In February: A couple of books, a cool event format & Ubernomics


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This month, I am only sharing a single online article, one about academic research at Uber, and it dates back to October 2018 (it somehow showed up in my Twitter timeline last week). But besides, this month I just write about two books I have finished in February, one about economic warfare and another about information management, as well as a business speed-dating event format I have discovered: les BigBoss.

Trump & Brexit have many things in common, as Quartz wrote 2 and 1/2 years ago and The Economist 2 years ago. This recent op-ed by Simon Kuper is an interesting reminder of it, in which he describes the roots & manifestations of populism in a humurous manner.

This month I’ve attended to my first speed-networking event, where you meet both vendors (agencies, contractors etc.) and counterparts (other Fintechs in my case) in a very nice setting. Totally free for us, paid for by the sponsors, it was very well organized and garnered a number of interesting opportunities. What a fantastic idea!

This book is a stunning personal story – in the tragic sense – and an incredible account of subtle economic warfare between the US and France. Written by Frédéric Pierucci, a French executive guilty of corruption within a specific business unit of Alstom (eventually purchased by GE), the book highlights how someone’s “willful blindness” at one point in a career, combined with nasty politics and severe lack of humanity, can almost ruin a life!

I found out about this book about a year ago through this article titled “What happens in the mind of a top CEO?” (in French). I bought it straight away… but it took me months to read and finish it. Not that it’s uninteresting – it genuinely reveals a lot about networking & decision-making – and it does so with unique data: a PhD student’s interview body of top CEOs in France!

But it’s written in a way that no busy manager would ever read it… it’s written for professors and other PhD students, not for executives! The title (“Leaders facing information: Treatment, appropriation, decision“) is a revelator of the theoretical, sequential way the content is distilled. Why didn’t he call it “How great leaders think” or “Survival of the Savvy” or “It’s All Politics” and write it in a way that engages the busy reader!?

A propos applied academic research! Published in October last year, this article resurfaced in my news feed, explaining why liberal economist like Uber’s Jonathan Hall (love to) work for digital platforms: “Uber [was] disrupting taxis, an industry with a rich economic literature, and which economists often cited as an example of government regulation leading to bad outcomes. Uber offered access to unprecedented data [in] real time. The cherry on top was that Uber was using surge pricing—prices that changed with demand—“which economists think is the coolest thing in the world,” Hall said.

This is just a celebration of commuting per bicycle through one of the most beautiful cities in the world! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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