The Ten-Day MBA 3rd Ed.: A Step-By-Step Guide To Mastering The Skills Taught In America's Top Business Schools by Steven A. Silbiger - ISBN 0060799072 - Harper Collins 2005



Participating to MyBusinessEducation without actually having discovered the principle myself and having the occasion to read the book in 10 days with Sylvain. Getting a transverse view.

Pre-reading model

cf Graphviz


See also


Note that exercise are done the day following the reading. Solutions are reviewed but might suffer from a confirmation bias.


Class or Mass? Should Neptune Launch a Mass-Market Brand?, HBR April 2005

Problem of excess inventory (2x normal level)

  • ready-to-eat, fished-based meals, keep current line
    • identical perception, loss of product that might be recurrent
    • volumes
      • 30% to grocery chain
      • 33% to local restaurants
      • 33% to wholesalers
    • prices
      • luxury products 25-30% higher than competitors
  • new mass product line, 50% price cut
    • rivals cuts price
      • lower margins
    • rivals do not cut price
      • same margin, higher volume
    • cannibalizing old line
      • lower margin
    • not cannibalizing old line
      • higher volume


  1. Consumer: mass, can the habit change fast enough?
  2. Market: in NA? a size to know especially since they already failed to estimate
  3. Competition: 2 larger competitors in North-America, other ASPD members, can they "hide" the spin-off?
  4. Distribution Analysis: direct, whole-sale, thus with probably low margin
  5. Marketing Mix
    1. Place: low-end stores
    2. Product: low-end fish or low-end prepared fish dishes
    3. Price: lower
    4. Promotion: TV, ...
  6. Economics: estimated size of the market?
  7. Revise

Has to increase volume one way or another.

Alternative propositions

  • acquire a competitor
  • repackaging then offer to NGO in other places for "goodwill"
    • only letting them buy time if it is a recurrent problem
  • trash it
Second case study


  • contracts on hold
  • blog post
    • show what the added value is
      • not necessarily compared to competition but for the domain overall
  • competitor getting more popular
    • trend of outsourcing to Ireland
      • low cost
      • lower quality?
  • are there actual barrier to entry?
    • non tangible good
      • is education in the US producing a skill or an environment hardly copyable elsewhere?
        • in Ireland? in Asia?
    • can the customer notice the difference?
      • if not, can communication can be used to let him know?
    • argument of culture for the clients
  • consequence of off-shoring the core business itself
  • 4 Ps
    • Product = metaphor
    • Price = high-end
    • Place = ?
    • Promotion = ?

Possible solution

  • create new brand
    • Goldilock
  • eventually A/B test internally


  • north/south design
  • importance of culture
    • seen especially in UI/UX
  • democratization of techniques
  • personal view on DIY and automated design


CEO's Private Investigation by Joseph Finder, Harvard Business Review 2007

  • investigate on her own
    • estimate the cost of getting caught
    • fire the 1 or the 2 persons she discussed with
  • actual case of bribery
  • no case of bribery
    • getting caught
    • not getting caught
Second case study


  • own motivation
    • improve the local society overall
    • contradictory with maintaining the bribe system
  • is it actual tax or not
  • costly
    • especially if it becomes widely known
  • risky with the IPO
    • US framework

Mention of


comparison of


Exemple of intangible assets: Goodwill and Other Acquired Intangible Assets for Wal-Mart (WMT), WikInvest 2008

Organizational Behavior

From Regional Star to Global Leader by Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business Review 2009

  • informal pyramid
  • relation between the core and the new markets
  • coherence yet ability to explore
  • importance of reading others (non verbal communication)
  • the larger the gap, the more preparation required
  • is it a newly a created position?
  • is global non-France? transition to SVP of emerging markets?
    • try to limit overlapping


  • stay and adapt
    • learn the actual roles, leverage, values, communication means of the main collaborators around him
    • clarify his actual position
      • focus exclusively on China
      • extend to more emerging market
    • cultural differences
      • specificities of luxury brands
    • pragmatic differences
      • existing market that drove the brand and created its economic value
      • potential market
        • which might be have a lower upper bound than in other countries
    • accepting feedback as input for more thorough market studies
      • putting multiple other views, including his own, as an alternative
    • preventing for non objective (possibly too positive or biased) view point from family members of friends
  • leave for competitor in China
    • with a different role, with different leverage but with probably an easier organizational culture to understand
Second case study
  • Why Didn't We Know? by Ralph Hasson, HBR 2007
    • A whistle-blower’s lawsuit alerts Galvatrens to deep flaws in its system for uncovering misconduct. How should management and the board respond?


  • Galvatrens
    • Chip Brownlee, CEO
    • Arch Carter, lead director
    • Mike Fields, former divisional sales manager has filed a lawsuit, whisteblower
      • Terry Samples, Mike Fields' boss, senior vice president of sales
        • accused of retaliation against Mike
      • actual decline of performances
    • Greg Wilson, faulty divisional sales manager, resigned since, forced by Mike
    • Harry Mart, COO and recipient of the initial complain, hired by Chip
    • Sydney Baydown, general counsel hired by Chip, established the complain system in place
      • did not appoint an ombudsman or a responsible for ethics oversight, opposed by Dale Willis, then HR, and approved by Chip
      • no training performed
    • board decision of responding to the lawsuit
      • Denying Mike’s claims
      • investigate and negotiate
    • failure of the open-door policy and the code of conduct
  • Dale Willis, worked with the old CEO
  • high turnovers in sales


  • training required
    • find positive incentive bounded
      • especially as it's a hierarchical structure
    • reconsider ombudsman/director responsible for ethics


The Tug-of-War by Yossi Sheffi, Harvard Business Review2005

centralize supply chain operations

  • 1 CEO, Jack
    • requiring to save money
  • 1 CFO, Robert
    • focusing on financial optimization through costs reduction
  • 5 executives
    • including one advocating slow bottom-up change
      • potential new VP
    • fear of losing control
    • specificities of each chain
  • 1 consultant
    • advocating fast top-down change


  1. coherent metrics to share the same objective between CEO/CFO and executives
  2. top1 dept kept
  3. consolidate the 3 middle ones
  4. lowest one used to test the Chinese integrated service
Second case study


  • peak of demands
  • difficulty of prediction


  • track leader of opinion within social networks
  • consider outsourcing as additional flexibility

See also


Take the Money--or Run? by by John W. Mullins, Harvard Business Review 2004

Description of the situation

  • initial needs
    • one-third equity, one-third debt, and one-third vendor finance
    • €42 million (of which €37 million was capital expenditure)
    • 28% stake for an initial €4 million
    • initial LDP offer
      • 20% stake for an €1.5 million
        • 1st round, no commitments to future rounds
        • veto power
    • initial BRX offer
      • 28% stake for an initial €4 million
        • 1st round, second-round commitment of €4 million
  • accept the VC’s check
    • untrusted partner
      • the anti-dilution clause is not a minor point
    • ability to start the natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea
      • possibly with more resources spent on checking the viability of the partnership (then 55%/45% VC)
  • refuse
    • delayed opportunity
      • previous VC with other terms
    • lost opportunity
      • competition


  1. ask LDP if they can increase their offer
    1. if not and if the time to market is too short still go with BRX while putting additional effort on safety
      1. in particular regarding take over through their brought in "client"


Study the impact of automation on the current economical system

  1. What would be the consequence if automation trend would keep the current rate?
    1. economically
      1. jobs
      2. consumption
      3. education
      4. distinction between developed and emerging countries
      5. size of the middle class
  2. What are the historical similar cases?
  3. What business model would sustain such a paradigm shift?
  4. What existing economical paradigm best fit such a situation?
    1. Keynes?
    2. Kayek?
    3. others?
    4. are those models descriptive or rather normative?

Potential sources


  • paradigm shift
    • current economical system
      • working to create value, manage scarcity
  • scarcity
    • is it currently the case or already artificial?
    • impact on meritocracy
  • risk of an hardware and software robotic cartel
  • one of the new job could be to define the possible new relevant jobs
  • indicators of verification
    • evolution of value creation per worker reaching an asymptote (logarithmic)
      • wage without its imperfection (inheritance, minimal wage, ...)
    • comparative value creation of automation


Feed R&D-or Farm It Out? by Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business Review 2005

  • Will outsourcing R&D save the company or destroy it?


  • RLK Media high-end consumer electronics
    • marketing issue rather than quality problems
    • time or rather "price to market" seems to become increasingly difficult
  • Pycosonics, direct competition
    • already done a deal with Inova, IP issues
  • Inova R&D lab in Delhi
    • "hired guns" in their sector
    • "reputation for speed, precision, and specialized knowledge of video and audio compression and displays."
    • "IP leakage from the Pycosonics work to the iVid project would be inevitable."


  • outsource
    • reconsider what is
      • the core business
      • the competitive advantage
    • properly deal with IP
  • do not outsource
  • consider catalog of past works
    • really high-end?
    • compatible with US market?
  • is the cost of R&D the actual problem or should efforts be shift to marketing?

See also MardiInnovation01. Note that more solutions were discussed.


  • Structure: flat, p2p
  • Systems: IT
  • Skills: creativity, social network, stats, software
  • Style: feedback loop
  • Staff: me
  • Superordinate Goals: democratize creativity opportunities, maximize expressive power
  • Strategy: maintain an active network of projects and allocate resource based on periodically reviewed expected success

Value chain

  • modelize innovation chain
    • keep it up to date
  • facilitate the access to each component
    • especially technically difficult ones
    • user statistics to oriented on components based on profile and project

Should PIM be integrated or is it part of another vision (coping with information overload and cognitive competition pursued over new substrate and tools)

Overall remarks and questions

  • making a Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Books and restricting it in time and depth would provide a new free modern alternative
  • read continuously with 1 chapter per day with Sylvain respecting a schedule
    • morning opening debrief, sharing what is our current view of the topic of the daily chapter
    • reading and notes
    • discussion on the chapter
    • case study
    • selecting the case study for the next chapter


So in the end, it was about X and was based on Y.


Point A, B and C are debatable because of e, f and j.


(:new_vocabulary_start:) new_word (:new_vocabulary_end:)

Post-reading model

Draw a schema (using PmGraphViz or another solution) of the situation of the area in the studied domain after having read the book. Link it to the pre-reading model and align the two to help easy comparison.


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