Modern Marvel

Marvel Studios has successfully managed to create a universe on screen that millions of people have been craving to visually experience since 1940. With the utmost secrecy, Marvel Studios has planned out 2 phases of Super Hero flicks into the future and they hope to create an abundance of unified story telling for many years to come.

The after credits sequence, although now synonymous, with this particular movie genre was not really a thing until the world got to see the end of Iron Man. In Iron Man we were revealed Samuel Jackson in a black trench coat and an eye patch; whom the die hard fans understood was Nick Cage the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. otherwise known as the man to unite The Avengers. This was the quintessential moment in defining what Marvel was planning to do and how they were deciding to manage their properties. This was a huge leap when it came to the movie business as we’ve never seen an intertwining of such hugely successful properties before.

All of these plans are based in secrecy as the blogs are a huge element to the hype and criticism of each Marvel film released to the public. With the giant enthusiasm by fans breeds very high expectations for film creators. The strategy for Marvel is to find the best talent in the business in order to appease the vision all fans have shared of visual spectacles with heart.

Marvel strategically reveals their plans for the future by way of Comic Con as extremely eager comic books fans await to see if their favorite super hero will be played by the caliber of actor they desire or if the film will be in the right hands of a suitable director. They often listen to fan opinion in the blogs when it comes to their hiring choices and are highly motivated by fan desires. This relationship between the studio and their audience is fairly unique as Marvel relies on anticipation for much of their success. Blogs, big reveals from comic conventions, events in the comic books, and after credit scenes add fuel to the immense burning fire Marvel Studios masterfully sustains.


Kevin Feige, the architect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios have had immense success. Avengers alone gained $1.5 Billion worldwide ( and Avengers II: Age of Ultron is expected to surpass that with the incredible amount of anticipation behind the upcoming film. The studio has crafted a sophisticated formula to build an audience even before the trailer for the movie is released and we can all see it’s paying off.

There are clearly a lot people invested in the planning of this cinematic universe; from the fans to those behind the scenes creating the film. Knowing this, do you believe the super hero genre is here to stay? Why/Why not?

Marvel Studios is creating programs for Netflix featuring heroes like Daredevil and Luke Cage; would you like to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe continue to expand or do you feel there is a ceiling to the genre?

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

starbucks_vs_mcdonaldsCorporate America is full of big successful companies who reward their investors nicely and have a winning management strategy. There are two companies that are consistently making progress, growing, and paying dividends. They go by the name of McDonald’s and Starbucks. Both of these companies success could be attributed to their management strategy.

As of late one of their management focuses is to keep their push on international expansion. Both companies have a great global presence and China remains a strong point for them. Starbucks recently opened 500 new stores in China, bringing the total to 1500 in the country. McDonald’s is currently working on diversifying their menus in top countries such as China.

Hiring great leadership and accountability are also two strategies that are strong in both companies. Starbucks company founder Howard Schultz continues to come up with innovative products to expands the company’s product portfolio. An example of trying to retain top talent and hold managers accountable was in late 2012 when McDonald’s let go of former head of US operations Jan Fields, as the companies earning were disappointing.


Another strategy that is seen in both companies is the constant flow of product diversification. McDonald’s continues to broaden its product portfolio by offering high quality coffee and healthy drinks. They offer these products in their traditional restaurants and their cafes. Also, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz continues to introduce different products.

Year in and year out, McDonald’s and Starbucks are the most social companies in the world in the restaurant business. Recently it was said that Starbucks lost its position to McDonald’s as the most social company. The main reason was that in late 2012, McDonald’s put up a campaign of what goes down in behind the scenes and it also opened up to any questions from the public. Because of this McDonald’s social reputation and audience has been on the rise ever since.

As we can see, management strategy plays a big role in both of these companies as both them continue to grow and show profit. New product innovation is huge for both of these companies. McDonald’s rolled out the McCafe in order to compete with store like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. In my opinion, this was a great success. I have many friends that actually prefer McDonald’s coffee to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. The day I found that out, I was in utter shock, as I did not think people would be going to McDonald’s for their morning coffee over companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin, where coffee is their specialty.starbucks

The question that comes into play is do McDonald’s and Starbucks have what it takes to keep up in their industries, continue to introduce a wide range of products, and produce at such a high level? In my opinion, there is no doubt that both of these companies will continue to succeed on the same as they are both industry leaders. What are your thoughts on this subject?




Can Self-Management Improve Quality?

As management students start to think about their career paths, especially for those graduating soon, one of the things on their minds is how they will differentiate themselves in the job market. Better yet, the opportunists’ who will be brave enough to tackle competitive markets, what kind of unfair advantages could these entrepreneurs come up with in their businesses? Well, one suggestion is how you actually structure the company through your business model and management style. This will determine how successful you will become in the long run, because the people you hire will indeed be the backbone of the company.

Morning Star’s founder, Chris Rufer has built a tomato processing empire that is like no other business model many have never heard of until now. He calls it a “bossless” model, which consists of no managers, no titles, so no one to report to, making everyone have mutual accountability of their work. They set their own goals and meet them, creating an extreme level of achievement.

When everyone having a high degree of accountability, the company strives; therefore you can focus in on the company’s core competency, in this case, the tomato process. In the video, Morning Star demonstrates their process from start to finish, and we can see the dedication from their employees; they take pride in their work every time. It shows how workers evaluate every single tomato for quality, before going on to the next process.  Innovation is also encouraged within the organization through everyone’s perspective of how to be more efficient in the process.

Consequently, when you have that amount of freedom in the workplace you can perfect a higher level of quality in your products and services, resulting in a greater profit margin or penetrating a larger market in the end. Why? There is no pressure of doing the job in just an autocratic way, unlike with the red bead Deming’s experiment; where there was no other approach  besides the way the boss wanted it to be done, which is impractical in today’s advanced technological age.

Rufer says that this model of doing business is “Quite good, high-performing people love it here, and they flourish,” and it is their competitive advantage in the market. So why don’t more companies follow this model? With traditional models becoming obsolete, our generation needs to figure out other ways to conduct business, in order to distinguish ourselves from the rest. This method of organizational structure is not fit for all businesses, but it is certainly a new and inventive system of increasing productivity, quality and overall well-being in the organization.

There is a saying that people don’t necessarily quit their jobs, but actually quit on their bosses. So, what if you worked at a company where there was no boss to quit on, do you think you would be happier? And therefore, be more productive, and result in products and services having better quality that could be beneficial to everyone?






A College Graduate’s Worst Nightmare

C.E.O’s and business executives are turning their backs to the recent college graduates claiming that they are under qualified. Link to NYTimes Article “How to Bridge the Hiring Gap”

In the business world today, college graduates are frightful to enter the workforce because they are convinced that their knowledge and degree will never land them a job good enough to pay off their tuition debt. As of late, executives who are looking to hire this bright new knowledge are claiming that they are unable to find applicants who are qualified for the position they seek. When one tries to uncover this paradox of linking those who need work to those who need workers, one will find that there is a divide that is weakening the success of both aspects.

An Economics graduate from the University of North Carolina stated that although they graduated with a 3.6 G.P.A and degree for a major that was high in demand, they believe that the bashing of their generation will never end causing employers to believe that they will never be able to add value to the company. Looking from a different perspective, a large majority of C.E.Os of companies are backing up their hiring decisions in regards to recent graduates by stating that these recent graduates lack the skills and discipline required in the workplace. A main cause of this is that young employees come into a new job believing that they are automatically entitled to a promotion before mastering the assigned tasks for the position in which they started. Executives are trying to encourage young hires that rotating through departments and letting the managers monitor their progress step by step will let them prove their abilities. Managers, executives, and CEOs who are hiring are warning recent college graduates that training programs will only recruit applicants will immediately applicable skills due to the fact that they no longer have time to hire bench strength.

The dilemma of hiring new college graduates proves that  management operations is changing up the game. The basic management functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling will no longer apply to the recent college graduates unless they are truly ready to work from the bottom to the top. If we go by the textbook, staffing is performed effectively by following proper recruitment procedures and then selecting the candidate that is most qualified in meeting all the job requirements. The major ethical decision I contemplated while reading this article is whether this treatment is fair for the recent college graduates. If one is over-qualified for an entry position within a company should they be forced to rotate through departments being encouraged by employers to learn knowledge in which they have already acquired?


American Airlines Expanding…

I’m sure we can all remember a time when American Airlines was going bankrupt and their stock was worth close to nothing.  It has been about ten years now since then and they have continued to grow as a company.  During the past ten years American Airlines used bankruptcy protect to cut costs and allowed almost all of their flying from only five U.S. cities.  This type of management strategy allowed them to survive after September 11th and throughout this decade.  Now, at O’Hare, they have their own terminal for domestic and international departures and international arrivals.  It’s almost hard to imagine they have come this far.

Since they will be exiting bankruptcy protection, they decided to come up with a new management strategy to deal with the upcoming costs and exit bankruptcy.  Even though American has a market leading position on flights between U.S. and Latin America, they need to focus on their weakness with continental Europe and Asia.  They have introduced new flights to Germany, South Korea, and Peru.  Their flight to Germany will be from Chicago to Dusseldorf.  They also plan on introducing some new domestic services (Nicas).  American believes this strategy will increase their departures by 20% over the next five years while they try and exit bankruptcy.

American’s C.C.O. said, “An underlying foundation of the business plan has been to diversify our portfolio of flying and increase our mix of international flying” (Wall Street Journal).  I personally couldn’t agree more with this statement and if I was looking to do this, I would start with the weakest parts of my management strategy.  I would search for the gaps in my market and do whatever I could to bridge those gaps for my consumers.  That seems like the smartest plan to me.  I have begun to wonder if it will cost as much as a regular flight or if they will be trying a new competitive angle.

Do you think the American Airline’s expansion to continental Europe and Asia is a smart management strategy?  How will the addition of these new services affect the price of tickets in the future?



Shop Like Your Life Depends On It

With the holiday season quickly approaching us, most people are already beginning to think about who they have to buy gifts for, if not already starting their online shopping. One aspect of the holiday season that escapes most shoppers, though, is their overall contribution to retailers and the economy overall. The holiday season is known to be the most important time of year for retailers everywhere; contributing to 40% of their annual sales in a period of about two months. Thankfully every year around this time, forecasters begin looking at last year’s holiday sales in order to predict as best as they can the holiday sales for this year.

At least ten entities are in charge of making this prediction and this year their predictions range from a 3 to 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over last year. Each forecaster’s predictions are different because of the varying methods that they use. Most importantly, though, is the fact that all of this year’s predictions are lower than the actual gain in sales of last year, which was 5.8 percent.

Each forecaster takes into account different variables when predicting holiday sales each year. The National Retail Federation, for example, looks at sales from the previous month, the housing market, consumer confidence, weather, and employment levels. A mere increase in holiday temperatures could drastically decrease purchases of common winter items like jackets, scarves, and gloves.

Interestingly enough, these predictions only slightly affect retailers. By the time these forecasts come out, retailers have already ordered their merchandise for the holiday season. Unless there was evidence that consumers would spend much more than anticipated, retailers probably wouldn’t increase any of their orders. Other retailers who are afraid of being left with too much excess inventory this year may be inclined to offer better discounts, or begin discounting even sooner than last year.

With all the different methods of forecasting going on, it may come as no surprise that these forecasts are usually wrong, if only by a few percentage points. Some years the forecasts are very optimistic while in others shoppers spend much more than anticipated.

What do you think are some better if not more accurate methods of predicting holiday sales from year to year? If retailers have already ordered inventory months in advance, why are these forecasts so important? What do you think are the factors that determine high holiday sales one year and lower sales in another year?