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Five Big Brands Which Failed To Keep Up With Innovation

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Innovation is the cornerstone of any successful corporation or business.  Many corporate empires were built on the back of constant innovation and a few examples include Google, Apple and Amazon.  However, the opposite also holds true, that is, failure to keep up with changing demands and failing to innovate can shut down empires completely altogether.  Let us look at five brands which used to be household names but failed to keep up with innovation, leading to their eventual downfall.

Five big brands which failed to keep up with innovation

Kodak

Kodak was the pioneer in producing photo films for film cameras.  Many families till the early 1990s owned at least one film camera.  Kodak came up with the tagline ‘Kodak moment’ and it became such a huge hit with their audience that any good moment was called a ‘Kodak moment.’  However, Kodak, as a brand, failed to make the transition to digital photography as the management felt their key business focus should be on photographic films.  Canon entered the field of digital photography and completely transformed how photos could be captured and viewed by eliminating the need to develop a film. After multiple failed attempts to revive its business, Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012.

Nokia

Nokia is a Finnish brand which is well known for the sturdy mobile handsets they manufactured  during the 1990s. When the telecommunication revolution began, landlines were becoming outdated and they were being replaced by mobile handsets.  Nokia focussed on their hardware and produced several great mobile phones. Nokia was the first company to release a phone with a camera. So good was their hardware, their phones were termed as nearly indestructible.  When Apple introduced its first iPhone and then Google presented its Android software, Nokia was reluctant to embrace the Android OS, which cost them their place at the top. While Nokia’s competitors like Samsung, Sony and LG were already integrating Android OS into their devices, Nokia failed to seize the opportunity and expand its business.   Nokia’s mobile and devices division was finally acquired by Microsoft in the year 2013.

BlackBerry Motion

BlackBerry broke into the market by positioning itself as a device which offered the best encryption on the market.  This feature made it able to capture the interest of the corporate individuals and companies. Their BlackBerry Messenger, popularly known as BBM, had a unique identity as well.  BlackBerry was able to keep up with Apple when the Company released its iPhone, mainly due to its existing delivery network and infrastructure. Apple’s sales finally exceeded that of BlackBerry and the remaining market share was slowly being grabbed by Samsung, LG and other devices which came with an Android platform.  BlackBerry also tried to develop their own OS called the Blackberry 10 which was to replace the older Blackberry OS. Although BlackBerry then focused its business on adapting Android OS into their devices, the damage was already done as BlackBerry did not make the necessary changes when Samsung and the rest entered the market.

Yahoo!

Yahoo! started out as a search engine and was a pioneer  during the early internet era. Yahoo! also concentrated on the content and advertisements on their platform.  By undervaluing the importance of the search engine and focusing more on their content, they lost track of improving the user experience.  Yahoo! also missed out on a couple of deals which would have catapulted them to new heights, like when they had a deal to buy out Google and Facebook.  Yahoo!’s internet business was finally purchased by Verizon Technologies in 2016.

Blockbuster

Blockbuster, which is also called Blockbuster Entertainment, was an American company well known for operating stores which had top end electronics and games, apart from their video rental service.  They were particularly popular during the advent of VCRs, CDs and DVDs. The management was reluctant to begin an online segment of their business as they believed according to their data, customers would prefer to come to their stores to make purchases.  At this time, a new startup, named Netflix, entered the market, by providing a mail order service to rent videos and DVDs in the form of subscriptions. Netflix approached Blockbuster for a partnership where, if Blockbuster was willing to advertise Netflix in their stores, Netflix would run Blockbuster online.  This proposal was rejected by Blockbuster, leading Netflix to capture their market after they began their streaming services.

In conclusion, large corporations can shut down if they do not innovate.  In this day, where technology is evolving at a very rapid rate and where data  reigns as the king, companies need to be on their toes and constantly have an ear to the ground to listen to what the consumer needs and how they can improve the quality of life.  Having powerful leaders who are able to take risks when necessary can steer companies to success.

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Ferrari – The Story Of The Luxury Automobile Brand

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Ferrari Story,Luxury Automobile Brand Ferrari,Startup Success Story 2020,Ferrari Success Story,Automobile Brand Ferrari History,Ferrari Founder,Ferrari Cars Success Story,Ferrari Latest News 2020,Top Most Expensive Car Brands,Ferrari Cars

The name Ferrari evokes a sense of respect amongst motor car enthusiasts.  All over the world, Ferrari is known for its luxury car offerings with high end engine specifications as well as swanky designs to go with them.  It is always at the forefront of innovation, constantly finding ways to upgrade its line of products. However, it is also renowned for its rich history of motor car racing.  Ferrari is one of the biggest and oldest teams to compete in Formula One racing.

Beginnings

Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari.  However, Ferrari was not initially a luxury car manufacturer.  Enzo Ferrari wanted to work with FIAT, but his application was rejected.  He then worked as a race car driver for Alfa Romeo, post which he founded Scuderia Ferrari, which translates to Ferrari Stable and was a sporting society which allowed its members to race.  

Scuderia Ferrari was formed in 1929 with its headquarters in Modena, Italy.  Scuderia Ferrari fielded Alfa Romeo cars for racing. Scuderia Ferrari went on to become the racing division and team of Alfa Romeo after the Company disbanded its in house racing team.  Alfa Romeo later acquired Scuderia Ferrari and formed the Alfa Corse and subsequently disbanded Scuderia Ferrari. Alfa Romeo also appointed Ferrari as Sporting Director. 

Founding of Ferrari

In 1939, Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo on the grounds he would not use the Ferrari name in association with racing cars for at least four years.  So, Enzo founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, the ancestor of Ferrari which manufactured machine tools and aircraft accessories. Due to the World War II, Ferrari saw little sales and their factory in Milan was bombed by the allies.

The factory was eventually rebuilt and the first Ferrari car, powered by a V12 engine and bearing the black prancing horse logo which is symbolic of Ferrari, made its debut.

Racing history

Enzo Ferrari was an avid race car driver and his passion lied there.  Although Enzo was making cars for the public, he saw it as a way to obtain funds to fuel his passion for racing via Scuderia Ferrari.  Scuderia Ferrari is now the racing division of the luxury sports car manufacturer.

Ferrari is one of the oldest race car competitors and the only one to compete in all the editions of Formula One since the championship’s inception in 1950.  Scuderia Ferrari has produced some of the greatest drivers like Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso.

Today, it is easy to recognize a car of the Ferrari make by looking at the black prancing horse logo.  Over the years, owning a Ferrari has come to symbolize status, wealth and the love for speed. In 2002, Ferrari released a car, the Enzo Ferrari, named in honour of the brand’s founder Enzo Ferrari.  Only 400 of these cars were made and the 400th one was donated to The Vatican for charity.

Enzo Ferrari and his brand are an inspiration to many across the world and racing purists will always swear by the quality and design Ferrari provides.  The Ferrari brand was painstakingly built over the years and the popularity has not waned, mostly due to the dedication of Enzo Ferrari and his vision. People looking for inspiration can take lessons from his life and his passion for automobiles.

Read about Henry Ford’s unknown facts here: Henry Ford Unknown Facts

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Carlos Ghosn – The Rise Of A Titan Of Automobile Industry

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Car makers like Nissan and Renault are now known to many and their automobiles are used all over the world.  Nissan, in particular, has a reputation for quality engineering, which reflects on its Japanese roots. However, there is one person who is behind the success of Nissan and Renault and that is Carlos Ghosn.  He was instrumental in turning around the fortunes and reviving these failing companies and turned them into some of the world’s largest car makers. The journey of Carlos Ghosn is truly inspiring and will be spoken about at many business schools worldwide.

Early life and beginning

Carlos Ghosn was born in Porto Velho, Brazil.  After falling sick and being unable to recover, his mother moved with him and his sister to Beirut, Lebanon, to stay with Carlos Ghosn’s grandmother.  Carlos Ghosn did his schooling in Lebanon and obtained his graduation from France’s top schools, École Polytechnique and École des Mines de Paris.

Following his graduation, he began working at Michelin, Europe’s top tyre manufacturer.  He spent eighteen years there. He then went on to be appointed head of research and development for the industrial tyre development division in 1984.  Following this, Ghosn was appointed chief operating officer (COO) for the South American operations and reported directly to François Michelin.

Ghosn completely turned around the South American operations during the time of Brazil’s hyperinflation by employing cross functional management teams to determine best practices.  His performance in South America led to him being later appointed COO for the North American operations.

Renault

Having heard about Carlos Ghosn’s success story at Michelin, Renault, a French automobile maker, invited him to work with them.  Renault was undergoing a severe recession in sales and Carlos Ghosn was roped in as Executive Vice President, in charge of purchasing, advanced research, engineering and development, manufacturing and power train operations.  He reported directly to Louis Schweitzer, the Chief Executive Officer of Renault at the time. Carlos Ghosn was able to replicate the success he had with Michelin at Renault as well. 

The Renault-Nissan alliance

In 1999, the automobile industry was set to see the biggest turnaround with the Renault-Nissan alliance.  It was dubbed by many as a failure due to the friction in the drastic difference in working and corporate cultures between Japan and France.  Renault purchased a 36.8 % stake in the nearly bankrupt Nissan and Carlos Ghosn was appointed COO of Nissan while maintaining the same role at Renault.  He turned around the fortunes of both companies with a revival plan which included drastic cost cutting measures, downsizing and investing in design. This move earned him the moniker ‘Le Cost Killer.  He announced a three year plan, wherein he would put Nissan at the top of the industry and bring back profits, failing which he would resign.  He went on to successfully achieve all the targets he set. He went on to become the CEO of both Renault and Nissan and became the first person in the world to run two Fortune 500 companies simultaneously.

While the automobile industry celebrity went on to achieve many milestones in his illustrious career, he courted multiple brushes with the law, leading to him being incarcerated and his image being tarnished.  He was stripped of his titles and responsibilities, owing to huge financial frauds wherein he under reported his income earnings from Nissan to the Japanese authorities and a coup which involved whistleblowers who were his close aides.  The fall from grace has been heavily reported all over the world, but it does not change the fact that Carlos Ghosn is a true visionary and leader.

Read about how Carlos Ghosn turned from a CEO to an international fugitive here: Carlos Ghosn : From Automobile Industry Celebrity To International Fugitive

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Adam Neumann – Unknown Facts About WeWork Founder

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Adam Neumann is the founder of the American real estate company WeWork, which offers fully furnished co working spaces to freelancers and entrepreneurs so they can pursue and fine tune their business ideas.  Taking his Company to the elusive territory of a unicorn was not an easy road, with Adam Neumann being in and out of the news for his wild adventures and he has had an interesting journey so far.

Let us have a look at some unknown facts about WeWork founder Adam Neumann.

  1. Born in Israel

Adam Neumann was born in Israel and as a child, spent time on an Israeli kibbutz (gathering of a community) and went to school near the Gaza Strip.

  1. Dyslexic

Adam Neumann was severely dyslexic as a child and could not write until he was in the third grade.

  1. Spent time in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)

Israeli citizens have to spend three years in the IDF, as mandated by the government.  Adam Neumann served in the Navy for five years before being discharged at the rank of Captain.  After finishing his stint with the IDF, Neumann moved to New York City, enrolled in a community school and obtained his Masters in Business Administration.

  1. Failed at business before founding WeWork

Adam Neumann started a business from his apartment called Krawlerz, a clothing line for infants.  The clothes, especially bottom wear, featured padding in the knee area to make crawling more comfortable for children.  The business failed to take off and Adam Neumann was left with the inventory due to lack of demand.

  1. Made outrageous claims

Adam Neumann is known for his radical and impulsive thoughts.  During an interview with a magazine in New York, he expressed his interest to run for President of the United States of America.  He also once claimed he would run for the position of the Prime Minister of Israel and also expressed his desire to be the president of the world to match his ego.

  1. Trademarked ‘We’ and sold it to WeWork

Adam Neumann opened a private company named The We Company and trademarked ‘We.’  WeWork, during that time, wanted to rebrand itself around the word ‘We’ and Adam Neumann was the CEO of WeWork at the time.  WeWork paid Adam Neumann six million dollars for trademark rights to use ‘We.’

Adam Neumann is a self made billionaire.  Though he is eccentric and has impulsive urges, he has always believed in the idea of a community and built his offerings around the same, in the hopes he would be able to help young individuals find and pursue their passion.

Read more about the story of WeWork here:WeWork The Story Of The Real Estate Unicorn Startup

 

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