his fellow Untouchables and the Canadian Mounties to arrest Al Capone’s men running contraband whisky across the border. The Mounty Captain says to his troops, “Let’s take the fight to them, men.” Turning to Ness […]

Are you a Manager or Multiplexer?

I was asked this week, ‘What does a manager really do?’ It was a fairly innocuous, rhetorical, jovial question from a well-paid, senior person. The graduate switch flicked and I immediately thought, ‘seeing that the company’s goals are met’. After all, it’s the leader’s job to define and create those goals and aims, and it’s […]

The sunshine is dimming

Piano maker Kemble & Co is closing after nearly 100 years producing over 350,000 pianos. They were the UK’s last large scale piano manufacturer. It’s a reflection of yesteryear when a piano was a central asset in the home. Mum and dad would teach their kids the odd tune in the hope of lighting their […]

Too good to be forgotten

A lot has been made of Eric Schmidt resigning from Apple’s board. The short version: he’s also CEO of Google and these two tech giants are really starting to cross swords. While Google are undoubtedly an increasing ‘problem’ for Apple, I think most reports are in danger of missing the elephant in the room: Nokia. […]

Eat my lunch

All businesses want to control their own destiny. Surely, it’s natural. The old-fashioned classic is to cut out the middleman and access the wallet yourself. After all, why go to the trouble of producing a wonderful product, only to pray fickle retailers buy into it and run the gauntlet of the supply chain? It’s sorely […]

Microsoft finally marries

They’ve flirted for years. Constant advances were spurned and due diligence seemed wasted but Ballmer’s finally got his gal. Well, sort of. This week has seen a sharing of search revenue, not a sale between Microsoft and Yahoo. Despite her strong words of rebuilding and turning-the-tanker, we all assumed Carol Bartz’s number one play when […]

Drive-throughs break out

My local Greggs’ bakery is a massively busy shop. So much so its small car park is log jammed from 11am to 3pm EVERY day. From day one I said they could have designed a drive-through system and probably made themselves even more successful (and certainly more efficient). Well, it seems fast food won’t have […]

Resolute predicting

Plenty of bloggers are spouting New Year’s resolutions. Most are quaint rehashes of being less avaricious, and showing greater care to one’s fellow man and the weighing scales simultaneously. Forget resolutions, try predictions. J.K. Galbraith said ‘there are two types of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know’, but […]