Price lists are never quite current enough, sufficiently detailed, or cover enough of the awkward special situations that customers raise. So, there's a tendency for HQ product and pricing folks to do a lot of tinkering on the margins with their price lists. We may be forgetting the "consumers" of price lists, though: sales reps who pay our salaries and customers wondering what to buy. Complicated pricing models may be self-defeating. Read Sales-Friendly Price Lists on Mironov Consulting's Product Bytes.
'In 2001, Linux started popping up on servers run by adventurous penny-pinchers at places like Amazon.com, which saved millions of dollars by replacing Sun servers running Solaris with HP servers running Linux. By the end of the year, 53 percent of chief information officers surveyed by Gartner said they were seriously considering installing Linux on their servers; in December 2002, that number leapt to 77 percent.' from "Linux Is Ready for the Desktop" on Business 2.0's Working Tech.
It's Friday at 4:45 pm and your CEO or VP of Marketing says "we need to release the product next week". Do you panic? Instead of pulling your hair out, implement the following tactics in your next product launch, and you will be successful. Read Launch Tactics 2004 by Sue Duris.
Apple does so many things right. It seems that they now realize that the Fortune 500 (who want standard and cheap) will never go with Apple. The iPod and their latest computers target an audience (artists, musicians, creative people) that cares about their distinctive competence (innovative design). Yet their innovations are quickly duplicated by others. Can innovation ever be a long-term distinctive competence? Fast Company writes about Steve Jobs, Apple, and the Limits of Innovation.
In her Fast Company column, Shoshana Zuboff says the 20th century model of capitalism is dead:
My parents trusted corporate America, embracing its newfangled products.... Now, that faith has turned into dark mistrust. I spend $600 a month on my family's health insurance but put in hours arguing over legitimate claims. I sign up for a cheaper long-distance plan but find I am charged more. In each case, my complex needs are invisible to the company, overshadowed by its simplistic logic of efficiency and cost control. We now take such experiences for granted, but the price is high.
30 million songs have been purchased and downloaded since the introduction of iTunes for Mac and for Windows platforms, representing 70% of all (legal) downloads. Most web-enabled products offer a weak client that acts only as a front-end to the server-side component. iTunes is a beautifully designed client/server application. The client is great by itself and integrates wonderfully (seamlessly!) with the iTunes Music Store. If you store MP3s on your PC, you should check it out.