Wednesday, August 2, 2017

History Of Video Games

As you probably know, Austin is a center of video game creation and the industry.

Check out our books on the history of video games here.

Book Review: Soft Sell

Soft Sell is the best book I've ever read about the art of sales. It contains both abstract and practical advice. Here is just some of the material you will find in the book:

*How to structure a telephone interview
*How to read people's personality and purchasing behavior by their dress and type of car
*How to keep your mind focused and motivated
*Dealing with sales resistance and reading people's unspoken priorities

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ad$pender - The Problem of Zero Results


Ad$pender is usually a wonderful database that gives you advertising budgets for categories of products, companies and brands.  You can use the database from off-campus with your regular net ID and password.

HOWEVER, a common problem is building your query and getting no results.

This is because a data point is missing. Instead of n/a in your results, you just get a big fat zero for the whole thing. Through trial and error, you'll have to adjust your query in order to get results.


I'll let AdSpender explain.

What does “There were no results for the report you requested” mean? This means that there was no activity found for the report you ran. This could happen for a number of reasons. For example, the brands included in your report may not have had any activity during the time period you requested, or perhaps dollars or ratings were not yet available for the time period you included in the report. In this situation you should check data availability or change some of your selections before running your report again.

Note: This tutorial is excellent, but it starts with the old library page. AdSpender still works exactly the same - just find Ad$pender here.

Business At The Movies: Executive Suite

Check out Executive Suite here.

Classic 1954 film about behind the scenes maneuvering during a corporate board meeting.  


Friday, July 14, 2017

What Do P/E Ratios Really Mean?

Taken from p. 143 of Active Value Investing, the classic book from Vitaliy N. Katsenelson.

P/E (price per earning) refers to the amount of money stock investors are willing to pay for the stock as reflected in its stock price. First, determine how much the company is earning per share. Then check the stock price. Divide the current stock price by the earnings per share number. You have the P/E ratio!

So is a high P/E a good or bad sign? Depends.

A new growth stock will typically show much higher P/E ratios than an established company. Once a company stops growing rapidly, the P/E ratio will actually decline. 

Katsenelson quotes the legendary Benjamin Graham as giving a P/E figure of around 8 as about right for a company with solid fundamentals but low growth.

Katsenelson includes a cool chart on p.143 that shows appropriate levels of P/E in relation to expected levels of growth.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review: Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm

A short book review for you today. 

Krupp is a German Company famous for its high quality steel, armaments, appliances and other products.  It is a prototypical German company that follows the German model of higher wages, export led growth, and close cooperation with the government. 

Krupp: A History Of The Legendary German Firm is an informative and easy- to-read history.  German corporations are distinctly different from American ones: they are typically family-owned and prize quality instead of cost saving. A lot of this is made possible by the extreme emphasis on export led growth, and the book is very informative on this point.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Social Interaction Books for Marketing and Advertising

Here are some offbeat subject headings with some very fascinating material for you:

Exchange Theory (sociology)

Social Interaction

Social Groups

Helps you understand group dynamics and human relations.

Use in marketing and understanding human nature in general.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Creativity in Business

Yes, it can be learned. Here's a list of our books on creativity in business.

Frankly, one of the best ways to learn about creativity is by reading a lot of fiction, history, the great books, and experiencing great music and art. You learn so much about connections, human psychology, and the craft of making the imagined real.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review: Francis Fukuyama Trust


Why are some societies more economically successful than others?  It is an age old question and Francis Fukuyama believes the issue is trust.

Find his book here. 

Trust allows larger scale economic enterprises beyond the immediate family.  But how does this occur? Fukuyama argues that large private organizations like guilds or church based civic Associations are key. If the state replaces these organizations, trust withers. Somewhat confusingly the author argues that individual rights taken to an extreme are also to blame. Perhaps the author is suggesting a return to paternalistic corporatism?

Read a review here.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Peter Thiele Book Review: Zero to One: Notes On Startups Or How To Build The Future

Zero To One: Notes On Startups Or How To Build The Future

Peter Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and PayPal. This book represents his thinking: do something people say isn't possible.  

From This Review (you should read the whole thing):

Zero to One is based on the idea that there is doing more of the same (normal business), and there is creating something new. When you create a new way of doing things, that’s going from zero to one. Doing more of the same is additive, new stuff is what really grows the economy.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Book Review: The Professional Fence

Book: The Professional Fence by Carl Klockars.

One of the best books about negotiation and small business management I have ever read.

And it's about professional fences - you know, the people that traffic in stolen goods!

Check out the negotiation tactics the fence uses in dealing with the thief. One of my favorite strategies is how the fence will often state something as a fact that is not true. Or how fences conspire to fix prices in the underworld.

You will see these tactics - misstatements, misdirection, intentionally misleading math, apples to oranges comparisons - time and time again in your business dealings even in the law-abiding world.

What about a business model? Check out the book's intro about famed London thief Jonathan Wild and how he organized the London underworld so that all goods would come to him.

Telling ya, check it out.

Internet Business

The official category is electronic commerce.

A link to more good subject headings. These include information for people who want to find information on internet marketing and advertising as well.

Bonus: Great government report about size, growth and other stats about the internet sales.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Trade Organizations and Statistics

Trade or professional organizations can be good sources for otherwise hard to find statistics on sales, volume, value, industry trends or other news. Many times these figures are cited as definitive as possible sources.

There are organizations for toys, chocolate, automobile sales, and so on.

They have stats like this:



You can do a google search for their websites or.....

you can search our database Ward's Directory and be sure to select advanced search and search the Encyclopedia of Associations by keywords. More clicks but better results.
 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Critical View of The New Middle-Class Day Labor

The Baffler magazine has an essay entitled The Crowdsourcing Scam.

Crowdsourcing here means contract labor for the middle class: you know, Amazon or Uber or the like posts a lists of tasks and people bid on doing them. Right now these are data entry tasks and Uber car rides, but expect this to extend to everything....

What are Trade Journals?

What are trade journals? These periodicals feature real-life nonacademic experiences of people on the ground in a particular trade.

They contain management advice and hard numbers, among other things.

I've used trade journals to track down profit margins for Alamo Draft House locations, measuring sales from adding healthy items to restaurant menu and the process of opening an indoor ski run.

Use the following databases (be sure to limit your results to magazines in the tab):
ABI inform,

Business Source  (Open the source types on the left)

 

InfoTrac Small-Business Collection  (see below for limiting to trade publications)