In the old days, back when Reagan was president, the retail business was primarily a brick and mortar business. Consumers had to leave their homes, drive to a mall or a downtown shopping area, and purchase what they wanted or needed. Most consumers had no idea if their favorite store had the product they needed in stock or if their size was available. Retail buying was a hit and miss endeavor, and consumers put up with that sort of business model. The reason they put up with it is simple. That was the way it was always done. Retailers didn’t have the courage or the foresight to change that system. Then the computer took hold, and life as we knew it changed forever.
Getting adjusted to the computer hasn’t been easy for the older generation, but the millenniums took to it like ducks to water. Baby boomers were cautious, skeptical and fearful of the Internet, but as new applications were introduced the old folks knew they had to get with the program or stew in their own ignorance. When the Internet exploded, and new business models were introduced, retailers realized they had a tremendous opportunity to expand their businesses. The big challenge was how to display products so the consumer would relate to them. The Internet wasn’t “touch friendly,” and a large number of products rely on consumers to see, touch and analyze them before they purchased them.
When product recognition was introduced as an application of image recognition, the retail game changed dramatically. Product recognition has different marketing and e-commerce uses. Companies like Slyce was one of the first companies to introduce an advanced form of pattern imaging technology which made product recognition possible. The Slyce technology can stream capture images, and then it matches images through a series of recognition stages. The Slyce technology produces exact results for every image search. Product recognition is the tool that is slowly putting the brick and motor retail business on notice. Retailers have to sell to consumers online and in stores.
Kenneth Griffin is the founder and CEO of the global investment firm, Citadel. It is one of the world’s most successful alternative investment management firms, specializing in hedge funds. In 2012 Forbes magazine named Ken Griffin as one of the highest earning hedge fun operators. As reported in March of 2015, the company is believed to operating with 25 billion dollars in investment capital. On the personal side Griffin’s net worth is estimated at 6.6 billion dollars.
In 1986, during his freshman year at Harvard, Griffin began to invest after reading an article in Forbes magazine. By his second year he had began his first hedge fund. It was based on convertible bond arbitrage brand of securities buying and selling. The firm was financed with 265,000 dollars raised from family and friends. The structure of the fund kept things going despite the stock market slow down of 1987. Griffin had enough success with the first fund to spawn a second. He found himself managing over a million dollars in capital before he graduated from Harvard in 1989.
Right out of college Griffin launched the Citadel with 4.6 million dollars in start up capital. By 1998, the company had a team of more than 100 employees, and was doing a billion dollars in investing business. Griffin has been continuously listed among the youngest billionaires in the country.
In March 2015, Citadel was cited as a great place to work. Griffin has stressed creating a collaborative work culture, providing perks to employees like free lunches, museum tours, and fitness programs.
Hedge funds are seen as high risk investments. Citadel has had success in controlling the risk factor. They have done it by stressing portfolio diversification.
Griffin and his company have developed a philosophy and method of operating that has proved to be very successful. Making perfectly timed moves has been one of them. When energy giant Enron collapsed, Citadel traveled the country getting input from energy traders, researchers, and other experts. Then the company invested in energy trading.
Griffin personally writes computer codes and mathematical formulas used by the company to choose investment opportunities.
It is always sad when tragedy strikes. It is always in these times though that communities, friends and family come together to accomplish some amazing things. We hear stories from time to time of generous contributions to charities and such. It is rare though that you hear a story about someone donating directly to the families of victims in said tragedies. In the wake of everything that recently occurred in South Carolina, Jerry Richardson owner of the Carolina Panthers is donating $100,000 to the families of the victims. That is $10,000 for each family. Daniel Amen agrees that this is a very thoughtful act of kindness and something that a lot of people could learn from. There are many that could help and all it takes is a little bit from everyone to make a difference. Thank you to Jerry Richardon and the Carolina Panthers for your very heartfelt and appreciated gesture.