Product Pricing

WSJ has a fascinating story on how one company prices its product:

In early 2001, shortly after Donald Washkewicz took over as chief executive of Parker Hannifin Corp., he came to an unnerving conclusion. The big industrial-parts maker’s pricing scheme was crazy.

While touring the company’s 225 facilities in 2001, Mr. Washkewicz had an epiphany: Parker had to stop thinking like a widget maker and start thinking like a retailer, determining prices by what a customer is willing to pay rather than what a product costs to make. Such “strategic” pricing schemes are used by many different industries. Airlines know they can get away charging more for a seat to Florida in January than in August. Sports teams raise ticket prices if they’re playing a well-known opponent. Why shouldn’t Parker do the same, Mr. Washkewicz reasoned.

VC Predictions

InfoWorld writes:

In what has become an annual Silicon Valley ritual, leading venture capitalists have made their predictions about which technologies will thrive and which will take a dive in the near future.

The iPhone will be a hit, but not world changing. The hot Web 2.0 market will cool, or it may keep bubbling. There wasn’t always consensus.

The coming iPhone from Apple, a combination cellphone, music or video player, and Web device, is going to be popular but there is some debate about whether it will dominate the mobile market or just help sales of all device makers.

Other predictions debated by the VCs ranged from green technology to the movement of media content and ad revenue online to advancements in biotechnology.

Creativity

Yuvaraj pointed to a December 2002 in The Observer:

Creativity is mainly learnt. And while there is an element of nature involved, it predominantly comes down to nurture – a way of thinking that is picked up from parents or the people around you. Timely encouragement, of course plays, its part, along with finding an area of interest that really gets under your skin.

Creative people do, however, intuitively know the value of alternating the rhythms of work: when to let the mind wander, when to get down to hard work and when to put a problem on the back burner and leave the subconscious to mull it over. This is a crucial flexibility of mind demonstrated by the way creative people, even during periods of intense activity, manage to create little holes for themselves where they will instinctively take the mini breaks they need to let ideas come to them.

Time out feeds the quietness of mind that is essential to creativity.