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Blog Entries

The Vijay Govindarajan Video Series

My Three Box Solution Video Series launches on: Thinkers50 Tuck School Harvard Business Review
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/09/2019 at 06:17 am

To Lower Health Care Costs, Look to International Innovations

It’s hardly surprising that health care is shaping up to be a central issue of the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign. Despite several plans floated by Democratic candidates, much of the debate still comes down to one question: Who will get stuck with the bill?  Read the entire post on Fortune
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 09/26/2019 at 01:04 pm

No, WeWork Isn’t a Tech Company. Here’s Why That Matters

Last week, WeWork, the coworking space now known as The We Company, released its S-1 filing to go public. That spurred numerous concerns about the company’s large valuation ($47 billion at last count), given its hefty losses ($1.6 billion on revenues of $1.8 billion) and despite its rapid growth (86% year-over-year revenue growth). It also renewed questions about WeWork’s claims of being a...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/21/2019 at 07:55 am

The Gap Between Large and Small Companies Is Growing. Why?

Research and news headlines are replete with the idea that traditional large companies can’t innovate, and that smaller digital companies will render many larger ones extinct. While we’ve seen numerous startups of the last thirty years not only disrupt businesses but become the megacorporations of today, we wondered whether this disruption is accelerating with the momentum of digital...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/16/2019 at 07:21 am

Thinkers 50 nomination for Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Choudary

I strongly endorse three thought leaders for Thinkers 50 2019 List. Please send your nominations for Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Choudary by going to this link: https://thinkers50.com/nominate-2019/ It is easy to make the case for Geoff, Marshall, and Sangeet. Consider a few highlights: They are the co-authors of the best-selling book Platform Revolution, with nearly 200,000 copies sold; now...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/15/2019 at 07:32 am

The Problem with France’s Plan to Tax Digital Companies

France recently approved a 3% tax on revenues generated by large digital companies in its territory, a move that is now being investigated as a potentially unfair trade practice by the U.S. government. The French legislation, which would invariably affect U.S. tech giants such as Alphabet, eBay, and Facebook, is the kind of tax that the European Union has wanted to impose for years. Emboldened by the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/17/2019 at 06:08 am

R&D Spending Has Dramatically Surpassed Advertising Spending

In February, 3G-owned Kraft Heinz Co. wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15.4 billion. 3G co-founder Jorge Paulo Lemann described 3G’s mistake of not spending enough to sustain brands: “We bought brands and we thought they would last forever. Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/20/2019 at 07:04 am

Vote For Ravi Ramamurti For Thinkers 50

I strongly recommend that you nominate Ravi Ramamurti, University Distinguished Professor and founding Director of the Center for Emerging Markets at Northeastern University, as one of the Top 50 Management Thinkers for Thinkers 50: https://thinkers50.com/vote/ Ravi has done pioneering research on strategy and innovation in emerging markets. His influential contributions include an award-winning article on “reverse...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/07/2019 at 08:31 am

Venkat Venkatraman—Thinkers 50 Vote

I strongly recommend that you vote for Boston University Professor Venkat Venkatraman for Top 50 Management Thinker for Thinkers 50 Rankings as well as for the Distinguished Award for Digital Thinking: https://thinkers50.com/vote/ Venkat has been working at the intersection of IT strategy and business strategy since 1986 when he started his career at MIT.  He wrote a seminal paper on IT-induced business...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/07/2019 at 08:30 am

Should Dual-Class Shares Be Banned?

Voices against dual-class shares, which violate the principles of corporate democracy and the precept of “one share one vote,” have increased over time. An influential 50-member Investor Stewardship Group (ISG), overseeing $22 trillion in assets, demands a total elimination of dual-class stock. Council of Institutional Investors (CII), representing managers of $25 trillion assets,...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 12/06/2018 at 06:39 am

Should Everyone Be Allowed to Invest in Private Tech Companies?

The SEC Chairman recently announced a policy initiative to enable the ordinary investors to invest in private companies. Currently, only  wealthy accredited investors are allowed to invest in private companies. His stated goal is enabling small investors to get access to alternative high-quality investments, such as in private tech companies like Uber and AirBnB. But in our view this policy, even if...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/16/2018 at 08:45 am

How One Nonprofit Is Expanding Health Care for the Uninsured

America spends $3.3 trillion on health care, or more than $10,000 per person, which is twice as much as any other industrialized country. Yet nearly 30 million Americans, or 10% of the population, are uninsured. If the Affordable Care Act unravels in the near term, the number of insured could creep back up to 50 million, the level in 2009. These numbers exclude the millions more who are underinsured —...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 10/11/2018 at 07:55 am

Why We Shouldn’t Worry About the Declining Number of Public Companies

Elon Musk recently tweeted that he intends to take Tesla private, that is, to take Tesla off U.S. stock exchanges. In a parallel development, the number of companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges has declined by almost 50% from its peak in 1996, despite dramatic increase in aggregate market capitalization. Many conjectures have been offered to explain this controversial trend. We offer...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/27/2018 at 07:24 am

Why the World Needs Doctors with These 3 Qualities

Doctors are sometimes blamed for the ills of the U.S. health care system, but our five-year research project in India and the U.S. revealed the opposite. Almost every high-performing health care organization we studied was led by a medical professional (something that academic research has also found). Read the entire post at Harvard Business Review>>
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/13/2018 at 08:44 am

A Blueprint for Digital Companies’ Financial Reporting

On June 25, 2018, Facebook lost market capitalization of more than $100 billion in just two hours of trading after it announced its quarterly performance, despite exceeding analysts’ earnings forecasts. What caused this slump? It failed to meet its revenue and subscriber growth targets. This example illustrates that investors consider information beyond just earnings as value-relevant. In a recent HBR...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 08/13/2018 at 08:42 am

Task Shifting Could Help Lower Costs in U.S. Health Care

If you ran a fancy restaurant, would you want the chef also to clean dishes and mop the floor? Of course not. You’d hire others to do these things and let the chef focus on producing delicious food. This simple idea — that one should match the skill level of the individual to the skill requirements of a task — has influenced how many businesses operate. That’s why lawyers are helped by paralegals,...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/19/2018 at 09:14 am

3 Entrepreneurs Who Made It Their Mission to Lower Health Care Costs

There is a healthcare crisis in the U.S. which cries out for breakthrough healthcare delivery innovations that aim at significant cost reductions and wider coverage. In 2016, the U.S. spent a staggering $3.2 trillion, or almost 18% of its GDP, on health care — that’s $10,000 per person, twice as much as any other country in the industrialized world. Innovation has the power to ratchet down U.S. costs quite...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/09/2018 at 10:05 am

Why We Need to Update Financial Reporting for the Digital Era

The market caps of just four companies, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, now exceed $3 trillion. Their combined assets of $944 billion are an order of magnitude lower than the combined assets of $7,700 billion of the largest 3,177 companies in 1986, when the aggregate market capitalization reached $3 trillion for the first time. In our recent HBR article, we argued that financial statements fail to capture the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/06/2018 at 08:58 am

The Factors Behind China’s Growing Strength in Innovation

In 2006, 26-year-old Frank Wang started up DJI in a dorm room at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. The legend goes that Frank’s father had given him an expensive remote-controlled model helicopter for doing well in school. When the helicopter predictably crashed shortly after, Wang became determined to build a better controller. As part of his graduate thesis, he perfected an electronics flight...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 07/06/2018 at 08:55 am

Why We Need to Update Financial Reporting for the Digital Era

The market caps of just four companies, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, now exceed $3 trillion. Their combined assets of $944 billion are an order of magnitude lower than the combined assets of $7,700 billion of the largest 3,177 companies in 1986, when the aggregate market capitalization reached $3 trillion for the first time. In our recent HBR article, we argued that financial statements fail to capture the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 06/08/2018 at 10:33 am

Why Financial Statements Don’t Work for Digital Companies

On February 13, 2018, the New York Times reported that Uber is planning an IPO. Uber’s value is estimated between $48 and $70 billion, despite reporting losses over the last two years. Twitter reported a  loss of $79 million before its IPO, yet it commanded a valuation of $24 billion on its IPO date in 2013. For the next four years, it continued to report losses. Similarly, Microsoft...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 02/26/2018 at 09:25 am

Can Anyone Stop Amazon from Winning the Industrial Internet?

Just the announcement that Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jaime Dimon will be entering the health care space has sent shock waves for industry incumbents such as CVS, Cigna, and UnitedHealth. It also puts a fundamental question back on the agendas of CEOs in other industries: Will software eat the world, as Marc Andreessen famously quipped? Is this a warning shot that signals that other legacy...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 02/05/2018 at 05:38 am

What U.S. CEOs Can Learn from GM’s India Failure

General Motors, once the world’s largest car maker, has decided to stop selling vehicles in India by the end of 2017, since it considers its India operation to be not profitable. The company re-entered a liberalizing India in 1994, after abandoning the country in 1954. Like its American compatriot Ford Motor Company, GM’s market share in India has always been in the single digits,...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 06/15/2017 at 06:32 am

Celtics Should NOT trade their Number 1 Pick

Once Celtics sign two players under maximum contract ($30 million pay per year), they wont have enough cap space to sign a third star under max contract. So that leaves one more slot. Isaiah Thomas (IT) is coming up for free agency in 2018 summer. He will demand max contract. Can Celtics beat Cavs with IT and Horford. After Game 1, the answer to this question: Are you kidding me? Celtics need 3 All-Stars to beat Cavs....
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/18/2017 at 12:44 pm

HBS Professor Mihir Desai’s New Book

In The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, my friend and HBS Professor Mihir Desai shows how the big ideas of finance can be mapped to ways to understand one’s life. Each chapter is a big idea of finance (risk, valuation, leverage, etc) but the intuition is developed entirely by using the humanities - literature, history, philosophy etc. And, through the use of the...
Posted by: Vijay Govindarajan - 05/15/2017 at 05:43 am

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