Monthly Archives: April 2015

Samsung claws back dominance from Apple, yet still struggling | Mashable

Samsung has clawed back its crown from Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone seller by volume, but it still has a long way to go to reclaim its golden years.

While still on top of the industry, the Korea-based tech giant posted yet another profit decline on Wednesday, its fourth-consecutive quarter of declines. The $4.3 billion it made in the first quarter of 2015 is 39% lower than the same period in 2014.

Samsung has been hit by what Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics, called a “pincer movement.” Competition on the high end of the market from Apple and the low end from Chinese upstarts like Huawei have pinched Samsung’s business.

“It’s taken several quarters for Samsung to react to [the competition] and to create products to slow down that attack,” Mawston said. “Samsung probably has another year or two of work to say they’ve recovered.”

To do this, Samsung is banking on its new high-end products — notably the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge — to compete with Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6+ and help get the company back on track.

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Need a Better Way to Confront Problem Employees? | Biz Action

Understanding how to have a productive confrontation begins with a quick self-assessment. Do you:

Shy away from the problem and hope it will solve itself, or, the other extreme,

Take employees to the proverbial “wood shed” and vent your frustration or anger, without thinking it through carefully in advance?

The former requires living in fantasy land and will get you nowhere. The latter will only make matters worse.

Motivating yourself to become skilled at productive confrontation begins by thinking through the nature and impact of the problem(s) you seek to address. Sometimes they run deeper than you might think.

For example, if an employee fails to give you a report you need in time to prepare you for meeting with a big customer or prospect, what is the impact? If it’s that you hold the meeting without the facts and analysis you need to make a successful presentation, and you lose the customer or prospect, that’s a high price. But it’s not all that’s at stake.

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How to Tactfully Drop a Client | Business News Daily

Most service-based businesses have encountered a nightmare client. This person makes outrageous demands of your team and expects them to be met yesterday. He or she doesn’t respect the due date on the invoice and refuses to pay you on time. And when it comes to communicating with your company, this client either pesters you 24/7 or can’t be reached at all.

The old cliché may say that the customer is always right, but these difficult clients are usually not worth your time, frustration and, as may be the case, lost income. Although you may be hesitant to drop or “fire” a client, it could very well be in your business’s best interest in the long run.

“For a [business] relationship to have long-term success, both parties have to be in a position to do their very best possible work,” said Matt Dopkiss, co-founder of digital marketing agency Dynamit. “If the frictions overpower the momentum, the relationship will grind to a halt. You usually know it far in advance, but you’re reluctant to admit it. You rationalize, you put in extra effort, you try to stay optimistic — but once the chemistry is gone, it’s over.”

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22 Mistakes Made by Sellers in M&A Transactions | All Business

Selling a company is often difficult and time consuming. The mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process is one that requires careful planning, competent professionals assisting the target company, and an understanding of the deal dynamics involved in the negotiations. CEOs and companies that have not been engaged in many M&A transactions frequently make mistakes that can result in a less favorable price or terms that would have otherwise been obtainable —or even kill the deal altogether.

The following is a list of common mistakes made by private companies attempting to sell themselves:

1. Not being prepared for the extensive effort and time the deal will take. Successful exits through M&A are not easy. They are time consuming, involve significant due diligence by the buyer, and require both a great deal of advance preparation as well as a substantial resource commitment by the seller. Acquisitions can often take 6 to 12 months or more to complete.

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Having Mom in the Car Changes Teen Driver’s Brain | Live Science

In a bittersweet rite of passage, each year a new crop of parents buckles up for their teens’ first time behind the wheel. Now, a new study suggests that their mother’s watchful eye helps teens learn to make safer decisions while driving.

In the study, researchers designed a driving simulation test that actually encouraged risk-taking behavior, and asked 25 teens to complete the simulation as quickly as possible. At each of the 26 intersections in the simulation, the teens had the option to stop for a yellow light, which would cause a three-second delay, or speed through the light — which was the fastest option — if they didn’t crash. If they did crash, it caused a six-second delay in their total time. The teens went through the course once each on their own, and once under the gaze of mom.

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The 3 Skills You Need to Lead Organizational change | Page19

coffee-cup-designer-5251-777x550What happens when a culture is wrong? What does it take to change it? One thing’s for sure: you’ll need a deft leader. A new book by Roger Connors and Tom Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game, tells how to effect cultural change within organizations.

You hear it all the time. Article after article, blog post after blog post talks about company culture or company DNA. These words were chosen because they represent something intrinsic and nigh-unchangeable. But what happens when culture is wrong? What happens when the DNA is bad?

Well, if you’re a species, you probably go extinct. Ouch. Obviously for a business, this is not an ideal result. So let’s say that you’ve identified a feature in your organization’s culture that needs to change. If it’s really in your culture—in your company DNA—it’s going to take more than a memo to change it.

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Amazon Launches Amazon Business Marketplace, Will Close AmazonSupply | Forbes

downloadIn 2012, AMZN -1.01% quietly launched AmazonSupply, the e-commerce company’s foray into the unsexy but hugely lucrative world of B2B wholesale.

By 2014, when Forbes covered the burgeoning business, AmazonSupply was already offering 2.2 million products for sale in 17 categories, from tools and home improvement to janitorial supplies, stocking everything from 12-packs of Hawaiian Punch to schedule-40 stainless steel pipe.

Industry insiders were already concerned about the potential impact of AmazonSupply on America’s 35,000 distribution companies, almost all of which are regional and family-run. Could they compete with AmazonSupply’s infrastructure and deep cache of consumer data?

Now Amazon is taking its quest to win over the $7.2 trillion B2B sector a step further. On Tuesday, the Seattle-based web giant is launching Amazon Business, a new platform aiming to do for business customers what has done for everyday shoppers.

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Until We Meet Again part 2 | Peter Mehit

downloadYou’ve no doubt heard the expression that a person has a ‘hidden agenda’. We’re here to tell you the shocking truth. Everybody has a ‘hidden agenda’ and only a few people have an actual agenda. I know, I was scared too when I first heard this.

Are agendas important? You bet. Without one, meetings are unstructured discussions that will take longer than you expect and won’t deliver the results you want. With one, you’ll make millions and be ecstatically happy every day. Well, maybe not, but you’ll be happier than you would have been without one.

To be successful, agendas need to be:

Realistic – Can you really get to all the items on the agenda in the time you have? This is important because you always have to finish on time (more later).

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ESPN Sues Verizon Over Its TV Packages Aimed At Cord Cutters | TechCrunch

Verizon has apparently hit a snag with regard to its efforts aimed at cord cutters. The cable TV provider recently introduced a way to purchase TV channel packages via à la carte bundles. But today, ESPN filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against which argues that Verizon’s move to break out ESPN’s channels into a separate sports tier that isn’t a part of the core package is not authorized by existing contracts.

ESPN had previously declared its unhappiness with Verizon’s new channel packages earlier this month, shortly after they went live for Verizon’s cable customers. The network a little over a week ago released a statement which claimed that Verizon didn’t have the right to release packages that removed ESPN from the core lineup.

With its new “cord cutter” bundles, Verizon is offering a $59.99 base package which consumers can add extra content on top of, as they choose.

According to Verizon, these TV packages are aimed at offering traditional cable subscribers more options when it comes to constructing the sort of channel lineup they want. It’s meant to stave off those who would otherwise want to drop their cable TV subscriptions entirely, or drop down to basic cable in an effort to save money.

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