Competitive Intelligence

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I just finished reading about INDIGO and along the same lines, Starbucks, in the Saturday (April 9th) Globe and Mail (Toronto...Canada:)) seems the only way any of these guys can get their minds aaround success, growth, to close shops and fire people! In 2011 there are, it appears, still very few companies who have any sort of "early warnig system" which wwould help aavoid this caatastrophic behaviour;  behaaviour which to me is not baased on intelligence and analysis but simpoly "reaction" to their failiing situations.  Any thoughts? Or am I just being too Canadian and Socially democratic!?

Cheers, David (GIRIG Inc.)



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Hi David,

I think you are precisely right, given the economic crisis and the short term emphasis on profits and keeping Wall St happy, many companies have abandoned early warning, strategic CI in favor of just trying to extract more money out of their existing clients or stealing away a competitor's clients (very tactical, current business focus), but few seem to be engaged in doing anything new or interesting that might actually drive the creation of a new industry or employ more folks at livable wages to actually innovate. It seems to be all about leveraging old platforms, cost reductions to target emerging markets while whacking the heck out of highly skilled American workers and forcing global wage arbitrage accordingly. So if what it takes to meet the numbers and keep the banksters/masters of structured finance happy is laying off tons of people, well that's the highly dysfunctional paradigm we are dealing with. Uh huh and look at the result...real unemployment in the realm of 30+ percent without the BLS/DOL's statistical manipulations, a declining middle and upper middle class, record numbers of folks on government assistance, 66% of the minimal amount of new jobs being created in this country paying under $10-12 an hr, decaying infrastructure and educational systems that can no longer be supported because the tax base isnt there, and god forbid we tax the rich while they continue to allot for themselves more and more of the national income and wealth and buy off our elected officials, get the laws changed when their academic finance schemes blow up (suspension of FASB MTM) and force the rest of the world to eat their losses (TARP, PCDF,DWB and about 14 other programs via the Fed/Treasury)...welcome to Reaganomics, Keynesian EC philosophy, Ayn Randian Objectivist Epistemological BS that Greenspan and cronies love so much!

Until this system finally collapses under its own weight, and it will, it always has throughout human history when there is simply too much debt,corruption, lack of trust, outright fraud, this is how its going to be. Anyone with a functioning brain cell knows all that's happening now is pretend and extend, the losses are mounting and the populace is already tapped out and cant drive further consumption, so that means more debt deleveraging- and inability to keep worthless assets propped up, so hmmm which is what QE is all about ....I think its film at 11..... only when the futility of this fully dawns can we get back to something sustainable, where a real strategy matters. Until then its the top 5% versus the rest of us...speaking of SEWS,watch the Treasury POMO signals....

Regards, and I bet I sound a lot like a Euro socialist....this is not based on intelligence or analysis at present, its about denial.


Yes Monica, you ssound like a Euro Socialist! But that is not such a bad thing. We in Canada are going through yet another government parliament collapse and another election...basicallly to do more of the same...nothing is likely to change, save perhaps more governmental hand outs to corporations to allow them to be even less creative and creat more excuses for that lack of creativity.  We in Canada and the U.S. have gone so far out to appease corporate fumbling that we no longer know how to get back.  Why would Obama want to "own" another corporatiion!?  Rock and a hard place I jobs, try to stimulate growth and profitability..etc.  But my take on your response is basically..."we're doing same old same old".  Yet there are still excellent examples of truly great entrepreneurial activites and large corporate proactive thinking....just not enough.  What I found appauyling about the Indigo story was that after putting some of the best small book sellers out of buisness, they are now moving further away from books to "toys"...another example of "reaction" to apparent fad pressure with no real long term vision.  Someone must have put a bug in their ear however as they have "wisely" chosen to put back the chairs and couches in their stores. Gee mabye they do have a C.I. function. Thanks for your great thoughts Monica...



Hi David,

Yes, I'm aware of whats happening in Canada as well. My stepchildren John (11) and Samantha (13) live in Canada, New Brunswick actually. Sam is actually going to be moving down to the US this summer to attend high school and live with us in Meridian, Idaho so I wonder how different she will find the USA vs Canada on many fronts.

The Indigo story was rather funny to me, as I have worked in Publishing my entire professional career. Actually for some time for another Indigo, which was an Israeli company acquired by Hewlett Packard. They make high end digital printing presses so I am more than familiar with what's happening in the book markets, with the online shift of content, with the demise of newspapers, the pain being felt by commercial publishers, traditional printers, etc. I pray that the Barnes and Nobles of the world can survive with brick and mortar establishments, because there is nothing I enjoy more than going to the bookstore on a Sunday, getting a latte, and browsing through the latest magazines, periodicals, books on topics of interest. Of course the printer manufacturers have tried to push booksellers on buying book on demand machines for years, to produce short run books but the economics of such, the rights management issues etc, and really the idea of putting a print shop in a Barnes and Noble well ....and now of course we've got e book readers, i-Pads...yeah the traditional marks on paper industry is in decline. I for one though still like feeling that hard copy, bound book in my hand. Sure I have an ipad, and I occasionally read books on it, but it just isn't the same experience.


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