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Entrepreneurship, Global Business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

How are “Fun” Companies Created: Google

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Remember when Netscape, Buena Vista and Excite were our options for internet searches and we had to dial up to get to the internet? Then, we were introduced to the Yahoo yodeler and heard from a talking dolphin in the 2002 Superbowl ad touting the fact he learned to talk using Yahoo. Yahoo grew through acquisition but much of that growth was in response to the more rapid growth of a company called Google.

While giving you the history of Google isn’t the focus of this post, I think it is important to know a few facts about the company in order to understand how it grew to be, in my opinion, a fun company. Here are a few historical highlights:

1995: Larry Page and Sergey Brin begin working on a search engine called BackRub which was housed on Stanford servers.

1997: It was decided that the name BackRub didn’t quite fit the vision of Page and Brin. Their brainstorming resulted in the name Google – a play on words using the term googol, a mathematical term used to described the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. (Perhaps googol also stands for the ultimate goal of Page and Brin in terms of identifying the value of their company.)

1998: Google files for incorporation in California  They also receive $100,000 in funding from Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim which they use to set up work space in a garage in Menlo Park. Page and Brin hire their first employee.

1999: Google moves from their garage office to Palo Alto with a total of eight employees. Yoshka, the company dog, regularly came to work with the senior vice president of operations. The first chef was hired – he previously catered for the Grateful Dead. Continue Reading

Admissions, biztube, EveningMBA, FTMBA, Newsroom

GMAT: Take Small Steps to Conquer the GMAT Quantitative Section

By Dan Jackson, M.B.A. ’12

Thinking about an MBA?  Wondering about some of the first steps in the application process?  If you have not yet started to research specific business schools, a good place to begin is by taking the GMAT Exam.  The GMAT is required as part of the admissions process at most MBA schools in the U.S. and is composed of four different sections, Quantitative, Verbal, Analytical Writing, and Integrative Reasoning.  The Graduate Management Admission Councils’ (GMAC) website states that the purpose of the GMAT Exam is to predict the success of students in the first year of graduate management education.  It is also a consistent and objective way to compare aspiring students worldwide.

Each section of the test will require you to brush up on material that you may or may not have learned at some point during your formative education years, but in the event that you are a little rusty or have no clue where to begin, especially in the quantitative section, consider checking out Khan Academy.

Continue Reading

biztube, Media, Newsroom

BizTube: Market Research

All I Needed to Know about Business I Learned from YouTube

This video has been overtaking my life in recent weeks, thanks to the many friends I have on Facebook who see fit to post it with various and supporting exclamations. Once again, YouTube, the source of all knowledge, has taught me an important business principle. In this case, the video is a great example of what not to do.

The creators of the video introduce it as an ethnographic market research project, though they don’t call it that, attempting to determine if men and women can be “just friends.” However, I noticed significant flaws in their research methodology in this video. Continue Reading

biztube, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, social media

BizTube: Know the Marketplace

All I Needed to Know about Business I Learned from YouTube

Let’s say you are a large Japanese car company. You know you have the superior product. Your worldwide reputation for quality and longevity are unmatched. Your mileage is better than your competitors. You focused on what the market wanted, investing early into “green(er)” technology in cars. Because sales are high, your employees’ morale is excellent. You don’t have to battle labor unions so your profits are greater than your competitor. You are the larger, stealthier older brother monkey who has slowly snuck up on the smaller monkey.

The poor little American car company is sitting on the edge of the pond, surveying the bleak outlook. Sales are down and negotiating thousands of severance packages is time-consuming and expensive, and your finances are a mess.

Late in the first decade of the 21st century, this was the automobile marketplace. Here is where the analogy to today’s video ends, however. Due to a couple of costly recalls for Toyota and some restructuring and rallying from GM, the opportunity to shove the smaller monkey into the pond passed, and GM maintained its status of having the highest annual automobile sales worldwide for over three quarters of a century.

All of this amounts to a simple fact. When you’re in a competitive business situation, be attuned to the marketplace. There might come a time when with one small push, you can become the industry leader. Or if you’re on the edge, be aware. Change your course by cutting costs, extending brands and lines. Don’t sit still.

(We’ll not discuss the mama monkey and how she could represent the government bailout.)  Know your marketplace or you might get wet!

Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

BizTube: Niche Marketing

All I Needed to Know about Business I Learned from YouTube

According to estimates from Ad Planner by Google, there are approximately 410 million unique visitors to YouTube each month averaging 28 minutes and 20 seconds per visit. Surely we, as a people, are utilizing YouTube for enlightening, educational purposes and not for mere entertainment. What a mind drain that would be for our society! To that end, I launch my newest blog series, “BizTube, All I Needed to Know about Business I Learned from YouTube.”

There is a company in Southern California called Vurtego. Ever heard of them? Yeah, me neither, but that’s because I’m not a part of the extreme pogo culture. Haven’t heard of that either? Ah, that’s the beauty of niche marketing.

Remember the pogo stick of your childhood? It was probably blue with black plastic pedals and black rubber handlebars. It worked alright if you could stay on it. That is, it worked alright until your large older brother wore out the springs or left it outside on a rainy night. Then it was a squeaky limping toy that was donated in short order.

But what if someone saw that squeaky old toy as a market opportunity? Continue Reading

Health Care MBA, leadership, Media, Newsroom

Servant Leadership and YouTube

Cross posted from UST’s High Performance Health Care blog, by Daniel McLaughlin.

The recent ICSI Colloquium on innovation and quality had an outstanding array of presentations.  Perhaps one of most interesting and unusual was the keynote address by David Shulkin, MD, who is both a professor of medicine and CEO of a major hospital in New Jersey.

Dr. Shulkin is a widely known and experienced speaker, but he choose to do his entire presentation with a series of YouTube clips.  I am not sure if this is the future, but it clearly gives a different texture to presentations and scholarly work.

So here is my attempt to use this principle to emphasize the major elements of servant leadership.  This leadership approach is one of the important components of St. Thomas’ Physician Leadership College and Health Care MBA curriculums.

Servant Leadership

Robert Greenleaf developed the concept of servant leadership in 1970 and it is very useful approach to leading in a health care environment.  Greenleaf distinguishes the servant leader from the power leader.  Continue Reading