Some things I read this week: 29/7/18

The Creative Consulting Company

  • How some management consultancies have introduced and sustained thought-leadership in the industry:
    • Identifying an innovation to address a practice gap or anomaly
    • Marketing the innovation in articles, cases and public conferences
    • Implementing the innovation in a new set of companies, allowing for enhancements and iterations
    • Sustaining their thought-leadership with strong relationships with senior execs at pioneer corporations and academics
  • Big ideas in management differ from those of natural sciences. The scientific method calls for careful observation, measurement and mathematical modeling that gives rise to generalizable and persuasive conclusion; the management of organizations do not have the luxury of access to observe, measure and experiment in the same ways.
  • Big innovations in business practices within the 19th and 20th century—such as the multi-divisional firm, cost accounting, discounted cash flow, ROI, etc.—were slowly disseminated across companies and facilitated by business schools and consulting firms.

The Greatest Online Travel Acquisition(s)

  • Today, Booking Holdings’ is valued at roughly $100 billion, largely shaped by Priceline’s 2006 merger of Active Hotels and Bookings to create an online travel powerhouse.
  • Bookings and Active Hotels were founded by techies with practically no knowledge of the hotel industry; they raised little VC money and yet became market leaders.
  • Booking.com, relying on a relatively small pile of funding, sought to maximize conversion efficiency which would later allow them to reinvest cash into ad spend and SEM to build their competitive advantage. They also introduced many innovations in the field (public stats on # of current site visitors, # property bookings in the last 24 hours, and the “agency-model” that allows customers to pay at the hotel instead of prepaying at the time of booking).

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