Steven Sinofsky

Business is a social science which leads to lots of crazy advice that arises from doing whatever seems to be working at a given moment for a visible and successful company. […] Conversely, if something isn’t going well then it won’t be long before the collective wisdom concludes that you need to go with the other end-point of the pendulum.

Julia Mitelman

To put it simply, both product and strategy aim to fulfill a company’s why.
Product begins with the what.
Strategy begins with the how.

Yuval Atsmon, Sven Smit

A consistent finding in our research is that about 75 percent of all growth is a function of the markets in which businesses compete—portfolio momentum—and the acquisitions they initiate. In other words, just 25 percent of a company’s growth typically comes at the expense of competitors. We highlighted this analysis before the market downturn in 2008, and it has continued to hold true since then. … [ Read more ]

Management in the Second Machine Age

Future leaders will succeed by being entrepreneurial and by rethinking the balance between financial and social goals.

Video Summary of Awesomely Simple

A ten-minute video summary of John Spence’s Awesomely Simple. It’s provides a good overview of the six core principles that determine a company’s fate. [Hat tip to Guy Kawasaki]

Visionary, Salesman and Pragmatist Model of Business Success

Josh Kaufman has posted an article, Are You an Implementor or an Enabler? where he posits that businesses revolve around two complementary skill sets. Here I offer an alternative, hopefully more complete model of what roles are necessary for business success.

Not Just for Profit

Emerging alternatives to the shareholder-centric model could help companies avoid ethical mishaps and contribute more to the world at large.

The Experience Curve Reviewed – V. Price Stability

Whenever real (deflated) prices fail to parallel real (deflated) cost trends, then market shares will shift. When market share shifts, then relative costs of competitors will shift also.

Editor’s Note: written in 1974…

The Experience Curve Reviewed – IV. The Growth Share Matrix

The use of cash is proportional to the rate of growth of any product. The generation of cash is sa function of market share because of the experience curve effect. The BCG growth share matrix is a diagram of the normal relationship of cash use and cash generation.

Editor’s Note: written in 1973…

The Experience Curve Reviewed – III. Why Does It Work?

The whole history of increased productivity and industrialization is based on specialization of effort and investment in tools. So is the experience curve. It is a measure of the potential effect of specialization and investment.

Editor’s Note: written in 1974…

The Experience Curve Reviewed – II. History

Experience curve is the name applied in 1966 to overall cost behavior by The Boston Consulting Group. The name was selected to distinguish this phenomenon from the well known and well documented learning curve effect. The two are related, but quite different. Read on for background on the development of this concept.

Editor’s Note: written in 1974…

The experience Curve Reviewed – I. The Concept

A short introduction to the concepts involved in the BCG experience curve which holds that the cost of value added declines approximately 20-30 percent each time accumulated experience is doubled..

Editor’s Note: written in 1974…

Rules of Response

Corporate operations – their value-delivery systems – are subject to a challenging set of rules. These are the rules of response.

“Revenues are Good, Costs are Bad” and Other Business Myths

Precise thinking and business discipline are essential for business success. Yet, for too many managers in too many companies, “self-evident truths,” that really are vague generalities, get in the way. Jonathan Byrnes calls these “business myths” and exposes ten of the worst offenders in this article.

If You Want to Make God Really Laugh, Show Him Your Business Plan: The 101 Universal Laws of Business

Why are so many businesses such depressing, poorly directed messes? Ask Barry Gibbons, enlightened capitalist, high-spirited wit, and the man who nearly single-handedly pulled Burger King out of a long, disparaging slump, rendering it robust and dynamic (without cutting heads).

In this rollicking, iconoclastic book, Gibbons blasts apart the thick wall of hubris, hierarchy, regimentation, and exaggerated complexity so endemic to the corporate world–and lays bare … [ Read more ]

Beyond the Protestant Work Ethic

New research suggests a link between religion and attitudes that are conducive to economic growth.

Must we all be entrepreneurs now?

Entrepreneurship is once again fashionable with policymakers, business schools, large corporations and the media. But in the light of the dot-com crash, many wonder whether it can provide the much needed spark to re-ignite growth. What exactly is the link between rates of new business formation and the wider performance of an economy? Can large corporations replicate the conditions in which small companies successfully innovate … [ Read more ]

The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea

Considering the astounding impact companies have had on every corner of civilization, it’s amazing that the development of the institution has been largely unexamined. Economist editors Micklethwait and Wooldridge present a compact and timely book that deftly sketches the history of the company. They trace its progress from Assyrian partnership agreements through the 16th- and 17th-century European “charter companies” that opened trade with distant parts … [ Read more ]