Anderson, Indiana

Emmett Dulaney: The wheel of business keeps rolling

Tue, 2012-07-10 12:08 -- univcomm
July 10, 2012

I always find it interesting when things — particularly those related to business — come full circle. I will illustrate with two examples — a national one first, and then a local one.

In one of the great ironies of the technology sector, the now deceased Steve Jobs hounded the president of PepsiCo to quit his current position and become a CEO at Apple. Jobs supposedly used lines on John Sculley such as “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Jobs was convinced that this person was the right one to lead the company where it needed to go. After saying no for a while, Scully eventually took Jobs up on the offer and one of his tasks at Apple came to be the ousting of Steve Jobs, who had come to be seen at the time as far more of a liability than an asset.

Jobs, who was far from being done with IT, left Apple and started another company that was called NeXT, which offered solutions in both software (where object-oriented programming ruled) and hardware. While the hardware failed to catch solid footing, the principles espoused in the programming gained traction. In a surprise move, the company ended up getting purchased by Apple several years later, thus bringing Jobs back in house.

While that is an interesting story in and of itself, it does not stop there. Now that Steve Jobs is no longer with us, in March PepsiCo introduced to the market a new sugared water soft drink concoction. The name of the new drink: Next. Thus, the circle is complete.

On the local scene, there once was a popular chain restaurant located on Scatterfield that went by the name of Chi-Chi’s (the slogan: “Life needs a little salsa”). The Chi-Chi’s restaurant at that location was a part of a large chain that changed hands a few times, and the company at the top of the chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. in late 2003. There are a number of reasons for the bankruptcy, but one that cannot be denied is that the taste for Mexican food changed in consumers from pre-packaged to authentic and this was a trend that happened all across the U.S. as family-owned restaurants popped up to meet the demand.

While there is more than one authentic Mexican-style restaurant in Anderson, the market leader is Real Hacienda, which opened its doors downtown and has enjoyed success almost from day one. The local Chi-Chi’s shut its doors and the building it occupied remained empty for quite a while. That location, however, is now finally enjoying a resurgence and it is not uncommon to see the parking lot filled. The new resident: Real Hacienda. The second Anderson location of the authentic Mexican restaurant occupies the very location of the business it participated in killing the demand for.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology. The Falls School of Business is one of Anderson University’s largest academic departments offering eight undergraduate majors as well as MBA and DBA programs. The school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and is a member of the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA).

Columns from Anderson University’s Falls School of Business are published Tuesdays in The Herald Bulletin. Tuesday’s columnist is Emmett Dulaney, who teaches marketing and entrepreneurship.