CategoryGrowth

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...

Crowdsourcing for Innovation

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Boom! Studios should have little trouble turning ideas into products. The comic book and graphic novel publisher has a stable of award-winning work and licenses with WWE, Cartoon Network, and the Jim Henson Company. It also has agreements with 20th Century Fox and Fox Television to bring its comic book stories to both big and small screens. And yet when the company wanted to create a new comic...

Scaling Your Business Without VC Funds

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In a 2018 interview with Recode, Moiz Ali, founder of deodorant start-up Native, described how out-of-place he felt at Silicon Valley parties. Entrepreneurs, he said, would talk about how many people they had employed and how quickly they were adding staff. Ali’s small company consisted of just him. “In Silicon Valley, it’s often embarrassing when you haven’t raised money,” he told the magazine...

Even Small Businesses Can Mine Data

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It was December 2007, and Noah Kagan was facing a challenge. Recently fired from the marketing team at Facebook, where he had been the company’s thirtieth employee, he was keen to show his new boss that he could be an asset. But Aaron Pitzer wasn’t going to make it easy for him. The co-founder of new finance site Mint.com told Kagan that he had high expectations. Kagan would become the Marketing...

How to Be Nice and Still Finish First

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The footage is remarkably clear. We see a room with a plush chair and a floral-patterned sofa, paneled walls, and orchids on the windowsill. A young man in loose sweatpants and a burgundy Harvard sweater looks briefly around the room. He fiddles quickly with something in the corner of the room before surreptitiously stuffing a white box into his back pocket. Finally, he adjusts the hidden camera...

Your Community Can Build Your Business for You

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In June 2017, Time, themagazine known for its person of the year, released a list of the 25 most influential people on the planet. The newly-crowned Donald Trump was there, as were Matt Drudge, J.K. Rowling, and K-Pop band BTS. Also on the list, though, was Ser Amantio di Nicolao—not the minor character in the Puccini opera Gianni Schicchi but the pseudonym of Virginian Steven Pruitt, a records...

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