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!
Onwards! 🙂 It feels great to have kicked the first master semester off like this, i have to say.
About 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.
This Yahoo news article 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.
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
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.
So it turns out that U.S Black Friday online sales this year outnumbered those of traditional in-store sales, according to Bloomberg. Surprising? Possibly not, but it is nevertheless re-assuring to see that the U.S economy is keeping up its steam.
Yesterday Microsoft started the roll out of their latest, and according to them, the very final version 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.
Greece’s problems with paying it’s international debts probably hasn’t escaped anyone. As the lenders maintain a hard line we’re headed into an eventful next week i’m sure. Bloomberg has the latest on the subject here