And we’re off to a good start!

While preparing my material for a case discussion in International Strategic Management yesterday a class mate told me that the grades for our first two courses this semester had finally arrived. Finally! It’s always exciting to know how you have done, especially this time around when we’re talking about the very first courses of the master program. Personally i liked both these courses, but the one in WTO-law perhaps a bit more than the one in International Business Environment Analysis (coincidentally it was also the trickier one!).

Anyways, i was very happy to discover that i received top grades in both!

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Onwards! 🙂 It feels great to have kicked the first master semester off like this, i have to say.

That Feeling of Accomplishment

accomplishmentAbout three years ago today I was waiting for an acceptance letter from the University of Gothenburg, a letter (hopefully) telling me that I was accepted to one of their business programs. I’m usually pretty confident about my own abilities and so on, but when you’re faced with such a life-altering possibility as a Uni-education of your choice, I too got a bit nervous and antsy about getting that letter as soon as possible, so that i would know.

Fast forward to today; three years later. I’m about to hand in the final version of my Bachelor thesis to the Uni, and I realize that I actually did it; I got a University degree! It’s a great feeling, and it makes me even more hungry for the coming two years of Master studies here in Gothenburg.

It’s never too late. Onwards and upwards!

Hubris at work and how not to run a business

This Yahoo news articlethe-fdas-notes-from-its-visit-to-theranos-labs-dont-look-good.jpg caught my eye this morning when i were busy browsing through my FB-feed. I’ve personally never heard of Theranos or Elizabeth Holmes, but when the article mentions someone running a 9 billion USD valuation into the ground it piques my interest. This is apparently some next level stuff, and the article goes on to say what you should do if you also want to travel the same path of failure. What really caught my attention was this however:

“Ensure that none of the investors who pumped more than $750 million into your company are actually on your board of directors. Instead, stack the board with insiders and retired big-name politicians and administrators who have no real vested interest in the company.”

My feeling is that if this board would have been constructed as per sound corporate governance practices this would never had happened. This is a very basic principle in my mind; if you have no skin in the game you will not make an optimal director. You want the individuals watching your sheep from the wolf to ideally have a lamb of their own, right? The same thing should apply here.

Three years on WordPress!

A friendly reminder told me today that I’ve been blogging here on WordPress for the whole of three years today! Incredible! It’s hard to imagine that three years ago today i jusjohnson-celebration-of-learning-Thinkstockt left my old job to take the first steps on this very journey that i am on right now, and i am very glad that i decided to start this blogging process that very same day. It has at times provided me a channel to put my thoughts into writing, and at times, perhaps mostly; it has been a fun and worthwhile distraction. I do know that the last several months since i left for my sejour to Canada I’ve not been posting here nearly as much as I’d like, and that will change. Either way, i look forward to the three years ahead; i know that they will be interesting and rewarding in many ways!

Brand management in professional sports: The case of F1

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As a fan of Formula 1 i have for a number of years now witnessed how relatively poorly the sport is at managing social media. It seems like the social media strategy of FOM (Formula One Management; the managing body of F1) is that of absolute control of any type of media from F1 events. This reached some sort of apex last week when Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean was reportedly told by FOM to remove content that he had posted on his own fan page.

Fans are of course outraged by these type of control-all antics, and rightfully so. I can personally look at other professional sporting leagues that i follow on a regular basis

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where the strategy is completely different. The American pro-basketball league NBA is a great example here, where the comissioner himself is an active user of Instagram and twitter and actually encourages fans to post their content from games on social media. This, to me, is a league that understands the new times we live in and what it means for your brand management and how you leverage it for the benefit of the organization in terms of a growing fan base.

FOM needs to accept the new digital marketing era where social media reigns supreme. They need to handle collaborative marketing, that consumers are an element part of creating the brand and not completely ignore their fan base believing that they still hold absolute control over the meanings of the F1 brand. If they fail to heed this call they will undoubtedly face decimated audiences in the future to come, and the sponsors will eventually follow suit.

Farewell ’15 – Hello ’16!

It’s amazing how quickly a year passes by and it’s yet again time to put the current one to rest and prepare for the next one. 2015 has for me undoubtedly been one of the 2016-new-yearmost eventful ones, if not the most eventful. I’ve had an absolutely amazing exchange semester in Canada that has taught me a lot, and apart from that the spring and summer has been overall rewarding and enjoyable as well. Hey i even went fishing not once but several times this year! That’s something, it’s been ages since that happened last time. To keep things short 2015 has been a fantastic year for me, and here’s hoping for 2016 to be even greater. That’s what’s fascinating about life, that you never truly know what the future brings. One year ago today i had little cue about how great this past year would turn out. If i can say the same thing one year from now i will certainly be more than pleased.

Happy 2016 and the best wishes to anyone who might be reading this!

Thank you Montreal

When I first met you we were in the heat of summer, a summer that I eventually came to realize never really seemed to want to end. I still remember our first encounter when I sat in the 747 airport bus, the window open and the warm evening air blowing in my face while I first laid my eyes on your urban cityscape. I immediately felt good about being where I was, gong where I was going. I knew that I was going on a new adventure, but I did not know what it would eventually mean to me, or how it would make me feel when I am sitting here right now, about to leave all that you have given me behind and start a new chapter of my life.

I’m so very happy for everything that you gave me, all the places I got the chance to see, all the experiences that i was given and above all; all the amazing people that I’ve gotten to know. I will never forget the moments we’ve shared. All the fun, craziness and laughs will bring me joy for a long long time to come.

 

This has been the greatest experience of my life so far and I love all of you who shared it with me and made it what it was.

 

We will meet again.

 

Au Revoir Montreal. Je t’aime trop.

At the middle marker

My last post here on my beloved blog was when I was sitting at the airport in my home town back in Sweden, waiting to finally get going on my exchange semester in Montreal, Canada. And now I’m here; a touch more than two months in with the realization that I IMG_3683shave just about half my stay here left in front of me, before it’s time to start heading back home again. This realization comes with a somewhat bitter taste, there is no doubt about that, since I have nothing but enjoyed my time here from day one. It has honestly been such a fantastic experience to this point, and there are so many stories to tell about it all. I’ve travelled to the left and to the right, I’ve met so many amazing people that I really enjoy being around, and I have finally gotten some sort of routine going with my school work here. Going from studying one course at a time as we do in Sweden to five at a time took some getting used to, but I’m getting there now, at last. Today I even had my first midterm (in Human Resource Management) which by my own account and feeling of it went well.

It has slowly started to turn into fall here in Montreal now, at long last (even if I haven’t missed it particularly). The summer here has been so long and warm, but now it’s time to start wearing the heavy stuff again. But I am in fact going to Cuba in about a week, so the summer still really doesn’t feel all that far away… B-)

That’s it for this update; au reviour!

Onwards towards new challenges!

It’s 5:00 in the morning and i’ve gotten far too little sleep this past night. Why am I up at this unholy hour? Because I’m finally on my way to my exchange semester in Montreal! leaving-bostonSleepiness aside it feels good to be sitting outside gate 18H at Gothenburg Landvetter airport waiting for the Lufthansa flight that will first take me to Munich, and after a couple of hours sightseeing there onwards to Canada. So much preparation (mostly mental in all honesty) has gone into this the past few weeks so I’m now just happy to get going.

This trip is for me something new, since even though I love to travel I’ve never been out of Sweden for as long as I will be now…I’ll be home again just in time for Christmas (on the very eve itself infact!). I’m very excited about the new adventures and challenges that the rest of this year holds!

Onwards and upwards!

Will the final Window be a success or just shattered glas?

Yesterday Microsoft started the roll out of their latest, and according to them, the very final windows-10-presentation-eventversion of their operating system. It’s no stretch to say that the previous version, Windows 8, did not meet the expectations of neither the consumers nor Microsoft themselves. The tablet did not devour the entire market for laptop PCs, and we still prefer to use a regular keyboard when we need to do any typing worth mentioning. This goes to show how vast the difference between a deliberate business strategy at the outset and what eventually actually ends up being a success can be, even for a historically hugely successful corporation like Microsoft.

The software behemoth in Seattle has seemingly learned it’s lesson though, and is this week releasing its brand new Windows 10 to the public. The best part? It’s free of charge. Yepp, you read right.

The Verve has published a great article and review on Windows 10, check it out here.

Tidal: Is anyone really surprised?

Earlier this year Jay-Z and his billionaire artist friends set out to save the record industry (themselves) from falling profits. Their answer? A streaming music service with a “superior” sound quality that no one needs to a price that no one wants to pay.

It was no surprise to read on Bloomberg that Tidal is in trouble. Surely this couldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone with the slightest business sense? Read the article for yourselves here.

And it’s official!

Yesterday i visited the International office at school to pick up my letter of admission from DSC_2719HEC Montreal, where i’ll be spending the fall semester later this year. Feels great that things are starting to fall in line! Now i just need to buy airline tickets, sort out accommodation, and a bunch of other stuff.

Working on your own car might send you to jail in the future

That cars of today, or even the last decade, are more difficult to tinker with than their predecessors is no news to the gear heads of the world. Cars are increasingly more computerized, making them less accessible with your typical monkey wrench and traditional mechanical know how.

As if that in itself is not enough there’s a number of auto manufacturers who seemingly want to make it illegal for you to work on your own car. I first thought that this was an April fools joke, but then i realized that the article in Yahoo Autos was posted this week, April 22nd. As a huge car lover these kind of ideas are just plain ridiculous to me, but what Corvette-Z06-DMCAsurprises me even more is what kind of decision making process in the auto companies involved has led to them publicly expressing ambitions like these.

How on earth can you expect anything else than backlash from the consumers when you’re practically telling them that, yeah we value your custom, but in reality you are not owning your own car, you are merely leasing the technology from us and as such we will prosecute you if you do any kind of work on your own car yourself.

I’m very well aware that in the context of things I’m still learning the field of marketing, but these kind of moves by huge, established corporations amaze me. Because one thing is for certain; this kind of public shenanigans will not increase your company’s brand value.