We’re going to optimize our efficiency and strategize our plans… and other great jargon

This makes for a nice read about the parsing of non-sensical business jargon.  Jargon is what business people use to sound smarter, but when you really parse it, it’s meaningless…  As a case instructor, I catch MBA students using jargon all the time; unfortunately, 98 percent of the time it is meaningless filler, written in some ‘stream-of-consciousness’ process and not… Read more →

Turn down…

I am sorry to report that I cannot accept the offer from XXXX.  I would like to thank you for your time and effort in interviewing me.  The reality is, your offer is characteristically (of you) insulting to my efforts, particularly as it displays a crass indifference to market realities.  These same market realities, ones of which any good economist… Read more →

Asymmetric Information, Incentive Compatibility, and Participation

From the Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2014: How to Trap the Guilty and the Gullible, by  Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (you may recognize them at the Freakonomics authors). The economics of information are fascinating, particularly because many managers forget that information asymmetries create incentive disparities between principals and agents.  Revealing these is tricky, but much less expensive than… Read more →

A culture of customer focus

For a long time, customer service was a differentiation mechanism that set companies apart from their competitors; it made companies and firms unique.  Think of the fabled Nordstrom, a Seattle company so focused on customer service that they became the stuff of legends.  Historically, customer service was driven by relationships.  People purchased goods and services in their communities, from people… Read more →

Yes, WhatsApp was Overpriced

From today’s WSJ: A nice article about the mathematics behind Facebook’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp. Where the author, in attempting to use some math (remember, math is hard) has this to say (comparing Verizon’s purchase of its joint venture, a deal in which it paid Vodafone $130 billion): So what would happen if we benchmarked revenueless WhatsApp against this… Read more →

“Why is it always…”

“Some horrible person who just won’t listen to what your saying…???” If you work for a large bank, airline, insurance company, utility, etc… this is what gets written about you: “What the hell… banks suck, especially when they assign the lowest common denominator to handle anything requiring mental activity.  I hear you raising your voice a little bit, but I… Read more →