David Nenke was here from Amazon today, speaking to our MBA1′s in Paulson. He started by telling us how they use Powerpoint. They don’t. They write memos, 10-point type, small margins, packed with information. As he said, it can be harder to write 6 pages than 30, but the example he showed us was a work of art. He also gave a great sales pitch for working at Amazon. Glenn Okun and I were tempted to pack our bags and head to Seattle, but I don’t think they’re ready for us.
Archive for the 'Firms and Markets' Category
As a long-time customer of US Airways earlier in my life — and I realize they’re a different airline since they were absorbed by America West — I’d be hesitant to let them buy anyone. (Stan, back me up here.) They had the trifecta on bad — bad management, bad labor, bad service. They were kept from more frequent stops in bankruptcy court only by local subsidies and strong (anti)-competitive positions in some key markets. If ever there was a case for natural selection in business, this was it. Read the rest of this entry »
Interesting news, for sure, the question is what to make of it. Some highlights from what we’ve read: Read the rest of this entry »
Bruce Buchanan once summarized Michael Porter’s strategy advice this way: “Be a monopolist when you can.” This generates mixed feelings among economists. If you create a monopoly by developing a great new product, that’s a good thing. But if you simply take over an existing market, that’s good for you but bad for the rest of us. The reasoning will be familiar to anyone who has taken an economics course or read Adam Smith. Read the rest of this entry »
Our Global Economy students know that the St Louis Fed’s FRED is our favorite source of data: easy access, graphics, iPad and Excel add-ins — what more could you want? Well, they’re working on it. World Bank data? OECD data? That and more could be coming our way soon.
Which got us thinking. If FRED becomes the source of choice — the iTunes, so to speak, of the business — would it make sense for private data producers to post some of their data there? Should S&P post some of its data on FRED to reach a broader audience? Bloomberg? What would you do if you ran a data company? What would you do if you ran FRED?
A good one from Kim Ruhl: Tesla Motors sells high-end electric cars direct to the consumer. But North Carolina’s car dealers have proposed a law prohibiting sales except through — wait for it — car dealers. Robert Glaser, president of the N.C. Automobile Dealers Association, comments, apparently without irony: “The whole point of the system is to protect the consumer.” Quote from here, more here.
Update (Nov 26, 2013): Tesla goes to DC.
Price discrimination is used by sellers to increase revenue, but resisted by buyers looking for better deals. Hence the ongoing battle between sellers trying to segment the market and buyers trying to get around the segmentation. Airline tickets are a good example, but security regulations tying tickets to original purchasers killed off the resale market. DVDs are another, with prices differing enormously by region. Technical standards make resale difficult because players differ across regions, but clever technology can often get around that.