Twice a year more than 1,000 store representatives come to Paris for an event called “Podium,” where they select which pieces of merchandise they will carry. The family has decreed that each flagship store must pick at least one item from each of the 11 métiers–thus pushing them beyond handbags, scarves and ties to perfume, jewelry, watches, home accessories. In giving these managers an elaborate menu to choose from, each store boasts merchandise unique to itself. The moneyed globe-trotters who constitute the Hermès customer base constantly find themselves on a worldwide treasure hunt. For example, only in Beverly Hills can they find a $12,900 basketball, and the $112,000 orange leather bookcase was sold exclusively at the Costa Mesa store. So when they fall in love with that $11,300 bicycle there’s a pressure to get it, since the company’s website, while ahead of many luxury competitors, offers just a smattering of the Hermes product line.
Forbes with a story of the long time French luxury goods innovator
Photo Credit of my favorite Hermes product – their small pattern silk ties
“People get on the A380 and they absolutely love it,” he says. The upper deck on the Emirates version, he adds, is “just one big party.”
(Other carriers configure their A380s differently, with some including economy seating in the upper deck.)
The son of a tanker ship captain and an economist, Mr. Clark joined Emirates in the mid-1980s. His basic insight about the A380 is simple: It can be a canvas for a new kind of luxury flight experience. It was Mr. Clark who came up with the idea to install two showers for first-class passengers. Airbus engineers thought the idea was crazy because it would require more fuel to fly the water for the showers. But he dismissed their objections. The showers would immediately distinguish the plane from anything else in the air.
He also put a large bar on board, along with a pair of semicircular couches, equipped with seatbelts in case of turbulence.
Since it launched in 2012, Saujani’s program has gone from 20 girls in one classroom to graduating 3,000 girls from clubs and camps across the country. Saujani says 95% of graduates want to major in computer science in college.
These future female developers are valuable to tech companies in ways beyond simply filling open spots. Most Internet purchases are made by women, and understanding their instincts is a key to business success. “We’re falling behind the rest of the world if we don’t teach our girls how to code,” says Megan Smith, VP of Google X, a semisecret facility at Google in California working on advanced technology. In June, after revealing that only 17% of its engineers were women, Google launched a site called Made With Code that features free programming projects for girls. The company pledged $50 million to programs like Girls Who Code.
PayPal operates in more than 200 markets, manages more than 148 million accounts, and facilitates a variety of financial transactions in 26 currencies. In this McKinsey interview PayPal’s vice president and general manager for Continental Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Laurent Le Moal, presents a fascinating picture of the digital payments economy around the world
“In the past, when people just looked at payments, they were looking only at how the process could be made faster—for instance, all the debate around near-field communication. That’s not the problem anymore. Now the challenge is adaptability. How can we work with any form factor that makes sense for the merchants and their customers? What it means for us is not being prescriptive when it comes to the technology or requiring form factors to use PayPal. If it makes sense to integrate with a vendor’s point of sale, we will do that—using what already exists and not asking the merchants to completely change their hardware. If it makes sense for the consumer to use his phone to type in a code, we can also do that—as opposed to using a card to make a transaction. This also means going into the hardware business. PayPal has a device that attaches to a phone or a tablet to accept card payments—and this has been one of the ways to gain entry into these new services and control the entire end-to-end experience.”
“With the rise of digital goods, this approach no longer suffices. Such goods can generate ten times the number of transactions normally expected in traditional e-commerce, but the value is lower. Even if customers are much more engaged, they sometimes generate lower revenues. We still need to determine the marketing implications of this new interaction. And this is just one example of growing diversity. Entering new markets like Russia, Turkey, and Africa requires us to think more about customer segmentation in ways that are more nuanced than we have in the past. The devices these consumers use, the type of goods or services they consume—everything is different, including the way marketing targets them. E-mail marketing needs to evolve in a world where consumers expect high relevance and targeting but also widespread usage of social media. All this has completely changed the media mix—and we’ve brought new media into this mix by adding channels like Twitter and Facebook.”
“Half of these experts (48%) envision a future in which robots and digital agents have displaced significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers—with many expressing concern that this will lead to vast increases in income inequality, masses of people who are effectively unemployable, and breakdowns in the social order.
The other half of the experts who responded to this survey (52%) expect that technology will not displace more jobs than it creates by 2025. To be sure, this group anticipates that many jobs currently performed by humans will be substantially taken over by robots or digital agents by 2025. But they have faith that human ingenuity will create new jobs, industries, and ways to make a living, just as it has been doing since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.”
It's not the type of plane either Kent Brantly or Nancy Writebol likely planned to take home.
But when health officials evacuate the two American aid workers infected with Ebola in west Africa, it will be the plane they take.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outfitted a Gulfstream jet with an isolation pod designed and built by the U.S. Defense Department, the CDC and a private company. The pod, officially called an Aeromedical Biological Containment System, is a portable, tent like device that ensures the flight crew and others on the flight remain safe from an infectious disease.
I had traveled from New York to Nairobi to learn how to do exactly this—to pay for things with a phone—and to understand why Kenya has gained a reputation as the mobile payments future. Almost everyone in the country uses M-pesa (M, for mobile;pesa is payment in Swahili) to transfer money from one phone to another via encrypted short message service, or SMS. In all, there are about 18.2 million active customers in a nation twice the size of Colorado.
Despite delusions of being an early adopter, I’d never used my phone to pay for anything, not even a macchiato at Starbucks. Also, though I believe myself well-traveled, I’d never even set foot in Africa. All to the better, my editors said; there were already too many self-styled experts on how East Africa was leapfrogging more mature economies on mobile payments. My mission was more grounded: survive a 10-day tour on a phone and nothing but a phone.
“Cities tend to operate in silos,” says Judith Rodin, Rockefeller’s president. “And resilience is very much about building a systems approach. The idea is having a single post that really is integrating across systems--both within city government, but also between city government and other elements of the fabric of the community.”
The new CROs will think about how to prepare for natural disasters, but will also consider aspects of social and economic resilience. Rodin shares the example of New York after the recession; when Mayor Bloomberg realized the city was too reliant on the financial sector, he started working to bring in more tech companies. On the opposite coast, San Francisco is thinking about how to add more non-tech jobs so the city can try to stay strong if technology companies start to falter.
After running a global challenge last year, the Rockefeller Foundation narrowed down a list of 400 applicants to 100 winning cities across seven continents, and will start the program with a smaller group of 33. Some, like Ramallah, or Byblos, Lebanon, were very much at the beginning of their resilience planning, says Rodin. Others, like San Francisco and Rotterdam, have spent more time planning for disasters, and are well positioned to help create and test new technology that they can later share with other cities in the program.