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Soft touch of Panera bread

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Graduate school requires a lot of reading! One of my favorites place to sit and get work done is a Panera bread store in West Roxbury. I like it because it is quiet and has comfortable chairs. (which is so important!) More importantly they provide free wi-fi that runs at an incredibly fast speed. The internet speed is much faster than Starbucks and other similar restaurants. So, I can say that the main reason I prefer Panera is because of their digital support. However, these children’s thought process is, no doubt, different from me!

One Thursday afternoon, I saw an event held within the restaurant. It seemed like a regular event for kids. A gentleman sang songs with his guitar and the kids sang along and danced to his music. The songs he played coupled with the sound of laughter made everyone smile and the atmosphere was happy!

It is obvious that this event is contributing to the sales of the restaurant, but the more important fact is that it is also contributing to the image of the restaurant. This warm approach made me feel Panera Bread is a comfortable and relaxing place. In conclusion, even though we are living in a fast-pace world equipped with digital technology; human nature steps in and the emotion behind this kind of event, makes the experience special. That’s because at the end of the day, we are all human.

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Would iPhone world be destroyed?

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

It looks like everyone is on the opposite side of Apple and iPhone.

On the above chart, due to the threat that Android poses, the demand for the Apple iPhone seems to be falling continuously. However, the residents of the Apple-world deny this fact.

In terms of loyalty, iPhone owners are much stronger than it’s competitors. Moreover, as we can see the following chart, teens view being a member of Apple and iPhone world as a lifestyle choice.

The trend of smart-phones has the potential for change. However, iPhone owners are not using smart-phones, and ‘iPhone’s like Mac owners are not using PCs, but Macs. I suspect that this loyalty can be a defense wall for iPhone for a short period. Time will tell!

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Technologies are affecting sports industries in South Korea.

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Golf Simulator in Korea

Recently, golf has become a big trend in South Korea. The reason? It’s the golf simulator.

In Korea, it’s known as ‘screen golf’.

In the early stages of screen golf, Korean’s considered it as a developed computer game. No one expected that it could well be an alternative for real sports. But things happened.

In the last year, the total revenue of screen golf in the South Korean market was over $2 billion. The current users are estimated to be a staggering 1.3 million of the total population.

There are various reasons for the success of screen golf in Korea.

First, the ‘green fees’ of actual golf courses are comparatively more expensive than other countries. (The green fee of 18 holes is usually around $200 per person in Korea compared to around $50 in the U.S) This is primarily due to the environmental conditions. Since Korea has a small territory and bad climatic condition, the growth of lawn grass is poor. Therefore only $20-$25 of screen golf fees are suitable to most Koreans’.

Secondly, Korean’s loves all kinds of sporting activities. The fact that they can play on the screen after work is an added incentive. Actually, professionals enjoy the indoor sport to such an extent, especially in Seoul (business center) that they need to reserve a slot weeks in advance!

Thirdly, the simulating technology of screen golf has undergone vast improvement. The screen golf system can detect a persons hitting distance, and it is almost the same their real distance. In my experience, I feel that 95% is same between screen golf and real golf. However, when I visited a golf simulator center in the US, I felt that it was more like a computer game. It was not as accurate and it left me feeling disinterested.

Systems in Korea and the US

Lastly, screen golf in Korea possesses an interactive gaming system. When you log in the system, you can, not only see your statistics and history, but you can also play with other players on-line. Moreover, the system provides movie recording of your past swings so that you can see view it on your PC.

I think screen golf has the potential to be a major success here in Boston. There are a lot of young professionals who would be willing to pay for the service after a long day at work. Also, the fact that Boston has an exceptionally long winter is another important reason that I expect this model would succeed in the Boston area.

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