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Today’s Japan Photo

13 Jan
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Major lague, originally uploaded by yugoroyd.

Wreck a Company, Destroy an Economy

13 Jan

Here’s an example of how government-financed research can wreck a start-up company’s chances of competing for a contract.

American taxpayers can say they’re helping to make the Chevrolet Volt thanks to the government’s $13.4-billion rescue of General Motors Corp. With today’s announcements from GM, the citizens of South Korea can make the same boast.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said one of the reasons LG Chem won the supply contract for lithium-ion batteries over Massachusetts startup A123 Systems was the support provided by the South Korean government for basic battery research.

Lutz said LG had more experience in building larger batteries needed for vehicles, while A123’s business had been concentrated in smaller cells used in power tools. But he also noted that the South Korean government had boosted LG’s research, part of a strategy to give Korean firms half of the global market for advanced batteries by 2012, more than double their current share.

If that’s not bad enough, Dram_man brings up a scenario where this news actually seals the deal for ROK-US managed trade.

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Bad Marketing

13 Jan

ESWN is skeptical about Charter 08‘s draw.

This particular essay will probably tick the usual group of people off, because I dared to say that the universal values of democracy, freedom, liberty and the rule of law won’t automatically work in China just by invocation. I am not a professional political activist. I don’t go around handling out flyers and throwing bananas at government officials. I am just a marketing scientist by profession. I can tell you what happens in marketing. You may have a concept that you regard as absolutely brilliant. But you cannot just issue a press release from the comfort of your office and assume the whole world will pay money to buy your product/service. Instead, you need to analyze your market. Your market out there is not going to be a homogeneous market. Instead, the market is segmented by a number of factors such as needs, benefits, etc. If you want to succeed, you study those market segments, tailor your messages and communicate through the appropriate channels accordingly in order to maximize market reach and effectiveness. This is just as true for a bar of soap as for Charter 08.

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