Topic Talk Tuesday – Patent Lawsuits: Apple sues Google and Google sues Apple

Hola Todos!

Some time-to-time, a media request comes my way.  Last week, I was asked to comment on Google/Motorola new lawsuit with Apple.  Here was my response:


My name is Daniel M. Ladik and I am as Associate Professor of Marketing in the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University.  Your request was forwarded to me as my main areas of teaching and research expertise include marketing strategy and social media/Web 2.0, as well as, personal selling and sales management.  I blog at

In response to your request, I believe there are two main strategies corporations employ with regard to filing patent lawsuits.  The first is as a review generating means.  For the better part of the last 10 years, one of Kodak’s main revenue streams has been lawsuit payouts bringing in over 2 billion dollars.  These lawsuits take years to rule on or settle and most of the time the income earned from the lawsuit is substantially less than what was originally listed in the lawsuit.

The second and perhaps more significant strategy is to distract and/or slow down one of your main competitors.  Apple’s patent lawsuit with Samsung is a perfect example.  Apple doesn’t need the money from the lawsuit.  In their latest earning call on Tuesday, Apple earned 13 billion US dollars in cash in just 14 weeks to its already enormous 82 billion US dollar war chest.  Apple is only interested in slowing down Samsung and Android.

As the Steve Job’s biography will attest, there is no love between Apple and Google and Apple has thrown the lawyer attack dogs at Google for multiple infractions in the iPhone area.  Google’s acquisition of Motorola was curious at the time of its announcement.  The marketplace knows that Android tables are not even in the same ball game with the iPad and Google needed more control over hardware to make a more compelling product offering.

However, the treasure trove of patents that Motorola controls is perhaps more impactful in the short term than any market share gains in the tablet PC market.  Google now as the ammunition to go after Apple, to try and distract CEO Tim Cook and colleagues, and perhaps slow Apple down from the break-neck speed of innovation.  A close look at Google’s balance sheet illustrates that Google does not need the cash like Kodak did.  This is a Quid Quo Pro play by the boys in the Googleplex and the funny thing is, these lawsuits will not be settled in 2012 or even 2013 for that matter.  Perhaps it will be nothing more than a trade for Apple to drop its lawsuits against Android.

I hope this was helpful.  Please let me know if there are any questions or topics you would like further detail.

Best regards,

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University


Networking and How to Fit in at Apple

Hola Todos!

On of the best Apple blogs I follow is Apple 2.0 by Philip Elmer-Dewitt.  In a recent post (click here), Fortune Magazine editor Adam Lashinsky was doing a presentation on his new book Inside Apple at the corporate HQ of Linkedin.  As part of the Q & A, a current Linkedin and former Apple employee, for the most part, confirmed Lashinsky’s assessment of Apple’s secretive corporate culture.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o




Topic Talk Thursdays – Thoughts from Bill Gates

Hola Todos!

Today’s Topic Talk is from none other than Mr. Bill Gates.  No, Mr. Gates was not one of my students but I follow him as his connection to Apple and Steve Jobs is undeniable in the history and development of Apple.  In addition, Mr. Gates runs the most charitable organization in the history of human kind and one of his major initiatives is to fix the American school system.

In his interview on ABC News (click here), Mr. Gates talks about a wide range of topics including about how Steve Jobs’ death affected him, his fix for American schools and the trampoline in his house.

There are links all over the page so make sure you do not miss any of the video segments.

Something to think about today…


Dr. Dan-o



Leadership – “Experience is what we get, when we don’t get what we wanted”

Hola Todos!

Today’s leadership nugget comes from someone very inspirational to me – Professor Randy Pausch.  Dr. Pausch was a professor of computer science and human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University when he learned he had pancreatic cancer. In August of 2007 after learning of his terminal diagnosis, he gave an inspirational lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” (click here for video and click here and here for more background on Randy and his book). Professor Pausch died of complications from the pancreatic cancer in July 2008.

I was watching a DVD I have of Professor Pausch and he said something that made me stop the treadmill and rewind the DVD.  In an interview, Randy was asked, “Because our past is tied so intricately to our future, do you feel that one’s worth or even legacy includes all the regrets – brick walls succumbed to – or does it matter at all in the scheme of things in this universe or this life?”

Randy responded: “Absolutely, our legacy includes all the brick walls – the ones we got over and the ones we didn’t, right?  I didn’t get into the NFL and I talked about that in the lecture, as you know.  But again, at Electronic Arts, I learned this wonderful expression – experience is what we get, when we don’t get what we wanted – and of course part of our legacy is all the things we failed at because failure is where most of the learning occurs. So I like to tell my students, you know if you are failing a lot, you are probably learning more per time-unit then most of your peers, so don’t get discouraged.”

This quote echoes my teaching philosophy that “knowledge is constructed (e.g., experienced), not received” (click here & here for full post) and the idea of failing but failing forward (click here for full post).

Something to think about today…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o


Topic Talk Tuesday – Dr. Dan-o’s Syllabus Web 2.0/Social Media Class

Hola Todos!

Many of you know me via my MBA Web 2.0/Social Media class.  I created the first version of this class in the Spring 2004 while teaching at Suffolk University in Boston.  As you can imagine with this subject matter, the class has been revised multiple times both in terms of the title (e.g., Direct Marketing, One-to-One Marketing, Interactive Marketing, Co-Creation of Value, Web 2.0/Social Media) and content.  Compared to this time last year, the syllabus has approximately 25% per articles.

When you get a chance, download this puppy (see below) and find a few articles to explore and more importantly pull nuggets for your journals.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

BMKT 7652 Spring 12


Apple’s New Sandbox – Textbooks: It Might Disrupt More than Just the College Textbook Industry

Hola Todos!

Being an Apple aficionado and a college professor, I watched Apple’s announcement of iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and iTunes University with great interest (click here to see Apple’s presentation). Here’s my take on the new initiatives.

First, Wall Street was not that excited.  Apple’s stock was down a number of points the day before and closed down on the day of the event.  Friday didn’t bring it back either but today, the stock earned back all the points Apple lost on Wednesday-Friday.  I bet this has more to do with Apple’s upcoming and expected record earning call on Tuesday than any of last week’s announcements.  As I like to poke fun at Wall Street, the Street was probably not excited because (1) Apple leaked many of the big thoughts in advance of Thursday’s presentation in the Big Apple but more importantly, (2) Wall Street is overly near-term and short-sighted as none of the new initiatives will impact Q2 in a major way.  While I agree nothing announced was mind-blowing like an iPad3, iBooks 2 has the potential to do what iTunes did to the record industry and that my friends, will be mind-blowing many quarters down the road.

Second, it was interesting to play “Monday Morning Quarterback” and blurt who were the big losers based on Apple’s new initiatives.  The most obvious are firms who run college bookstores like Follett and Barnes & Nobles. College students know all too well that it is very easy to drop at least $400 to $500 per semester on textbooks.  That revenue will disappear in the very near future.  Also middlemen/wholesaler firms involved in selling in the K to 12 marketplace will be disrupted.  All “used” non-university run college bookstores will disappear as well as rental services for educational books.  The other big losers are again Barnes & Nobles and especially Amazon.  Both of these firms have the relationships with the textbook publishers, the network to distribute textbooks AND an electronic device to distribute electronic textbooks (e.g., Nook and Kindle/Fire, respectively).  Yet, both of these firms dropped the ball and let Apple walk in al take this market away from them.  Apple did the same thing to Sony with the iPod/iTunes marketplace even though Sony had all the elements to do what Apple did in the Music industry. I’m sure the other firms will scramble around to cut deals with the college textbook publishers and these publishers would probably want to more sure Apple isn’t the only game in town.  But Apple got there first, and Apple by far has the best electronic device to experience electronic textbooks.  Round one goes to Apple.

Third, not discussed in a major way by Apple was self-publishing. Thursday’s event was powerful because not only are the three largest textbook publishers are onboard from day one, two of the three CEOs of these firms participated via pre-recorded video.  The way the iBooks Author program is set up, I could self-publish any book project rolling around in my head. Apple could not play this card up given the players involved in the announcement.  Yet, Amazon has been publicly trumpeting this song for the better part of three to six months, even to the extent of going after authors and signing them to lucrative self-publishing contracts.  My guess is none of the big three textbook publishers are happy with Amazon right now and I bet it made the deal making easier from Apple’s side of the equation.

Fourth, I think Dean’s and Universities should pay close attention to this iTunes University play with strong paranoia. Think about it this way, if this open or online initiative goes viral and expands quickly, small or mid-tier initiations could easily disappear.  Right now, MIT can only handle (e.g., classrooms, dorms, professors, etc) so many students a year.  For argument sake, let’s say its 20,000 students at $45,000 per year.  However, the MIT online degree program (which is taught by the same professors who are on campus) could handle 250,000 students at $7,500 per year.  (Please note; I am making this numbers up for pure illustrative purposes).  Given the realities of higher education today, some students might choose an online MIT option over a $20,000 per year pubic or $40,000 per year private University option. Now that would disrupt more then just the college textbook industry, it could up-end a multitude of higher education institutions.

Finally, I expect a new iPad in the very new future.  Yes this is an easy call, as we know iPad3 will be around sometime in March/April 2012.  However, I would also expect an iPad Mini or iPad Lite or iPad something closer to the $149 – $199 – $249 price points of the Nook/Kindle devices.  We all know the money is in the hardware.  Apple created the iTunes store to sell more iPods.  Apple created the iBooks2 store to sell more iPads.  Too many K to 12 students and K to 12 school systems are cash strapped and cannot buy a $499 device to read a $14.95 textbook.  Before the end of this year, if Apple is smart, that will change. We all know all is smart – ask Sony, Microsoft, Dell, Amazon, etc…

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o


Topic Talk Thursday – Did Coke Make a Marketing Mistake?

Hola Todos!

Today’s Topic Talk is from Justin Canning, a student from my MBA Marketing Management class last semester.  Justin asks an interesting question, “Did Coca-Cola make a marketing mistake with their new ‘polar bears’ cans?”

In short, Coca-Cola came out with these Polar Bear cans as a Corporate Social Responsibility campaign to raise awareness of to the plight of the polar bear in the Arctic. However, an ABC news report (click here) and a Wall Street Journal report (click here) detail nothing other than consumer confusion, despite the good intentions.

In the Wall Street Journal report, Scott Williamson, a spokesman for Coke said, “This year’s campaign is part of a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to highlight global warming’s threat to bears’ Arctic habitat. Coke is contributing up to $3 million to conservation efforts.  The white can resonated with us because it was bold, attention-grabbing” and “reinforced” the campaign theme.”  The article goes on to detail that Coke wanted a “disruptive campaign to get consumers’ attention.”  Unfortunately for Coke, they did get a disruptive campaign, but it was disruptive in an unintended way.

Justin, the floor is yours….


Dr. Dan-O,

This subject was brought up a couple times in our Topic Talk discussions (once by me), and since then I’ve taken notice to its subsequent development.  I’ve been doing an unofficial study on the new white Coke cans.  I am in charge of stocking the refrigerator for our floor, and have typically noticed that before the white cans came out, I was restocking the Diet Coke about 3-4 times as frequently as I was the regular Coke.  I was told to barely even keep any regular Coke at all in there, because everyone drinks Diet Coke and Coke Zero and Vitamin Zero and the like.  However, since the white cans have come out, people have been drinking these at almost a 2:1 (Coke:Diet Coke) rate!  I honestly think people don’t even notice the difference when they first grab it.  My boss’s assistant, a huge health nut, has been grabbing a handful of the white Coke cans and putting them on the conference room table for big meetings, instead of the Diet Coke.

I figure there is actually a pretty good mix of people who don’t notice they are grabbing a Coke can.  However, I believe some people are grabbing the regular Coke’s and drinking them, attempting to fake others out to think they are drinking Diet Coke, to look more healthy.  I think this because the ratio of Coke’s:Diet Coke’s has not decreased at all since I put the white cans out, and people surely must have noticed they were not drinking Diet Coke after their first tricky regular Coke, but still continue to grab the regular Coke’s instead of the Diet.  I have not had to restock the Diet Coke once since the white cans came out a couple weeks ago, and I usually have to once every couple of DAYS, not weeks.

Thought you might find this interesting.  Let me know if you hear of any other stories like this one.




Leadership Wednesday – Leadership Skills to Cultivate

Hola Todos!

Soft skills, such as networking, empathy, effort, commitment, etc., are critical for leaders to have in their toolbox.  As I had mentioned before many times in class, Dale Carnegie is literally the grandfather of soft skills that leaders need via his book “How to win friends and influence people.”  In is post below, Mr. Mike has 50 soft skill nuggets from Mr. Carnegie for us to explore for our toolbox.  Perhaps 3 or 5 of these will hit home now and save the list to review again in the future.

Mr. Mike, the floor is yours…


Great leaders are continuous learners and it is always a gift to them to find a collection cove that captures the essence of volumes of learning in a few crisp bullets.  Dale Carnegie, internationally renowned self-improvement author and lecturer did this for them in his article, Fifty Habits of Highly Successful People.  He said:  “I figured that maybe I could take the important lessons from every self-help book I’ve read and every life experience I’ve endured, condense all that into fifty key points and save everybody a whole bunch of reading time… my gift to mankind.”

While the length of the list may appear formidable, I am confident that you will find the richness of Carnegie’s thoughts well worth the time investment.  I have taken the opportunity to group them (you may see the groupings differently) for ease of understanding.  The following are the fifty key points.


They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

They find a lesson while others only see a problem.

They consciously and methodically create their own success, while others hope success will find them.

They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.

They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.

They don’t blame (what’s the point?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof).

They are more effective than most at managing their emotions. They feel like we all do but they are not slaves to their emotions.

While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

They are generous and kind. They take pleasure in helping others achieve.

They don’t rationalize failure. While many are talking about their age, their sore back, their lack of time, their poor genetics, their ‘bad luck’, their nasty boss and their lack of opportunities (all good reasons to fail), they are finding a way to succeed despite all their challenges.



They are solution focused.

They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.

While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find a way to maximize their potential. They get more out of themselves. They use what they have more effectively.

They are glass half full people – while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good.

They innovate rather than imitate.

They are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.


Hard Working/Ambitious

They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there getting the job done.

They are ambitious; they want amazing – and why shouldn’t they? They consciously choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.

They have a big engine. They work hard and are not lazy.

They are resilient. When most would throw in the towel, they’re just warming up.

They are more interested in effective than they are in easy. While the majority look for the quickest, easiest way (the shortcut), they look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

They finish what they start. While so many spend their life starting things that they never finish, successful people get the job done – even when the excitement and the novelty have worn off. Even when it ain’t fun.

Their desire to be exceptional means that they typically do things that most won’t. They become exceptional by choice. We’re all faced with live-shaping decisions almost daily. Successful people make the decisions that most won’t and don’t.

They set higher standards for themselves (a choice we can all make), which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

They are life-long learners. They constantly work at educating themselves, either formally (academically), informally (watching, listening, asking, reading, student of life) or experientially (doing, trying)… or all three.

They deal with problems and challenges quickly and effectively, they don’t put their head in the sand. They face their challenges and use them to improve themselves.

They are good communicators and they consciously work at it.

They consistently do what they need to do, irrespective of how they are feeling on a given day. They don’t spend their life stopping and starting.


Future Oriented

They have clarity and certainty about what they want (and don’t want) for their life. They actually visualize and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life.

They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’.

They take calculated risks – financial, emotional, professional, psychological.

They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future. They believe in, and are committed to actively and consciously creating their own best life.

While many people are reactive, they are proactive. They take action before they have to.

They have a plan for their life and they work methodically at turning that plan into a reality. Their life is not a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes.

They don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.


Knowing Yourself

They have identified their core values (what is important to them) and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values.

They understand the importance of discipline and self-control. They are strong. They are happy to take the road less travelled.

They are secure. They do not derive their sense of worth of self from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

They keep themselves in shape physically, not to be mistaken with training for the Olympics or being obsessed with their body. They understand the importance of being physically well. They are not all about looks, they are more concerned with function and health. Their body is not who they are, it’s where they live.

They have an off switch. They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun.

Their career is not their identity, it’s their job. It’s not who they are, it’s what they do.

They are multi-dimensional, amazing, wonderful complex creatures (as we all are). They realize that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. They consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

They practice what they preach. They don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

They have balance. While they may be financially successful, they know that the terms money and success are not interchangeable. They understand that people who are successful on a financial level only, are not successful at all. Unfortunately we live in a society which teaches that money equals success. Like many other things, money is a tool. It’s certainly not a bad thing but ultimately, it’s just another resource. Unfortunately, too many people worship it.


Confidence/Relationship focused

They are humble and they are happy to admit mistakes and to apologize. They are confident in their ability, but not arrogant. They are happy to learn from others. They are happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

They are happy to swim against the tide, to do what most won’t. They are not people pleasers and they don’t need constant approval.

They are more comfortable with their own company than most.

They align themselves with like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team. They create win-win relationships


With a comprehensive list like this great leaders will ask themselves three significant questions:  Which ones have I mastered?  Which ones remain to be mastered?  Which ones remain unseen that I must find to take me to even great heights?  The great leaders’ journey of continuous growth and development is a joyous, unending one.  Let them remember the words of a Chinese proverb:  “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”  As Aristotle wrote: “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!


Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University




Social Media Tsunami Video

Hola Todos!

It’s the first day of class and I have two Social Media classes this semester.  There’s no question that the best video on social media video I watched recently was “The Information Tsunami” by Robert Tercek (click here for video).  I required both of my Social Media classes to watch this video before our first class.


Dr. Dan-o

In Honor of MLK

Hola Todos!

While most of us have a day off today, we should honor the individual who “Thought Differently” and lead the movement towards equality for so many.  It also goes to show that you can make a really good rock/pop song that also means something.

In honor of MLK, please watch this U2 video for “Pride – In the Name of Love”  (click here for video).


Dr. Dan-o