Tuesday, April 10, 2007

English and Business

English may be the language of business today but many know that there are no guarantees it will remain the language of business tomorrow. In fact, more business was conducted among nations (per capita) prior to World War I, when there was no uniform business language, than around the late 1990s, at the height of the .com boom and when English was the lingua franca of business. (See Robert Barro's Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society.)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Google and Growth

Chris Zook of Bain & Company, argues, in a WSJ opinion piece, that Google should focus, instead of acquisitions, on combining its existing capabilities and assets towards growth.

He gives several historical examples from other businesses and ends thus:
Recovering from a crisis in the core may well be the hardest act in business. Since 1994, more than 50% of the companies in the Global 500 have seen their world changed by threats to their core business models. About half of this group have gone bankrupt or been acquired, and the other half have had to make risky and fundamental changes in strategy. What's the best response to this challenge? A few will buy their way to success, and Google may be among them. But for most companies, the answer is actually right in front of them, hidden from view.
Unfortunately, few of the historical examples are form the fast-paced world of technology and Internet companies where capabilities come and go!