January 22, 2015

Valuating NBA Teams

I read a very interesting article on Forbes listing the NBA's most valuable franchises. The article in itself is an interesting read, not just because it lists the rankings from highest (LA Lakers at $2.6 billion) to lowest (Milwaukee Bucks at $600 million) but also because it gives casual fans an insight into how these valuations are actual computed.

What I've learned in my accounting and finances classes at IE Business School is that valuations are always partly subjective. Merely taking the value of the assets for each team will barely even give you a fraction of what these teams are being valuated at, even for teams that own their own arenas (most of them don't).

January 18, 2015

The Francis Effect

As the Pope wraps up his five day visit to the Philippines today, I thought I would take a few minutes to share some of my reflections:

- Pope Francis leads by example. From chosing not to use a bullet proof vehicle to be closer to the people to holding mass in a raincoat in the middle of a storm, Pope Francis is sending us all a message to be humble and down to earth. If he can do it as leader of the Catholic Church, we all can.

January 9, 2015

Amazon's New Rival?

I finished reading Brad Stone's book on Jeff Bezos and Amazon over the Christmas break. The book is entitled "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon". Here is a link to the book if you wish to purchase it (of course I will link to Amazon!).

I enjoyed reading the book a lot and took a lot of mental notes on how Mr. Bezos was able to build Amazon from the ground up. To make the long story short, he was very smart, stubborn, competitive , had a grand vision and simply refused to fail and take no for an answer.

There are several examples in the book that describe the very aggressive pricing tactics Amazon used (with the blessing of Bezos) to either put pressure on a competitor or a supplier. For example, Amazon consciously did not inform publishers that they planned to sell e-books below acquisition cost. Another example is when Amazon forced an upstart competitor (Diapers.com) to sell the company to them by selling diapers on Amazon at a loss.

January 3, 2015

2015 Reading List

Happy New Year!

Over the Christmas holiday I was able to receive some books on my reading list for 2015! While in Singapore, I was also able to buy some books that were not available here like "Business Adventures" by John Brooks, "The Innovators" by Walter Isaacson and "Built To Last" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.