Posted by Eric Starkman Thursday, September 6, 2007
Like a writer who keeps random plot line ideas and bits of dialogue scribbled in a notebook kept by the side of the bed, I've kept the Daily News' infamous "Ford to City" headline in the back of my head, just waiting for the right opportunity to rip it off. Thanks to Apple CEO Steve Jobs latest orchestrations, the moment finally arrived.
The technology impresario announced yesterday that Apple would slash the price of its iPhone by some 33%, but denied that lower-than-expected sales were the reason. As he told the New York Times: "It's very clear we have a breakthrough product on our hands, but it's also clear that many can afford it, some can't. We'd like to make it affordable to even more folks going into this holiday season."
So exactly when did Apple become a philanthropic organization for the tech gadget-deprived?
I don't know about you, but if I was one of the Apple diehards who camped out overnight a mere 10 weeks ago just for the privilege of coughing up $600 the next morning to get their mitts on an iPhone, I'd be pretty ticked off right now. And I'd go into orbit after reading Jobs' dismissive comment to USA Today about the brand-worshipping customers who paid full price: "That's technology. If they bought it this morning, they should go back to where they bought it and talk to them. If they bought it a month ago, well, that's what happens in technology."
Can you imagine the fallout if, let's say, BMW suddenly slashed the cost of its highly popular 3-Series cars by more than 30% just weeks after they were introduced? Or if Rolex slashed the prices of its watches by 30%? The brands would be forever damaged. But the traditional rules of branding and PR don't seem to apply to Steve Jobs, and his fire sale discounting of the iPhone is only the latest example.
Posted by Amanda Chapel Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Owen Wilson and tabloid sensation aside, suicide tops the news today and in dramatic way: According to a yet to be release study by investigators at The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a significant spike is expected in the suicide rate among business bloggers.
Not surprisingly, the study found elevated rates of suicide for: White male physicians; Black male guards (including supervisors, crossing guards, police, protective service occupations); White female painters, sculptors, and especially craft-artists; and Farmers in the Midwest. However, according to NIOSH Director Daniel Weiss, M.D., M.P.H., "Recent developments associated with the Internet have us all on alert." Weiss added, "All the ingredients are there, i.e. huge emotional investment, radical disappointment, and few, if any, life/career alternatives."
And there are plenty of business-blog skeptics in the U.S., as well. Less than 6 percent of the Fortune 500 and 2 percent of the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies blogged in April and June 2006, respectively. Bottom line: Most companies aren't blogging because they're not convinced it works and they think that there are too many associated risks.
The following names were put on a "Watch List": Robert Scoble; Jeremy Pepper; Scott Baradell; David Parmet; Robert French; Tom Biro; Giovanni Rodriguez; Geoff Livingston; and Brian Oberkirch. (Note: Some top business blogging advocates have other alternatives. Shel Holtz could surely pick up some freelance work with Ragan Communications; Shel Israel could head communications for the National Women's Hirsute Association; and Rubel could always go part-time at Sharper Image and augment that by waiting tables at Outback.)
Weiss said, "By generating new information about risks from largely avoidable causes, the findings provide an impetus for preventing future loss of life among honorable men and women."
Weiss urged strongly that there be a concerted public health effort to "aggressively address those causes where intervention efforts and prevention strategies can be implemented to save lives."
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]