Saturday, August 13, 2011

Businessweek Pieces: Steve Perlman / Google+ / Most Popular Things

Quite a few interesting stories and mentions in Businessweek lately... particularly in this week's edition labeled the Popularity Issue.

The cover feature looks at an eclectic blend of companies and products and below are three which had fairly sizable write ups in this BW... and three with only brief vignettes, but that still stood out as interesting.

- "Behind Five Guys’ Beloved Burgers" profiles the expanding burger chain noted for it's simple menu and "authenticity" (perhaps like Chipotle).

- "Vibram's shoes: the next best thing to nothing?" is about the FiveFingers shoes that were heavily mentioned in the excellent Christopher McDougall book Born to Run (posted on here earlier this month).

- "How Nordstrom Bests Its Retail Rivals" features the department store with the exceptional customer service reputation. As part of this, the piece has some interesting content about how the family (three brothers and a cousin) runs Nordstrom.

Three additional products mentioned in this Popularity feature that stood out as interesting were the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the not killed by the iPad Amazon Kindle and Story Cubes... the dice game where people make up stories based of the various images on each die rolled.

From this same issue of Businessweek was also mention of an interesting retail product and restaurant chain... neither of which I had heard of previously and both of which are coming soon to the US market. The story "Toys 'R' Us Wants a Robot (to Sell) for Christmas" is about the My Keepon toy and "A Spanish Starbucks for Sandwiches" details the casual dining chain 100 Montaditos and it's planned (major) expansion into the US.


Two other stories featured in Businessweek lately that stood out...

From the July 21 issue was "Google+’s Circle Logic" on the latest Social Networking foray from the search giant (and what appears to be their best effort yet to compete with Facebook in this space). Finally, the July 27 edition had "Steve Perlman's Wireless Fix" on the successful inventor and his latest company.

Perlman's previous ventures include WebTV (sold for half a billion to Microsoft), the graphics company Mova (whose technology has been used in a number of studio movies) and streaming video game venture Onlive. Pretty remarkable background and the BW story subtitle gets at both Perlman himself and the subject of this piece...

"Silicon Valley’s self-styled Thomas Edison has found a way to increase wireless capacity by a factor of 1,000."

It's very interesting stuff about Perlman's DIDO wireless technology and the guy himself (who is also noted in the BW story as having founded the business incubator Rearden... as in Ayn Rand's Hank Rearden from Atlas Shrugged).