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McDonald's braces for the apocalypse with chic new uniforms

Topix - 3 hours 58 min ago

The fast food chain has officially chosen some dark, dismal, soul sucking new employee uniforms that really just scream: "Ba da ba ba bah, we're doomed!" According to a press release , McDonald's is collaborating with designers Waraire Boswell and Bindu Rivas to develop the new collections, which are set to appear behind counters in the U.S. in April. The new, more modern uniforms are grey and black and were reportedly created based on feedback from employees and customers.

Categories: Today's Food News

Japan dreams of a hydrogen society

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
As home market to two of the three global carmakers selling hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Japan is understandably optimistic about the outlook for hydrogen-powered cars.
Categories: Latest News

A gross but green path to hydrogen

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Masaki Tajima is trying to pave a greener hydrogen highway for Japan. And the road starts at a simmering sewage field on the southwestern island of Kyushu.
Categories: Latest News

New-car glut weighs on prices, profits

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
A glut of vehicles is threatening the industry's good times. But contrary to the predictions and pundits, it's not too many used vehicles. It's too many new ones.
Categories: Latest News

Mustang-Camaro rivalry takes root in China

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
The all-American vibe of Mustangs and Camaros is beginning to resonate in China -- even at twice the price.
Categories: Latest News

Nissan must watch fleet sales like a hawk

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
There's nothing inherently wrong with fleet sales. The problem arises when you mismanage the opportunity.
Categories: Latest News

Can Buick's Avenir track Denali's ascent?

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
While Buick's high-end Avenir may have a hard time matching GMC's Denali in the U.S., it has huge potential in China, where Buick logs more than 80 percent of its global sales.
Categories: Latest News

Developing hydrogen beyond the car market

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Imagine a city where houses and businesses have their own on-site fuel cell stacks that turn hydrogen into electricity for lights, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners.
Categories: Latest News

Spirit of dealership's mascot lives on

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Bella, a greyhound, helped customers and staff bond and relax at Freehold Buick-GMC.
Categories: Latest News

Ex-Honda store chief barred from auto sales as he awaits trial

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
The former general manager of a St. Louis-area Honda dealership has been barred from working in auto sales while awaiting trial on charges he raked in more than $395,000 in fraudulent proceeds and caused the store more than $1.8 million in losses.
Categories: Latest News

O'Reilly dump gets customer feedback

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Just two weeks 10 days after advertisers - led by prominent automakers - began pulling advertising from Bill O'Reilly's TV show in the midst of a sexual harassment controversy, the Fox News host was ousted last week after more than 20 years on the...
Categories: Latest News

Used-car demand going strong at dealer groups

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Our annual ranking of the top 100 dealership groups by used-vehicle sales shows solid gains in used unit sales and revenues for those retailers.
Categories: Latest News

Segment splits in wholesale prices

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Wholesale prices for full-size cars outperformed other car classes in March, gaining while auction prices for all other car segments fell.
Categories: Latest News

Toyota to take Mirai for a spin in China

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Toyota will test the waters in China for its hydrogen fuel cell Mirai.
Categories: Latest News

Acquisitions fuel 1st-quarter revenue gains for Lithia

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Lithia Motors' net income rose 26 percent in the first quarter, on acquisition-powered volume gains in all departments.
Categories: Latest News

Dealer uses her fashion sense to drive sales

AutoNews - 6 hours 24 min ago
Bowman Chevrolet is Michigan's second-fastest-growing Chevy dealership thanks in part to its owner's fashion-industry skills.
Categories: Latest News

Pizza WarLocal pizza franchisees set to take on fast food...

Topix - Sun, 2017-04-23 22:55

Bob Jacobs is representing a local Pizza Hut franchisees who are fighting the chain's parent company. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian.

Categories: Today's Food News

10 Books About Business Disruption

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2017-04-23 18:00

Have you heard the latest buzzword, Disruption?  It’s the offspring of buzzwords like “Growth Hacking” and “Pivot”.  And, it’s in the spotlight because disruption is a key component of new ways of thinking about things and creating new products and services.

This week’s book list is a collection of marketing books dedicated to the idea of disruption, disruptive innovation and disruptive entrepreneurship.

This list will take you on a journey via some of the most popular and defining books about disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship and marketing.

Don’t let the list or the topic scare you, rather use it as your own journey toward pushing your business into a safe harbor for growth.

Before you jump into the disruptive entrepreneurship topic, it’s a really good idea to get your feet wet.  The following books will help you understand the history of disruption.

Books About Business Disruption

Blue Ocean Strategy

by W. Chan Kim  Renée A. Mauborgne

One of the first books to make a splash in the disruptive marketing space has to be Blue Ocean Strategy.  This has been a bestseller since its initial publication more than 15 years ago and it continues to be the touchstone book when folks talk about the idea of turning industries and markets on their ear — and how to do it.

The idea is straightforward.  As long as you’re comparing yourself to companies in your industry and against the same attributes that define success in a category, you are creating bloody red oceans.  The way to truly succeed is to transform your industry or category be transforming the attributes that define it.  In other words, create clean “blue oceans” where there is no competition.

Even if you’ve read the book before, you’ll want to grab an updated copy because it’s filled with new stories, new companies and new Blue Ocean Strategies.

Instead of just talking about case studies and how companies found and staked their claims to new market space, Blue Ocean Strategy give the tools to do it for yourself.  Their website, blueoceanstrategy.com has dozens of downloadable worksheets to help you find areas in your industry that are ripe for disruption.

The Innovator’s Dilemma

by Clayton Christensen

If you like Blue Ocean Strategy, you’ll want to meet Clay Christiansen.  When you Google “Disruptive Innovation”, disruptive marketing, disruptive entrepreneurship, his books and his name will often come up first.

Check out his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Christiansen says that most companies will miss out on new innovation opportunities regardless of what industry they are in because they do NOT do the two most basic things that we are taught in business school.

Listen to the customer and place your time and money in those areas that have the highest return.

He illustrates this point by focusing on failure.  Christensen takes a look back into historically successful companies that aren’t quite so successful today and then he digs a little deeper to see what happened — or what didn’t happen.

This book is ideal for people who love exploring business history, strategy and learning from it.

Innovation and Its Enemies

by Calestous Juma

Have you been hearing a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence? If not, expect to in 2017.

What makes Innovation and Its Enemies different from other books about the artificial intelligence trend is that it attacks what’s really underneath our reluctance to embrace new technologies; the fear that only a certain small percentage of the population will benefit from this technological advancement.

Juma is unafraid about exposing the extent to which modern technological controversies grow out of distrust in public and private institutions.

You’ll find a number of detailed case studies that include coffee, the printing press, margarine, farm mechanization, electricity, mechanical refrigeration, recorded music, transgenic crops, and transgenic animals.

Juma shows how new technologies emerge, take root, and create new institutional ecologies that favor their establishment in the marketplace.

Reinventing the Egg

by Roger Cusa

If you’ve been struggling in setting your brand apart from the competition, then Reinventing the Egg is the book for you.

When your customers have access to virtually perfect information and the ability to compare you against your competition and even have conversations with customers with experience with you and your competition, being average is just not an option.

In this book, Cusa shows marketing managers, business owners and entrepreneurs how to create new growth in business through innovation. It is not about incremental ideas or doing something slightly better.

Mapping Innovation

by Greg Satell

Mapping Innovation by Greg Satell won’t publish until the Spring of 2017, but it’s important enough to have you put it on your radar. Satell wrote this book for business owners and managers who are constantly being called on to “innovate” but given little to know instruction on exactly how to innovate or what to do to get innovative results.

In this book, you’ll get a simple-to-use framework for identifying the optimal innovation strategy that is most likely lead to a successful outcome, Insights into how the world’s top innovators implement their innovation strategies and A step-by-step guide to creating your own innovation playbook to win markets and run circles around your competition!

Disrupt Yourself

by Whitney Johnson  

Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur, there’s no reason why you can’t put the principles of disruption to work in your own life and career.  In Disrupt Yourself by Whitney Johnson you’ll learn how to take the right risks, play to your strengths, embrace the constraints in your life, watch out for the entitlement mindset, learn how to go sideways and take on the stand of always being curious.

The crux of the book lies in understanding the “S-curve” model of how ideas are adopted.  The biggest lesson here is to be patient as ideas often need time to take off. Typically the process is inelegant riddled with failures, but if you understand that this is part of the process, you can easily take on new ideas that lead to innovation.

Disruptive Marketing

by Geoffrey Colon

The digital revolution hasn’t just changed how marketing messages are delivered, it’s changed how consumers behave.  With 75% of our screen time now dedicated to our devices, we’ve become even more savvy consumers of information. In Disruptive Marketing, Geoffrey Colon throws a wrench into old-style MBA thinking and challenges the reader to open your mind to obstacles, ubplug from your devices and work on the fly.

You already know that command-and-control marketing and message control have gone the way of the buggy whip.  But what’s next? What’s a marketer to do when the consumer is in control?  The real answers aren’t in an MBA classroom.  The answers lie in the digital version of guerilla marketing that is owned by the growth hackers, data punks and hybrid thinkers.

If you’re fascinated by the exponential growth some brands are able to achieve without doing fancy market plans or PowerPoint decks, then this book is for you.  While you may not be a growth hacker at heart, you’ll be exposed to a new way of thinking and implementing successful marketing strategies — no MBA required.

Crossing the Chasm

by Geoffrey A. Moore

Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore wrote the original of this book in 1991. This is the third edition of this classic that has retained the original premise; how to close the gap between early adopters of a new technology and the laggards, while updating examples of successes, failures and approaches in the digital marketing age.

This book is ideal for high-tech marketers and B2B marketers.  Although the principles can absolutely be applied to B2C situations.  In the past, this gap between the early adopters of a product or technology and the mainstream adoption has been ignored.  But today, with so many social media platforms coming and going, this gap has become more visible.

Crossing the Chasm has also moved into the mainstream of business and marketing books as its classic tech marketing principles can be applied to more and more small businesses.

Disruptive Selling

by Patrick Maes

If you haven’t noticed, the sales process has been turned on its ear.  Much of the educational component of selling has been outsourced to online content and to referrals and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues. Whether you’re a seasoned salesperson with decades of experience or a newbie,  Disruptive Selling by Patrick Maes is going to be a welcome addition to your bookshelf or digital reader.

The author leads startups, managers, sales and marketing people through a clear process of how to use today’s technology to connect with and convert customers.  Another benefit of this book is that the author, Patrick Maes brings a global perspective to the selling process.  This is invaluable as the world gets flatter and flatter.

A Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation

by Philippe Silberzahn

Many of the books on this list are written for the disruptor.  A Manager’s Guide to Disruptive Innovation by Philippe Silberzahn is actually written for the disrupted.

There are two sides to the disruption coin and this book shows you the good, the bad and the ugly of how industries and their leaders have dealt with disruption.  Silberzahn heavily references and analyzes the work of Clay Christiansen (referenced earlier in this list with “Innovator’s Dilemma”) and then digs even deeper into the topic.  If you are an established company that holds a significant amount of market share in your space — this is the book for you.  It will help you overcome the catch-22 that grips incumbent companies; to embrace the disruption and lost your competitive advantage or to ignore the disruption and lose your business.

There is only one answer and that is to prepare for disruption and create your own disruption.  This book will show you how.

Disruption is the New Normal

To disrupt means to interrupt.  The assumption is that things are moving along steadily and then something happens to interrupt that motion. Disruption is seen as something that is a surprise, that is unexpected and that doesn’t happen very often.  Perhaps this used to be true, these days you can count on disruption as much as you can count on change.

The books listed here will get you familiar with disruption in such a way that you will see it coming, you will embrace it and perhaps even create it for yourself.  Happy Reading.Reading.

This article, "10 Books About Business Disruption" was first published on Small Business Trends

Guru Introduces New Feature to Get Paid As You Complete Tasks

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2017-04-23 15:00

Starting May 2, all freelancers working in the Guru platform will be able to create task-based agreements that will see them get paid once they complete their tasks.

Guru Task-Based Agreements

“We already introduced recurring billing to give you greater control over how you get paid,” said Guru’s communications manager Anna Bassham in an official post on the Guru blog. “We also added the ability to duplicate miscellaneous invoices to save you time. And now, we’re thrilled to give you the ability to get paid for tasks as you check them off your list.”

Just last month, Guru introduced new collaboration features, including a new chat room to organize discussions, an improved task management system with messaging and file sharing as well as private and public file folders.

In June last year, the freelance marketplace also dropped their $25 minimum invoice requirement, allowing freelancers to invoice any amount of money. And now, the get paid as you complete feature adds more flexibility to when and how freelancers get paid. This is, of course, a major win for freelancers as they can now work with employers to break bigger tasks into smaller tasks.

Like most freelance websites, Guru posts jobs in categories that range from IT based to finance to writing to customer service.

The platform has recently become more aggressive, introducing a number of new features that could potentially see its membership increase from the current 1.5 million members.

Image: Guru

This article, "Guru Introduces New Feature to Get Paid As You Complete Tasks" was first published on Small Business Trends

Fast food companies serving grease, salt keep dudes in sight

Topix - Sun, 2017-04-23 13:25

Consumers are maddeningly fickle, switching up tastes on a dime under influence from the latest health craze or rage on social media. But dude, if you want predictability, look to the hungry young men of America.

Categories: Today's Food News