Archive for the ‘Business History’ Category

Kaizen 28: Surse Pierpoint, Logistics, and the Panama Canal

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

k28 thumbThe latest issue of Kaizen [pdf] features our interview with Surse Pierpoint on the theme of Entrepreneurial Logistics in Panama. Stephen Hicks met with Mr. Pierpoint in Panama City to discuss the Free Trade Zone, the Panama Canal’s history and major expansion project, and worldwide trends in transportation and logistics.

Also featured in this issue of Kaizen are guest speaker Professor Nicholas Capaldi, the High School Business Day, and Professor Shawn Klein’s initiatives in Sports Ethics and Sport Studies.

Print copies of Kaizen are in the mail to CEE’s supporters and are available at Rockford University. Our next issue will feature an extended interview with Zol Cendes on the theme of Entrepreneurial Software.

Titanic compared to a contemporary cruise ship, Allure of the Seas:
titanic-allure

More Kaizen interviews with leading entrepreneurs are here at our site.

Was the Dutch tulip bubble irrational?

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

An entertaining and instructive bit of economic history. What caused the Dutch tulip bubble of 1637 — “Animal spirits”? Mania? Changing government regulations? Demand or supply shock? The Economist explores.

Interview with Professor Arielle John

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Professor Stephen Hicks, CEE’s Executive Director, interviewed guest speaker Arielle John (Beloit College) about the influence of culture on entrepreneurship. Watch the interview below.

The End of the University as We Know It

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Nathan Harden writes a sweeping overview of “The End of the University as We Know It” for The American Interest Magazine. “We have reached a tipping point where new interactive web technology, coupled with widespread access to broadband internet service and increased student comfort interacting online, will send online education mainstream,” Harden says. Online students may miss out on some of the advantages of a residential college experience, but they will learn more efficiently, be able to choose from a more varied curriculum, and enjoy greater convenience, all at a lower price than traditional residential students pay. And universities will have to adopt this new model or become obsolete.

Read the full article here.

Related: Dr. Stephen Hicks’s entire Philosophy of Education course is now available online.

Interview with William and Wilson Ling

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

William and Wilson Ling are shareholders and board members of Petropar S.A., one of the major producers of aluminum beverage cans and plastic closures in Brazil, and the world’s second largest supplier of lightweight spunmelt nonwovens fabrics for disposable hygiene applications.

Kaizen: To start with your background and how Petropar began. You were born in Brazil?

Wilson: All four Ling siblings are Brazilian—Winston (born 1955), William (1957), Rosa (1959), and Wilson (1961).

Kaizen: Your parents immigrated from China in the 1950s?

William: Our father, Sheun Ming Ling, was born in Beijing in 1921 and was raised in Wenzhou. He left China in 1948, in the wake of the communist revolution, first to Taiwan. In early 1950 he went to Hong Kong where he met Lydia Wong who was born in 1928, in Shanghai.

Our father wasn’t educated in a formal school; he was homeschooled. It was usual at that time for families to do homeschooling. So basically his education was at home with private tutors.

He lost his father when he was young—at age 12. So he stopped studying and started working as an apprentice. He joined the China Vegetable Oil Company (CVOC), which was a large entity with state and private ownership that had a virtual monopoly in the vegetable oil industry. It was there where he acquired all his experience in this industry. But he always worked as an accountant or as an auditor. He wasn’t involved in operations. He knew the operations from his work as an auditor.

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12 Lessons Guy Kawasaki Learned from Steve Jobs

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The day after Steve Jobs’ death last year, Silicon Valley VC Guy Kawasaki gave a speech about the two times he worked under Jobs and what he learned. Some highlights from his list: Don’t listen to the experts; all that matters is whether something works or not; and value is different from price. Watch his talk below:

November 2012 Issue of Kaizen

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Our latest issue of Kaizen features a bold new design and an interview with William and Wilson Ling, shareholders and board members of Petropar S.A., one of the major producers of aluminum beverage cans and plastic closures in Brazil, and the world’s second largest supplier of lightweight spunmelt nonwovens fabrics for disposable hygiene applications.

Also featured in Kaizen are: an interview with Professor Matt Flamm about our Ethics Minor; our trip to the Students for Liberty Chicago Regional Conference; our screening of Atlas Shrugged: Part II; and our new Philosophy and Film Study Groups.

A PDF version of Kaizen is available here. We will soon post separately the full interview with William and Wilson Ling.

If you would like to receive a complimentary issue of the print version of Kaizen, please email your name and postal address to CEE [at] Rockford.edu.

FindTheBest CEO Kevin O’Connor’s Reddit IAmA

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Last week, Kaizen interviewee Kevin O’Connor, former co-founder and CEO of DoubleClick and current CEO of FindTheBest, engaged in an extended question and answer session (“IAmA”) on the social news site Reddit. Here is Mr. O’Connor on internet ads:

“Yes, I’m fully aware people don’t like ads but they prefer free content even more. How do we know people like targeted ads? Because they vastly outperform untargeted ads.

Better performing ads->more revenue to publishers->better content->better user experience.

Without targeted ads, most publishers would die and the internet would be a really crappy or expensive place to be.”

Read the full IAMA here [occasional adult language from reddit users].

Interview with Jeff Sandefer

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Jeff Sandefer is a founder of the Acton School of Business, an innovative MBA program in Austin, Texas focusing on entrepreneurship. Sandefer received his MBA degree from Harvard University before launching five successful companies in several industries, most notably in energy. He translated that business experience into becoming an award-winning professor at the University of Texas, where he was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top entrepreneurship professors in the United States.

Kaizen: In 1996, you were teaching at the University of Texas and honored by BusinessWeek, yet soon you would be leaving to start a new business school with a very different approach. Why was BusinessWeek impressed with your teaching?

Sandefer: The BusinessWeek award was based on a survey of students, which I think is the best measure of a teacher, especially if there is a strong learning contract in place. After all, who other than students knows if a class has delivered on its promises? I believe that this is the same reason Acton wins so many honors from Princeton Review because unlike most business school polls it asks students: “Did you get what you were promised?” Of course, the BusinessWeek and Princeton Review awards really belong to all the Acton teachers, each a successful CEO who is committed to his or her students and the Socratic Method.

Our secret is that we set high expectations and hold students accountable to their promises. It helps that teachers are rewarded based on student satisfaction, after the students have been evaluated based on a forced grading curve. In other words, we have an incentive system that rewards performance, just like in the real world. No grade inflation, with rewards tied to results. It’s a system I wish more people in academia would adopt.

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John Allison’s New Book on the Financial Crisis

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Kaizen interviewee and former BB&T bank CEO and Chairman John Allison has written a new book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World Economy’s Only Hope. Released today, the book offers “shrewd insight, alarming insider details, and practical advice for today’s leaders… You’ll learn how government incentives helped blow up the real estate bubble to unsustainable proportions, how financial tools such as derivatives have been wrongly blamed for the crash, and how Congress fails to understand it should not try to control the market—and then completely mismanages it when it tries. In the end, you’ll understand why it’s so important to put “free” back in free market.”

Learn more about the book at Amazon.

Watch John Allison’s video series on the financial crisis, which covers many of the themes expanded upon in his book: