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Go back to the enewsletter Avalon Waterways christ

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAvalon Waterways christened its 13th Suite Ship in Europe last weekend at a ceremony in Budapest, Hungary. Acting as the ship’s godmother, Elizabeth Gilbert – acclaimed author of the award-winning, New York Times-bestselling EAT PRAY LOVE – led the christening ceremony.“We come from the water, we are made of the water, we are drawn to the water. Our lives are rivers meant to be explored and enjoyed,” said Gilbert, during her blessing. “Let every curious soul who steps foot upon this vessel have a safe and blessed journey. May we all be changed for the better by what we discover along this river. And may this boat herself know that she is loved and revered, and that we are grateful to her for her strength and beauty. Onward! I christen thee the Avalon Envision.”After reciting her blessing, Gilbert cut a rope tethered to a bottle of Torley – Hungary’s most famous sparkling wine, causing the bottle to smash against the newly named ship’s bow. Managing Director of Avalon Waterways Pam Hoffee, Captain Ralf Remus and the ship’s crew of 47 – as well as a hundred invited guests that included journalists, travel agents, local dignitaries and tourism boards – cheered the ship’s christening in front of a crowd of local onlookers.“From EAT PRAY LOVE to BIG MAGIC, as an author, Ms. Gilbert has invited her readers to envision something different; a hint of a life or journey outside their comfort zone. She has inspired transformative travel experiences,” said Hoffee. “An inspired choice as godmother of the Avalon Envision, she has helped us embrace curiosity each day in search of extraordinary; something we ask our travellers to do with Avalon. And we couldn’t be more grateful to her for blessing our new Suite Ship.”The new Avalon Envision welcomes travellers onboard with rich grey, gold and violet décor inspired by Dutch interior designer Liane van Leeuwen, original art in common areas by Dutch artist Eelco Maan and cabin paintings by another Dutch artist, Sofie Fisher.“With the addition of the Avalon Envision, there’s only one point-of-view on an Avalon Waterways cruise – the suite view,” said Hoffee. “For the first time, our entire fleet in Europe and Southeast Asia is comprised completely of Suite Ships, each featuring our signature Panorama Suites with the industry’s only Open-Air Balcony and an inviting bed facing the ever-changing scenery on two full decks of every ship. Even seasoned travellers have never seen – or experienced – the world like this.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Captian Remus, Pam Hoffee and Burghart LellCreating wider openings for the wide-eyed, Avalon Waterways’ Open-Air Balconies were designed with views in mind. Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows open 11-feet wide in Europe and 14-feet wide in Southeast Asia – wider than any other balcony in the industry. They blur the line between outside and in, while forming a comfortable and spacious seating area without compromising room space. As a result, Avalon guests can enjoy 100 percent of their Panorama Suite, 100 percent of the time.Off its Suite Ships, Avalon Waterways invites guests to dive into new experiences and exploration, each and every day, with its new Avalon Choice program. Avalon Choice offers the widest array of included excursions in river cruising: from classic sightseeing to immersive discoveries and active adventures.Beginning this week, the new 443-foot, 166-passenger Avalon Envision will cruise the Danube River on such popular cruise vacations as 10-day Danube Dreams, 10-day The Legendary Danube and 12-day The Blue Danube Discovery.Lead image: Avalon Envision Godmother Elizabeth Gilbert, Captain Ralf Remus and Managing Director Pam Hoffee.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Failed Tech Companies Never Die They Just Fade Away

first_imgGeneral Douglas MacArthur addressing a Joint Session of Congress. Image provided by: {link:http://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=13101}World War II Database{/link}In his final speech to a joint session of Congress, General Douglas McArthur closed with a quote that has become a part of American folklore:“I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century (Note: he’s talking about 1900!), it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams.The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”What Happens to Tech Companies? 3 Lessons to LearnWe’re all inclined to think that failed tech companies just disappear when they’ve run their course. Some are bought out, some file Chapter 11 and never emerge, and others just quietly liquidate themselves. But like General MacArthur, I’d like to argue that Tech companies slowly fade away before finally succumbing.When you think of companies such as Wang, Polaroid,  Nokia, and BlackBerry, you’re reminded of once great companies that either disappeared or ended up a shell of themselves.So what happened to these former industry stalwarts? Are there common themes in their respective stories that entrepreneurs of today can learn from?1) Ride the Hot Hand, But Know When to Diversify286/365If you think of Polaroid, you will likely recall their Instamatic line of cameras. While these were popular, Polaroid hit a brick wall with the advent of digital cameras. In Wang’s case, it was their heavy reliance on Word Processing computers and their inability to compete with PC’s wider abilities.It’s important to develop established product lines, but it’s even more important to know when you’ve tapped out your market. As a modern day example, formerly boutique luxury car makers are expanding into building SUV’s to broaden their fan base and attract new buyers.2) Leadershipblackberry ceosAn Wang, the founder of Wang Laboratories, had chosen his son as his successor. While his son was certainly accomplished, he lacked the experience to run a company as large as Wang. After a series of dismal quarters, he ended up being fired by his father.If you look at BlackBerry, they had an interesting Co-CEO power sharing agreement between founder Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Both were remarkably successful building the company up. However, would they have been better served with only one CEO to set the strategic direction for the company? Hindsight is always 20/20, of course.3) Losing Touch With The CustomerNokia 100 and Apple iPhone 5Show me a company in distress, and it won’t be hard to see that their customer base has become alienated and sought to have their needs fulfilled elsewhere. In BlackBerry and Nokia’s case, their customers were wowed by the sleek and user friendliness of the iPhone. Prior to the 2007 debut of the iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia dominated the mobile space.Nokia had become heavily reliant on their bread and butter feature phones — they hadn’t anticipated the resounding success that the iPhone would become. Likewise, BlackBerry had built a huge following amongst corporate and ordinary consumers alike. They were slow to offer a phone with a Touchscreen and functionality that could rival the iPhone.Why These Lessons MatterIn the end, all of these companies began a slow slide towards irrelevance. As they started to struggle, the slide became steeper. Product lines matured, new products faltered, credibility was lost, and in the end customers left.While some of these companies have managed to re-organize and painfully reinvent themselves, it’s important for entrepreneurs to take a look at their history and learn the relevant lessons going forward. In this way, they can optimize their profits and ensure that their companies don’t experience the same pitfalls.What are some other cautionary tales the tech companies of the present and future can learn from?  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more