One thing you can fairly say about our free-enterprise system is that there seems to be no such thing as overdoing a good thing.
We learned her nickname was "Ginni" with an "i" from the press release but there really wasn't much else out there about Virginia M. Rometty beyond the string of increasingly responsible titles she's held -- culminating in senior vp, IBM global sales and distribution -- when her appointment as the incoming CEO and president of IBM was made earlier this week. Our friends in the media have been on the case ever since and have filled in some color between her lines of report over the years.
There is a daunting qualification for the marketing team in Redmond at the end of David Pogue's rave review in the "New York Times" of the new Windows Phone 7.5 software (code-named Mango) this morning: "Microsoft may face quite a Catch-22, no matter how superb its work: Windows Phone isn't popular because it isn't popular."
Leave it to Steve Jobs to break tech news posthumously. There are thousands of stories out there following up on Jobs' comment in Walter Isaacson's new bio (and Issacson's discussing it on "60 Minutes" Sunday) that he had "cracked the code" on making interactive television "simple and elegant." What will it look like? Will it be as revolutionary as other Apple products have been? And what might this mean to the market and marketing?
One of the great things about a brand like Coke is that it is always seeking to reinvent itself and, in the process, generates a lot of what we used to call ink. In fact, with former honcho Neville Isdell publishing a new book -- "Inside Coca-Cola: A CEO's Life Story of Building the World's Most Popular Brand" -- it still is generating what we used to call ink, as well as a good share of bytes on the Bloomberg Businessweek website.
Judge Ellen Huvelle will listen to arguments in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., today over whether Sprint has a right to sue AT&T over its proposed acquisition of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit for $39 billion. It's unusual for a company to actually go to court to block a merger. Since the Justice Department is also suing to block the merger (with the support of seven states), it's doubly unusual. But that doesn't mean that all outside forces are allied against AT&T and T-Mobile, although many consumer advocates are.
Go back about 50 years and one of the more cloying jingles in the heyday of cloying jingles was "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet, dah-da-dah-da-dah ..." It's a different world, and Chevy is motoring around in a big part of it. In an effort to navigate more "efficiently and effectively," General Motors has put the brand's global creative account into review.
The caption at the top of a "Los Angeles Times" piece this morning that no doubt sent shivers down the spines of a lot of locovores, organic foodies and just smaller companies around the world: "Monsanto aims to dominate today's $3-billion global market for produce seeds, much as it already has done with corn and soybeans," it reads. And a paragraph in the middle of the story doesn't help.
What are we consumers so glum about that we're not out there freely spending on the goods and services we import and, decreasingly, produce? I mean, besides the fact that many of us are out of work, the incomes of those of us who are employed are stagnant or have declined and we've all pretty much given up on politicians' abilities to fix things? For those of us who still own our home, it's their declining values.
As difficult as it to think of Thomas the Tank Engine and Legos as graybeards in playland, they've both been around for more than a generation, are chugging along nicely and are in the news this week.