9781119012115.pdfToday’s great companies win by disrupting stale industries. That is, the great companies of the 21st century destroy the status quo in ways that the incumbents never see coming. Google. Uber. Airbnb.

These greats didn’t make slight improvements to the search, transportation, and lodging industries. Rather, they strapped C4 to the existing model and blew it to pieces.

When you blow up an existing model, you upset the existing players. Those existing players then unite to launch a defense attack. Law suits. Smear campaigns. Anti-disruptor regulation.

How do you survive these defensive attacks? Easy. Constructive disruption.

Is Google evil? Who cares.

Is Uber safer than cabs? It doesn’t matter.

Is Airbnb a legal alternative to hotels? Irrelevant.

Google, Uber and AirBnB disrupt the right way. That’s why they are winning.

Follow these three principles to achieve constructive disruption.

No. 1: Be truthful and transparent

When disruptors challenge the status quo, questions regarding the disruptor’s legality or legitimacy often arise.…

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Cute Blue Bird CharacterThinking about social media and how it works in regards to learning inside and outside of classrooms is endless and inspiring. Just by tweeting an idea, you can spark a connection and invite your students to experience the value of social media.

As I began to dabble with this idea, I was immediately struck by how other educators were using this tool as a way to connect, engage and enhance learning.

In the beginning, it was important to think about how I was going to model this tool and how I could relate it to something with which my students already had experience. So I took my students outside with my laptop and asked them to listen quietly to what they heard as we sat under a tree. After a moment, my students shared a variety of sounds, one of which was a bird’s chirping. I highlighted this and noted that birds have calls and tweets that they use to say hello and communicate.…

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Despite some predictions by food industry market watchers that private label is set to take over, private label share of the packaged-food market has been relatively flat since 2008, and it stopped gaining in other categories in 2011. This leveling off suggests that food brands are able to withstand private label competition. Yet, we’ve found the story is more complex. The first clue is obvious to retailers: there is enormous variation in private label share at the category level. In some categories, such as milk, private label has 60% or more market share. In others, such as RTD coffee, canned ham and toaster pastries, private label has only 1% or 2% share.

The numbers belie reports about how beautifully private label is performing overall and reveal, instead, how the culture of brand shapes consumer receptivity by category. In Hartman Strategy’s report The Future of Private Label Food, our analysis of private label reveals four competitive performance segments in the private label food marketplace that illustrate the role of culture within categories:

  • Private label growth engines tend to come from the fresh-food perimeter, where brands for the most part have not entered (chilled pizza, chilled ready-to-eat meals, prepared salads), and from dinner ingredients like cheese and olive oil.
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The SXSWedu Conference & Festival gets underway March 9 in Austin, Texas, and SmartBrief will be there. We sat down with SXSWedu Executive Producer Ron Reed to get a sneak peek at what’s in store for this year’s conference.

What exciting innovations and conversations can we look forward to hearing about at this year’s SXSWedu conference?

This year, we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of SXSWedu and as always, we are looking to drive meaningful conversations and action on the future of education. This year some of our highlighted programming focuses on teachers and student voice, and increased international engagement has led to more insights into education across the globe, through session and workshop programming and other components including LAUNCHedu and eduFILM.

This year’s “change maker” series showcases women in technology. Why the emphasis on women and can you give us a sneak peek at what — and who — we will see?

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When you’re just getting started as an entrepreneur, you’re expected to wear a lot of hats. You’re a programmer and a designer. A financial planner and an accountant. A CEO, CMO, CFO … and everything in between.

The problem is, too many entrepreneurs — women in particular — never shed those hats. In fact, the majority of women-owned businesses are solopreneurs. They feel obligated to manage everything on their own instead of building a business beyond themselves. Social stigmas around “doing it all” often prevent women from admitting what they aren’t great at, and hiring employees to fill those gaps. This hindrance results in a problematic revenue plateau — only 13% of women-owned businesses generate annual revenues over $100,000.

Here’s the big secret. If you’re not willing to get clear on who you are, how you’re wired, where you shine (and where you don’t), you’re missing out on key insights that can keep you from becoming a strong leader and from growing your business.…

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