Stockholm: The Land of Unicorns

Last week I was fortunate to spend time in Stockholm, Sweden. I was attending a global conference of women leaders from around the world. Although it was not possible to meet all 650 women personally (although I did my best), I did have a chance to interact with many of them. Several sessions updated us on Africa, the United Nations, Populism vs. Nationalism, and much more, but the most interesting session for me was on unicorns. In addition to being a mythical animal, I learned that the term “unicorn business" refers to start-ups with a value of more than US $1 billion. When Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined Continue Reading

Do You Love Your Produce Manager?

Do you love your produce manager? Do you even know him or her? If not, I suggest you introduce yourself. Many of us in the produce industry have gotten into the habit of befriending our produce managers. After all, a lot of first-hand information on consumer trends and the best tasting, seasonal produce items can be discussed in a conversation. And sometimes I have received feedback on our products or other produce items that has helped me in my business. But, on a personal level, I think it’s great to … Continue reading

Two Citrus Favorites

When my youngest daughter, Sophia, was in high school, each week she insisted that I buy a box of Cuties® Tangerines at my local market. They were her favorite snack. She would consume two or three Cuties® a day until they were gone. And, if the quality of the fruit I purchased was not up to par, she let me know it. Sophia has a unique ability to quickly taste if something is “not right” or past its peak, so I became very good at inspecting fruit at the grocery … Continue reading

Legendary Customer Service

If you’ve ever bought shoes online, it’s quite possible that you have heard about Zappos. It’s well known for its quirky company culture as well as its legendary customer service. The company’s founder Tony Hsieh wrote an amazing book, “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” in 2010, soon after he sold his company to Amazon for $1.2 billion.  Many of us wondered if Amazon would try to change the company’s culture or its systems and processes. Well, I have firsthand evidence that Zappos’ culture and commitment to … Continue reading

What Can You Do About the Drought?

Earlier this week, I spent three days with nearly 100 fellow agriculture-related business owners, bankers, ranchers, farmers and interesting speakers to study a few companies in the agricultural sector. Every two years, I attend the UC Davis Agribusiness Executive Seminar which focuses specifically on agricultural issues and enterprises in California. Besides the usual business issues of marketing, technology, big data, strategy and future planning, there was really only one thing on everyone’s mind. Water. As we Californians all know, even with last weekend’s rain, we are in a serious drought … Continue reading