2010年9月28日 星期二

Nestlé plans to bite into health industry with standalone unit

2010年09月28日 12:19 PM

Nestlé plans to bite into health industry with standalone unit

Nestlé is challenging the global drugs industry with plans to invest SFr500m ($510m) over the next decade to support the creation of a standalone health science business to tackle obesity and chronic disease.


The Swiss food group, which announced the move on Monday, appointed Luis Cantarell, one of its most experienced executives, to “pioneer a new industry between food and pharma” that will develop products to combat diabetes, heart problems and Alzheimer’s.

该公司周一宣布了上述消息,并任命经验最为丰富的高管之一路易斯•坎塔雷利(Luis Cantarell),负责“开拓一个介于食品和制药之间的新行业”,将开发一些治疗糖尿病、心脏问题和老年痴呆症的产品。

The decision reflects a trend among food and pharmaceutical groups that are converging around high-margin non- prescription health products, for both humans and animals.


“The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing healthcare systems . . . are not sustainable and need redesigning,” said Peter Brabeck, chairman, a key backer of the Swiss group’s push into nutrition.

雀巢进军营养产业的关键支持者、董事长包必达(Peter Brabeck)表示:“健康经济学、不断变化的人口统计学状况以及健康科学的进步,都表明我们现有的医疗体系……不可持续,需要重新设计。”

Pharmaceutical groups including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis have placed increasing emphasis on consumer health products sold over the counter, in an effort to diversify away from high-risk traditional drug development.


Nestlé recently completed the divestment of Alcon, its specialist eyecare business, to Novartis.


The new health science division, to open in January, will include the group’s existing healthcare nutrition business, which had sales of SFr1.6bn last year.


By setting up a standalone subsidiary, the group may avoid perceived conflicts between core products, such as chocolate, and obesity – which now affects a sixth of the world’s population.


Some analysts are sceptical about a food company’s ability to break into this area, citing the time it has taken arch rival Danone of France, which has invested heavily in recent years, to see a significant payback.


Regulators, including the European Food Safety Authority, have begun imposing tougher standards to ensure any health-related claims are backed by science.

包括欧洲食品安全局(European Food Safety Authority)在内的监管机构,已开始实施更为严格的标准,以确保所有与健康相关的主张都有科学依据。

However, Nestlé said it was no newcomer and already had a pet food that holds back Alzheimer’s in dogs. The group says its Pro Plan Senior is “the first and only dog food to contain ANTI AGE – a nutrient blend proven to improve cognitive function and mental alertness in senior dogs.”

但雀巢表示,自己并非一位新进者,该公司已生产了一种治疗犬类老年痴呆症的宠物食品。该集团表示,冠能Senior(Pro Plan Senior) “是第一种、也是唯一一种含有抗老化物质的狗粮,事实证明,这种混合营养物质能够改善老年犬的认知功能和精神警觉性。”


2010年9月26日 星期日

Why does anyone bother contributing to Wikipedia?

Why does anyone bother contributing to Wikipedia?

A “Dear Economist” correspondent once asked me why people post clips of classic comedies on YouTube, or go to the trouble of writing online reviews, given that there seems to be nothing in it for them. A textbook economics model would say that people would not, in fact, post online reviews or contribute to YouTube. And my answer, in brief, was that they don’t. Far more people read books than write reviews of them, and far more watch YouTube videos than post them. As a broad defence of rational economic man, my answer wasn’t too bad; but as a way of understanding online volunteering, it was useless.

《亲爱的经济学家》的一位读者曾经写信问我,为什么看上去无利可图,还会有人在 YouTube上发布经典的搞笑视频,或者费心在网上撰写评论?按照教科书上的经济学模型,人们不应该在网上撰写评论或者在YouTube上发布视频。简 单地说,我的答案是他们并没有这样做。读书的人远远多于写评论的人,看视频的人也远远多于上传视频的人。作为对理性经济人的宽泛辩护,我的答案还算不错, 可惜对于理解在线志愿行为并没有帮助。

Economic theory is not entirely helpful, either. “Public good provision” is the economists’ name for installing a solar hot water system for the sake of the planet, or endowing a library, or contributing a paragraph to Wikipedia. The trouble is not that economics has no explanation for such contributions, but that it has too many. Perhaps people are pure altruists, motivated by the joy of others. Perhaps they enjoy the process of contributing, whether or not it actually produces something of value. Or perhaps they enjoy the good reputation that comes with being acknowledged as a Doer of Good Deeds.

经济学理论也不是很有帮助。为了保护地球安装太阳能热水器、资助图书馆或者在维基百科 中撰写一个段落之类的行为,经济学家称之为“公共物品提供”。问题不是经济学无法解释这种贡献行为,而是解释太多。可能有人是纯粹的利他主义者,自己的动 力就来源于他人的喜悦;可能他们享受的是贡献的过程,不论实际上是否创造了有价值的东西;可能他们只是喜欢“爱做好人好事”的好名声。

Until now, most of our understanding of the question has come from laboratory experiments. Given the importance of social context, these experiments may well be giving precise answers to the wrong question.


But a new study by two economists, Xiaoquan Zhang and Feng Zhu, has cast light on this problem. Zhang and Zhu look at the Chinese version of Wikipedia. Wikipedia keeps track of all the changes every registered user has ever made to the site, when the edits were made, and what they were. It also hosts user pages, where individual users can talk to each other and discuss the changes they’ve been making.

不过,经济学家张晓泉和朱峰最新的研究成果对解决这个问题有所启发。张晓泉和朱峰对维 基百科(Wikipedia)中文版进行了研究。维基百科会记录所有注册用户对网站所做的所有改动,包括编辑时间和编辑内容。网站上还设有用户页面,各个 用户之间可以互相交谈,对所做的修改展开讨论。

The Chinese government has a habit of blocking access to Wikipedia. Zhang and Zhu study a particular episode in October 2005 during which contributors who lived on the Chinese mainland couldn’t reach the site, but contributors from outside could.


The researchers painstakingly isolated 1,707 contributors who had access to Wikipedia during the block. In most cases, the evidence for this was that those contributors had made at least one change to the site while mainland users couldn’t get to it. They found that while the block was in force, contributions from these unblocked users plummeted by more than 40 per cent.


This finding contrasts with some economic models of public good provision, which say that the larger the group, the larger the free rider problem, because any individual contribution will be spread across a large number of people. (An imprecise analogy: you might bring expensive wine to a dinner party because at least you’ll get a glass. You wouldn’t bring it to a house party, where you’re unlikely to get a sip.)

这项研究与有关公共物品提供的一些经济学模型相冲突。模型认为,群体越大,免费搭车问 题就越严重,因为任何个人贡献都会由许多人分享。(一个不太恰当的比喻是,参加小宴席时你可能会带一瓶昂贵的红酒,因为至少自己能喝到一杯,但是参加大派 对时就不会,因为自己一口都喝不到。)

Chinese Wikipedia contributors, on the other hand, got coy when nobody was watching. When a large number of potential readers were cut off from the site, many writers who could have continued to contribute stopped bothering. The most sociable editors – those with active user pages – were the ones most likely to be discouraged.


So now I have a slightly better answer for my Dear Economist correspondent: people are posting those videos on YouTube because they’d really like you to watch them.



2010年9月25日 星期六

HSBC: a study in dysfunction

Admittedly, that old dual-headed structure had been a work in progress: for the first 127 years of its life HSBC had no chief executive at all. But it had served the bank well enough since 1992, when the takeover of Midland in the UK meant HSBC had to kowtow to local rules.


上文 work in progress的翻譯是錯誤

work in progress
n., pl., works in progress.
A yet incomplete artistic, theatrical, or musical work, often made available for public viewing or listening.

HSBC: a study in dysfunction

HSBC brought all this on itself. The world’s third-largest bank by market capitalisation used to have a clear division of responsibilities: the chairman set the strategy, and the chief executive delivered it.


That changed a year ago, when the bank announced that chief executive Michael Geoghegan was to move from London to Hong Kong, taking responsibility for strategy with him. Stripped of his main reason for being, chairman Stephen Green became a minister without portfolio; a book tour here, an honorary doctorate there. It was no wonder his head was turned by the offer of a real job.

一年前,这种情况发生了改变:汇丰宣布行政总裁纪勤(Michael Geoghegan)将把办公地点从伦敦迁至香港,同时承担起制定战略的责任。汇丰主席葛霖(Stephen Green)由此被剥夺了存在的主要理由,成为一个空头司令:在这儿进行签名售书,到那里领取名誉博士学位。因此,他会对一份有实权的工作邀请感兴趣也就 不足为奇了。

Admittedly, that old dual-headed structure had been a work in progress: for the first 127 years of its life HSBC had no chief executive at all. But it had served the bank well enough since 1992, when the takeover of Midland in the UK meant HSBC had to kowtow to local rules.


When his time was up in 2006, Mr Green became the third chief executive to move upstairs to chairman. Some shareholders grumbled, but exceptions like these were what the “comply or explain” provision of the UK’s corporate governance Combined Code was invented for. Would investors rather HSBC had had a genuine outsider as chairman, like the journalist at Northern Rock, or the chemist at RBS?

2006年任期满后,葛霖成为第三位升任主席的行政总裁。一些股东对此满腹牢骚,但英 国《公司治理联合准则》中的“遵守或是解释”条款正是为这种例外情况而设的。投资者难道宁愿由真正的外来者担任汇丰主席,就像北岩银行(Northern Rock)的那位记者、或是苏格兰皇家银行(RBS)的那位化学家那样?

If Mr Geoghegan is to go, the well-travelled Stuart Gulliver has a strong claim on his position. Earnings from global banking and markets, the division he heads, were the main reason HSBC made more money in the first half than Barclays and Standard Chartered put together.

如果纪勤离任,见多识广的欧智华(Stuart Gulliver)将成为绝佳继任人选。欧智华领导的全球银行与市场部门创造的收益,是汇丰上半年收益超过巴克莱(Barclays)和渣打(Standard Chartered)总和的主要原因。

Finance director Douglas Flint, too, has the gravitas to succeed Mr Green as chairman. But he should insist on a better job spec than “roving grandee”. And the board as a whole needs to learn the lessons from an experiment in management that has so far been a wretched failure.

财务总监范智廉(Douglas Flint)也有接替葛霖担任主席的庄严气质。但他应该坚持要求扩大自己的职责范围,而不满足于只扮演“巡视大公”的角色。而整个董事会也需要从迄今惨遭失败的管理试验中吸取教训。

E-mail the Lex team confidentially


Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.


2010年9月23日 星期四

Faber-Castell (pencils)

Faber-Castell (pencils)

  1. Faber-Castell International

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    AW Faber-Castell, Faber-Castell, Faber, Accessoires, Albrecht Duerer, Bleistift, Buero, Buerobedarf, Design, Drehbleistifte, Druckbleistifte, Faber, ...
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  2. 臺灣Faber-Castell : 首頁

    Faber-Castell PITT藝術筆創作影片榮獲知名Silver Telly電視大獎. 2010-05-28, 6/1~6/30前報名師資速成, ... 林布蘭》2008 FABER-CASTELL盃全國繪畫比賽得獎作品欣賞 ...


作者:經濟學人  出處:Web Only 2010/09


Faber- Castell成立於1761年,是全球最大的品牌鉛筆製造商,它的任務讓人望而怯步:改良那個鉛筆愛好者認為已臻完美的產品。許多人認為,進入電腦時代 之後,鉛筆會逐漸被人遺忘,但鉛筆的銷售仍持續增加。Faber-Castell年產量約22億枝。它們便宜又耐用,在學校非常受歡迎。

不 過,Faber-Castell在衰退中仍能繼續成長,上個財報年度銷售上升了近6%。Faber-Castell在新興市場表現不 錯,也經由改良鉛筆增加在富有世界的市佔率。Lothar von Faber是公司創立者的曾孫,於1839年接掌公司;他發明了六角形鉛筆,讓鉛筆不會一直在桌面上滾動。


但 對用鉛筆的人來說,有三項創新特別重要。其一,Faber-Castell於90年代開始採用環保塗料。老師和家長擔心小孩咬鉛筆會吞下有毒物 質,但小孩喜歡彩色,所以Faber-Castell伯爵重整製程,改用不含有毒化學物質的新塗料。第二項創新則是推出符合人體工學的三角形鉛筆,小孩也 非常喜歡這種鉛筆。第三項則是為鉛筆加上橡膠點,讓鉛筆不會從流汗的小手中滑開。


An eight-generation family firm shows how innovation need never stop
Faber-Castell The future of the pencil

A wonderful tool with many uses.ULYSSES GRANT, an American general, jotted down battle plans with one. Otto von Bismarck, a Prussian chancellor, used his to tamp down the tobacco in his pipe. Vincent van Gogh used one to "draw a woman sewing" and found they "produce a marvellous black and are very agreeable to work with."

Craftsmen have made pencils in Stein, near Nuremberg, for nearly four centuries. Faber-Castell, the world's biggest branded pencil manufacturer, has done so since 1761. Its task is daunting: to improve a product that pencil-lovers insist has been perfect for well over a century. Among these is Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, a dapper former investment banker and the eighth member of his family to run the firm. "At my home I have a Faber-Castell pencil I bought from an antique dealer that must be from 1890 or 1895," he says. "It writes perfectly, even after all these years. That's the fantastic thing with a pencil."

Many people thought that pencils would become obsolete in the computer age, yet sales continue to grow. Perhaps 15 billion-20 billion are made each year, roughly half of them in China. Faber-Castell produces about 2.2 billion. They are cheap, sturdy and popular in schools, especially in poor countries. As countries grow richer, children's pencil cases grow fatter, though only up to a point. Sales of pencils in most European countries are growing only slowly, if at all.

Faber-Castell, however, has kept growing despite the recession. In its past financial year sales increased by almost 6%. The firm does well in emerging markets with vast numbers of bright-eyed schoolchildren. It is also grabbing market share in the rich world by making its pencils better. This is nothing new for Faber-Castell. Lothar von Faber, the great-grandson of the company's founder, took over in 1839 and invented the hexagonal pencil. By cutting the edges off a cylindrical one, he stopped it from rolling off a table.

Faber-Castell's second big innovation was stolen. In 1875 America's Supreme Court ruled that Faber was entitled to put rubber erasers onto the back of its pencils, although another inventor had already patented the idea. The court felt that the idea was too obvious to patent.

Since then, years of research have gone into making leads firmer and finding the type of wood that best protects them from breaking when dropped. But for scribblers, three ideas stand out. First, Faber-Castell started using water-based, environmentally friendly paints in the 1990s. Teachers and parents, who used to worry that children would swallow toxins while chewing their pencils, would have preferred plain wooden ones. But children love bright colours. So Count Faber-Castell reworked his entire process to accommodate new paints without harmful chemicals. Teachers in Europe now urge parents to buy them by name.

The count's second innovation was to introduce an ergonomic triangular shape that is popular with children. His third was to add rubbery dots that keep the pencils from slipping out of sweaty little hands.

As for the future, Count Faber-Castell still sees scope for further refinement. Pencils could perhaps be made tougher, or easier on the eye. But the basic design—graphite encased in wood—is unlikely to change much in the next ten to 15 years, he says. Asked about the next 100, he laughs. That may be for another generation to decide.

0 意見:

2010年9月22日 星期三

Luxgen plans exports

Taiwan luxury sedan maker plans exports

TAIPEI — Taiwan luxury sedan maker Luxgen Motor plans to start exporting its vehicles to five foreign markets from the fourth quarter, a report said Wednesday.

Luxgen, a wholly owned unit of Yulon Motor, aims to sign sales contracts with dealers in Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic in early October, according to the Central News Agency.

"It will be the first time Luxgen sells its products overseas," an unnamed spokeswoman told the agency. "We are looking forward to it."

A joint venture with China's Dongfeng Motor plans to begin selling Luxgen models in the mainland in the first half of 2011 after recently getting approval from the authorities there, the spokeswoman said.

The Taiwanese company put the finishing touches to the Luxgen -- coined from the words "luxury" and "genius" -- last year.

At 800,000 Taiwan dollars (25,000 US dollars), the company hopes it will appeal to tech-savvy but only moderately wealthy consumers at home and abroad.


  • 2010-09-22
  • 工商時報
  • 【記者譚淑珍/昆山報導】



 「江蘇花橋台灣商品交易中心」的的投資股東結構相當特別,除了江蘇省昆山市政府佔 30%,其他70%幾乎是由工總重量級理監事包辦,包括理事長陳武雄、三位副理事長許勝雄、潘俊榮、林伯豐、常務理事詹正田、葉義雄、林明儒、胡定吾等都 是主要股東,雙方並成立「台灣商品交易中心有限公司」為控股公司。


 就因為工總重量級理監事是主要股東成員,並有昆出市政府出資,由昆山市政府發出的新聞稿的標題直指是「台灣工業總會與江蘇省政府、聯合打 造台灣商品進入中國大陸的第一交易平台」,胡定吾在向梁保華、張國華等一行人介紹時也特別指出,是以打造中國最大、最專業、最具價值和最具影響力的台灣商 品第一交易平台為目標。


 胡定吾說,台灣商品交易中心一號館預計2011年第一季即可啟用,主攻台灣特色街、台灣MIT精緻食品館,「台灣所有知名的小吃,都會搬 過來」,整個計畫完成要到2014年,分四個階開發營運,逐步將台灣的食衣住行育樂全部移植過來。潘俊榮說,未來不排除以同樣的模式在中國「遍地開花」。

2010年9月21日 星期二


許久以前 美國電子儀器 (衡量......)等產品著名公司HP 要去開發日本市場
與YOKOGAW電氣合組公司稱為 YHP
後來 HP公司規模很大 就必須考慮將YHP分家 成HP日本公司 (它甚至於將原公司的核心產業獨立成安傑倫公司 乞丐 (電腦/印表機等)趕走廟公 (儀器)

HP 公司在台灣是少數投資地產(辦公大樓)的公司
不過十幾年前併Compaq 電腦公司時 台灣的主管選Compaq公司的
讓原HP公司的總經理灰頭土臉 必須到中國投奔朋友
然後是總裁被趕下台 (台積電的張董事長請她當董事....)
今年 老總又因為報假帳被革職 (他是很沒人緣的管理員 為公司和自己賺到許多錢 可是這不是第一順位的優先....前老總被敵手 ORACLE公司請去當共同執行長 HP告他........)

YOKOGAWA 公司在控制上一直很強

YOKOGAWA 支援顧客經營效率革新





日本橫河電機株式會社的自動化控制產品已在台灣行銷至今近40年。為更有效率且充分地迎合台灣各產業界製程及工廠自動化之需求,特於1989年元月一日在台灣成立: ﹝台灣橫河股份有限公司﹞,期能提供多元化和整體性的服務。



HP 近日發現前總經理只顧賺錢 幾乎沒什麼創心新上的投資
所以必須直追Apple 公司


HP to establish R&D center in Taiwan

By Jason Tan
Wednesday, Sep 22, 2010, Page 1

“The center will set its focus on computer products, determining the design of HP Slate and related multi-touch applications.”

— HP sources

Hewlett-Packard Co is setting up a global research and development (R&D) center in Taiwan, and expects to churn out computer and mobile devices such as its prospective iPad-killer, the HP Slate. The center, called the Computing Hub, will cost NT$3.6 billion (US$112.5 million) over three years and is expected to procure US$30 billion in electronics components from Taiwanese companies each year within that period, according to sources familiar with the deal.

“The center will set its focus on computer products, determining the design of HP Slate and related multi-touch applications,” sources said.

Other products in the R&D pipeline for the Computing Hub include 3D visual technologies for mobile products, while the US tech giant will work with local suppliers for special shutter glasses.

Personal cloud computing will also be a key theme for the center, where HP will develop related infrastructure and share know-how with Taiwanese contract makers, the sources said.

Kai Hsiao (蕭國坤), HP Taiwan’s procurement head, confirmed ­yesterday that the company has initiated a three-year program to set up an R&D center in Taiwan.

He would not comment on the specifics or amount, but said the center would play a critical role for HP’s global R&D.

“This project will put our Taiwan site in a strategic position for HP’s global R&D operations,” he said, adding that the center would be the largest R&D project in terms of investment in Taiwan’s tech industry.

He said PC, handset and server products would be the key focuses for the Computing Hub.

“Innovation will be the key to the Computing Hub. It won’t carry out R&D for middle or low-end products. The center will also join hands with Taiwan’s academia,” he said.

HP is not alone in boosting investment in Taiwan to tap into the local tech supply chain and its growing trade ties with China following the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

Another US firm, Super Micro Computer Inc, a leader in storage and server manufacturing, will also spend more than US$100 million to set up its Asia-Pacific operation center in Taiwan.

The company will recruit up to 4,000 staff members to run the center, which will include logistical, manufacturing and R&D functions.

“The company is facing high labor costs at its research site in Silicon Valley. Moving to Taiwan will help it cut costs and it could also take advantage of the ample resources of the tech supply chain here,” sources said.

Its operation center will be located in Bade (八德), Taoyuan County.

2010年9月20日 星期一


经济纵横 | 2010.09.20




距离圣诞节的购物高峰还有两个月的时间,但对于法国知名品牌路易威登( Louis Vuitton )的狂热崇拜者们来说却天天都是圣诞节,尤其是那些来自亚洲国家的顾客。就拿巴黎香榭丽舍大道上的LV专卖店来说,中国游客要持护照才能"限量"购买到商家的产品。而大多数店员都已缺货为由,拒绝游客大批代购。巴黎旅游观光局的托马斯·德尚(Thomas Deschamps )在接受法新社记者采访时表示,"经济危机的困难时期已经过去,亚洲客人又再次蜂拥巴黎,开始他们的购物之旅。"



在香榭丽舍大道的LV专卖店门前,一位年轻的中国姑娘手里拎着刚买到的"战利品"高兴的告诉法新社记者,"我花了800欧元(约合7000人民币)买到了一个手提包,在中国肯定不止这个价钱,甚至要多花两倍的价钱才能买到。" 上海LV专卖店上海LV专卖店







2010年9月18日 星期六

Zappos “Create fun and a little weirdness.”


At Zappos, Culture Pays
by Dick Richards

Weirdness may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of shoe retailing, but then again neither are things like innovation, massive growth, or a large payoff from a huge acquisition. All of those apply to Zappos, however, where a little weirdness — combined with faith that putting extraordinary effort into building a desirable company culture — has provided a sure path to business success.

Click here to read the full article.

enews is an exclusive platform for business analysis, insights, commentary, and other intellectual capital from the authors, strategists, and editors at strategy+business.

Art Kleiner

At Zappos, Culture Pays

The thriving Internet shoe retailer has made its name and a lot of money by being eccentric.

One clue that something a little weird is happening at Zappos can be found near the bottom of the home page of the company’s website, where you’ll find lists with headings such as “Shop with Us” and “Customer Service,” beneath pictures of Anne Klein, Rockport, and Nike footwear; New Balance shirts; and Tommy Bahama shorts. Buried in one list is a link advising, “Don’t ever click here.” I did, of course, and the link opened a YouTube video of the Muppet rock band performing, as lead singer Beaker lip-syncs, “Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down.” It is a not-so-subtle message to Zappos’ customers and perhaps to its employees as well.

Another link opened a company-produced video in which employees talk about their favorite Zappos values — there are 10 values in total — with the same conviction and enthusiasm that the Muppet band brings to its musical antics. A clear winner: “Create fun and a little weirdness.”

Weirdness may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of shoe retailing, but then again neither are things like innovation, massive growth, or a large payoff from a huge acquisition. All of those apply to Zappos, however, where a little weirdness — combined with faith that putting extraordinary effort into building a desirable company culture — has provided a sure path to business success.

Zappos began selling shoes and other products online in 1999, became profitable four years later (the beginning of a still-unbroken run of annual earnings gains) and reached more than US$1 billion in sales by 2009. That was a big year for Zappos in other ways as well. The company was rewarded with Business Week’s Customer Service Champ designation, inclusion on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. Also in 2009, Amazon purchased Zappos for 10 million Amazon shares, worth almost $928 million at the time. Zappos’ employees divvied up $40 million in cash and restricted stock and were given assurances that the Zappos management would remain in place.

At the top of the list of Zappos’ values is “Deliver WOW through service.” In fact, Zappos describes itself as a service company that happens to sell shoes and other products. This value is reflected in such niceties as a 365-day return policy with free shipping both ways, 24/7 customer phone lines, live online help, and customer product ratings — none of which is all that weird. But things do become, if not weirder, then at least different, when seen from the perspective of Aaron Magness, Zappos’ director of business development and brand marketing. He told me, “I read about how Zappos is focused on customer service. It isn’t. It’s focused on company culture, which leads to customer service. We don’t talk about customer service; we allow it to happen on its own by having the right people.”

The right people are rare. Only about one out of 100 applicants passes a hiring process that is weighted 50 percent on job skills and 50 percent on the potential to mesh with Zappos’ culture. Indeed, if you want to get a job at Zappos, the value to emblematize most is “be humble” — avoid using I in favor of we. “Humbleness allows for greater collaboration,” says Magness, sounding more and more like a self-help manual all the time.

Acing the interview process isn’t enough to guarantee continued employment. Every new hire undergoes four weeks of training, during which the company culture must be committed to memory. The second week includes dealing with customers by working the telephones. One newly hired senior person thought this task beneath him. He was treated like the apostate that he was. “We sent him home,” Magness offers bluntly.

The architect of Zappos’ determination to build a culture that applauds such things as weirdness and humility is Tony Hsieh (pronounced Shay), who became CEO in 2000. He would stand out as a little weird himself in a room full of CEOs: He shaves his head, spends at least 10 percent of his time studying what he calls the science of happiness, and speaks of becoming less focused on “me.” As an April Fools’ Day prank this year, Hsieh put out a press release announcing that Zappos was suing Walt Disney Company in a class action claiming that Disney was misleading the public by saying that Disneyland is “the happiest place on Earth”; clearly, Hsieh argued, Zappos is.

As cofounder of the Internet advertising network LinkExchange and of an incubator firm that invested in Web startups, Hsieh saw firsthand the dysfunction that can arise from building a company in which technical skill is all that matters. He reached a point of not wanting to go to work because of all the backstabbing and ladder climbing he saw — and this was at startup companies, blank slates emerging from revolutionary new technologies. Many of these companies didn’t get very far.

When he joined Zappos, Hsieh was determined that it would be different — that its success would be informed primarily by an unorthodox and comparatively benign culture. He invited Zappos’ 300 employees to list the core values that the culture should be based upon. That exercise, which involved grouping like-minded suggestions together, readily yielded the 10 values that continue to drive the organization, now numbering about 1,800 people.

A far more difficult challenge than defining these values has been keeping them in the foreground of employees’ attention and making certain that abstract qualities such as weirdness and humility are given concrete reality. Hsieh and his management team meet that test in myriad ways. For example, the value “Pursue growth and learning” is supported by a company library and an in-house life coach.

But non-management employees must do their part as well; their performance reviews are based in large part on how well they participate in the culture. “That doesn’t mean you have to be at every [company] happy hour,” Magness says. “But are you living the brand promise? Are you organizing team events? What is your relationship like with outside vendors? How are your relationships with other members of your team?”

Corporate culture is more than a set of values, and it is maintained by a complex web of human interactions. At Zappos, the liberal use of social media facilitates the network that links employees with one another and with the company’s customers. A recent scan of twitter.zappos.com found customers discussing Zappos’ coupons, the attractiveness of Zappos’ pricing, and the company’s “teleportation technology.” As one tweet stated, “I wish Zappos would share [it] with the rest of the world. Ordered shoes at 8 p.m. last night, got here today?” Also on Twitter, employees share advice about shipping procedures and SOS calls: “Hey. Did anyone bring a hairdryer to the office today?”

Zappos takes the pulse of the organization monthly, measuring the health of the culture with a happiness survey. Employees respond to such unlikely questions as whether they believe that the company has a higher purpose than profits, whether their own role has meaning, whether they feel in control of their career path, whether they consider their co-workers to be like family and friends, and whether they are happy in their jobs.

Results from the survey are broken down by department, and opportunities for development are identified and acted upon. For example, when it was clear from the survey that one department had veered off course and felt isolated from the rest of the organization, a program was instituted that enabled individuals in the group to learn more about how integral their work was.

To celebrate its accomplishments, Zappos publishes an annual Culture Book. The 2009 edition is a slickly produced 350-page hardback packed with testimonials from employees, many of whom likened Zappos to a group of prized relatives. Britnee B., an employee since 2008, wrote, “Every day when I come to work, I am overwhelmed with the genuine smiles and happy spirits of my Zappos family.”

In Hsieh’s introduction to the book he asks, “So what is the Zappos culture?” He has several answers, and concludes with, “But most of all, it’s about having faith that if we do the right thing, then in the long run we will succeed and build something great.”

Unlike many of the companies that Hsieh had worked with previously, where technical skill trumped social skills and enervating politics trumped cooperation, Zappos has a belief that the right culture with the right values will always produce the best organizational performance, and this belief trumps everything else. Of course, there is no real proof of the cause and effect, and Magness himself admits that “it takes a leap of faith” to believe it. But that’s a leap that Hsieh has gladly embraced — and so far he’s convinced his employees to jump as well.

Author Profile:

  • Dick Richards is an organizational change, personal growth, and leadership development consultant, and is the author of Is Your Genius At Work? 4 Key Questions to Ask Before Your Next Career Move (Davies-Black Publishing, 2005).

Mobile Service Targets Cambodia's 'Unbanked'

Mobile Service Targets Cambodia's 'Unbanked'
How do you roll out a banking service in a place where most people don't have bank accounts? ANZ tackled that question in developing a mobile system it launched in Cambodia.

Halal burgers sell like hotcakes

Halal burgers sell like hotcakes

Quick is France's second biggest fast-food retailer, with 362 restaurants
nationwide. It made headlines nine months ago when it announced eight of
its restaurants would only serve halal meals -- that is, meals that comply
with Islamic guidelines for food preparation. The trials was a success. Now
Quick is expanding the program to include 22 restaurants.

The DW-WORLD.DE Article

2010年9月17日 星期五

Rupert Murdoch梅鐸:新聞業的未來充滿希望

新聞集團董事長梅鐸:新聞 業的未來充滿希望

作者:整理/吳怡靜  出處:天下雜誌 445 期 2010/04

蘋果iPad一上市就 熱銷,連高齡七十九歲的媒體大亨梅鐸(Rupert Murdoch)也對它一見鍾情。


「iPad問世,讓我看見了未來,」四月六日晚間,華府「全國記者聯誼會」的專題對談上,新聞集團董事長梅鐸手裡拿著開賣才四天的iPad,興高采 烈地向主持人和觀眾大秀上面的《華爾街日報》。


「我年紀大了,總是喜歡報紙摸起來的感覺,」梅鐸坦言,「不過,將來要是報紙變少,這些(平板電腦)普及,那也很好,報業不會因此滅亡,只是換了不 同的形式。」

儘管年近八十,梅鐸對自己的媒體霸業,每個戰場都毫不鬆懈。集團旗下的福斯電影才剛靠《阿凡達》大賺至少三億美元;福斯新聞台今年第一季的全美收視 率,繼續領先CNN等對手。而在他的辦公室裡,兩個電腦螢幕上,一個是《華爾街日報》網站,另個是宿敵《紐約時報》,「我要把他們拿來比一比,」他鬥志高 昂。

精明如狐狸的梅鐸,最新的戰場是數位內容,不僅要讓新聞集團成為「全世界最重要的內容公司」,更堅持推動線上新聞付費制,公開槓上Google、微 軟等搜尋引擎。



但我要說的,正好相反:新聞業的未來,比任何時候都更有希望,就怕編輯與製作人不願為了讀者、觀眾的需求而努力。就怕政府動用權力,對新聞業過度規 範,或刻意補貼。

過去到現在,報業能夠蓬勃發展,只有一個原因:他們站在讀者的立場,提供攸關讀者利害得失的新聞,因而獲得了讀者的信任。如今,科技讓新聞媒體可以 擴充影響規模,觸及多達數十億人口。這是否表示,所有的新聞業者都會是贏家?



在新聞集團,我們一直在進行的計劃,就是利用一部份廣播頻寬,把我們的電視節目,甚至還有報紙內容,放到手機上去。因為愈來愈多的新聞消費者都希 望,不必待在家裡或辦公室,也能看到喜歡的新聞和娛樂,所以我們打算讓看電視行動化。

報紙也是這樣。愈來愈多讀者會在每天的不同時段,利用不同的技術來閱讀我們的報紙。我們早已透過網站、電子郵件、部落格、推特和播客等管道提供新 聞,現在正考慮增加電子閱讀器(e-readers)。

另外我要強調,即使經濟不景氣,新聞集團仍在增加投資,因為我們準備成為每個市場中的新聞領導者。我們深信,景氣寒冬下的競爭關鍵,就是對新聞內容 做出更多的投資。

舉例來說,這些年我們一直在擴充福斯公司旗下所有電視台的地方新聞時數,光是今年就增加超過了五十小時,目前我們每週總共播出七百小時的地方新聞, 比美國其他電視集團都來得多。而《華爾街日報》在商業報導之外,也增加了更多全國與國際新聞。這也顯示,即使面臨不景氣,新聞還是有進步與擴充的機會。


我常跟人說,我們做的是新聞行業,而不是死樹行業(dead tree business),換句話說,報紙靠的是內容與品牌,而不是它的傳送形式。所以,我們即將推出《華爾街日報》專業版,它結合了日報網站與道瓊資料庫,讓 讀者即時掌握最新消息與存檔資料,就是打算把讀者獲取商業資訊的方式,做出革命性改變。



在新的商業模式下,我們將向網站內容的使用者收費。目前,我們已經在《華爾街日報》網站這麼做,而且很成功,網站訂戶已經超過百萬。未來我們打算把 付費模式推廣到新聞集團旗下的所有報紙,包括《泰晤士報》、《澳洲人報》等在內。


然而,網路上卻有人以為,他們可以擅自取用我們的新聞內容,無須為新聞的製作貢獻任何一毛錢。更有些人以「合理使用」為藉口,把我們的記者花了許多 時間寫出來的報導,加以改寫,有時甚至不註明出處。這些人對新聞沒有做出任何投資,只想靠別人投入的心血來賺一票,這種把我們的新聞報導大批盜用的行為, 不叫做合理使用(fair use),說得難聽點,根本就是偷竊。

拜科技之賜,任何人都可以輕易用網路傳送新聞。但是新聞的製作成本很高,所以,新聞報導如果被人濫用,就等於摧毀了新聞業者製作高品質內容的經濟意 義。更何況,所謂的新聞彙集服務(aggregators)也得要有新聞機構才能存在,如果沒有內容可傳輸,所有的平面電視、電腦、手機、iPhone或 黑莓機上,都會變成一片空白。



過去二、三十年來。我們看到了前所未見的各種新平台、新機會陸續出現。從社交網站、iPhone、黑莓機,到各種報紙、廣播與電視網站,而這還只是 剛開始。

對於這些演變,政府應該扮演重要角色。遺憾的是,政府用來規範新聞資訊業的許多機制,依舊來自於二十世紀的舊有想法與商業模式。政府如果關心新聞業 的生存,最好的做法,就是解除有礙投資、獨斷又相互矛盾的各種法規。


對新聞業者來說,眼前的數位新世界也許錯綜複雜,但是上面這三個成功的原則,卻清楚無比。我們的世界無論如何快速演變,基本的真理依舊不變:人們需 要誠實可靠的新聞資訊,才能做出明智的決策。未來的報紙,究竟會用電子或「死樹」來傳送,其實都不是重點;最重要的是,新聞業必須保持自由、獨立,而且有 競爭力。

I.B.M.: Africa Is the Next Growth Frontier

I.B.M.: Africa Is the Next Growth Frontier

Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.’s chief executive, doesn’t jet around the world to make an appearance every time the technology giant wins a services contract. But the announcement Friday morning in Nairobi is different, says I.B.M.

I.B.M. will supply the computing technology and services for an upgraded cellphone network across 16 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Its customer is India’s largest cellphone operator, Bharti Airtel, which paid $9 billion a few months ago for most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Company, or Zain.

Under the 10-year agreement, I.B.M. will handle customer service for Bharti and provide the hardware, software and services to run everything from billing and call-traffic management to delivering new services like music and video. The deal takes the broad partnership between Bharti and I.B.M., begun in 2004, beyond India. I.B.M. is not disclosing the dollar size of the deal, but analysts estimate it at more than $1.5 billion over the decade-long span.

The Bharti contract also punctuates I.B.M.’s Africa strategy. The company’s presence in Africa dates back 50 years, but in the last five years I.B.M. has invested $300 million in the region to build data centers, add country offices and foster technology training programs — and it plans to expand aggressively in the region.

“This is a huge step forward for I.B.M. in what we think is the next major emerging growth market — Africa,” said Bruno Di Leo, general manager for growth markets for I.B.M.

Though it looms small in the global technology market today, Africa is primed for growth, according to Frank Gens, an analyst at IDC. “And I.B.M. is, as it’s done before, getting in on the ground floor,” Mr. Gens said.

The company’s strategy calls for the growth markets — not only the well-known BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, but also dozens of others — to increase as a share of I.B.M.’s revenue from 19 percent to 25 percent by 2015. That is the equivalent of $1 billion in new sales a year.

In these nations, I.B.M. is targeting the linchpin industries of economies including telecommunications, banking, transportation, health care and energy.

Mr. Di Leo, speaking on Thursday from his office in Shanghai, noted that mobile phones in developing regions like Africa were used not only for talking and texting, but for many other day-to-day activities like banking. He said only 23 percent of Africans have access to banking services, but already 8 million Africans use their cellphones for payments.

So that technology application alone, Mr. Di Leo said, was “a huge opportunity.”

2010年9月16日 星期四

China’s ‘market-Leninism’ has yet to face biggest test

2010年09月16日 07:09 AM

China’s ‘market-Leninism’ has yet to face biggest test

Last year, the writer and political analyst Ian Bremmer was invited to a meeting at the Chinese consulate in New York to discuss the global financial crisis. He Yafei, China’s then vice-foreign-minister, asked the assembled group partly in jest: “Now that the free market has failed, what do you think is the proper role for the state in the economy?”

去年,作家兼政治分析家伊恩•布雷默(Ian Bremmer)受邀出席于中国驻纽约总领事馆召开的一场会议,讨论全球金融危机。时任中国外交部副部长的何亚非半开玩笑地向在场嘉宾问道:“既然自由市场已经宣告失败,那么你们认为,政府应该在经济中扮演怎样的角色才算恰当?”

State capitalism is hardly a new phenomenon, but it is very much in the ascendant at the moment. Not only has the financial crisis sapped confidence in the sorts of free-market policies that Washington has promoted since the end of the cold war, but the continued rise of China with its particular blend of “market-Leninism” has given new respectability to the idea of the state taking a large, even dominant, role in the economy.


If Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History seemed to define to intellectual zeitgeist of the early 1990s, then it is books such as Mr Bremmer’s recent The Rise of State Capitalism that are dominating discussion at the moment.

如果说弗朗西斯•福山(Francis Fukuyama)所著的《历史的终结》(The End of History)似乎定义了上世纪90年代初的学术时代精神,那么主导当前这场讨论的就是像布雷默的《国家资本主义之崛起》(The Rise of State Capitalism)这样的书。

“It’s now much harder for westerners to champion a free-market system and easier for China and Russia to argue that only governments can save economies on the brink. After all, government spending has been essential for recovery in both America and China,” says Mr Bremmer.


“The financial crisis has provided Beijing with new evidence that enlightened state management will offer protection from the natural excesses of free markets. This experiment will probably expand, and continue to exert a growing influence on the shape of the global economy.”


There are plenty of other countries that operate a form of state capitalism, from Russia to the Gulf. Indeed, around three-quarters of global oil reserves are in the hands of state-owned energy companies. Yet, it is China that is the poster-boy for state capitalism.


A decade ago, the Chinese state sector seemed on the verge of collapse. In the late 1990s, hundreds of companies were forced to close and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs. Yet the sector now looks to be in rude health.


According to a recent report by the body that manages the country’s largest state-owned companies, their profits rose by 22 per cent a year from 2003 to 2009, when they accounted for 2.1 per cent of national GDP, up from 0.3 per cent in 1998.


Taking advantage of the crisis, China has been providing aggressive financial backing to its companies to go overseas and sign opportunistic deals in sectors such as energy and raw materials – hoping to forge new multinationals while securing supplies of vital commodities.


China has also been putting increased pressure on multinationals to hand over important technologies in return for access to its market. The authorities intend to make the know-how available to some of their own companies.


Under the rubric of promoting “indigenous innovation”, China has introduced a string of policies – ranging from patent laws and technology standards to procurement policies and product approval rules – that many foreign technology companies believe are a huge threat to their intellectual property.


“With these indigenous innovation industrial policies, it is clear that China has switched from defence to offence,” says Jim McGregor, a Beijing-based consultant and former director of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

“这些自主创新产业政策清楚表明,中国已经转守为攻,”驻北京咨询顾问、中国美国商会(American Chamber of Commerce)前会长麦健陆(James McGregor)表示。

“Many single-industry and single-product companies could be destroyed in the process. Global markets are likely to become increasingly distorted, and the end result could be a chilling effect on innovation globally.”


Yet it is easy to be overly impressed by the apparent potency of China’s state sector. For a start, there is less to these companies’ headline profitability than meets the eye. About half of those profits come from just four companies – China Mobile and the three oil and gas giants – which have semi-monopoly positions.

不过,人们很容易过度震撼于中国国有部门表面的实力。首先,这些企业的整体盈利能力并不如看上去那么强大。这些利润中约有一半仅来自4家公司——中国移动(China Mobile)以及石油与天然气三巨头——它们都拥有半垄断地位。

China may have the biggest banks in the world, but their profits would collapse if the government did not impose large interest rate spreads that penalise depositors.


Efforts to create national champions have faced many problems. China’s two most successful car companies – Chery and Geely, which recently acquired Volvo – were not the ones that planners in Beijing chose to support.


At the same time, some of the potential threats from the resurgent state sector are also overblown. China’s oil companies are not shrinking global oil stocks by inking long-term supply deals. Their investments in places such as Sudan and Iran, where western multinationals are barred for political reasons, are expanding international oil and gas supplies.


Most of all, the biggest challenge for the Chinese model is yet to come. Heavy state direction has worked in other countries, as it is working in China now, to develop heavy industry and manufacturing – which require ready access to capital – and to promote urbanisation.


Yet large bureaucracies have a much less impressive record at producing the innovation that Chinese leaders believe is crucial to the long-term future of the economy. That will be the real test for Chinese state capitalism.





Wang Laboratories
Wang Global
sold to Compucom