For our weekend business readers:
WILL HEALTH CARE REFORM BE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY?
Marketplace takes a look at how the upheld health care law may impact the U.S. economy. Health care is currently somewhere between 18-20% of American GDP. That figure will climb, say experts.
Over the coming decade, health care costs are expected to grow to a fifth of our GDP. One goal of this law was to improve access to health care, and another was to improve the quality of health care.
Jonathan Oberlander teaches public health at UNC, and he says the Affordable Care Act doesn’t do much — at least not explicitly — to bring down costs. “Containing health care costs is the hardest task politically, because cost control is really income control to the health care industry,” Oberlander said.
And it’s an industry that has been pretty much recession-proof — it’s one of the only parts of the economy creating new jobs.
Read more or listen to this radio report here.
LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF OPPORTUNITY AT LINKEDIN
In a cover story, Forbes calls the social/business media phenomenon, LinkedIn, the “The Anti-Facebook.”
Forbes interviews LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner for the story and Weiner explains the philosophy behind his business plan.
Weiner draws three concentric circles to show how LinkedIn makes its money. The outer one is subscriptions. Next, marketing and advertising. And in the center is LinkedIn’s richest and fastest-growing opportunity: turning the company’s 161 million member profiles into the 21st-century version of a “little black book” that no corporate recruiter can live without. “That’s the bulls-eye,” he says.
Forbes points out that when Weiner joined LinkedIn as CEO three and a half years ago, “The company was running a $4.5 million annual loss, paying bills mostly by hawking online ads and peddling “premium subscriptions” for as little as $9.95 a month to journalists, hedge fund managers and the like. LinkedIn was “too bashful for its own good.”
Now under Weiner’s leadership LinkedIn is on track to gross $895 million and net $70 million, up 71% and 100%, respectively, from 2011. Its shares are up 64% this year.
Go inside the Forbes story to find out more about Weiner’s savvy and the meteoric rise of LinkedIn. You’ll be surprised at the comparisons of revenue vs. time on-line between Facebook and LinkedIn.
APPLE CREATING ITS OWN DEMOGRAPHIC
Does a certain demographic type use Apple more often? The Wall Street Journal thinks so, and in its post The Journal says, “Apple is practically creating its own demographic – one companies like Orbitz are starting to target.”
Orbitz found that Apple Mac computer users spend more money than their PC counterparts on hotels per night, and stay in higher-ranked hotels. So it has begun showing Mac users costlier hotels in some search results, in some cases after finding they tend to spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels on the site.
The Journal explores research out there for Apple users and how it evolves around age and income.
A variety of researchers have taken a crack at defining the characteristics and behavior of the Apple demographic. The average household income for adult owners of Mac computers is $98,560, compared with $74,452 for a PC owner, according to technology market data firm Forrester. A survey of 24,000 people over the age of 18 in the U.S. from October to December found Mac owners tend to be younger, too.
Read more on this subject here.
BEING NATURAL IS BEST PREDICTOR FOR BIG SALES
Harvard Business Review analyzes sales success vs. defeat in this intriguing post. And guess what? You don’t have to be slick.
“I’ve had salespeople with terrible accents, who don’t adhere to an acceptable Westernized dress code, and misspeak words, but they are terrific story-tellers. They relate their story to your problem and can combine experiences across functions and geographies. They cannot hold a great conversation with the CEO about wine, but they can talk specifically about technology,” writes Phillip Delves Broughton.
He also says, “Sales is the most human and richly nuanced aspect of business and yet, amazingly, is not even a required course at most business schools. MBA students are dutifully taught finance, strategy and operations as if revenue appeared by magic and salespeople were at best a necessary evil.”
Take the journey with Broughton in Harvard Business Review as he traverses different arenas to study sales people and their techniques for success. In the end, what he learned is not something you can get from a book or a sales seminar.
SHOULD NCAA FOOTBALL PLAYERS BE PAID?
The San Francisco Chronicle probes that issue now that there is a Division One playoff system in place.
The playoffs will mean even bigger bucks and that has Texas coach Mack Brown – among others – wondering if some of that windfall should be heading the players way.
“In my opinion, with the amount of money the playoff will generate, I hope we can revisit the student-athlete stipend,” Brown tweeted soon after the new, semifinal format was approved by university presidents Tuesday in Washington.
“It will be a very lucrative event and those young people are the ones that make it all possible,” he added.
Brown isn’t alone. Others are pushing for the “newfound wealth” to be spent on the players in a variety of ways.
Read the full Chronicle story to find out how the new playoff system will work, and how some other coaches and a national advocacy group think the extra football income should be spent on players.