Ever since Silicon Valley started turning out companies with beautiful growth charts, entrepreneurs and their investors have talked about the need for “adult supervision”—a seasoned executive who can take over a startup from its inexperienced founders, guide it through the hazards of hyperkinetic expansion, and convert a great idea or breakthrough technology into a bona fide business. Today, however, young founders generally want to remain at the helm of their companies, and there’s a new shorthand for the kind of leader who’s willing to serve as a second-in-command, complementing without overshadowing the wunderkind entrepreneur: a Sheryl Sandberg. As in, “we’re growing, but God knows how we’ll make money. What we really need is a Sheryl Sandberg.”
Starbursting is essentially breaking companies up into more profitable pieces and despite me not being familiar with the term until recently, it is apparently seeing a revival at present according to The Economist.
Notable mentions of rumoured or high profile starbursts include Pfizer, Motorola, Fiat and Foster’s. The Economist cites the main reasons for the revival as:
… companies seeking buyers for parts of their business are not getting good offers from other firms, or from private equity.
…the “conglomerate discount”—when stockmarkets value a diversified group at less than the sum of its parts.
…that this discount is real seems to be confirmed by the positive stockmarket reaction to the latest starbursts. From 20 days before the announcement of a spin-off to 60 days after, the combined value of the parent and spun-off children has on average outperformed the market by eight percentage points
This trend is much more common in the US and Western Europe with emerging markets seeing the opposite,….hence a popular alternative seems to be diversification.
This may be why, in some parts of the world, conglomerates are becoming even more diversified: witness Samsung Electronics, which is moving into pharmaceuticals.America’s big tech firms are also bucking the starburst trend and diversifying. Oracle, a software giant, has moved into hardware, and Hewlett-Packard, a computer-maker, is expanding further into software and services. Their big corporate customers increasingly want a one-stop shop for their information systems.
Whichever path an organisation chooses to take, one thing is for sure, excellent communications will be imperative both with investment audiences but also customers and prospects. Interesting times for PR.
Most people don’t believe they are capable of initiative.
Initiating a project, a blog, a wikipedia article, a family journey. Initiating something even when you’re not put actively in charge.
At the same time, almost all people believe they are capable of editing, giving feedback or merely criticizing.
So finding people to fix your typos is easy.
Some interesting questions posted on work:life balance over on Quora……if anyone knows whether it is possible to work full time, have a family and create a successful start up, there is someone waiting for the answer…..
Whatever your business, if a customer makes a complaint or has a negative perception of your organisation, no matter how unjustified you think it is, you have to accept it.
If you don’t change their perception….the negative opinion will be shared and spread.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree with a customer’s perception. Don’t try to deny it, accept that it exists and work hard to change it.
The same is true in your own career. Sometimes in appraisals, we hear feedback that makes us think “WTF? I don’t do that!” Yet someone thinks you do….so change their perception…change your behaviour….it’s only real if you let it continue.