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Focus Groups

By Tim | Posted at 18:51

Tom Kowaleski recounts the story of the Viper's development:

Viper was a major part of my education in the automobile business. I worked at Chrysler in the '80s and '90s, and the Viper's development – indeed, its whole story – was critical to Chrysler's revitalization and comeback into credibility. The Viper program was done on a shoestring. It came to life as the result of four incredibly strong personalities agreeing on a single vision. It was a car no consumer research would ever support. It was a car one no one else would ever think of building. Yet, it became the flame that started the fire of belief in the next life of Chrysler.

Focus groups never create great things. Focus groups only find what is acceptably mediocre.

Cook on Friends

By Tim | Posted at 18:02

The Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Tim Cook is being widely quoted because of the media's interest in what Apple's CEO has to say, but I haven't seen anyone quote the sage concluding comment from Cook. Asked if he thinks of Steve Jobs often, he replied:

I do, every day. He was a friend, and it’s—I guess the external view of that is that he’s a boss, but when you work with someone for that long, for me anyway, the relationship is really important. You know? I don’t want to work with people I don’t like. Life is too short. So you do become friends. Life has too few friends.

The Danger of Online Reporting

By Tim | Posted at 0:42

Gruber writes about how Gizmodo managed to report as current news information it had gathered from an article published in late 2011:

Follow that link to the purported source, though, and it comes up as an empty web page. I think, though, it was the mobile URL for this story, published by the same reporter (Cromwell Schubarth) for the same publication (The Puget Sound Business Journal). The problem for Gizmodo: the dateline for that story was September 2011.

Since the article makes a big deal about what is not going to happen “this year,” it is incredibly important that the source story's “this year” was 2011 and not 2012. This is the bad side of reporting that comes out of blogs: sometimes even the biggest and best draw off of other sources without bothering to complete even a modicum of research.

Money Well Spent?

By Tim | Posted at 0:46

The ever interesting Larry Ellison seems to have made a most unusual purchase:

Larry Ellison has closed a deal to buy most the Hawaiian island of Lanai for an undisclosed sum.

The Oracle chief executive as agreed to purchase 98 percent of the 141-square-mile island, Hawaii's sixth-largest by acreage, according to a statement issued today by the Hawaii governor's office

That's one way to ensure you end up with good neighbors.

On a Happy Note

By Tim | Posted at 23:16

This is the sort of news story that just needs to be shared:

The funeral of a 28 year-old waiter in southern Egypt turned into a celebration when he woke up after being declared dead. […] A doctor sent to sign the death certificate found it strange that his body was warm. At closer observation she discovered he was still alive.

Nothing to Sneeze At

By Tim | Posted at 22:33

Kerry Grens reports on a rather fascinating finding:

Amish children raised on rural farms in northern Indiana suffer from asthma and allergies less often even than Swiss farm kids, a group known to be relatively free from allergies, according to a new study.

Big Shrimp

By Tim | Posted at 0:28

The words do not fit together very well, but they do fit Asian tiger shrimp. According to the Daily Mail, these guys are starting to appear frequently in the Gulf. Somehow, I don't think they will work very well for a shrimp cocktail. I hope they do not completely overtake their smaller, native “cousins.”

Ex Post Facto Congratulations

By Tim | Posted at 23:59

Somehow it had slipped my attention that Ralcorp's Post subsidiary had completed its spinoff into St. Louis's newest publicly traded company earlier this year. It is exciting to see NYSE:POST put its independent roots down into this fine city.

Hmm...

By Tim | Posted at 0:20

The title says it all.

Six Hundred

By Tim | Posted at 0:49

AAPL briefly hit $600 per share today. Amazing.

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