The Four Elements of the On-Demand Economy

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Big brands continue to transition to the $57.6 billion on-demand economy, which is characterized by the complete removal of friction from consumer purchases: Jaguar and Shell recently rolled out a partnership to make it possible for people to prepay for gas from their in-car infotainment touchscreens. By using Apple Pay or ...

How a Swedish Grocery Store Beat Amazon Go to the Punch

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The Internet is buzzing about Amazon Go, Amazon's new self-service grocery store. At the flagship Amazon Go in Seattle, opening in January 2017, anyone with an Amazon account, a supported smartphone, and the Amazon Go app will simply take what they want from the store and leave with no check-out ...

This Is the World Uber Has Made

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Uber has become so pervasive that the company is changing our vocabulary. In everyday settings, we use Uber as a verb (as in "I'll Uber to the ball game tonight"). In business settings, we use the term "uberization" or "uberfication" to refer to companies creating on-demand services such as home delivery ...

Walmart: reform Black Friday now

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The reports about out-of-control Black Friday shoppers is appalling to read about and watch on YouTube. At a Mesquite, Texas, Walmart, a surging mob nearly crushes a woman to death and destroys a retail display, which evokes the 2008 incident when a Walmart employee was crushed to death by a ...

What Black Friday says about us

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

My November 25 eyewitness Black Friday post suggested that the most famous shopping day of the year is bigger than ever. The official numbers confirm my hunch. According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday 2011 set a new retail sales record. Consumers spent $11.4 billion -- the largest Black Friday haul ever ...

How Fair Game creates a social experience for gamers

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The challenge is compelling: turn off your TV. Turn on your brain. Those words appear in the front window of Fair Game, a retailer that wants to re-define "interactive gaming" to mean friends and family interacting with each other over table top board games, as opposed to staring at digital ...

Black Friday in a hardscrabble town

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Black Friday is like any other day in Phillips, Wisconsin. Nestled between the lakes and northwoods birch trees, Phillips is a hardscrabble town of 1,675 souls who by on summer tourism, winter hunting, and a lot of grit -- the kind of people you meet in the songs of Bruce Springsteen ...