Camp Samsung

To develop winning products, the Korean giant isolates artists and techies for months on end

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Last June a group of 11 Samsung Electronics Co. employees pledged to do the last thing most people desire just as spring bursts into summer: stay inside a drab room with small, curtained windows for the bulk of the next six weeks. The product planners, designers, programmers, and engineers had recently entered Samsung's so-called Value Innovation Program (VIP) Center, just south of Seoul. They were asked to outline the features and design of the company's mainstay flat-screen TV, code-named Bordeaux. And their bosses had vowed to keep them posted there until they had completed the assignment.

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