Monday, March 12, 2012

Businessweek Pieces: Twitter / Coursera / Andrew Stanton / Pulse App / Nextdoor / Olympic Ambush Marketing / Pico Iyer

As often seems to be the case, there were quite a few interesting pieces from Businessweek lately.

Cover story of the March 5-11 issue was "Twitter, the Startup That Wouldn't Die" by Brad Stone. Written on one of my favorite companies, it's a solid look at company providing a remarkable global communication platform for causes, businesses and individuals. Also, the topic gives me reason to reference again an excellent Clay Travis piece on Twitter from a few months back and for the first time "Fast Company: The Women of Twitter" by Jacob Weisberg for Vogue.

A couple of smaller pieces of interest from this issue were the following...

- "Top Secret: Durex's Olympic Condoms" on efforts by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to prevent ambush marketing by companies who aren't official Olympic sponsors.

- "Daphne Koller Brings the World Into Stanford Classes" about free online education offerings from major universities and delivered through Koller's company, Coursera.

- "Can a Pixar Whiz Conquer Live Action?" about the upcoming Disney live action movie, John Carter. I ordinarily wouldn't be that interested in the movie (or how successful it is), but hope to see it do well after viewing an interesting TED talk on storytelling with Andrew Stanton, writer and director of John Carter (as well as Wall-E and Finding Nemo).

The March 12-18 issue also had a few pieces of note with the largest being another example of a Businessweek story from a well-known writer who typically writes on non-business topics. "Ballad of the Road Warrior" was from Pico Iyer, author of a book I read back in 2008, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Solid piece from Iyer for this BW that features his really lyrical writing style.

Two other pieces that stood out from the Mar 12-18 issue were both about companies with offerings around local news and connections. "Nirav Tolia: Hyperlocal Boy Makes Good" is about Nextdoor... branded on its site as The private social network for your neighborhood. Second piece was "The Pulse App Goes Local" on the extremely popular (and Flipboard competing) news app from Alphonso Labs.