Still Many Ways to Skin a Capital Cost

Harvard Business Review

When executives evaluate a potential investment, whether it's to build a new plant, enter a new market, or acquire a company, they weigh its cost against the future cash flows they expect will spring from it. To make sure they're comparing apples to apples, they discount those future cash flows to arrive at their net present value. It's the opening paragraph of a Harvard Business Review article called "What's Your Real Cost of Capital?"

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What Private Equity Investors Think They Do for the Companies They Buy

Harvard Business Review

PE firms typically buy controlling shares of private or public firms, often funded by debt, with the hope of later taking them public or selling them to another company in order to turn a profit. In a survey of 79 PE firms managing more than $750 billion in capital, we provide granular information on PE managers’ practices and how firms’ strategies relate to the characteristics of their founders.

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How CMOs Can Get CFOs on Their Side

Harvard Business Review

Marketing is in the midst of an ROI revolution. The arrival of advanced analytics and plentiful data have allowed marketers to demonstrate return on investment with a degree of precision that’s never been possible before. In our experience, companies that adopt this marketing analytics approach can unlock 10–20 percent of their marketing budget to either reinvest in marketing or return to the bottom line.

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Is Your Business Biased Against Innovation?

Strategy Driven

Many people do not typically think of metrics and accounting as roadblocks to innovation, yet you call these out as potential problem areas. Many conventional metrics we use to estimate value are based on faulty assumptions. Net present value [NPV] is a case in point. The logic of NPV is to project cash flows into the future and then discount those flows back into today’s dollars at a given cost of capital.

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Why Those Guys Won the Economics Nobels

Harvard Business Review

The Swedes had given the award to one guy, Eugene Fama , who is best known for originating something called the efficient market hypothesis, another guy, Robert Shiller , who once called the efficient market hypothesis “one of the most remarkable errors in the history of economic thought,” and a third guy, Lars Peter Hansen , whose work is so dense that even academic economists couldn’t satisfactorily explain it or its connection to Fama and Shiller. That’s kind of a deep insight.

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