ff4 + business   382

KPMG: Spotlight on Capital Allocation: M&A May Be The Best Use of Capital
"Tomorrow's cash flow is largely the result of capital deployed today. While stock buybacks may provide a short term share price boost, utilizing that money to invest in acquisitions may ultimately provide more sustainable long-term growth. In today's environment - characterized by slower economic growth but shareholder demand for enhanced return and corporate performance - acquisitions are arguably the best use of cash."
finance  capital  m&a  kpmg  business 
december 2015 by ff4
Table of Contents: Valuation and Common Sense (3rd edition) by Pablo Fernandez :: SSRN
"The book explains the nuances of different valuation methods and provides the reader with the tools for analyzing and valuing any business, no matter how complex. The book uses 190 diagrams, 326 tables, 160 examples and 500 comments from readers to help the reader absorb these concepts. " Recommendation per Brian L.
valuation  business  finance  reference 
april 2014 by ff4
How resource scarcity is driving the third Industrial Revolution | McKinsey & Company
We’re now going into a period where managerially you have to be able to see things coming from wholly different directions. You have to see your neighboring industry showing up in your industry. You have to see trends that are coming at you at 20 percent per annum change rather than 2 percent or 3 percent per annum change. You have to be able to do substitution of materials very fast so that you avoid the high-risk ones and you capture much lower-risk ones. You have to create these kinds of circular chains where you can recycle a lot of the material that you produce so that it doesn't cost you nearly as much. For example, “I need to bring software and embed it into my hardware.
energy  business  mckinsey 
april 2014 by ff4
Big Data's Biggest Challenge? Convincing People NOT to Trust Their Judgment - Andrew McAfee - Harvard Business Review
When experts apply their judgment to the output of a data-driven algorithm or mathematical model (in other words, when they second-guess it), they generally do worse than the algorithm alone would. As sociologist Chris Snijders puts it, “What you usually see is [that] the judgment of the aided experts is somewhere in between the model and the unaided expert. So the experts get better if you give them the model. But still the model by itself performs better.” Things get a lot better when we flip this sequence around and have the expert provide input to the model, instead of vice versa. When experts’ subjective opinions are quantified and added to an algorithm, its quality usually goes up.
hbr  analysis  analytics  bigdata  data  business 
april 2014 by ff4
Home | InnoCentive
Fortune 100 companies post their hardest scientific problems on this website, the problems their own scientists can't solve, and they attach a reward to it.
business  ideas  research  collaboration  inspiration  crowdsourcing  innovation  challenge  science 
june 2012 by ff4
Ten years after its collapse, Enron lives on in energy markets - Risk.net
achieved against relentless resistance from market incumbents who were happy with the status quo. “Even in retrospect, what Enron achieved was mind-blowing and it was against constant opposition from the incumbent utilities” ... To break the stranglehold of incumbent monopolies required a new mindset and one of the ways Enron achieved this was by instilling in people the the practice of questioning everything. "We were expected to always ask why" To answer 'that's the way it's always been' was not acceptable." || “The people that are operating and running a power plant speak an entirely different language than the traders. I think one of the things we became very successful at was really bridging that gap and developing a common language”
risk  business  management  leadership  enron  electricity  energy 
february 2012 by ff4
Failure To Communicate | Fast Company
twenty behaviors that are sure to help you lose friends and influence no one.
motivation  behavior  leadership  communication  business  management 
february 2012 by ff4
You have acquisition interest – now what? | Hi, I'm David G. Cohen
David Cohen, the CEO of TechStars,10 step process for considering acquisition offers: (1) Assess the acquirer; (2) Notify the board; (3) Set your number; (4) Engage the acquirer; (5) Ask for the ballpark offer; (6) Identify mentors; (7) Assess the ballpark offer; (8) Get to know them and answer their questions; (9) Push for a term sheet; (10) Decide
m&a;  vc  business  entrepreneurship  acquisition  startup 
february 2012 by ff4
Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Peter Principle states that "in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence",
business  management 
september 2011 by ff4
Money May Not Buy You Happiness - Lessons FromThe Very Wealthy
There is a Latin phrase associated with military actions: “Amat victoria curam.“ It translates as “Victory loves careful preparation.” You would be amazed at what you can accomplish with planning.
Wealth  leadership  planning  business 
june 2011 by ff4
How to Master the Art of Negotiating Price - WSJ.com
Many business leaders think they can negotiate a better deal by refusing to tell an opponent what price they actually want or how much they're willing to pay for a given service -- but nothing could be further from the truth, writes Mike Michalowicz. Rather than playing mind games, put your own target number in play as quickly as possible, and use that to anchor any subsequent haggling. "When it comes to successful negotiations, the single most important matter isn't what your prospect is thinking. It's how fast can you get your number on the table
business  negotiation 
april 2011 by ff4
Agricultural
Cost and return studies for fruit, vegetable, field, tree and vine crops, and animal commodities are available.
agriculture  farming  land  business 
february 2011 by ff4
Thank You for Doing Your Job - Whitney Johnson - Harvard Business Review
"It takes more time, but one at a time, 15-second [personal] praising is 10x more valuable than a group 'way to go, gang'." || Those that focus only on more and more end up with less
management  business  leadership  hbr 
january 2011 by ff4
The Hot New Sector in Greentech: Adaptation: Cleantech News «
[1] Innovations around infectious diseases; [2] Flood safeguards; [3] Weather forecasting technologies; [4] Insurance tools; [5] More resilient crops; [6] Supercomputing; [7] Water Purification; [8] Water Recycling; [9] Efficient Irrigation Systems; [10] Sensors
environment  climate  climatechange  co2  carbon  adaptation  entrepreneur  business 
december 2010 by ff4
Seth's Blog: Problems and constraints
Problems and constraints -- the art is in telling them apart. A problem is solvable. A constraint must be lived with. Countless entrepreneurs believe they can solve problems relating to funding or technology that are out of reach given their scale or background -- they'd be better off if they accepted them as constraints and designed around them.
entrepreneur  business  sethgodin  strategy 
november 2010 by ff4
Economic View - Confronting Income Inequality - NYTimes.com
the counties where income inequality grew fastest also showed the biggest increases in symptoms of financial distress. indicators of financial distress: bankruptcies, divorces, commute times (counties w/ longest commute growth showed largest increases in inequality)
business  economics  finance  wealth 
october 2010 by ff4
Why Wesabe Lost to Mint - Marc Hedlund's blog
The first and most important thing about a product is making it easy to use and easy to get value right "out of the box." . "[M]ost people simply won't care enough or get enough benefit from long-term features if a shorter-term alternative is available."
business  entrepreneur  management  leadership  failure  money  strategy 
october 2010 by ff4
About My Job: The Businessman - The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
people who act as if their interest in, say, indie rock is intrinsically more deep than an interest in org charts are simply misinformed. Referencing point 1, the world of abstract ideas in business is often arid, silly, and pretentious while at the same time overly cutesy. But the world of how things get done in business - the world of factory floors, imports/exports, incentives, distributors and retailers etc. is mind-blowing, and only becoming more so as more and more markets are knit together. If you go to Dubai you can see Nigerians selling generators made in China to a mix of Urdu and Persian speakers who captain wooden boats down the Dubai Creek to Al Ain. That is interesting, no matter what your leaning.
business  career  humor  management 
september 2010 by ff4
Build Your Power Base from Small Beginnings - Jeffrey Pfeffer - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
"big move" vs. growing influence through unspectacular moves. Show some initiative and taking on projects that a) bring you into contact with a wide range of people within and outside of your organization; b) situate you in the midst of information flows; and c) aren't coveted because they seem mundane or trivial — but not to you. (1) "filling structural holes" - a brokerage role to bring together unrelated groups of individuals who benefit from being in contact with each other. (2) take on low-profile but vital tasks. (3) Being central in information flows, being in contact with lots of people
harvard  hbr  influence  management  strategy  organization  self-improvement  business 
august 2010 by ff4
Valuation in Emerging Markets: A Simulation Approach - García-Sánchez - 2010 - Journal of Applied Corporate Finance - Wiley Online Library
Typical way of capturing emerging-market risks is to increase the discount rate in the standard valuation model. Firm discount rate should not reflect systematic & diversifiable risks. Use simulation techniques to capture emerging-market risks in their estimates of unconditional expected cash flows—in other words, estimates that directly incorporate the possibility of an emerging-market crisis and its consequences. Having produced such estimates, analysts can then discount them using the standard Global CAPM.
valuation  business  bop  finance 
august 2010 by ff4
How to Minimize Politics in Your Company // ben's blog
There are two distinct types of complaints that you will receive: 1. Complaints about an executive’s behavior 2. Complaints about an executive’s competency or performance. If you receive a type 2 complaint, you will generally have one of two reactions: a) they will be telling you something that you already know or b) they’ll be telling you shocking news. If they are telling you something that you already know, then the big news is that you have let the situation go too far. Whatever your reasons for attempting to rehabilitate the wayward executive, you have taken too long and now your organization has turned on the executive in question.
management  business  entrepreneur  leadership  hr  office 
august 2010 by ff4
The Rockwell Moment - Dean's Blog, Robert Bruner, Dean Darden School of Business
Norman Rockwell’s achievement is consistent with great management communication: keep it simple; stay focused on the headline message; help your audience come to the conclusion on their own rather than bash them with the obvious. Great business practitioners get this. President of Ogilvy & Mather: “Every brand entails one big ideal. If you want to advance the brand, you must convey that single ideal clearly and consistently.” Director of Management Research for AT&T: “Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much.”[2] Founder of Ebony magazine: “sell anybody anything in five minutes or less” by focusing on just three things: grabbing “the client’s attention with a fact or an emotional statement that hits him…find[ing] the vulnerable spot, and emphasiz[ing] the common ground…the values, hopes, and aspirations that bind you together.” Edward Tufte, the expert in the graphic presentation of quantitative data, offers masterpieces of succinct, but rich, displays.
communication  visualization  art  darden  mba  leadership  business 
july 2010 by ff4
Will Your Idea Fly? - WSJ.com
Take the time to do some research to determine if your venture has legs to stand on. Test feasibility by soliciting the opinions/advice of industry pros, prospective competitors - trade shows, seminars and other business events.
entrepreneur  startup  business  marketing  wsj  advice 
june 2010 by ff4
The Scale Anticipation Fallacy // ben's blog
Managing at scale is a learned skill rather than a natural ability; It’s nearly impossible to make the judgment in advance; The act of judging people in advance will retard their development; Hiring scalable execs too early is a horrible mistake; # You still have to make the judgment at the actual point in time when you hit the higher level of scale; It’s no way to live your life or run an organization. | Two keys can help you avoid the scale anticipation trap: Don’t separate scale from the rest of the evaluation; Make the judgment on a relative rather than an absolute scale
business  entrepreneurship  leadership  management  startup 
may 2010 by ff4
Ditch the Biz Plan, Buy a Lottery Ticket
Share your ideas with those who have done it before. Find a way to connect with your market. Start small. Focus on revenue and profitability from the start. Remember the importance of cash flow. Think outside the box. Learn to sell. Prepare for the worst. Never forget the importance of ethics and integrity.
vc  strategy  entrepreneurship  startup  business 
april 2010 by ff4
The Failure of Failure - Michael Schrage - Harvard Business Review
the structural engineering insight from Chile and other disaster zones makes conventional perceptions of "learning from failure" a misnomer. The real epiphany is that what makes the "partially damaged" structures so valuable to learn from is that they were less failures than underachievers. That is, there was enough "success" in what was left standing that good engineers now have empirical evidence of what they can do better next time.
business  experience  failure  harvard  hbr  management  innovation  success 
april 2010 by ff4
Economic Scene - Weak Rules in U.S. on Toxins and Consumer Safety - NYTimes.com
Every society needs to make a choice about how to prioritize consumer safety. The science is not far enough along, partly because our regulation of toxins is so limp. Companies don’t have to release much of their internal safety data. And regulators face a terribly high burden of proof. They can often take action only after they have demonstrated that a substance is harmful — a task that corporate secrecy can make impossible. Companies are just not going to regulate themselves. Their mission is to make money, and they pursue it well. They have shown again and again — with lead in paint, mercury in canned tuna and zinc in denture cream — that they are less zealous about protecting consumer safety. Needless to say, new regulations have their drawbacks. They could deprive us of products that would have made life better or cheaper and that, despite some early indications to the contrary, turned out to be perfectly safe.
regulation  policy  safety  capitalism  business 
march 2010 by ff4
Harvard Business Review on what really motivates workers | Daniel Pink
Motivating employees - fair compensation, sense of progress and contribution and recognition, autonomy, mastery, purpose -- trumps carrot/stick; the $/performance link is counterproductive in almost every situation where creativity is required
business  career  feedback  happiness  motivation  harvard  hbr  management 
march 2010 by ff4
Corner Office - Mark Pincus - Every Worker Should Be C.E.O. of Something - Interview - NYTimes.com
O.K.R. company + all groups: 1 Objective & 3 measurable Key Results. Every employee: write 3 priorities @ start-of-week, and assess end-of-week. Road Map: Predictived vs. Actual, Red/yellow/Green. ## Make everyone CEO of something really meaningful. If you give people really big jobs to the point that they’re scared, they have way more fun and they improve their game much faster ## Reliability: I’d rather be on a team that has no bad people than a team with stars. ## Hunger, humility, and confidence: those who have taken risk, done well, but also failed; those that will accept one position below where they ought to be. ## Meritocracy: the only way people will have the trust to give their all to their job is if they feel like their contribution is recognized and valued
business  management  leadership  entrepreneurship  motivation  ceo  hr 
february 2010 by ff4
Roger Ailes of Fox News Has an Agenda - Profit - NYTimes.com
"Fox News is believed to make more money than CNN, MSNBC and the evening newscasts of NBC, ABC and CBS combined. The division is on track to achieve $700 million in operating profit this year. | “Like Richard Nixon, like Spiro Agnew, Fox News can never see itself as the attacker ... They are always playing defense because they believe they are always under attack, which attracts people that have the same personality formation. By bringing that mind-set, plus the high energy seamless stream of the aggression of talk radio, he has found an audience.”
business  media  tv 
january 2010 by ff4
Businesses Intelligence Software Blog - Trends and Outliers
"With Spotfire, business users across the enterprise can quickly and easily visualize and interact with their data to gain new insights and make better decisions." || See data visualization game: http://spotfire.tibco.com/Flash/Data-Viz.aspx
analytics  analysis  visualization  data  business  finance 
december 2009 by ff4
Probability Management | Sam Savage (Stanford), Stefan Scholtes (Cambridge), Daniel Zweidler (Shell)
Uncertainties = interdependent risk; (A) ignore & mask exposure/opportunity, or (B) capture underlying statistical relationships. ■Probability dist captures uncertainty; average/base-case doesn’t. ■"Coherent Modeling"--interactive simulation, kept simple + consistent via a managed stochastic library-- enables cross-org consistency, roll-ups, audits. ■Focus on portfolio contribution, not ranking of individual projects (which ignores interdependence). ■ "Exploration Cockpit": simple, interactive, portfolio-focus, forces "silo'd" thinking to go big-picture, instantly reveals decision impacts, motivates team to optimize. ■ Ex: Shell Oil ventures, ▪unlike a stock portfolio in that: (A) asset is in/out, (B) no market history so relationships are modeled econometrically, (C) no simple unique risk/reward trade-off curve -- many potential metrics, trade-off pairs e.g. reserves, revenue, short/long-term income. | Download demo @ http://probabilitymanagement.org/Models.htm
business  management  modeling  statistics  stanford  tva  Risk  filetype:pdf  media:document 
december 2009 by ff4
Dean's Blog, Robert Bruner: Sustainabilty -- the Theme of the Decade
Sustainability applies to many fields. # Real estate: extraordinary growth can't be sustained. # Corporate earnings: rapid rates of growth in excess of the economy -- don't concentrate on EPS. # Geopolitics of natural resources and food: peak everything. # Health care and other entitlements: currently 16% of US GDP, growing at 6.7%/yr - unsustainable. # Dollar: Trade deficits and a strong dollar are inconsistent. # Leverage that high is not sustainable through a downturn. ### Balanced scorecard rather than a narrow focus on profits. Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Long term rather than short term performance measurement. “Lean thinking” as a guide to the use of all resources going into business processes. Economic value added rather than a focus on cosmetic accounting results. A renewed interest in value investing. …and a focus on the use of natural resources and impact on the environment.
darden  bruner  finance  business  environment  management  leadership  sustainability 
december 2009 by ff4
National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP)
Industrial symbiosis engages traditionally separate industries and other organisations in a collective approach to competitive advantage involving physical exchange of materials, energy, water and/or by-products together with the shared use of assets, logistics and expertise.
business  environment  sustainability  waste  recycling 
december 2009 by ff4
Writing a Mission Statement That Doesn't Suck | Switch | Fast Company
"Our mission is to serve the tastiest damn pizza in Wake County" turns into "Our mission is to present with integrety the highest quality entertainment solutions to families". 99% of mission statements are like this - drawn through the cycle of making words more ambigous/fancy until all meaning leaches out. Instead: 1. use concrete language, 2. talk about why (what makes you care)
business  management  leadership  entrepreneur  stanford 
december 2009 by ff4
Bridging the Finance-IT Gap - CFO.com
When CIO is subordinate to CFO, it says technology is an expense rather than an asset/investment. Benchmarking against other activities with mature metrics, versus developing metrics. Make a business case and take risks - avoid technobabble. Getting up to speed & staying current -- first lots of study, then industry publications, seminars, briefings, junior personnel.
finance  it  technology  business  management 
december 2009 by ff4
Beware the Hockey Stick in Your Budget
Budget types: (1) pre-revenue, (2) first year of revenue, (3) growing revenue, (4) becoming profitable, (5) profitable -- EBITDA+/NI+/CF+ | #2,3,4 have "hockey stick problems": #2 assume no revenue and revise when it happens; #3 shift expense plan forward by one quarter to delay spending ramp-up; #4 manage net cash above a specified threshold.
business  finance  entrepreneur  vc  startup  bradfeld 
december 2009 by ff4
The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model | Magazine
"Experience, relationships, and gut checks [start] losing out to raw data." Every algorithm-generated piece of content produced 4.9 times the revenue of the human-created ideas -- generates expected "lifetime value (LTV) for each term/idea. Pays $15/article, $20/video $2.50/copy-edit, $1/fact-check, $2/transcription, $0.5/approval -- $17M paid so far and has 170,000 videos; goal of $200/M payout for 1M videos/year.
business  video  media  interesting 
november 2009 by ff4
Seth's Blog: The hierarchy of success
(1) Attitude,(2) Approach, (3) Goals, (4) Strategy, (5) Tactics, (6) Execution | Approach determines how you look at the project (or your career). Do you read a lot of books? Ask a lot of questions? Use science and testing or go with your hunches? Are you imperious? A lifehacker? When was the last time you admitted an error and made a dramatic course correction? Most everyone has a style, and if you pick the wrong one, then all the strategy, tactics and execution in the world won't work nearly as well.
business  management  culture  leadership  advice  entrepreneurship  sethgodin  motivation  success  strategy 
october 2009 by ff4
How Do Innovators Think? - HBR Editors' Blog - Harvard Business Review
The first skill is what we call "associating." It's a cognitive skill that allows creative people to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas. The second skill is questioning — an ability to ask "what if", "why", and "why not" questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture. The third is the ability to closely observe details, particularly the details of people's behavior. Another skill is the ability to experiment — the people we studied are always trying on new experiences and exploring new worlds. And finally, they are really good at networking with smart people who have little in common with them, but from whom they can learn.
business  entrepreneur  management  leadership  innovation  creativity  career 
october 2009 by ff4
Seth Godin: Less than zero
You must make something work in the small before you bet the farm and market it to the masses. If you can't sell to 1 in 1000, why market to a million? 0% of a really big number is still zero. Music: 13m songs online, 10m had no sales, 80% of revenue from 52k songs.
longtail  sethgodin  business  marketing  strategy  anecdotes  music 
october 2009 by ff4
TheFunded: Complete Set of Founder-friendly Legal Docs
TheFunded has produced founder-friendly versions of every legal document necessary to launch a new startup, carefully written from scratch to keep founders in control of the companies that they create: Bylaws, Certificate of Incorporation, Initial Stockholder Consent, Invention Assignment Agreement, Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement, Indemnification Agreement, Initial Board Consent, Action by Incorporator, Plain Preferred Term Sheet
startup  entrepreneur  legal  business  finance  vc 
september 2009 by ff4
Events Often Overtake Companies
(1) Don't get too attached to your strategic plan -- listen to the market, take input, reshape accordingly; (2) don't spend too much time planning
business  entrepreneur  startup  vc  strategy  fredwilson 
september 2009 by ff4
Seth's Blog: Flipping abundance and scarcity
We spent a generation believing certain parts of our business needed to be scarce and that advertising and other interruption should be abundant. Part of the pitch of free is that when advertising goes away, you need to make something else abundant in order to gain attention. Then, and only then, will you be able to sell something that's naturally scarce. This is an uncomfortable flip to make, because the stuff you've been charging for feels like it should be charged for, and the new scarcity is often difficult to find. But, especially in the digital world, this is happening, and faster than ever. | Examples: Lululemon, Crossfit
business  economics  strategy  sethgodin  freemium  entrepreneur 
september 2009 by ff4
Fred Wilson: Failure
Obama: "you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time". When we meet with entrepreneurs, I'm always interested in their failures. And most people have them, you just have to dig a bit to find them. If someone has failed and taken the time to learn from it, I think that's a big positive. It makes us even more excited to back them the next time.
business  entrepreneur  advice  fredwilson  failure  career  anecdotes 
september 2009 by ff4
Fred Wilson: Ten Characteristics of Great Companies
(1) constantly innovate and delight customers, (2) built-to-last, sustainable, (3) strongly profitable but not greedy, (4) class leader, not following-the-leader, (5) passionate customers = proselytizing customers, (6) mgmt incentives aligned with long-term objectives, i.e. substantial ownership, (7) global mindset, (8) furthers the greater global good, (9) team-driven, (10) recognize customer as most important stakeholder
business  entrepreneur  startup  management  leadership  fredwilson 
september 2009 by ff4
Return of the Energy Services Model: How Energy Efficiency, Climate Change, and Smart Grid Will Transform American Utilities
By Peter Fox-Penner @ Brattle Group. Utilities should financially hedge declining commodity sales w/ increasing energy services revenues; i.e. recreate supply function while adding new products/services. ## Historically: finances/culture/regulation tied to continuing sales/capex growth. ## Current: new capacity $ > demand reduction $, so aggressive EE = meet capacity shortages, moderate bill increases, achieve climate goals. ## Future: in 10-40yrs EE to provide 15-40% of "supply". ### EE: upfront $, high discount rate, awareness (time-consuming, economic/technical skills), retrofits are disruptive. Utils can (1) leverage goodwill & take more active role, (2) send better price signals ### Suggests switch to biz-model like today's wireless carriers, charging by service type (heat/light/etc) instead of kWh, facilitated via smart-grid. | Ironic given the push by innovators to commoditize the wireless biz. | Possibilities if EE-RevErrosion + RPS actually shift 10c/kWh to 27-31c/kWh
energy  efficiency  ee  utility  electricity  tva  climate  co2  carbon  business  strategy  management  harvard  hbs  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by ff4
What Service Customers Really Want - HBR.org
Asked what dimensions of customer service they would most like to see companies measure, the highest number of U.S. consumers surveyed — 65% — said "knowledgeable employees," which most defined as able to "answer my questions without putting me on hold, searching for someone, or transferring me." 62% said "treats me like a valued customer" and 54% said "demonstrates desire to meet my needs." The lowest percentage, 31%, wanted "relevant/personalized service."
business  customer.service  harvard 
august 2009 by ff4
cdixon.org / Ideal first round funding terms
Boilerplate termsheet minimizes legal costs (<$5K); no oddities = good for future funding rounds. Investors get: (1) common or 1x non-participating preferred stock, (2) pro rata rights, (3) no unproportional control compared to other investors. Founders get: (1) vesting w/ acceleration on change of control, (2) “subsistence”-level salaries, (3) carve out 10-20% pre-money option pool. Board: 2 VCs, 2 mgmt and 1 indy. ther stuff (registration rights, dividends etc) should be standard NVCA terms. Negotiate only valuation and amount raised
startup  vc  entrepreneurship  termsheet  funding  finance  business 
august 2009 by ff4
Biofuel Bet Aims to Harvest Fish That Feed on Algae - WSJ.com
Ridiculous Rube Goldbergian business proposition to: (1) develop fish that will feed on algae in low-oxygen waters, (2) transport 13.5tons of fish per acre to eat algae blooms resulting from ag/fertilizer runoff, (3) process fish into oil. Implicitly claims circulating water on farms requires less energy than hauling massive tons of live fish around. ### Did we not learn a lesson about converting food to fuel with corn-based ethanol? A better biz model would focus on making better feed for farmed fish from algae instead of from corn and offal.
energy  ocean  fish  algae  wsj  business 
august 2009 by ff4
Netflix: Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture (Reed Hastings)
Goal: Big, Fast, & Flexible. Values: judgment, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness. Regular reinforcement. Use high-performance people, so you can run on self-discipline not rules, thus enabling creativity to respond to changing market conditions. Outcomes driven by context not command. Teamwork model: Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled. Develop people by giving opportunity, stunning colleagues to work with, big challenges to work on; high-performers are generally self-improving through experience, observation, introspection, reading and discussion. Measure by effectiveness, not effort -- How much, how quickly, how well, esp. under deadlines. Clear strategy, metrics, assumptions, objectives, clearly-defined roles, knowledge of sakes, transparency of decision-making. Mgr: "how hard would I fight to keep an employee?" Employee: "how hard would you work to keep me if I were leaving?"
management  hr  culture  netflix  entrepreneur  business  career  leadership  productivity  advice  strategy 
august 2009 by ff4
McKinsey conversations Jeroen van der Veer of Shell - McKinsey Quarterly - Energy, Resources, Materials - Oil & Gas
Jeroen van der Veer, former CEO Royal Dutch Shell: longterm upward prices, robust pricing, no longer cheap solutions. Most alternatives, w/o subsidies, still expensive. 60%-70% fossil in 2050, but mkt 2x, so still selling more. Regulation: country-to-country variation = unlevel playing field; gov't must level to facilitate "opportunity: more energy for lower CO2", next-gen biofuels, CCS. ### Faster cycles. Communication is about simplicity, clear accountability for short term results: [A] good assessment is key, [B] direction, succinct & reasons why, [C] delegate tasks. Even more important in "Trust Me" > "Show Me" world. Sensitivity, perceptions of stakeholders greases wheels on large-scale projects; early-stage preparation, local buy-in.
energy  oil  shell  business  management  strategy  mckinsey 
august 2009 by ff4
Brad Feld: The Best Board Meetings
Physical presence important. Time split on status/strategy/admin; typical 80%/10%/10% split should be more short/medium/long-term strategy. [1] send financial ops review 48 hours in advance, [2] casual dinner night before w/ board + ceo, [3] meeting: max 30 mins admin, [4] mgmt summary of prior financial performance + discussion with board. [5] issues/discussion - more time here = more impact. Engaging the board = feedback, input, advice, guidance, discovering additional domain expertise, etc.
finance  business  management  startup  entrepreneur  advice 
august 2009 by ff4
HBR: How to Write a Great Business Plan - Harvard Business Publishing
the people, the opportunity, the context, and the possibilities for both risk and reward
hbs  harvard  business  entrepreneur  reference 
august 2009 by ff4
Interview: Thomas “Tom” Murphy (Capital Cities/ABC), Harvard Business
HR: hire the smartest people we can find,have no more of them around than necessary; highly decentralized structure and give them a lot of responsibility. Stick to what you understand. With the right balance of youth and experience, try building a company, don't worry about failure. Don’t give up on your ideas and certainly never give up on your ideals.
hr  business  management  career  entrepreneur  success  investing  buffett  harvard  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009 by ff4
The psychology of overconfidence : The New Yorker
Overconfidence can be an adaptive trait, and also a psychological failure if you don't account for why reality doesn't conform to expectations, or when you see only what you want to see. Overconfidence, builds with experience, leads to illusion of greater control, overestimate accuracy of judgment. When everyone bluffs, rivals end up escalating conflicts. Story about Bear Stearns.
business  finance  psychology  gametheory  newyorker  malcolmgladwell  behavior 
august 2009 by ff4
Strategy for Sustainability By Adam Werbach
Without a major conservation effort, 1975-2006, $1 GDP with -48% total energy, -54% oil, -64% directly used natural gas, -17% electricity, -66% water | How much of this is due to the shift from mfg to service?
books  sustainability  energy  co2  carbon  green  business  anecdotes 
august 2009 by ff4
BCG Strategy Gallery
BCG's online "metaphor engine." It is a Web-based interactive collection of more than 250 cognitive metaphors that foster strategic and innovative thinking by making ideas from the world outside business useful for the business strategist. The approach is based on the belief in the power of metaphor to unlock valuable insights.
strategy  words  dictionary  thesaurus  reference  business  inspiration  language  consulting  comparison 
july 2009 by ff4
Covestor Investment Management (CV.IM)
The world’s first retail Multi Managed account or MMA. With an MMA you can invest directly alongside professional and retail investors, managing their own money in their own account. It is a new category of Investment product that gives you access to expert managers like a hedge fund with the security and transparency of a managed account. Each of the ten “portfolio managers” are trading for their own accounts. They never hold any of your money. CVIM merely links their trading data to a brokerage account you set up either with TD Ameritrade or Interactive Brokers. You select which accounts you want to follow, and CVIM automatically instructs the linked brokerage account to mimic the trades in proportional amounts.
wealth  investing  business  finance  stocks 
july 2009 by ff4
Southern Company: energy efficiency regulatory structures, April 2008
Complete, timely recovery of EE program costs are essential for utility investment. (1) Lost contributions towards fixed costs; (2) negative shareholder impact from kWh growth reduction. (A) Shared savings strucutre, baesd on effectiveness of EE program: 15% * net savings=[PV(cost savings - program costs)]. (B) earn return on EE costs (mostly O&M) "regulatory asset”. (C) Nevada, cost capitalization incentive for EE investment. (D) Duke's virtual power plant: (1) calculates avoided capacity + energy impacts for each EE program, (2) avoided cost savings from reductions in capacity & energy computed over program life, (3) net value of costs determined, then treated as equiv avoided capacity investment.
energy  efficiency  ee  tva  electricity  policy  business  filetype:pdf  media:document 
july 2009 by ff4
Study: carbon accounting market at $10 million but growing
the market for carbon accounting software expected to double annually over the coming years. Only about 300 installs of carbon accounting solutions, versus about 3,000 companies who are using spreadsheets to track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Seven current market leaders as determined by number of customer deployments, technology features, market vision and financial stability are: Enviance, ESS, IHS, Johnson Controls, PE International, ProcessMAP and SAP/Clear Standards. | Study by Groom Energy Solutions + Greentech Media
accounting  finance  business  co2  carbon  ghg 
july 2009 by ff4
McKinsey Quarterly: Squeezing more ideas from product teardowns
Product teardowns, the practice of dismantaling products to their constituent parts to spark fresh thinking, = margin-improvement opportunities: save money, break down silo mentality, improve revenue potential. Compare competing products. Leverage purchasing, marketing, engineering, sales.
design  innovation  business  entrepreneur  management  mckinsey 
july 2009 by ff4
Economist: Seven ways to reinvent business for the age of capability
“World class businesses fail because they are either unable or unwilling to discard old models of businesses when external forces have changed dramatically. We must now reinvent business to position for the age of capability,” Emerging economies will drive growth: sources of innovation + competition. Traditional hierarchies > flatter/egalitarian structures (i.e. consultancies, accounting firms, NGOs). ##1# challenge the industry dogma (to thrive under tough times); legacy/heritage more liability than asset ##2# make “ordinary people extraordinary” - nuture employees, bottom-up ##3# learn how to be “world class customers: respect suppliers to leverage advantage ##4# innovate for affordability ##5# nurture nature: nature/resources as limiting factor, can reproduce itself enormously if you treat it right ##6# find a higher purpose ##7# practice a culture of responsibility: coach/mentor not "boss" - arouse great potential to inspire respect
economy  business  management  development  leadership  economist  harvard 
june 2009 by ff4
Health-care spending in rich countries
US: 16% GDP, $7K+/person; vs. OECD, value/money? Japan spends the least per capita but has highest life expectancy -- better diet, more honest dialog? The surest way to lower health care expenses is by taking care of one's own health. Preventative medine vs. deathbed heroics? Sense of entitlement to unhealthy lifestyle? US pro business vs pro consumer ideology? Flip: Shouldering disproportionate cost of drug development?
business  government  health  healthcare 
june 2009 by ff4
It Is Okay for Artists to Make Money…No, Really, It's Okay — HBS Working Knowledge
* The interests of art, artists, and business can be best served if more commerce enters into the world of art, not less. * There are three fallacies, often implicit, about relationships between art and commerce: (1) art is a luxury and an indulgence, (2) art is clearly distinguishable from "non-art," and (3) commerce dominates and corrupts art, and subverts its purpose. * Good art should achieve appropriate commercial value consistently, not just occasionally. A conversation takes place when art and commerce are in tension, a conversation in which neither artists nor managers should dominate.
art  design  wealth  business 
june 2009 by ff4
Accenture: Consumer product innovation is often a hit-or-miss affair
By letting customers and employees tell them what works and by aggressively culling what doesn’t, the industry’s high performers are scoring consistently well. ## 2008 study of 100 consumer goods companies conducted by AMR Research for Accenture showed that only half of the new-product ideas that companies fund and seek to develop make it to market. Of 553 new-product ideas generated in a year, 74 went into development, and just 38 were eventually launched. The ratio of ideas to launch is higher in the home and personal care category (21:1) than in the food/beverage/alcohol (13:1) and apparel (9:1) categories.
innovation  design  business 
may 2009 by ff4
Microfinance - The MIX Market - MIX-Market_home-page
"a global, web-based, microfinance information platform. It provides information to sector actors and the public at large on microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide, public and private funds that invest in microfinance, MFI networks, raters/external evaluators, advisory firms, and governmental and regulatory agencies. The MIX Market seeks to develop a transparent information market to link MFIs worldwide with Investors and Donors and promote greater investment and information flows."
business  finance  reference  mfi  microfinance  data  banking 
may 2009 by ff4
IdeaCast: the Zombieconomy - Umair Haque - HarvardBusiness.org
Zombieconomy: cross-industry, corps behaving unresponsively, in self-defeating ways (ex: auto/pharma/print). How do we reinvent value chains and redefine value models? You need stewardship and leadership to challenge the status quo. We are not asking the right questions; when we do, we create value that is more sustainable. Ex: "What are the economic needs of the world?" Ford: "We can not provide economic cars for the world's poor" Instead, ask: "How can we do that?" Not low-form incremental improvements, but real innovation. Haque infers start-ups as the best route, but when pressed, notes Wal-Mart's ability to adjust - "If they can do it, anyone can."
harvard  hbs  business  leadership  sustainability 
april 2009 by ff4
Startup Professionals Musings: Startups: Managing Millennials for Success
Attitudes: Confidence, goal/achievement oriented, collaborative, multicultural, civic-minded. ## management strategies: #1. Provide real leadership (be a role model with honesty and integrity) #2. Challenge your employees (leanring opportunities, growth, development, a career path) #3. Foster family relationship with workers (set up mentoring and reverse mentoring program) #4. Make the workplace fun and enjoyable (humor, physical interaction), #5 Show respect to everyone #6. Be flexible (rigid schedule is a sure-fire way to lose your millennial employees). Key is knowing each as individual, what's important to him/her, why they’re working, what they want to get out of their jobs. Set ~60day goals, with measurable accomplishment.
management  business  hr 
april 2009 by ff4
Why Warren Buffett is investing in electric car company BYD - Apr. 13, 2009
Claim: 100% recyclable batteries, based on nontoxic electrolyte fluid. Note fleet sales for electric vehicles (confirming strategy I forecasted after PEHV'08). Note growth and scaling of this company, and a competitive strategy that relies on 100K human assembly and 10K-20K engineers.
business  cleantech  automotive  cars  investment  china  buffett  energy 
april 2009 by ff4
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