The Secrets to TripAdvisor's Impressive Scale

Harvard Business Review

In founding TripAdvisor, Kaufer wanted to take his hard core engineering skills and apply them to vertical search in travel. That is, build a massive database of travel information that provided a white label search engine for travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity. Scaling is hard.

Divest With Care

Harvard Business Review

GE's expertise at building and marketing engineered products is legendary, but media and entertainment call for different skills. Pfizer divested its consumer health care business in 2006, selling it to J&J for more than 20x EBITDA. The ability to divest strategically is as important as the ability to acquire strategically. Consider the case of the health-services giant, which had quintupled its revenues in just 10 years largely through acquisitions.

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Shape Strategy With Simple Rules, Not Complex Frameworks

Harvard Business Review

While its competitors were spending lavishly on new equipment, ALL repaired decommissioned engines from its "dead fleet," bought used locomotives from African carriers, and replaced damaged sections of the main line with dismantled tracks from abandoned parking stations. One frontline employee came up with the idea of increasing the size of fuel tanks to lengthen the distance engines could go without refueling, which sharply reduced downtime during the peak harvest season.

Can We Quantify the Value of Connected Devices?

Harvard Business Review

In the 1990s, Procter & Gamble’s Product Supply Organization kicked off a major Reliability Engineering program, much like the efficiency initiatives of companies such as Toyota. And this addresses the commercial value creation question – P&G’s mindset was to create operational efficiencies that would contribute to healthy EBITDA margins.


Women, Finance the World You Want

Harvard Business Review

This friend also studied engineering in college and knows how to code. Financial services professionals may sidetrack us by slinging around financial terms like market cap, P/E, or EV/EBITDA, but investing is ultimately about achieving two goals at once — financing our personal dreams and making a down payment on the world we want.

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