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When to Partner and When to Acquire, Louis Vuitton Style

Le 29 August 2014, 14:49 dans Humeurs 0

Yves Carcelle is a humble man with penetrating brown eyes. An INSEAD MBA, he is credited with transforming Louis Vuitton (LV) from an old trunk maker into a luxury powerhouse throughout his 23- year long tenure as CEO. Now he is a self-declared “fixer” for the top management team and Vice President of the LVMH Foundation. His own modest handyman-like image is in stark contrast to the venerable leader he is considered both inside and outside of LVMH.

When he became CEO in the early nineties, he knew that LV had grown very quickly across the world without having all the management resources it needed to maintain global leadership positions. This meant that LV had to form alliances with distributors in most of the countries it operated in. These distributors played an active role in the company’s business operations.


Yet, 100% reliance on global business partners was not Carcelle’s philosophy. One of his earliest initiatives at LV was to take control of 100 percent of the distribution of LV’s products in almost all geographies. “With 100 percent distribution, you can have a good database…every morning you see the sales product-by-product, store-by-store, clientele-by-clientele all over the world,” he told me in a recent interview.


Partnerships and alliances are valuable drivers of competitive advantage, but if everyone in your industry relies on partnerships, there might be opportunities for achieving competitive advantage in a different way, i.e. when you integrate everything under one roof.  Carcelle was willing to go against the grain, and now he remains surprised that no other luxury brand considered such a move. Even now most of LV’s competitors have a lot of distribution partnerships worldwide.


But why did LV decide to go against the industry’s majority opinion? During the 1990s, business revolved around the concept of outsourcing and many luxury goods companies moved many of their operations overseas. Carcelle argues that LV’s key source of competitive advantage was its know-how of product making. Success doesn’t always come from “manufacturing everything yourself, but from understanding and controlling the know-how and having your experts in-house,” he explains.


Does vertical integration always make sense?


Over time, LV bought out all of its partners, but there was one exception. “The only partners I decided to keep were our partners in the Middle East.  This was not only because their values were the same as ours. Friendship and value-sharing is not enough. [A big reason for keeping them was that] the Middle East is complicated, legally and culturally,” he said.


As I explain in the new book Network Advantage: How to Unlock Value From Your Alliances and Partnerships, LV decided to stick with a Middle Eastern partner - Chalhoub Group. As Yves Carcelle commented, “Decision-makers [in the Middle East] speak Arabic and I decided it was important for us to continue to work with partners that opened doors, be our advisers and we were the first one to organise a joint venture for the whole Middle East market”. However, to still ensure as much consistency across regions as possible, LV decided to work with Chalhoub Group across several Middle Eastern markets, and not to try and find a separate partner for each country.


The lesson from Yves Carcelle’s experience is clear. The more unique your assets are and the greater the control you need to exercise over the value chain to extract competitive advantage from these assets, the more vertical integration makes sense. However, the higher the uncertainty and complexity in your markets, the more you should think about partnerships. LV’s key assets were a unique brand and long term experience in luxury goods. By vertically integrating, LV has ensured a highly consistent image all around the world. If you face a situation when you have unique assets, control over the value chain helps you extract value from them. Yet when you are dealing with complex and uncertain markets, then you need to find a single partner with expertise in most of these markets.More news:cheap prom dresses uk | long evening dresses uk



Here's How Women Reacted To The 2014 Emmys

Le 27 August 2014, 10:11 dans Humeurs 0


We'll admit, we were a little intimidated by this week's award show double-header. Beyoncé! Lena! Tina and Amy! Laverne! Absolutely everything about "Orange Is The New Black!" But if there's one thing we were blissfully reminded of in the last 48 hours, it's that there's never too much of a good thing when it comes to women in show business.

Fresh off the heels of Beyoncé's feminist declaration at Sunday's VMAs, women entered into part deux of this lady-saturated entertainment extravaganza sittin' pretty.

sexist schtick here and a cynical acknowledgement of comedy's women problemthere kind of killed our buzz, but overall, Julianna Margulies summed the 66th year of the awards up pretty well: "What a wonderful time for women in television."

Every woman nominated in the lead actress categories -- Michelle Dockery, Claire Danes, Julianna Margulies, Robin Wright, Lizzy Caplan and Kerry Washington for Drama and Lena Dunham, Melissa McCarthy, Edie Falco, Taylor Schilling, Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Comedy -- earned her stripes portraying a well-developed, powerful woman.

We were thrilled for Julianna Margulies who took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Julia Louis-Dreyfus who triumphed in the Comedy category, but among such a diverse and talented group of women, no outcome would have left us all that disappointed.

-Amy Poehler inhabited Beyoncé for the evening. 
-"Modern Family" director Gail Mancuso won for Best Directing in a Comedy Series. Mancuso became the fourth woman to win the category in the awards' 66-year history when she first claimed the prize last year. A woman holding the comedy director award two years in a row? Ladies, please enter the boys club at stage left. 
-Kathy Bates won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for her role in "American Horror Story: Coven." We're pretty sure HuffPost Entertainment Editor Jessie Heyman nailed her inner monologue on Twitter: "Well, I'll be god damned."
- Julianna Margolis spoke the truth while accepting the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. "What a wonderful time for women in television. And all the women I am nominated with tonight are a testament to that."

- Stephen Colbert acknowledged a serious lack of women in comedy while accepting "The Colbert Report's" award on behalf of his team of writers for Outstanding Variety Series. "I'm so proud of these guys and one woman," he said. "Sorry for that, for some reason." 
-Putting Sofia Vergara on a spinning pedestal to serve simply as "something good to look at." 
- The "Orange Is The New Black" shut-out. Perhaps the most progressive televised take on womanhood of this decade, the Netflix series was nominated in six categories. Uzo Aduba won the award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at a previously-held ceremony.More News: princess wedding dresses online

To the Girl I (Accidentally) Catfished

Le 24 August 2014, 10:53 dans Humeurs 0

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As you get older, there seems to be an invisible line that you cross. Deep, dark, shameful things you did as a kid or teenager somehow become funny, and those hidden secrets are pulled out as entertaining stories at parties. The secrets you once hid in in horror become a punch line of sorts.

A few weeks ago at dinner, I was warning a friend about meeting up with a guy she met on Tinder.

"Meet him in a public setting," I told her. "If he refuses and only wants to meet in private, that's a bit of a red flag."

My other friend chimed in. "You never know when you could be catfished," she said. I nodded.

"Hey, did I ever tell you guys about how I catfished someone when I was 14?"

Suddenly it was out there. It just popped out, my brain suddenly deciding that this was a perfect time to reveal the secret I had kept for almost eight years.

To be honest, I had mostly forgotten about it. It wasn't something I actively thought about, until sophomore year of college when I came home one day to find my roommate watching MTV's Catfish.

In most of these cases, someone has fallen in love with a person they met online and started a relationship. These people often have fake social media accounts, and fake Facebooks full of pictures of someone else. They feed people lies. The reasons vary, but the result is always the same: Someone falls in love with a stranger, and ends up getting betrayed.

"This is so sick, Hope, seriously. How does someone do this?" my roommate asked me. As I watched the show, my stomach dropped in horror.

I had done this. I was one of those people. I grew distinctly uncomfortable. I had to stop watching.

It all started innocently enough. I was 14, not yet in high school. I attended a very small private school where I was currently experiencing severe bullying. I was a weird kid, I had no friends in my class at all, and almost no friends in general. Of the two people I connected to, both attended different schools and one was only accessible over the Internet.

I met Mina through an online Harry Potter community. At that time, I was using the name Charlie for two reasons: I was unwilling to use my real name on the Internet, and I believed a name with male connotations would not make me a target for creepy old men. And I had just finished "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" and was enamored.

Whenever I talked to people online, I always declined to provide a gender. I would give out my fake name, information about myself, etc., but I always avoided the topics of gender and location. Internet safety 101.

Mina was a lot like me. Around the same age, (though I had rounded mine up to 15), problems with bullies and pretty isolated from other friends. We had a lot of things in common, and we became fast friends. We talked a lot via email. I used an old email address, (because I had a serious obsession with the Foo Fighters). We eventually graduated to AIM. At that time, I was using a fake screen name as a precaution.

So for a long time, Mina knew me only as Charlie, or JohnnysGotAPRBLM (a rip off of the D.I. song "Johnny's Got A Problem).

We talked. A lot. Almost every day after school, we would talk for hours. She became one of my closest friends. When she started cutting herself, I was always there, willing to talk to her for hours if necessary. She told me I was her crutch.

And then one day, Mina told me she loved me.

My fingers literally froze on the keyboard of my old Gateway laptop.

"What?" I asked her.

"You're not like any guy I've ever met. You're always there for me, so caring. You get it. You're my best friend."

You're not like any guy. You're not like any guy. You're not like any guy.

My 14-year-old stomach dropped, my heart started pounding, I felt like I was going to puke. My mind raced back over everything I had ever told her. I told her about how I loved to play guitar, how I wanted a dog, how I was excited for high school, how I loved punk music and drumming... but I never told her my gender.

"Oh, f*ck," was my first thought.

It occurred to me then, that I had never paused and taken a moment to tell her I was a girl, just assuming that she would figure it out along the way. I hadn't realized she was operating under the assumption I was a guy.

Logically speaking, of course she was. I had really masculine interests and hobbies. I was into punk music. For Christ's sake, I was using a male name.

I should have stopped and apologized and explained it to her. But I didn't, because I was 14.

Instead, I signed off, made a new email, made a new screen name, and never talked to her again.

For months I felt horrible. What if she started cutting herself again? She probably thought I hated her. She lost her best friend and crutch. I was riddled with guilt.

But then high school came and I forgot about her. And then I got a boyfriend and it was like none of it ever happened. And then I got another boyfriend, then another, then I graduated and went to college and made friends and lived my life and never thought of Mina again until that night sophomore year.

I know there are differences between myself and the "catfishers" you see on MTV. I didn't create a fake Facebook or MySpace or try to engage in a false relationship with someone. But I still accidentally led this poor girl on. What I viewed as taking precautions on the internet inadvertently made it look like that is exactly what I was doing.

Let's look at some of the "warning signs" that you are being catfished.

1. They never want to talk on the phone/Skype/meet in person.

I definitely avoided any form of phone/texting/Skype/face-to-face interaction. I did this to protect myself--I didn't know if Mina was actually a 45-year-old guy. Sure, I was talking to a stranger on the Internet, but I was trying to be safe about it.

2. They make up strange excuses as to why they don't want to call/Skype/meet in person.

Instead of bluntly saying "Look, Mina, I think you might be a 45-year-old man and I don't want to take that risk and Skype you," I would create weird excuses why I couldn't call. My mom was using the phone. I was grounded. I didn't have a webcam. I didn't have a cell phone. The excuses piled up.

3. They never send picture of themselves or send pictures where you can't see their face.

I definitely did this. I sent a few pictures of dogs where you could see my Converses in the corner, or pictures of my drum set, but I was incredibly careful to never send pictures where you could clearly see my face. I thought I was being safe, but now I realize it kind of looked like I was avoiding revealing my gender.

4. You live in the same area, but have never met.

Mina eventually told me that she lived in the D.C. area, and I, with great excitement, went, "Me too!" But despite her requests to meet up in DC or arrange to be in the same place at the same time, I always denied. I used the "45-year-old man?" logic, and also, I didn't want to explain to my mom that I was going to meet someone I met on the Internet.

5. They are vague about their life.

I was definitely vague. I knew everything about Mina and her life, and aside from my hobbies and interests, she knew little about mine. Not my last name, or my school, or my family's names. I didn't tell her my friend's names or the area I lived in. The conversation and flow of information was definitely slanted on her side. At times, I wondered if she was lying to me because she gave so much information--but in retrospect I think she was just less concerned with privacy than I was.

Looking back now, my story is kind of funny. It always gets a laugh out of people. But when you stop and think about it, it's actually horrible. You place your trust and affection in someone only to find out it was all a lie. For Mina, she never even got the closure of finding out I was fake. I just disappeared.

People do it for loads of different reasons--I asked my Facebook friends if anyone had ever been Catfished and the amount of responses I got were ridiculous.

"My mom dated a man over the Internet for about a year. One day she got a bunch of emails from a hospital in Africa (where he was allegedly living) saying he had been in an accident and needed $15,000 for treatment," one girl told me. "Research revealed that the hospital didn't exist and (in all likelihood) neither did he."

A friend of mine from college was Catfished in middle school as a way of bullying.

"It was nice to feel that connection, but sucky when I found out it was two girls who were supposed to be my friends taunting me," she told me. "I think it's made me more apprehensive and it has made me not trust people in general."

The fact that these deceptions drive a popular show on MTV shows how prevalent this is in our culture. And it's f*cked up. Like dating isn't hard enough, let's add an entirely different layer of deception to it.

So Mina, I feel like it's time to come clean. If you're reading this, my name is Hope. I'm a girl. I'm sorry I never spoke to you again. I didn't mean to Catfish you. It just sort of worked out that way. If you ever read this, email me sometime! I would love to know if your hamster ever overcame its cancer.



Originally posted on Literally, Darling an online magazine by and for twenty-something women, which features the personal, provocative, awkward, pop-filled and pressing issues of our gender and generation. This is an exact representation of our exaggerated selves.Also Read:andyprom lace wedding dresses 

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