I find many interesting parallels in this story. Robaina paying employees cigars is just like Google issuing employees shares. (It also helps make employees feel good about their products and company.) Robaina using cheap labor to conserve tobacco is just like BYD using cheap labor to replace robotics. Ingenious!
Love it! Elon Mask brought business efficiency to the bureaucratic space exploration world. It was like Margaret Thatcher privatizing state-owned enterprises and making Britain competitive again. I do not know whether he will succeed getting to Mars, but what he achieved so far has been very impressive already.
Reputation is critical in the academic world, and it takes a long time to change people’s mindset. Customer discontent, or even animosity in some instances, dated back in early 2000s when Elsevier significantly raised its pricing. Since we are in an almost “monopoly” business, customers felt kidnapped and betrayed. Even though Elsevier reversed its pricing strategy later, the bad taste in our customers’ mouths did not go away, and the 2012 boycott was partly a consequence of that. It will take decades for Elsevier to rebuild its brand as a collaborative partner for researchers, and we are just in the very beginning of the journey.
Fascinating article about the “talent arbitrage”. I wonder why other companies have not exploited this “talent arbitrage” yet. Many government data contractors, such as ADP, have been as dull as the government itself. Why and how is Palantir different?