Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

“How Business Schools Inspire Innovation: Think Fast” (Roche & Thomas, 2014)

How business schools are influencing innovation
“In his book “What are universities for?” Stefan Collini (2012) claims that one of the prime objectives of higher education is to be a center for innovation and creative thinking. Despite this, many critics are quick highlight that some of the most famous entrepreneurs and innovators were dropouts from the university system. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are the frequently used examples. However, this gives an incomplete vision of the story. As this article will show, innovation is at the heart of the strategy of most business schools today and the work done can not only have a direct shor term impact on the business world, but also create a innovative mindset for young graduates which will stay with them throughout their career.”

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Do I really need a university degree? Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg didn’t finish university. Perhaps, but…

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg

Next week will be the final week before the end of term in a host of universities across the different parts of the world. For many students this brings the dreaded exam week and often a huge amount of self doubt with it. Many have thoughts of giving up the whole process at this time. After all, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are all college dropouts and they seem to have done alright for themselves. If they could succeed with a degree, is it really necessary to spend all that time and effort? It might seem like a nice idea but unfortunately, these few examples don’t tell the entire story.

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Filed under Advanced Management Program, Business, Business Schools, Careers, Harvard AMP, Harvard Business School, Higher Education, USA

BOOK REVIEW: Amazon “One Click” by Richard L. Brandt (2012)

This book is an interesting and impartial look at the development of Amazon. Unfortunately, it gets off to a terrible start. Any 9th Grader will have heard a hundred times that a good essay begins with a clear and dynamic start and finishes with a punchy conclusion. What a pity that Mr. Brandt seems to have forgotten this advice. The book is actually a very enjoyable read with a lot of information about Amazon. It is you really want to have a good impression of it, you should skip the first and last chapters.

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Careers, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Strategy, Technology, USA

BOOK REVIEW “Good Strategy / Bad Strategy” by Richard Rumelt (2011)

Summary

John Kay, one of Britain’s leading economists, declared that this is “the first book on strategy that I have found difficult to put down.” He is not the only one. It is an excellent read and gives a very thoughful insight into the strategic choices that companies must face. This has to be one of the best books on strategy that I have read this year.

Key words

Strategy, understanding strategy, market leader, sustainable competitive advantage. Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Business Schools, Education, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Strategy

BOOK REVIEW: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson (2011)

This is the hottest business book of the moment and Amazon’s best selling book of 2011. 577 pages look fairly daunting but there is a nice mixture of personal detail and professional development which makes it fairly simple to read.  Jobs was adopted which made him feel “Abandoned”, “Chosen” and “Special.” He frequently got into trouble at school and then dropped out of Reed College in his second year. He had regular temper tantrums and big mood swings but also a remarkable gift for improving products and making them simple to use. He spent hours and hours fussing over tiny details including those legendary ‘spontaneous’ presentations.

The book gives a clear picture of a genius who was almost impossible to live with, a modern day Mozart, if you will. It gives an objective account of his ups and downs at Apple and shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of the man. There is an interesting side story of the rivalry between Jobs and Bill Gates including the latter complaining that while he was saving the world from malaria, the world was more interested in new products created by Jobs! It is an excellent read.

Some keys facts:

The name “Apple” was linked to Jobs’ strange diets. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” he explained. “I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer’. Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.” Continue reading

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Careers, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Strategy, Technology

Death (and Rebirth) of a Salesman


Arthur Miller’s 1949 play, “Death of a Salesman” deals with the demise of Willy Loman, an American salesman, who finds his professional and personal life simultaneously degenerating. The play could almost be symbolic for the treatment of the subject as an academic discipline over the past last half century. Business schools hate the word “sales”. We love “marketing” and “finance” and “strategy”, but the word “sales” with its second-hand car salesman connotation, is distinctly unwelcome in the classroom. Continue reading

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Filed under Business Schools, Higher Education, MBA

Sent from my iPad : the legacy of Steve Jobs

One evening, when I was an undergraduate student in the UK, I met a friend in a state of mild shock. He was studying Politics at the time and hoping to soon begin an illustrious career making important decisions for the country. As he had been walking across campus that afternoon, somebody had stopped him to ask where the Computer Science department could be found. Continue reading

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