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"Good morning, yesterday, You wake up and time has slipped away The Times of Your Life
And suddenly it's hard to find, The memories you left behind
Remember, do you remember..."
- Times of Your Life -Paul Anka (Written by Bill Lane / Roger Nichols)

Time, those minutes, hours, months, and years, seem to be flying by faster these days. Being a fan of history and technology, have often wondered whether this fast pace is the result of the epoch we are living in. How has technology impacted our lives through history and what changes are ahead for the next generation?

 

"In many ways it is "Back to the Future" of Retail......Technology is bringing back the capabilities to get back in touch with the retail customer. The winners once again will be those that focus on the customer experience, both in store and online." - Tony D'Onofrio

Multiple industry posts this week led to the following question:

 

"Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best --and change-- from hearing stories that strike a chord within us....Those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves." - John Kotter, Harvard Business School

One of my favorite traditions every year is to watch the American Super Bowl, both on the personal level for the game itself, and professionally to view the latest batch of TV commercials. Some quick statistics on this year's XLVII edition (1):

 

"Technology will be your canvas and how you shape your work of art will be totally up to you." - Tony D'Onofrio

My favorite post from last week was from Mashable and it highlighted the 11 "big" tech trends that we will see in 2013. While the list was interesting, more intriguing were the interwoven fundamental business opportunities that these new technologies are driving.

 

"Loss prevention as a 'profession' is still underway – for many in retailing it is still viewed as being primarily about locks, bolts, alarms, catching thieves and providing muscle in uniform. However, to others it is about making a valuable contribution to the profitability of a business through understanding the root causes of shrinkage and developing solutions that are fit for purpose." Adrian Beck, University of Leicester (UK)

The above quote was on a PowerPoint chart at NRF 2013 in New York a couple of weeks ago in a session titled "Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and the Bottom Line."

 

"Choose a job you like and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

In the hustle and bustle of running through life, we often forget that we are actually on a journey which has an expiration date. My favorite post this week was a reminder that the journey of life is really work in progress. Think of it as a personal resume, an accumulation of individual choices that through time build into your life's work.

 

THOUGHTS & INSIGHTS FROM NRF 2013 "Now, you know the rest of the story." - Paul Harvey NRF 2013

Over 27,000 people from 70 countries gathered in New York this week to attend the NRF 2013 retail "Big Show." Post the holiday season, this trade event is the wrap up gift to close the previous year, think about the new year, and more importantly filter through the messages on the long term trends of the global retail industry.

 

"Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the future, and from the present to live better in the future." - William Wordsworth

Having just moved to Europe for three years, 2013 promises to be a year of new experiences, possibilities, and opportunities to shape the future. Timely that this move was at the beginning of a new year.

 

This week's post was inspired by a recent article in "Fortune" magazine where Steve Jobs and Sam Walton were compared and contrasted by their biographers Walter Isaacson and John Huey (1). Walton and Jobs were born in different eras, had very diverse backgrounds, pursued different paths to success, failed a few times along the way, and all while still chasing their career zenith by the end of their lives. In this post, we will discuss the ONE thing they both had in common that ultimately made them superstars in their respective fields.

Let's start with some quotes from both Sam Walton and Steve Jobs.

 

As we are near the end of 2012, let's start this week's discussion by revisiting the Apparel Magazine 2013 RFID retail predictions that were published in the October personal post "RFID's Moment of Retail Truth" (1):

2013 will be the year of the "Specialty Retailer" with a noticeable proliferation of RFID implementations.