Tag Archives: Business Strategy

Best Way of Giving Thanks — Make It Personal

Giving thanks — and the power of making it personal — came across clearly in a recent article in Fortune magazine about Yum Brands.  They don’t allow managers just to give plaques or gifts — everything must have a personal note on it, or along… Continue reading

Best Financing Source for a Business: Its Customers

Financing growth for your business with cash from customers, rather than more expensive debt or equity, makes your ownership even more powerful.  In most of the investments made into operating companies by Greybull Stewardship, my investment fund, our operating companies get paid by customers before… Continue reading

Path of Equity Value Creation Not Easy to Plan or Pace (see Disney)

Equity value creation, in my experience, does not follow a smooth, straight path or a predictable timeline. It zigs and zags, stalls and spurts. Therefore, forcing a company into a certain path of possibilities or tight timetable is often counter-productive. I have found it to… Continue reading

Company Culture Like Fine Wine or Great Coffee

Company culture gets crafted over time by thousands of small decisions, and a few large ones. Yes, the big decisions about the vineyard or varietal takes spectacular time. But I was struck by how many small decisions like the shape of wood barrel, the wood… Continue reading

Old School Myths About the Ideal Time for Raising Capital (of the Right Type)

Old school myths from last century have stuck around to this century — especially about when to raise capital.  Modern companies often have the freedom to make a decision about when to seek capital because they do not need capital at a certain point in… Continue reading

Competitive Advantage Leads to Persistently Good Performance — Like Top Tier VC Firms

It is good to be the incumbent.  Usually.  They have often built competitive advantages over time.  Except maybe in the ever-changing world of technology, it is usually an advantage for a business to have been around a long time and to have established customers, suppliers,… Continue reading

“VC Bargain”: Capital in Exchange for the ‘Duty to Sell Company’

A post this summer from Jason Mendelson of the Foundry Group really caught my eye.  It is about the explicit “VC Bargain” that an entrepreneur makes when taking an investment from a venture capital firm.  Basically, the VC fund will need the founders to commit… Continue reading

Joys of Ice Cream, Apple Pie, and Recurring Revenue

Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, once told a friend of mine that if Charlie were a young man, he would be “trying to find online recurring revenue businesses” — like many that are being built and growing today. The combination of recurring revenue… Continue reading

New Twist on Venture Capital with Better Risk-Adjusted Investment Returns

A higher return investment can have a broad distribution of potential outcomes, as conveyed by this graph from Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management (the graph is from his book The Most Important Things Illuminated). This graph is a more helpful way to understand risk… Continue reading

BCG Growth Share Matrix of Cash Cows, Dogs, and Stars

Older ideas, seen anew, can be helpful to business owners.  In that spirit, I have highlighted Economies of Scale and Michael Porter’s Five Forces previously.  Today, I highlight another older idea in the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Growth Share Matrix that was developed by the global consulting… Continue reading