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The Value of Facebook

Jan 08, 2011

The Value of Facebook

Is Facebook really worth $50 billion? That’s been a question on a lot of people’s minds this week, as word spread that Goldman Sachs and the Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies had ascribed that value to the social-networking company by buying high-priced stakes in it. Investors are betting, of course, that Facebook will be able to translate its hundreds of millions of users into ever-greater sales…

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Drucker and the Tax Deal

Dec 10, 2010

Drucker and the Tax Deal

It’s difficult to know just what Peter Drucker would have made of the tax deal reached by President Obama and now facing an uncertain fate on Capitol Hill. Drucker, after all, was very hard to pin down politically, characterizing himself “sometimes as a liberal conservative and sometimes as a conservative liberal but never as a ‘conservative conservative’ or a ‘liberal liberal.’” But we can take…

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Finding Drucker—and Fast

Dec 09, 2010

Finding Drucker—and Fast

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer,” Peter Drucker declared. This week, in a dispatch from Tokyo, Bloomberg explores how Tadashi Yanai, the CEO of Japan’s Fast Retailing Co., is trying to recapture that simple—but often elusive—principle at his clothing company. “Drucker is not only my management professor, but he is like the compass to provide a path I…

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Guns and Gadgets

Dec 03, 2010

Guns and Gadgets

A conflict is erupting over “conflict minerals.” Large retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart and Target are reportedly seeking to limit a requirement within this year’s Dodd-Frank financial law that may require them to report whether their store-brand products contain conflict minerals from Central Africa. The provision in the law is part of an effort to use corporate pressure to choke off illegal mining operations that…

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The Profit Motive

Nov 30, 2010

The Profit Motive

The Commerce Department’s announcement last week that corporate profits hit an all-time high in the third quarter—coming in at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion—would likely have left Peter Drucker wondering one thing: When will all of this dough accrue to the greater good? Drucker was never shy about stressing that businesses need to make money—and even lots of it. “No apology is needed for profit,” Drucker…

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Above All, Do No Harm

Oct 31, 2010

Above All, Do No Harm

Peter Drucker always had mixed feelings about corporate whistle-blowing, likening the practice to “informing” and maintaining that its encouragement can break down fundamental bonds between supervisor and employee. “Whistle-blowing,” he asserted, “is ethically quite ambiguous.” Still, there is little doubt that Drucker would have had few qualms about the actions taken by former GlaxoSmithKline quality-assurance manager Cheryl Eckard, who last week won $96 million in…

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