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.

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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.

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.

A not so unconventional take on marketing across genders

Came across this Bloomberg article on how the industry aims to market and get more women hooked on the wearable tech trend. Their take appears to be that if you slap some bling on the fitness tracker or smart watch more women will start using them and buying them. Cynical? Likely. I personally think that all of the current products in the wearable tech range could use a more time at the designing and drawing board.

Imagine to have a smart watch that looks more like a classic watch but still presents itself as a smart watch with all it’s features. That would be something. The wearables segment will be an interesting one in the future, no doubt about that.

Hope the new year has started great for everyone!

Cheers,

Mika