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The Best Way to Tell a Story

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How do you tell a market to buy your product instead of your competitors’ products? One approach is to focus on your product’s unique features. Your product is faster, cheaper, and generally does the job better. It’s like the other products but gives customers more bang for their buck. The other approach is to tell a story. Ignore the characteristics and build an emotional engagement that will...

Your Social Media Posts Could Kill Your Career

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It’s the moment every sportsman waits their life for. Ollie Robinson was 27 years and his career as a professional cricketer had been troubled. Fired at 20 from one team for “unprofessional conduct”—he preferred partying to training—he found his way to a different team. He knuckled down, worked hard, and rebuilt his reputation. Seven years later, he received what every professional cricketer...

What You Need To Turn a Great Idea into a Great Product

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For Paul Buchheit, it was often a side project. Google’s employee number 23 would take on ideas that caught his eye and see if he could get them to work. While employed on Google Groups, he took the code and built a new email interface with an in-built search mechanism. That code became Gmail, a service that now has about 1.5 billion users. AdSense too had been an idea that Googlers had talked...

The Right Way to Write a Project Brief

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Like any creative company, Design Incorporated, a UK design agency, depends on good communications. It needs its clients to explain exactly what they need, how they want it, and what they want the product to do. And like most creative companies, Design Incorporated has received its fair share of poorly written briefs. The company has even categorized them into five forms. “The Closed Book” leaves...

How Telework Will Affect Your Work

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As Covid spread across India, Flipkart, the country’s answer to Amazon, sent its staff to work from home. Six months later, the company asked some of those employees to describe their experience. It was generally positive. Pallavi Nanda, a new senior manager in talent branding, was happy to be able to spend more time with her family. Ritesh Savio Rodrigues, an assistant manager of social media...

What Entrepreneurs Really Need

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Even for Jeff Bezos, the decision wasn’t easy. In 1994, he had a good job on Wall Street, was set for a high-earning career, and had little reason to hope for anything more from life. But he noticed that Web usage was growing at a rate of 2,300 percent, and he wondered what sort of business plan might make sense in the context of that growth. “I went to my boss,” he said in a 2001 interview, “and...

Build an International Team

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It sounds like a story of technology overcoming bureaucracy, of good government beating bad government, of common sense vanquishing mind-bending stupidity. Writing in the Harvard Business Review in November 2020, Prithwiraj Choudhury, the Lumry Family Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School, described his research into MobSquad, a series of co-working spaces in Halifax, Calgary and...

The Right Way to Choose a Marketing Agency

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It should have been the moment the fast-growing shoe company made its breakthrough. Just for Feet had started in 1977 with a single shoe store in Birmingham, Alabama. By 1999, it had grown to 140 superstores in 25 states, was making $775 million of annual sales, and was ranked sixth in Fortune magazine’s list of “America’s Fastest Growing Companies.” Now, as the new millennium came...

What You Need to Know to Get Into Business School

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It should have been straightforward for Ed Redden. A chemical engineering graduate from Notre Dame, he had spent the five years since college working at General Electric. He had risen quickly to lead a team of 55 employees across five manufacturing lines. He clearly had the knowledge and the skills to grow as a manager. To advance his career, he applied to business school. His applications racked...

The Power of Strange Job Titles

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In March this year Elon Musk and Tesla’s CFO received new job titles. Musk would no longer be merely Chief Executive Officer of the $650 billion car company. According to the company’s regulatory filing, his official title would also be “Technoking of Tesla.” Zach Kirkhorn, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, would receive the additional title “Master of Coin.” That term is used in George R.R...

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