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The Yelp Effect

by Vanessa Cabiling In a society highly dependent upon the Internet for gathering information, online consumer reviews have become the new word of mouth. Ratings on Amazon, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, Rotten Tomatoes, and Yelp have helped consumers narrow down a barrage of choices. For local San Diego businesses, learning how to manage these online review sites has become as important as managing the business itself. A Harvard Business School study, conducted by Assistant Professor Michael Luca, found that for every star change in rating on Yelp, revenues of independent businesses are affected by 5 to 9 percent.1 Chef Peter Briones…

Uri Gneezy & the “Why” Behind Everyday Phenomena

by Julia Lee Walking into Professor Uri Gneezy’s office, one immediately notices the floor-to-ceiling shelves with a vast array of books, ranging from the scholarly and serious to the accessible and entertaining. Atop a round table in the center of the room sits a container overflowing with colorful, multi-sided dice – quite appropriate for a firm believer in the value of randomized, controlled experiments to transform the way sectors ranging from health care to education conduct their business. An experimentalist and scientist at heart, Gneezy learned and applied game theory firsthand on the streets of Tel Aviv while growing up…

Obamacare & the San Diego Life Science Industry

by Matt Archer When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law on March 13, 2010, he cemented his legacy as the architect of a new U.S. health care system. The bill ignited political conservatives who claimed it was a step into socialism, and provided fuel to boil any liquid left in the tea party’s pots. When informed of the term “Obamacare” for his revolutionary health care bill used in a derogatory manner by conservatives, President Obama responded with his typical style. At a press conference in Atlanta, President Obama utilized a technique that Bruce Lee…

THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: The Only Certainty is That We Live in Interesting Times

by Mike Murphy As we welcome in the new year, I am sure we would all agree that for various reasons we are living in interesting times, not the least of which is the Affordable Care Act and health care reform. A day does not go by where we do not hear significant negative and positive headlines about the possible impacts of the act and, in particular, its most significant components: The individual mandate and the insurance exchanges that offer coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014. What will the short- and long-term impacts be? Will more people be covered? Will health…

Emergency Preparedness With Micro-gaming

by Sara Jones Any newcomer to San Diego soon learns that it is a small-business and startup town. About 94 percent of the 97,000 businesses in San Diego are small businesses.1 On average, these small businesses have between three and 10 employees. They span industries as diverse as retail, finance, and manufacturing. As different as they are, all of them face a common threat that manifests swiftly and unexpectedly: a natural or manmade disaster. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 15 to 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or manmade disaster.2 And the cost to the surrounding community…

Walking the Line Between Cheating and Competing

by Elanor Williams Amazing technological advances have reduced the constraints that our physical bodies and minds place on our performance. Medications can increase people’s ability to concentrate, to stay awake or get a good night’s sleep, or even make full use of the oxygen in their blood. Implants can make the blind see or the deaf hear again. Advanced prosthetic limbs mean that amputees can dance, climb mountains, or run marathons. These products can take forms beyond medication and treatment, as well. Software and hardware advances like Photoshop or even cell phones can help people be and do better, as…

Hiring Innovation

by Tyler Presnall For one weekend in November of 2012, Sony Electronics USA welcomed more than 40 MBA students to its San Diego headquarters for its annual Case Competition. Grouped in teams of four with strangers from other top MBA programs across the country, participants were given 24 hours to develop 15-minute business pitches in response to a realworld problem. Contestants signed non-disclosure agreements to assure the company that details of its strategic position would not be leaked. Students had received the case a week in advance but spent most of the initial hours of the competition getting to know…

Justifying the Jump

by Erica Dawson I do not remember why I decided to jump out of a plane. But I had reserved a date, put down a sizeable – and nonrefundable – deposit, and, most significantly, bragged to everyone I knew that I was going to do it. There was no backing out, despite the fact that as the day neared I was growing increasingly doubtful. Maybe this was not a good idea. Perhaps, rather than being daring, it was just being dumb. To reassure myself, I took to the Internet. My Google search for “skydiving safe” returned a long list of…

QUALCOMM Unleashes the Dragon

by Saurabh Bajaj and amit Rai Toward the end of 2012, marketing managers at Qualcomm, the world’s leading mobile chipset provider by revenue, were reevaluating the progress they had made in a new business-toconsumer marketing initiative. Qualcomm had gone to great lengths to market its Snapdragon system on a chip (SoC) technology. The company was hoping to create a signature product in the eyes of mobile users, who for the most part did not know the role Qualcomm technology played in their devices. In December of 2011, the San Diego-based company had gone so far as to re-christen its namesake…

Experiences at a San Diego Startup

by Andrew Ajello San Diego is at the forefront of development of new medical technologies in a time of vast change to the health care regulatory infrastructure. Demographic shifts in the U.S. population are adding more than 30 million people to a health care system already experiencing a shortage of health care providers. The Aff ordable Health Care for America Act has fundamentally altered the way health care works in America. With the purpose of making health care more aff ordable for everyone, some of the changes will significantly impact business locally. Currently some of the business problems that are most…