Tag Archives: business

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What’s wrong with starting a sustainable business?

Nothing, of course, unless you are playing by the rules and goals of Silicon Valley, where VC money comes at a cost. In this piece He Wanted a Unicorn. He Got … a Sustainable Business | WIRED, we hear 

(this) story is one part cautionary tale for entrepreneurs seduced by the allure of venture capital and billion-dollar valuations, and one part an example of how a company can thrive outside those expectations.

I liked the angle of this story and found it fascinating. I think we need more stories of people quite nicely achieving a sustainable business. It’s not that having a blockbuster business is terrible, but it is rare, like all exceptional things are. It’s a winner takes all approach to business. To me, a better approach is that people can be successful in many different ways. Ways like having a sustainable business that provides a service that people really need. That’s a good measure of success to me. I hope we can get more such stories.

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One of the the better reviews of WeWork and their IPO is naturally this one, by Stratechery


Stratechery is always great and this piece is no different: The WeWork IPO – Stratechery by Ben Thompson.

What makes it good is that rather than just slamming WeWork superficially, as many takes have, it delves into what could possibly justify why WeWork is a good investment.

My take is that if WeWork had a different executive, it could be a successful company. I think the comparison to AWS is somewhat valid, and in the gig economy with lots of short term work, it could become very successful. (It worked really well for a recent project I was on).

That said, I believe the executive team of WeWork will not be able to handle any drying up of capital or a recession of any length. Or investors will wake up and ask themselves why WeWork should be valued way more than IWG/Regus. Time will tell, of course.

One last thing: my understanding is that WeWork had to start from scratch in terms of buying up / leasing real estate, but AWS did not start from scratch and took advantage of existing capacity Amazon currently had.

(Image link to the original piece in the article reference)

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What is the best age to launch that start up?


Did you guess 50? No? If you didn’t you should read this: A Study of 2.7 Million Startups Found the Ideal Age to Start a Business (and It’s Much Older Than You Think) | Inc.com

Key quote:

And in general terms, a 50-year-old entrepreneur is almost twice as likely to start an extremely successful company as a 30-year-old. (Or, for that matter, a successful side hustle.)

It’s never too late to pursue that business dream.

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What are the top business books?


Arguably they are the ones in this article: I read the 8 best business books of all time—here’s what I learned. If you want to know what they are and get a synopsis, read that piece.

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If you are thinking of using chatbots in your work, read this


Chatbots are relatively straightforward to deploy these days. AI providers like IBM and others provide all the technology you need. But do you really need them? And if you already have a bunch of them deployed, are you doing it right? If these questions have you wondering, I recommend you read this: Does Your Company Really Need a Chatbot?

You still may want to proceed with chatbots: they make a lot of business sense for certain types of work. But you will have a better idea when not to use them, too.

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Two thoughts on Jamie Oliver’s U.K. Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy

One, It’s always terrible when this type of thing happens: Jamie Oliver’s U.K. Restaurants Declare Bankruptcy – The New York Times.  

But two, I am curious about what has been happening with his businesses based on this:

… his British restaurants ran into financial trouble in 2016 and got into such dire straits that Mr. Oliver had to inject millions from his own savings to salvage the business. Even then, he had to close about 20 restaurants and pizzerias in the months that followed.

What has been happening in the past three years? I remember reading that at the time and it seemed like they had turned the corner at were going to be ok. They turned a corner but they were the opposite of ok.

I’d really like an in depth article of what happened.

Some thoughts on bad communication by Chase and other large organizations

Lots of people on twitter giving Chase heat for this tweet today:

Part of me understands that. I mean, how could a company that received such a big bailout have the nerve to tweet that? But the other part of me knows that big organizations work in silos and compartments. There is likely no-one at a high level at Chase scrutinizes low level communications like tweets. You know how Amazon sometimes sells T shirts with offensive messages? Same problem.

People believe big organizations are homogenous and aware of every aspect of the people who work there and what they are doing. This belief is wrong. Some orgs may be that way, but the majority are not.

Something to think about the next time this occurs.