Conversation with Harvard’s David Yoffie, MIT’s Michael Cusumano: ‘Strategy Rules’ from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs

y450-293Working Capital Conversations: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

You know the old game: If you could have dinner with three people from history, whom would you choose?

We won’t cover all the options, but you’ll agree, you could do a lot worse than Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Andy Grove. These technology CEO icons just may have more influence on how we live our lives – how we work, communicate, think, exercise, shop, read, listen to music and even put our kids to bed – than any group you could name (ok, let’s hold the Beatles aside).

Of course, getting these three together was nearly impossible even when they were all alive. But don’t worry, because two leading business school professors, researchers and thinkers have done the next best thing.

It’s hardly an exaggeration that Harvard Business School Professor David Yoffie and MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Michael Cusumano collectively may know more about Gates, Jobs and Grove than anyone else on the planet. They have written books and cases studies, sat on boards, interviewed hundreds of employees, consultants and colleagues. They know or knew all three. And they now have taken that collective knowledge and deep insight and answered the question many of us would ask if we could eat just one meal with Grove, Gates and Jobs: “What should I do to be successful in business?”

Their new book is Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs.”


Nicco Mele: Author, “The End of Big;” Founder, EchoDitto

We might have debated who invented the Internet, but there’s no debate over which candidate brought the Internet into political campaigns. In 2003 and 2004, Democrat Presidential candidate Howard Dean made fundraising go digital.

The brains – if not the functionality, design, and execution – behind that operation belonged to Nicco Mele, a 20-something year old webmaster who had worked for various advocacy groups.

Since that online revolution, Mele has launched his own firm – EchoDitto – which helps organizations gain greater impact through technology. He also is a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and author of “The End of Big: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath,” where he warns against – of all things – the disruptive and perhaps dangerous power of the Internet. Among the areas he worries about: Digital’s potential destruction through polarization of politics and government.

Listen here at Political Wire.

Teddy Goff: Obama ’12 Digital Director; Partner, Precision Strategies

With the midterm election season approaching, every aspect of every race will be watched: The issues; positioning; and, of course, campaigns. And within the campaigns, special attention on what’s new – and that means digital.

So what can we expect from digital campaigns? What’s the next wave of ways candidates will try to connect with us – and especially young voters – directly through Facebook, Twitter and so on? How will they get us to donate?

If during either of President Obama’s campaigns you clicked, watched, liked or gave online, then you’re familiar with our guest. Teddy Goff was responsible for state-level digital campaigns in 2008 and served as Digital Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. Today he is a Partner at Precision Strategies and was recently named one of Time’s 30 people under 30 who are changing the world.

Listen here at Political Wire.

Corey Mead: “War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict”

From drones to Tomahawk missiles to Navy SEALs, it’s no exaggeration to say that the U.S. military has a range of incredibly effective weapons at its disposal. But it’s at most only a minor exaggeration to suggest that the military’s most effective weapon might not be found in an arms depot, but in fact might be down the hall in your teenager’s bedroom. I’m talking about video games.

From single shooter games to specially-customized, near-real-life military scenarios, video games have become an incredibly important tool in how we recruit, train and even heal U.S. soldiers – important to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

How did video games take on such an outsized role? How, exactly, do they make us safer?

Corey Mead is an Asst. Professor of English at Baruch College. He’s also the author of the new book “War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict.”

Diane Powell, NASA, Office of the Chief Technologist

Harvard University recently announced the Top 25 programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Award competition. We’re here to talk about one of them. It’s called LAUNCH. It’s a partnership among NASA, USAID, the State Department, and NIKE, the apparel company — and it uses online collaboration and crowdsourcing, as its mission says, to do no less than maximize human potential. What does that mean in actuality? How does it work? Diane Powell is from NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, the area where LAUNCH was launched. (Originally broadcast 5-5-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, co-Author “Big Data” & Oxford University Professor

Of all the changes technology brings to our lives, none may be more significant to what it means to interact in a human society than Big Data. Nearly every nanosecond of every day, we and the machines around us generate billions of bytes of data – information – that when analyzed reveal not just what we’ve done, but what we’re thinking. The reality and potential around Big Data are hugely positive – from public health to smarter shopping – and scary negative – the ability for governments and neighbors to pry into our privacy in highly uncomfortable ways. You might say Big Data sits at the intersection of technology and morality. Viktor Mayer-Schonberger is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University. He is also co-author of “Big Data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think.” (Originally broadcast 4-21-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

David Rose, MIT Media Lab

Today more than ever, great, new, innovative ideas come from anywhere. But if you had to name a capital for this place called anywhere, it just might be the MIT Media Lab, where researchers design technologies for people to create a better future. This group of incredible thinkers and doers take existing and non-existing technologies and evolve them to make our every day lives better. How does that happen? Within the Media Lab is something called the “Tangible Media Group,” and within the “Tangible Media Group” is my next guest – David Rose, visiting scientist, product designer, teacher, and serial entrepreneur. (Originally broadcast 5-5-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dr. Tony Marx, President & CEO, New York Public Library

For all the talk of the decline of public education, we take a moment to celebrate one of the most famous public high schools in America – Bronx High School of Science, which turns 75 this year. With 8 Nobel Prize winners – more than Australia, they point out, and tied with Norway – Bronx Science is one of the most accomplished public schools we have. It is also home to an incredible alumni list, including writer E.L. Doctorow, architect Daniel Libeskind, and my next guest, New York Public Library President & CEO Dr. Anthony Marx. The former President of Amherst College, Dr. Marx has spent his career promoting higher education for low-income students and today runs the one of the largest public libraries in the world — at a time when technology and digital are completely overhauling not only how we learn, but perhaps even what it means to be a library. (Originally broadcast 4-21-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Dave Girouard, Founder & CEO, Upstart

It’s a story we hear every day. Student debt is rising out of control. At graduation — and with jobs so hard to find — our best young minds, the ones with the newest and shiniest ideas, immediately move back home with their parents and then take the first job they can in order to start paying down their loans. It might not be the best job — but they take what they can get. Many of us hear these stories and think nothing beyond how lucky the new grad is to have a job. Dave Girouard heard these stories and thought: Market Opportunity. Dave is the founder of Upstart, an online marketplace that lets financial backers invest in individuals. The backers give recent graduates immediate funding in exchange for a predetermined percentage of the grad’s future earnings. Can an online marketplace for human talent really work — and what might it mean for the way our future grads think about their first jobs? Upstart founder Dave Girouard joins me now. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Kelly Hoey, Start up Advisor & Founder, Women Innovate Mobile

When was the last time you watched television alone? And by alone, I don’t mean with no one else in the room — I mean, without a digital device at the ready. I mean your smart phone or tablet or laptop. How are mobile, universal connectivity and the good old TV merging to once again change our lives? Here to help us understand: Kelly Hoey, a start up advisor and Founder of Women Innovate Mobile, the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Ben Smith, Editor, Buzzfeed

You blinked, and the world of media and content has changed again. That’s right — it’s once again the next new age of New Media. Online display ads? Forget’em. Sponsored content is the new way advertisers earn your trust — and your spending dollars. Total unique users? Talk today is about each individual piece and its Likes or Tweets or mentions. Corporate ownership? Online media stars are saying enough of that and going direct to readers for financial support. One media group driving this new age: Buzzfeed. The social news web site recently earned new financial support of their own, closing a nearly a $20MM round. Ben Smith is Buzzfeed’s editor, and he joins me now. (Originally broadcast 1-27-13 on The John Batchelor Show)

Mark Coopersmith, Entrepreneur & UC Berkeley Lecturer

After years of hearing about jobs leaving our country for overseas — offshoring — there’s a new trend in American business. It’s called “reshoring.” From service industries to manufacturing, a range of incentives is leading companies to use American workers in new ways. Just this week, Apple announced it would invest some $100MM to produce some Mac computers in the US. Was this a publicity stunt for Apple or more evidence of the reshoring trend — or both? Mark Coopersmith is a UC Berkeley Lecturer on Entrepreneurship. He is also active in companies of his own, some of which are on the cutting edge of the reshoring movement. (Originally broadcast 12-16-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Ben Smith, Buzzfeed

With just 10 days to go until our nation comes together to choose our next President, we already have a winner in this election: Social media and crowdsourced news. The days of waiting for a bunch of editors or TV talking heads to tell us what is important are gone. Today, information trends – and the news that gets the most likes, posts, plus 1’s… in other words, the more information goes viral, that’s what the headlines will be. And it’s driven much of the political coverage, just as it will once the election is through. And the leader in this trending form of trending information is BuzzFeed. They have reported on the election from the start, and their editor is Ben Smith. (Originally broadcast 10-27-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Hari Sreenivasan, The Digital Campaign, PBS Newshour

A conversation on the new ways the political campaigns — particularly President Obama’s — use data to target likely voters and encourage them to get to the polls. Reporter Hari Sreenivasan hosted “The Digital Campaign” for PBS NewsHour and Frontline. (Originally broadcast 10-27-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Steve Bonadio, InnoCentive, on Crowdsourcing

We all know the drill: A problem comes up at the office — A new sales area, new potential product, new customer segment. The boss says, I don’t want the same old solutions; we need to be more innovative. And so you get a couple of colleagues, and you innovate. At least you try to. But what if instead of sharing your challenge with a couple of colleagues and benefiting from just their feedback, you shared your challenge with more than 200,000 innovators around the world. And they thought about your problem – for free – until you chose a solution from this global pile of solutions and then — and only then — you paid for the service. It’s called Crowdsourcing and it drives something called open innovation. And one company has created a marketplace to drive this organized Crowdsourcing. It’s called InnoCentive. Steve Bonadio is a vice president there, and he joins me now. (Originally broadcast 10-27-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Liz Heron, Wall St. Journal, Director of Social Media & Engagement

If you thought this year’s political conventions were meant to highlight the political parties — introduce their platforms, candidates, rising stars — you’re forgiven for being greatly mistaken. Most times it felt like both conventions were put on — at a cost of some $150MM — as a coming out party for social media. Watching a speech without also following on Twitter? You must be stuck in 1960. Haven’t liked a candidate’s Facebook page? That’s very 1980 of you. Didn’t follow the Presidents “AMA” — that’s “ask me anything” for the un-indoctrinated? This isn’t 1992 people! But if you want to know how social impacted the Conventions and how it’s changing journalism as we know, my next guest is one of the leading forces of that change. Liz Heron is Director of Social Media and Engagement at The Wall Street Journal, which she joined from the NY Times about six months ago. I’ve been trying to get her as a guest ever since, and she finally broke down. (Originally broadcast 9-8-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Andrew Blum, Author “Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet”

After you hit send on an email or search on Google or click a hyperlink on a site via Internet Explorer, what happens? I don’t mean what happens like — the email sends or the search searches or the hyperlink links. I mean how does the email send? How does Google search a gazillion places for millions of results in nanoseconds. I mean how does the Internet work? What’s it made of? Is Cyberspace a place? I have no doubt that if Lewis and Clark were alive today, this is the land they would try to discover. This is the unmarked territory, our manifest destiny, but who can map it? Andrew Blum can. A journalist who writes about architecture, technology and infrastructure, Blum is now the author of “Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet” and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 9-8-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Clara Shih, CEO, Hearsay

Facebook’s IPO missteps aside, there can be no argument that social media is a major — if not THE major — next step in human connection. More than a billion of us sign up to post comments and photos and stories about ourselves. But what about businesses? Is the social environment a place where businesses and other enterprises not only can play, but can win? If so, how? Joining us now, is one of the most important and thoughtful minds on the topic. Clara Shih is not just CEO of Hearsay Social. At 30, she has already been named one of FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs of 2011, one of Fast Company’s Most Influential People in Technology, and one of Businessweek’s Top Young Entrepreneurs of 2011. She also sits on Starbucks’ Board of Directors, and Clara joins us now. (Originally broadcast 6-2-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Steve Blank, Entrepreneur & UC Berkeley Lecturer

With the launching of Facebook’s $100 billion IPO bid and their stunning $1 billion purchase of the photosharing app Instagram, we have clearly hit a new high in tech excitement. But at a time when other tech launches, including Linked In, have recently come back earth, how excited should we be? And what should we be looking for next? Steve Blank has sat on the boards of no fewer than five start-ups, including Macrovision, Immersion and E.piphany. He also lectures on Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)

Andrew Heyward, Media Executive

Of all the areas and rules that technology seems to be rewriting, it seems no changes come faster or with more impact to our daily lives than media. From how we watch it to how we’re marketed to, to how content is created in the first place, the rules are changing almost as we speak. What does the convergence of technology and media mean for consumers? What does it mean for media companies? And who actually wins? As the convergence first began, Andrew Heyward was President of CBS News and he has spent much of the last 15 years thinking about this challenge. Andrew now helps individuals and corporations make sense of the changing media landscape, and he joins us now. (Originally broadcast 5-12-12 on The John Batchelor Show)