Issue 0

Prototype Issue

  • "Zero Time is about the ability to react instantaneously, to provide value for every customer at every opportunity. Without the Internet, you can't be Zero Time — period."

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  • Some phrases have a way of insinuating themselves into the lexicon of the new economy. (Consider, for instance, "fast company.") A quick search of the Web — it took us, well, zero time — turned up the following list of products and services that feature "time zero" or "zero time" in their name.

    Polaroid Time-Zero Film (www.teamphoto.com/polatimezero.htm) Polaroid offers Time-Zero Film.

    Among the film's attributes: "Medium speed, medium contrast, integral film for high definition instant color prints."

    Time Zero Corp. (www.timezero.com)

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  • Business in the New Economy is a civilized version of war. Companies, not countries, are battlefield rivals.

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  • Mark Teflian has always worked at high velocity. In 1975, during summer break after his freshman year in college, he was hired by United Airlines to do some part-time contract work. He never went back to school. Instead, he became a vital player at Covia Partnership, which operated Apollo, UAL's computerized reservation system, as well as UAL's internal data and voice networks. When Covia was spun out of UAL, Teflian served for five years as the new company's chief information officer.

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  • At the heart of the Web are two important lessons about your career: You are your most important product, and everything about you gets more valuable when you use technology to leverage it.

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  • In the old economy, the organizing principle was specialization. Discrete departments. Separate functions. Independent projects. In the New Economy, it's hybridization. Inter-departmental meetings. Cross-functional teams. Integrated systems.

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  • Forget faster or cheaper. The Web challenges you to rethink the most basic relationship in business: the one between you and your customers.

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  • Who's that man walking through the street markets of Ecuador, trying to make $50 loans? It's Michael Chu, a former executive of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Co., the world's most powerful leveraged buyout operator.

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  • When it comes to e-commerce, Kelly Mooney knows the customer experience better than anyone. She knows what clicks and what bombs, who offers good service and who offers lip service. Just think of her as the experienced customer.

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  • Imagine a 73-minute-long stand-up comedy shtick on the subject of diversity, delivered by Truman Capote on speed, and you've got Morris Massey's 'Flashpoint.'

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  • Don't think of Barbara Kux as one of the rising stars in European business - although, at 39, and a high-ranking line manager at Nestlé, she certainly is that.

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  • Landmark Graphics CEO Bob Peebler and his colleagues use cutting-edge technology to help executives in one of the world's most basic industries make smarter decisions.

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  • Last summer's convulsions over money and political reform in Japan tore apart the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and brought down the government.

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  • For the most important management book for the 1990s, try fiction from the 1940s: Hermann Hesse's Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Glass Bead Game.

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  • It's one of those 'interesting-in-theory-but-impossible-in-practice' aspects of globalization: If you do business in 50 countries, whose ethical standards do you follow?

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  • For five years, as I researched how certain companies provide consistently great service, I heard the same refrain: 'Our people are our most important asset.' Trouble was, I heard that just as often from companies with terrible service.

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  • Craig Newmark has organized a community whose members include some of the Web's most influential people. Here is his manual for (virtual) community organizers.

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  • If the idea of life themes and telephone job interviewing still seems a bit strange, or if you're looking for more evidence that this is a tool that delivers, consider the experience of the surgical group of the Stryker Corporation.

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    1. We've never done it before.
    2. Nobody else has ever done it.
    3. It has never been tried before.
    4. We tried it before.
    5. Another company/person tried it before.
    6. We've been doing it this way for 25 years.
    7. It won't work in a small company.
    8. It won't work in a large company.
    9. It won't work in our company.
    10. Why change — it's working OK.
    11. The boss will never buy it.
    12. It needs further investigation.
    13. Our competitors are not doing it.
    14. It's too much trouble to

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  • He built the world's first biodegradable factory. Now, armed with laptops and attitude, Gunter Pauli and his green team plan to outmaneuver Procter Gamble and the detergent giants.

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  • How to explain poker's revival as America's most popular sport? Could be because it's the ultimate forum for liars. And that, says world poker champ Phil Hellmuth Jr., is good business.

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  • TED likes to think of itself as an Idea Summit, a gathering that one reporter/participant calls 'smart, overstimulated, and uncoordinated; the nutty professor in its own world of ideas.'

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  • The tax return may be the ultimate icon of the nexus of man and state—but how much do we really know about it?

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  • An interactive self-assessment program installed by Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom offers a guide to the new world.

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  • Maybe offshoring is good for the economy in the long run. Maybe it will boost productivity and save companies. But it's causing real pain to real people. And they never thought it would happen to them.

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  • Harvard business school professor Michael E. Porter has made his career studying competitive advantage - how to create it, how to sustain it - starting with individual companies, then vaulting to entire nations.

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  • "There have been several great eras in strategy," says one consultant. "This is not one of them." Still, there are signs of a renewed appetite for new thoughts. To get a sense of the enduring power of a big idea, we look at five companies that are putting smart strategies into action.

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