CategoryGrowth

The Hidden Riches of Dormant Businesses

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After designer Casey Smith took a year-long maternity leave, she shut her business. Writing on her company’s blog in 2018, she describes the move as “a huge mistake.” When she re-opened, she found she had no plan, no marketing strategy, and heard nothing but crickets. “It was an awful experience that I would never want to relive,” she wrote. It was also a result that every business owner and...

A New Model for Start-Up Fundraising

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As they prepared to make their funding pitch, Waze’s founders knew they had a valuable solution to a common problem. Their technology would present a map showing drivers which route to take to reach their destination. But by collating the driving speeds of all their users, the app would also pick the routes that avoided the worst traffic. Users would get where they wanted to go. They’d arrive in...

The Challenges of a Subscriber Business Model

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The Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants is a long way from a start-up. The organization was founded in 1904 and aims to bring together its 7,600 professional accounting members, organize networking opportunities and provide training courses. But in 2018, the society underwent a small revolution. Instead of mailing out invoices and waiting for its members to mail back their dues in...

The Most Essential Elements of a Subscriber Business Model

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In April this year, Netflix delivered a twist that almost no one expected to a story that seemed destined for a happy ending. The story was its own and the twist was that the company had lost subscribers over the previous quarter. Wall Street had expected the streaming company to announce the addition of about 2.5 million new customers. Instead, Netflix declared that global subscriptions had...

Are the Days of Fast Growth Over?

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The announcement marked the end of an era. It also marked down the value of Facebook by more than $200 billion. For the first time in its history, the social media company announced not a slowdown in user growth but a decline. Daily active users fell from 1.93 billion to 1.929 billion in the last three months of 2021. It was a small drop but big enough to knock 25 percent off the value of the...

The Right Way to Steal Ideas

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The judgment was a long time coming, and it still might not be final. In March 2020, a US appeals court ruled that British rock band Led Zeppelin hadn’t stolen part of their song Stairway to Heaven. Randy Wolfe, a member of Spirit, a Los Angeles band, had claimed that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones had lifted a chord progression in Taurus, a song written by Wolfe...

Why You Invest in the Wrong Projects

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Tech entrepreneurs often dream of producing a new technology that will change the world. They might hope to reinvent the mobile phone as Steve Jobs did when he launched the iPhone. Or they can imagine themselves recreating the motor car as Elon Musk did when he set up Tesla. Or they might fantasize about a whole new space industry (again, Elon Musk.) Most, though, have to settle for an impressive...

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...

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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