B-School Bulletin: Does Bitcoin Have A Future?

Do Bitcoin And Digital Currency Have A Future?

News from Harvard Business School

“Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, recently labeled the leading digital currency, Bitcoin, a ‘fraud,’ likening it to the 17th century tulip bulb mania and adding that he would fire any employee caught trading it. But on October 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that rival Goldman Sachs is considering trading in cryptocurrencies, potentially the first Wall Street firm to do so.

“For me, the jury is still out. Here’s why.

“Back in the 1960s, I partnered with a commodities broker at the then-existent Hayden, Stone brokerage firm to form the Comsec Fund, a mutual fund that could trade commodities as well as other securities. I provided a statistical trading system; he handled administration and sales. Hedging was an important feature of the fund, since trading in commodities requires frequent short selling of commodities contracts. Registering the fund with the Securities and Exchange Commission was difficult and time-consuming. We had to persuade staff members that hedging both securities and commodities contracts was an acceptable investment strategy and not mere speculation. Eventually, we succeeded in registering with the SEC and 37 US states before piling up legal debts that were so large that we had to find a buyer, in our case a financial services company, to bail us out.”

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LBS Alumni Challenged To Innovate At WAC London

News from London Business School 

“In the same week that London Business School officially opened the new Sammy Ofer Centre, 300 LBS alumni gathered at 8 Northumberland Avenue, just off London’s Trafalgar Square, to celebrate innovation at Worldwide Alumni Celebration.

“This year’s theme was innovation in a new world environment. The three speakers included Executive MBA alumna Sarah Wilkinson, CEO, NHS Digital. She said innovation is no longer just about adapting to change. ‘Innovation in the new world is the process of introducing new ideas, devices and methods almost continuously.’”

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The Consummate Opportunities Of Cross-Cluster Collaboration

News from INSEAD

“Industries working in clusters share linkages, synergies and other self-reinforcing mechanisms which can help them become a global reference point for their specific product. Much has been written about the benefits of cooperative research, competitive striving and sharing of information which speeds up innovation, creating a smarter, more efficient industry. The challenge comes when cluster members are forced to look outside their sphere of expertise and the industry they know so well, in order to improve the value of their product.

“As the world changes, industries can’t remain isolated. To remain sustainable, gain a competitive edge and identify new opportunities, firms need to look outwards. Companies that make the effort and bridge cluster demarcations can find a whole new level of innovation, particularly when both sides have something to share.”

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Are Retailer Brands A Competitive Threat For Brands Globally?

News from ESADE

“The numbers speak for themselves: retailer brands have experienced impressive growth in Europe over the past few decades and are present in more than 90% of consumer packaged goods.

“A key question to answer is whether retailer brands will grow at the same pace all over the world, challenging brand manufacturers’ market share globally. A recent study published in the Journal of International Marketing addresses this question and concludes that retailer brands’ growth will vary across countries depending on market structures.

“The international development of retailer brands has been the cornerstone of many retailers’ growth strategies for challenging the position of manufacturer brands. ‘It is of critical importance that brand manufacturers assess the threat of retailer brands by having a very good understanding of market attractiveness in terms of the potential threat of retailer brands,’ says leading researcher Andrés Cuneo, Associate Professor of Marketing at ESADE.”

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Roger Ramos, who started Grow with the Flow with his twin brother Reggie Ramos, celebrates with other 2017 Start:ME participants at the end of the 14-week business accelerator program.

Goizueta Program Helps Small Businesses Get Off The Ground

News from Emory University Goizueta Business School

“Yard space in Tucker has become the basis for a homegrown company, helped by an Emory program that gives a boost to small, start-up businesses.

“Brothers Roger and Reggie Ramos, who founded Grow With the Flow, grow vegetables in the yards of homeowners who have offered part of their land as garden space.

“The brothers do the planting, maintaining and harvesting. Homeowners, for their participation, get a weekly share of the produce before it is sold at the Tucker Farmers Market, online markets, Decatur’s upscale Cakes and Ale restaurant and local meal kit business PeachDish.

“Emory’s Goizueta Business School chose Grow With the Flow to participate in Start:ME, a business accelerator program which provides access to early stage capital, mentors and business skills training to a variety of small business start-ups.”

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