15 Nuggets of Wisdom From 15 Entrepreneurs

Terry Starbucker

“Act small, think small” – Scott Hamlin , Co-founder of Looptworks , who makes apparel and accessories that are made by “upcycling” excess manufacturing materials. What are the secrets to entrepreneurial success?

The Fall of Competitive Advantage and the Rise of Transient Advantages


One such Strategista is Kay Krill, CEO of Ann Taylor (and Loft), a “ bellwether ” woman’s apparel retail store. “Strategy is stuck.

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New Research: Where the Talent Wars Are Hottest

Harvard Business Review

consumer durables & apparel, retailing, education, media, hotels, restaurants & leisure); Consumer Staples (e.g.,

Talent Management: Boards Give Their Companies an "F"

Harvard Business Review

consumer durables & apparel, retailing, education, media, hotels, restaurants & leisure); Consumer Staples (e.g., What is top of mind for corporate boards worldwide?

Why Hippies Make Great Business Leaders

Great Leadership By Dan

Judith Goldhaft employed the assistance of fabric designer and fellow hippie gal, Jodi Palladini, to create an apparel design that would permit San Francisco’s homeless women to sell their very own fabric creations. Today, Nancy co-owns (with another well-known hippie, Chuck Kesey) Nancy’s Yogurt which made $20 million in 2010 and is responsible for shaping a yogurt and probiotic market in the US that had grown to over $20 billion by 2013.

Joining Boards: It's Not Just Who You Know That Matters

Harvard Business Review

consumer durables & apparel, retailing, education, media, hotels, restaurants & leisure); Consumer Staples (e.g., For many, a corporate directorship is a career capstone. But attaining one is far from easy.

Would You Wear That Company's T-Shirt in Public?

Harvard Business Review

A Nike T-shirt signaled membership in the Nike tribe — a tribe that believed in something bigger than shoes or apparel. A client recently told me that he knew it was time to leave his previous job when he was no longer proud to wear the company''s T-shirt in public.

A Business Model for Bangladesh

Harvard Business Review

Some apparel retailers attempted to deny that they had any connection with the Rana Plaza building that collapsed — but data at the level of each shipment is increasingly available to both researchers like us and to the general public.

Should Your CIO Be Chief Digital Officer?

Harvard Business Review

The CIO of an apparel company participates in digital decisions and supports digital initiatives while keeping the company''s traditional IT unit running smoothly. We''ve all seen it. CIOs who do great things in leading IT soon gain extra responsibilities.

CIO 16

Is Your Company Ready for the Circular Economy?

Harvard Business Review

We looked at the three biggest segments — packaging, food waste, and apparel. There's nothing like being alone on a highly experimental 75-foot boat five days from anywhere to make you realize some pretty profound things.

Marketing’s Mission: Make it Meaningfully Different

Harvard Business Review

Founded in 1998, Lululemon produces sports apparel for women that is fashionable, environmentally friendly, and as technically advanced as sports apparel for men. Everything you do in business builds your brand for good or ill, as your actions generate feelings, associations, and ideas in the minds of your consumers. The challenge is to make sure those actions create a meaningfully different experience that people want to repeat.

The Brief and Fascinating History of What You’re Wearing and Where It Gets Made

Harvard Business Review

Here, Try Some Nixon and Kimchi: How the Garment Industry Came to Bangladesh Planet Money I admit it: The reference to Nixon and kimchi in the headline got me to read it, but this piece on how Bangladesh came to be a world center for apparel manufacturing held my interest.

CTO 12

A Diverse Board Is an Independent Board

Harvard Business Review

As company that markets fashion apparel, accessories, and home goods (at its namesake stores as well via its other brands, like Anthropologie and Free People), it seems reasonable to think that the perspectives of women could be useful to its board.

10 Sustainable Business Stories Too Important to Miss

Harvard Business Review

Deep concerns about labor conditions, wages, and equity take root: From tragedies in Bangladeshi apparel factories to minimum wages in the U.S. Travesties like the death of more than 1100 workers at the Rana Plaza apparel factory in Bangladesh are increasingly unacceptable to the buying public. Somehow it’s already year-end, a time to look back and try to make sense of what’s happened. Creating any “top” list of stories from 12 months is nearly impossible.

When Best Practices Don't Travel

Harvard Business Review

For instance, if you are an apparel brand whose marketing success depends on using famous movie stars to sell your clothes in the U.S., Aaron was on his way to what was perhaps the most important presentation of his life: a presentation to Chinese investors about luxury New York City apartments he''s been developing on the Lower East Side.

Morning Advantage: A Serious Attempt at "Pay What You Want"

Harvard Business Review

Despite their families’ insistence that their idea was a little off-the-wall, Susan Walvius and Michelle Marciniak quit their successful coaching careers to found Sheex, a company that manufactures bedsheets made from the same synthetic poly-spandex fabric used in athletic apparel by brands such as Under Armour. North American restaurant chain Panera Bread is experimenting with a nonprofit variation, where the company donates a number of existing stores to its "Panera Cares" foundation.

Store Brands Aren’t Just about Price

Harvard Business Review

These purpose driven supers felt an extraordinarily deep level of emotion for the retailer brand at levels typically associated powerful lifestyle brands in apparel and luxury goods.

Price 16

Why the Print Catalog Is Back in Style

Harvard Business Review

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), catalog mailings grew in 2013 to 11.9 Outdoor and apparel retailer L.L.Bean says it is experimenting with the page count of the catalogs it sends to regular website shoppers.

5 Bad Reasons to Start a For-Profit Social Enterprise

Harvard Business Review

According to a recent JPMorgan/GIIN report , impact investors invested nearly $11 billion across 4,900 deals in 2013, up 250% from 2011. It’s easy to scan headlines and see undisciplined for-profit companies (take GM, American Apparel). In the 2013 class of Echoing Green Fellows , five of the 12 nonprofits earn revenue, and five of the seven for-profit companies have received donations. Should a new social good organization choose a for-profit model or a nonprofit one?

Microsoft Taxes Itself

Harvard Business Review

Starting July 1st — the beginning of the company's fiscal year 2013 — the software giant will charge all of its 100-plus global offices and datacenters a fee for every ton of carbon they produce (mostly from plugging into the electric grid, so-called "indirect" emissions). This week, Microsoft is announcing an unusual initiative that it hopes will change how the company operates: an internal fee on carbon.

P&L 17

The Benefits of Hiring Your Best Customers

Harvard Business Review

I’m talking about the superconsumers who are inside your organization, working at every level: the fashionista who works in the mail room at the headquarters of an apparel company, or the finance manager who works for a pork brand and who eats three pounds of bacon in any given week. I spoke with Patty McCord, the former chief talent officer of Netflix from 1998 to 2013.

Sears Has Come Back from the Brink Before

Harvard Business Review

The interests of employees and stockholders had become one, in much the same way Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones found it working at John Lewis today, in their 2013 article “ Creating the Best Workplace on Earth.”. It’s not been a great year for venerable retailer Sears, which is reputed to be closing 130 retail stores and laying off more than 5,000 employees.

Quinn 12

Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012

Harvard Business Review

Keeping the apparel theme, um, running, check out Nike's new shoe with FlyKnit technology. Five Questions For 2013. on to 2013. It's time once again to try and summarize the last 12 months in a handy list. But before I dive in, some quick thoughts.