• Chasing Growth Can Turn a For-Profit Company into a No-Profit

    It seems many companies today are chasing growth. As an example, Amazon invests most of its cash into growing the company. The goal is to solidify a position in the market first and earn money later on the investment. But that strategy doesn’t always work: nine years after acquiring YouTube, Google still hasn’t found a…

    Learn More

  • February 2015 – No Debtors’ Prison For These Companies…

    No Debtors’ Prison For These Companies… Our students frequently struggle with the question of how much debt they should carry. Many come to the same conclusion as some leading companies such as Facebook and Visa: to have almost no debt. Debt has its advantages. It can be used to pay dividends, buy-back shares, or grow…

    Learn More

  • January 2015 – Amazon Plays with Fire (Phone)

    Amazon Plays with Fire (Phone) A wait-and-see approach can help a company avoid the hazards of being a First Mover in a new, untested market space. But you can also miss an opportunity by being too late to market. A recent example is the Fire Phone. Amazon was not a First Mover or a Fast…

    Learn More

  • Who Among Us Would Dare Question Myers-Briggs?

    Who Among Us Would Dare Question Myers-Briggs? The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) seems omnipresent in the corporate world, and one would assume that the value of the instrument is a foregone conclusion. Yet some have dared to question the popularity of the exercise, including a recent contributor at Forbes. In response to such “attacks”, the publisher…

    Learn More

  • Rumors of the Death of the Physical Office May Have Been Exaggerated

    Rumors of the Death of the Physical Office May Have Been Exaggerated. Technology has allowed workforces to become more and more distributed and virtual. This seems to be a good thing – but is it always? Structuring your operations and workforce is a critical decision for any business. And when you add the people-factor to…

    Learn More

  • Will Driverless Cars Run Insurance Companies Off The Road?

    Will Driverless Cars Run Insurance Companies Off The Road? They’re here – driverless cars. Another classic example of disruptive technology. What happens to insurance companies that insure drivers – who now don’t drive? Do they insure the car companies instead? And if there are fewer accidents, what will all the repair shops and parts manufacturers…

    Learn More

  • Changing Tastes are Catching Businesses Off Guard

    Changing Tastes are Catching Businesses Off Guard Today some of the biggest names in retail are struggling to understand the quirks of the millennial generation, a critical customer base. McDonald’s has lagged in the trend toward “fast-casual” dining (e.g. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Corner Bakery) that offers healthier ingredients and highly customizable meal options. The chain’s…

    Learn More

  • August 2014 – Are Customers Really OK with Online Business Experiments?

    Are Customers Really OK with Online Business Experiments? Is messing with the minds of your customers sometimes OK, or is it mostly always wrong? Last month the online matchmaking service OKCupid said it purposely manipulates data to “improve their matchmaking system and help users find love”. And that it’s justified because, “That’s how websites work.” Or…

    Learn More

  • July 2014 – Can Customers Like You Too Much?

    Can Customers Like You Too Much? Not all customers are good for your company.  There is a specific class of customers that could actually signal that a new product will fail. A recent study from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University describes these “harbingers of failure”.  These customers tend to have unique tastes, they buy…

    Learn More

  • June 2014 – How to increase your customer base 850%, Uber-style.

    How to increase your customer base 850%, Uber-style. The evolution of technology presents a continuous challenge to business models – but it also allows old and new companies to gain unique competitive advantages. A recent example is Uber, a company that has developed smartphone apps that allow riders to book livery and ridesharing services with…

    Learn More