A few thoughts on relationships – the final MBA Learning

2 years ago, I began writing weekly posts under a category called “MBA Learnings.” I thought it’d be a great excuse to share what I’m taking away from my experience at graduate school. While some of these started out as lessons from the classroom, the series has evolved into a collection of mammoth posts that attempt to frame the experience […]

Interviewing Dan Ariely

I had the privilege of interviewing the wonderful Dan Ariely in person last Wednesday. I had interviewed Dan three years ago over Skype and shared it here and the erstwhile “Real Leaders Project.” On an inspired day in January, I’d reached out to Dan if he’d be up for another Skype interview. It turned out he […]

Interviewing Seth

I had been looking forward to a Skype interview with Seth at school for many months. It took me a few months before I was sure the technology would work. I promised him a good experience and I definitely felt a bit of the pressure of the promise in the days leading up to it. It all […]

A few thoughts on culture

As part of my annual review process at the end of every year, I ask myself – “Who/what were my biggest sources of inspiration this year?” It is a useful question as I think about all those people who’ve had a repeated positive impact on me. Inevitably, Seth Godin takes the top spot. I have been […]

The cost is not just the cost – MBA Learnings

Let’s take a situation where a firm decides to buy a smaller technology firm for $1 Billion. Every decision that is made is typically the result of a cost-benefit analysis. In some cases, this analysis is entirely quantitative. In others, it has a huge qualitative element (e.g. fit with strategy). Either way, the costs of the acquisition are […]

Thoughts on Marketing Strategy and Branding – MBA Learnings

Marketing strategy, to me, came down to one central insight – “Be cheap or be different.” Everything else is a losing strategy in the long run. A brand, on the other hand, is just a set of associations. Image source – Example associations for McDonalds Wal-Mart, to take an example, is built on the “be cheap” strategy. And, it […]