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Ryan Mathews

Founder, ceo
Black Monk Consulting

The answer is simple—it didn't work as well as alternative payment methods and certainly offered no overall improvement in payment options for consumers.

The answer to the second question is simpler still—absolutely yes.

...

Here in Detroit we are experimenting with using containers for low-income housing. Containers have some amazing qualities and the conversion costs are far lower than that of new construction.

So chalk that up on the pro side—relatively low-cost along with sustainable design, ease of transport/take-down, design flexibility and other things.

On...

There are only two basic retail strategies: Exclusion (niche, boutique or specialty merchandising) and inclusion (mass-marketing). Target has always tried to walk a retail tightrope as a mass-niche retailer—an interesting strategy if you are selling housewares and bedding, not so much when it comes to selling clothing.

So that said,...

The key to this—and related—questions is to understand the power of technological integration as a single entity, not as a series of connected processes. In other words, the answer here is to change mindsets about technology, not add or subtract technologies.

...

Always a good idea to dump a bad product, especially when it is a highly visible one and/or one used by children.

As to whether or not the brand can come back—Americans love second acts.

I hope the Elements experience sounds a cautionary note at Amazon—"Always look (and test) before you...

I think there is something to it. Clearly the pace of change has increased and clearly some people are better dealing with it than others.

Oddly, I'm not sure there is as much a conflict as might first appear. The long-term strategic goals may remain more or less constant, say,...

A tad tired, but then things get to be cliches because they are generally true.

I was impressed that "Generosity" started with employees—logical but rarely articulated or acted on.

...

Of course! You gain all the economies of scale while being able to appeal to a different—and perhaps hostile to your brand—customer base. The stealth locations also allow companies like Starbucks to test things that might be "off-brand" and/or to more easily bury failures.

As to the second question, yes,...

It's generational. In another 20 years shoppers will be looking up the word catalog (online, of course) when they run across it in an article on ancient marketing techniques.

Seriously, some catalogs will survive, especially those serving upscale or niche markets, but the decision to bring the "Big Book" back...

The answer is a qualified yes—the qualification being it depends on the technology, it depends how it is applied, and to some extent it depends on the retail genre and season.

In my experience companies draft these crazy schedules in an attempt to get the broadest retail coverage for the...

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