Episodes
Harvard Business School professor Mitch Weiss and Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s CGO and co-founder, discuss the challenges entrepreneurs face when working with the public sector, and how investing in new ideas can enable entrepreneurs and governments to join forces to solve big problems.
Published 01/11/22
Published 01/11/22
Recruit Holdings, an advertising media, staffing, and business support conglomerate was founded in Japan in 1960 by Hiromasa Ezoe. The company was built on the principle that the company should add value to society. But in 1988, Recruit hit rough waters when Ezoe sold 2.8 million shares in a subsidiary before it went public to 76 Japanese leaders in politics, business, and media. The "Recruit Scandal," as it was called, resulted in the resignation of Japan’s prime minister and his entire...
Published 12/14/21
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, was launched in 2012 around the simple idea of helping users entertain themselves on their smartphones while on the Beijing Subway. By May 2020, TikTok operated in 155 countries and had roughly one billion monthly active users, placing it in the top ranks of digital platforms globally. But the app had drawn the attention of competitors, regulators, and politicians -- especially in the U.S., where commercial success was critical to its long-term enterprise...
Published 11/30/21
In November 2019, Mass General Brigham (MGB) was the largest recipient of National Institutes of Health funding in the world. The Innovation Office, led by Chief Innovation Officer Chris Coburn, sought to capitalize on that funding – with the goal of commercializing research done at the hospital to generate revenue and improve patient care. But CEO Anne Klibanski and other key stakeholders had a serious concern: although women comprised approximately 40 percent of the medical researchers and...
Published 11/16/21
Founded in 2014, Thinx, Inc. makes absorbent underwear that can be worn during menstruation. But the feminine care market had seen virtually no innovation in half a century because of the taboo against discussing the topic of menstruation. As a result, the startup was competing against large incumbents like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Can CEO Maria Molland lead a marketing strategy that confronts those taboos in order to bring innovation to the feminine care market?
Published 11/02/21
In early 2019, global beer company Molson Coors was exploring how to enter the cannabis beverages business. At the time, cannabis had not yet been legalized in Canada. Initially the company had planned to test a few products in a small geography in Canada to see if there might be a viable market opportunity. But the team charged with developing an entry strategy recommended a more aggressive move: pulling forward $65 million to build a facility in Canada to produce cannabis beverages and...
Published 10/19/21
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei and other Chinese telecom firms, like ZTE, had been poised to lead the globe in 5G technology—until the U.S. State Department embarked on a global campaign to challenge the market dominance of Chinese firms with the Clean Network program. Did that initiative create a new era of multilateral, democratic governance of the internet, or a “splinternet” forcing participants to choose between the U.S. and China?
Published 10/05/21
In 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a $30 billion “Commitment to Advance Racial Equity.” This included investments in housing, small businesses, and financial literacy across the U.S., as well as in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within the bank. Harvard Business School professor emeritus Joe Bower and Alice Rodriguez, head of community impact, managing director at JPMorgan Chase, discuss the implementation of that commitment and how it aligns with the bank’s longer-term...
Published 09/21/21
In February 2013, US Airways announced that it would merge with American Airlines to create the world’s largest airline. During the acquisition integration process, CEO Doug Parker had to determine how best to combine the two airlines’ core systems, operating processes, and leadership teams, as well as the appropriate scope and speed of strategic changes. Harvard Business School senior lecturer David Fubini discusses how Parker approached those decisions in the case, “Merging American...
Published 09/07/21
In August 2017, Baroo Pet Care founder and CEO Lindsay Hyde wanted to continue expanding her pet services startup to new cities. In addition to raising venture capital, she needed to consider her growth strategy. Should she continue focusing on the needs of her early adopters or start tailoring Baroo’s services to more mainstream customers? And how fast is too fast to grow? Hyde (MBA 2014) joins Harvard Business School entrepreneurship Professor Tom Eisenmann to discuss how an early false...
Published 08/24/21
Gong’s business proposition is simple: provide software that automatically captures, understands, and analyzes written and spoken sales conversations to help sales teams sell more effectively. But can technology that leverages conversational insights make a measurable impact on a company's bottom line?
Published 08/10/21
Horst Dassler, the son of the founder of Adidas, cultivated relationships with athletes and national associations – with the aim of expanding his family’s sports apparel business. In doing so, he created the first sports sponsorships for the Olympics, and ultimately became a key force behind the commercialization of sports today. Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones explores the pros and cons of the globalization and commercialization of sport in his case, spanning from the 1930s...
Published 07/27/21
In 2007, Alibaba’s Taobao became China’s leading consumer e-commerce marketplace, displacing the once dominant eBay. How did underdog Taobao do it? And will it be able to find a way to monetize its marketplace and ensure future success? Harvard Business School professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee discusses his case, “Alibaba’s Taobao,” and related strategy lessons from his new book, Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance.
Published 07/13/21
When Kathy Fish became Procter & Gamble’s Chief Research, Development & Innovation Officer in 2014, she was concerned that the world’s leading consumer packaged goods company had lost its capability to produce a steady stream of disruptive innovations. In addition, intensifying competition from direct-to-consumer companies convinced Fish that P&G needed to renew its value proposition to make all aspects of the consumer experience “irresistibly superior.” But making this change...
Published 06/29/21
After years of success in providing quality furniture at affordable prices, Swedish furniture maker IKEA is challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, plus the arrival of a new leader. The company's top executives know they must step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. But which initiatives will best enable IKEA to evolve while staying true to the company’s core values?
Published 06/15/21
Marcus by Goldman Sachs marked a dramatic shift for the 150-year-old financial institution, which historically had served only businesses and the wealthiest people. The fintech startup operated within Goldman Sachs, offering unsecured personal loans for the mass market, high-yield deposits, and a credit card in partnership with Apple. Harvard Business School associate professor Rory McDonald discusses the challenges of operating and expanding a startup within an established company.
Published 06/01/21
Georgia State University was facing a growing "summer melt" problem, where nearly 20 percent of incoming students never actually enrolled. The university used a data-based approach to retain students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and help them graduate. Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and Harvard University senior fellow Robin Mendelson discuss what the university learned about improving student success, while scaling its efforts to help other universities.
Published 05/18/21
After decades of brain drain in rural America, Tulsa Remote is working to attract a diverse group of remote workers to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Harvard Business School professor Prithwiraj “Raj” Choudhury discusses how the program gives workers the flexibility to move out of congested cities and explores the challenges in scaling this model throughout rural America and beyond.
Published 05/04/21
How did the evolution of Boeing’s organization and management lead to two tragic plane crashes within six months, in which a total of 346 people died? Harvard Business School professor Bill George discusses the long roots that ultimately led to the crash of Lion Air flight 610 in October 2018 in Indonesia and the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March 2019 in Ethiopia. He discusses the role cost cutting, regulatory pressure, and CEO succession played in laying the foundation for...
Published 04/20/21
Rubicon began with a bold idea: create a cloud-based, full-service waste management platform providing efficient service anywhere in the U.S. Their mobile app did for waste management what Uber had done for taxi service. Five years after the case’s publication, Harvard Business School associate professor Shai Bernstein and Rubicon founder and CEO Nate Morris discuss how the software startup leveraged technology to disrupt the waste industry and other enduring lessons of professor Bill...
Published 04/06/21
Guild Education is an education marketplace that connects employers and universities to provide employees with “education as a benefit.” The Denver-based company is transforming traditional tuition-assistance programs by facilitating direct payment by the employer to the academic institution and by supporting students with coaching and advising. Now CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson must decide how to manage the company’s future growth. Should she focus on expanding Guild’s core education...
Published 03/23/21
In 2000, Rohit Gera turned his family’s boutique real estate development firm in Pune, India, into a dynamic innovator in housing solutions for urban Indian families. Today Gera Developments stands at a crossroads, with Gera planning the end of his managerial career. How should the family think about scaling the business? And, should the company seek a successor to lead those efforts from inside or outside the family?
Published 03/09/21
Survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and their descendants believe historic social injustices should be addressed through reparations. Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai discusses the arguments for and against reparations in response to the Tulsa Massacre and, more broadly, to the effects of slavery and racist government policies in the U.S.
Published 03/02/21
The late 20th century saw dramatic growth in incarceration rates in the United States. Of the more than 2.3 million people in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers in 2020, 60 percent were Black or Latinx. Harvard Business School assistant professor Reshmaan Hussam probes the assumptions underlying the current prison system, with its huge racial disparities, and considers what could be done to address the crisis of the American criminal justice system.
Published 02/23/21