Author Archives: knjohn

Amazon Buying Whole Foods: An Industry Shudders |

For years, Amazon has been the specter looming over retail, as once-dominant department stores and specialty chains fell on harder and harder times. But up until now, the e-commerce titan has managed to irrevocably alter the industry without making much of a dent in retail’s biggest moneymaker of all—the $800 billion grocery business.

That changed on June 16 when Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods, the upscale supermarket chain that played a pivotal role in taking organic and natural foods mainstream. Whole Foods itself may have been under duress, pressured by an activist investor and softening sales, but the healthy-food movement and the meticulously curated store experience that it pioneered is alive and well. “Amazon is placing its bet on the future of the food industry,” says Errol Schweizer, a former Whole Foods executive who is now an industry adviser, “and they see Whole Foods as the leadership.”

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Franchisees talk do-over: What they wish they knew before opening their franchise | Fast Casual

Amal Agha knew about business and finance when she opened her first franchise, a Rita’s Water Ice in New Jersey. What she and her partner/husband didn’t know was how much of being a franchisee involves managing people, and hiring and retaining employees proved to be the biggest challenge.

“We wish we had had more training on staffing up and being prepared on what employees will put you through,” Agha shared during a panel session, “What I wish I knew before buying a franchise,” at the International Franchise Expo held last week at the Jacob K. Javits Conference Center in New York City.

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Here’s What Publicis’ CEO Has to Say to Critics of His One-Year Ban on Award Shows | Adweek

CANNES, France—Publicis Groupe’s Arthur Sadoun knows he’s pissed off a lot of people this week, and he’s keenly aware that his competitors are pouncing on it. But he’s holding firm to his controversial decision to ban award show entries across his network’s many agencies for one year.

In a candid interview with Adweek in Cannes, the newly elevated CEO responded to his critics while also sending a message of commitment to his 80,000 employees.

“It’s a tough decision to make, clearly,” he said. “But we believe if we’re really committed to creativity, which we are, it’s time to reinvent the tool that will celebrate and foster creativity tomorrow. This is what we’re doing.”

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Stock buybacks are vanishing — but it might not matter | Business Insider

Share repurchases have been a crucial backbone for the eight-year bull market.

On several occasions during the period, the US stock market has looked devoid of any positive catalysts, relying heavily on buybacks to keep share prices afloat.

This was never more true than during the S&P 500’s five-quarter earnings contraction from 2015 into 2016, a period that saw the benchmark edge higher by 1.5%, driven largely by companies repurchasing their own stock.

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Movavi Convenient Screen Capture Studio Done For MAC |

If you are wondering how to record videos on the gadgets you use, we have the answer. It is obvious that there are times when you want to record a clip or a video or whatever is on the screen to view it later. You no longer need to stress on finding a way out. The Movavi Screen Capture studio there isa long list of multiple things that you can do. The features are quite easy to use. This technology serves a lot of problems and ensures new possibilities.

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Art Fight! The Pinkest Pink Versus the Blackest Black | WIRED

HOW MUCH MORE black could Vantablack be? The answer is none. None more black.

This stuff is the blackest black. It is so black that it makes reality look Photoshopped. Perception of depth and dimensionality disappears into a scotoma of darkness. You look at Vantablack, but nothing looks back at you.

That’s not why Vantablack caused an uproar last year. It was supposed to be a specialty product for aerospace and optics. But then engineers at the English company Surrey NanoSystems, the place that invented Vantablack, figured out a cheaper, spray-on version.

Suddenly it wasn’t just for techies anymore. Now, theoretically, it could be for anyone. Even artists. Before 2016, Vantablack was a technology. After that, it was a color. And people take colors very personally.

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Uber’s Travis Kalanick Said To Resign As CEO Amid Investor Backlash | Forbes

Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick, who took a leave of absence from the company just last week after months of turmoil, has now reportedly resigned in the face of mounting investor anger.

The New York Times broke the news late Tuesday, reporting that five major investors in the ridehailing giant demanded Kalanick resign immediately as chief executive officer. The group included Benchmark, a venture capital firm that’s represented on Uber’s board by Bill Gurley, the Times said. Two people with knowledge of the matter, that the newspaper didn’t identify, confirmed the ultimatum given to Kalanick.

That demand was delivered to Kalanick in a letter titled “Moving Uber Forward,” a copy of which the Times obtained. Spokespeople for Uber didn’t immediately respond to a Forbes request to confirm his departure.

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Keep Your Cold Emails Short, Sweet, and Readable by Avoiding These 4 Mistakes |

Long emails are bad enough when they come from grandma. When they come from a stranger, they’re practically unforgivable.

One of the fastest ways to annoy potential buyers and lose business is to send them lengthy emails that say too much, quote too often, and broadcast your lack of respect for the recipient’s busy schedule.

Our work lives are filled with ways to do sales and marketing: messaging tools, news feeds, social networks, and on-the-go conference calls. That means even a moderately long email whose sales pitch is muddled can be a hindrance to doing business with others. No one wants to decipher your five-paragraph opus when they can find relevant benefits in a two-line message from someone else.

With that in mind, here are a few of the most common reasons long emails happen, and how to create better client relationships by avoiding them.

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What Bosses Can Learn From Their Coddled Millennial Employees |

Earlier this year, the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine circulated a video meant to make its instructors aware of “student mistreatment.” With a minor-chord piano medley providing the soundtrack, viewers were asked to avoid putting students on the spot with questions, to minimize “cold and clinical” interactions, and to cultivate “safe” learning environments for the young residents.

It seems like something created by The Onion, but the video was sincere, and its message will be familiar to a lot of employers dealing with people in their 20s. For many who remember what business was like pre-Internet, millennials seem an appallingly sensitive lot, having been protected from the vagaries of the world by helicopter parents, trigger warnings and—to especially cynical critics—sheer narcissism. “Aren’t young people coddled?” is now as safe an icebreaker as, “Did you see last night’s Seinfeld?” would have been 20 years ago.

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Revolutionary Solar Paint Creates Endless Energy When Mixed With Water Vapor | Inhabitat

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have created a revolutionary new solar paint that can be used to produce endless amounts of clean energy. The innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.

The paint contains a recently-developed compound that looks and feels like silica gel — commonly used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, electronics, and medicine dry — but acts like a semiconductor. Additionally, the synthetic molybdenum-sulphide material catalysis the splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen.

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