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How to Compete in China’s E-Commerce Market

A surprising number of high-profile Western companies have stumbled in e-commerce in China, including Amazon and Google. This article offers a list of workable strategies to succeed in Chinese e-commerce, gleaned from U.S. companies’ experiences.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, in a market like China’s, where local knowledge and culture are crucial to success, more thought should be given to how to better serve local customers and adapt in a rapidly changing market.

Image courtesy of IBM.
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Winning the Race With Ever-Smarter Machines

The capabilities of computers are now improving so quickly that concepts can move from the realm of science fiction into everyday life in just a few years, rather than a lifetime. Rapid advances in information technology — computer hardware, software and networks — are yielding applications that can do anything from answering game show questions to driving cars. But to gain true leverage from these ever-improving technologies, companies need new processes and business models.

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Marissa Mayer’s Skills as an “Idea Connector”

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Google VP Marissa Mayer exemplifies the key traits of an idea connector, a person who links up idea scouts who have limited internal company networks with R&D engineers and others. One mechanism she uses: she holds three weekly sessions where she is accessible to all Google employees who want to pitch a new idea.

Image courtesy of Flickr user marcusnelson.

Creating Employee Networks That Deliver Open Innovation

Companies such as Procter & Gamble, Cisco Systems, Genzyme, General Electric and Intel are often credited with having attained market leadership through open innovation strategies. By tapping into and exploiting the technological knowledge residing beyond their own R&D structures, these companies outmaneuvered rivals. But while other organizations try to follow their example, many are failing because they neglect to ensure that the outside ideas reach the people best equipped to exploit them.

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New and noteworthy

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Two news items that capture some of the spirit of the times:

 

In a New York Times column, Thomas Friedman raises the question of whether this downturn may signal the end of an era of unsustainable growth.

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How Amazon beat eBay

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From both business and cultural perspectives, one of the lasting innovations of the late-'90s dot-com boom was getting individuals and companies comfortable purchasing items via their computers. On the consumer side, the twin ecommerce giants of the late '90s were eBay and Amazon.

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Creating New Markets Through Service Innovation

Many companies make incremental improvements to their service offerings, but few succeed in creating service innovations that generate new markets or reshape existing ones. To move in that direction, executives must understand the different types of market-creating service innovations as well as the nine factors that enable these innovations.

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Learning From the Internet Giants

Many companies have struggled to design IT systems, databases and content repositories that provide their employees with easily accessible and relevant information. The authors urge organizations to emulate the strategies of Google, eBay and Amazon.com, whose core competence is based upon making it easy for customers to find what they want — quickly, accurately and usefully.

Showing 1-15 of 15