101 Things I Learned in Business School

 “101 Things I Learned in Business School” is a book by Michael W. Preis and Matthew Frederick. Preis is a business professor at the University of Illinois and a graduate of Harvard Business School. Frederick is an architect and creator of the 101 Things I Learned series.
There are many books offering leadership in 12 lessons, an MBA in 10 days or the 100 secrets of motivation. These books are easy introductions to the discipline of business management and “101 Things I Learned in Business School” is one of them.  It is a part of a set that also includes topics in the fields of architecture, fashion and film. Most of these easy introductory books have something in common as they share some important insights. I would like to point out a few of the business insights in the book.
 Functional silos can be dysfunctional. We organize companies in the forms of departments and these departments work independently; however, the company is a whole. An organization is like the human body; all organs need to cooperate rather than work independently in order to achieve a healthy existence.
 There are three ways to grow a business: increase market share, grow with the market and expand into a new market. A lot of companies struggle to grow in an existing market but sometimes investing in a new fast-growing market is much easier.
 Ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” A common mistake is managing a company like driving a car by always looking at the side mirrors. Organizations are always faced with an uncertain future so we have to focus on the future, rather than examining the past.
 Cannibalize your own sales. If you have winning products, you are lucky. But a successful product provides a comfort zone for a company, but comfort zones in any company are a hunting ground for competitors. So it is best to develop better products than our existing products and kill our products before somebody else does.
 Free can be part of a successful business model. “Free” has been a marketing strategy for a very long time, but with the launch of the Internet “free” became a revolution. Any company should consider providing some free services or products. One of the most successful examples of the “free” strategy is Google. Google’s free service created a giant in the space of 10 years.
 Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” This is a way of focusing on the customer because when you listen to complaints by customers you can easily find ideas for improvement and sometimes new product development.
 Good, fast or cheap — pick two. You can also refer to these as a quality, time and cost triangle. These three are interconnected. If you want high quality in a short period of time, you should be ready to pay the cost. If you want low cost in a short period of time, you should be ready to compromise on quality.
 Sacrifice the trivial few for the vital many. The Pareto Principle says that 20 percent of effort is usually responsible for 80 percent of results. This suggests that businesses are best served by giving the greatest attention to the 20 percent of customers who account for 80 percent of sales and solving the 20 percent of issues that will address 80 percent of problems.
This book provides a lot of insights for every body in a quick read.
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