(December 2012) "My first impression, when I heard of the company," notes a current Big Ass Fans employee, "is that I would never work for this company in my life." A bold name does hold some risks, even for a company that makes gigantic industrial fans. CEO Carey Smith found, however, that his decision to commit to the name yielded tremendous rewards according to Columbia Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership. More than a century earlier, in 1886, as workers in New York Harbor, were constructing the Statue of Liberty, 800 miles away, another great American symbol was about to be unveiled. John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, one afternoon stirred up a fragrant, caramel-coloured liquid and, when it was done, he carried it a few doors down to Jacobs' Pharmacy, according to the official history. Here, the mixture was combined with carbonated water and sampled by customers who all agreed -- this new drink was something special. So Jacobs' Pharmacy put it on sale for five cents a glass. Frank Robinson, Pemberton's bookkeeper, named the mixture Coca-Cola, and wrote it out in his distinct script. To this day, Coca-Cola is written the same way and the name endures as a top global brand.
(November 2012) A behind the scenes look at Google today. From Google’s offices in China and Russia to the Googleplex (its Silicon Valley headquarters), uncover why this company’s corporate philosophy and attitude is so unique among major companies today.
(November 2012) Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt discusses YouTube and the Internet, and how Google's position on free speech, privacy, and user-generated content resonates globally. On privacy in particular, he points out that, once upon a time, it was easier for teens to get past any mistakes made. Now, he said, “It’s going to follow you for the rest of your life.” Consequently, parents would be advised to go on the offensive: “I’d argue for those of you with teenagers or preteens, you should probably have the online talk before you even have the sex talk with your kid. Because that’s the kind of damage they can do to themselves over their entire life, unknowingly.”
(November 2012) Ireland's improved competitiveness shows countries can resolve economic problems within the Eurozone, according to Julian Callow, chief international economist at Barclays. He explains to capital markets editor Ralph Atkins that much can be learned from Ireland's rehabilitation within the official EU/IMF rescue program. However, like most international commentators, Callow is wrong on the reasons for lower manufacturing unit labour costs as reflecting greater competitiveness.
Patent Wars in High Tech: HTC to pay Apple up to $8 per phone, the unit cost of assembling iPhone 5 - - Part 13
(November 2012) Patent Wars in High Tech: Last weekend Apple and HTC of Taiwan agreed a settlement of a patent dispute and it has been reported that HTC has agreed to pay Apple a licensing fee of in the range $6-$8 per device sold. This is about the unit cost of assembling the Apple iPhone in China. If Apple succeeds in forcing other smartphone producers who use Google's Android operating system led by Samsung to pay it a similar licensing fee, the US electronics giant would have a multi-billion dollar annual revenue stream.
(November 2012) The appearance of executives from Google, Starbucks and Amazon before a House of Commons committee on Monday has ramifications for Ireland. While the Irish corporate tax rate of 12.5% is not under threat, the attention in recent times in the UK and France to the low corporate tax payments or none made by giant US companies in respect of their big sales operations in European countries, is likely to intensify pressure for changes in the current system.
Apple's iPhone 5 shipments from China slow; Google's Android smartphone system surges to 75% market share
(November 2012) Apple's iPhone 5 shipments from China have slowed because some quality standards still can't be met due to design-related production difficulties. Apple’s shares have plunged more than 20% from their September peak, showing a change in investor sentiment around the world’s most valuable company. Wednesday’s drop of 3.8% saw Apple close at $558, a five-month low. The stock is at 21% under its September’s all-time high of $705.07 and has shed $138bn in market value since then. Meanwhile, Google's Android smartphone operating system was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). It was launched by Google on a free basis in 2008 but teh search engine giant captures the web search advertising revenues.
2012 Global Innovation 1000: Apple, Google, 3M, Samsung and GE lead rankings of Top 10 “Most Innovative” companies
(November 2012) Global Innovation 1000: R&D spending in 2011 increased 9.6% to US$603bn - - an all-time high / Amazon joins the Top 10 “Most Innovative” companies, knocking off Facebook. Apple, Google, 3M, Samsung and GE lead the rankings / Nearly half of corporations surveyed reported being only average or marginally effective at getting their ideas to market.
(October 2012) Patent Wars in High Tech: Between litigation and defensive purchases of patent troves, Apple and Google spent more on patents in 2011 than they did on R&D. Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been conducting a broad antitrust investigation into the way Google runs its Internet search and search advertising businesses and in recent months it has added another investigation into Google’s competitive behaviour - - in particular, how Google handles the licensing of patents covering communications and data-handling technologies that are crucial for the basic operation of smartphones and tablets - - these are known as standard-essential patents.
(October 2012) Patent Wars in High Tech: Against the backdrop of the escalation of litigation involving patents in recent years and a smartphone having an impact on possibly up to 250,000 patents, economists argue for the abolition of the monopoly right.