Get Ready To Roboshop

Short, action-packed interview with Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s head of mobile, about Walmart’s smartphone apps, which help customers find what they want when they are inside the store. “You could search for toothpicks, let’s say, and it would show you all the different brands of toothpicks, what aisle they’re located in, and a map so you can get to them really quickly. People took to it like ducks to water” (1,200 words)

How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood

How Netflix knows what you want to watch next. It pays human viewers to tag films using more than 70,000 standard terms, which can be matched against customer preferences. “We’re gonna tag how much romance is in a movie. We’re not gonna tell you how much romance is in it, but we’re gonna recommend it. You’re gonna get an action [film] and it may have more or less romance based on what we know about you” (5,900 words)

Paul Otellini’s Intel: Can the Company That Built The Future Survive It?

Intel boss retires, looks back, he did OK, but missed the deal of his lifetime: the iPhone contract. “There was a chip that they were interested in that they wanted to pay a certain price for and not a nickel more and that price was below our forecasted cost. I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t one of these things you can make up on volume. And in hindsight, the forecasted cost was wrong and the volume was 100x what anyone thought” (5,671 words)

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