Understanding the World

Some of the reports from international organizations that help us to understand better the world we live in.

  1. The World Development Report, The World Bank
  2. The World Trade Report, World Trade Organization, WTO
  3. International Trade Statistics, World Trade Organization, WTO
  4. The World Economic Outlook, International Monetary Fund, IMF
  5. Corruption Perceptions Indext (CPI), Transparency International
  6. The Human Development Report, United Nations Development Program
  7. The Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum
  8. Doing Business Reports, International Finance Corporations, The World Bank Group

International strategy

If you are passionate about international strategy and on how business works globally, then one of the authors you should read is Pankaj Ghemawat

Distance Still Matters: The Hard Reality of Global Expansion is one of his famous article on the importance of distance in business. Distance is defined broadly and includes cultural, geographic, administrative and economic.

His last book is Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Borders in a World Where Differences Still Matter

The Best International B-Schools Of 2008

In its annual ranking of top MBA programs, Business Week has ranked IE’s International MBA program No. 2 worldwide among non-US schools (Business Week compiles separate rankings for US and non-US schools).

I write about it because I am currently finalizing my International MBA at IE Business School (December 2008).
As IE Business school, we received the best grades of any international school from former students. We also received A+ scores from recruiters on how well we prepare students for positions in General Management and how well we develop their analytic skills. To top things off, students gave the IE IMBA an A+ in terms of teaching quality. You can find the ranking here: http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/mba_intl_2008/index.asp?chan=magazine+channel_in+depth

Having said this, you have to take all rankings with a grain of salt. Methodologies vary and schools fluctuate. So we shouldn’t read too much into a particular spot. But the fact that Business Week, the most important US ranking, now has reached similar conclusions about the quality of our MBA and particularly about the caliber of IE students as other leading publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist is very gratifying and makes us proud.

Windows Live

Microsoft has updated its Windows Live  services. Windows Live nows contains several interesting Internet services for the Desktop and mobile phones.  The key is to access documents, email, calendar, data, IM and information wherever you are and whenever you want, as far as you have an Internet connection.

As highlighted by the Search Engine Land Blog, this is part of Microsoft’s software + services + cloud strategy.

Nokia OVI has very similar services. Google, Yahoo, Apple have similar offerings.  It is interesting to see the evolution of this industry convergence among Desktop, Mobile, Internet.

Platform Envelopment

Thomas R. Eisenmann, Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne have written a paper on software platforms evolution, Platform Envelopment.

The abstract:

Due to network effects and switching costs, platform providers often become entrenched. To dislodge them, entrants generally must offer revolutionary products. We explore a second path to platform leadership change that does not rely on Schumpeterian creative destruction: platform envelopment. By leveraging common components and shared user relationships, one platform provider can move into another’s market, combining its own functionality with the target’s in a multi-platform bundle. Dominant firms otherwise sheltered from entry by standalone rivals may be vulnerable to an adjacent platform provider’s envelopment attack. We analyze conditions under which envelopment strategies are likely to succeed.