Wade Fenn

If you're looking for the future of your business, watch your youngest customers and employees. Three years ago, I watched a young Asian man show his friends how he had dismantled a Nokia phone to slide a mugshot of himself behind the phone's LCD. His image smiled smugly from behind the phone's user interface. "Girls really like it," he told me. Yet only just recently is the mobile phone industry promoting downloadable images to the U.S. consumer to build affinity and air-time usage. At MERA's Knowledgefest in Nashville in February, 12V retail owners and merchandise managers listened to how the automotive industry's 42V power systems and

Now, it wasn't all that bad. On the slopes or off, the people at CEA's Winter Summit weren't ready to end it all after they listened to Wade Fenn. Wade had agreed to give one of the main talks at the Vail, Colo., summit before he opted to leave Best Buy after 21 years, and he showed up ready to make good on his obligations—happy to tell people what he knew, not necessarily what they wanted to hear. Wade's message was pretty simple: Digital technology is changing the traditional notion of value. What's valuable to consumers is no longer that black box in the home

How to risk it all, several times, and win-win By Janet Pinkerton For Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze, risk is life—carefully gauged and addressed head-on, always with an eye towards diversifying future options. In the mid 1960s, the head of North America's largest electronics retailer was a sales representative working for his father in the era of 30-day manufacturer contracts, a rep who wanted into retailing. "It was really driven by my own desire to take control of my own destiny," Schulze said. "Early in the game, I discovered that your individual future was not in your own hands when manufacturers had the

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