Innovation has for years come from designers and marketers, from the creators of new products. The top innovation consulting firms all spring from the roots of building new products. “Most innovative” lists are populated by … well, Apple is always first … then comes a predictable list of companies that make cool products: Nike, Samsung, etc.
But today’s new generation of innovators knows that innovation is no longer limited to the domain of companies who makes things you can see and touch.
The clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, for example, has grown from under $500 million in revenue to nearly $3 billion over the past ten years. Not only does the company consistently grow faster than the competition, they are also significantly more profitable.
I asked the CEO to explain his success. He seems to have a secret formula. Why aren’t competitors copying him? He gave me four reasons:
- While his main competitors want to appeal to a broad customer base, Urban Outfitters cares only about one: college students.
SmartBrief caught up with CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy on the sidelines of the Milken Institute Global Conference. In Part 1 of this two-part interview, Duffy talks about leadership in the exchange industry. In tomorrow’s Part 2, Duffy shares his views on what Dodd-Frank got right, Libor reform and the role Twitter stands to play in the financial markets.
How has leadership in the exchange world evolved during your time in the industry?
We walk a very fine line. What we never want to do is disintermediate our futures commission merchants community. … When you are working with a big bank and you are working with their clients, you must work together. I think that is different today than it has ever been in the history of our business. An exchange used to be just four walls for gathering price. Now you have to go out and cultivate clients. (read more…)
Whether it was introducing Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler’s keynote address or sharing his witty take on NASCAR advertising with reporters, IntercontinentalExchange founder, Chairman and CEO Jeff Sprecher was the man about Boca at last week’s International Futures Industry Conference. There is no doubt that Sprecher is at ease in the spotlight that comes with ICE’s play for NYSE Euronext. Below are a few of the opinions Sprecher shared throughout the week.
On the very timely issue of exchange mergers and acquisitions: “We’ve had to move things around like chess pieces in order to keep up with our client needs. We think that’s driven a lot of growth for us. M&A has not so much been about trying to get big for scale sake. It’s about trying to have enough pieces to solve customer problems.”
On the greatness of U.S. capital markets: “The public markets are a great place to raise capital. (read more…)
Last week’s International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, Fla., featured luminaries from all aspects of the futures industry. The speeches and panel discussions included witty and insightful comments from regulators and industry executives. Here’s a handful of highlights.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on the London Interbank Offered Rate investigation: “[Libor] has been readily and pervasively rigged. At each bank, the misconduct spanned many years, several cities, numerous employees including senior management, multiple benchmarks and currencies, and there was clear evidence of collusion. … We should not think of any benchmark as too big to replace.”
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing CEO Charles Li on regulatory reform: “From an Asian perspective, we are the innocent bystanders of a major traffic crash. … We are talking about medicines that are going to cure all these problems, and we are not part of the cause. Now we end up having to eat some of the medicines that are being prescribed. (read more…)