The iEconomy starts at $11.25 an hour

Eye-popping article in the NY Times Business Section the other day. For how long will those who support the empire be happy with what they earn in comparison to what they sell? It’s hard being one of the most wealthy companies in the world. What’s the balance between innovation and taking care of your employees? Check out the article for detail behind those Genius workers, their view of the job and how they get hired.






Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay

Last year, during his best three-month stretch, Jordan Golson sold about $750,000 worth of computers and gadgets at the Apple Store in Salem, N.H. It was a performance that might have called for a bottle of Champagne — if that were a luxury Mr. Golson could have afforded.

“I was earning $11.25 an hour,” he said. “Part of me was thinking, ‘This is great. I’m an Apple fan, the store is doing really well.’ But when you look at the amount of money the company is making and then you look at your paycheck, it’s kind of tough.”

America’s love affair with the smartphone has helped create tens of thousands of jobs at places like Best Buy and Verizon Wireless and will this year pump billions into the economy.

Within this world, the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues. Last year, the company’s 327 global stores took in more money per square foot than any other United States retailer — wireless or otherwise — and almost double that of Tiffany, which was No. 2 on the list, according to the research firm RetailSails.

Worldwide, its stores sold $16 billion in merchandise.

But most of Apple’s employees enjoyed little of that wealth. While consumers tend to think of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., as the company’s heart and soul, a majority of its workers in the United States are not engineers or executives with hefty salaries and bonuses but rather hourly wage earners selling iPhones and MacBooks.

About 30,000 of the 43,000 Apple employees in this country work in Apple Stores, as members of the service economy, and many of them earn about $25,000 a year. They work inside the world’s fastest growing industry, for the most valuable company, run by one of the country’s most richly compensated chief executives, Tim Cook. Last year, he received stock grants, which vest over a 10-year period, that at today’s share price would be worth more than $570 million. Check here to read more at the New York Times.

China’s Biggest Opportunity and Challenge? The Airplane

It’s really not the food that’s the big challenge, but a country with a hurry-up and build philosophy with little regard for intellectual property rights who is hungrier than heck to crack the aerospace and commercial airline industry. I didn’t even consider the pitfalls of China trying to hijack the industry until I heard about China Airborne by James Fallows. The cultural revolution, mass manufacturing, the migration to jobs, buildings in shambles from poor construction…and now it could all go up in the air? I’m fascinated and ready to read!

Storytelling in World that Needs Influencing

We’re fresh off of our first workshop on corporate storytelling. That’s right…the presentations we give day in and out deserve more attention, action and engagement.    That’s where BOON comes in. Our team had a blast taking the PepsiCo Strategy & Insights group (70 people!) through this three-hour adventure. Can’t wait to BOON our way again soon. For more information on how to get your “BOON on”, and to find out what the heck it all means, contact us. We can develop a custom workshop for you that helps what you do connect with others and influence better business decisions.

From the B&W of the Kindle to Full-on Fashion

Amazon is entering the high-end fashion realm – I’m letting out a muffled hooray on my end. Why? I’m tired of wasting time flinging through the designer flash sale free-for-alls on Gilt where nothing seems to fit me anyway and I’m now dinged return fees of $14.95 per item. I love Nordstrom but lately I’m spending too much time trying to find what might work for my style that is on the higher-end realm of things. What do I want? I want Amazon to give me a Mario’s experiences in service and quality of goods in a pre-selected way that makes me want to update and explore great style but without having to go in-store. Great relationships can be built online – we do it all the time in our immersive Hatch research studies. Why can’t this be done with clothing as well? Establishing a safe, trustworthy working relationship that let’s real life take hold and guide genuine recommendations. Costly service – yes. But really all you have to do is sell me just a few pieces of Rachel Zoe at full price (I actually do like her stuff against all my will!) and a couple pairs of perfect shoes and the service has paid for itself.

Part two of this? Let’s talk more soon about how tough it is as a small retail start up to actually get your product listed on Amazon. Red tape and calls to India galore gave us months of pain and suffering at Longshot Apparel that resulted in shoddy listings of our beautiful product. The high-end product showcase they are talking about will have to be a special ops mission. Go Jeff Bezos!

An Illusion of Choice or Just a Reminder?

Courtesy of John Voorhees and the facebook effect. This great infographic is titled “The Illusion of Choice” and while I get it, it’s even a better reminder that the choice of what we buy and consume is ours. Brands are a game of segmentation only it’s us consumers under the coconut shell being pushed to the brand that fits our demographic, mindset and desires. The above is just simply business. Insert any industry in the same overlay will apply.