These 8 Books Can Help You Finally Understand Business

23. February 2017
Feb 22, 2017
Run rate? M&A? Non-voting shares?

If you’ve never run your own business or considered B-school, it can be tough to wrap your head around how the corporate world works. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of excellent (yes, even enjoyable) tomes out there that can help. Here are eight great ones to start with, a mix of classics and new reads about today’s hottest startups as suggested by writers and editors at TIME and Fortune.

The Innovators Dilemma ($14, Amazon)

Clayton Christensen’s 1997 classic The Innovators Dilemma argues that market-leading companies can become shells of their former selves if they’re unwilling to “disrupt” themselves — because somebody else will come along and do it for them. It’s akin to a religious text in Silicon Valley, where it’s viewed as a guidebook for upstart innovators seeking to take on the world’s biggest firms. Read the rest of this entry »


18. August 2016

Date: 18-08-2016
Source: TIME
Subject: 5 Things We Learned From This Mark Zuckerberg Interview

Including the best advice he’s received from Peter Thiel

zuckerberg-300x199.jpgMark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and one of its co-founders, is widely praised as one of the tech industry’s most successful entrepreneurs. Zuckerberg started Facebook with a few friends as a 19-year-old student at Harvard as way for students to keep up with their classmates—and find out which of them are single, among other things. Today, Facebook is a $350 billion company with revenue of almost $18 billion in 2015.

So it’s not surprising that Y Combinator, the prestigious startup accelerator program, selected Zuckerberg as the first guest on its new video series, “How to Build the Future.” Here are some of the most interesting comments from the interview with Y Combinator president Sam Altman:

Yahoo’s acquisition offer in 2006 was a pivotal moment for Facebook

“One of the hardest parts for me was actually when Yahoo offered to buy the company for a lot of money. that was a turning point in the company,” said Zuckerberg. “It was the first time we had to look at the future and say, ‘Wow, is what we’re going to build be actually more meaningful than this?’” Read the rest of this entry »


Tim Cook: Reports of Apple’s Death a ‘Huge Overreaction’

4. May 2016

Date: 04-05-2016

Source: TIME

 

Cook CCThe Apple CEO is on the defensive as iPhone sales are falling

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes the negative sentiment around his company lately is overblown.

Speaking with CNBC’s Jim Cramer, Cook defended Apple’s performance after billionaire investor Carl Icahn sold his position in the company. “I think that’s a huge overreaction,” Cook said. “We just had an incredible quarter by absolute standards.”

Icahn’s move was largely due to Apple’s lagging performance in China, the investor told CNBC. The Cupertino, Calif. company revealed in its most recent earnings report that its revenue there, its second-biggest market, fell by 26%. Still, Cook told Cramer that he “could not be more optimistic about China.”

Apple’s iPhone sales, down 16%, also disappointed Wall Street analysts in the most recent quarter. Additionally, the firm offered a less rosy view of its future than analysts expected. “It was a pretty good quarter,” said Cook. “But not up to the street’s expectations clearly.” Read the rest of this entry »


Here’s Why Google Is Making the Titanic Shift to ‘Alphabet’

11. August 2015

Date: 11-08-2015
Source: TIME

In a surprise announcement Monday, Google co-founder Larry Page said the company’s leaders are turning it into a subsidiary of a new holding company called “Alphabet.” Page will serve as Alphabet’s CEO, with fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin as president; Google’s current vice president of products Sundar Pichai is taking over as CEO of Google.

The news is momentous—and also a little confusing. The question now is, why?

That Google is no longer just a search company has been evident for a long while. Though its mission has always famously been to organize all the world’s information, the company has increasingly gotten into more and more disparate lines of business—when new ventures were businesses at all, that is. Beyond selling ads against searches—it’s core moneymaking venture—Google is making driverless cars, beaming Internet signals from giant balloons, delivering high-speed Internet access, redefining television, making phones, and even trying to cure (or significantly delay) death. Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s to Blame for Hewlett-Packard’s Multi-Billion Dollar Autonomy Debacle?

2. December 2012

Date: 02-12-2012
Source: TIME

Whitman Hewlett Packard CEO and President Meg Whitman attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 12, 2012.

The fallout from Hewlett-Packard’s purchase of software company Autonomy, which has turned into a multi-billion dollar debacle, keeps getting worse. Last week, after a several-months-long investigation, H.P. announced an $8.8 billion write-down related to allegedly fraudulent accounting at Autonomy, which it purchased last year for more than $11 billion. H.P. said it had referred the matter to criminal and regulatory authorities in the U.S. and in Britain, where Autonomy was founded. The scandal has led to a bitter war of words between H.P. executives, including CEO Meg Whitman, and Autonomy founder Mike Lynch, who has demanded details of H.P.’s investigation. H.P. has responded by telling Lynch that it will see him in court.

Earlier this week, H.P. was slapped with a shareholder lawsuit in federal court in San Jose, California, which named Whitman, H.P.’s board of directors, and auditing firms Deloitte and KPMG as defendants. The lawsuit alleges that H.P. and its accountants were negligent in missing red flags related to the Autonomy purchase. The lawsuit, which is likely the first of many related to the scandal, charges that H.P.’s failure to perform adequate due diligence caused the company to significantly overpay for Autonomy, resulting in billions of dollars of damages to the company and its shareholders. Read the rest of this entry »


Isaacson on Jobs: Should He Have Been a Nicer CEO?

26. January 2012

Date: 26-01-2012

Source: TIME

During Tuesday evening’s State of the Union address, President Obama honored the memory of Steve Jobs by underscoring the creative and technological engines that drive America. He also called attention to one of the necessary evils of progress: risk. “We should support … every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs,” said the president. “After all, innovation is what America has always been about.”

By embracing risks, Steve Jobs inspired his employees, his competition, and most of all his customers, who developed a cultish attachment to his products. So it was appropriate that even as Congress was applauding Jobs’ impact on the business world, the man who arguably knew the Apple founder best – his biographer, Walter Isaacson – was at the 92nd Street Y on Manhattan’s Upper East Side telling a standing-room-only audience of 600 of insights gained during the two years he spent interviewing Jobs.

In this case, the questions were being asked by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel. Isaacson preceded Stengel as head of TIME – and had been Stengel’s boss – so the conversation included moments of nostalgia as well as some frank discussion about managerial styles. As a boss, of course, Jobs was famously prone to extreme bluntness, which was often construed as intentional meanness. Isaacson saw it a little differently. “He intuitively did not have that filter,” he explained, pointing to an example he witnessed first hand. “When the person at Whole Foods is making his smoothie and she’s taking too long, [most people] have a filter that says, ‘Don’t jump on her.’ But Steve was brutally honest.”  Read the rest of this entry »


Driven off the Road by M.B.A.s

11. July 2011

Date: 10-07-2011
Source: TIME

Bob Lutz, the former Vice Chairman of General Motors, is the most famous also-ran in the auto business. In the course of his 47-year rampage through the industry, he’s been within swiping range of the brass ring at Ford, BMW, Chrysler and, most recently, GM, but he’s never landed the top gig. It’s because he “made the cars too well,” he says. It might also have something to do with the fact that Maximum Bob, who could double as a character on Mad Men, is less an éminence grise than a pithy self-promoter who has a tendency to go off corporate message. That said, his new book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, has a message worth hearing. To get the U.S. economy growing again, Lutz says, we need to fire the M.B.A.s and let engineers run the show. Read the rest of this entry »