Summary of “The Bankrupt Ideology of Business School”

In his 2017 book on business school The Golden Passport, which focuses on Harvard, Duff McDonald names this as the central failure of today’s MBA programs.
MBA students may be dealing into the financial system of a New Gilded Age, but our social policy positions reflect a far more progressive era.
Not once have I heard a discussion of unions while in business school.
Students become like major corporations that sponsor Pride floats for employees or air heartening commercials of workers’ biracial families, then adopt practices that make those peoples’ lives more precarious.
Ask today’s business school student to describe the world of his or her dreams, and you’ll likely hear a description of the current system-just with more representative figures in positions of power.
In the 2016 presidential election, Harvard Business School polled students on their choice of candidate.
Privilege confers responsibility beyond itself, and one need not invoke pitchforks marching up the eighteenth fairway to show why MBA students have self-interested reasons for rethinking our ideology.
A more dynamic approach to addressing society’s problems, one which challenges students’ assumptions and moral priorities, might propel business schools to a more credible status in the public square, and allow them to finally become incubators of principled economic leaders rather than managers.

The orginal article.

Summary of “From planking to pizzas: the new rules for a successful meeting”

The search for the perfect business meeting seems never-ending.
“Some have the clarity of angels singing. They are brilliant and thoughtful and set up the meeting for high-quality discussion. Sometimes they come in at the other end of the spectrum”.
Actually, says Emma Sinclair, the co-founder of EnterpriseAlumni, there is a lot to be said for the regular company-wide catchup, even if it comes in the form of a traditional meeting.
“One PayPal executive, David Sacks, used to burst into meeting rooms like a prohibition-era cop and ask what people were meeting about,” says Bruce Daisley, the European vice-president at Twitter and the host of the Eat Sleep Work Repeat podcast.
“If it wasn’t any good, he would stop the meeting right then and there. I love this idea of superhero-style vigilantes closing meetings down. Imagine if the burden of having a meeting was that at any point you’d have to explain what the meeting was about. Brilliant! If all of us knew we would be held to account for the cost of a meeting and the amount of people’s time we are taking up, our perspective would be different. The meeting is taking all the fun out of our jobs because we are so scared of not being busy. But sitting at your desk and thinking is an important part of the job.”
Ever sat in a meeting and wondered how much it was costing the company in terms of salaries? Tools such as Harvard Business Review’s business meeting cost calculator will put a figure on it.
Another Bezos rule: he won’t call a meeting, or even attend one, where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group.
“If you go into a meeting and somebody asks: ‘Has anyone got anything for today’s agenda?’, that should tell you that there is no point to it. We live in a world where the quality of our work is being appraised by others, by our bosses, so we never want to appear as if we’re not working hard. So when a meeting comes up that we are responsible for, we all want to show that we have packed agendas. We need to lose the fear of standing people down for meetings and cancel them.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Study the Competition. Study Winners in Other Industries.”

When top-earning entrepreneurs need more creative inspiration, or we need to accelerate the growth of our businesses, here’s what we do instead: We study winners and losers in other industries.
I’ll explain why in a moment, but I need to fully debunk this myth that it’s smart to study the competition.
That’s why high-performing CEOs and entrepreneurs keep their thoughts completely focused on success, whether that means studying successful businesses in other industries or envisioning the success of their own businesses.
Studying winners in other industries makes you innovative.
The key to faster innovation is to study innovative leaders in other industries so you can borrow their strategies and be the first to implement them in your own industry.
The point is that Subway was the first fast food place to position itself as “Healthy” and because of that it became the fastest growing, most recognized sandwich company on the planet, all because it copied the winners in a different industry.
That’s because it’s just as important to study failures in other industries as it is to study successes.
Studying losers in other industries keeps you sharp.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 6 Questions I Ask Before I Say ‘Yes’ to Anything”

It’s okay to value your time and energy – in fact, it’s important.
While I really do love that someone wants to hear my message, I’ve learned how much effort goes into every time I get on stage and the true value that I bring.
Give yourself permission to value your time, even if that means turning down unpaid work.4.
Now, my team is 10 times more productive than I ever was as a solo-entrepreneur.
Beyond my physical time, I’ve allowed comparison and anxiety to completely drain my energy and leave no room for anything creative or meaningful.
Removing yourself doesn’t mean you’re falling behind, it’s actually refueling you to make better use of your time when you’re ready to work.
Most of the time, that space is too cluttered from being overly connected.
Being so hyper-connected all the time, it’s so easy to see snapshots into everyone’s lives and feel like you’re falling behind or you should be doing more.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The alternative to the four-hour workweek mindset – TechCrunch”

It’s a mindset that is antithetical to everything I know about entrepreneurship; a mindset that I see when I hear people talk about having an amazing idea that they want to farm out to a young college student who can code, or outsourcing development of a product to a cheap dev house.
What is missed in all of this is the mindset of craftsmanship; that one’s expertise and deliberate focus on one’s craft is actually the primary driver for success – and not some crapshoot of a series of hacks.
Startup graveyards are full of visionaries without expertise or the proper skills to execute.
It’s the experts that are the drivers – an expertise that is gained from a curiosity, and a mindset of treating one’s craft very seriously.
A startup is by nature a crash-course in developing expertise.
Startup graveyards are full of visionaries without expertise or the proper skills to execute, for no other reason than ideas are not self-executing, but are rather made into being by intense engagement by skilled operators.
Startups fail withstanding founder expertise, of course.
It is the expertise and the mindset of craftsmanship that allows someone like Elon Musk to jump from project to project and sector to sector with the knowledge of how to execute on the highest-level problems.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A farewell to free journalism”

The open Internet literally gave me my career, and for years, I’ve repaid that gift by seeking out employers that kept my writing free to readers.
Traditional media can survive competition for readers just fine.
For more than a century, magazines and newspapers were what’s known as a “Two-sided market”: We sold subscriptions to you, our readers, and once you’d subscribed, we sold your eyeballs to our advertisers.
Some journalism can function as a sort of a loss leader for a conference business, or another associated product, like books or package tours.
Outside of the “Loss leader model,” there are a few other options: Some reporting can be financed by donors as a philanthropic project; some consumer product journalism can support itself through affiliate programs that provide rewards for selling merchandise; and some writing can be supported by “Native advertising” sprinkled among the journalism so that it’s hard to tell them apart.
Philanthropic journalism can take up some of that slack, but it will be narrow in another way: Donor-funded journalism tends to largely be ideological, with donors looking for stories that flatter their opinions and produce measurable political “Impact” beyond just keeping readers informed.
If you don’t like those options, then you, dear reader, are going to have to step up to the plate.
At the end of the day, however much information wants to be free, writers still want to get paid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why we should bulldoze the business school”

Having taught in business schools for 20 years, I have come to believe that the best solution to these problems is to shut down business schools altogether.
In 2011, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business estimated that there were then nearly 13,000 business schools in the world.
Think about the huge numbers of people employed by those institutions, about the armies of graduates marching out with business degrees, about the gigantic sums of money circulating in the name of business education.
A similar kind of lens could be applied to other modules found in most business schools – accounting, marketing, international business, innovation, logistics – but I’ll conclude with business ethics and corporate social responsibility – pretty much the only areas within the business school that have developed a sustained critique of the consequences of management education and practice.
These are domains that pride themselves on being gadflies to the business school, insisting that its dominant forms of education, teaching and research require reform.
The problem is that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are subjects used as window dressing in the marketing of the business school, and as a fig leaf to cover the conscience of B-school deans – as if talking about ethics and responsibility were the same as doing something about it.
As Joel M Podolny, the former dean of Yale School of Management, once opined: “The way business schools today compete leads students to ask, ‘What can I do to make the most money?’ and the manner in which faculty members teach allows students to regard the moral consequences of their actions as mere afterthoughts.”
So if we are going to move away from business as usual, then we also need to radically reimagine the business school as usual.

The orginal article.

Summary of “MoviePass Upends Movie Business, but Upsets Studios – Variety”

Since buying a MoviePass subscription in January, Hansen, a 43-year-old transcriber for college classes, has seen roughly a dozen movies, including all of the recent best picture Oscar nominees.
“I’d never see a movie in theaters twice before MoviePass. I could never have justified the expense.”
Cinemark, the country’s third-largest theater chain, has unveiled a subscription-like service, and Sinemia, another start-up, offers a higher-cost subscription model that lets users see 3D and Imax movies, something MoviePass does not do.
“Our customers were demanding MoviePass, and we were listening to them. We’re a small family-run business so we’re always looking for a competitive advantage.”Michael Barstow, Main Street Theatres.
Michael Barstow, who runs business development and sales analytics for Main Street Theatres, an eight-location chain based out of Nebraska, has been partnering with MoviePass since December.
Logan hasn’t had any talks with MoviePass and says he’s not interested in working with the company.
It’s also not clear that Wall Street would be receptive to a MoviePass IPO. Helios’ stock has been on a wild ride since it bought MoviePass and began signing up subscribers at a record pace.
MoviePass users say they’re not sure the company has what it takes to survive.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Divided We Lead”

Since we wrote “The New CEO Activists,” published in the January-February 2018 issue of HBR, we’ve seen a growing wave of leaders surging into activist roles.
CEO activism is part of a societal shift that some have called “The politicization of everything.” The ideological polarization in our political system – fueled by social media – has created a highly charged environment in which business leaders are increasingly on the spot to offer their views on complex issues with which they might have little experience.
“CEO activism is just one example of the changing demands of leadership in business, politics, universities, nonprofits, and other key institutions in society.”
His research examines how firms manage environmental issues, occupational safety, and working conditions in their operations and supply chains and how corporate leaders are engaging in CEO activism to influence public policy on environmental and social issues.
The New Imperative to Step In. Regardless of whether CEOs and other organizational leaders feel a responsibility to take a public stance on contentious issues, their companies’ customers, employees, business partners, and investors are being swept along in the societal shift toward greater political polarization.
“CEOs have to realize that Millennials are coming into the organization and expecting the CEO to represent the values of that organization. That’s why every CEO has to be in touch with those values,” he said.
Called “The ringleader of CEO activists,” Benioff pushes other executives to take stands and calls on employees of other firms to encourage their CEOs to speak out.
“Business is the greatest platform for change, and CEOs have an obligation to use their leadership to create that change of the world,” Benioff told us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Peloton: The “SaaS Plus a Box” Business case – 25iq”

Some people like to say that “Every business is now a technology business.” The more precisely accurate statement is that specifically “Every business is a software/SaaS business.”
What are some examples of “SaaS plus a box” today? Peloton? Apple watches? GE Jet engines? John Deere tractors? Amazon Echo? Kindle? Video game consoles? Fitbit? Roku? The business model is not easy but there are not that many opportunities to create a new platform business so using hardware for distribution can be quite tempting or even necessary.
In other words, the unit economics of a SaaS plus a box business model can require that the business raise a lot of cash before it flows enough cash to be self-supporting.
SaaS plus a Box can work financially, but it is not an easy business model to get right.
My essay on network effects-based moats is cited in the notes and it reads in part: “Nothing scales as well as a software business, and nothing creates a moat for that business more effectively than network effects. Network effects exist when the”value” of a format or system depends on the number of users.
A business can spend what may seem like a lot of money on customer acquisition and still have at attractive business if the unit economics are otherwise acceptable and the business model is sound.
Peloton sells hardware and SaaS, so the revenue is higher than a software or SaaS business, but still that screenshot of the spreadsheet above chart reflects significant revenue growth.
One uncertainty about the Peloton business is the size of their total addressable market.

The orginal article.